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Rotor Press Fit BB30 bottom bracket first look

Rotor Press Fit BB30 Bottom Bracket
17 Apr 2015

New aluminium cups that promise to rid us of the dreaded press fit bottom bracket creak.

Bottom brackets used to be so simple. You screwed in some cups, you bolted on your cranks and off you went. When the BB started creaking or grinding, you replaced it or, if it was rebuildable, you cleaned and regreased the bearings, and that was you done. Things aren’t quite so fit and forget these days but Rotor are trying to get it back that way with their Press Fit BB30 bottom bracket.

Cannondale launched BB30, with oversized bearings sitting in cups inside the frame, over 15 years ago but it’s only becoming common place now. The benefit is increased axle diameter, improving stiffness and power transfer, and the bearings are bog standard, which means replacing them is easy and cheap – as in £3 cheap, if you’re clever – but the system has numerous downsides, not least poor sealing. BB30 requires precise machining, which is costly, so manufacturers developed pressfit bottom brackets, which require less precise machining, thus saving money. The first pressfit bottom brackets used nylon cups that deformed to the frame, but bearing longevity proved to be even worse than true BB30. Now there are a whole host of different bottom bracket types all trying to be the best: BB30, PF30, BBRight, 4624, 4130 but nothing is perfect and they pretty much all require a specialised tool for installation and removal.

To resolve this, companies such as respected Spanish drivetrain specialist Rotor started creating aluminium pressfit bottom brackets. At £45, this version features intricate labyrinth seals to keep grime away from the bearings (available either in steel or ceramic) and precision engineered alloy cups that should (fingers crossed) stay put in your frame without creaking.

Rotor makes a huge range of bottom brackets, including the innovative BSA30, which allows you to run 30mm axles (the BB30 standard) in a frame with a normal, threaded bottom bracket.

We’ll let you know how we get on with this one in due course.

Price: £45


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