Whyte Bikes/SRAM PF 30 dissapointment

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pw50
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Whyte Bikes/SRAM PF 30 dissapointment

Postby pw50 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:56 am

Dear All

I bought a Whyte 146S in January this year (2013). It has not had heavy off-road use; after a wet winter/Spring and only about 3 mountain bike parks this year.

My SRAM press-fit 30 bearings started to complain in October so I took the bike back to the LBS where I bought it. I wasn’t absolutely sure it was a bearing failure problem and felt sure that it would be under warranty as the bike was less than 9 months old.

It was not under warranty – as it was deemed to be ‘wear-and-tear’ (confirmed by Whyte bikes by telephone (no e-mail address on their web-site)). The LBS said that they have had some bearings fail after 6 months or even a heavy weekend at a bike park! I said that my old bike (Giant xtc 4) had the old Shimano UN26 cartridge bearings and they lasted 3 years before being replaced; my wife’s bike (Scott Contessa) had the same old UN26 bearings and they are still going strong now.

I said to the LBS – so let me get this straight – people are willing to pay between £3000 and £7000 for bikes with SRAM (or otherwise) Press-fit bearings that may only last 6 months; and pay £30 + ½ an hour’s labour for some new bearings? Their reply was that Hope may be bringing out some alternative bearings soon.

I was under the impression that after many years of ‘evolution’ the manufacturers had come up with the very best form of bottom bracket design; but if Press-fits only last 9 months (or less) – I am beginning to wonder if I should have bought a cheaper mountain bike that does not use Press-fit 30. Press fit 30 boasts ‘larger bearing size, integrated gutter seal to prolong life’ – which would lead one to believe that they would last longer than an old UN26!!!

I did an internet search for an e-mail address for SRAM HQ – only to find there isn’t one.

Is everyone willing to purchase new PF 30 this often?

Paul

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lawman
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Re: Whyte Bikes/SRAM PF 30 dissapointment

Postby lawman » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:00 pm

Pressfit BBs are just plain stupid imo. There was nothing wrong with the HT2 style external bearings and they're still the best system imo. They now last a lot longer than they used too and you can change them at home in 10 minutes. I'd be pretty hesitant to buy a bike with a Pressfit BB, especially the PF30 ones, they seem to be the worst of the lot.

pw50
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Re: Whyte Bikes/SRAM PF 30 dissapointment

Postby pw50 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:09 pm

Lawman

Thanks for that reply - what is an HT2 style bearing?

And why is it that most (if not all) of the most expensive bikes out there are using PF 30's?

Paul

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The Rookie
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Re: Whyte Bikes/SRAM PF 30 dissapointment

Postby The Rookie » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:34 pm

HT2 (Shimano Hollowtech2) are external bearings which screw into a BB shell that is the same as used for older cartridge bearings.

SRAM PF30 aren't very robust, better ones are available, DIY fitment is possible.

A larger axle is stiffer but means smaller bearings, the old UN26 (and UN55 and similar) have a smaller less stiff axle which is good for bearings but less good in other respects.

MattyK85
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Re: Whyte Bikes/SRAM PF 30 dissapointment

Postby MattyK85 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 13:05 pm

Just had a similar problem. My LBS mechanic says try out the Praxis Works BB adaptor. In the bike shop getting sorted today!

http://praxiscycles.com/pages/conversion

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ride_whenever
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Re: Whyte Bikes/SRAM PF 30 dissapointment

Postby ride_whenever » Wed Nov 06, 2013 13:11 pm

Shoddy sram BB in shocking poor lifespan shocker...

The vast bulk of the sram BB are garbage. A CK or rotor BB will last considerably longer with far less maintenance than either the shimano or the sram ones.

pw50
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Re: Whyte Bikes/SRAM PF 30 dissapointment

Postby pw50 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 13:16 pm

There is also an alternative called 'Wheels' with 3 different options - anyone had any experience with those?

I am just thinking about the next time I have to replace the PF 30.

Paul

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ride_whenever
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Re: Whyte Bikes/SRAM PF 30 dissapointment

Postby ride_whenever » Wed Nov 06, 2013 14:19 pm

Never liked the wheels stuff much (if it is who i think it is) their tools are pretty cool but their bearings are fairly cheaply made. Stick with CK or rotor.

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Kowalski675
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Re: Whyte Bikes/SRAM PF 30 dissapointment

Postby Kowalski675 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 14:44 pm

lawman wrote:Pressfit BBs are just plain stupid imo. There was nothing wrong with the HT2 style external bearings and they're still the best system imo. They now last a lot longer than they used too and you can change them at home in 10 minutes. I'd be pretty hesitant to buy a bike with a Pressfit BB, especially the PF30 ones, they seem to be the worst of the lot.


I agree. I don't think I'd buy a bike with press fit BB, heard way too many dissatisfied folk who have.

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RevellRider
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Re: Whyte Bikes/SRAM PF 30 dissapointment

Postby RevellRider » Wed Nov 06, 2013 16:39 pm

Why is it an issue with Whyte bikes? Whyte only fitted the part, surely it should be SRAM who are telling you that it is wear and tear. Ask your LBS to send it to SRAM and see if they will warranty. In my experience, they usually will

adamfo
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Re: Whyte Bikes/SRAM PF 30 dissapointment

Postby adamfo » Wed Nov 06, 2013 18:07 pm

Kowalski675 wrote:
lawman wrote:Pressfit BBs are just plain stupid imo. There was nothing wrong with the HT2 style external bearings and they're still the best system imo. They now last a lot longer than they used too and you can change them at home in 10 minutes. I'd be pretty hesitant to buy a bike with a Pressfit BB, especially the PF30 ones, they seem to be the worst of the lot.


I agree. I don't think I'd buy a bike with press fit BB, heard way too many dissatisfied folk who have.


It's not really an issue. It took me 10 minutes to press in a Cannondale screw fit adapter to convert BB30 to Shimano 24mm Hollow Tech.
I bought an el cheapo headset press off ebay to make life easy.
The screw thread is one of man's greatest inventions therefore press fit bearings should be drop kicked into the nearest waste basket.

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stubs
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Re: Whyte Bikes/SRAM PF 30 dissapointment

Postby stubs » Wed Nov 06, 2013 18:19 pm

My Vitus has a PF30 BB unfortunately I didnt do my research before buying. Its done about 350 miles absolute tops in mostly dry weather and its creaking worse than Draculas coffin lid. Took it out and the plastic cups the bearings sit in are unbelieveably shite. Seriously my Mums shopping trolley has a better system. Bought some high strength thread locker from my local engineering store so far so good but I reckon a neww BB will be needed soon. SRAM make some stinking piles of manure like GPX and Avid Elixir brakes but PF30 takes the biscuit.
Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap

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The Northern Monkey
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Re: Whyte Bikes/SRAM PF 30 dissapointment

Postby The Northern Monkey » Wed Nov 06, 2013 19:16 pm

http://problemsolversbike.com/products/ ... apter_kit/

But I think youd need a new crankset.

Pressfit BB's are rediculous. I would not buy a bike with a pfbb, regardless of how amazing the rest of it was.

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stubs
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Re: Whyte Bikes/SRAM PF 30 dissapointment

Postby stubs » Wed Nov 06, 2013 19:48 pm

The Northern Monkey wrote:http://problemsolversbike.com/products/bb30_pressfit_30_adapter_kit/

But I think youd need a new crankset.

Pressfit BB's are rediculous. I would not buy a bike with a pfbb, regardless of how amazing the rest of it was.


Its not the cranks thats the problem its the plastic cups that the bearings sit in. They are a soft flexy plastic that allow the bearings to rock and wear, you still have the same bearing cups with the adaptors you linked to. Kicking myself but its too late now I would reccomend everyone to avoid the PF30 system its bad engineering.
Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap

pw50
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Re: Whyte Bikes/SRAM PF 30 dissapointment

Postby pw50 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 09:07 am

RevellRider wrote:Why is it an issue with Whyte bikes? Whyte only fitted the part, surely it should be SRAM who are telling you that it is wear and tear. Ask your LBS to send it to SRAM and see if they will warranty. In my experience, they usually will


I telephoned Whyte and they said they expect the LBS to assess whether it is 'wear-and-tear'; and that they would not normally get involved. I find it bizarre that Whyte (as well as lots of other high-end bike manufacturers) produce the majority of their bikes with PF 30 BB shells. If they are indeed that bad - why are so many manuf's using them. And why do SRAM go on and on about longer bearing life and bigger bearings etc?

Are there any bikes still being made to take Hollowtech II (or any of the other better wearing bearing systems)?

Thanks for all of your replies guys.

Paul

pw50
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Re: Whyte Bikes/SRAM PF 30 dissapointment

Postby pw50 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 09:39 am

pw50 wrote:
RevellRider wrote:Why is it an issue with Whyte bikes? Whyte only fitted the part, surely it should be SRAM who are telling you that it is wear and tear. Ask your LBS to send it to SRAM and see if they will warranty. In my experience, they usually will


I telephoned Whyte and they said they expect the LBS to assess whether it is 'wear-and-tear'; and that they would not normally get involved. I find it bizarre that Whyte (as well as lots of other high-end bike manufacturers) produce the majority of their bikes with PF 30 BB shells. If they are indeed that bad - why are so many manuf's using them. And why do SRAM go on and on about longer bearing life and bigger bearings etc?

Are there any bikes still being made to take Hollowtech II (or any of the other better wearing bearing systems)?

Thanks for all of your replies guys.

Paul


Further to the above:

It looks like (only had a quick look) all of Whyte bikes use pressfit 30; Lapierre Zesty AM 927 & Spicy Team (both GXP PF); Boardmans; Scotts (high-end) GXP PF;

It looks like the user has to suffer - because the people that benefit (because of the shell tolerances being less stringent) are the bike manufacturers (because the shell can be less precise) and the BB manufacturer (again because of the less precise tolerances and being cheaper to produce).

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neiltb
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Re: Whyte Bikes/SRAM PF 30 dissapointment

Postby neiltb » Thu Nov 07, 2013 18:42 pm

bearing life will be better* (*than previous terrible generation?), SRAM likely hand them out for next to nothing helping cost to produce and then they market the strength benefit and we buy the hype.

There was/is nothing wrong with even square taper bb's, I have an old hollow Deore XT one I used for 5 years off road and 10 years commuting and is still fine.

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Kowalski675
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Re: Whyte Bikes/SRAM PF 30 dissapointment

Postby Kowalski675 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 20:12 pm

Looked at a new Trance X1 today. Lovely bike, but the press fit BB would seriously put me off buying it.

pw50
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Re: Whyte Bikes/SRAM PF 30 dissapointment

Postby pw50 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 08:55 am

neiltb wrote:bearing life will be better* (*than previous terrible generation?), SRAM likely hand them out for next to nothing helping cost to produce and then they market the strength benefit and we buy the hype.

There was/is nothing wrong with even square taper bb's, I have an old hollow Deore XT one I used for 5 years off road and 10 years commuting and is still fine.


Yes, I didn't think of that - SRAM handing them out ... - it makes sense to get manufacturers 'locked-in' to PF.

(Sorry, I made a mistake above - GXP are not press-fit as I originally thought. BB's are confusing - there are so many different 'standards' out there.)

Thanks for all of your advice/help/general discussions. The next time I need to replace the PF 30s I will probably go for Wheels manufacturing's pf30 with Angular bearings (source = "Angry Asian - I've had it with PF bottom brackets")
Last edited by pw50 on Fri Nov 08, 2013 09:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

Hob Nob
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Re: Whyte Bikes/SRAM PF 30 dissapointment

Postby Hob Nob » Fri Nov 08, 2013 09:06 am

Not really a big issue to me, HT bearings tend to only last 6 or so months when riding in all weathers, PF30 lasts about the same & is just as easy to change.

BB life is so dependent on riding conditions, cleaning rituals etc there are far too many variables. £20 on a couple of bearings a couple of times a year doesn't seem excessive to me.


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