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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at upgrading my bottom bracket. It seems a relatively inexpensive way to lose weight and improve performance of the bike.

What features should take precedence when selecting this component -
Weight,
Stiffness,
Smoothness of action
Or some other factor (I'll exclude price from this debate, as in the whole scheme of things this a relatively inexpensive upgrade) ?

I am upgrading from 2002 Centaur and am considering several including a Record bb or an FSA bb. The FSA is considerably lighter(circa 20% less weight, although I don't have the figures to hand). My intuition tells me smoothness of performance - to minimise friction, but if so, how can I assess this?

Any thoughts and guidance would be welcomed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
One thing leads to another..

I suppose that fact will encourage me to change my crank-set to a new carbon one. Possibly FSA, possibly Campy.

Assuming I look at this wider upgrade picture, I'd welcome any further guidance on most efficient approach.
 

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few choices...

The only thing you need to do is get the correct (ISO) spindle taper and the correct spindle length (111mm). There are very vew options out there. The 111mm Record BB is assymetrical for a record triple crank and the 111mm track model does not have the necessary seals for general road use. Neither one is sutiable to replace a Centaur BB.

Phil Wood bottom brackets are nice, but costs more than your crank is worth.

There is no way you can assesss the smoothness or stiffness of a bottom bracket that I know of. You just have to hope you get what you pay for.
 

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Phil Wood's BB

The stainless steel Phil Wood BB goes for about $100 without mounting rings. Phil's BBs are the best.

Kenny Lee
 

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Chili hed & old bike fixr
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Your Centaur BB is pretty much the same unit that was in the 94 record group. The cups that you see are a little different but the bearings inside are about the same. It is actually a fairly good BB and should last a long time. You will get a lot more bang for your buck in wheel upgrades.
 

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hi, I'm Larry
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If you go Chorus or Record

you will need to get a Chorus or record Crank. (I assume the FSA BB is set up to work with the Chorus or Record Cranks). Chorus & Record spindles are 102 mm, Centaur, Veloce, Mirage are 111-112mm. This would turn into a very expensive upgrade for just a few grams.

Centaur hubs are good, just a little heavier and cannot be regreased or rebuilt. Campy makes three versions of this hub. Look for the aluminum with hollow shaft (A-CH I believe). It is the lightest of there. Should be able to get one for $20.

If you want to go fast or race then I would rank the parameters of a BB as follows


Stiff - Very Important
Smooth - Very Important
A few grams of weight - Miniscule in importance unless you are racing up to the top of real mountains.
 

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Tourist
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This is not true in practice

I'm running a centaur triple crank on a chorus triple bottom bracket, and the chorus triple bb has same design as the record.

Pierre
 

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The Phil Wood BBs are great BUT if you have a Ti bike then you need to use the steel cups which put the weight of the Ti/alloy BB around the same as the Record BB at around $100 more- not worth it IMO. If you go with the alloy cups then you will save about 50 grams over the Record which is a decent upgrade.

I replaced a Chorus BB for an FSA Ti BB on my buddies bike. When I did a side by side comparison of the two it was easy to tell that the FSA was heavier than the Chorus. The FSA is obviously way heavier than advertised which is typical for cycling components.

The main thing you need to look for with the BB is making sure it's the correct threading, correct taper (square for Campy) and the correct spindle length which you will need 111 mm if you plan on keeping your triple set up..
 
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