tool
Enduro Bearing's Ceramic Bottom Bracket

Searching for a 30mm BB92 Solution

Words Cam McRae
Photos Cam McRae (unless noted)
Date Feb 26, 2018

My experiences with press fit bottom brackets hasn't been terrible but I've had a few issues. Most recently we had a test bike with a Raceface PF92 30mm BB that was almost seized. It seems that the seals were compromised prematurely but the cups were installed without the inner sleeve, which could have contributed to the issue.

Regular maintenance would likely have kept things running smoothly as well but years of cartridge BBs trained me to treat my bike's nether region with contempt and neglect. And really who wants to pry off seals and pump grease into bearings still attached to the bike or go to the effort, and putting your BB shell through the excess wear, of pulling bearings to do the job properly?

Enduro Tool

The Enduro BB86/92 Cup Tool (BRT-003) threaded together for storage or shipping. This is a pricy item (169 USD) but if you go in with a few friends it gets more reasonable.



tool 2

The tool in pieces. The two bits to the right of the bolt, the bolt itself as well as the red ring are used for removal. 

Another issue is getting the damned things in and out. Threaded bottom brackets can be removed and installed with tools that are generally reasonably priced and simple to use. Until recently I've been using a jerry rigged headset press for press fit installs and crude solutions involving hammers and punches for removal. Banging on a carbon frame with a hammer never feels good (steel and Aluminum sound even worse) and while I've managed for the most part, I cringe every time I have to pull or press one.

yanker

The slick removal tool with expanding flanged washer. 

flanged

To use the removal tool the expanding washer is place inside the bearing from the outside. Next place the expander in from the back of the bearing to press the flanges into place securely. Then all you need to do is slide in the bolt, secure the bearing cup nut from the other side, with the red washer inserted, and thread the bearing out like nothing.  Photo - Enduro Bearing

Enduro bearings has a solution that, while not cheap, allows for effortless installs and removals. More than effortless, it's a pleasure and the process is easier than virtually any other bottom bracket interface. It's impossible to cross thread going in and the removal is quick and easy. And the tool itself is a beautiful thing to behold with smooth machining and bold anodizing. 

install

The install didn't even require further tools. I just hand threaded things together and everything slid in smoothly. Enduro recommends installing with grease but I did it dry to see how the removal tool works in a worst case scenario. 

bb

This is practically the whole bottom bracket from Enduro seals. Spacers are included for those who need them.

The bottom bracket itself is just a pair of flanged double row bearings with a 41mm outside diameter and a 30mm inside diameter. The product is available in a stainless steel version and a hybrid ceramic version with ceramic  balls and stainless races. Enduro thinks the hybrid ceramic is a good compromise, providing the hardness, corrosion resistance and low rolling resistance of the ceramic balls with the strength of stainless races. 

auxiliary

An auxiliary seal adds some protection from the elements on the outside but there is no inner sleeve. 

exloded

Enduro Bearing's engineers felt that splitting the load with dual row bearings was the best solution for the tight confines produced by 30mm spindles used with BB92 bottom bracket shells. Photo - Enduro Bearing

SRAM felt it wasn't possible to engineer a solution to the BB92 with 30mm interface that ticked all the boxes so the spindle size was reduced to 28.99 mm to improve sealing. One of the boxes was certainly cost and considering most product in the DUB line will be aimed at original spec, a double row bearing could be too pricey. Regardless, I'm going to ride through puddles and pressure wash this thing after rides to see how it holds up and verify if it is indeed the press fit holy grail.

The BB86/92 TO BB30/BB386EVO BOTTOM BRACKET is available in both ceramic hybrid (129 USD) and stainless steel (90 USD) as well as the BRT-003 tool (129 USD) - all from Realworldcycling.com

Comments

skyler
+2 dave_f Dan V slyfink Joseph Crabtree
Skyler  - Feb. 26, 2018, 8:24 a.m.

Hybrid ceramic bearings are pretty much the worst of both worlds in high-contamination areas like a BB... The ceramic balls are so much harder than the SS that they can abrade the races quicker than if everything was steel. Then, ceramic balls won't deform over an imperfect race, so it'll just get worse. Add a bit of grit, and the balls will crack until you have dust for bearings.

To make matters worse, because people expect more when they pay more, ceramic bearings tend to have lighter seals and grease so that they live up to the myth of lower rolling resistance. For mountain bikes, ceramic and especially hybrid bearings are a hoax.

Reply

JVP
0
JVP  - Feb. 26, 2018, 9:47 a.m.

I was just coming to ask about ceramic.  Never tried them. Most of us only care about durability and longevity in crap conditions.

Bearing type, light grease and whimpy seals seem to be total BS for rolling resistance on MTBs. We've got a few spots on our local rides with slightly DH gravel roads as connector sections.  I stuff my thrashed 4 year old Hope hubs with super heavy PM6000 military grease, and I tend to out-coast most of my friends. I suspect the only thing that matters is that you actually keep grease in your bearings, which is easier said than done.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - Feb. 26, 2018, 8:42 p.m.

Having had ceramic ball bearings in a BB in the past I would have to agree. I put the particular one down to seal, but in any case it was the shortest living BB I've ever owned and even when it was working, it always made noise and frustrated me to no end. 

That said, at least this is available in a stainless version too and the tool is the real sell here! Anything to make the press-fit pain easier to deal with. :)

Reply

kekoa
+1 Cam McRae
kekoa  - Feb. 26, 2018, 9:29 a.m.

Nice Yeti. Be curious to see how the bearings hold up.  I'm running the Hope set up in mine and after a year, it's worked well. Though i never power wash the thing.

Reply

morgan-heater
0
Morgan Heater  - Feb. 26, 2018, 9:56 a.m.

They look identical to the hope bearings. I wonder if hope just rebrands them. If they do, I've been running them for a couple of years with my hope 30mm cranks, and they seem to be ok.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - Feb. 26, 2018, 8:44 p.m.

Hope are phenomenal. Had one BB go through 3 bikes and it was still running like a dream when it was sold in the last bike. Pretty sure they're rebranded something-or-other though.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - March 1, 2018, 1:13 p.m.

We were sent a stainless version as well so we'll be able to do a comparison. I'm also waiting on a response to this from a representative for Enduro.

Reply

mhaager2
0
Moritz Haager  - Feb. 26, 2018, 10:22 a.m.

Has anyone ever made a needle bearing BB? Seems like that might be a good way to trade vertical height for horizontal width allowing more room for better sealing.

Reply

skyler
0
Skyler  - Feb. 26, 2018, 10:24 a.m.

Old XTR m970 BBs had a couple rows of needle bearings and at least those had terrible durability.

Reply

NealWood
0
NealWood  - March 1, 2018, 12:36 p.m.

We looked into it in the 90's at Syncros.  What we found is that needle bearings are much more sensitive to contamination than a ball bearing and BB's are likely to have some contamination.  You also still need to consider what is going to support the axial load.  As noted bellow there were some old xtr BB's that used needles for a while.

Reply

blackfly
0 AJ Barlas Dan V
Peter Leeds  - Feb. 26, 2018, 4:47 p.m.

Press fit BB.  Solution to a problem that never existed.  What I can't figure is why you would want to press fit a BB when, if something goes wrong, with a threaded one at least you can remove it and replace it.  With press fit, if you install off centre and ovalize the fit, you are permanently screwed.  I know of a small number of good frames that were ruined by cross threading, but careful fitting usually fixes this (among reaming the BB before install of the bracket itself).  Headsets, on the other hand, can be press fit as with my King HS, they almost always outlive the bike.  It seems the more the industry screws around with something the more problems they generate.  And with the HS/BB comparison, the BB gets far more wear and tear and is more likely to need replacing.  And even with a threaded BB, if the bearings wear out they are easy enough to replace, if you actually can with your model.

I think the real issue is the quality of the seals.  My Hadley hubs have 12 years on them without a bearing replacement yet, and they are still smooth as silk.  So long as nothing gets in I find that good bearings will last.  But I could just be lucky.  Or Hadley is that good (I have ordered another set on this fact).  And hubs get just as much gunk about them as the BB does.

Reply

xy9ine
+1 Niels
Perry Schebel  - Feb. 27, 2018, 10:25 p.m.

i'm probably an outlier, but i kinda really like the plastic shimano pf92 in my current bike (24mm crank). better than threaded, even. it's cheap, really light, super fast & easy to install (tappy tap tap with the BFH, no special tools required, no threads to worry about), and has been long lasting & noise free. plus, it's not going to seize in an aluminum frame. plastic, it's the future!  

that said, if you're using a 30mm spindle, the direct fit bearing into bb shell detail (like the pf 92 enduro & hope) does seem to make good sense. pressing a bearing into an aluminum shell that has to be pressed (or threaded) into yet another aluminum shell (BB) seems a fairly inelegant solution. 

also - if said enduro & hope pf's have solid reliability it kinda leads one to question the reasoning behind the DUB system.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - Feb. 28, 2018, 8:40 a.m.

I have been wondering if bike companies have been using PF BB shells and 30mm cranks on top end cranks to get around SRAM's policy of only selling complete drivetrains for OE. It seems like a small niche but if that's true that could have been part of the reason for creating DUB since SRAM was missing out on those sales. I'm not sure if it would be a money saver for bike brands but it allowed slightly more boutique components to be spec'ed on higher end builds.

Reply

heathen
0
Heathen  - June 25, 2018, 5:18 p.m.

Any updates on real-world service life?

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - Aug. 18, 2018, 11:32 a.m.

So far no issues at all without any maintenance performed and lots of hosing off directly into the BB.

Reply

Squashman
0
Josh Friberg-Wyckoff  - Oct. 10, 2018, 7:09 p.m.

So the RWC site basically says the only 30mm spindle crankset you could use with this is the Race Face Cinch. Are there any others?

Reply

Chris2fur
0
Chris2fur  - Nov. 30, 2018, 8:17 p.m.

Our description has a bit more info actually:  "For MTB applications, Race Face Next SL (or other Race Face "Cinch" crank sets), e13 MTB, and Rotor 3D+ crank are among those cranks that are compatible. Most SRAM BB30 cranks are NOT compatible, although some longer-spindled SRAM 30mm spindled cranks can be found."  Typically we are looking for 100mm of available spindle between the adjuster and the spider, with the crank assembled.  The new CC eeWings crank is also compatible. 

-Chris at RWC

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