BH Bikes, FSA Launch New Bottom Bracket Standard – BB386 Evo

Yes, it’s a new standard, but it’s backward compatible, and no this isn’t an April Fool’s trick.

Set to get some officialness at Sea Otter in a couple weeks, BH Bikes and FSA have partnered to develop an open-source standard for frames that they say better incorporates and takes advantage of the benefits a 30mm spindle can offer.

The design will be open and available to any manufacturer, and any current BB30 or PFBB30 crankset should work on these frames.

Why? Well, lighter, stronger frames for one. We’ve got an interview with them in the works to get more details, but for now you can read the words straight from BH’s mouth after the break and marvel at how four paragraphs of words only leaves you wanting more…

UPDATED 3PM EST: Interview with Chris Cocalis of BH/Pivot Bikes added after the break to make sense of it all…

We just talked to Chris Cocalis, founder of Pivot and the U.S. guy behind BH Bikes, to get the scoop. There are few things that he’s leaving unsaid until the official press launch at Sea Otter, which will include hands on of their new superlight road bike with the BB386EVO system, and we’ll be there. For now, some quotes:

It’s based on a 86.5mm wide BB shell for a PFBB30 system, same as what a Shimano PFBB (Press Fit BB) would be, but with a much bigger crank spindle diameter (24mm vs 30mm).

“The beauty of this is it fits all existing BB standards, including Shimano and Campy, and it’ll fit them better than what current BB30 adapters do to retrofit such systems.

We’ll be launching new FSA cranksets with a 30mm spindle that’s different from the BB30 standard.

The basis of the whole thing is that we can drop weight and really drive up the stiffness of the system. The bike we’re launching at Sea Otter really integrates some amazing new features.

It does NOT have mountain bike applications because it needs a 46mm BB hole (same as PF30 but wider, x 86.5), so it wouldn’t have clearance for the small chainring. And because of the wide stance of this new BB shell standard, there’s not room for any pivots on full suspension bikes. As for 2×10, it could theoretically work, but the bike would have to built such that it could never run a triple chainring, which at this point in time doesn’t really make sense.

Crankset stiffness will be about the same, but frame stiffness goes way up.”

Some of the final details of the system are still being finalized, but it should be ready to go live for other manufacturers to use and you to pine after in mid-April. Now for that press release…

PRESS RELEASE:

BB386EVO is wider, stiffer and interfaces with all current BB systems.

BH Bikes is known for developing cutting-edge products including the introduction of the first ever extended seat tube design, pioneering the development of sub-900 gram road frames and being one of the first to introduce aerodynamic profiles into road racing frames with its line of Global Concept frames that include the current G5, RC1 and Cristal designs.

Recognizing another opportunity to deliver higher levels of performance, BH Bikes approached Full Speed Ahead with the idea of partnering to design a system that provides the platform required to develop substantially lighter and stiffer frames while evolving the advances already made in crank and bottom bracket designs to a whole new level.

The BB386EVO is the next evolution in frame and component design. Proposed by BH Bikes and developed in close partnership with Full Speed Ahead, the new BB386EVO system continues the evolution of the 30mm spindle standard with an eye towards expanded integration with frame manufacturers.

With BH’s extensive knowledge of frame design and manufacturing, the new BB386EVO system integrates the benefits of oversized 30mm spindle designs into a new standard bottom bracket shell, which greatly enhances the performance characteristics. This BB386EVO design is an open source solution, available to all in the industry, to allow real performance gains by better integration of frame and component.

Source: BH Bikes.

Comments

Androo - 04/01/11 - 3:02pm

Hilarious.

I mean, I’m sure all the well-meaning engineers involved can point to real, tangible (albeit highly marginal) performance improvements, but where do you draw the line?

BBright is the only one recent one that’s made a really compelling reason to exist for me – the asymmetrical design makes a lot of sense, I think.

pen1s hurst - 04/01/11 - 3:22pm

disposable frames anyway

Chris - 04/01/11 - 3:51pm

ill just stick to square taper..

Andy - 04/01/11 - 4:34pm

A few contradictory statements:

Will use any existing BB30 crank… but is wider

Fits all existing systems… but needs a wider BB hole.

Hmmmm.

Andy

zen - 04/01/11 - 4:38pm

It isn’t exactly a ‘standard’ if they’re the only ones building to it…..

hype1 - 04/01/11 - 5:04pm

there too many standards, but how much will make you faster ? its all hype !!! I bet if I swap bike with Lance he can still beat the S@#$ out me :D

call420 - 04/01/11 - 6:17pm

I have the “A-Ssymetric Spiral Helix Optimized Leverage Enhancement” system. My mechanic calls it a threaded BB.

ed.rides.bikes - 04/01/11 - 9:19pm

wish this was on the april’s fools list…

and what is with the unnecessarily long name!?!?

greg - 04/01/11 - 10:29pm

the confusion in its backward compatibility lies in the misquote that current bb30 cranks would fit this new standard. the 386 cranks will fit 386, bb30, pf30, and bbright. rotor 3d+ cranks already fit this dimension. so does the zipp vumaquad, thm, storck, lightning, e13, sram s900 for bb30.
dedicated bb30 cranks such as sram red, force, fsa bb30, specialized, cannondale, won’t fit a 386 frame.

to sum it up, 386 cranks will fit bb30 frames, bb30 cranks will not fit 386 frames.

and no, we don’t need this.

Xris - 04/01/11 - 11:35pm

The scary part about this is it’s already true. BBRight, BB86, BB30, American , Euro, Mid, Spanish, 19mm, 20mm, 22mm, 24mm Shimano, 30mm GPX, BB65 for Zedtech. Italian Thread, British Thread. What’s another one to the mix right?! *American, Euro, Mid, and Spanish are all standards for BMX for those who think I’m bluffing.

Confused - 04/02/11 - 12:20am

….I do not get it. Someone please explain to me why is a wider BB shell needed? Why did Cervelo make the BBRight really, not their marketing reasoning?

Wider BB = longer crank axle = heavier and potentially more flexible. Press fit Shimano system did not make the carbon frames that use this system any stiffer, and it is as wide as this Wilier thing. Cervelo is also not renowned for the stiffness of their frames with or without BBRight. Besides, the BB does not really flex, regardless of its width, it is the frame that flexes…

I understand BB30, and perhaps in the future even wider axles, maybe different bottom bracket bearing systems that do not rely on simple cartridge bearings, but I do not get this “wider is better” reasoning.

ZachOverholt - 04/02/11 - 12:32am

Xris, you forgot PFBB30, bb90, all the companies who have their own proprietary system, and likely more, lol!

yo - 04/02/11 - 6:19am

BH have lost the plot a long time ago, There are already too many standards. It is stupid. A new design means zero to all of us out here. I hope it remains a design and never becomes a standard.

Karl - 04/02/11 - 9:45am

It appears Wilier is also backing this BB: http://italiancyclingjournal.blogspot.com/2011/03/wilier-799.html

Mick - 04/02/11 - 11:16am

BH just sent out party invitations…
Now they are gonna sit at home wondering why no one showed up to their party.

Place your bets as to how many companies will jump onto this standard in the next yr (?)
I weigh in with “1″…. BH and at that I suspect only with one model .

timmbers - 04/02/11 - 5:59pm

anyone remember when ISIS was the new standard! how long did that last before outboard hit the scene? 3-5 years maybe, and before that folks were switching back to taper bb’s cuz isis sucked so badly with its ovesized spindle and microscopic bearings that wore too quickly. i will never forget that, and now every time the bike industry does a new “standard? all i can think about it ISIS

bubba - 04/04/11 - 9:42am

I vote with my wallet. I vote square taper.
If i really love some new bike but it has one of these stoopid new “standards”, I DON’T BUY IT.

Jenny - 06/12/11 - 10:05pm

What does “EVO” of BB386EVO mean? Does anyone know this?

Long Rider - 12/09/11 - 1:24pm

I’m sick to death of all of this endless “standards” creation. FSA, sit down, and STFU. You’ve ruined headsets and BBs for everyone. The average recreational rider cranks out less than 250 watts, and can’t leg press 500 lbs. They will get zero benefit from yet another retarded BB standard. Pro riders can’t benefit from this because the weight of the bike is already below the UCI limits. I don’t need another FSA standard. If FSA wants to make money, let them create a product that isn’t total and complete crap. You’re on notice. I will NOT buy another bike with an FSA component on it. Put your design team on an old Russian airliner and start booking long flights. You’re the scourge of the industry.

Von Kruiser - 04/04/12 - 8:50pm

It makes sense if you consider the following:

1. 386EVO is the same OD as your standard external bearing cup (86.5mm). This is the same as Shimano BB86 but instead of steel spindle, it uses 30mm alloy.

2. It uses PF30 so frame makers have lower tolerances then BB30 bearing pressed into an alloy sleeve, glued into a frame. Nylon, glass reenforced PF cups holding the same bearing as BB30 go directly into carbon BB hole. NOTE: easier for cyclocross to pop out PF30 cups, to then pop out the bearing for over-hauling both sides of the BB30 bearing. Can not do this on standard BB30 w/ out destroying the bearing when removing it… now that is cool.

3. It is wider then standard BB30 shell (68mm) so the bearings are wider placement for improved spindle support and less arm curve (less flex w/ same material). Same as Shimano BB86. Yes even non-pros will tell the difference on a long ride.

4. Wider shell so frame junctions (DT/ST/CS) at the BB have wider stance. This stiffens the frame substantially from the HT through the BB to the rear axle. Designers now can have a lighter frame w/ thinner wall thickness, monocoque BB area. To further lighten the frame and make it move comfortable, they make the TT and CS very thin walled. Also the huge ST at the BB is tapered to 27.2 out of the frame making it more comfortable when seated. Out of the saddle the frame is much stiffer and goes forward more efficiently.

So what sounds like another standard ruining the industry is a smart way to make frames lighter, stiffer, more compliant. The additional benefit of the 86.5 shell is the longer crank spindles now retro fit to the following “other” frame BB systems: BB30, BBRight, PF30 (68mm) and yes English 68mm threaded shells (o’skool). One crank now can work for all the most common standards. Next, the N10 chainrings work for all 10s systems on the market (Shimano 7800, Shimano 7900, SRAM, Campy).

EVO386 cranks are the “most” universal crank made today. It helps distributors, bike shops (stock less skus). FSA does not develop standards in the market… that job is for SRAM, Campy, Shimano. FSA develops “solutions” for dealers, disributors and consumers.

As for the insane amount of headset standards, FSA does what bike brands ask them to. They will not turn down business if a customer (bike brand) asks them to… they are not the police but a business.

Hope this helps everyone understand why EVO386 was developed… have a great day and go ride your bike.

D.Boulton - 07/20/12 - 8:31am

Are cranksets interchangeable between bb386 and bb86. ( is it just bb86 cranks that can be transfered to bb386 and not bb386 to bb86) ? !!

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