Wheels Manufacturing Releases Alloy PressFit BB30 Bottom Brackets

Wheels Manufacturing alloy shell angular contact bearing PressFit BB30 bottom bracket

With most PFBB30 systems, you have a nylon/plastic shell housing the bearings. They’re light, but they may wear unevenly under pedaling forces and lead to premature creaking or sloppy pedal feel.

Wheels Manufacturing’s latest solution is a 6061 alloy bottom bracket shell that’s machined in the US and promises to last longer. It’s available with standard sealed bearings, angular contact bearings and ceramic bearings.

All three feature silicone seals between the shell and the frame to further prevent creaking and are designed for PFBB30 frames with a 46mm ID bottom bracket shell, fitting frame widths from 61mm to 86.5mm. Dual silicone lip seals keep crud out of the bearings. Pics, specs and pricing below…

Wheels Manufacturing alloy shell sealed cartridge bearing PressFit BB30 bottom bracket

  • Standard Sealed Cartridge Bearings – ABEC 3 – $49.00 – black ano
  • Angular Contact Bearings – Enduro ABEC 5 – cryogenically treated races – $69.00 – red ano
  • Ceramic Sealed Cartridge Bearings – Enduro ABEC 5 Ceramic Hybrid bearings – $110.00 – red ano

The angular contact option should be the longest lasting with perfectly smooth rolling. For those that want the fastest, they recommend the ceramic option, which gets nylon retainers and Rheolube grease. Available this month, and they’ll work just fine with their BB Adapter kit to fit Shimano’s 24mm spindle cranks.

Comments

Slider - 03/19/13 - 2:45pm

Oh sweet, now my $3000 carbon frame can wear out instead of my $40 BB.

God I hate pressfit

Ck - 03/19/13 - 2:48pm

I’ve always been under the impression that the metal on metal contact of the normal BB30 bearings was the cause of creaking, and that the nylon cup was brought about partially to fix that.

That said, if my new cross frame starts eating SRAM PF30 BB’s like crazy, I might try one since there isn’t really anything else on the market.

Steve - 03/19/13 - 2:59pm

KLÜBER STABURAGS ® NBU 30 PTM fat is the best fat to prevent creaking !
Unfortunately is not cheap, but it helps with almost all report problems in things creak !

RandyL - 03/19/13 - 3:05pm

I’ve had replaced 3 SRAM plastic PF30s (bad bearings, creaks, creaks, more creaks) on my MTB with only 1200 miles. Hope this is a solution.

Max - 03/19/13 - 4:11pm

@CK: Metal on Metal is not the problem. The problem is the fitting. A tight fitting won’t creak, but a little bit to loose it will cause noise and additional wear to the fit. And in bicycle industry nearly no manufacture hast proper fitting. Most times you can measure this with a normal venier scale, the values will have divergence of 0,05 up to 0,15mm and this is way too much (last time I measured a Scott Scale frame with 41,3 mm -.-)!

@Steve: Following the SRAM manual, you should not use any crease on Nylon Pressfit Cups. If you press bearings into a bearing seat you want high drag between the bearing seat and bearing. With crease you are going to reduce the drag to half or less.

Steve M - 03/19/13 - 6:28pm

Lets see- what other highly loaded bearings are press fit on a bicycle? hmmmmm….. a headset! Seems like that issue was solved eons ago.

harro - 03/19/13 - 7:09pm

doesn’t this just make a PF30 into BB30

mudrock - 03/19/13 - 7:45pm

@harro: at least no specialized tool for install or removal. PF30 was never a better standard, just greater ease of use.

McClain Murphy - 03/19/13 - 7:53pm

@Steve M : I don’t at all see the connection you are trying to make. Whose headset bearings are press-fit? The cups are press-fit on external headsets, but that is different. Also, the loading on a HS bearing is quite different than those on crank bearings, since HS bearings don’t really get a lot of torsion, like a crank bearing would.

mtb - 03/19/13 - 9:05pm

Hmmm, less expensive than SRAM PF30 ceramic if I recall correctly….? I use TFE paste to keep things from creaking which usually does the trick.

Jason - 03/19/13 - 9:06pm

The hole point of PF 30 was to open up the acceptable tolerances on the internal diameter of the BB shell. While it’s great to see an aluminum press fit cup it’s going to require manufactures to make the BB shell to spec. If they were all capable of doing that PF30 wouldn’t exist.

brennan - 03/19/13 - 9:55pm

Would adding a aluminum sleeve that is possibly stiffer than the carbon around it not cause possible cracking?

I was under the impression the nylon/plastic cups were in use for this very reason. To my knowledge Specialized said the use of a C-Bear BB in their frames would void the warranty. I could be wrong though.

1Pro - 03/19/13 - 9:57pm

the unfortunate flaw here is lack of space for EPS and Di2 wires on frames made with straight 45.95mm ID shells. The SRAM solution has just enough step down in OD of the center portion. I could be wrong but this one looks too bucu.

Ajax - 03/19/13 - 10:48pm

BB30 sucks! Any bottom bracket that you have to use loctite for installation is one sh’tty bottom bracket.

BB30 craeaks like a mofo! And if I you claim that BB30 does not suck solely based on your own experience…. well, then up yours.

I would like to give a slap in the face to any dweeb who doesn’t hate BB30. Thank you.

Walt - 03/19/13 - 11:20pm

English threaded shell FTW.

Mark - 03/19/13 - 11:31pm

Threading a bearing into a frame like they did in “the old days” is so much better. The threaded in bearing effectively becomes part of the frame. Press fit to me looks like crazy engineering and a mad crazy way to save weight. Pushing a bearing into a space rather than threading it into the frame. Replacing threaded in bottom brackets is also far far easier.

Matt - 03/20/13 - 1:00am

Ahh, the days of external cable routing and BB’s…

Alan - 03/20/13 - 1:11am

ugh. PF30..please no PFBB30…you sound silly. And to all those who hate bb30, i hope your also have threaded 1 inch headsets. But I must agree with some, PF30 allows for ‘less than strict’ manufacturing tolerances, thus BB30 is superior to PF30.

But seriously, if it isn’t unreasonable for me to grease my threaded bottom bracket to keep it quiet, why is it so outrageous for me to put bearing retaining compound (green loc-tite) on my BB30 bearings to keep them quite too?

@Mark, Why? Popping out bearings seems pretty much as easy as unthreading a bottom bracket. Unless your threads are seized…then that’s a real pain in the ass. Just sayin’

Please - 03/20/13 - 9:21am

Comment Posters: Proof-read your posts and fix your spelling errors.
I read these to be entertained but you are making my head hurt.

Trey R - 03/20/13 - 9:42am

Just an observation here, but you do realize that all modern threaded BB’s have the bearings PRESSED into the shells. BB30 etc was developed first to stiffen the cranks, and second to make then lighter and spin under stress more freely, (more balls makes them more spinny due to having more contact points). I will however say that there are drawbacks to pressing things straight into a frame as at least with modern threaded BB’s, the company making the BB has complete control over the tolerances of that bearing being pressed into the cup. When you incorporate more than one institution, (especially several on both sides), you will at times see issues arise. Welcome to bicycle evolution!

Happy - 03/20/13 - 11:45am

My oh my, hate is strong in this comment string…

Y’all. Yes, BB30 IS superior to PF30… IF IT IS DONE RIGHT (ie: if your bike maker actually machines the parts correctly).
PF30 was nothing more than a response to frame makers bitching that they couldn’t offer quality BB30 frames at pricepoint, and that their high end frames were harder to produce.

That is all. Full stop.

I imagine that the o-ring is less to stop creaking, and more to fill the likely large gaps that are part and parcel with the PF30 standard. I cant imagine it being SUPER close to 46mm as the standard itself doesn’t hold itself to overly high standards.

Oh, and your outboard BB has it’s bearings pressed in (as Trey said) using “gasp”, Loctite. That is just correct installation of ANY industrial bearing in a metal on metal interface. (as in, literally ANY, regardless of industry), hence, it should be used with BB30. Any attitudes otherwise either show a disturbing lack of mechanical know-how, or just laziness on the part of a shop mechanic…

Max - 03/20/13 - 1:33pm

@Happy:

Well, nobody would cluing bearings if it’s possible to have a proper shrink fit. Clue of any kind will get older and will loose some of his characteristics. So it’s not the best solution. It’s good enough for repairing but definitely it is not the best solution for installing bearings!

Happy's Friend - 03/20/13 - 2:39pm

@Happy, I am glad to see that someone knows what they are talking about. I loved my BB30, When I clean my bikes I strip them down to the frame and clean every millimeter of it. 4 times a year of taking it apart, greasing and re-pressing everything made my bike the quietest machine on the road. Usually people that have creaking issues don’t take proper care of the part that is creaking and would rather spend time complaining about it then trying to remedy the problem. I have recently bought a PF30 frame and I am not a fan of it. I’ve had multiple issues (that have since been fixed) that never would have occurred on a regular BB30 frame. the phrase “don’t fix it if it ain’t broken” comes to mind whenever I have a problem with a PF30 frame. I don’t think there is reason for negative attitude towards BB30, its not perfect but it’s better than any outboard BB for sure. Like I said, people should spend time learning how to properly wrench on their bikes so these issues dont last instead of complaining online.

Happy - 03/20/13 - 4:08pm

@ Max,

I am assuming you mean “gluing” rather than “cluing”. :)

I wonder how your favorite outboard BB manufacturer installs their bearings?
Or perhaps your favorite Full Suspension frame gets their bearings installed?

There is a reason that you can get Loctite 609 from QBP: because it is part of a correct installation.

If a cylindrical interface had a proper “shrink fit” then the friction involved between the two interfaces would not allow the item to be installed without damaging the alloy receiver.
The fact that the item needs to be installed (and re-installed) necessitates some difference in the diameters, hence why cylindrical retaining compound exists.
Once the item is installed, the compound cures, and acts as a “mortar” so that there is no movement in the system.
Go talk to a machinist, go talk to a mechanic in another field that has parts that include industrial (90 degree) bearings in their assembly. This is as vital to a cylindrical press-fit installation as blue loctite is to a threaded installation.

Is there a possible “better” way that is as cost-effective and solid while retaining the same manufacturing techniques? I would LOVE to know what that is, because it would revolutionize several industries.
I am not trying to be snarky BTW, but honestly, this is how these items are intended to be installed and maintained. If you honestly think there is a better way, I am all ears.

Max - 03/20/13 - 4:53pm

Hey Happy, well gluing is right :=)

Well it’s cheaper to use less restrict tolerances and to use glue, but if you want a extremely long lasting solution you will use strict tolerances with perfect shrink fit (fitted with heated outer bearing seat or cooled inner seat). I studied mechanical engeneering myself and 30 years ago I constructed machines which are (partly) in use today. The building of this machines was very (very very) expensive due to the tolerances we decided to use but they run today without any glue (and some original bearings as well :) ). Today normal machines or bicycles won’t have this kind of quality. All is designed to last a few years and that’s it. It would be possible to manufacture bicycle parts in China with such tight tolerances and constructions, that you would be able to run these bikes for decades for the price of a Scott, Niner, Specialized frame/bike.

And, I don’t have a full suspension bike. I Only bought a hardtail and road frame with BSA threads and re milled the BB area and at all I use two sets of Hollowtech Shimano bearings for 4 years. Precision is the solution for (nearly) every problem with bearings :).
I wanted to buy a fully once. But no one of the little custom manufactures wanted to match my “needs”. :D

Happy - 03/20/13 - 5:22pm

Glad to hear there is someone with some experience :) I don’t have your pedigree, but I am an industry fellow, (as in, on the production side) and stuff like this has been my daily headache for the last 7 years. :)I agree with you on the Heat/cold interface and what not. I was more just making the point of “using existing systems” type argument. With what we have, and the monetary constraints of the industry, this is “as good as it gets.
Since most shops don’t have a chiller on hand though, here we are. :)
“Precision is the solution for (nearly) every problem with bearings.” From your mouth to the cycling gods ears. :)
I sold my boingy bike last year as well, too bad I’m still riding a PF30 frame (smacks forehead).

Ajax - 03/21/13 - 12:23am

BB30 is a solution looking for a question.

BB30 is for the idiot that thinks that they know sh’t when they really don’t.

Mark - 03/21/13 - 6:14am

Colnago and Pinarello for example both use threaded bottom brackets in their high end bikes. The Pinarello Bradley Wiggins will ride in 2013 for example has a threaded bottom bracket. Why? Maybe they know what they’re doing.

Ajax - 03/21/13 - 9:25am

Pinarello is right. Expect to see more manufacturers coming back to threaded BBs like they came back to 27.2mm seat posts.

BB30 is on the way out and is falling out of favor with a lot of people and now companies too are getting rid of BB30.

Happy - 03/21/13 - 12:17pm

Tee hee. That’s a good one.

Colnago and Pinarello are solid companies, and I love threaded BBs. Bear in mind that I said nothing against that standard, and for companies whose bread and butter is frame only sales, this (currently) gives them the ability to play with every company (rather than just companies who support one of the various PF systems).

What I said, was that BB30 is superior to PF30 (when done right). That’s it.

I dig the snark Ajax, I hear that pinkbike is auditioning commenters. This could be your big break!

Ajax - 03/21/13 - 2:09pm

Thanks Happy. I happen to like that blog Pinkbike. I’ll give them a try. They probably roll on threaded bikes too.

Karl - 08/27/13 - 7:42am

Sadly I have to report that its been imposible to overcome the creaking issues when fitting this PF30 to a Specialized Camber 2012. Instinct was telling me metal on metal with loose tolerances is not good. Wish I had listened now !

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