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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I put an FSA Gossamer crank/bb on my cross bike a few months ago. It's also my commuter and the bike I grab on the weekends when I must ride and it's wet out.

Now the drive side bearing is squealing like a stuck pig. I took the crank off and actually got it to stop for a week or so by partially "flushing" the bearing with some lubricant. But it's back again and I'm looking for a long term fix.

A couple of options I'm considering:

1) pay the LBS to use the Phil Wood kit to replace the bearings with Phil Wood bearings ($50 plus labor)

2) replace it with another bottom bracket

I'm leaning toward #1 as I'm really not fond of replacing an entire bottom bracket every few months in the rainy season - and I've heard great things about the Phil bearings.

I've heard that RaceFace bottom brackets have better seals on their bearings but I'm not even sure if they make one that will work with the gossamer. I've heard some FSA bottom brackets use different size bearings on the drive and non-drive sides.

Any feedback on either approach or a whole new approach I haven't thought of?
 

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Scary Teddy Bear
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Hmmm

jnichols959 said:
I put an FSA Gossamer crank/bb on my cross bike a few months ago. It's also my commuter and the bike I grab on the weekends when I must ride and it's wet out.

Now the drive side bearing is squealing like a stuck pig. I took the crank off and actually got it to stop for a week or so by partially "flushing" the bearing with some lubricant. But it's back again and I'm looking for a long term fix.

A couple of options I'm considering:

1) pay the LBS to use the Phil Wood kit to replace the bearings with Phil Wood bearings ($50 plus labor)

2) replace it with another bottom bracket

I'm leaning toward #1 as I'm really not fond of replacing an entire bottom bracket every few months in the rainy season - and I've heard great things about the Phil bearings.

I've heard that RaceFace bottom brackets have better seals on their bearings but I'm not even sure if they make one that will work with the gossamer. I've heard some FSA bottom brackets use different size bearings on the drive and non-drive sides.

Any feedback on either approach or a whole new approach I haven't thought of?

I'm interested in hearing the replies to this, I just TODAY put on a new FSA gossamer compact cross crank 46/36 with MegaExo BB. I hope it doesn't go south on me too soon. I didn't grease the cups because they had loctite on them and the instructions said not to, but when I told my buddy at the LBS he sorta made a face......??? I did grease the crankbolt as instructed. This will be interesting to hear from some of the more experienced members.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
physasst said:
I'm interested in hearing the replies to this, I just TODAY put on a new FSA gossamer compact cross crank 46/36 with MegaExo BB. I hope it doesn't go south on me too soon. I didn't grease the cups because they had loctite on them and the instructions said not to, but when I told my buddy at the LBS he sorta made a face......??? I did grease the crankbolt as instructed. This will be interesting to hear from some of the more experienced members.
I've been very happy with the cranks so far. I abuse them in many ways but not mechanically. I followed the install instructions to the letter, torque wrench and all. The shop that sold them to me said they had gotten the impression the bearings weren't sealed that well - and that they were going to be getting the Phil Wood bearing replacement kit.

These cranks do get used in all of the worst weather, usually 6 days a week, and I a) don't have any drainage or a sealed bottom bracket (so it's quite likely that water collects down there) and b) i dont' drain the bb by hanging the bike upside down, etc.

When I removed the cranks to see where the squeaking was coming from I did see a small amount of water had collected around the bottom bracket. When I rotated the drive side bearing (by spinning the plastic cover with my finger) I could hear the squeaking. I poked around a bit and was able to pull back the orange/red seals enough to get some triflow flushing out what I believe was the cartridge bearing. I did notice that the liquid (probably a mix of water and triflow) coming out was murky with fine dirt. And yes, it did rid the drive side bearing of the squeak but only for a week or so.

I too am anxious to see what others have experienced with this bottom bracket... I still think the crank was a good purchase. I haven't heard of a compact external bearing bb combo that is supposed to be bombproof as far as the bearings are concerned. My guess is mine will be once I swap out the bearings for the Phil ones...
 

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This guy isn't a big fan of the Race Face external bearings:
http://peterverdonedesigns.com/bikebottombrackets.htm

People seem to have to good experiences with Shimano's bearings in general, so you might want to try a Shimano BB -- I believe Shimano, FSA, and Race Face external BBs are interchangeable.

I had an FSA external BB for a short time, and I was able to push out one of the bearings with strong hand pressure. The other bearing was a little more difficult, but I think it would have come out with a mallet and piece of wood. You can also get the requisite 6805 bearings rather inexpensively from sources other than Phil Wood (eg., eBay). Of course, it's hard to know how long they'll last -- but if money is an issue and you're able to do the swap yourself, you can try doing the swap this way.... Just make sure you get bearings with double rubber seals -- they'll be marked 6805-2RS or something like that.
 

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Resident Dutchbag
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When you use these cranks off-road the grease will get washed down/out more quickly, replace the bearings and put a heavy duty barrier building grease like Shell Retinax -or anything used for bearings on buldozers etc- on the seals to keep the water out. Regrease the bearings from time to time.
 

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Big is relative
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physasst said:
I'm interested in hearing the replies to this, I just TODAY put on a new FSA gossamer compact cross crank 46/36 with MegaExo BB. I hope it doesn't go south on me too soon. I didn't grease the cups because they had loctite on them and the instructions said not to, but when I told my buddy at the LBS he sorta made a face......??? I did grease the crankbolt as instructed. This will be interesting to hear from some of the more experienced members.
I have a FSA carbon crankset with the megaexo and have been riding it for about a year. Today I went for a 30 mile ride and noticed a creaking noise from the bb. Tonight I pulled the crankset and rolled the bearings by hand. They were dry. I pulled the black sleeve/outer seal by prying the edge and used my finger to pull it out. Once that is out you see a sealed bearing. I used a knife blade to pry the seal out and found that no grease was on the bearings. I packed the bearings with some nice finish line synthetic and put it all together. Ït is all really smooth and silent now. I wonder how long before I would have damaged the bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
the local bike shop did the Phil Wood replacement and i picked it up yesterday. the mechanic saved the old bearings for me. one of the bearings was completely siezed. they pried off one of the seals and though there was some gunk in there, it didn't look too bad - yet it had siezed completely. the other bearing was a little rough but still rolled. for those that care the bearing does use a retainer for the balls.

to make matters more strange, the "working" bearing seemed to have siezed later that night. it would move about a millimeter but i could not, for the life of me, get it to spin any more. i kept trying and eventually it gave and started rolling again.

fwiw both bearing are exactly the same size and there are two sets of marking on the seals: "6805-2RS" and "MR066".

we'll see how the phils do. i'm actually going to drill a small drain hole in the bottom of by bottom bracket shell to encourage drainage of any water that collects in there. i ride in the rain way too often to be removing the seatpost and hanging the bike upside down, or worse, removing the crank/bb.
 
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