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ISIS BB spindle too tight -- need install advice

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ISIS BB spindle too tight -- need install advice

Old 12-19-06, 01:33 PM
  #1  
i_r_beej
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ISIS BB spindle too tight -- need install advice

Hello all,

This will date me for sure:

I'm most familiar with "cup and cone" BBs. I rather liked that they were fully accessible and rebuildable.

With the advent of Shimano's cartridge BBs they were pretty much "install 'em and forget 'em".

Now i'm experiencing some difficulty (a "knowledge gap" actually) with a Truvativ ISIS Giga-Pipe BB in an '06 LeMond Poprad.

Performing a winter strip-down and deep cleaning I noticed that the BB spindle is very tight and gritty feeling. This BB is just a few months old with probably 50 miles on it (just a few cyclocross races). It had been installed by the bike shop.

Anyway, upon inspecting the "adjustable" cup i discover that it has "cup does not bottom out on frame" etched into it. But lo and behold it is indeed bottomed out nice and tight against the BB shell.

Giving the cup a few turns lets the spindle turn more freely with the gritty feeling greatly reduced. While not silky smooth (i have no idea what a fresh out of the box Giga-Pipe feels like) the spindle's behavior is much more acceptable.

However, the adjustable cup just doesn't feel secure anymore. I can't spin the cup with bare hands, but under the wrench it just feels... insecure? Will the friction of the threads be sufficient? Is this typical? (Must be if Truvativ instructs to not bottom out against the frame).

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 12-19-06, 02:27 PM
  #2  
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You can get the torque spec here: http://www.sram.com/_media/techdocs/...aPipe-e-r2.pdf

You may need spacers: if you have a 68mm bb shell, and the bb is for both 68 and 73.
The cup probably should feel very tight when it presses against the BB.
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Old 12-19-06, 03:11 PM
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They may have wrecked the bearings by installing against the frame. I have a Giga-pipe Ti ISIS bottom bracket, and the cup did indeed have a noticable stop point a few milimeters out from the frame. I suppose if I wanted I could have forced the thing all the way down, as it sounds like someone did on yours. I'd take the bottom bracket out of the frame completely and feel it. If the bearings feel "gritty" or rough, its junk; it should feel very smooth. I suppose the slightest amount of roughness could be lived with if you want to. Then inspect the shell threads very well to make sure they are ok. I might even take a well greased cup by itself and screw it in each side to to check that the treads are clear and tracking correctly. I'm not sure what forcing the cup all the way into the frame might have done to them.
If all OK, then try resintalling the bottom bracket. As you probably know, all things with bearings will react poorly when tightened too far. Cranking the cup down likely placed too much pressure on the bearings or distorted the shell. Probably not enough to notice while riding. But, riding with them this way usually permanently wrecks bearings. Think of a headset - If tightened too much, it quickly forms divots on the bearing races.
Here is the link to the manual for it, just so you can see what they say about the cup spacing.

http://www.sram.com/en/service/truva...D=1&subcatID=2

Last edited by stevecaz; 12-19-06 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 12-19-06, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by yes
You can get the torque spec here: http://www.sram.com/_media/techdocs/...aPipe-e-r2.pdf

You may need spacers: if you have a 68mm bb shell, and the bb is for both 68 and 73.
+1

If it requires a spacer and the shop installed it w/o one they should replace it n/c.
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Old 12-20-06, 11:23 AM
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I had some confusion about this with my cross bike a while back. The link provided is the first one I found and does indeed reference a spacer for 68 mm shells. However, this may not be the actual BB the OP is talking about. On my cross bike, I have what might best be referred to as an integrated BB and crank. It's called the "Giga X Pipe Bottom Bracket and Crankset" and is listed under Cranksets on the SRAM website instead of under BBs. It's the second one down on this page: http://www.sram.com/en/service/truva...D=1&subcatID=5

In the tech doc itself you can find instructions on installation, torque specs, and a compatibility chart: http://www.sram.com/_media/techdocs/...xp-05-r5-e.pdf

You'll see in the chart that for most applications of this BB and crank, there are no spacers required.

Obviously if you're using a different setup, this is all null and void, but from my read of the OP's post, it sounds very similar to my setup.

Good luck...

Edit: And my cups do bottom against the BB shell, or at least they're so close you can't tell the difference.
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Old 12-20-06, 11:28 AM
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BB's come installed from the manufacturer, so unless the shop removed it and reinstalled it, don't be quick to accuse them. Truvativ has a long history of manufacturer's, particularly Trek, installing their products improperly. Cranks falling off, BB's unthreading, etc. To me it seems like design flaws--that extra steps and extra precautions have to be taken to install their stuff, but thats a subject for another time

Chances are its a Trek warranty, so just go to the shop, present the facts and see what they think. Bring the tech doc with you and if they don't know what you're talking about bring that out and point it out. I think most shops are familiar with this issue though. If the shop is a bit hesitant to warranty it, its probably because of Trek's horrendous warranty policies (shops are allotted a certain amount of $$$ for warranties--anything beyond that, the shop pays for), so try to be somewhat sympathetic.
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Old 12-20-06, 11:30 AM
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To throw another log on the fire of confusion, I had an ISIS BB from FSA (platinum pro) and it was naturally VERY stiff, when trying to spin it. One of the reasons I went back to Octalink ($80 down the drain).
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Old 12-20-06, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by jamiewilson3
To throw another log on the fire of confusion, I had an ISIS BB from FSA (platinum pro) and it was naturally VERY stiff, when trying to spin it. One of the reasons I went back to Octalink ($80 down the drain).
Just curious but how many miles did you put on it? Also, did you check to see the adjustable cup was installed properly? Generally my experience is that Truvativ BB's (as well as Shimano) are quite stiff initially but smooth after break-in.
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Old 12-20-06, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by seely
Just curious but how many miles did you put on it? Also, did you check to see the adjustable cup was installed properly? Generally my experience is that Truvativ BB's (as well as Shimano) are quite stiff initially but smooth after break-in.
When I pulled it, it had about 1500 miles on it, so quite new, and only ridden in the rain a few times. It was the same stiffness as when I got it, but never loosened up, as I expected it to. With respect to installation issues, I installed it myself (refrain from comments) using the utmost care and proper procedure, so I know that it was done properly.
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Old 12-21-06, 05:00 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by seely
BB's come installed from the manufacturer, so unless the shop removed it and reinstalled it, don't be quick to accuse them.
Actually, the BB shell on the original frame was warped and trashed two BBs. The bike shop installed a third new BB when they swapped over the headset to the warranty replacement frame.

I'm really debating whether or not to go to the shop and see if they'll warranty this BB. The first time i took it in and demonstrated the destroyed BB, I was asked if i sprayed water on it. (Never!) So, since it's pretty common knowledge there that I've been racing CX with this bike, and the season is now over, I'm sure they'll be really skeptical that I haven't sprayed it with high-pressure water.

OTH, it's frustrating to buy a new bike and have to go through so much grief over a component.

I've been taking care of the bike-- i even treated it with Framesaver!-- and i just want to to work like a 7 month-old bike should! It has less than 200 miles on it!

Oh the angst!

Oh, and according to Truvativ's fit chart no space and no o-ring is required in the installation.
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Old 12-22-06, 06:14 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by i_r_beej
Hello all,

This will date me for sure:

I'm most familiar with "cup and cone" BBs. I rather liked that they were fully accessible and rebuildable.

With the advent of Shimano's cartridge BBs they were pretty much "install 'em and forget 'em".

Now i'm experiencing some difficulty (a "knowledge gap" actually) with a Truvativ ISIS Giga-Pipe BB in an '06 LeMond Poprad.

Performing a winter strip-down and deep cleaning I noticed that the BB spindle is very tight and gritty feeling. This BB is just a few months old with probably 50 miles on it (just a few cyclocross races). It had been installed by the bike shop.

Anyway, upon inspecting the "adjustable" cup i discover that it has "cup does not bottom out on frame" etched into it. But lo and behold it is indeed bottomed out nice and tight against the BB shell.

Giving the cup a few turns lets the spindle turn more freely with the gritty feeling greatly reduced. While not silky smooth (i have no idea what a fresh out of the box Giga-Pipe feels like) the spindle's behavior is much more acceptable.

However, the adjustable cup just doesn't feel secure anymore. I can't spin the cup with bare hands, but under the wrench it just feels... insecure? Will the friction of the threads be sufficient? Is this typical? (Must be if Truvativ instructs to not bottom out against the frame).

Thanks for any advice!
The drive-side should bottom out on the frame. The non-drive side should be adjusted just far enough so that the spindle turns freely. If this "feels...[too] insecure" for you, wrap a few turns of plumbers teflon tape around it before installing to hold it more securely.

Bob
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