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How long does it last? - Bottom Bracket

Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

How long does it last? - Bottom Bracket

Old 03-05-12, 12:19 AM
  #26  
Telly
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Without being an expert on the matter, the B/B feels like the previous (factory defect) which literally came apart, below is a video of that unit...
Of course this time the "play" that I feel is negligible and started out a week or so ago, occasionally followed by a creak or two during a long ride.

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Old 03-06-12, 04:45 AM
  #27  
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Something that came to mind... can the chain-guard bracket which is held in place by the B/B cause the B/B to loosen in time? Has anyone ever had this happen to them?
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Old 03-06-12, 10:41 AM
  #28  
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I've used the square taper UN54 with an average of 9,000 - 10,000 miles wear including winter commuting in the soggy PNW.
Recently I swapped everything over to SRAM GXP outboard BB with singlespeed cranks. Even through a season of CX training and racing there doesn't seem to be any issue with my CX bike's BB (including a couple of harsh crashes; one which totaled the frame).
My commuter uses the same GXP crank/BB setup and I've got about 7,000 miles on it so far with no complaints. Same wet winter conditions, mashing my way up some multi-mile hills, and no problems.

I'm replacing my CX frame with one which uses the BB30 standard, so I'll be able to give a durability report on that one (with GXP adapters) in 12 months...
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Old 03-06-12, 11:13 AM
  #29  
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I just replaced the BB on my road bike. I've had it about 12 years, though I don't know the mileage I have on it. Probably not 10k yet, however. It didn't fail, but I could hear some minor creaking while pushing on the left crank and closer inspection showed me the bearing weren't rolling smoothly any longer. This was a Campy Veloce Sealed cartridge BB. Would have probably held up a few more months, but I didn't like the creak and it was only bout $50 for the BB and the special wrench to remove it.
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Old 03-06-12, 11:26 AM
  #30  
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Just came back from my LBS with the bike wearing the same B/B which was quite loose on the NDS which has the plastic cup and didn't seem to have any play (unfortunately the company I ordered the UN55 screwed up with the order and I had to re-order it). The B/B shell was (as expected for it's age) clean and except for a wipe down didn't need anything done to it. One thing that did change was the chain-guard and chain-guard bracket which was held on by the B/B which where removed. Surprisingly even without the chain-guide bracket's extra width, the front derailleur didn't need any adjusting and the gears worked smoothly.

The trip from my LBS to home is less than a mile so it's too soon to tell if everything's okay, but the UN55 will eventually arrive and will be swapped with the existing B/B soon after.
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Old 03-06-12, 04:08 PM
  #31  
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Time to get a BB tool and torque wrench.
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Old 03-06-12, 04:37 PM
  #32  
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Could increase the Up Front Cost, or just go thru a string of' fit and forget' UN XX BBs and call it good.

QBP has pieces they call the 'Up Cup'. an aluminum substitute
for the Plastic ones shimano supplies with their square taper BBs.

but there may be that corrosion situation alloy stems and seatposts exhibit
if left alone un greased, too long .

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Old 03-06-12, 05:39 PM
  #33  
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Here in the states, I think I can get a UN-55 for around $18. I can get the UN-24/26 or UN-54 replacement alloy cup, but that's $12 by itself. Either solution can work and the Shimano BB's seem fairly affordable and reliable. I haven't had to re-change any of those ever, but the UN55 w/ metal cups it is my go-to BB for standard replacements for most folks bikes. So I don't have much experience with the plastic NDS cup units. Personally, I ride decades-old, traditional, non-catridge bearing BBs with cup/spindles/loose bearings. I have a couple of Shimano 600 Ultegra Tri-colours, I have an old 600EX, my MTBs get old Specialized BBs made in Japan with machined spindles, and I think my touring bikes get some Sugino units which have black spindles with machined cones on them. Like others, I tend to service them regularly around 1000-2000 miles for each bike. I'm pretty religious about thoroughly cleaning out the BB shell of debris, cleaning and replacing plastic accordion shells, and putting in fresh grease.

If there is a trick to installations, it's that I use impact to tighten the drive side cup. I use a light hammer and tap the wrench arm to tighten the drive-side cup after I've put significant force with the tool. I also have a big diameter fender washer with short bolt and nut that I use to keep the BB wrench from slipping off the side of the thin cup. And on the Non-DS, I take a little extra time to get the bearing pressure just right. I avoid over tightening for the obvious risk that this can cause pitting of the spindle. It takes a little bit of trial/error to tighten the lock-ring. I do most of the bulk adjustment and tightening using a 2-hole pin spanner and lock-ring wrench. But the finally tightening will be done with only my body weight and without the pin spanner. That means the inside cup could spin with the lock-ring. I actually want this to happen because it makes the whole setup much tighter. But this means there needs to be an ever slight/tiny amount of play in the BB before I do the finally tightening and I need to know if the cup rotates exactly with the lock-ring or if there is some ratio of slippage of one relative to another. And finally, I test first with fingers for smoothness, and then again when the cranks go back onto the spindle. If there is play, I will need to do more trial/error. But this has allowed my BB's to last for decades.
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