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Square taper to hollowtech ll

chucklachuckla Posts: 132
edited October 2013 in Workshop
I have a Felt Z85 2013 model. Most of the group set is Shimano 105, I have just ordered 105 brake calipers as the standard ones are I branded and was thinking about changing the chainset also to 105. The chainset that came with the bike is FSA square taper, is it possible/simple to change from square taper to hollowtech ll?

Posts

  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    yes but get the BB shell faced by a good LBS
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • It is possible, but Hollowtech is an inferior system to square taper... if you see it as an upgrade, well, it is not... it will just give you more problems for no extra benefit
  • chucklachuckla Posts: 132
    It is possible, but Hollowtech is an inferior system to square taper... if you see it as an upgrade, well, it is not... it will just give you more problems for no extra benefit


    I would like to upgrade the chainset to shimano 105 so I have a matching group set, from what I can see, this chainset doesn't have a square taper option, hence my question abut changing the BB! If there is another way, I'm all ears! :D
  • mattvmattv Posts: 992
    105 grade Hollowtech 2 is lighter and stiffer than current model square taper crank/ bottom bracket options. As above, you need to get the bottom bracket shell cleaned and faced by a bike shop. This removes the paint and makes the bb last much longer.
  • The lighter and stiffer argument is one that works on the magazines, but I have had square taper Shimano and Campag and I have had Hollowtech II and Ultra Torque... If I told you I noticed any difference I would be a liar. However, whilst a square taper BB lasts for years and requires no maintenance whatsoever (and costs 10 pounds), a Hollowtech II BB is a minefield of problems and does require a lot of attention. It typically lasts one year or even less in this country. Just read the number of threads about creaking BBs... they are ALL external bearings bottom brackets, like the one you want to install.
    The matching groupset argument is purely aesthetics, if you rate it more than functionality, then go ahead and as above you need chainset and matching BB cups
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    Just read the number of threads about creaking BBs... they are ALL external bearings bottom brackets,
    TBH it is not the external that creak the most on here, it is the press fit.

    Otherwise all I will say is that most external bearings that don't last long have not had the bb shell faced.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • nicklouse wrote:
    TBH it is not the external that creak the most on here, it is the press fit.

    Otherwise all I will say is that most external bearings that don't last long have not had the bb shell faced.

    Well, when you open the bearing seal and it's all full of rust and moisture you can't blame the facing more than the fact that they are not adequately protected. Also, the bearing size is stupid, meaning a 37 x 25 x 6 is bound to have undersized balls, that wear quicker... then seals become loose fit etc etc... I suppose there is worse (read press fit), but there is better. If you have been inflicted one of this by the bike shop in the deal, fair enough, but looking at it as an upgrade, is being misled by marketing hype
  • BozmanBozman Posts: 2,518
    I've had plenty of frames and have used external bearings for years and I've never had a BB shell faced, the bearings all last thousands of miles. I install them myself and I've yet to have one fail, they'll be swapped if I buy a frame or replace the chainset, maybe I'm just lucky but I always thought that facing was an old wives tale.

    BB30, I had those fail after 400 miles and my mates pressfit(BB86) went after 1200 miles.
  • Bozman wrote:
    I've had plenty of frames and have used external bearings for years and I've never had a BB shell faced, the bearings all last thousands of miles. I install them myself and I've yet to have one fail, they'll be swapped if I buy a frame or replace the chainset, maybe I'm just lucky but I always thought that facing was an old wives tale.

    BB30, I had those fail after 400 miles and my mates pressfit(BB86) went after 1200 miles.


    Let's put it this way: Hollowtech was bad compared to the previous system, but press fit are borderline a joke.
    If you ride dry miles and clean and service your bike regularly, HT 2 can last (a few) thousands... if you don't it can last only 1 thousand miles
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,385
    HT2 works and lasts well in my experience, in both summer and winter. However, most trackies are still on square tapers, so the 'lighter/stiffer' argument for external BBs doesn't really wash...
  • nicklouse wrote:


    Well, when you open the bearing seal and it's all full of rust and moisture you can't blame the facing more than the fact that they are not adequately protected. Also, the bearing size is stupid, meaning a 37 x 25 x 6 is bound to have undersized balls, that wear quicker... then seals become loose fit etc etc... I suppose there is worse (read press fit), but there is better. If you have been inflicted one of this by the bike shop in the deal, fair enough, but looking at it as an upgrade, is being misled by marketing hype

    This^^^^^^^^^^

    It is hype and these bearings are a disgrace and not fit for purpose. I'm all for real advances in technology and have taken full advantages of these in the past, but outboard bearings are a step backwards. I've just had to explain to someone whose bike I fitted Shimano Deore outboard bearings one year ago how it is that he requires replacements. Showing him the minuscule ball bearings rusted together in the inadequately sealed bearing, and this after one winter with very low mileage, did little to placate him and neither did the knowledge that they will again require changing next year. The "stiffness" and "lighter" justification means nothing to the vast majority of cyclists when it's clear that the design and the position of these bearings, placed as they are in the exact position where they are most vulnerable to road spray and salt, make them absolutely useless.
  • robbo2011robbo2011 Posts: 1,017
    it may well be that they don't last as well as the square taper design, but even so, I am on 5000 miles with my CX commuter/bad weather bike and not a peep out of the HT II bottom bracket. I don't think they are quite as bad as Ugo makes out.

    Although, if I was the OP, I wouldn't bother changing.
  • The lighter and stiffer argument is one that works on the magazines, but I have had square taper Shimano and Campag and I have had Hollowtech II and Ultra Torque... If I told you I noticed any difference I would be a liar. However, whilst a square taper BB lasts for years and requires no maintenance whatsoever (and costs 10 pounds), a Hollowtech II BB is a minefield of problems and does require a lot of attention. It typically lasts one year or even less in this country. Just read the number of threads about creaking BBs... they are ALL external bearings bottom brackets, like the one you want to install.
    The matching groupset argument is purely aesthetics, if you rate it more than functionality, then go ahead and as above you need chainset and matching BB cups
    While I agree with what you're saying, the £10 (if that) square taper BB that came with my bike didn't even last a year. I did replace it with a good Shimano BB, which I'd expect to last much longer though.

    Cheapo square taper BBs have their bearings protected from the outside world by only a single seal on the cartridge bearing. Even HT2 has more than one seal.
  • patrickf wrote:
    Cheapo square taper BBs have their bearings protected from the outside world by only a single seal on the cartridge bearing. Even HT2 has more than one seal.

    I never felt the need to open one of those cartridge, so I trust you on that. The Shimano BBs cost 10-15 pounds...
    I've also got a square taper with cone/balls and it's still going strong after 30 years and only one change of balls (couple of quid)
  • patrickf wrote:
    Cheapo square taper BBs have their bearings protected from the outside world by only a single seal on the cartridge bearing. Even HT2 has more than one seal.

    I never felt the need to open one of those cartridge, so I trust you on that. The Shimano BBs cost 10-15 pounds...
    I've also got a square taper with cone/balls and it's still going strong after 30 years and only one change of balls (couple of quid)
    Hmm, the UN-55 I got was a little more :wink:

    I can see a loose bearing BB lasting longer if maintained well. That's the difference - cartridge BBs, which I guess almost all of them are now, are not serviceable.

    I just saw how the BB was put together when I pulled it out. The cartridge bearings were right on the outside with no further protection.
  • patrickf wrote:
    patrickf wrote:
    Cheapo square taper BBs have their bearings protected from the outside world by only a single seal on the cartridge bearing. Even HT2 has more than one seal.

    I never felt the need to open one of those cartridge, so I trust you on that. The Shimano BBs cost 10-15 pounds...
    I've also got a square taper with cone/balls and it's still going strong after 30 years and only one change of balls (couple of quid)
    Hmm, the UN-55 I got was a little more :wink:

    I can see a loose bearing BB lasting longer if maintained well. That's the difference - cartridge BBs, which I guess almost all of them are now, are not serviceable.

    I just saw how the BB was put together when I pulled it out. The cartridge bearings were right on the outside with no further protection.

    I think I got a UN 55 from Rose for a tenner and as I had to buy other stuff, delivery was not an issue... it's still there in the box as the other is old but still good. The UN 54 I have on at the moment does come at 10 pounds
  • I have both square taper cranks and hollowtech cranks. Hollow techs cranks can be lighter. As for stiffer I would challange anyone on here to twist a square taper axle. After less than a years riding and a few thousand miles on a properly faced BB shell I have the dreaded creek from my BB on the Trek. I will be putting campagnolo 10 speed record on at some point and I have a square taper carbon record crank (530g) and a chorus BB 230g. You cannot call that heavy and it will last 20,000 miles.
    So hollowtech is not an upgrade as such, it is a decent system but please no one be fooled into thinking it will make you into a faster rider, it won't.

    As for alloy square taper cranks the Dura ace 7410 is 586g I have one on another bike. The BB is 226g. If shimano were to make a square taper cranks with modern forging technology I am sure is would be sub 500g. I also have a campagnolo cup and cone BB on novo record cranks -faultless and a shimano XT-M730 on a M30 cup and cone BB again faultless and fully serviceable. Well sealed too.

    I refuse to sell the low end square taper BB's as they are hopless. Good ones are the Shimano UN55 or the Tange seiki LN-3922 both these are £20 or less and about 300g and last ages. Tange do make a more expensive BB with alloy cups so is lighter and then there is the light weight sugino's. Abit more pricey though.
    For the ultimate BB's there is Phil wood or TA specialities, there Ti axled BB are 150g, what not to like.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • chucklachuckla Posts: 132
    All these relplies have made good reading! I'm not thinking changing to hollowtech is an upgrade as such, more that I am looking for a matching group set and that I don't think a 105 chainset is compatible with square taper. My neighbour is a bike mechanic for a well known shop in Cardiff and he says its not a hard job and shouldn't be much of an issue if I stay on top of the maintenance. I've had no issue with square taper and may even stay with it, just seem limited n chain sets if I do!
  • patrickf wrote:
    patrickf wrote:
    Cheapo square taper BBs have their bearings protected from the outside world by only a single seal on the cartridge bearing. Even HT2 has more than one seal.

    I never felt the need to open one of those cartridge, so I trust you on that. The Shimano BBs cost 10-15 pounds...
    I've also got a square taper with cone/balls and it's still going strong after 30 years and only one change of balls (couple of quid)
    Hmm, the UN-55 I got was a little more :wink:

    I can see a loose bearing BB lasting longer if maintained well. That's the difference - cartridge BBs, which I guess almost all of them are now, are not serviceable.

    I just saw how the BB was put together when I pulled it out. The cartridge bearings were right on the outside with no further protection.

    I think I got a UN 55 from Rose for a tenner and as I had to buy other stuff, delivery was not an issue... it's still there in the box as the other is old but still good. The UN 54 I have on at the moment does come at 10 pounds
    I see they've come down in price. Chainreaction currently have them for £15. They were closer to £30 when I bought mine.

    Gotta admit though you can't go wrong with the better Shimano square taper BBs. They are sealed so much better than the BB my bike came with.
  • If you ride dry miles and clean and service your bike regularly, HT 2 can last (a few) thousands... if you don't it can last only 1 thousand miles

    I'm surprised to read this. My 2006 Trek5.2SL has HT2, and so far I've done over 21,000 miles on the original bearings.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    If you ride dry miles and clean and service your bike regularly, HT 2 can last (a few) thousands... if you don't it can last only 1 thousand miles

    I'm surprised to read this. My 2006 Trek5.2SL has HT2, and so far I've done over 21,000 miles on the original bearings.
    Ugo likes averages ... ;)

    I'm 1000 miles into HT2 bearings on my secondhand best bike - so it's done more than that - no problems there
    I'm also 2000 miles in to HT2 bearings on my winter bike (it's what it came with) - the only creak so far is the SPDs and it's been out in all weathers.

    I've worn out a ST BB on my old road bike - although that may have been due to immersion! IIRC that had done around 3500 miles at time of replacement.
  • There is always someone who manages to live a full life trouble free... some manage to do 20,000 miles with a set of 16/20 spoked wheels, but generally speaking this is not the case... like every average, it is a Gaussian and normally those who speak out on forums are at the extremes, as if you are in the middle you probably have little to say.

    I have a friend who has the original 2006 bearings on his Ultra Torque chainset... in a much shorter lapse of time I went through 2 sets and had to fit a third.
  • MrSwearyMrSweary Posts: 1,699
    Ha! I too own a 2013 Z85 and I need to upgrade / change the crankset. I'm not bothered with having matching 105 all through the drivechain and taking Ugo as a reliable and knowledgeable voice on here what would be a good replacement and upgrade on the FSA Vero kit that came with the bike that doesn't require facing and isn't external or press fit?

    Given that the bike does 100 miles plus a week London commuting year round through fair weather and foul I'm not keen on anything that even hints at unreliabilty.

    Go team BikeRadar!!
    Kinesis Racelite 4s disc
    Kona Paddy Wagon
    Canyon Roadlite Al 7.0 - reborn as single speed!
    Felt Z85 - mangled by taxi.
  • MrSweary wrote:
    Ha! I too own a 2013 Z85 and I need to upgrade / change the crankset. I'm not bothered with having matching 105 all through the drivechain and taking Ugo as a reliable and knowledgeable voice on here what would be a good replacement and upgrade on the FSA Vero kit that came with the bike that doesn't require facing and isn't external or press fit?

    Given that the bike does 100 miles plus a week London commuting year round through fair weather and foul I'm not keen on anything that even hints at unreliabilty.

    Go team BikeRadar!!

    Best value for your money you are probably looking at the Stronglight chainsets from Ribble... otherwise just replace the chainrings if that's the problem... again stronglight, they come in all sizes, so you can get your favourite combination and not the one Shimano thinks it's best for you... :wink:
  • MrSwearyMrSweary Posts: 1,699
    Best value for your money you are probably looking at the Stronglight chainsets from Ribble... otherwise just replace the chainrings if that's the problem... again stronglight, they come in all sizes, so you can get your favourite combination and not the one Shimano thinks it's best for you... :wink:

    Superb work. Thanks Ugo.
    Kinesis Racelite 4s disc
    Kona Paddy Wagon
    Canyon Roadlite Al 7.0 - reborn as single speed!
    Felt Z85 - mangled by taxi.
  • MrSweary wrote:
    taking Ugo as a reliable and knowledgeable voice on here

    I agree that Ugo is a good source of info, and I'm not questioning his experience for one minute.

    My own Trek is my first good quality modern road bike, so I don't have anything to compare it against. I've read lots of issues on this forum about press fit bb fittings, but I haven't read anything of the same order about HT2, so up to now I've simply assumed it is a far superior system and a good reason not to buy a new bike when most now have press fit bb bearings.

    PS Ugo - I am still on my original Race Lite wheels. The rear is showing signs of the bearings rumbling, but the front is still fine. :D
  • MrSweary wrote:
    taking Ugo as a reliable and knowledgeable voice on here

    I agree that Ugo is a good source of info, and I'm not questioning his experience for one minute.

    My own Trek is my first good quality modern road bike, so I don't have anything to compare it against. I've read lots of issues on this forum about press fit bb fittings, but I haven't read anything of the same order about HT2, so up to now I've simply assumed it is a far superior system and a good reason not to buy a new bike when most now have press fit bb bearings.

    PS Ugo - I am still on my original Race Lite wheels. The rear is showing signs of the bearings rumbling, but the front is still fine. :D

    You don't change a winning horse... :D

    Let's put it in perspective... it's not the end of the world, changing a HT 2 BB takes about 5 minutes and it costs just over 20 pounds... however... my point is: it is not an upgrade, spending money to end up with an inferior system is rather pointless... if you have it, keep it, if you don't, then leave it where it is as chances are the chainset the OP has is more durable.
    There is too much obsession about matching components, people spend loads of money to get a matching part when it makes no difference at all and often it is worse, hence my advice.
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,406
    One of the most common subjects on this forum is creaking and fast bearing wear on modern bottom bracket systems. Like many others, I have had good experiences of square taper cartridge bottom brackets from both Shimano and Campag. External and press fit bearings do provide extra space in which to increase the size and stiffness of axles and bearings but at the cost of fast wear and greater need for maintenance.

    Now that carbon frames rule the roost and we are no longer forced to have rather inadequately sized BSA type bottom bracket shells, surely it must be possible to design something that is strong, stiff and light as well as being long lasting and easy to maintain.

    What about having carbon frames with wide oversize threaded bottom bracket shells fitted with cartridge square taper bottom brackets. You could have a hollow oversize axle for stiffness and light weight and oversize bearings enclosed within the frame for long life. You could have adjustable threaded cups on each side so you could adjust the chain line - particularly helpful for triple users. A square taper axle would mean you could choose from a wide selection of cranks instead of being tied to one manufacturer. And maintenance or replacement would be a doddle with a crank extractor and bottom bracket extractor.

    It would only add a few grammes to the overall weight of a bike and perhaps a few pounds to the cost. But the benefit for ownership would be great.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    Well get it made and try and promote yet another BB standard. What you are describing is the BB86 shell with the bearing in cups that thread into the shell. Not impossible by any means but adding weight to the frame goes against the grain of what the market wants.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • maddog 2maddog 2 Posts: 8,114
    not read all this but ST last well and all but HT2 are stiffer and lighter, if that matters, and last fine if you fit them properly and don't preload them too much.
    Facts are meaningless, you can use facts to prove anything that's remotely true! - Homer
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