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Dura Ace Bottom Braket going bad(25 posts)

Dura Ace Bottom Braket going badbmarksinsc
Apr 22, 2002 4:46 PM
I'd appreciate any thoughts or ideas as to why I might be wearing out bottom brackets. I have a 2001 Cannondale R3000 and am having a 3rd bottom bracket installed. I'm told by the mechanic the bearings are worn. The first cartirdge actually smelt burnt. The bike is a year old and has approximately 5,000 miles.

I've been curious as to whether they're faulty components or my riding/pedaling habits is messing things up.

Any ideas are greatly appreciated.

re: Dura Ace Bottom Braket going badLC
Apr 22, 2002 5:19 PM
The DA BB is not sealed. I only use it on my race bike since just riding through a puddle means there is sure to be water inside. I could not believe how much water got in there from just a light drizzle. You have to remove it and regrease it anytime you think it might have gotten water inside or you will quickly ruin it.

I would recomend using the Ultegra BB since it is sealed. The extra 50gms is well worth the headache.
Ultegra BB: Cheaper, easier to install, more durable [nm]speedisgood
Apr 18, 2002 7:12 AM
Cheaper & Easier?JaeP
Apr 22, 2002 9:18 PM
I'm in the process of upgrading my bike. I just recently bought a '02 Dura-Ace crankset. Would an Ultegra BB work with my new crankset?
Cheaper & Easier?LC
Apr 22, 2002 10:03 PM
Cheaper & Easier?weiwentg
Apr 23, 2002 5:00 AM
further, 105, Ultegra and DA cranks and BBs are completely interchangeable, should you wish to mix and match them.
Octalink cautionUncle Tim
Apr 23, 2002 6:04 AM
As you've been informed, the Ultegra Octalink BB works with the DA crank. Just one word of caution:

I've seen one case of incorrect installation that ruined a crank. This is easily avoidable if you understand what's going on.

One of the characteristics of aluminum is that it is not good at letting other metals slide along it smoothly and easily. Lightly grease the BB spindles to address this and make sure that the Octalink is aligned properly. Then torque the bolt as indicated. And for your first few rides, recheck that bolt to make sure it is properly torqued so the crank doesn't back out.

My experience with Ultegra BB's is that you can expect at least 4000 miles of good operation. Much more if you can keep water out of there.
Not the first time i see this....MrCrud
Apr 23, 2002 8:00 AM
Did you get your frame re-surfaced? These non-sealed BBs ( DA and XTR) need to be installed on re-surfaced frames only, to ensure that both sides are truly parallel. If they are not, the bearings are not working as they are supposed to, which causes the premature wear. I've seen this happen more than once.

Next one you get installed in there, be sure to have the frame re-surfaced properly ( removing the paint and a tiny bit of metal off the sides of the BB shell )

Hope this helps!

Apr 23, 2002 9:10 AM
What you really mean is "faced" not "re-surfaced". A special ream is used to machine the end faces of the BB shell. You are right - its gets them parallel and keeps the bearings in proper alignment. A high-end custom frame will come with this taken care of, but on a higher volume production frame it is often overlooked or there is enough paint to throw things off.

No reason why you can't get many many miles out of a DA BB - I've been running the same one for three years through rain and grime. You just have to pay a little more attention to its care and feeding. Torquing it properly upon installation gets you off to a good start.
i meant to say "faced"....MrCrud
Apr 23, 2002 9:26 AM
.....just confused the 2 terms. At the shop i worked at recently, we were advised by Shimano tech support to face each frame we install one of these BBs in. Which we did, and we stopped seing people coming back for prematurely worn out BBs. I also agree proper torquing has an effect on the durability of these units.


i meant to say "faced"....grzy
Apr 23, 2002 3:59 PM
You don't need to do it on the high end frames - it's already been done!
You would think that.....MrCrud
Apr 23, 2002 5:58 PM
....but we've seen a few pretty high-end frame that needed some facing. Now, we just dont even think about it and we face all frames that have these BBs...safer this way. Bike manufacturer's actually pay us to do this. I do agree a true high end frame should have all these details taken care of before being shipped to the shops, but it's just not the case.

Happy riding!!!

Not as true as you think. N/Mcurlybike
Apr 24, 2002 5:46 PM
Do Tell.grzy
Apr 25, 2002 9:38 AM
Seems that Seven, Serotta, Calfee, Holland, Kestrel and Trek got it right. Or is there some other high-end frame that isn't worth the money? If you pay 2 or 3 grand for a frame they should get the basics right - if not why should one think that the frame is even straight. Oh wait, you must be talking about Litespeed.
Yes,Do Tell.curlybike
Apr 25, 2002 12:16 PM
I have found more than a few Treks that needed facing, BB and head tubes. I have never seen a Serotta that was not right. I have seen several Litespeeds that wer not done right. One Appalachian had the bb threads not on the same axis, they were skewed to each other and the faces were not parallel to each other or perpendicular to the threads. But they are the finest frames in the world, BS!!! And a Ti Merkx, By litespeed, was a real prize. I try to steer friends away from Litespeed. Most of the real old ones that I have seen were far better than any of the more recent. I don't know when the quality went in the dumper, but it did.
But the real winner,TJeanloz
Apr 26, 2002 7:52 AM
Is Colnago and Bianchi, whose frames need hours of work to make them even remotely buildable.

Litespeed has had some issues with their BB milling- but I never met a facing tool that could correct them, we always sent them back to the factory.
Question on facing.James
Apr 23, 2002 11:31 PM
If my Kestrel frame is not faced, would it cause my BB to make a creeking sound? It always does it when i'm standing and sometimes when I pedal hard. I tried Teflon tape and it didnt help. It sounds like it's coming from the non drive side. Everything is Dura Ace 7700.
Question on facing.MrCrud
Apr 24, 2002 6:59 AM

Facing the frame is simply making sure the 2 sides of the BB shell are parallel. The creaking comes from either not greasing the threads when installing the BB, not tightening the BB to the right spec, not greasing the threads of the pedal axles or from the BB axle/crankarm interface. Since you use the spline system, i doubt that last possibility is the culprit. Just remove your pedals to make sure the thread are properly greased, and do the same for the BB, also making sure it is torqued in at the proper force ( not sure what this number is, i dont have all my tech data books handy, but you can easily find these on the web )

Hope this helps!

Question on facing.grzy
Apr 24, 2002 9:36 AM
50 to 70 Newton Meters for the BB - any wrench worth their salt has this burned into their brain. Note: with the DA BB setup you can only get the fixed cup to this torque - you have to use feel and judgement to set the LHS with the lock ring otherwise you'll bind up the bearings.

Set a buddies 200 SCI Kestrel up recently with teflon tape on the threads and the proper torque, yet he had the creaking noise. Turned out to be that his seat post was the culprit - his was too long and touching the top boss for for the water bottle. it's pretty normal to assume all caedence related creaks are caused by the BB, but often this isn't the case.
Much facing discussion on parallelism...Crankist
Apr 24, 2002 11:52 AM
...but none on perpendicularity to the internal thread pitch diameter which is really the correct approach. If both
sides are perpendicular in this fashion, then it also guarantees parallelism.
Much facing discussion on parallelism...Nessism
Apr 25, 2002 6:07 AM
The bottom bracket facing tool that I have, made by Bringheli, uses an insert that threads into the bottom bracket itself. The insert has a 3/4" hole through it that the spindle of the facing tool indexes off of. By facing this way, the sides are kept both parallel to one another and perpendicular to the centerline of the bottom bracket threads.

Regarding the need to face a frame, most good builders perform a final facing after welding/brazing/heat treatment phase of the job but BEFORE the final alignment check. The heat of the assembly operation will often distort the shell necessitating the refacing job. The facing job to be performed during final build-up should only be to clean off the paint. If the final facing shows the shell to be out of parallel, there is a good chance that the frame is out of alignment as well.

Yes, but no...Crankist
Apr 25, 2002 10:45 AM
...if the internal threading, done from each side, is not co-linear (that is in-line with each other) then your tool would reflect that error in both parallelism and perpendicularity. If the threading op. is done before welding then the error can be significant. My best solution to even out this error & help guarantee par.& perp. would be to use two of your inserts (one in each side) and run a longer spindle to engage both inserts. And yet this could only be done IF the threading is co-linear!
So a slightly undersized spindle diameter would be a good compromise, correcting a lot of the error if both inserts were engaged.
that's because they are fragile!Alexx
Apr 23, 2002 5:49 PM
From what I've seen (had one once-never again), they are not durable. Ultegra BB's work well, last much longer, etc. Oh, yes, they cost less, too!
Not reallygrzy
Apr 24, 2002 9:40 AM
It all depends on how you care and maintain them. If you install it incorrectly once and never look at it again then you will have problems. I've probably got over 10,000 miles on my DA BB through all sorts of conditions - I cleaned it once after riding all through the winter rains. I adjust it once maybe twice per year - about the same as an Ultegra setup.
more sensitive than fragileDougSloan
Apr 25, 2002 5:34 AM
I think "sensitive" is a better word than "fragile" for the DA bb. It does take a little more care to set them up right to avoid creaking, too tight, too loose, and then to avoid contamination. I agree, though, if (and it might be big "if") you do it right, they last.