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Looking for purchase advice on rim brake bike

Old 01-27-24, 11:11 AM
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Looking for purchase advice on rim brake bike

I am looking for an older rim brake bike that has a good bottom bracket. I was looking at a 2013 Madone 5.2 but found out it has a bb90 BB which I understand is problematic. Then I was looking at a Cannonade 2012 Synapse 5 but I heard it has a bb30 which is also problematic. Now, this is just what I heard and I want a bike that is all mechanical but won't have any "structural" problems in the long run. I want to avoid bb creaking and frame damage.

What do you all suggest? Thanks in advance.

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Old 01-27-24, 11:37 AM
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I suggest you don't over think it too much and just purchase a bike that you can easily afford to replace the entire bike if anything should become a problem for you. If you have to replace any component on a bike, you can quickly have a bike that you put more into than it's worth. No one bike should be your forever bike. So get some experience with any of them, no matter what the "horror" stories are that you read on the internet. Certainly if you are going to worry, then the old BSA thread BB is still on many bikes still made today. Even mid to high tier bike models. So maybe look for a bike with a threaded BB. Though I wouldn't limit my search to that criteria. It might be a tie buster between two bikes that otherwise I like. But otherwise BB type is very low on my priority for bike selection.

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Old 01-27-24, 12:12 PM
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I do like the idea of a threaded bottom bracket. Thanks for the advice. Any you recommend?
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Old 01-27-24, 12:21 PM
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You will find issues with most press-fit bb bikes online even if the majority of those bikes on the road don't have any issues at all. Personally I've found that with a Wheels MFG bb that threads together, you can solve most creaking issues and or bearing wear problems. While I do prefer a threaded bb myself, I would not let a press fit bb be a deterrent.
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Old 01-27-24, 12:48 PM
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Metal bikes other than Cannondale are likely to have threaded bottom brackets. You can also avoid the unknowns that come with used carbon.
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Old 01-27-24, 01:02 PM
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Inspect any potential carbon bike purchase very carefully for damage to the frame or fork. Other than the bottom bracket issues (I also prefer a threaded BB) I think you’ll find that pretty much all bikes within the same price point have very similar performance. Buy one that fits you from a respected brand, hard to go wrong.
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Old 01-27-24, 01:53 PM
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If you want the most rock-solid mechanics on a bike with threaded BB, find a used Calfee. But there are a TON of carbon bikes with threaded BBs. Look for something solid that isn't super popular like Felt, Kestrel, Fuji, Ibis, Jamis, etc.

Otherwise, titanium frames weigh like carbon, ride beautifully, and mechanically perfect and can be found really cheap. Like older Litespeeds.
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Old 01-27-24, 07:53 PM
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Huge +1 on a titanium bike, my road bike is a 2016 Foundry Chilkoot that I built out with Ultegra Di2 and eeBrakes from Cane Creek, it is a sweet machine and will probably have it for quite a while longer. Sure it would be nice to have the new Di2 and disc brakes with wider tires but this is such a great bike I cannot really justify another one.
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Old 01-28-24, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Mikebike12
... I want a bike that is all mechanical but won't have any "structural" problems in the long run. I want to avoid bb creaking and frame damage.

What do you all suggest? Thanks in advance.

...what exactly are your plans for riding this bicycle ? Many miles on road rides of 20-40 miles ? Speed is important to you ? Used for shopping and errands ? Ridden in all sorts of weather to commute to and from work ? Just trying to get some exercise and you don't want something that has a lot of proprietary parts that are sometimes hard to source, or something you can't repair yourself if it breaks ? Steep hills where you live require wide range of gearing ?

There are kind of a lot of variables. Titanium and CF frames might be overkill for you, in terms of money spent, but it's hard to tell given the info you've provided.
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Old 01-28-24, 05:34 AM
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You mentioned the Synapse - check out the Synapse 105 with mechanical discs, mechanical 105, and CF fork for a nice ride.

https://www.cannondale.com/en-us/bik...se/synapse-105
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Old 01-28-24, 09:25 PM
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I've used Wheels Mfg and Praxis thread together BB's for PF30 shells. They both work fine.
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Old 01-28-24, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Mikebike12
I am looking for an older rim brake bike that has a good bottom bracket. I was looking at a 2013 Madone 5.2 but found out it has a bb90 BB which I understand is problematic. Then I was looking at a Cannonade 2012 Synapse 5 but I heard it has a bb30 which is also problematic. Now, this is just what I heard and I want a bike that is all mechanical but won't have any "structural" problems in the long run. I want to avoid bb creaking and frame damage.

What do you all suggest? Thanks in advance.
Are you looking for used ?, or just an older design ?, Habenero titanium is new with BSA bottom brackets I believe. They might still have older rim brake Team Issue Nuevo Frames left. I personally would not be buying a rim brake bike currently, but your choice.
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Old 02-04-24, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Trav1s
You mentioned the Synapse - check out the Synapse 105 with mechanical discs, mechanical 105, and CF fork for a nice ride.

I did. I bought one! Really nice and all mechanical. Now I have a gearing question. This is my second bike and I'd like to make the lowest gear the same as on my primary bike. My primary has a 46/33T front and 10-36T rear for my lowest gear. My question is, how can I tell how big a rear sprocket I can get on the back with the stock rear derailuer? The 2012 Cannondale 5 Synapse Carbon (I know, I got the BB30, what ya gonna do?) comes with 50/34 and an 11-28. I don't want to change the front sprockets now, but want to know if I can do something like an 11-36 on the back, It has a 105 rear derailuer. I don't know how to tell what the rear can handle. Any assistance would be great! Thanks!
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Old 02-04-24, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Mikebike12
I did. I bought one! Really nice and all mechanical. Now I have a gearing question. This is my second bike and I'd like to make the lowest gear the same as on my primary bike. My primary has a 46/33T front and 10-36T rear for my lowest gear. My question is, how can I tell how big a rear sprocket I can get on the back with the stock rear derailuer? The 2012 Cannondale 5 Synapse Carbon (I know, I got the BB30, what ya gonna do?) comes with 50/34 and an 11-28. I don't want to change the front sprockets now, but want to know if I can do something like an 11-36 on the back, It has a 105 rear derailuer. I don't know how to tell what the rear can handle. Any assistance would be great! Thanks!
So you passed on BB90 bike because you heard those were problematic, and instead bought a Cannondale with BB30? That's ironic.

If you have the short cage, that RD5700 derailleur is supposed to max out at 28t low cog. The medium cage will go to 30t. Those numbers aren't exact - some frames have longer hangers that allow for bigger cogs. This generation did not use big cassettes - there was a triple crank available instead. Only certain current derailleurs will work with your shifters. Claris will get you to at least 32t, for instance.

If you need to go to 36, I think your best option is the Deore M592 mtb derailleur. It is also on the old road cable pull ratio so it will work with your shifters.

Last edited by Kontact; 02-04-24 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 02-04-24, 07:26 PM
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Congrats! i've considered that bike myself.

I am running the 105 11-34 cassette with the medium cage 105 derailleur. I have read that people have used the 11-36 cassette but cannot speak to it. With the 50/34 crank I have enough range to keep moving on the hills of central Ohio. Search for shimano-105-hg700-11-spd-road-cassette
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Old 02-04-24, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Trav1s
Congrats! i've considered that bike myself.

I am running the 105 11-34 cassette with the medium cage 105 derailleur. I have read that people have used the 11-36 cassette but cannot speak to it. With the 50/34 crank I have enough range to keep moving on the hills of central Ohio. Search for shimano-105-hg700-11-spd-road-cassette
His bike is from 2012. I doubt the information you're offering about 105 parts from 10 years later applies.
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Old 02-04-24, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
His bike is from 2012. I doubt the information you're offering about 105 parts from 10 years later applies.
I misread his post and though he purchased the new Synapse 105. I'm sorry If I created confusion for the original poster.
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Old 02-05-24, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
So you passed on BB90 bike because you heard those were problematic, and instead bought a Cannondale with BB30? That's ironic.
I know, I know. You're right. The bike I found looks to have very little mileage on it and looks like it has been kept out of the weather, so my assumption is that at worst, I'll just put some fresh BB bearings in it and it will be good for another 10 years especially since it is my second bike.

Hearing all you wrote, how can I tell which length derailleur cage I have? Are their dimensions I need to look for or do i just measure between the jockey wheels?
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Old 02-05-24, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Mikebike12
I know, I know. You're right. The bike I found looks to have very little mileage on it and looks like it has been kept out of the weather, so my assumption is that at worst, I'll just put some fresh BB bearings in it and it will be good for another 10 years especially since it is my second bike.

Hearing all you wrote, how can I tell which length derailleur cage I have? Are their dimensions I need to look for or do i just measure between the jockey wheels?
The problem with press fit BB, is not that the bearings wear out , but that the press fit wears out. So don't go changing the bearings unless you really have to.

Anyways - just go on Ebay and look up other RD5700 rear derailleurs and compare with yours. You should be able to tell visually whether you have short cage or medium cage. For whatever reasons Shimano doesn't stamp that on the derailleur like they do the part number.
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Old 02-24-24, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
If you need to go to 36, I think your best option is the Deore M592 mtb derailleur. It is also on the old road cable pull ratio so it will work with your shifters.
Ok, here's a dumb question based on your suggestion. Is there an actual difference between a road derailleur and a MTB derailleur? I see that the one you recommended has a longer cage so it would definitely do the job but I get the feeling that it is just the name tag on it. Is that right?
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Old 02-24-24, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Mikebike12
Ok, here's a dumb question based on your suggestion. Is there an actual difference between a road derailleur and a MTB derailleur? I see that the one you recommended has a longer cage so it would definitely do the job but I get the feeling that it is just the name tag on it. Is that right?
Not really. There are some MTB derailleurs that only work with MTB shifters, but the general function and mounting of them is the same as road. The real difference came about the time 9 speed came out for road and MTB. Until then 28t low cogs were the max for both, but with 9 speed Shimano MTB the derailleurs could start handling much larger cogs. And then the next change was the MTB derailleur shift ratio stopped being compatible with road. That's why Shimano 9 speed keeps coming up - they work with (nearly) everything 6-10 speed road.

Today, road derailleurs can even have super wide capacity, but your older system isn't compatible with the newest stuff. So we are fortunate that Shimano keeps making 9 speed Deore.
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Old 02-24-24, 03:34 PM
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Mtb RD up to 9 speed will work with older road 10 speed rear shifters.

10 speed mtb and newer 10/11 speed road won’t work.

Most older mtb 9 speed SGS (long cage) are rated to 34t max cog and 43/45 capacity. “Generally” you can exceed the 34t, so 36 should be fine.

I’ve been partial to older m750, m761, m772, m972. The issue is getting one that hasn’t been beat.

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Old 02-24-24, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Mikebike12
Ok, here's a dumb question based on your suggestion. Is there an actual difference between a road derailleur and a MTB derailleur? I see that the one you recommended has a longer cage so it would definitely do the job but I get the feeling that it is just the name tag on it. Is that right?
There are two functional differences between them and road derailleurs. One is the length of the cage which determines "chain wrap" - which is the amount of chain slack that the derailleur can take up to accommodate the difference between the "big-big" and "small-small" gear combinations the wider gear ranges.

There is a less obviously visible difference in the largest rear sprocket that the derailleurs can handle. Road derailleurs in the old days were often limited to 26 or 28t largest sprocket, while MTB derailleurs were 32+.

So there's two specifications that every derailleur has: total capacity (chain wrap) and maximum sprocket size. FWIW, many older Shimano MTB derailleurs may have the wrap you need, but will be officially limited to 34 or even 32t largest sprocket. That's adjusted with the "B" screw. There are some workarounds with the B screw and I've had some that would work with 36t and some that wouldn't. These specs are readily available online for whatever derailleur you're looking at. Many good used examples on EBay if you want to go that route.

Shimano Deore/XT/etc. MTB derailleurs of the 8 and 9 speed varieties will work with Shimano road shifters of the 8,9 and 10 speed varieties, because they have the same cable pull. My understanding is that 10 speed MTB rear derailleurs won't work with those road shifters. I've done several road shifters/mtb RD conversions - 9 and 10 speed road shifters with a variety of older 8 and 9 speed XT and other lower level Deore RDs.

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Old 02-26-24, 04:01 AM
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Originally Posted by theblackbullet
Personally I've found that with a Wheels MFG bb that threads together, you can solve most creaking issues and or bearing wear problems. While I do prefer a threaded bb myself, I would not let a press fit bb be a deterrent.
That would have been my suggestion too. I, too, was a bit reluctant to buy a bike with press-fit bb, but I'm now on my second and I've had no trouble at all.
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