Newbie alert - bottom bracket types and replacement

fair weather cyclist

Well-Known Member
I have finally the money to buy myself a new road bike on which I will do most of my riding (outdoors in the summer and on the turbo in the winter).

My old bike is an entry-level gravel bike; it's good but nothing spectacular. I'm never going to sell it...call it sentimental value :laugh: so I thought I would use it as my guinea pig to learn more about fixing/building bikes. I've always been interested in understanding how things work.

I started watching the parktool youtube videos about bottom brackets yesterday, learned about all the different types. And here's my question: my bike comes with a cartridge bb (FSA cartridge 68x110.5mm bottom bracket according to the website specs); will I have to stick with this type of bb forever? When I remove it, can I replace it ONLY with one of the same type? Does it depend on the cup (if there are/aren't threads in it)?

Any advice and link to online resources about the subject will be greatly appreciated :smile:
 

Ajax Bay

Guru
Location
East Devon
Share the website link you found those data on, please (make/model of bike and chainset?).
 

T4tomo

Guru
Not a bad starting point for info
https://www.bikeradar.com/advice/buyers-guides/the-complete-guide-to-bottom-bracket-standards/

A bottom bracket has to match the crankset, so you would replace like for like if your BB was knackered but keeping same crankset, but if you changed crankset, you may well need a different BB. the manufacturers specify what BB's are compatible.

if a B is find, leave it alone and dont replace it.

And generally speaking if your frame is designed for threaded BB's you stick with that, and if you have a god awful press-fit BB, you are sort of stuck with that, but there are some converters which work for limited types of press fit BBs.
 
OP
F

fair weather cyclist

Well-Known Member
Thanks. I was reading that cartridge bottom brackets are alright, low maintenance, and less prone to squeaking because they're all sealed and in 1 single piece. Is that correct?
 

Ajax Bay

Guru
Location
East Devon
You'll get a better answer if you answer my question. This BB is, I think, square taper, but I'd like to be sure before trying to help with the Qs in the OP.
 
There are two interfaces for a Bottom Bracket unit. One is the frame, the other is the crank.
Frames vary in diameter, width and thread ( or no thread)
Cranks vary in attachment system
The old fashined square taper cartridge bb was a standard and is preferred by people who just want it to run and run. For issues of wear, the solution is a new bb unit within the next few thousand miles.
Racing types look for reduced weight and increased stiffness rather than long term durability and there are many variations that offer reduced durability.
 
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