Bottom Bracket Issue

bikeman66

Senior Member
Location
Isle of Wight
I know bikes are all made to fit in to a certain price bracket, but it never ceases to amaze me how manufacturers seem to think it is OK to fit bottom brackets of an inferior specification to the rest of the components.

I bought a Felt F95 about four months ago and although it is what might be considered "entry level" I have to say I have been really pleased with it. For a £600 bike it is pretty well equipped and a joy to ride. All the components (Shimano Sora, FSA, and Felt own brand hubs and brakes) work well and the frame and forks appear to be good quality. However the perennial problem of a sub-standard bottom bracket has arisen again. The bike has only covered around 400 miles, but I have already had to replace the BB. The original (an RPM unit) started making slight grinding sounds after a couple of months and last week it just seized up. To my mind, this is unacceptable, even for an entry level bike.

Being relatively cheap, the bike came with a square taper BB (which despite their stigma of now being "old technology", I've never had a problem with). I purchased a Shimano UN55 replacement unit from Wiggle for £9.49 and the bike is transformed. I've used UN55's on various mountain bikes for years and have always found them to be very reliable, so I figured it would be a good upgrade for my road bike.

What I find slightly annoying is that if I can buy a quality unit like the UN55 for less than a tenner, surely a bike manufacturer like Felt, with their buying power, must be able to afford to put a decent bottom bracket in their bikes without pushing them in to the next price band.

Pretty much all manufacturers whose bikes I've ridden, including Kona, Scott, Marin etc seem to pull this trick. I guess that because it isn't a "glamour" component like an upgraded rear mech or big name chainset it is perhaps not considered worth spending too much money on, but in my opinion, surely the one bearing on the bike which is subject to the most intense loads and right in the path of any water and debris thrown up from the road, should be a quality item.

I love the Felt, and their attention to small details in certain areas is impressive. Just a pity that doesn't apply to major components that just happen to be tucked up out of the way, hopefully getting on with the job and hopefully not getting noticed.
 

Arjimlad

Tights of Cydonia
Location
South Glos
My first Giant FCR had some monkey metal BB which was replaced with a Shimano one by the shop after my first ride. Disappointing.
 

raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
I know bikes are all made to fit in to a certain price bracket, but it never ceases to amaze me how manufacturers seem to think it is OK to fit bottom brackets of an inferior specification to the rest of the components.

I bought a Felt F95 about four months ago and although it is what might be considered "entry level" I have to say I have been really pleased with it. For a £600 bike it is pretty well equipped and a joy to ride. All the components (Shimano Sora, FSA, and Felt own brand hubs and brakes) work well and the frame and forks appear to be good quality. However the perennial problem of a sub-standard bottom bracket has arisen again. The bike has only covered around 400 miles, but I have already had to replace the BB. The original (an RPM unit) started making slight grinding sounds after a couple of months and last week it just seized up. To my mind, this is unacceptable, even for an entry level bike.

Being relatively cheap, the bike came with a square taper BB (which despite their stigma of now being "old technology", I've never had a problem with). I purchased a Shimano UN55 replacement unit from Wiggle for £9.49 and the bike is transformed. I've used UN55's on various mountain bikes for years and have always found them to be very reliable, so I figured it would be a good upgrade for my road bike.

What I find slightly annoying is that if I can buy a quality unit like the UN55 for less than a tenner, surely a bike manufacturer like Felt, with their buying power, must be able to afford to put a decent bottom bracket in their bikes without pushing them in to the next price band.

Pretty much all manufacturers whose bikes I've ridden, including Kona, Scott, Marin etc seem to pull this trick. I guess that because it isn't a "glamour" component like an upgraded rear mech or big name chainset it is perhaps not considered worth spending too much money on, but in my opinion, surely the one bearing on the bike which is subject to the most intense loads and right in the path of any water and debris thrown up from the road, should be a quality item.

I love the Felt, and their attention to small details in certain areas is impressive. Just a pity that doesn't apply to major components that just happen to be tucked up out of the way, hopefully getting on with the job and hopefully not getting noticed.
They just never put enough grease in them, the crank on my (brand new) Trike had every bearing virtually dry. :cursing:
 
Top Bottom