Review: Parlee BB30/PFBB30-to-Shimano Bottom Bracket Adapters

Parlee BB30 PFBB30-to-Shimano bottom bracket adapter cups

When it comes to using a standard 24mm spindle crankset on a BB30 or PressFit BB30 frame, you generally have two options: Step-down spacers inside the 30mm ID bearings in the frame, like with Wheels Manufacturing’s kit, or stepping the frame down to smaller bearings.

For the latter, Parlee’s cups have been a great performer. Available for both BB30 and PFBB30 frames, they use a shapely alloy cup with Enduro bearings already installed. Simply press them into the frame and insert your Shimano crankset as usual. With Shimano moving to 11-speeds, more cyclists might be looking for ways to upgrade, and finding a good adapter is critical to quiet, smooth performance. Click through to see if these are right for you…

Parlee BB30 PFBB30-to-Shimano bottom bracket adapter cups

The BB30 version (left image, on top) has a bit smaller diameter than the PFBB30 adapter.

Parlee BB30 PFBB30-to-Shimano bottom bracket adapter cups

At 104g for the PFBB30 version, they’re a bit heavier than the 80g (claimed) for a standard Dura-Ace outboard bearing bottom bracket, but within spitting distance of average high end bottom brackets from FSA, Chris King and even Shimano’s Ultegra. For comparison, PFBB30 bottom brackets generally range from about 65g up to 150g, so whether you’re saving or gaining weight by using adapters largely depends on how much you would have otherwise spent on a PF/BB30 bottom bracket. Of course, BB30 cranksets tend to be a bit lighter than their 24mm spindle equivalent, so overall you’re probably looking at a slight weight penalty compared to a native PF/BB30 system.

Parlee BB30 PFBB30-to-Shimano bottom bracket adapter cups

Depending on the frame material the alloy cups will be pressed into, Parlee (and any good shop) will recommend using the appropriate prep paste. We used a bit of Loctite ti frame prep in the Moots Psychlo-X RSL’s PFBB30 shell and it worked like a champ. During half a year of riding and cyclocross racing and training in all conditions, I never heard one creak, squeak or other scary noise. And, when it came time to remove them to put a different crankset on, they came out without drama. Perfect.

Yes, I know there should be a frame plug at the wire port. It’s on it’s way. But, this also allowed more moisture and dust into the frame and I still had no creaks or noises…and this bike was on the back of a car rack traveling about 6,000 miles in lots of rain and mist for four weeks this summer, from Florida to Canada and back. Zero issues…which also speaks very highly for the rest of the parts on it and the Di2 group.

Parlee BB30 PFBB30-to-Shimano bottom bracket adapter cups

As much fun as it is to tinker with my bike, there are some parts that I appreciate more when I can “set it and forget it.” This, fortunately, is one of those parts.

They retail for $70 and are available direct from Parlee on their website.

Comments

edubs - 01/22/13 - 2:50pm

Will this work w/ 24mm mtn. cranks too?

DBordewisch - 01/22/13 - 3:31pm

Praxis Conversion bottom bracket. BB30 PF30 or Specialized OSBB.

Juice - 01/22/13 - 3:38pm

oh this is great!

RJ - 01/22/13 - 3:53pm

Even better would be to do away with BB30 and PF30 bottom brackets. I have changed BB more frequently on bikes with that type of bottom bracket than I ever have with GXP, Mega-Exo or any other external type BB set up.

Tom Rodi (PARLEE Cycles) - 01/22/13 - 4:10pm

These cups should work with all MTB cranks as well as the road cranks. We have not tested all the Shimano mountain cranks with these as our primary focus is road and tri but lots of shops have been using them on 73mm and 68mm Shimano mountain setups without issue.

We are also soon to bring a Campagnolo Ultra Torque version of these out as well.

Happy - 01/22/13 - 4:20pm

Hmmm,

That is nice on a high end Ti frame with very high expectations of tolerance, but let’s be honest.

The reason why bikes went from BB30 to PF30 was because BB30 asks for a very tight tolerance. That is the whole reason why PF30 has a nylon cup (because it will absorb the variance and allow for cheaper production of press-fit frames).
I am worried about the possibility of movement from an adapter that demands a metal/metal interface when the y system itself was intended to NOT adhere to tight tolerances.
This seems like a product that, while is great for “upgrading” your rig, fails to address the far more likely outcome: Moving a 24mm crank to a new PF30 frame (which run the gamut of high end, to “budget-priced).

I’m not ripping on the product, persay, but this has been an issue for years now, and it seems that it is getting glossed over with the advent of some of these adapters.

Again, not ripping, but I would really like to know what the company’s policy would be for shells that are “within tolerance” of the open-source standard, but outside the range acceptable for this metal/metal interface.

MarkV - 01/22/13 - 4:21pm

I have used this Parlee BB swapped to Enduro ceramic bearings with an XTR double on a Scott Scale (PF30). Great bb, it has been flawless for over a year and seems to fit MTB as well as road. The alloy cups may add a little weight, but durability is improved.

Happy - 01/22/13 - 4:33pm

Good to know.

However, that is another (very) nice frame with the highest level of attention to tolerances. I’m wondering about the application to more “middle of the road” frames that helped make PF30 so prolific.

Lancelotlink17 - 01/22/13 - 5:36pm

I’ve used them on my S-Works Epic with XTR cranks. They are a nice simple solution. My only gripes are they fit kinda loose in the frame and the bearings failed after a few hundred miles. We originally installed them using green Loctite but after a few miles they started making noise and spinning in the frame and yes I did allow a couple days for the Loctite to dry properly. After that failed we tried several other methods before trying a grey gasket glue found in automotive stores and that did the trick. Very nice solid connection with no noise and still easy to remove. The bearings worked great for a couple hundred miles until I entered the Breck 100. That was the tipping point. The bearings were completely seized once the race was over. When I say seized I mean it. They would not budge. I have since replaced the bearings and currently riding the bike but after the seizing issue I think I’ll try a more sealed version on my MTB like the Praxxis system. I’m sure it’s a bit heavier but I don’t want to worry about my BB on a really long ride.

Don Don - 01/22/13 - 6:25pm

These are the BEST solution for a PF30 > Shimano 24mm set up. I installed them on my Spec SJ FSR EVO with XT cranks and haven’t had any issues in over a year.

They make so much more sense than the other adapters that still rely on the sub par quailtiy BB and PF 30 bearings.

bc - 01/22/13 - 7:32pm

Somewhere out there, threaded bottom brackets are smiling smugly.

Eric NM - 01/23/13 - 1:15am

@bc:
Amen, brother. Amen. : )

Nuno Dias - 01/23/13 - 4:08am

Look very similar to the Token TK-PF30R, which have been around for more than a year. The TK-PFG30R are also available with Tiramic ceramic bearings.

Wiley - 01/23/13 - 8:30am

@Nuno, the Parlee PF30 adaptors have been around for more than a year, the BB30 ones have been out for almost two years.

me - 01/23/13 - 8:59am

i tried at least a half dozen of these PF30 jobs. they are undersized and out of spec. one could “ring toss” them into a BB shell that was micrometer confirmed to be OD=45.97mm

plan on glue if you go this route.

i prefer to use an actual SRAM PF30 BB and the wheels mfg adapter.

Nick - 01/23/13 - 3:43pm

This appears identical to the 24mm adapter that came on my BH G5 frame. It has served well for a couple years now. It is mounted with Loctite 242 from the factory.

Keith - 01/23/13 - 5:07pm

um, it’s a BB30 or PF30 frame. Why ruin it with lesser cranks and a clunky converter? It seems like a total waste of the best BB’s and cranks out there…IMHO. BUT to each his own, doesn’t hurt anyone and we all like different things on our rides!

Nick - 01/23/13 - 10:50pm

@ Keith

A Dura-Ace crankset is not a ‘lesser crank,’ and is not available in anything but 24mm spindle. SRAM, FSA, Rotor make nice cranks, but are lesser cranks than 7900 or 9000

Dave - 04/11/13 - 6:03am

Does anyone know if there are issues running the Di2 wiring with a Praxis adapter that has the sleeve installed? The new 9000 cranks are amazing and I want to install them on a supersix evo

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