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Hi,

I currently use an FSA Carbon Pro Team with a old style square taper bottom bracket and axle (I'm not sure but it might be a ISIS -how can I tell?). Would it be worth it to 'upgrade' to a newer Mega EXO or Shimano External BB?

I know the newer BB are lighter and perhaps stiffer but is it a huge differrence?

Thanks!
 

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I just switched from a square taper Campag Record BB and Record aluminum crank to the new outboard bearing crankset. I wouldn't say that it is a worthwhile upgrade but my BB was worn out as were my chainrings and the replacement cost was about as much as I could get a whole new Chorus crankset for. I say if it isn't worn don't touch it.
 

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No. It's not a huge difference. There's probably a split of opinion whether there's any meaningful difference in stiffness. Back in the day when I cared anything about weight I had a $1/gram rule of thumb. The price of any "upgrade" needed to cost no more than $1 for each gram of weight saved. In your case, I bet you'd be way outside the $1/gm rule...
 

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I did feel a slight difference when I went from an old 600 crank/bb setup to my Octalink D/A setup, but not enough so that the answer is: not unless you just want something different.

HTH

M
 

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alexl993 said:
Hi,

I currently use an FSA Carbon Pro Team with a old style square taper bottom bracket and axle (I'm not sure but it might be a ISIS -how can I tell?). Would it be worth it to 'upgrade' to a newer Mega EXO or Shimano External BB?

I know the newer BB are lighter and perhaps stiffer but is it a huge differrence?

Thanks!
Depends. If you're a casual rider and the stuff works - then just enjoy and spend your money on women and beer. If you're crank is busted or shot then maybe it's time for an upgrade. Either way you're probably not going to feel much diff unless you change the ring size.
 

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I used the Campy Record (square) bottom bracket for two bikes with Chorus (al.) cranks. I enjoyed the smoothness of the Record bottom brackets. The problem is that they have smaller bearings, which are subject to water penetration both from the outboard side of the crank (near where the cranks bolt on) and from water migragating down the seat tube (e.g., through the seatpost).

I had one bottom bracket fail halfway through a winter ride two January's ago. A group of us were supporting a local rider in Michigan who wanted to do a century every month of the year. While we were doing circuits from a bike shop (closed, on a Sunday), they did not have any replacent Italian threaded bottom brackets in stock to repair. "Fortunately," the icey rains came and canceled the rest of the ride, so this did not cost me a century.

I've changed to an outboard bearing crank (Shimano Ultegra) on a different bike, and feel that the bearings are more durable and less vulnerable. I cannot compare stiffness, since the old steel Bianci with the square taper bb was pretty flexy in the bottom bracket to begin with.

If I were you I'd ride the current setup at least until the bottom bracket fails.
 
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