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Bottom bracket types

The most popular sealed bottom bracket systems

• Square taper: Outdated system that is now hardly ever used. The crank arms are fitted onto the ends of a square spindle and tightened by bolts which screw into the spindle on both sides.

• Octalink and ISIS: Older, and now seldom used system. The crank arms are connected to the ends of a spindle with 8 teeth.

The most popular sealed bottom bracket systems with separate bearing cups:

• SM-BB (for Hollowtech II cranks): The current standard system for screwed non-sealed Shimano bearings, compatible with GXP-BB standard.

• GXP-BB: SRAM standard for non-sealed Truvativ bearings, compatible SM-BB standard.

• FSA MegaExo: FSA standard for non-sealed bearings, not compatible with other standards.

• BB-30: Bearing cups without threads are pressed into the bottom bracket shell. The spindle diameter is 30mm. This standard is seldom used.

• Press fit BB-30: Bearing cups without threads are pressed into the bottom bracket shell using plastic adapters. The spindle diameter is 30mm. This standard is seldom used.

• Press fit BB 86.5: Bearing cups without threads are pressed into the bottom bracket shell using plastic adapters. The spindle diameter is approx. 24mm. This is the most popular press fit bearing standard for road bikes. Housing width: 86.5mm.

• Press fit BB92: Bearing cups without threads are pressed into the bottom bracket shell using plastic adapters. The spindle diameter is approx. 24mm. This is the most popular press fit bearing standard for mountain bikes. Housing width: 92mm.

• There are other press fit bearing standards, which have not as yet established themselves.

The most popular threads for bottom bracket systems with threads:

• BSA thread: Used mainly for screwed non-sealed bearings.
• Italian thread: Older standard. Still partly used by Italian producers.


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