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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ride an early 2000's Trek 5200 with an Octalink BB. I am wanting to put a compact crank to be able to ride in the hills more easily and need some advice. Should I try to find a compact crank that fits th octalink BB. As of right now it looks like the Ritchey WCS/Pro compact cranks are the best bet. They run for ~100, sometimes less, sometimes more. or should I upgrade the BB as well and get something like a compact Rival, the crank and BB go for about 130ish after shipping on eBay.

Because the frame was made with the Octalink BB in mind, is the bottom bracket ready for external bearing cups? Would I need it to be faced? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

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I assume it's the original bb. If you're going to put out for a new crank, I'd recommend a new bb anyway. The new "two-piece" cranks, whether Campy, Shimano, SRAM, FSA (sort of) are in my opinion superior to Octalink and ISIS.

I never thought Octalink and/or ISIS was an improvement over a quality square taper anyway.
 

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Pull your cranks to check if your BB is still OK. If not, you can still buy a 105 BB. Check some of the popular internet web sites to see if they have and "house brand" compacts that fit an octalink BB.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, I am leaning towards the getting a crank with external cups. I guess my main concern is if my frame would need to be faced before installing the BB. I've never installed these external bottom brackets before and am not exactly sure how flush the BB shell needs to be.
 

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Almost all modern bikes are made square.
Shimano makes compact cranks in all lines except Dura Ace.
 

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I'd buy the external bb setup with compact crank, good idea to replace bb anyway. You'll find this to be stiffer, and better performance. Install it, if you have any issues (drag, chainline, etc.) then you can have it faced. Most setup are a little forgiving if tolerances are off a little.
 

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about facing...

At the minimum the paint must be removed from the faces of the BB shell. What I do to check that faces are square to the threads is tighten the cup until I contact a .010 inch feeler gage and then use .008-.012 inch feelers to hunt for high or low spots. If any place exceeds those limits, refacing is in order, IMO.
 
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