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From the questions here and a lot of opinions elsewhere, it seems that press fit bottom brackets are bound to be creaking, almost by design, due to low tolerances and how they're installed. It seems that many manufacturers insist on using them as they are lighter.

I am shopping for my first road bike, most of my top choices have press fit bottom brackets. How much of a priority should this be in my choosing of a bicycle? I am planning to buy good frame with decent components and average wheels. I will most likely upgrade the wheels and perhaps the components, but I plan to keep the frame for a long time, so this seems like a long term decision.

  • The problem is somewhat over-exaggerated online. There are lots of bikes with press-fit BB's, and yet on your typical group ride you don't ride along to a chorus of creaky BB's. That said, I have one bike (of 6 total) with a press fit, and yes it does creak. – Andy P Oct 29 '18 at 16:36
  • @AndyP is there a chance you may get the manufacturer to fix the creaking bike or is it a write off? – gschenk Oct 29 '18 at 22:28
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    One thing about this whole topic is that how big or unsolvable of an issue it is varies a ton with climate and usage. People riding recreationally in dry conditions get less of these issues, and when they do, a one-time grease slather is likely to fix it for good. Contrast to using the same bike as a wet weather commuter, and it will never shut up for long. – Nathan Knutson Oct 30 '18 at 3:16
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Many manufacturers tend to use them secondarily for stiffness and performance reasons and primarily because if you don't have it, it's probably harder to sell that bike these days.

It's not a terrible issue (bikes make noises anyway), and can be fixed/tamed down in a decent number of cases by re-installation.

That being said, you can still find good bicycles that do not use press-fit bottom brackets, if you so choose; most bikes I think of as first road bikes would not be press fit at this point.

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A press fit bottom bracket is not always the cause of creaking.

Check the gap between the crank and the bottom bracket. If any dirt gets in it will cause it to creak. You can brush the area to clean, or you can take off the crank.

If the problem persists, the cause may be an aged or damaged bottom bracket. Go to a local bike shop and they will be happy to replace one.

The noise may not come from the bottom bracket at all. Check your derailleur and the pulley wheels to make sure there are no dirt or extra grease that may be a potential cause.

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