Bottom bracket - swap advice needed

by Fishy   August 6, 2012  


A little bit of advice for the less technically minded please.

I currently own a Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Tiagra 2010, spec via the Evans website:

I've recently sold my commuter (the Bianchi is the "nice" bike) & I plan to replace it with a Ribble Special Edition. Initially, I was committed to the Tiagra special edition for £579. I've noted however that you can get the special edition fitted out with either Sram Rival or 105 for £738(ish). My plan is to spend the extra to get the fancier groupset in order to swap it onto my Bianchi frame - effectively delivering a full groupset upgrade to the Bianchi for £159 whilst still getting a Tiagra equipped Winter (the Bianchi groupset is in good order)

I'm leaning towards Sram Rival over 105, purely on novelty grounds.

I'm comfortable switching deraillers, cassettes and shifters. Where I have no experience however is in the bottom bracket department.

Could a kind soul advise?

Here's the Bianchi as stock:

Here's the Winter Trainer:

or the Winter Trainer frame only (if that helps?)

1. What tools do I need to tackle the bottom brackets?
2. Can the Bianchi & SRAM bottom brackets be switched, or will I have to buy new? The Bianchi's bottom bracket appears to be completely internal, whereas SRAM is using external bearings (i.e is there a frame compatibility issue?)
3. Are there any other issues to consider / is this a bad idea?
4. Should I go for SRAM Apex (saving £70) or is it a case of once you've committed to buying the tools you may as well go all out?

9 user comments

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they'll both be a 68mm BB shell with a standard thread on non-drive and reversed thread on drive side.

sounds like the bianchi has a square-taper BB? it's a sealed unit and you'll need the right tool, probably a Park BBT-22 or similar.

for the Rival/105 you'll need an external cup tool, Park BBT-9 or similar. SRAM and Shimano external BBs have the same spline pattern.

remember that on both the thread is reversed on the drive side, so it's clockwise to undo.

they should be fairly simple to swap though. you might need to give it some beans to get the sealed unit BB out, they can be in pretty tight.

Given a choice of Rival or 105, i'd go for 105. but that's just personal preference; they're both good.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7857 posts]
6th August 2012 - 17:27


i got my bb for £13 from halfords + bike plan £20, free fitting, + a bike service + cables replaced.

Used them since to do some more checks etc.

Saved me a fortune on tools.

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
6th August 2012 - 21:00


Youtube is a great resource too if like me instruction manuals just never quite seem to make sense.

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [811 posts]
6th August 2012 - 22:02


Great, thanks chaps!

It is a square-taper, the online spec listing of FSA Omega threw me but having checked it out in the flesh it's clearly FSA Vero which is a square taper design

posted by Fishy [55 posts]
7th August 2012 - 8:48


just an addition in case you weren't sure - although SRAM and shimano BBs have the same thread and splines for the tool they are not cross compatible with the chainsets. I think you can get adapters to use shimano BBs with SRAM but not 100% sure. FWIW I'm with Dave re: Rival vs 105 although the shimano chainsets are fugly IMO I think 105 has a nicer shifter feel.

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [1113 posts]
7th August 2012 - 13:30


good point joemmo - the SRAM axles are slightly wider where they contact the bearings, so SRAM axles won't fit in shimano bbs

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7857 posts]
7th August 2012 - 13:36


SRAM GXP also use a totally different method for bearing pre-loading Smile

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [925 posts]
4th January 2013 - 12:45


SRAM ftw.

Double Tap is just so intuitive.

Shimano is... dependable and quiet. Thinking

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1734 posts]
4th January 2013 - 12:49


Sounds like a nice project. Can you only choose Shimano or SRAM? It would be cool to go with a Campag groupset, then add Campag wheels with the funky spoke pattern.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3723 posts]
4th January 2013 - 13:45