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Considering a BB30 frame. Have Questions.

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Considering a BB30 frame. Have Questions.

Old 11-13-15, 09:09 AM
  #1  
canam73
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Considering a BB30 frame. Have Questions.

I do realize this is an old topic and there are probably some great previous posts or articles that will give me all the info I need. (If you know of one please give me a link.) But my attention has been off of bikes for a while now so I need a refresher on the old news and would like to know if there is anything new to know.

So all of my current (and past) bikes have had english thread BB shells and that has been on purpose. My last 2 frame buys were after BB30 and other new formats were available but I didn't see an advantage for me and liked being able to swap my stuff around.

But I recently came across a frame I like in all aspects and would buy it except it only comes in BB30. So here are my questions, and forgive me if they seem obvious, but I really stopped paying attention to BB stuff in 2012 when I bought my last frame:

*Is BB30 still viable? I see Cannondale still has it on there website (all I checked), but in an "a" version. Will stuff be available 2-5 years from now? I generally use Sram or Quarq cranks fwiw.

*I know I can use English thread on it with an adapter. If properly installed is it virtually the same as a regular English thread shell? Or are shims with the BB30 bearing a better method?

* Anything else to consider before I buy? I generally due all my own work, and would not be so in to anything that forced me to change that.

Thanks in advance for any answers or comments. I know I could and should do my own research, but the frame I am interested in is in an ebay auction that ends tonight and I will be busy at work most of the day.
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Old 11-13-15, 09:18 AM
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Cannondale's introduction of BB30a, which is incompatible with regular BB30 cranksets just means that in the future it's very likely that BB30 cranksets will have longer spindles. With spacers, they will work with an BB30 BB, so there's no worry about "future proofing". Also there are many adapters that allow for use of Shimano cranks and others, in many ways a BB30 bottom bracket is very broadly compatible with all cranks currently available, and I would guess, will remain so for a long time.

On the other hand, my experience with BB30 and pressfit BBs in general has lead me to avoid them in future, I didn't like having to get my BB replaced 3 times in a year (the third time when I did it myself and locitited it, does seem to have held up OK). But there are many on here that will tell you that BB30 problems are entirely the fault of the installer, others who will tell you it's a fundamentally flawed system.
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Old 11-13-15, 09:48 AM
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I think it is a good system but prone to problems if not installed precisely. Even the factory installed crank on mine had problems within a few hundred miles. Turns out that insufficient grease was used during installation and it would make a clicking noise. It has been flawless for the past 2500 miles though. I guess I am saying it is a combination of installer error, and a system that is very susceptible to tolerance stacking and/or malfunction due to extremely tight tolerances. Most of the issues I hear of are noise related, and can be mitigated with exact installation. The crank design itself is incredibly stiff, strong, and lightweight. When they work, they work very well.
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Old 11-13-15, 09:57 AM
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Look at the specs carefully. BB30 is sometimes related to PF30. As in, "BB30 / PF30 Compatible". Follow this link to learn more. Let me google that for you

I have PF30 bb on two bikes with Shimano cranks, no problems so far.
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Old 11-13-15, 10:18 AM
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I wouldn't worry about being able to find parts a few years down the road. As much as people complain about BB30, it doesn't seem to be going away soon. There's a ton of Sram stuff that's BB30 compatible and I don't see why that would change.

Whether BB30 is the best is a whole different issue. Personally, I've never had issues with mine creaking, so I've been happy with it.
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Old 11-13-15, 10:19 AM
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No problems in three years with mine. Any BB will need some kind of maintenance or adjustment at some point. The only thing I don't like about it is the limited selection of cranks. I wish Shimano made a BB30 crankset.
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Old 11-13-15, 01:38 PM
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press fit bottom brackets aren't going anywhere. Still on quite a few bikes and still fairly popular. If you like the frame, you wont have a problem sourcing parts. Buy it, and make sure the BB30 is installed well.
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Old 11-13-15, 03:54 PM
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i have a couple of bikes with bb30. the bearings are standard, i get them from a bearing shop, less than $6 last time. i use the loctite for pressed bearing applications.
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Old 11-13-15, 07:24 PM
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Long story short, the oldest specification BB30 shell can be adapted to any current diameter and length crank spindle. Successful avoidance of BB creaking appears to depend upon either the use of full shell width adapter, the two sides of which are tightened into the shell by threading them together, AND/OR the use of a Loctite resin to cement the parts into the shell.

The situation with PF30 is similar except that PF30 BBs with metal sleeves, broad contact surfaces and captured bearings appear to give the most reliable assemblies with regard to avoiding creaking. Nevertheless a more common PF30 BB with a narrow plastic cup holding the bearings can often be completely successful if properly installed with Loctite.

BB30 and PF30 BB shells offer the highest likelihood of the available designs for the greatest compatibility with any future crank specification.
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Old 11-13-15, 07:41 PM
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I personally would want a BSA english threaded BB but they may soon be a thing of the past. I think that Shimano has the best front ring shifting when you use all shimano components therefore I would avoid the 30mm spindle. The best choice from what I can see is the Praxis Bottom Bracket which is really not an adapter but a conversion. I have not actually used one but from all I gather this is the ultimate solution. Seems a bit more money but I sure do not want to be doing anything to my BB 3 times a year or even every 2500 miles. My Wilier has 10000 miles on it and the external BB is perfect spins like a top never had done a thing. My Motobecane has 9000 miles 5 years of riding and same thing never a BB problem.

Just give me those old time BSA thread BB any day of week, repeat.............just keep making those english threaded BB for people like me.......a bike mechanic.
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Old 11-13-15, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by deacon mark View Post
I personally would want a BSA english threaded BB but they may soon be a thing of the past. I think that Shimano has the best front ring shifting when you use all shimano components therefore I would avoid the 30mm spindle. The best choice from what I can see is the Praxis Bottom Bracket which is really not an adapter but a conversion. I have not actually used one but from all I gather this is the ultimate solution. Seems a bit more money but I sure do not want to be doing anything to my BB 3 times a year or even every 2500 miles. My Wilier has 10000 miles on it and the external BB is perfect spins like a top never had done a thing. My Motobecane has 9000 miles 5 years of riding and same thing never a BB problem.

Just give me those old time BSA thread BB any day of week, repeat.............just keep making those english threaded BB for people like me.......a bike mechanic.
The question is why not have both threaded shell and oversize crank. The FSA BB386 standard has aluminum, 30 mm diameter, 86.5 mm long spindle and is compatible with several BB types including oversize, outboard cups that thread into the BSA shell. I am not sure how the ball bearing size in BB386 compares with that in Hollowtech II. Perhaps you could shed some light on that. In any case Shimano could offer cranks that would be supported by that standard without significant depature from its current principals.
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Old 11-13-15, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
The question is why not have both threaded shell and oversize crank. The FSA BB386 standard has aluminum, 30 mm diameter, 86.5 mm long spindle and is compatible with several BB types including oversize, outboard cups that thread into the BSA shell. I am not sure how the ball bearing size in BB386 compares with that in Hollowtech II. Perhaps you could shed some light on that. In any case Shimano could offer cranks that would be supported by that standard without significant depature from its current principals.
You have have that correct Shimano could simple to to a 30mm spindle and have threaded shells but manufacturers realize it is much cheaper and easier to make a BB that is simply a shell. They tell you it saves weight but that is crazy, it is all about money and saving cost. Just for comparison I repair guitars and play them and work with fine handmade jazz guitars. The makers stopped using binding around the body and f holes, no inlay, they tell you it looks more elegant and natural. Garbage.............they are trying to save work and money. It is fine to change the looks of something but be honest the intent at the start is to make guitars easier and cheaper to build.
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Old 11-13-15, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by deacon mark View Post
You have have that correct Shimano could simple to to a 30mm spindle and have threaded shells but manufacturers realize it is much cheaper and easier to make a BB that is simply a shell. They tell you it saves weight but that is crazy, it is all about money and saving cost. Just for comparison I repair guitars and play them and work with fine handmade jazz guitars. The makers stopped using binding around the body and f holes, no inlay, they tell you it looks more elegant and natural. Garbage.............they are trying to save work and money. It is fine to change the looks of something but be honest the intent at the start is to make guitars easier and cheaper to build.
Or they could offer kits with their existing cranks to adapt them to BB30/PF30 so more full bike products with press fit BB shells would carry their cranks. They won't do it.
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Old 11-13-15, 09:00 PM
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The new T47 "standard" could catch on, but I doubt it.
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Old 11-13-15, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by deacon mark View Post
I personally would want a BSA english threaded BB but they may soon be a thing of the past. I think that Shimano has the best front ring shifting when you use all shimano components therefore I would avoid the 30mm spindle. The best choice from what I can see is the Praxis Bottom Bracket which is really not an adapter but a conversion. I have not actually used one but from all I gather this is the ultimate solution. Seems a bit more money but I sure do not want to be doing anything to my BB 3 times a year or even every 2500 miles. My Wilier has 10000 miles on it and the external BB is perfect spins like a top never had done a thing. My Motobecane has 9000 miles 5 years of riding and same thing never a BB problem.

Just give me those old time BSA thread BB any day of week, repeat.............just keep making those english threaded BB for people like me.......a bike mechanic.
Just ordered a Praxis BB and their cranks. Hope they work well.
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Old 11-15-15, 06:00 PM
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I have 3 x BB30 frames and 1 x PF30 frame and all work as intended. I think that many who have issues with new bikes is the result of poor factory set-up, where they try to get away with the tiniest amount of grease (not just in BBs - but also headsets, etc) when they assemble the bike. Something that any good LBS would normally pick up and sort out, when they build a customer's bike for them...

cheers
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Old 11-15-15, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by PepeM View Post
Just ordered a Praxis BB and their cranks. Hope they work well.
Didn't realize the cranks were 175, which made me feel stupid when I realized and wonder whether I should install them or not. Still threw them on and I can't say I felt any negatives from the longer cranks. Those M30 cranks are sweet, much better looking and much more quiet than the squeaky mess I had previously (the mighty FSA Vero).
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