Are you a cycling enthusiast frustrated about having to keep changing your bike’s bottom bracket often? You just can’t seem to figure out how durable a bottom bracket should be?
You have every right to be frustrated. And I’m here to get you out of it.
So, how long does a bottom bracket last?
Typically, you can go about 10 to 15000 miles without your bottom bracket causing you any trouble. But that’s only when your bike is not affected by any of the detrimental factors. Such as riding on mountainous plains, exposure to rain or rough weather, dirt accumulation in the bottom bracket, etc.
But that’s not enough information for you to determine the durability of your bike’s bottom bracket.
To get rid of all your confusion regarding this issue, scroll down and read the whole article!
How Long Will Your Bottom Bracket Last?
What do you think, how long do bottom brackets last?
Well, if you try to apply all the maintenance factors I’ve mentioned below and work accordingly, your bottom bracket will last through 10 to 15000 miles easily. And the time duration depends on how many miles you’re going every month.
So, in case you’re wondering how often you should change your bottom bracket, I’d say there is no reason for you to replace it as long as it doesn’t show any problem.
Also, regarding whether or not should you upgrade your bottom bracket, if your crankset gets to a point when you have to replace it with a new one. Instead of trying to find matching parts, you can totally opt for a new setup.
But until then, you can try to be aware of the actions that might affect the durability of your existing bottom bracket.
Curious to know what I’m talking about? Then read along!
Factors Influencing the Durability of a Bottom Bracket
There is no exact answer to how long bottom brackets last. And that’s because it depends on a number of considerable factors.
Such as the type of your bottom bracket, the ways you maintain it, and a few more factors that directly influence the durability of a bottom bracket. If bottom bracket maintenance can be followed, they do last longer.
A regular bottom bracket contains bearings, which are responsible for rotating the crank’s spindle. Hence making your ride effortless and super-efficient.
By that, you can already tell what might happen if your bottom bracket becomes faulty. Your drivetrain will start showing resistance when you try to pedal. You’d need to apply more force than you do in normal circumstances.
I’ll be discussing all of these factors below to help you acquire a crystal-clear conception on this matter.
Let’s get straight to the point now!
Making Appropriate Adjustments
A loose or wobbly bottom bracket can get damaged when you ride your bike in this condition. The bearing cups and as well as the bracket frame can also get damaged along with it.
If the bracket frame/shell is ruined, you may not even be able to unscrew your bottom bracket later. And you’ll end up having to dismantle all the parts.
To prevent this from happening, make sure that your bottom bracket and all the parts around it are tightly secured.
Here’s our recommendation for bottom bracket adjustment tools.
|BikeHand 3 in 1 Bicycle Bottom Bracket Removal Crank Tool||1. Triple ended bottom bracket wrench 2. Compatible with most Shimano bikes||Grab Now|
|ark Tool Shimano/ISIS Bottom Bracket Tool||Ensures maximum bottom bracket cup engagement||Grab Now|
|Oumers Bike Crank Extractor and Bottom Bracket Remover||Compatible with any brand of bottom bracket||Grab Now|
These also tend to loosen up with time and extensive use. Your crank arm can loosen up as well because of this.
So you need to check and tighten the screw from time to time. That’ll keep you hassle-free and help in preserving your bottom bracket’s quality for a long time.
Dirt Accumulation in the Bottom Bracket
Long-term dirt accumulation in your bottom bracket will eventually start damaging the material. It is one of the major bottom bracket problems. Just like a corrosion process, at one point your bottom bracket will start rusting and causing you trouble.
So it’s important that you regularly clean your bike thoroughly to prevent dirt from accumulating inside the bottom bracket. ParkTool bike cleaning kit comes with exactly what you need here. It comes with 4 brushes that don’t leave any dirt remaining.
After cleaning the bottom brackets, it’s imperative to apply a degreaser there. I personally use the Driveup degreaser. It’s non-toxic and keeps stains and rust away.
However, keep in mind to not directly spray water at high speed. Because that might cause water from entering into the bottom bracket., resulting in rust formation.
Greasing or Lubricating the Bearings
Most of the bottom bracket bearings wear out when you don’t apply any lubricant when the grease dries out.
You should apply lube to your bike’s bottom bracket at least twice a year, or after going about 3000 miles.
Here’s our recommendation for lubes you can use.
- White Lightning Degreaser – Washes away old grease and dirt
- Finish Line Premium Grease– Prevents rust, distortion, corrosion, and wear
- Park Tool PolyLube Grease– Repels moisture and ensures durability
Make a habit of overhauling the drivetrain every 3 or 4 months. And apply lube to the chains and your bottom bracket bearings every time you clean it.
Exposure to Rain/Adverse Environment
The more your bike will be exposed to rain or water, the quicker your bottom bracket will get damaged. Too much water exposure will cause the bearings to start rusting, resulting in a noisy bottom bracket.
Also, riding around in rainy weather means riding in muddy areas. All that dirt getting caught in your bottom bracket will further contribute to the damage process.
In fact, the entire drivetrain’s quality will eventually degrade if you ride around in adverse weather too often. You may have to get your bike a new crankset at some point.
The lesser your bike will be exposed to rain and rough weather, the longer your bottom bracket will last.
Bottom Bracket Type
There’s a wide range of bottom bracket standards currently available in the market. And they vary in terms of quality and durability.
Like, if you ask how long do Mtb bottom brackets last, they last for about 5 years, with zero disturbance in the first three years.
But the ceramic bottom brackets are known to last for about 2 to 3 years if used extensively.
The list of options is longer than you know. You just have to choose one that’s durable and fits your bike’s frame.
You’re probably trying to figure out how long do bottom brackets last. And what methods of bottom bracket maintenance should you apply to increase its longevity.
If that’s the case, you’ve landed in the right place.
Even if you haven’t faced this issue yet, by reading this article you’d be knowing all about the durability and maintenance of your bottom brackets, as well as how to identify bottom bracket problems.
How often should I service my bottom bracket?
It’s best to service your bottom bracket about every 3 to 4 months.
How often should I grease my bottom bracket?
If you’re a regular cycler and you cycle around during rain quite often, then you should apply grease to your bottom bracket every 5 to 9 months.
How do I tell if my bottom bracket bearings have become defective?
You can consider that your bottom bearings have become faulty if it starts to make a grinding noise and if you feel it rumbling while pedaling.
Now that we are done with our discussion regarding how long does a bottom bracket last, it’s time to part ways.
I’ve tried my best to explain this matter as thoroughly as possible. Hopefully, after reading this article, you’re clear about the long-lastingness of bottom brackets and the factors that influence them.
Hoping that you’ve found our article helpful and you’ll follow us for more content!