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ISIS drive system, what are your experiences.(5 posts)

ISIS drive system, what are your experiences.stinkfoot247
Dec 10, 2003 10:21 PM
I read about the ISIS bottom bracket system on the Chris King web page. I have always thought of the shimano 8 splined design to be the best out here. I'm curious to how the ISIS fares.
re: ISIS drive system, what are your experiences.russw19
Dec 11, 2003 12:45 AM
I have a Dura-Ace splined BB and crank combo that has 40,000 worry free miles on it.

Last year I built a Campy Record bike and decided to use an FSA Carbon crank with their Platinum Pro ISIS BB. It so far is just as worry free. I didn't ride that much this year, but it still has over 3,000 miles on it. No problems after the seals wore in. They were a bit sticky at first, but after a few hundred miles they seemed super smooth.

I have read a lot of complaints about the durability of the ISIS bottom brackets, the bearings in particular, but those complaints seem to be mostly isolated to the off-road crowd. It seems that the bearings fail prematurely and the theory I have heard from Race Face and FSA is that the spindles for ISIS are so stiff that the weak point is now the bearings. I expect to see high end ISIS BB's with Ceramic bearings to help combat that in the near future.

re: ISIS drive system, what are your experiences.Juanmoretime
Dec 11, 2003 3:29 AM
I've heard the same as Russ, off road failures. I have over 2,000 miles on my FSA Carbon Team Pro Cranks and Ultimate ti ISIS bottom bracket and , so far, it's very stiff and smooth. I wouldn't think that road riding with generally smooth cadence would lead to early failure. Off road, with the much greater dust, mud, water, crashes and extreme riding conditions tests every components life.
not all good....C-40
Dec 11, 2003 6:42 AM
Most ISIS failures were the result of inadequate seals that allowed dirt and water to get into the bearings on MTB bikes. Most brands now advertise "improved seals".

I installed a FSA Teams Issue carbon triple with an FSA Platinum Pro Ti BB on one bike at mid-year and it's worked fine. The shifting has been excellent.

I bought an FSA Energy triple crank (much cheaper) for my second bike and another FSA Platinum Pro Ti bottom bracket just a few weeks ago. I've had very bad luck with the bottom bracket. The spindle turned freely until the left-hand cup was torqued down. Then the bearings were so tight that the spindle could barely be turned by grasping the spindle with my fingers. I returned this BB and got a replacement. The second one worked even worse, the spindle totally locked-up when the left-hand cup was tightened. I called FSA and they had no suggestions other than return the second BB for another replacement. Hopefully my problem was a fluke and the third bottom bracket will function normally.

I know for sure that the problem is not releated to the BB shell, since I have one functioning Platinum Pro Ti BB that will work properly on either of my frames. I've also installed a Campy Chorus BB in both frames without a problem.
re: ISIS drive system, what are your experiences.lithiapark
Dec 11, 2003 7:00 AM
FSA Platinum Pro Ti on MTB x two years mud/grit-no problem. Easy to mount Truvativ cranks. Several MTB riding friends-no problem with their FSA's either. Same BB with FSA Carbon Pro Compact crankset on road bike-no problems in 6 months. Truvativ BB's also have good track record in my circle of riding acquaintences. Less good luck with Race Face. The FSA BB's also put the chainline right where it should be in both of my frames, they do seem to be able to execute the standard dimensions well. The FSA Platinum Pro's have two rows of balls on the drive side, 1/4" if I remember right, larger than some others.