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what is the benefit of a more expensive bottom bracket? I just purchased a used Cube Agree C:62 (previous version of https://www.cube.eu/.../d3c24ded01f0b52c27caca216a293153...) without a bottom bracket and thus need to buy one for my GXP cranks. Checking an online retailer, obviously the price range is huge. So what would be the difference between, for example, this: https://www.bike24.at/p118335.html and this https://www.bike24.at/p1399923.html other than that the former is currently not stocked. Also: Do you recommend buying a bearing press or just going to a shop, ordering the bracket there including installation? (I usually do all my maintenance jobs at home) Can I route shifting wires with the bracket in place?

Thanks for your help!

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That's indeed a tough one, as very often neither the specs or the marketing material is sufficient to understand clearly the difference. The difference is usually in the quality of the bearings (seals, alloy/material,...), tolerances for the bearing/crank and bearing/BB shell. Another factor is linked to manufacturing: it's very likely that the standard SRAM is produced in larger quantities than the BBB, so economies of scale are possible for BBB and hopefully some of the savings are passed to the customers.

I don't have experience with SRAM but with Shimano, there's a clear durability difference between XT bottom brackets and Deore ones (about the double), but given there's only a 6€ difference between the two, trying is not an expensive experiment, and once done, it's a no-brainer. For reference, the marketing material says that the Deore has "better sealing" for bearings, the XT has sealed bearings (both have sealed bearings...).

For the question about installation: press-fit bottom brackets are known to creak if not installed properly, so better to buy the tools if you want to install it. The choice between doing it at home or in a shop is a matter of preference, personally, I prefer to do as much as home as possible (to not be dependent on the schedule of the shop, and the inconvenience of bring the bike to the shop). But given I'm riding often in dusty or muddy conditions, bottom brackets are more often than if I were riding only on tarmac.

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  • Do you have any similar experience with road/gravel BBs? Last time, Tiagra RS400 was not in stock and I bought a significantly pricier Ultegra. Then I have probkems installing it since it requires an adapter and I even first bought a Dura-ace one, which is different and had to go to the shop again. Nov 5, 2023 at 10:26
  • No experience with road/gravel BBs, but I remember having had the same issue with the adapter (that is shared between XT and Ultegra IIRC). I only put the absolute price difference, but yes the relative one is important. To come back to your question: hard to make a strict comparison between road and off-road: I wouldn't be surprised that off-road, sealing is the limiting factor while on road, it's the metals used for the bearings (because of less possible contamination). But given gravel riding is as dusty as MTB (if not more), I'd be surprised that Shimano neglects sealing on road BBs.
    – Renaud
    Nov 5, 2023 at 10:52
  • Regarding the press tool consideration: I'm blessed with an LBS, in a friendly town, where I can come calling with the bike and replacement BB in hand wondering if I might use a BB press here on the sidewalk. Might be an option several places FAIK. To save even that trouble, their are reasonably priced and well-machined to tolerance basic presses. Online search will reveal options, from there follow good sense. There will be options, even in the least expensive, offered by brands associated with quality products. And they work perfectly
    – Jeff
    Nov 6, 2023 at 2:05

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