If you do not geek out on bicycle parts like us at Velomio, then the term bottom bracket may be foreign to you. So, what is a bottom bracket? It is the part on your bike that connects the crankset to the frame of the bike, allowing its rotation, independent of the frame. It is the hollow part at the lower end of the frame where the bike’s cranks fit, allowing you to cycle.
Threaded bottom brackets
These brackets have different versions. Not only are the older versions cheaper, but they also use bearings that are held in place inside the frame with a captive axle. However, there are many standards for these axles. The most common one has a square interface and is cheaper.
Other standards include the rarer Octalink (by Shimano) and ISIS. The latest threaded models have a three-piece design consisting of a pair of large bearings located outboard of the bracket shell.
These types of bottom brackets are gaining popularity at Velomio arguably because they do not require threaded shells. The design of the frame does not include tough inserts for holding bearings. They also have standards such as Press-Fit 92 by Shimano that uses the same spacing as the threaded Hollowtech II system and the BB30 which uses larger diameter bearings. Bearings on press-fit bottom brackets determine the amount of energy lost through friction.
Though more costly, fully sealed cartridge bearings are the best. Additionally, they fit, are non-adjustable, and do not need maintenance. When they wear out, you have to replace them.
At Velomio it is possible to acquire bottom brackets with bearings that are made from ceramic materials that are strong and super hard rather than use steel bearings. Not only do they offer longer life, but manufacturers also claim that they have reduced friction. This is quite enticing and helpful for serious riders who appreciate the value of the slightest gain in performance count.
The bottom bracket bikes have nowadays been more sophisticated. When replacing your bike’s bottom brackets, compatibility can be an issue. It is always advisable to check with your bike’s manufacturer or local repair professional when in doubt. Although most of the parts have their model number on them, getting the right fit can still be daunting.
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