Review: Parlee BB30/PFBB30-to-Shimano Bottom Bracket Adapters
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…
The BB30 version (left image, on top) has a bit smaller diameter than the PFBB30 adapter.
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.
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.
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.