How To Fit A Press Fit Bottom Bracket
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How To Fit A Press Fit Bottom Bracket

November 4, 2019


– I know, I know. Press fit bottom brackets. Some of you out there
are huge fans of them and others may be not quite such lovers. Now I’ve actually never
had any problems with them on any of my own bikes, but I am aware that some
people that had have. But let’s a look today on
how to fit them correctly, using the correct tools, importantly, because I do understand
that some of you out there do, in fact, hack or botch
your way to fitting them. So what exactly is a press
fit bottom bracket then? Well, essentially, it’s
some bearings that house within an aluminium or plastic cup, which are then pushed inside of the bottom bracket shell into place. Now, on the flip side of this, is the traditional style bottom bracket, which is threaded, as you can see here. And so they’ve been
obviously pushed into place. It uses a spanner, which
interconnects with the notches and then threads inside of
the bottom bracket shell. Or, in fact, another option
is just a simple bearing, which is pushed into the frame by hand and then you have a
little clip which holds it inside of the frame. Now there are some exceptions to the rule. Take, for example, this one
here from Will’s Manufacturing, which is a push fit bottom bracket, but it threads together. “Why?” you may ask. Well, it’s actually to
stop any creaking of cups inside of a frame, which
some frames do sadly have a slight problem with. So if you’ve got notches on the side of a press fit bottom bracket, or any bottom bracket for that matter, it means you’re gonna need
to use a spanner to remove it rather than smashing it out, which is quite a crude term
for what we’re gonna do very shortly. So what are gonna use
them to actually remove those bearings that I’ve
quite crudely just said, “smashed out of the frame”? Well, firstly, you are
either gonna use one of these or one of these. But more information on
these two products shortly. What about fitting the new bearings then? Well, a bearing press is
definitely recommended. I cannot recommend it highly enough. They do come in a huge variety of options, and also budgets too, so
there’s no real excuse out there if you are a
particularly competent home mechanic to get
yourself one of these. (RELAXING MUSIC) So what are we gonna do then? Well, let’s get into
the nitty-gritty of it. First up, you’re gonna want
to remove the chain set, and keep a close eye out, too,
for any spacers or washers in between the cranks and
the bottom bracket itself, because if there are any in there at all, make sure you lay them
out in the correct order, so that when it comes to refitting, you’re doing it correctly. Now something to consider,
when removing these cups from the frame, is that the
manufacturer of these cups, in most cases, assumes that
they are no longer any good. So they are gonna get marked
internally with the tool when you remove it. And if you are botching your way out of it using a hammer and a screwdriver to smash that bottom bracket cup out, well, you’re gonna get problems like this. That’s another reason why not to botch it. (RELAXING MUSIC) Let’s look, then, at how we remove a press fit bottom bracket
from a standard size axle diameter frame. When I say, “standard size,” in this case, smaller than 30 millimeters. But, as many of you know out there, the standard of bike components
are changing almost daily. And who knows? Maybe a 30 millimeter will be the standard by the time this video comes out. So, how are we gonna do it? Well, we’re gonna use one of these tools. So this tool from Park is
actually designed to remove those press fit cups. How does it work then? Well, at this end, we’ve got
some sprung-loaded endings and then at this end
we’ve got a nice flat one. So, we’re gonna push, first of all, through the bottom bracket hole, the blunt end. So, in effect, it’s gonna
go through like this, and then these compressed sprung ends, if you like to call it that, are gonna slowly compress, and
then as you push it through, they actually go out into position. Then you can do the magic. Now using the bottom bracket
bearing removal tool, you’re gonna want to thread
it through the axle hole. And then you’re gonna find
a point where you hear a satisfying click. a satisfying click. (CLICKS) That’s the one. Now, with a hammer, you’re
gonna wanna give that tool a few sharp blows to remove these cups from the bottom bracket shell itself. So make sure that you’re
either prepared to catch it or, if not, where it’s gonna
land is not on something valuable or fragile, because, yeah, I know
someone who happened to and they got into a
lot of trouble at home, believe me. So, with a few sharp blows… (HAMMERING) (HAMMERING) (HAMMERING) You’re gonna start seeing the
actual bottom bracket here, just moving out of the shell, then you’re in a good state of affairs. Just keep hammering away. (HAMMERING) (HAMMERING) Now if you’ve got a sleeve inside of the bottom bracket shell, it’s worthwhile just picking
that out and removing it. That way you can give it a good clean up as well as it makes the
next part of the job just a little bit easier to
get in behind the bearings. (RELAXING MUSIC) So, before we go ahead and actually fit in the replacement bottom bracket, what we’re gonna do is just
clean that up a little bit. So spray some degreaser in
there, get yourself some cloths, and wipe away any grease,
dirt, grime, stones, and wipe away any grease,
dirt, grime, stones, anything like that, which could,
in fact, have got in there. That way, putting in
the new bottom bracket is gonna be a lot easier
and also it’s gonna go in a lot straighter. What about, then, if you’ve got a PF30, or PressFit-30 style, bottom bracket? It’s loosely the same principle
as what we’ve just done, but you use a different tool, so something like this one here from Park. And it would thread through
the bearing, like so, and then, you imagine that
this is the other side, it just sits up against
the inside housing there. And then, technical term coming up, a few sharp whacks with
your hammer and bang! It’s at that bottom bracket shell. As easy as that. Now, like I said earlier on,
you could risk botching this, but it’s really not worth it. How would you botch it? Well, you’d use a hammer and
a punch, or a screwdriver, and, essentially, you
would hit those cups out one side at a time. And because you’re not
hitting them out evenly, you risk distorting the actual
shell of the bottom bracket. Which, in the process, could
actually destroy your frame. Doesn’t sound quite so… Appealing now does it, I guess, if you could ruin that frame. No, use the correct tools. Now, when it comes to
fitting or re-fitting that press fit bottom
bracket into the shell, this is where a little bit
of extra time could make the world of difference for you. So if you’re the person
out there who claims to have had a creaky
press fit bottom bracket, then think about applying
some adhesive primer and then some retaining compound, allowing them both to dry, of course, before fitting the bottom bracket, therefore taking up some of
the tolerance and differences between the two components. And then if you’re fitting
a press fit bottom bracket into an aluminium-lined shell, then think about using some grease. It’s gonna make it going
in a little bit easier as well as reducing the possibility
of any creaks out there. Then, finally, if you’ve got
yourself a carbon-lined shell, then the general consensus
is actually to not use grease at all, because many people think it’s gonna swell the carbon, when, in fact, that carbon
shell is actually covered in epoxy, so it shouldn’t be… Having the opportunity to
even swell that carbon. So I’m a little bit on
the fence with that one. Personally, I don’t bother
applying any grease to it. And then if you’ve got titanium, then yet you could use some anti-seize or you could use, in fact, some grease. (RELAXING MUSIC) Now to install a BB86 or
PressFit-30 bottom bracket Now to install a BB86 or
PressFit-30 bottom bracket is exactly the same process. And every mechanic I know
out there actually does it the same way. So they install both cups into
the frame at the same time. Ultra important here is to
use the correct size drifts to actually press those bottom
bracket cups into the shell. Why to use those? Well, you’re gonna get
them evenly going in, so, potentially, if you don’t use that, you could well destroy the bottom bracket, and then, even worse, destroy your frame. And nobody wants to do that, do they? Nobody. You want to, now, actually start pressing the bottom bracket cups into the shell. So you should be able to
get them just gently started by hand, and make sure they’re
not going in lopsided at all. And then with your bearing
press and the drifts, begin to tighten that bearing press, begin to tighten that bearing press, so that the cups are actually
going into the shell. If there are any signs of
them not going in straight or lopsided, whatsoever, then remove them and restart the process. Because continuing to do
so could make the inside of your bottom bracket
shell slightly elliptical and, well, that’s gonna
give you that dreaded creak. Now, once you are satisfied
that they’re going in nice and straight, continue
just gently turning that bearing press until the bearing cups are flush up against the
bottom bracket shell. Once that is done, don’t go any further, because you could risk
damaging the bearings of the bottom bracket. And if you’re really muscly, unlike me, then you could even, in
fact, destroy the shell. I do know someone who continues to do it and they wrote off a frame. So there we are, you’ve managed to do it. Now it’s just a case of
refitting that chain set, and remember, of course,
if you did have any washers or spacers, make sure you put
them on in the correct place. It will make things much easier for you when you go out riding, believe me. Now do remember, as well,
to like and share this video with your friends too. And make sure you give
it a big ol’ thumbs up, and if you’ve not already subscribed to the Global Cycling
Network tech channel, make sure you do. And, also, click that
little notification bell, so you don’t miss any of our videos. Also, remember to check out the GCN shop at shop.globalcyclingnetwork.com. And now for a video on how
to give your drive train a very deep clean, click just down here.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I really hate it! Press fit is a stupid idea. Replacing it is a pain in the ass and the required tool cost are prohibitive, spanner cost nothing in camparison. Team Sky use threaded bb for obvious reason: ease of maintenance. Bottom bracket and headset should be regulated and standardized.

  2. It's easy when they didn't use green locktide.
    Then it will cost you a few hours to get them out😡.
    I have done this last week.

  3. Why not use a standard puller and a slide hammer. Specialized tools are nice for sure. I have no ill will toward Park to Pedro's or anything. But press fit bearings are not a new thing at all and tools for that already exist.

    Secondly, what I have found to also work really well for preventing creaks period is automotive brake pad anti squeal paste. May be overkill, but it's readily available and works a treat.

  4. If and when I find my bike creaking at the press-fit BB, I'll be switching to one of Hambini's (or equivalent) threaded adapter BB's. So far all my creaks have been pedals, wheels, spokes, seats….

  5. Hey Jon,
    I have a bb30 pressfit bb. When I putted it in I greased it, and i wanted to ask if it matters because it isn’t mentioned in the video. (I have a carbon Ridley helium sl). Thanks #askgcntech

  6. Bottom bracket tools are not worth it considering the amount you have to change em,once every year or two

  7. They will tell you to Get a tool,park sponsor springs to mind,I've done it thousand times without specialist tools

  8. How to replace a Press fit BB
    Step 1:Remove parts from bike
    Step 2: Throw the frame in the bin
    Step 3: Buy a frame with a worthwhile BB standard

  9. I came up with a simple 2 step process for replacing a noisy bottom bracket that has saved many a frame:
    1. Take to bake shop
    2. Pay bike shop

  10. I converted my bike from press fit to a threaded wheels mfg bottom bracket. Best thing I've done. I hate press fit bottom brackets! I installed it with a home made press fit tool. Worked like a charm.

  11. Great video Jon! Good to know the proper technique. You almost make me believe I could do this.

    But…. Instead I'll just buy a new bike.

  12. I have a press fit on my road bike and fat bike .. never had issues ever … got both tools to, I use to smash it out with a flat head screw driver and mallet then slap a new one with a mallet and a magazine 👍😂 easy when you know how ….

  13. Mine creaks like mad. I have to regularly sort it out. You don't need to spend loads of money on a bearing press, I bought one from Burton Bikes on amazon, simple cheap and works really well.

  14. Hi jon, Great show and pieces of advice, I learnt a lot from your videos in addition to my existing knowledge as a mechanical engineer, especially in repairing my bicycles and the ones of my friends. They are al proud to have someone who repairs their bikes and lubes them.

  15. Great vid John, as ever………but seeing that chain dangling against the stay, and scrape up and down it every time you hit the BB with the hammer made me wince!…..ouch

  16. All the videos show the bearing cup with its bearing coming out of the frame using the tool. However, when I began to knock out the cup, the bearing alone popped out leaving the cup unmoved in the frame. Now what to do? Simply press in a new bearing or is there a dodgy method to get the old cup out without damaging the frame? If simply pressing in a new bearing, should a retaining compound be used?

  17. I prefer cones with ball bearings to cylindrical case ball bearings, but I think the second one is lighter. In this uncertain case digital scale comes in handy.

  18. What Are the Benefits and Risks of Running in Long Distance?
    https://healthyfit07.blogspot.com/2017/12/long-distance-running.html

  19. I've got no name front brake callipers.With small hands even though I'm using spacers and have moved levers to optimum position braking isn't secure on descents. Cables and housing are also new. Lever is Sora. Can I fit a standard fit dual pivot calliper? If so which model and will it be a worthwhile upgrade.

  20. I have a Specialized Tarmac which has a Praxis bottom bracket labelled as '68mm conv bb – bb30 to m30' I've no idea what this means but I know it creaks. Does anyone know whether I can fit a threaded bb and exactly what do I buy?

  21. Hi, I have PF30 on my Canondale Supersix. I would prefer threaded, but I really have no great reason to complain with press fit.
    When I came to replace a worn bottom bracket I did the following:
    1. Made my own removal tool from an old steel seat post. Two vertical cuts about 10cm long then spread the ends out. Works like a dream.
    2. Made my own bearing press using using a threaded bar and a series of large washers. So long as you are carful to kame sure the bearings press in straight it works a treat. I've also used the same tool for headset bearings.
    3. Following advice gleaned from YouTube I smeared the contact surfaces of each cup with low-strength locktite to avoid creaks. Time will tell if this was a good idea when I come to get them out again!

  22. Bottom brackets which have the plastic cups are shit. Short life spans. But get yourself the kind that have aluminum cups from Wheels Manufacturing and you'll be happy for a long time.

  23. Even just having bearing directly pressed in frame can eat the shell. But with astic the bb will be eaten. So far I haven't had any issues with threaded bb. So can integrated headsets. But press fit bearings in a linkage should work if it's done properly, and headset cups pressed in, best solution for that part of the frame, should last along time,if its proper headset. But no matter what you install tolerances are important.

  24. Jon, could you guys please make a video series where you buy a frame and all parts off the 2nd hand market and then build a bike. It should not be super cheap, nor super expensive. It would be so interesting to see how you went about picking out what parts you wanted and a detailed look of how to build a bike from scratch!

  25. This is how to do it without forking out for an expensive bearing press:

    https://cycling200milesamonth.blogspot.com/2016/07/replacing-shimano-press-fit-or-bb86.html

  26. Is there not an adapter (drift) to use with the the bearing puller so that you can pull the cup out of the frame, so as to not have to tap it out and risk damaging a stuck cup? Also, I think if you are hammering out the cup, stabilize the bike by putting the wheels on the ground.

  27. All the hosts are great on CGN. I don't even have a road bike but the videos are always really well presented in a down to earth tone.

  28. How long should a Press Fit BB last? I went 4 years on my 2014 Cervelo R3 before I had to replace mine. Then the new one from my LBO only last 45 days before it started getting tight, then eventually replaced again. No wet riding, and my LBO blamed it on using a hose when washing the bike. I use the "shower" setting on the nozzle!

  29. @5:05 , Jon why don't you support the bike on our side so the frame being held by the repair stand isn't bearing the force of your impact?

  30. You really don’t need a bearing press, a half inch bolt, nut and two washers is just as good and a lot cheaper.

  31. Just removed the PF30A bottom bracket from my Cannondale SuperSix Evo (2017 model) and noticed that the aluminium cups were factory pressed into the carbon shell of the frame with grease.

  32. My Trek Madone had five bottom back bracket replacements in two years of light riding before Trek took it in for warranty repair. They added glue to the press for area as a way of adding material to the frame to fix it. that failed within several weeks . And I got a new warranty frame from Trek 2 years ago. With that frame and riding no more than 2000 miles per year, The bike shop has done 2 bb replacements. This week I heard those telltale noises coming from the bottom bracket and saw that my front chain ring was cantering back-and-forth with every heavy pedal stroke. Here we go again. Another goddamn bottom bracket fail.

  33. It would be so nice if my math class were as much fun to listen to as nearly everything on GCN. Thanks for making this video so clear and understandable. Well done.

  34. My favorite bb is the old shimano octalink. Never had any problems with. Works ages and never creaks. I even run it with campy everything Else 😀

  35. This system seems archaic compared to threaded bottom brackets, as long as everything is well greased, removing and installing a threaded bottom bracket with the correct tool is as easy as tightening and loosening a machined screw.

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