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DA vs Ultegra Bottom Bracket(8 posts)

DA vs Ultegra Bottom Bracketclintb
Sep 18, 2002 5:04 PM
Has anyone that HAD a DA, then switched over to the Ultegra BB had any problems? Specifically, any creaking/ticking once the switch to Ultegra was made. Oh, and it's the splined model.

I've found the DA just a plain pain in the rear to setup and somewhat finicky. I've got all the right tools and even had the BB shell faced, but cannot get the DA to stop creaking/ticking. Did the teflon tape, cleaned the threads real good and have tried plain old grease.

Also, Performance describes the Ultegra unit as having both roller and needle bearings. From the picture, it looks as though the needles may be on the drive side only. Can anyone confirm what it's config really is?
re: DA vs Ultegra Bottom Bracketclintb
Sep 19, 2002 9:23 AM
Come on now, no takers on this? I'd love to hear some opinions and or comments.
re: DA vs Ultegra Bottom BracketEric_H
Sep 19, 2002 12:13 PM
OK, I'll bite.

I used the D/A 7700 BB when I first got my 9spd group back in 1999. I used it for about 5000 km and found the following:

1) The BB was not very waterproof.
2) The BB was a pain to adjust, even with quality lockring tools and a careful touch, and a properly faced and chased BB shell.
3) After about 5000 km, the spindle wore such that the BB was adjusted properly with cranks at 12/6 o'clock and slightly loose at 3/9 o'clock. It seems the needle bearings cause some asymmetric wear on the spindle, for whatever reason. I know of others who had the same problem.

I switched to the Ultegra 6500 BB. No problems. To my knowledge it is cartridge bearing only.
Roller bearingsKerry
Sep 19, 2002 4:34 PM
Double checck that explanation. I think it is DA that has the roller bearings. I've heard lots of horror stories about the DA BB, but a riding buddy uses them with no problems. We've discussed this and he can't understand why people have so much trouble. Maybe everyone has gotten so used to cartridge BBs that they can't deal with adjusting them anymore.
Roller bearingsclintb
Sep 23, 2002 6:20 AM
DA has both roller and needle. Roller = round, needle = long and skinny. Roller on the outside for good side-to-side support and needle on the inside for up and down support. Thing is, the Ultegra looks asymetrical with the bias to the drive side. That's why I think there may be a needle bearing on that side in addition to a roller. Either way, the Ultegra sure took the noise out of my BB area.
I've used bothpmf1
Sep 23, 2002 5:35 AM
I prefer the Ultegra just because its easy. I have a DA on one bike (a Kestrel 200) and it has never caused me any problems. It definitely did on my titanium bike. I had the same ticking and creaking that you describe. Tried grease, teflon tape, etc and nothing working. Eventually, I installed an Ultegra and the problem went away for about a year. Now the thing is ticking again. My LBS says that they have this problem on many ti bikes they sell as well.
Ultegra unless weight criticalDougSloan
Sep 23, 2002 5:55 AM
If I'm building a weight weenie bike, I'll use DA. Otherwise, I'd go with the idiot proof Ultegra.

I've had DA bb's be fine for 6 months or so, then start clicking, requiring adjustment. They are more finicky to set up right to begin with, too. The Ultegra, just slap it in. The DA *can* work just fine, if you know what you're doing and don't mind servicing it once in a while. I have Ultegras on two bikes now, a trainer bike and a time trial bike. No need for DA there.

Doug
Ultegra unless weight criticalclintb
Sep 23, 2002 6:56 AM
Yep, exactly as you describe Doug. The DA can be fine for awhile, but then it just goes south.

I've got a Park BFS-1 (BB facer), the BBT-2 splined tool and the correct spanner wrench. Those along with 4yrs bike shop experience tell me that I'm more than likely doing the install correctly. Before cartridge BB's, I used to setup adjustables all the time with no problems, but I think the problem with the DA is that it's too well engineered and it's precision my just be the downfall. It's as though the DA requires a perfectly symmetrical BB face AND BB threads from the onset. If either of those aren't spot-on, you'll have problems down the road in the form of uneven wear.