14 March, 2016
PF30 bottom brackets has become one of the largest standards used in frame for the past couple of years. With this standard there are several benefits, like creating a lighter frame, allowing for easier full internal cable routing and allowing for bigger bearings with the use of 30mm cranks.
With the benefits, there are also some downfalls that needed to be corrected. The tolerance of getting the right size for PF 30 is very low. The bb shell needs to be almost perfect so that the cups are tight in the frame but also not to tight where they cause damage to the frame as well. This process is more easily controlled with carbon frames, but with metal frame the PF30 Shell has more challenges. When welding a frame the heat does create some imperfections, which can cause the shell to come just ever so slightly out of tolerance. Also with the use of metal frames, we've seen that with the use of aluminum press fit cups, the metal on metal will actually start to wear away at the frame. This wear causes the press fit cups not to fit properly any more. That is why most manufactures are not recommending to use plastic press fit cups on metal frames.
Instead of using cheap plastic press fit cups or waiting for your bottom bracket to wear out on you, manufactures have become aware of the problems that PF30 can cause. With this they redeveloped the bottom bracket, creating a press fit cup that threads together. The treaded cups makes sure the the cups are properly flushed and straight in the frame while remaining stable. This allows for a increased bearing life, easy maintenance and a bottom bracket that won't damage your frame.
Wheels Manufacturing is my favorite of the treaded BB cup design. Wheels has an option for all frame interfaces, spindle diameters and standard or outboard bearing styles. Wheels MFG designs are simple, easy to use and also use a standard park tool BBT-29 tool for installation. The treaded cup design that Wheels MFG offers stops the creaking bb, has a smoother operation and a easy installation/maintenance. Another great feature with this bb is that when the bearings wear out, instead of replacing the whole bb like you have to do with other companies, with this bb you can replace the bearings in the shell when needed. This saves money and prevents waste.
Installing the Wheels MFG threaded BB is pretty straight forward. Like any other bike make sure your BB shell is nicely cleaned before installing. Then depending of frame material, use lube on the bb shell (Steel or Alloy - High Quality Grease, Carbon - 100% Pure PTFE (Teflon) Grease, Titanium - Anti-Seize Compound). Press in the drive side bearing and cup into the frame until bearing the cup is flushed with the frame. Next apply a thin layer of grease to the interior bb threads and then started threading the non drive cup into shell. Tighten to non drive side cup with a Park Tool BBT-29 tool to 35-50 Nm, depending on frame manufactures spec. When installing the crank make sure you install the dust seal first and then the washer that goes between the crank and the seal for both sides. Once this is done, tighten your crank to spec and that's it.
Wheels MFG uses Enduro bearings within there bottom brackets. They also offer three different bearings; Abec 3, Angular Contact and Ceramic. There is a 1 year warranty on the Angular Contact and Ceramic bearings. Another great thing about Wheels is that they made all there products in the USA! Whether your building up a new bike or replacing an old bb, I highly recommend checking out the Bottom Brackets that Wheels Manufacturing offers.