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What Is a Bottom Bracket on a Bicycle

It’s the component that attaches the bike’s crankset to the frame, which in turn enables the crank to rotate independently off the frame. Essentially, without this component you’d not be able to spin the pedals. You don’t need us to tell you it’s a pretty key piece of a bike.

Different Types

There is a seemingly bewildering number of different bike bottom brackets and standards. Broadly, modern ones can either be ‘threaded’ or ‘pressed’—hence the terms threaded and press-fit bottom brackets—into the frame’s bottom bracket shell. A part of the BB is the bearings that actually allow for rotation; these are what you want to pay attention to in terms of getting a regular service.

How to know when your bottom bracket is worn and needs replacing

The main indication that a replacement might be needed will come from the bearings. You might start to hear creaking noises, which won’t make you anyone’s friend on the group ride. You may also feel some ‘play’ or rocking movement in the crankset.

What to Think About When Buying a Bike Bottom Bracket

Your bike will need a specific type, depending on your discipline, the brand of your frame, and crankset you use. There is, unfortunately, a wide, wide variety of standards to choose from but you should be able to find what fits your bike in the manufacturer’s specifications.

As mentioned above, broadly these can be split into threaded bottom brackets and press fit. A threaded BB will be screwed into the frame and held in place with ‘cups’. There are different types of threads within this, so you’ll need to check which one you need; the two common types are Italian standard and English standard.

As the name implies, press fit BBs are literally pressed into the frame’s bottom bracket shell. This can be a trickier process than threaded and will require specialist tools.

Luckily, we stock a massive range of bottom brackets, and bearings and cups for a variety of bikes. So, whether you want to maximise efficiency with something ceramic or replace a worn part on your winter commuting bike, take our range for a spin.