How To: BB30 Overhaul/Bearing Replacement

By now, you’re likely familiar with the fact that your Volagi Liscio is equipped with what’s called a BB30 crankset. Essentially, BB30 equates to a crank that features a 30mm spindle which is made from aluminum rather than steel, that resides in a bottom bracket that is 68mm wide. The bottom bracket utilizes bearings that are much larger than a traditional bottom bracket, which should theoretically cause them to be more durable. The BB30 standard is more than just a new standard however, as it offers increased crank stiffness, better pedaling efficiency, lighter weight, and reduced Q-factor/U-factor (foot stance/ankle clearance).  The main disadvantage comes when it’s time to service your BB30 as it requires new tools and techniques compared to BSA (threaded) BB’s or even BB85/90. Unfortunately, this means that BB30 maintenance will be out of reach of most home mechanics.

However, if you’re the do-it-yourself champion, this guide should help you perfect the technique, and with a few additional tools you should have your BB30 up and running in no time. Many of the tools pictured are professional level tools which we know are way too expensive for the few times you will need them, but most tools have a consumer model available that should do the job just fine. As always, if you are doubtful of your ability to perform any of the following steps, save yourself the hassle and take it to your local shop.

Ready? Dive in after the break!

 

Necessary Tools: 1. Soft faced hammer 2. Internal Snap Ring Pliers 3. 10mm Allen Wrench 4. Pick 5. Torque wrench with 10mm Allen bit capable of 45-55Nm 6. LocTite 609 green cylindrical fit formula 7. High quality bike grease 8. If Necessary: Extra spindle spacers or spring washers 9. If Necessary: new BB30 bearings 10. If Necessary: new C-Clips 11. Speed Clean or other degreaser 12. Park BB30 Installation/Removal kit 13. FSA Consumer BB30 installation kit (If Necessary:  more on this further down) 14. Headset press

1. Shift chain into the small chainring, this will help with driveside crank removal later. Remove Non-Drive crank arm using a 10mm Allen wrench. Note: This guide will pertain to the stock FSA cranksets that come on Liscios, other cranksets may have different sized hardware, adjust accordingly. Placing one hand on the crank arm and the other on the wrench, break the bolt free. Once free, it will tighten up again as it backs up against the extractor cap. Continue to unscrew the bolt, and the crank arm will work its way off.

Crankarm will come completely off, set aside until later.

2. Remove spring washer and any crank spacers used. Take note of the number an orientation of spacers/wave washer for installation later.

3. Attempt to remove crankset by hand. Most likely you will need to use a soft faced hammer to gently tap on the spindle to remove the crank from the drive side. Using a soft faced hammer will keep you from damaging the splines on the spindle – very important!

Once the crank has started moving to the right, pedal the driveside crank forward to drop the chain off the inner chainring and onto the spindle. Then continue to pull drive side crank completely out to the right. Set crank aside.

Check to see if either bearing seal (black rings) is still left in the bottom bracket. The drive side seal usually stays on the spindle, while the non drive usually stays on the bearing. Using your fingers or a pick, gently remove seal and set aside.

At this point you will be able to see the bearings on both sides of the bottom bracket. The bearings are press fit into the bottom bracket shell, and are stopped by C-clips inside the shell on the inside. The next step is removing the bearings from the shell which requires a bearing removal tool such as the Park BBt-30.3 set so that you don’t damage the C-clips inside the shell. The idea is the place the tool inside the bearing’s inner diameter which then assures that the tool will clear the C-clips and not damage them on removal. You might be able to use a punch and a hammer if you are careful, but the tool makes it fool proof. If you don’t want to buy the Park Tool set, FSA also has a decent consumer level bearing removal tool.

4. Note: the tool is removing the bearing on the opposite side of the bike that you are standing on. Insert the bearing removal tool through one side of the bottom bracket, and continue to push into the bearing on the far side. Ensure that the tool is properly centered in the far bearing, and that the blue collar is inserted flush into the other bearing. Gently hit with regular hammer, making sure the tool stays inserted into the ID of the bearing being removed. Strike tool until bearing pops out of BB shell. Repeat on opposite side of the bike, this time placing the blue collar in the empty bearing bore instead of the bearing’s ID. Warning: Wear eye protection any time while using a hammer.

You will be left with an empty bottom bracket shell, with the exception of the two C-Clips still in the shell. Ideally, you should now remove the C-Clips to ensure that they are clean and properly greased.

5. Using internal snap ring pliers, remove C-Clips on both sides by squeezing the two sides together while pulling on C-Clip. Warning: Wear eye protection. Circlips may have sharp edges and can cause serious eye injury by springing from BB or tool while installing. Inspect and clean C-Clips after removal. If they appear bent or damaged in any way, do not reuse.

Using a pick, make sure C-Clip grooves in BB shell are clean and free of excess LocTite. Clean BB shell with degreaser such as Speed Clean to remove any dirt or contaminants present.

This is also a good time to take advantage of the crank being removed to clean the frame around the BB shell. Get rid of  all that spilled energy drink residue before you reinstall your crankset.

6. If C-Clips are in good shape, lightly grease either the clip itself, or the C-Clip groove in the BB shell with high quality bike grease. Using internal snap ring pliers, reinsert C-Clips into grooves, ensuring the ring is fully seated. You should hear an audible “snap” when the ring is properly inserted.

After C-Clips are installed, use a degreaser such as speed clean to remove any grease from the bearing bores (where the bearing sit). Grease will prevent the LocTite from curing properly and can cause creaks later on.

A word about bearing installation tools: Above, we mentioned you may need the FSA consumer bearing installation kit. Why would you need that when the Park BBT-30.3 includes bearing installation tools? Well, if you have an older headset press like I do, the Installation tools will not fit on the press – the ID is too small, otherwise the Park tool works just fine. Newer headset presses and consumer models feature a handle that can thread all the way off, allowing the bearing presses to be installed, while mine has a rolled pin that keeps the handle from being removed. If you don’t want to remove the pin, you will need the FSA tools which have a larger ID which will then fit over the bottom of the press.

Click any picture to enlarge.

7. Prepare to install bearings. I will demonstrate with the FSA tools, though the process with the Park tools is basically the same with the exception of pressing both bearings at the same time, while FSA advises to press one at a time. Starting with the above photo on the left, arrange empty bearing bushing on the left, insert press through the bottom bracket and then install bearing, and bearing bushing as shown before attaching headset press end cap. The photo on the right illustrates the second step, where one bearing will already be pressed into the frame. This time you will use both bearing bushings, and using the already installed bearing as a guide, install the second.

8. Apply LocTite to bearings before installing into BB shell. Once you are comfortable with how the bearings will be pressed into the frame, you will need to apply LocTite 609 to the outside of the bearing. We just got this handy tip from FSA: Put the Loctite 609 on the BEARING rather than the shell. That way, when the excess loctite is squeegee’d off, it will be to the front, where it can be wiped off, rather than pushed back, possibly squeezing up and into the rear seal of the bearing and causing a contamination of the grease. Working time is fairly short, so you will want to be sure you are ready for the next steps before applying the LocTite. One of the easiest ways to properly apply (and not over apply) is to use a Q-tip. Soak the end of the Q-Tip in LocTite and apply to both bearing seat, and Bearing OD.

9. Install bearings. Using the order mentioned above, start by pressing one bearing (with LocTite) into the frame. Take care not to press the bearing too far. As soon as you start to feel resistance, stop. Repeat with the opposite side.

You should end up with bearings pressed in flat, and sitting under the lip of the shell the same depth on either side.

10. Lightly grease the Id of each bearing. Since the bearing ID is steel and the crank spindle is aluminum, this step is especially important for eliminating creaks.

Ensure that the drive side bearing seal is in place, and lightly grease the spindle especially at bearing contact points.

11. Install drive side crank arm. Place spindle inside chain, then insert into drive side bearing. Press crankset into bearing, moving chain onto smaller chainring once it is close enough. You may need to use a soft faced hammer to install crankset completely into bottom bracket.

12. Reinstall bearing seal, spring washer, and any spacers in the order they were removed. Once installed, lightly grease spindle splines, and inner threads. Note: For creaking noises, light or medium thread locker can be used in place of grease on the crank bolt threads.

13. Orient crank arm properly, and start installation by hand with 10mm Allen wrench. Once hand tight, switch to a torque wrench with a 10mm Allen bit and tighten crank bolt to 45-55Nm. This step is crucial, if not tightened properly the crank arm can loosen and cause creaking or damage to crank spindle.

14. Go ride!

2 thoughts on “How To: BB30 Overhaul/Bearing Replacement

  1. Thanks very much. I’m not in the overghauling stage, but will soon be uilding a Volagi, so this guide came in very handy indeed. many thanks, and looking fwd to finally getting on board a Liscio 🙂

  2. These spacers are available for the Shimano, FSA and Race Face cranksets. A different spacer with different inside diameter for the spindle are available for the SRAM GXP cranksets. Simply install adapters into the bearings of the BB30 shell (figure 16 and 17). Adapters spin against bearing inside shell.

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