Is BB30 really that bad?

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jordan_217
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Is BB30 really that bad?

Postby jordan_217 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 07:49 am

I'm about to take delivery of a bike that's fitted with BB30. I've no personal experience of BB30 but have read/heard lots of bad things about it. The chainset fitted with the bike is probably worth quite a bit 2nd hand (FSA SL-K light) and I was thinking about selling it while it's new and fitting a FSA BS 68mm shim/adapter and replacing with an Ultegra chainset and an Ultegra/DA BB.

Hopefully the sale of the chainset would cover the replacement parts and workshop costs (I don't have the pressing tool for the adapter - £15 job), so I won't be out of pocket. LBS reckon it's worthwhile but would appreciate some other opinions, please.

So, is BB30 really that bad and am I on borrowed time before I'll have to start replacing bearings, etc?
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antfly
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Re: Is BB30 really that bad?

Postby antfly » Thu Apr 04, 2013 08:26 am

Ther is nothing wrong with BB30, maybe the LBS just want to sell you more stuff.
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smidsy
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Re: Is BB30 really that bad?

Postby smidsy » Thu Apr 04, 2013 09:20 am

Nothing wrong with the concept but it is often compromised by poor machining and/or installation. It requires a very good fit with the bb shell and this seems to be where things go wrong. Also they seem susceptible to water down the seat tube leading to early bearing wear, so not ideal if you ride in all conditions. Done well it should be very good.
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racingcondor
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Re: Is BB30 really that bad?

Postby racingcondor » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:43 am

I suspect smidsy is right and the main problem is poor frame finishing and poor installation. Choice of components is important as well though, it seems likely that some chainsets are more prone to loosening a little after installation than others and if that FSA is the one I think it is then I suspect it's one of the ones that can have issues.

That's a lot of if's and maybe's though so I'd ride it a couple of thousand miles and if it needs fiddling with more than once (or keeps on developing a squeak) swap out for whatever the default is for your groupset.

Bozman
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Re: Is BB30 really that bad?

Postby Bozman » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:53 am

It's fine in the dry but it has to be the worst BB I've ever encountered in the wet, square taper, HTII, Megaexo and gxp have all be fine, but BB30 seems to be an inept design that requires change for the UKs weather conditions.
I've just started stripping the crank down more, cleaning and greasing to try and prevent water damage, I managed to get a huge 400ish miles out of 1 bearing on a particular wet month. I wouldn't buy another frame with BB30.

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ugo.santalucia
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Re: Is BB30 really that bad?

Postby ugo.santalucia » Thu Apr 04, 2013 13:00 pm

It is junk, it uses the same concept of integrated headsets, which are notoriously junk... but people like to change their bike every year and if you belonge there, there is nothing wrong with BB30... if you are planning to cross the Andes or other form of touring/ distance riding with your bike, forget about BB30 and integrated headsets though...

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sungod
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Re: Is BB30 really that bad?

Postby sungod » Thu Apr 04, 2013 13:36 pm

it's down to implementation and maintenance

mine is coming up for three years, i ride all weathers, pop the bearings every few months for a greasing, sooner if i've ridden through a cloudburst

still good, light, no creaking, stiff, easy to service, still spin freer than any other bb i've ever used

anyone who says bb30 is bad needs to produce evidence, otherwise it's simply unsubstantiated opinion - internet postings of issues are irrelevant unless they can be related to installed base, people with no problems do not tend to post, go to any software support forum and you'll find it bathed in failure and vitriol, but the reality is most software works pretty well

posting opinion on the internet does not make it true

like every other standard, some implementations are awful, that's not an issue with the standard, it's a problem with incompetent manufacturer's/maintainers
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jordan_217
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Re: Is BB30 really that bad?

Postby jordan_217 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 14:22 pm

Thanks for the responses. I'm intending to keep the bike for a while and ride in all conditions, looks like I'm buggered :)

@sungod - out of curiosity, what bike/chainset do you have? I'm in agreement with you and Smidsy on this. Looks like the concept should work but in practice it's poorly implemented. Though the bike I've bought is a CAAD10, surely C'dale would have got this sorted since they developed it! :?

Has anyone heard of any issues using one of the adapaters/shims? Ribble seem to use one on all their Shimano equipped carbon bikes, not heard of many issues from people who ride them.
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curium
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Re: Is BB30 really that bad?

Postby curium » Thu Apr 04, 2013 14:43 pm

I read somewhere that the tolerances are really small so you need expensive machinery when producing the frames, components, etc.

Some people would say this is poor engineering if it requires such small tolerances to function properly...

If anyone should be able to make it work though, Cannondale should but I would be inclined to agree that a solution that requires such small tolerances than the alternatives without delivering tangible benefits over the alternatives is an inferior solution.

I noticed that Sky use adaptors to run Shimano cranks on their PF-30 frames

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brettjmcc
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Re: Is BB30 really that bad?

Postby brettjmcc » Thu Apr 04, 2013 15:15 pm

I have BB30 on both my Synapse (with the Cannondale Si Chainset) and my QR CD01 (with a Vision Trimax), riden in dry and wet for both. No issues with both

I would say as sungod says, it comes down at times to the people installing. I do my own having bought some FSA adaptors and then machined up a pulley bolt to work with it.

Maybe I have just been lucky, but I also don't ride as much as some people on here
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Rolf F
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Re: Is BB30 really that bad?

Postby Rolf F » Thu Apr 04, 2013 17:07 pm

sungod wrote:it's down to implementation and maintenance

mine is coming up for three years, i ride all weathers, pop the bearings every few months for a greasing, sooner if i've ridden through a cloudburst

still good, light, no creaking, stiff, easy to service, still spin freer than any other bb i've ever used


And perceptions. If you gain elsewhere, then maybe that's worth it. But my Campag Ultratorque has done me a couple of years and 6 or 7000 miles before I needed to touch it - and that was to replace the bearings which are regarded as the weak link. Otherwise, not touched at all and that's on a bike that's used for the daily commute.

I wouldn't want to be re-greasing the bearings on a daily basis as it sounds like I'd have had to this winter!
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Monty Dog
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Re: Is BB30 really that bad?

Postby Monty Dog » Thu Apr 04, 2013 18:21 pm

BB30 was designed for small-scale production on high-tech equipment not volume production where it's harder to maintain the same machining tolerances - combine that with lesser-grade bearings, less care on assembly and it's a potential disaster waiting to happen. The fact that there's considerably less sealing against water ingress make things worse. My advise is to see how you get on - if it does start playing up, there's still plenty of gullible weight-weenies prepared to buy your slightly used parts. The fact that Shimano haven't adopted the open standard speaks volumes for concerns about design execution.
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fludey
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Re: Is BB30 really that bad?

Postby fludey » Thu Apr 04, 2013 19:04 pm

600 miles on my Felt with BB30 fitted and other than a little grease no issues at all, thou I would have to admit bike doesn't get wet very often.
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smidsy
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Re: Is BB30 really that bad?

Postby smidsy » Thu Apr 04, 2013 19:12 pm

jordan_217 wrote: Though the bike I've bought is a CAAD10, surely C'dale would have got this sorted since they developed it! :?


In theory yes although there have been a lot more reported issues since they stop making them in the USA. IMO this underpins the theory that the machining/installation is the issue.

When they made them in the USA they were relativley small production runs and took longer to build them.

I nearly bought a CAAD6 but the fact that it was BB30 put me off, although that was in the early days so could have been a good one. My CAAD5 is running HT2 external BB and that BB has done close to 10,000 miles (not all be me) in all weathers and is only just starting to fail (and that was exhasberated by a couple of 'water over the wheel hub escapades' earleir this year.)

On balance I will be staying clear of BB30, but that is just a personal thing.
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jordan_217
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Re: Is BB30 really that bad?

Postby jordan_217 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 19:15 pm

Monty Dog wrote:BB30 was designed for small-scale production on high-tech equipment not volume production where it's harder to maintain the same machining tolerances - combine that with lesser-grade bearings, less care on assembly and it's a potential disaster waiting to happen. The fact that there's considerably less sealing against water ingress make things worse. My advise is to see how you get on - if it does start playing up, there's still plenty of gullible weight-weenies prepared to buy your slightly used parts. The fact that Shimano haven't adopted the open standard speaks volumes for concerns about design execution.


This is exactly what i'm going to do. I plan on seeing how I get on and then go down the adapter route if I start experiencing any problems. Thanks :)

Just looked on ebay and chainsets with a years usage are selling for £120+. Crazy.
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Re: Is BB30 really that bad?

Postby thecycleclinic » Thu Apr 04, 2013 22:20 pm

600 miles is nothing. 6000 miles and no issues would be something to report. As Monty dog says see how you get on, you might find it O.K but you might not. You have bought the bike now. Using an adapter for a 24mm axle crankset will not solve any of the potential BB30 issues as you till have BB30 bearings in there, it won't make them worse either just make your wallet lighter.
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ethanhayes
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Re: Is BB30 really that bad?

Postby ethanhayes » Thu Apr 04, 2013 22:23 pm

bb30 isn't inherently bad.
bb30 on my bike, is pure evil.

But it wouldn't put me off buying another bb30 frame.
Installed and looked after properly, you're laughing.
If you do get a bad one, then there are ways to fix it if you know what your doing/find a shop willing to do it!

My bb30 needs taking apart, cleaning, degreasing, regreasing and putting back together every 400 or so miles over light winter riding. It can get through 1000 or more miles in summer (never really counted before. Will this time!) That's not what annoys me though! It's the bloody sounds the thing makes when it starts going wrong.
My mate who I often ride with says he doesn't notice them, but I hear every damn thing my bike does that isn't normal. Hell, my cleat was squeaking the other day and it almost had me in tears!

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Monty Dog
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Re: Is BB30 really that bad?

Postby Monty Dog » Fri Apr 05, 2013 08:04 am

surely C'dale would have got this sorted since they developed it!


Cannondale didn't develop BB30 - it was designed by Magic Motorcycle, a precision machining company who were then acquired by Cannondale. Cannondale took the design and tried to flog it to everyone else - it was only when they gave it a free licence did it catch-on.
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nweststeyn
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Re: Is BB30 really that bad?

Postby nweststeyn » Mon Apr 08, 2013 09:09 am

I did 5000 miles on my BB30 last year. This includes a full strip down and service of the bike about once a month, but I would do that regardless of what bottom bracket I was using. I only changed the bearings because I had some new ones and felt it was about time - the old ones probably had another thousand in them.

So there you go...

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nweststeyn
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Re: Is BB30 really that bad?

Postby nweststeyn » Mon Apr 08, 2013 09:11 am

By the way, changing bearings is super cheap to do aswell as you can buy standard bearings from any industrial supplier (6805-2RS bearings) for a few quid and last plenty of time.


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