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Performance/Weight of Hollowtech vs Sealed Bottom Bracket Cranksets

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Performance/Weight of Hollowtech vs Sealed Bottom Bracket Cranksets

Old 04-04-16, 10:11 AM
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armstrong101
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Performance/Weight of Hollowtech vs Sealed Bottom Bracket Cranksets

Hi folks

Is there a big weight benefit in moving from sealed BBs to Hollowtech technology?

Any difference/gain in performance?
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Old 04-04-16, 11:34 AM
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yipyipyip
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It makes sense from a design perspective. The wearing parts (bearings) are separated from the non-wearing parts (axle, crank), and are thus easier and cheaper to replace. The axle length confusion goes away. They are also lighter.

Performance gain? No.
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Old 04-04-16, 03:55 PM
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I really like fixed axles, especially when maintaining my fleet of bikes for the family. They completely eliminate the axle to arm interface issues and in all my cases definitely a lighter total package. However I've upgraded because of the maintenance improvement, not the weight. I've used them all and they all are good; hollowtech, GXP, Campy. In some cases I do wear the outboard bearings out quicker, but it is because I'm power washing some of our MTB and cross bikes. $20 to replace the bearings.

What I don't like, and I think is a step backwards, is press-fit s**t. PF30 and BB90 all seem to eventually start creaking. So I stick with threaded BB bikes whenever possible.
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Old 04-04-16, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by yipyipyip View Post

Performance gain? No.
I'll disagree. the added stiffness is significant. You'll notice a huge difference in feel when climbing out of the saddle.
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Old 04-04-16, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclotoine View Post
I'll disagree. the added stiffness is significant. You'll notice a huge difference in feel when climbing out of the saddle.
So you agree with me, except for the performance part?
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Old 04-04-16, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by yipyipyip View Post
So you agree with me, except for the performance part?
Yes. is your handle a reference to sesame street? If so, awesome.

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Old 04-04-16, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclotoine View Post
Yes. is your handle a reference to sesame street? If so, awesome.

A few years ago, I realized that the Sesame Street aliens, when slowed down, become the main characters of King of the Hill:
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Old 04-04-16, 07:05 PM
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Expected to hate hollow tech when I installed a compact crank. Nope, love it! Light, simple ans stiff.
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Old 04-04-16, 07:21 PM
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The weight savings is significant.
Moving the torque points outward is significant.

I've got a set of FSA Team Issue Pro carbon cranks on an Octalink 6500 BB. Great crankset.
I've got a set of FSA BB386 SL-K Light carbon cranks on a BB386 BB. Great crankset.
You can feel the difference when climbing, and the scale says there's a good weight savings.
Otherwise, no biggie, and I don't really notice on my Ironman frames.

Now, on a Felt AR3 I had, you definitely knew when you had an outboard BB.
The difference, however, between the BB386 FSA and a Dura Ace 7800 was neglible all around, and the DA looked better on that particular bike.

At one time, I thought Octalink and Isis were the bomb. Like others, I can't stand PressFit crap, maybe just on principle.
A friend has a CAAD10 and a SuperSix, and even with Campy, it's weird to look down and see the cup spinning with the crank.

Hollowtech II is so easy to install, I think only BB386 is easier.
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Old 04-05-16, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclotoine View Post
I'll disagree. the added stiffness is significant. You'll notice a huge difference in feel when climbing out of the saddle.
? I haven't and I'm 6'3" and 180 lb.

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Old 04-05-16, 09:39 AM
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I have been using the "ISIS" type cartridge that is similar to the hollotech BB. I like it. The weight is a bit less than cones/bearings and there is no maintenance. Readily available for 16$ at Nashbar. This is my 5th season with it and has been in my '88 Cdale CRITter for the past 2 seasons, trouble-free.
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Old 04-05-16, 09:44 AM
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Sealed bottom brackets are significantly heavier than their hollowtech counterparts. However, I still choose to use old square taper. The huge number of cranksets available for them is my main reasoning.
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Old 04-05-16, 10:10 AM
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The Ritchey Logic / Dura Ace bb compact double on my road bike has an actual weight slightly less than the claimed weight of a SRAM Force compact double. To get anything lighter I'd need to go carbon and AFAIK nobody makes carbon 180's, so...

(And as I mentioned before I've never noticed any performance difference between square taper and external bearing setups)

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Old 04-05-16, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
I have been using the "ISIS" type cartridge that is similar to the hollotech BB. I like it. The weight is a bit less than cones/bearings and there is no maintenance. Readily available for 16$ at Nashbar. This is my 5th season with it and has been in my '88 Cdale CRITter for the past 2 seasons, trouble-free.
If you ever try an Omni Isis, you'll pay the $90-$100. Same with Deda Titanio. That is my experience.

I had a pair of Isis-driven cranksets, the Stronglight Pulsion, just an incredible crankset, Isis-only (in my price range).
I thought they were great on Token bottom brackets but the Tokens tended to seize a bit.
I swapped over to the Omni and the Deda, and I really noticed the difference, and total weight for the crankset/bb was 505-510g.
The smoothness, combined with the weight, was significantly noticeable, but I'd never use them on a steel bike.
I can't imagine how much better those external BB Stronglights would be, or the high end Rotors on a Ti BB386 with ceramic bearings.

To me, there are levels.
1. Heavy Shimano cartridges.
2. Heavy Shimano/Tange/Sakae/Suntour ball bearing - but they're smoother if I do my job on them right.
3. Octalink 5500, then up to 6500, then "up" to 7700 if I don't really want durability.
3.5 Campagnolo ball bearing, especially the Chorus or Record.
3.75 Campagnolo cartridge, especially Athena or better (not a fan of the Centaur at all)
4. Isis upper levels (Deda Titanio, Omni, maybe Token ceramic, but I've never had one).
5. FSA's and SRAM's early externals.
6. Hollowtech II and FSA's equivalent.
7. BB386, old school threading, light, simple.

The rest of the alphanumeric BB's, no thanks. I'm already confused by life, much less bottom brackets.
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Old 04-05-16, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
Sealed bottom brackets are significantly heavier than their hollowtech counterparts. However, I still choose to use old square taper. The huge number of cranksets available for them is my main reasoning.
And are as they say "smoother than the proverbial hot butter".
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Old 04-05-16, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by rando_couche View Post
The Ritchey Logic / Dura Ace bb compact double on my road bike has an actual weight slightly less than the claimed weight of a SRAM Force compact double. To get anything lighter I'd need to go carbon and AFAIK nobody makes carbon 180's, so...

(And as I mentioned before I've never noticed any performance difference between square taper and external bearing setups)

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I'm partial to Dura-ace cranks. Currently using the 7800 in 180mm (light, smooth, stiff). but have also own or have owned and used the following 180mm cranks: sram Rival, Force OCT, TA specialties carmina (185), Shimano Deore XT (several generations, currently using last gen of 9 speed triple), takagi, campagnolo nuovo/super record and ritchey pro logic (sugino). I am just shy of 6'4" and 190 lbs. I realize there are many factors contributing to the added performance that I perceive, including stiffer chainrings, Stiffer hollow arms, stiffer spider, and not least, stiffer axle and axle interface. But the benefit of that added stiffness when I am "dropping the hammer" is a significant one for me.
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Old 04-05-16, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclotoine View Post
I'm partial to Dura-ace cranks. Currently using the 7800 in 180mm (light, smooth, stiff). but have also own or have owned and used the following 180mm cranks: sram Rival, Force OCT, TA specialties carmina (185), Shimano Deore XT (several generations, currently using last gen of 9 speed triple), takagi, campagnolo nuovo/super record and ritchey pro logic (sugino). I am just shy of 6'4" and 190 lbs. I realize there are many factors contributing to the added performance that I perceive, including stiffer chainrings, Stiffer hollow arms, stiffer spider, and not least, stiffer axle and axle interface. But the benefit of that added stiffness when I am "dropping the hammer" is a significant one for me.
So we're about the same size. I don't doubt that the new stuff is stiffer, and it HAS been a while since I rode a hollow setup, so...

BUT, I’m in enough trouble for spending money on bike stuff lately. Besides these days when I drop the hammer it usually lands on my big toe.;-)



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Old 04-05-16, 12:53 PM
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The ease of installation/maintenance and not having to ever worry about spindle length headaches again are the biggest pluses for me.
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Old 04-05-16, 09:00 PM
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Love hollowtech II. No complaints with the square taper BB's except for the cheap one on a cheap mountain bike that wouldn't hold onto the crank arm for more than a month without it wiggling loose. I don't particularly like the Truvative GXP BB that I had. Swapped it from one bike to another and it stopped running as smoothly. Never could get it sorted out.
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