Before we move on to our exclusive list of the best bottom brackets in the market, let’s check out what actually the bottom brackets are and why these are so important.
To simplify things, the bottom bracket is a vital component in a bike that keeps the chain and bike frame together. You can say that the bottom bracket connects these two so that the crank and chain can move and rotate smoothly.
It also includes an axle and the bottom bracket bearings that help in smooth rotation of the chainset. The bearings are located inside the bottom bracket and keep the tubes and chain set attached to the frame of the bike. The bottom bracket can be pressed into a bike’s frame, or it can also be threaded. Without the bottom bracket, the bicycle cannot move or rotate.
To narrow down your research process, we have compiled the list of the best bottom brackets currently available in the market. These bottom brackets have every feature, and if the price is your main concern, don’t worry, we have something for everyone.
List: The best bottom brackets
|Cane Creek Neo||Click Here||68/73mm||6061 T6 Aluminum|
|Wheels Mfg 386EVO||Click Here||86.5mm||Aluminum|
|Wheels Mfg Pressfit 30||Click Here||68/73 mm||Alloy|
|Token BB86/BB92||Click Here||variable||Alloy|
|SRAM PF30||Click Here||PF30 Bottom Bracket||Alloy|
|SHIMANO BB-R9100||Click Here||68/73 mm||Aluminum|
|SHIMANO UN55 BB||Click Here||variable||Aluminum|
Cane Creek Hellbender Neo
Our first pick in this list is from a brand that is serving in the industry for forty years, the Cane Creek. In this way, you can rest assure that you will be buying from a well-known and reputable brand. Now we are going to review Cane Creek’s Hellbender Neo BSA bottom brackets.
For free rotation and smooth pedaling, the Hellbender Bottom Bracket includes 6061 aluminum cups and stainless steel bearings. This not only allows for stable working but also for less efforts when you are cruising on your bike.
The first thing that caught our attention, at first sight, is that Hellbender by Cane Creek features reliable lube technology for smooth rotation in the bearing. This is something exclusive in this brand. Mostly you will find greased ones that can wipe away easily with the usage. But this reliable lube technology allows for rough usage and also provides protection against road dirt and debris.
Furthermore, with a shell width of 68 to 73mm and English threading, this Cane Creek offers free movement with every stroke.
As for the drawback, the brand itself is among the pioneer in the industry, but as for the bottom brackets, it is new in the market.
When comparing with other products on this list, this Hellbender does not lack behind. It includes every feature, such as a trustworthy brand, robust construction, and effortless paddling. This all results in an affordable and reliable bottom bracket.
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Wheels Mfg 386EVO
Our second pick comes from Wheels Mfg. This bottom bracket is compatible with a 24mm diameter Shimano-style axle in a 386EVO frame. If you are looking for noise-free operation, then you should consider this Shimano Bottom Bracket by Wheels Mfg.
As for the construction and design of this bottom bracket, it includes threaded machine cups that offer stability to frame. Not only these cups provide noise-free rotation, but they also enhance the bearing life. As for the installation, it is just effortless, and the maintenance is also at its lowest.
It comes with angular bearings and compatible with 24mm Shimano spindles and others. Both sides are threaded together in the middle, so it keeps the frame tight and square in the shell. This unique construction and design provide additional space between the shell and the bottom bracket, which is a plus for bicycle frames that have wires.
Since both sides are threaded so you can easily install it without any hassles. If you are fed up with those annoying noises, just get this bottom bracket by Wheel Mfg and make your life easier.
As for the downside, this bottom bracket will only fit spindles, which are 24mm. So, if you have any other spindle, it might not work. Look out for that.
Wheels Manufacturing Pressfit 30
On this spot, we have this redeveloped bottom bracket by Wheels Manufacturing that features a press-fit cup that threads. These threaded cups ensure maximum stability and hold their position in the frame. As per makers, this straight positioning improves the life of bearing and prevents your frame from scuffs and scratches caused by the working of the bottom bracket.
The design of this bottom bracket by Wheels MFG is simple, and that makes the installation also a breeze. You can easily fit it by using a park tool BBT-29 tool.
Another feature that will attract you is that if the bearing wears out, you will not have to replace the whole component. Instead, you can only replace the bearing. So this way, it saves you some bucks and time as well.
The only issue that we witnessed in this bottom bracket is that it might not be suitable for the long term. With time and usage, the bearing will start to lose its tightness and grip. And this may result in creaks and noises. So, for daily usage, it is the best bottom bracket, but for rugged uses, it might not be the best one.
As compared with other bottom brackets offered by Wheel Mfg and on this list, it might not be the perfect option for those who are professionals, or their usage is kind of rough.
Token Threaded-Press BB86/BB92
Token’s Ninja threaded press-fit bottom bracket is the best solution for all the creaking problems. Not only this, but it also enhances the life of bearing and adds toughness to the bottom bracket.
It features unique Fusion technology. Due to the fusion technology, these are specifically machined and fit perfectly in the frame. As a result, it will not give those annoying clicking and creaking noises.
In order to provide noise-free working and to keep the bottom brackets in perfect position, both halves of this bottom bracket are threaded together. Another major benefit of having the two halves of the bottom brackets in an ideal position through the threaded section offers the perfect alignment of bearings.
These bottom brackets are also a great option if you don’t have pressing tools. The installation is also extremely straightforward. You can install it with two bottom bracket wrenches and a torque wrench to stiffen the bottom brackets perfectly. It provides smooth, noiseless, and free rotation.
As compared with the other bottom brackets in the market, the exclusive fusion technology gives it the edge and offers great performance.
This SRAM PF 30 bottom bracket is perfect for frames that have the Pressfit standards. If the shell of your bottom bracket is between 68mm to 92mm, then this SRAM PF30 bottom bracket will fit perfectly in the crankset.
The installation of this bottom bracket is simple. And with standard tools, you can easily press the cups into the frame. It features sealed bearings that offer smooth rotation for a long time. The bottom brackets come ready to install. It’s compatible with all the shells from 68 to 92mm, including the BB386EVO shells.
The key feature of this bottom bracket is that the bearings are perfectly placed into the frame. To be precise, the bearings are snugly placed in the nylon cups, which are further pressed into the shell.
As for the downside of this bottom bracket system, there are not many. Only a few users complaint about the packaging issues, other than that we didn’t notice anything worthy to mention.
Upon comparing it with other products on this list, this bottom bracket might not be the best because it is only compatible with bb shells that are between 68mm to 92mm.
Our next pick for the best bottom bracket category is the latest edition in Shimano’s line of components, the Dura-Ace R9100 bottom Bracket. In this Dura-Ace bottom bracket, the bearings are located at the outer part of the shell for optimum stability and weight distribution.
The bearings in Shimano Dura-Ace Bottom Bracket are light-weight and further protected by an advanced seal for free rotation of the pedals and the best durability. The bottom bracket works flawlessly with the Dura-Ace R9100 chainset and provides effortless pedal stroke.
The Dura-Ace BB-R9100 Bottom Bracket is a well-made, robust, and reliable bottom bracket that is wisely designed to provide noise-free and smooth operation. The durability of this bottom bracket is also matchless. Thanks to its upgraded seals, you will not find any drag on your ride.
As for the drawback, these bottom brackets and bearings are only compatible with the chainset that has an integrated axle connected to the arm. Furthermore, these bottom brackets are also not suited for older cranks that feature a cartridge style.
Despite the limited usage, it is among the top-rated bottom brackets in the market. And if you are not participating in Tour de France, this will work much better than the others.
SHIMANO UN55 BB
Our last pick in this category is another Shimano bottom bracket. But this time it is Shimano UN55 Square Taper bottom bracket. It is a perfect choice for all bicycles that have square-taper cranksets. With this Shimano’s UN55 bottom bracket without a doubt, you will get long miles of the smooth and pleasant ride.
As far as the construction of these Shimano bottom bracket is concerned, these are precisely machined and placed in a snugly sealed cartridge. So in this way, these bearings can endure road dirt and also water. This sealed cartridge also improves the lifespan of these brackets with minimum maintenance.
The installation of this Shimano UN55 bottom bracket is quick and simple. You will not have to make major adjustments to install the set. Neither you will need any special tools to get the job done. Just a wrench, and with the help of basic tools, you can install it easily.
But there is one thing to look out for in this set of the bottom bracket. The bearings are a little flexible as compared to Shimano Dura-ace or SRAM or other bottom brackets mentioned on this list. But still, it will work smoothly, and you will not think about a replacement for many miles.
How to remove the bottom bracket
To remove the bottom bracket, you will have to remove the crankset first. Follow these steps to remove the bottom bracket:
Take a crank puller and remove the crankset. The crank puller will detach the crank from the axle without affecting the bottom bracket. So it is advised to go with a crank puller instead of a wrench.
Now you will find a lock pin that secures the bottom bracket. With the help of a screwdriver or pipe wrench, remove the locking pin. Mostly the locking pin is on the left.
Now it is the time to remove the bottom bracket. Take a cone wrench and unscrew the bottom bracket.
How to measure bottom bracket
To measure the bottom bracket, you will have to measure the shell or outer part of the bottom bracket first, and then you can proceed to measure the spindle or, in simple words, the bottom brackets.
You will need a Metric scale or calipers for the accurate measurements. Follow these simple steps to measure the size of the bottom bracket:
Measuring the shell of the bottom bracket
- First, set up the bicycle in an upright position.
- Now place the scale against the housing.
- Now measure the length from one end to another. This will not include the spindle’s length.
Measuring the bottom bracket spindle
To measure the bottom bracket spindle, you will have to remove the crank first.
- After removing the crank, take measurements from one end to another in mm.
- Never include the length of the spindle’s connected parts while measuring.
How to install the bottom bracket
First, get all the tools ready that you will need for the installation of bottom brackets. These tools are:
- Bottom bracket special tool or driveway wrench
- Old cotton shirts
The first and primary thing that you must do when installing a bottom bracket is that clean the frame thoroughly by a degreaser. This cleaning will wipe away any leftover in the shell.
- Now, this step varies from brand to brand. If you will a small bolt in the bottom bracket shell, unscrew it.
- Next, apply the grease on the inner side of the thread.
- Similarly, apply the grease on the outer part of the shell as well.
- Next, start threading gradually. Begin with the right side of the bike.
- Thread on the other (left) side. You will need a special BB socket tool, or if you are an expert, you can also do this with a drive torque wrench.
- After this, you will find the right side is getting tighter. Now you can tighten up the left side as well.
- Remove excess grease by using old cloth from the frame, and you are done.
- Remember to screw the small bolt that you have unscrewed.
How to replace the bottom bracket?
Follow these simple steps to replace the bottom bracket of your bike. Before replacing the bottom bracket, you will have to remove the crankset of your bike:
- Flip the bike in a way that it rests on the seat.
- Now, unscrew the bolts of the crank by Allen wrench.
- Tighten up the crank puller until it removes the crank from your bike. Begin with one side and then repeat the process for the other one.
- Now, by using the bottom bracket tool, turn the bottom bracket clockwise. You might find it tough to turn it, use your power.
- Apply force till you have removed the small side of the bottom bracket.
- Now, apply the same process on the other side as well, but this time turn the tool anti-clockwise.
- Take out the old bottom bracket from the driving or right side.
- Take the new bottom bracket and identify the left and right markers on the bottom bracket.
- Now take a can of grease and apply it on both parts of the threads. You can apply it by wearing gloves or by using a paintbrush.
- Apply it till you are sure that threads are fully covered.
- Now, put the bottom bracket in a way that the large side is towards your hand.
- Then slowly screw in the threads with your hand.
- Now, by using the bottom bracket tool, you can tighten up the right side (drive side) of the bottom bracket. Do it in a counter clock way. But not tighten up fully.
- Repeat the step for the second side in anti-clockwise.
- Now both sides half tighten up, and you are satisfied with the placement, you can screw both sides down by using the bottom bracket tool, and you are done.
Remember to check the rotation of the bracket by pedaling with your hands before you take your ride.
Where is the bottom bracket on a bike?
You will find the bottom bracket located at the bottom of the frame in your find. It is the part of the bike into which the chain fits in.
What is the press-fit bottom bracket?
The press-fit bottom bracket is the one without any internal threading. These brackets have a simple bore. The cups are bigger than the bore of the frame and are pressed in the shell. This forms an intrusion fit, referred to as a press fit.
Are ceramic bottom brackets worth it?
Well there is no straightforward answer to this, it depends on your preferences, and both these have their ups and downs:
Ceramic bottom brackets pros:
- These are smoother than regular ones.
- Tend to lasts longer as compared to others.
Ceramic bottom brackets cons:
- Quite an expensive option as compared to regular bottom brackets.
- Not suitable for hot conditions.
- You might feel a little drag with these.
What are the different types of bottom brackets?
There are two types of the bottom bracket. First, that threads into the bike’s frame, and others are those that are just pressed in. Below you will find the info about both types so that you can find the one that suits your bike.
Threaded Bottom Brackets
Threaded bottom brackets for bikes have different types as well. These are the ones that fit inside the bike’s frame with a fixed spindle. These are also referred to as the old designed or traditional bottom brackets.
Press-Fit Bottom Brackets
Press-fit bottom brackets are the ones that are without threads. These bottom brackets are suitable for the frames that are composite. These bottom brackets can be fitted easily in the frame without tough inserts. These are popular now a days among the riders.
Can you rethread a bottom bracket?
In simple words, yes, you can, but it depends on the condition of the bracket and also on why you want to rethread a bottom bracket.
How long will bottom bracket last
With adequate maintenance, the bottom brackets will last for 4000 miles or even more.
Which grease for bottom bracket
The multi-purpose bike grease or any anti-seize is suitable for the bottom bracket and other components of the bike.
Buying Guide- The best bottom brackets
Below are some vital factors that you should think about when purchasing a bottom bracket.
You must know before buying that all bike bottom brackets are not compatible will all the bikes out there. Mostly, the bottom brackets are specifically designed to be compatible with specific types of bike frames. So, when purchasing a bottom bracket set for your bike, read the instructions and manual provided by the company to check whether that specific model is compatible with your frame or not.
Durability of materials
In present times it is not that difficult to find high-quality and durable bottom brackets. The options are countless, and the market is full of bottom brackets that are hard and durable. The overall durability of the bottom bracket is a vital consideration. It will decide how early you will have to go for the replacement of the bottom bracket.
Budget and Price
Usually, the bottom is not that expensive, but the price of these components varies from brand to brand. The price also depends on the overall quality of the product, some are quite expensive, and some are very cheap. So the point is you should remain within your budget. Don’t compromise on quality for some bucks.
If you want the excellent value for your hard-earned bucks, never purchase any stuff without reviewing the consumer reports and feedbacks. This will help you to understand the benefits and negatives of the product, and you can tackle the possible issues before buying.
Buying any product from a well-known and reputable brand is always beneficial in many ways. It provides peace of mind that you are purchasing from a company that has served for years in the industry. The same applies for bike parts and accessories. In our opinion, go for the branded items rather than purchasing from an unknown brand to save a few bucks.
In the End
Bottom brackets are one of the essential bike components as it helps the crank to rotate freely and this free and smooth rotation if the chain results in less pedaling.
As mentioned above, not all bottom brackets are the same, so always look for the one that suits and matches your bike frame. When it comes to buying the best bottom bracket, the process can be a little bit tricky because all bottom brackets look the same. So do not rush, have patience, and you will find the one that suits your bike. Or you can buy from the products mentioned above. The bottom brackets that we have reviewed above are the best in the market and serve you for many years.