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bottom bracket/ crankset question

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bottom bracket/ crankset question

Old 02-05-09, 08:39 PM
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efranko
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bottom bracket/ crankset question

alright i think i'm going insane. i have an ultegra bottom bracket that looks like this: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=5141

but i'm looking for a crankset. how do i know if the cranksets i'm looking at are compatible with that bottom bracket? what keywords am i looking for? thanks a lot!
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Old 02-05-09, 08:46 PM
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key words: "Hollowtech II"
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Old 02-05-09, 08:49 PM
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If you have a Shimano bottom bracket, you will want to pair it with a Shimano crankset. The external bearing Shimano cranks are referred to as "Hollowtech II" so make sure whichever one you buy matches that description. Terms such as "Octalink" or "square taper" mean that the crankset will not work for you.

Here's a bunch of compatible cranksets (aside from the last two): http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...p?category=526

Why exactly are you replacing your crankset anyway?
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Old 02-05-09, 08:57 PM
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wellllllllllll because i dont have a crankset yet. i've got a cannondale six13 frame that i'm in the process of acquiring parts for/ building up. this crankset thing is driving me crazy because i assumed i was looking for hollowtech II but octalink compatible cranksets seem so much cheaper...
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Old 02-05-09, 08:59 PM
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Hollowtech II is newer so it inevitably costs more. Octalink is now considered obsolete hence it's cheapness.
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Old 02-05-09, 09:01 PM
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does it make any sense to change my bottom bracket to octalink? why is it obsolete?
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Old 02-05-09, 09:04 PM
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Nope, octalink won't work. However, you could go with an octalink crank and find an octalink BB. I hate BB's. All the different standards confuse me. I have an Hollowtech II cranksets on three of my bikes and I love it. The external bearing design makes for a noticeably stiffer crankset.

FWIW, octalink, from what I've heard, was terrible. To make it work right, the tolerance fit on the splines had to be so tight that you would have to take the crank off the bike and re-lube it each and every year to keep it from seizing. I skipped the whole octalink/ISIS phase of bottom bracket technology. My other two bikes have square tapper cranks. I went from that straight to Hollowtech II.
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Old 02-05-09, 09:12 PM
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If you really want a Hollowtech II crankset and are willing to take a chance on Ebay, you can probably get an take-off Ultegra crankset for around $150, take-off meaning it was removed from a new bike and may have some light wear on it. Try to get one with a return policy if you don't like what you see.

Otherwise, start shopping around for a new crankset.
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Old 02-05-09, 09:19 PM
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Type "probikekit" into Google and go to the first link. It's a British mail order company that has good prices on drivetrain parts (they call cranksets, "chainsets"). Ultegra is around $220 new with free US shipping. I hate how they package things (they lost a crank arm from my order a while back, but eventually rectified it and sent me a new crankset; I got to keep the spare rings for my troubles), but it's the cheapest place around.
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Old 02-05-09, 09:35 PM
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Better prices and selection than Probikekit can be found here: http://www.totalcycling.com/index.ph...oad/index.html

Ultegra Hollowtech II cranks from $150-$170
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Old 02-05-09, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
FWIW, octalink, from what I've heard, was terrible. To make it work right, the tolerance fit on the splines had to be so tight that you would have to take the crank off the bike and re-lube it each and every year to keep it from seizing. I skipped the whole octalink/ISIS phase of bottom bracket technology. My other two bikes have square tapper cranks. I went from that straight to Hollowtech II.
Where did you read about that?
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Old 02-05-09, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
Where did you read about that?
I was talking to a bike shop owner/mechanic some time ago. I am very impressed with the external BB systems. They are easier to assemble and disassemble than the old internal BBs (of all types) and they are lighter, stiffer, and more reliable as well with their larger bearings.

About the PBK stuff, I forgot, when I got mine this year, the price was $120 for Ultegra. Great price but was a PITA to get them to correct my order after they lost the crankarm.

BTW, while we are on the subject, with Hollowtech II, I had both 105 and Ultegra in front of me and the only difference was the chainrings. The forgings for the arms are identical. So save money and go with 105. Upgrade the rings to Ultegra when they wear out.
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Old 02-05-09, 10:36 PM
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yeah I have an ultegra octalink bb in a bike, that has been a rain bike for the last 5 years and I got the bike in 1998, one tooth broke off somehow from the the bb spline's. Other than that never ever looked at it.

Still use durace & ultegra octalink in my track bikes.

But given the chance I'd go hollowtech II. It's just easier to go with newer tech/systems.
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Old 02-06-09, 07:28 AM
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can i ask what year cannondale frame you are trying to get? i'm sure you know already, but just wanted to double check it's not bb30...
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Old 02-06-09, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
key words: "Hollowtech II"
I decided to switch things up a little bit re: my Hollowtech II BB.

I already consider the Dura Ace 7800 BB to be one of, if not THE best spinning BBs out there. But I also know the best steel bearings are from Phil Wood.
I decided to take an Ultegra Hollowtech II BB that I had laying around and put some Phil Wood bearings in the cups ($50).

Suffice it to say, the Dura Ace Hollowtech II cups are my back ups now. The Shimano / Phil Wood combo spins better than my old ceramic Red BB did. (This is all perceived feel of course.) But you can't argue with the price.
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Old 02-06-09, 12:19 PM
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Just a general question, can you put the new external bearing Hollowtech II BB onto a bike that originally had the octalink BB? Are the frames machined the same way?

The reason why I ask is because I'm thinking about upgrading my wife's bike, which has a cheap bontrager crank, to a new compact double setup. I just don't know if the frame is designed for a certain BB?
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Old 02-06-09, 12:39 PM
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^^^
Yup. Threaded BB's on frames are standardized to a few standards. By far the most common is 68mm bottom bracket width, which correlates to the "English" standard of threads.
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Old 02-06-09, 12:56 PM
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So the two BB's will install on the same frame? Just want to make sure--it looks like I asked two questions there and I'm not sure which one you answered.
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Old 02-06-09, 01:11 PM
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Yes, both styles of bottom bracket will install on the same frame. I just did this to an old frame about a month ago, so I have empirical evidence that it works .
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Old 02-06-09, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
Yes, both styles of bottom bracket will install on the same frame. I just did this to an old frame about a month ago, so I have empirical evidence that it works .
Since when is empirical evidence allowed on the Internet??

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Old 02-06-09, 01:39 PM
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OP, if price is a major concern, it may be cheaper to buy a new bottom bracket (non-external bearing)even though you already have one, because then you would have a selection of cheaper cranks to choose from. But the external BB you have is the newer, "better" technology, so if you can afford it, Hollowtech would be the way to go. Just FYI

Mac
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Old 02-06-09, 01:56 PM
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Not "better"... just better. Trust me. The external BB's are better in almost every way. Easier to service, easier to install, easier to replace bearings (they use standard industrial cartridge bearings), cheaper, lighter, stiffer, etc. Just like in-molded helmet shells, I cannot think of a single disadvantage to external bearings over the older technology.
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Old 02-06-09, 02:52 PM
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Brian, thanks for the help! This information will help me spend more money on my wife's bike!!
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Old 02-06-09, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
I cannot think of a single disadvantage to external bearings over the older technology.
They are wider and supposedly offer less ankle clearance. Though the clearance seems fine to me, you'd have to have some pretty fat ankles or perhaps cankles to have a problem.
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Old 02-06-09, 05:59 PM
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Can you use an Ultegra BB with 105 Crank if they are both Hollowtech II, or vice versa?
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