Builder's Spotlight The Paceline Forum Builder's Spotlight


Go Back   The Paceline Forum > General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-12-2017, 12:17 PM
msngr msngr is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 31
Bottom Brackets - No Big Whoop?

I poked around a little, but didn't see anything recent about this subject.

For Masters Nationals (US) next year, I was planning to change out any and all spinny parts that use bearings. From what I can tell, there is no compelling reason to get a fancy GXP bottom bracket. Just stick with what is cheap and effective.

Am I right or am I about to be smashed with your superior knowledge and pooh poohed?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-12-2017, 12:19 PM
FlashUNC's Avatar
FlashUNC FlashUNC is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 9,660
GXPs are fancy?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-12-2017, 12:25 PM
shovelhd's Avatar
shovelhd shovelhd is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Western MA
Posts: 6,271
I think he's referring to whether he should get the Red GXP BB with ceramic bearings or a standard Apex/Force/Rival BB with steel bearings. I say don't waste your money. Spend it on training. Nats is an animal.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-12-2017, 12:34 PM
AngryScientist's Avatar
AngryScientist AngryScientist is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: northeast NJ
Posts: 16,163
people will have all types of opinions on the topic. The fact is that a good ceramic bearing bottom bracket like ceramispeed, kogel, CK or RED will spin smoother and save some measurable amount of watts, thought it's a small percentage number. if you are racing at your limit, and budget is not a concern, i would go with the best.

standard outboard bearing BB's like rival, ultegra, etc are pretty reliable, and a new set of those wont let you down either.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-12-2017, 12:44 PM
shovelhd's Avatar
shovelhd shovelhd is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Western MA
Posts: 6,271
True, it will save a few watts, but you have to look at the value proposition. For the $100-$150 difference in BB prices, I'd rather spend it on the difference between a good set of tubular tires and a great set of tubular tires, like FMB Comp CX cotton or silk. But that's just me.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-12-2017, 12:52 PM
AngryScientist's Avatar
AngryScientist AngryScientist is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: northeast NJ
Posts: 16,163
Quote:
Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
True, it will save a few watts, but you have to look at the value proposition. For the $100-$150 difference in BB prices, I'd rather spend it on the difference between a good set of tubular tires and a great set of tubular tires, like FMB Comp CX cotton or silk. But that's just me.
you are approaching the question with a pre-conceived "value" clause. perhaps he already is on lightweight wheels with FMBs glued up already...

budget aside - if you're racing at your limit, it's obvious that you should take every [legal] advantage you're allowed to. train the best you can, make bike the best it can possibly be, and use the best equipment you can.

the answer is - yes, the good bottom brackets ARE better than the standard ones, but the OP has to decide if the value proposition for the BB is worth it to him.

all for conversational purposes here of course shovel, no disrespect to your input intended.

to the OP - good luck racing!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-12-2017, 12:57 PM
msngr msngr is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
I think he's referring to whether he should get the Red GXP BB with ceramic bearings or a standard Apex/Force/Rival BB with steel bearings. I say don't waste your money. Spend it on training. Nats is an animal.
Ya, I have always used "GXP" to refer to the SRAM spindle size. Sorry if improper use of term.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-12-2017, 01:03 PM
FlashUNC's Avatar
FlashUNC FlashUNC is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 9,660
If you're all in, then I say throw budget out the window and get what'll give you any advantage, no matter how small.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-12-2017, 01:03 PM
chiasticon chiasticon is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: northeast ohio
Posts: 2,539
Quote:
Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
I say don't waste your money. Spend it on training. Nats is an animal.
I'm inclined to agree. for one, because I have several GXP BB's and I've tried the CK version. it sucks. pretty sure it steals watts, actually. and secondly, because I've got a friend who's nerdy enough to have tracked down any and all data on this subject just this past year (even paying for some of it) and decided that it wasn't worth it. you're talking a few watts gained, maybe. unless you're at the very very tippy top of the sport, in the best shape you'll ever be in, you've got a lot more to gain by training.

at the price that ceramic bearings go for, and you want to replace 'em everywhere on your bike... I'd say you could even spend a week training at altitude with the money.

p.s. wasn't clear from your post but if you're talking about cross nationals, please tell me you're joking with this ceramic bearing talk... one bike length into a mud pit and all your low-friction watts saved are gone.

Last edited by chiasticon; 10-12-2017 at 01:06 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-12-2017, 01:20 PM
msngr msngr is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiasticon View Post
unless you're at the very very tippy top of the sport, in the best shape you'll ever be in, you've got a lot more to gain by training.

at the price that ceramic bearings go for, and you want to replace 'em everywhere on your bike... I'd say you could even spend a week training at altitude with the money.

p.s. wasn't clear from your post but if you're talking about cross nationals, please tell me you're joking with this ceramic bearing talk... one bike length into a mud pit and all your low-friction watts saved are gone.
Yes, this is pretty much where I am at. I have podiumed, but not attained the top step. And since I have a very physical job, I have maxed out the amount of training I can do. Looking for gains in other areas.

Track racing. Cyclocross seems a little bit like Hell to me.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-12-2017, 01:47 PM
berserk87's Avatar
berserk87 berserk87 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Plainfield, Indiana
Posts: 1,157
I've yet to hear anyone say after a race "If I had only used ceramic bearings, the X watts saved would have made a difference". I'd invest the money elsewhere - training, recovery, some additional coaching, nutrition.

Last edited by berserk87; 10-12-2017 at 01:49 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-12-2017, 02:17 PM
45K10 45K10 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Nahant, MA
Posts: 788
I know back in the day, to try and gain a edge in a TT, people used to remove the grease from the bottom bracket, wheel bearings, etc and use a light weight oil for lube. The thinking being that it would reduce bearing drag.

I have no clue if it is worth it or not. It my be worth a shot to try it out on a cheaper BB and see if you can feel the difference.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10-12-2017, 08:31 PM
msngr msngr is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 31
My understanding is that people used to do that because they did not understand how resistance is affected by load. Like, it feels great when you just spin it, but the amount or resistance goes down exponentially as load increases, becoming immeasurable quite quickly.

I remember the engineers at SRAM explaining it to myself and some friends when they were getting ready to release the Omnium crankset and we were like "ooh, doesn't spin like Dura Ace" and they rolled their eyes a little because all the trackies said the same thing.

Interestingly, to me at least, for a few years a lot of track guys hacked the Omnium cranks by removing the seal, thus making the cranks spin freely, but also surely allowing debris in and thus quickly negating their intent.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 10-13-2017, 07:48 AM
shovelhd's Avatar
shovelhd shovelhd is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Western MA
Posts: 6,271
Quote:
Originally Posted by msngr View Post
Yes, this is pretty much where I am at. I have podiumed, but not attained the top step. And since I have a very physical job, I have maxed out the amount of training I can do. Looking for gains in other areas.

Track racing. Cyclocross seems a little bit like Hell to me.
OK, so you're talking about Masters Track Nats in TTown next year. Track is a different animal. GXP is a road BB. You're saying that you have a honest to goodness track bike that has a GXP BB? I'll take Angry's totally appropriate advice and not assume anything. However, if you don't have a true track bike for Nats, then I'd focus on that first. If you do, and you also have the full kit (dual disc wheels, UCI approved bars for every event you want to enter, the best tires, and a lot of them, skinsuits, slippery helmet, etc.), then I'd focus there first.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 10-13-2017, 11:21 AM
tv_vt tv_vt is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: East Coast of Vermont
Posts: 2,900
What about getting a super-low friction chain instead of upgrading the BB, ala Wiggins and his $$ low friction chain.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:07 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.