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What do you want a bottom bracket to do?
a) Spin smoothly
b) Carry on spinning smoothly
FSA's BB-8000 has done both for me all year.
The BB-8000, available in both BSA and Italian versions, comes with oversized cartridge bearings that sit in forged and then CNCed cups. The same BB is available with ceramic bearings too but that's more than three times as expensive.
They're sealed units. You can't get in there to re-grease the bearings or to replace them when they wear out: this is a fit-and-forget, love 'em and leave 'em design. I'd rather they were serviceable, that would be more satisfying, ecologically sound and all the rest of it, but, realistically, they're not.
There's an internal alloy sleeve between the cups that clicks securely in place, and an O-ring seal at either end of that sleeve stops any water that gets inside the frame from working its way into the bearings.
Installation is easy as long as you have the correct BB installation tool. I've used both Shimano and Chris King tools and they worked just fine.
I've been running this bottom bracket on a training bike for nearly a year and it has done a few thousand miles in all sorts of weather. I've just removed it now, it came off easy enough, and it's still super smooth. I've not had issues of any kind: no creaking, no clicking, no nothing. A bit dull, really, which, in this case, is a good thing. The bearings will wear out eventually but there are no signs of that happening yet.
Smooth fit-and-forget bottom bracket that's going strong several months and several thousand miles down the line
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Make and model: FSA Mega Exo BB-8000 bottom bracket
Size tested: English
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
FSA say, "Compatible with K-Force and SL-K, the BB-8000 features oversize cartridge bearings with forged and CNC machined external cups. To keep water and dirt away from the bearings, the BB-8000 uses an internal alloy center sleeve with double o-ring seals."
Decent materials. The sealing seems good. At least, mine is still running smooth despite numerous soakings.
You fit it, you run it until it's knackered, you replace it. Simple.
It's going fine. The only trouble is, you can't re-grease or replace the bearings, so when either needs doing, it's game over.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It has just got on with its job without complaint for a year now. I've had no problems at all.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Lack of serviceability.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 40 Height: 190cm Weight: 74kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.