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Are ultegra bb's as stiff as dura ace bb's?nm(9 posts)

Are ultegra bb's as stiff as dura ace bb's?nmbill61
Mar 23, 2003 9:11 AM
re: Are ultegra bb's as stiff as dura ace bb's?nmwackycyd
Mar 23, 2003 10:18 AM
Initially yes, they are as the Ultegra has sealed bearings whereas the DA has bearings and races, very similar to what headsets have.

At the end of the day though an Ultegra BB is gonna last longer than a DA, due to the bearing set up on the DA.


Ps, for all the weight heads out there, yes a DA bb is lighter than an Ultegra, but they just don't last as long, KK?
re: Are ultegra bb's as stiff as dura ace bb's?nmrussw19
Mar 23, 2003 2:05 PM
I keep hearing this statement, yet I have a Dura-Ace BB that has 30,000 miles on it in just over 4 and 1/2 years. It was the first generation splined spindle and has the needle bearings. The seals are perfect and I have never had any dirt or water get thru it. I would love to hear some real proof as to why exactly everyone seems to think the Ultegra BB is better. Other than value for price, that's a whole other arguement. But when people say it's a better BB, I would like to know what they are basing that statement on.

Not trying to bash anyone who says it, but I just want to hear an actual reason for it.

I say the Dura-Ace BB is better for 3 reasons. Stiffer due to the ball and the needle bearings, lighter, and rebuildable.

But that's just another opinion....
A possible answer to your questionTrent in WA
Mar 23, 2003 2:23 PM

I suspect the "rebuildable" bit is the issue here: most riders and a lot of wrenches have never seen, let alone installed, a rebuildable bottom bracket, so when they're confronted by the D-A unit, they screw up the initial install, run it until it fails, and then complain that it didn't last as long as the Ultegra.

I don't know that the Dura-Ace is stiffer (most BB's being plenty stiff), but it is a nice, light unit.

I think Trent & Russ are right onKerry
Mar 23, 2003 6:24 PM
I don't use this BB, but a riding buddy does, and he asks the same question. He says he's never had any problems with the DA BB, finds it easy to install/clean/adjust and it holds up well. In this day of cartridge BBs, cartridge hub bearings, etc. it's gotten to the point where a lot of mechanics and riders can no longer properly do a simple adjustable bearing overhaul anywhere on the bike.
Wow. You can flex a bottom bracket?! nmSpunout
Mar 24, 2003 4:31 AM
re: Are ultegra bb's as stiff as dura ace bb's?nmwackycyd
Mar 24, 2003 6:20 AM
well, I'm basing my comments on the fact that when we used to service the Brite team bikes (british pro team in the '90's) the DA BB's were having to be replaced every other month, pitted races etc, and before anyone posts a reply to say they mustn't have been fitted correctly, then I can confirm that they were properly installed and adjusted accordingley.

Basically that's it, I'm not a Shimano person myself, much prefer Camp Record myself for various reasons, for which I shall keep to myself.

Keep on riding.

fair enough, but...weiwentg
Mar 24, 2003 3:32 PM
I have a Dura Ace BB that has been working just fine for nearly a whole season now. it has been through two winters. granted, I don't ride every day, but even still, it has been through two winters. I'm no pro mechanic, just an amateur one; I can't confirm that the BB was adjusted and installed correctly, but it's lasted nonetheless. the USPS team uses DA BBs. when I posted on asking for help, one of their mechanics emailed me back. I don't have the email now, but the gist of it was that with proper care they last.
so, maybe Shimano had QC problems back when you were wrenching. maybe they still do, and I'm just fiendishly lucky. maybe your team put a lot of stress on their bikes, coupled with nasty weather. a personal friend and several posters on the forum have had no trouble with their DA BBs. of course, many posters on the forum have had trouble.
so, if anyone's considering using a Dura Ace BB, I would suggest the following. be prepared to maintain it; this means de- and re-greasing at least quarterly. if it goes to crap, Shimano's warranty is 3 years. if you're not prepared to deal with the above, get Ultegra or Campy.
agree, however...lonefrontranger
Mar 24, 2003 3:52 PM
Weiwen, you are not a normal sample because there is no way you are torquing that set of bearings/races as much as, say, my 200# sprinter SO. I mean that in the nicest way. Plus you sound as though you are a lot more diligent with maintenance than your average racer. Most racers I know abuse and/or neglect the living heck out of their stuff and still expect it to work flawlessly. This includes me, a former wrench and shop rat, because with my current lifestyle, about all I have time to do is work, sleep, eat and train. I am even of the old school who were trained and exhorted to clean and adjust their cup-and-cone old style BBs after every rain ride. Used to be a necessary part of regular maintenance, thank goodness that's changed (who has TIME for this crap anyhow?)

Despite my background, I will admit I tend to ride BBs until they break / come loose / start making noise / otherwise annoy me, then pull them, clean the shell and threads, and re-tape / ti-prep them in place. If this doesn't solve things, I throw them out and go in search of a new unit. My Record and Centaur stuff puts up nicely with my semi-annual pull and re-grease plan, despite all the gunk I ride in.

I've heard a lot of complaining from the amateur racer ranks and my LBS buddies about the DA BB. Face it, not many of us have a pro mechanic available to pull, clean and service our stuff on the weekly basis that the pros enjoy. The newer D/A BBs have indeed sacrificed a bit of durability for weight. Your average pro will never notice this as his bike is torn down and rebuilt on a nearly weekly basis.