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Trek BB90 Bearings

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Trek BB90 Bearings

Old 04-11-20, 02:38 AM
  #1  
colnago62
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Trek BB90 Bearings

My Trek Domaneís crank would barely make more than a full revolution if you were to spin it. The bike shop kinda shrugged their shoulders about the issue so from a recommendation, I tried BBIfinite bearings. Now the crank spins like crazy. My Madone has never had a bottom bracket issue and always felt pretty smooth. I had the Trek bearings replaced with BBInfinte and the difference is huge. I donít know if is because you glue them in or they just make a better bearing than Trek, but I am never going back to Trek. Cost is the same and two days to my front door via USPS. Whatís not to love.
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Old 04-11-20, 03:12 AM
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HTupolev
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
I donít know if is because you glue them in or they just make a better bearing than Trek
If the crank literally didn't even spin once, the vast majority of the difference is probably from neither of those factors.

The main advantage of BBInfinite is from the sleeve that the cartridges fit into. The bore within the sleeve is precisely-made to ensure that the two bearing cartridges are well-aligned. The bottom bracket shells on frames don't always naturally produce good alignment, and sometimes their alignment can even change over time due to wear within the bore (certainly a potential issue on a Trek frame where the bearings are pressed straight into a carbon shell!).

Bearing alignment wasn't commonly a serious issue on old-school adjustable bottom brackets because those mechanisms are naturally tolerant to a decent amount of slop. It's also not an issue on things like square-taper cartridges, because the bearings in those units are aligned by the cartridge, and bearing manufacturers generally get that right. It became a notable problem when the industry shifted to two-piece bottom brackets with cartridge bearings, like the early threaded external bearings, or like modern BBs where a bearing cartridge is pressed straight into the frame's shell on each side.
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Old 04-11-20, 03:32 AM
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Trek bearings have a plastic clip that the sealed bearings fit into. It is supposed to help keep the bearings from getting cockeyed in the frame. When they used Endura bearings, if they didnít get pressed in perfect, you could have issues. Sometimes though, the plastic clip will cause issues like creaking. I think they key is the glue. That helps keep the bearings aligned, which I believe is key to making BB90 work right.
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Old 04-11-20, 06:33 AM
  #4  
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How new were the bearings when this was an issue? Sometimes the bearings have a pretty stiff seal in them that needs to break in before you can expect a good rotation. The better test is not always how far it freely spins when pushed on the pedals. Instead turn the crank through its whole rotation by hand, I use a finger to rotate the crank around so I can feel if the crank gets tighter or looser. If there are spots that are harder to push through then others then the bearings have an issues, either wear in old ones or improper install in new ones. If you never feel a difference at any part of the rotation then there's probably nothing wrong with them, ride and recheck in a few hundred miles. The shop should have checked this and told you/shown you if this was a common issue, just shrugging their shoulders means get a better shop.
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Old 04-11-20, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
How new were the bearings when this was an issue? Sometimes the bearings have a pretty stiff seal in them that needs to break in before you can expect a good rotation. The better test is not always how far it freely spins when pushed on the pedals. Instead turn the crank through its whole rotation by hand, I use a finger to rotate the crank around so I can feel if the crank gets tighter or looser. If there are spots that are harder to push through then others then the bearings have an issues, either wear in old ones or improper install in new ones. If you never feel a difference at any part of the rotation then there's probably nothing wrong with them, ride and recheck in a few hundred miles. The shop should have checked this and told you/shown you if this was a common issue, just shrugging their shoulders means get a better shop.
I had probably 4-5 hundred miles on the bearings.
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Old 04-11-20, 11:14 AM
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Have you taken a close look at the old bearings? See if there is a difference with and without the seals.
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Old 04-11-20, 08:02 PM
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I have a Emonda SLR and put 20,000 miles on the original Trek BB bearings. Last year I had to send the frame out for repair which required the bearings be removed. I installed Ceramic Speed but I never had a problem with the original.

BTW... I don't ride this bike in the rain... I have another for foul weather.
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Old 04-11-20, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
I have a Emonda SLR and put 20,000 miles on the original Trek BB bearings. Last year I had to send the frame out for repair which required the bearings be removed. I installed Ceramic Speed but I never had a problem with the original.

BTW... I don't ride this bike in the rain... I have another for foul weather.
Do you feel a difference between the Ceramic Speed and the originals?
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Old 04-11-20, 08:54 PM
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They certainly do spin easier, but they require taking the crank off every 500 miles to grease them for optimal efficiency. That's about once a month but it doesn't take long if you do it yourself.
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Old 04-13-20, 04:43 PM
  #10  
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Deep sixed the BB90 bearings on my Domane and installed a Token BB3724. Very easy to do the install.

Last edited by avmech; 04-16-20 at 10:05 AM.
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