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The Easton Cycling BSA68 30mm bottom bracket is a fit and forget option. The bearings run smoothly and the seals do a good job of keeping the water out. What more do you want from a BB?
While Shimano has stuck with a 24mm axle diameter for its cranksets, many others have gone down the 30mm route for increased stiffness. Easton is one of them, and this is what this BB has been designed for.
Easton says it has developed a seal that achieves low levels of drag while still retaining excellent protection qualities from the elements. Keeping the water out has allowed Easton to use a thinner, low-viscosity bearing grease which offers more durability at high speeds than a thicker one. Its testing found that a thicker grease was being thrown to the outer bearing under the centrifugal force when spinning at high speed, and sticking, so it wouldn't return to the inner race at lower speeds. This would mean increased wear of the inner race bearings. Using a thinner grease allows for the bearings to be protected at a range of speeds.
It's hard to quantify in the real world without knowing exactly which greases Easton is using, and what other manufacturers use.
What I can say is that I've been using this bottom bracket on my winter bike over the last couple of months, so it's seen plenty of wet weather and rubbish road conditions, and everything is still running smoothly and, more importantly, silently.
Admittedly, that is quite a short period for a full test, but I have been running the PF86 version in my other bike for well over a year now, and that is still running as smoothly as the day it went in, after about 5,000 all-weather miles.
Aside from this BSA version, the majority of frames are catered for: BB86, PF30, BB386 and BBRight. There are also spacer kits available.
At £59.99 the Easton is more expensive than many other 30mm compatible bottom brackets on the market. The Praxis Works M30 which is used on my gravel bike is hardwearing and also smooth. That has an rrp of £35, although you'll need a specific tool to remove or install it, which lifts the price a touch. The Race Face Cinch BSA30 is £39.95.
Overall, I've been seeing good results from Easton's bearings on both versions that I've been running on my bikes. They are pricier than some rivals, but if you want a fit-and-forget product then it's possibly worth the outlay.
Smooth-running bottom bracket that shows no signs of being affected by rotten weather
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Easton BSA68 30mm Bottom Bracket
Size tested: 68mm
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?
Easton says, "Bottom Brackets are an essential part of the bicycle that is often overlooked and forgotten, but we saw the BB as another opportunity for performance gains and improved efficiency. For our BB we have developed a seal that achieves a very low level of drag while still retaining excellent protection qualities. Its thinner and low viscosity bearing grease with the correct fill level offers higher durability at high speeds. If you're running the best crankset on the market, you should have the performance BB to match."
It's a smooth running bottom bracket which looks to have good durability.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Thinner and lower viscosity bearing grease for higher durability at high speeds
In-house testing procedure includes developing a 24-hour continuous water invasion test
BSA 68 BSA (English) Threaded BB, 30mm Spindle 91gm 68mm
Other available versions are:
PF30 68 46mm Press fit, 30mm Spindle 117gm 68mm
BB86 41mm Press fit, 30mm Spindle 66gm 86.5mm
386 EVO 46mm Press fit, 30mm Spindle 103gm 86.5mm
BBRIGHT 46mm Press fit, 30mm Spindle 91gm 79mm
BB30/OSBB alloy spacer kit 42mm Press fit, 30mm Spindle 19gm 68mm
Both the Praxis and Race Face options I mention in the review offer similar performance levels for less money.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's easy to fit and offers minimal resistance.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Smooth bearings remain smooth.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It's a bit pricey.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
On the whole the Easton BB runs very smoothly and looks to do a good job of keeping the weather out. It's on the pricey side, though, against some of the opposition.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!