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The article on bottom bracket terminology at Park Tool and the Wikipedia article do not say what an integrated bottom bracket is and other resources online assume the reader already knows what one is. What is it? How does it differ from a BB that is not integrated? What is "integrated" about it?

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    The Park site does not appear to say integrated bottom bracket anywhere. It compared some Bb standards to integrated headsets.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 13:21
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    I agree, that Wikipedia reference to 'integrated bottom brackets' is pretty sloppy so good question. An integrated headset as referenced on the Park Tool page is well defined bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/17119/…
    – Swifty
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 13:28
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    Do you have a reference for where you have seen this term used? I’ve never heard of it. Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 18:17
  • I have seen the phrase in a number of places. Here's one: jrbicycles.com/products/…
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 16, 2020 at 1:11
  • If you read the description, that's a bottom bracket for BB86/BB92. If you then look up what that is, you'll find that most descriptions don't mention "integrated". It looks kind of similar to integrated headsets and those who haven't been involved bikes for long might not know that external bearings haven't always been the standard, and that might be why they describe it as "integrated".
    – ojs
    Commented Apr 17, 2020 at 16:02

2 Answers 2

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There is no such thing.

The only mention I can find is the Wikipedia article where it is used to describe the setup that is commonly known as two piece crankset. Wikipedia does not cite any sources for the term, so it is most likely that the editor simply invented a word to describe a setup similar to external bearings where the bearings might be inside bottom bracket shell.

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  • Slightly offtopic, but there was a time when Wikipedia claimed that minimum weight for racing bicycle is 15 kg. Citing UCI technical regulations was not enough to get the number right.
    – ojs
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 14:46
  • I agree, I believe the term "integrated bottom bracket" is likely a misnomer. The person writing that sentence may have been confused by the fact that the spindles, which used to be part of the bottom bracket, are now integrated into the cranks.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 15:32
  • The manufacturer of a folding bike lists the parts that are available when you order the frameset only, including: bb Parts : Integrated.
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 15:45
  • [citation needed]
    – ojs
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 15:46
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    Now that I have looked into my crystal ball, is the real question that you are thinking about buying that frame that you don't want to link, and want to know which bottom bracket you need for it?
    – ojs
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 16:25
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In this case, integrated refers to the fact that the spindle/axle is integrated with the drive side crank, ie it is permanently attached to the crank that has the chainrings.

As opposed to say, the oldie-but-goodie square taper bottom bracket, which has a spindle/axle that is completely separate from the cranks.

There's a lot of lingo used in bicycle terminology. To be honest, I've not heard "integrated" vs "not integrated" that often. Typically, integrated would have been called 2-piece crank (ie you have the left crank arm which is one piece, and you have the right crank arm which has the chainrings and axle all as one unit). The 'not integrated' would be called 3-piece crank. 1) left crank, 2) axle, 3)right crank and chainrings

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  • A minor point of information: not all cranksets have the spindle integrated with the drive side arm. Many cranks with direct mount chainrings, like Easton, have the spindle integrated with the non-drive arm. Campagnolo Ultra Torque cranks integrate the spindle into both arms, and the spindle halves join in the middle of the BB via a Hirth joint plus a bolt.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 13:27
  • Thank you, Gaston. Is there variability in the way the bearings are mounted within the category "integrated BB"?
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 14:02
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    Yes. There are many ways bearings can be mounted. They can be threaded to the bottom bracket shell. Typically, for a 2-piece crankset, the bearings would be external to the bb shell, so they can be bigger than if they were inside the bb shell. eg Shimano Hollowtech II. They can also be pressed into the bb shell, or into adapters that go into the bb shell. There are so many bb standards that they will make your head spin.
    – user39927
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 16:16
  • @Weiwen: That's neat, was not aware of that. I just looked up the Campy Ultra Torque design, seems like overly complicating things for no reason?
    – user39927
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 16:25
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    @Gaston it's Italian ;)
    – Swifty
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 21:55

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