How To Remove & Fit A Press Fit Bottom Bracket On A Road Bike
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How To Remove & Fit A Press Fit Bottom Bracket On A Road Bike

October 22, 2019

– Love ’em or hate ’em press-fit bottom brackets
are now really common. And let’s face it whilst
they do get a bad rap the vast majority of us don’t have a problems
with them whatsoever. What the principal
criticisms levelled at them is that they are hard to work on. But actually, fitting and replacing
them is relatively simple, you just need the right tools, which is one of these, which is a ‘Bearing Press’. And then, something to knock your old
bottom bracket out with, one of these or one of these. To know whether or not you
have a press-fit bottom bracket firstly ask yourself these questions; “is your bike newer than about 2010 and was it really expensive?” Because if it was older than 2010 the chances are it is highly
unlikely you will have a press-fit bottom bracket. And if it was an entry-level
or mid-range bike then it too is unlikely
that you have a press fit. If however the answer to
these questions was “yes”, and “yes” and you still don’t know
if you got a press-fit, you gonna have to take your cranks off. And then what you’re looking for is for any form of indentations for a tool to actually bite into, so that very simply means
you will be able thread or unthread your threaded bottom bracket. Where as a press-fit bottom bracket, as you can see, is completely smooth. Once you’ve established that you’ve got a press-fit bottom bracket you are then confronted with
many different standards. But broadly speaking, there are really just two
types of bottom bracket. Firstly, there are those that
have a nylon or a metal cup, with bearings already pressed inside and the whole assembly is pushed inside your bottom bracket shell. And then you also have this
type which is very simply a cartridge bearing that
is then pressed into cups that are already built into the frame, so that’s like a BB30 style. When it comes to working on them, the difference between them
is really only apparent when you are removing the bottom
bracket in the first place, which we’re gonna do now. Let’s start with the cup type first so the BB86. As I said, you need to
push the whole cup out and to do that, you need a tool like this which is a Park Tool BBT-90. The way it works is that
you push the tapered end through the bottom bracket and then this sprung prongs at the end compress as you push
it through the bearing and then expand outwards just after you got it
through that initial bearing And then you can tap the other end and the whole cup slides out. Now, probably didn’t escape your notice that it actually takes
quite a bit if force to tap one of these cups out and it’s for that reason that
these are not really designed to be reusable. So, you fit it and then when it’s worn out you tap it back out. It’s not a job that you do regularly, pushing them in, taking them out. If your bike is in a workstand like this and you are hitting the bottom bracket out do make sure that you brace the bike really firmly by the downtube there so that it’s just not
dangling from your seatpost. With BB30, you need a tool like this which is effectively a drift
to tap your bearing out. So you thread it through
your bottom bracket until it comes to rest behind the bearing on the opposite side of the bike. And then you square the whole tool up using that plastic guide, then you can simply tap it out. Now, that guide is really important because if you don’t have it then you can effectively push
your bearing out an angle which can damage your frame
and certainly your bearing. And so it’s for this reason that although you could potentially try and bodge this whole procedure
using a punch and a hammer, it is really, really
risky because as I say you can damage your frame. Which, you don’t want to do. Okay, so it’s reassembly time. First step is to set up our Bearing Press. To do that, we need to
select the right adapters, and so the right adapters is effectively the one
that has the same diameter as your crank axle. And then the same external diameter as your bottom bracket shell. So, in this case is a Shimano crank which is 24mm and is a
44mm bottom bracket shell. Okay? You’ll see that it fits
in there very snugly, as if it’s meant to. Then we thread one side onto our bearing press. Then we need to thread
that through our frame before threading the other side onto your bearing press. And then cinching it all together with the lock nut like that. Simple, right? The press itself works in a
really straightforward way; you simply turn that lever there and you’ll see that it’s pushing the cups together. Now, the reason you use a Bearing Press is that the adapters
hold everything straight, as does the fact that you’re pushing both cups in at the same time. Again, the fact that it’s going straight is extremely important. One final question that needs answering before we do press our
bottom bracket back in is to whether or not you
put grease on the cups. General rule of thumb is if you are using a metal frame
then you want to put grease or locking compound on the cups and that prevents it creaking. And that includes in fact an aluminium sleeve inside a carbon frame. However, if you are pushing
them into a carbon frame, then the general consensus
is you push them in dry because grease can potentially soften the inside of the carbon which is not what you want. So, this instant we’re going carbon on carbon so we’re going in dry. With BB30, however always grease up the bearings. Ah. Ah. Done. Again, just like with removal you could potentially try
and budge this procedure. Either with a home-made press and some blocks of wood as drift. Or indeed, dare I say it, a hammer and a block of wood. But the fact is, you are in all likely talking about a really expensive frame here and such a poor cost-cutting exercise simply, it doesn’t add
up when you weigh against how much it would cost to
either repair or even replace your frame. And that is what we’re talking about here if it goes wrong, it really could be quite bad news. So, this is one of those workshop jobs where you need to invest in the right tool but you’re only investing in it once. And then you can do the
procedure as much as you want, for free. Well, hopefully despite that last severe word of warning I haven’t actually put you
off doing this procedure, it is reasonably straightforward as long as you have the right tools. Now, make sure you subscribe to GCN. If you do like doing
workshop jobs yourself we have a Maintenance Monday video for you every single week. Now, if you need a bit more information about bottom bracket standards, and who doesn’t? We have a video on that exact subject. So hopefully we’ll explain it for you and get to it just down there. Or, to actually do a more rudimentary job but one that is essential
for this procedure, taking your cranks off, click just down there
for step-by-step guide.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. What bike maintenance tasks do you need help with? Let us know 👇 and we'll see if we can make a video…

  2. Hi! Is it a similar procedure for removing and replacing the slightly unusual Canyon headset bearing races? I have a replacement lower bearing race ready to install onto my Ultimate CF SL, but I don't have a bearing press (or any of the other smorgasbord of Park Tool items used in this vid). It's a much tighter fit in the head tube due to the lack of a star nut for preload. Any help (or even a vid) would be welcome!

    Love and hugs,


  3. Hello Si, good video. I like them. When removing the old bearing there are rests of a white mass inside. Is this grease or something else? You mounted the the new bearing dry. Can you explain?

  4. Really disappointed of Si so casually dropping ''we're going in dry'' whilst talking about pressing the bearings into carbon frames without even the slightest snicker.

  5. I have a bb90 bottom bracket and my bike shop sold me the BBT90 punch to remove the bearings (along with a bearing press). Should I be using the other tool you mentioned for the bb30 bearing removal? Thanks. Really enjoy your maintenance videos

  6. you say not to add grease to carbon bikes but we clearly see when you remove the bearing from that Canyon bike that there was grease in it. Are we confused?

  7. It's probably a good idea to use stainless bearings where possible, carbon (especially raw carbon exposed in bearing cups) is conductive and there is the possibility of galvanic corrosion.

  8. I only have one question. I know that you said no grease for cabon frames, but what about carbon paste? Is that acceptable when installing the PF BB?

  9. #torqueback What road bike brand/models have you guys found to be the most resilient in constant rain weather? I ask because I purchased a 2015 Trek Emonda in 2016 and the bottom bracket(BB90) seized with in 6 months of ownership. I love the bike but rain makes me think twice before going out for a ride and I love to ride in the rain. So I'm now in the market for a road bike that wont fall apart after a week of rain rides.

  10. Si says always grease on BB30. Do I grease the bearings only? Or the point of contact between cup and carbon frame?

  11. You told not to grease the insert but when you take it out there was small amount of white grease in the bb shell.
    It was a factory grease or you have replased it earlier ?

  12. i am quite confused in 4:55 to 5:41..can i put any grease to a carbon frame for a hollowtech bb before installing it? you just said that placing any grease will deteriorate but how about the BB30?

  13. Yo, I recently built my new Cannondale Caad12. It has a BB30 bottom bracket. The cable routing clashes with the bottom bracket, what have I missed? Thanks

  14. PF BB hack!
    RJ the Bike Guy built one out of a threaded hex bolt, four machine washers, a hex nut and two wrenches. Total cost abt $10 – not counting the cost of the wrenches – which y'all should have anyway!
    if you are worried about scratching your frame, add in two felt pads or rubber machine gaskets – one at either end facing your bearings and add another buck or so to the total build cost.

  15. I have a PF30 on my MTB and can't stand it.. always creaks and is not smooth.. Still finding a solution to thi s**t

  16. 1 issue I faced is aligning the center "sleeve" of my Shimano Press-Fit BB71 as I pressed both ends into the frame. Any tips to help with this? 🙂 I note that at 4:35, Si is holding the sleeve with the right hand.

  17. I feel like tapping it out could cause damage opposed to pressing it out. I also feel like it would be good to use at least some type of light oil that is carbon safe to prevent chaffing. Not sure if that is the right term but that is what I am going to call it. Maybe its galling?

  18. You have to take your cranks off to tell the difference, do you? You can tell Si isn't a mechanic, can't you?

  19. very helpful – that park tool bb30.3 is a super tool…after years of hammer & stake removal I purchased one and what a easy tool to use and no damage to frame or BB…the bearing caps can be put onto a simple bolt and double nut setup and used as cheap but effective press 🙂

  20. 2016 specialized diverge with shimano tiagra crankset that makes a lot of noise (popping noise while climbing). What tools do I need and parts? I'm assuming that I have press in crankset, am I right?

  21. As I was selling italien top notch frames to retailers..I have seen so many stores putting grease into carbon Bottom brackets !!! No comment….

  22. I have a Pressfit but my Bike was just 600€ XD That’s more than entry level. It’s the entry level of the entry level Bikes XD

  23. Wheels manufacturing has a thread together bottom bracket for BB86. Their instructions say to never to press in the bottom bracket dry but rather to use Teflon grease on a carbon frame. By the way, this is a very nice BB and usually solves any creaking problem!

  24. Press fit BBs are under engineered GARBAGE! Most frames are molded, bearing holes are NOT MACHINED round and to precise tolerances and fit requirements. Read a MACHINERY HANDBOOK!!!!! The tolerances related to the installation of bearings are within tenths of thousandths of an inch!! Much of the bike industry fails us with these shoddy irresponsible designs. I was a machinist. I machined and installed bearings in Aerospace, medical and defense industries. If you dont believe me do some research. There is a reason why tried and true designs, such as THREADED BBs and cup and cone bearings will continue to perform and endure if properly installed and MAINTAINED.

  25. This could be a very very stupid/bad question, that's why I am asking with a new account to not get any warranty claims into danger if I messed up. How likely is it to damage your frame if you use the correct tools? I got a new frame, built many bikes so far, but never one with pressfit bottom bracket. I bought the correct tool, but somehow managed to push it in too far… I am hoping A LOT now, that I just damaged the cups… did this happen to someone else before??

  26. Question for GCN tech. I have a BB30 but I can take out the bearing with my fingers (and also putting it back). Is that normal? Is there something like a pressetting (similar as a torqsetting)?

  27. Hi, I want to imstall Shimano Dura-ace cranks omy bike but the BBraquet is from Rotor wich has a vreater diameter. Is there any adaptor for this?

  28. Like to know how ro remove the pressfit shells which receive the bearings. Especially the case of pressfit shells mounted on a carbon frame bracket with no alumnium sheath ….and for which the shells have been mounted appropriately with no grease.

  29. Press fit is a bad idea. Ask any mechanic about all the noise, short life , numerous issues, complications and on and on. Ask a machinist about proper bearing fit. Bicycle companies and ‘engineers’ should be ashamed of themselves. Dont buy one of these frames!!! If you have one sell it to some other fool. BUY THREADED!!!You can thank me later.

  30. #AskGCN – Why does my old SRAM GXP threaded BB allow the cranks to spin easily and freely but the stock press fit bottom bracket on my new Canyon Ultimate has the cranks struggling to spin freely? If I push the pedal backwards it won't even do 1 single revolution unaided, whereas with the old threaded BB, with the same cranks, it will do 3 or 4 revolutions. Is this costing watts? Thanks

  31. Usefully bb86 and bb30 refer to the hours between creaking services required. Bb86 is therefore better.

  32. If you weigh more than 6 stone a press fit bottom bracket will prove to be 100% totally useless, a crap design end of.

  33. The maintenance of bottom bracket I understand. Can someone explain why we need to change a Bottom Bracket please ?

  34. I have a Giant Contend SL 1 Disc 2018, which is an entry-level bike. It comes with a press fit bottom bracket. How did that happen, do I have a high-end component on my entry-level bike?

  35. Hi to the gcn crew and all the riders out there.
    Quick question?. My first time replacing a bb30 i got all the kit. But do i need some sort of water tight sealant for the bearing installation?. If so?. What brand would be reccomended?

  36. The right tool to remove a Press-Fit BB86.5 or BB92 bottom bracket is the Shimano TL-BB13. That crappy Park Tool one may scratch/damage your frame. And no, you should never install the caps dry.

  37. have a cannonade synapse hi mod with a press-fit c-bear Shimano adapter. creaks like a bastard when I put over 450 watts into it : so basically every hill. fucken pathetic design idea. 3-10

  38. In the video when you were knocking out the old bearings it had grease in side. Then installing you recommended not to add grease. Someone installed previously incorrect?

  39. If there is a better cycling channel on the Internet, I haven't found it yet.  Si always makes a visit here informative, interesting, and usually a bonus laugh in there somewhere. 

    As to my question, do I risk damaging my semi-expensive frame (even once in a lifetime), or do I just pay my LBS to change the BB for me as needed?  How expensive can paying a pro to do it be compared to buying the tools to do it myself and maybe making a costly mistake?

  40. It seems I recall in another video where he recommends using grease to press in BB bearings on carbon frames. Does anyone else recall the same?

  41. I recently purchased a BMC SLR01. It came stock with Ultegra. After a few rides, the chain was making a lot of noise as it went through the front derailleur. I had a professional mechanic who set up the front derailleur correctly. My pedaling felt very sluggish, and wore me down after a mere 12 mile or riding it. A far as I can tell, it comes with press in cups, like the ones you showed where you use the tool to press them in. I took it back to the shop where I got it, and they said the crank needed to come off. I heard them whacking away at the bottom bracket – which leads me to believe they removed them and put them back in. You specifically stated after removing them, they are not really made to re-use. I think they out them back i after removing. Now the pedaling feels even MORE sluggish, and the chain is making even more noise as it goes round the crank and through the front derailleur. 🙁

  42. How many frames are written off because of people messing up pressfit BB installation. Modern bikes are becoming more and more disposable. They are not designed to last more than 10 years.
    Also carbon isn't recyclable. There's going to be a lot of carbon frames in landfill over the next 100 years. Progress!!!

  43. How to better understand chainring and casette ratios, to make the best voice for my gravel bike, knowing trat i use it more on Asphalt

  44. Help. The plastic cup of my press fit bottom bracket is stuck inside the frame. I only got the bearings out. How do I remove the plastic????

  45. What locking compounds would you recommend as I am looking to replace my FSA PF30 press-fit BB into a metal frame or will grease do as well?

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