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Press Fit Bottom Brackets


If you are looking for a new bottom bracket for your bike, you may have encountered the term "press-fit" and wondered what it means. Read on for an overview of press-fit bottom brackets and popular variants.

What is a press-fit bottom bracket?

A press-fit bottom bracket is a type of bottom bracket that uses a frame shell with a smooth bore without any threads. Adapters or cups containing bearings are pressed into the shell using a special tool. The advantage of this system is that it allows for wider frame shells and larger diameter spindles, which can improve stiffness and power transfer. Press-fit bottom brackets are also lighter and more affordable than threaded ones.

However, press-fit bottom brackets also have some drawbacks. They can be more prone to creaking noises over time due to dirt or misalignment. They also require more precise frame tolerances and careful installation to avoid damage. Some riders prefer the simplicity and reliability of threaded bottom brackets, which can be easily removed and replaced with standard tools.

What are some examples of press-fit bottom brackets?

The market has many different standards and sizes of press-fit bottom brackets. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • BB86/BB92: Shimano and other brands of road and mountain bikes widely use these. They have a shell width of 86.5 mm (road) or 92 mm (mountain) and an inner diameter of 41 mm. They use adapters or cups that fit Shimano's 24 mm spindle or SRAM's 22/24 mm GXP spindle.

  • BB30/PF30: These were introduced by Cannondale on road bikes and later adopted by other brands on mountain bikes. They have a shell width of 68 mm (road) or 73 mm (mountain) and an inner diameter of 42 mm. They use bearings that fit directly into the frame (BB30) or inside plastic cups pressed into the frame (PF30). They use spindles with a diameter of 30 mm.

  • BB386EVO: This is a newer standard that combines features from BB86/BB92 and BB30/PF30. It has a shell width of 86.5 mm (road) or 92 mm (mountain) and an inner diameter of 46 mm. It uses cups that fit spindles with 24 to 30mm diameters, making it compatible with most cranks on the market.

Where can I find press-fit bottom brackets?

If you need to replace your press-fit bottom bracket or upgrade your bike with one, you can find a wide selection at BikeExchange. You can filter by brand, price, size, standard, material, colour, condition, location, etc. You can also read reviews from other customers and compare prices from different sellers.

Press-fit bottom brackets are not for everyone, but they offer some benefits over threaded ones in weight, stiffness and compatibility. If you choose one, choose the right size and standard for your frame and crankset. Also, install it properly using the correct tools and instructions.