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Ruined e*thirteen Bottom Bracket Bearings

My Salsa Mukluk 2 came fitted with an e*thirteen XCX+ Triple crankset, and unfortunately, the bearings that came with it were not as sealed or water resistant as I’d expected. After last weekend’s fat biking excursions into the lake I gave my bike a good check-over which included pulling the cranks to look for water in the frame and check out the bearings. Upon initially pulling the cranks the bearings were dirty and felt a bit scratchy when turned, but there wasn’t any noticeable water in the bottom bracket area so I left it all apart to thoroughly dry and clean figuring that I could live with the slight scratching. However, after drying out overnight the bearings went from slightly crunchy to thoroughly seized up.

Since the bearings were clearly useless I purchased a blind hole bearing puller and removed them from the cups, leaving the cups in the frame. I then removed the seals and cage from one baering, degreased it, and took the picture above showing just how damaged the bearings and races became. (Another view of it is available here.)

Normally the bearings and races should be shiny metallic, not corroded and scored as they are here. To my surprise the seals were fairly easy to remove and there was a lot less grease inside than I’d expected (the balls were only lightly coated, not packed), so I can’t help but wonder if with more grease the bearings wouldn’t have had problems. It also makes me interested in trying to pack extra grease into the replacement bearings. However, this would require removing the seals which brings with it a risk of damage…

(For reference, the e*thirteen bottom bracket uses the same 6806-2RS bearings (30mm x 42mm x 7mm) that fit the BB30 standard, this got me thinking about replacing the bearings instead of buying a whole new bottom bracket. I’ve obtained a blind hole bearing puller, bearings, and tools for pressing new bearings into place, so with any luck I’ll be able to replace the bearings and get the crankset working properly again.)

One Comment

  1. Bob Costello
    Bob Costello July 27, 2012

    The bearings look like little Jupiters…. :D

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