Bottom Brackets

I put a new bottom bracket in the single speed Cross Check last night. Truth be told, it wasn't the right size for my crank I've been using anyway. When I bought the frame from Doug, he included a bottom bracket that he'd been using with a single speed crank. My crank is made for a triple, with chainrings removed. So it was a bit too wide for this BB. So when you really tightened the crankarms on there, it wouldn't work. I could get it tight enough... but not as tight as it should be. And recently, it's been giving me a clicking sound, too. Time for a new bottom bracket.
Here's my rant on bottom brackets... I don't ever buy nice ones. For $15, you can buy a cheap one and replace it on the bike within 15 minutes. That's a pretty small investment. Even on my foul weather rain bikes, I've never had one fail in less than three years' time. So I appeal to the general public to ask; What am I missing? Should I be buying a nicer bottom bracket? What does it benefit me?

I see them as somewhat disposable. I don't take care of it. I don't repack bearings or deal with maintenance. I just put a new one in. And in seven years of riding multiple bikes through all sorts of weather, this is only the second one that I've replaced. And technically, it was a used bottom bracket.

So I ask you, what are you using and why? Anyone else have this crude mentality with bottom brackets? I suppose there's power to be gained with a nicer bottom bracket. But I really can't imagine that's much.

And a side note; I'm the same way with chains. I treat them poorly and throw them away when they're done. I replace them with a cheapo chain and go straight to abusing it. Maybe I've got this all wrong :)

Get out there.


  1. I hear ya about bottom brackets. I've replaced one on my LHT, but it was just a cheapo Shimano.

    As for your chains, aside from cleaning them regularly, you should toss them out when they're done... otherwise, a stretched out chain will cause undue (and uneven) wear on the rest of your drivetrain.

    1. Yeah, I don't let my chain get sloppy before I replace it. I'm just not one to do much more than add lube.

      Glad to know there's another cheapo BB fan out there!

    2. I've only re-lubed. Never had to change out the BB. Broke a frame before having to do it anyway.