HOW CAN I TELL MY BOTTOM BRACKET IS WORN OUT?
Bottom brackets fail for many reasons. The most common being contamination and neglect. Remove the crank set, spin the bearings to check if the bearings feel rough. If they do, a bearing service should bring them back to life. If the service does not help and the bearings still feel gritty, it is time to replace them.
Proper care is key to longevity. We recommend annual service to stay within the Guaranteed Performance Warranty, or sooner if your bearings feel rough. The current recorded mileage record is set at 28.000 miles on a single bottom bracket. What. Does your BB odometer tell you?
HOW HARD IS TO REPLACE A BOTTOM BRACKET?
While the procedure is not too complicated, the job is almost impossible to do without very specific and potentially costly tools. A wood block and hammer are not a bottom bracket press, neither is a threaded rod from the hardware store and a stack of washers. (here is a link to the procedure)
If you regularly replace bottom brackets on multiple bikes, it might be worth investing in the tools. If you only perform this procedure occasionally, it’s probably better to carry $50 and a six pack to your local bike shop and let the professionals take care of it.
HOW DO I FIX A CREAKY BOTTOM BRACKET?
While we do not require to use our Aqua Proof Installation Paste, we call it Shut Up Grease for a reason. Pick up a jar or a single use syringe here. A simple remove and reinstall with all contact areas greased (most crucial are the BB shell, BB cup and crank spindle)
If that did not fix the problem, here are links to two blog posts on 1) fixing bottom bracket creaks and 2) finding and fixing creaks that sound like a bottom bracket, but actually come from somewhere else.
ARE THERE ANY BENEFITS TO USING A CROSS SEAL ON MY ROAD BIKE?
The cross seals are built for best protection. The difference in friction between the road and cross seals are around 0.5W on a bottom bracket. On the upside, bearings with cross seals are close to waterproof. If your road rides include gravel roads or if you regularly ride on wet roads, the cross seals will buy you some peace of mind.
HOW MUCH DO BIKE SHOPS CHARGE TO INSTALL A BOTTOM BRACKET?
The hourly rate varies from one shop to the next, mostly based on their expenses for real estate and the cost of finding good mechanics in the area. For this reason it is hard to put an exact dollar amount on the procedure. It would be reasonable to expect an installation to take around 30 minutes, so half of your local shop’s hourly rate is a good benchmark.