BB compatibility: Italian vs English?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by ksl, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. ksl

    ksl New Member

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    Thinking of changing to compact cranks. I have a 2005 Giant TCR2 Composite, which has a 2005 Ultegra 10 speed 52/39 crank/bb.

    The various integrated cranksets (eg FSA) come with different BBs - I found a FSA compact crank on sale with an "Italian" BB, as well as another one with a 107mm BB.

    Questions:

    1. does "Italian" means Campy compatible and "English" means Shimano compatible? Is this an issue with my frame's BB shell? Will an Italian BB fit my frame?

    2. do different BB sizes (eg 107mm, 108mm, ISIS) all fit all frames? Or do they have to match the BB shell in each frame? I guess they may result in different Q-factors, but such small differences aren't important to me.

    Thanks for the help
     
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  2. John M

    John M New Member

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    1. English or Italian refers to the BB shell threading and width. The Italian will NOT fit your frame, which has an English threaded BB. Shimano and Campy both make Italian and English BBs.

    2. Generally, English threaded frames will accomodate the English threaded BBs and the same for Italian threaded frames with Italian BBS. The BB size refers to the length of the spindle and matches a specific crankset usage to provide the correct chain line. You need to choose the BB length that is correct for the crankset and usage that you intend. You have to be careful though, as different models and brands may or may not be interchangeable.

    For example, Campy Chorus requires a 102mm BB for double use but a 111mm for Triple use. However the Campy 111mm asymmetric BB for triple is not interchangeable with the Campy Centaur symmetric 111mm BB which is intended for use with the Centaur double crankset or a Centaur triple with a 28.6mm diameter seat tube frame.

    For an integrated BB/crankset set-up , you should OK for your Giant frame with any English threaded set. To select a non-integrated, you need to make sure that you select the correct spindle length and type (Isis, square taper, etc..) for your crankset and intended use (double or triple).
     
  3. ksl

    ksl New Member

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    Thanks for the advice
     
  4. jmeloy

    jmeloy New Member

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    Great info... can I ask a further question. New bike with Campy Veloce crank/Double. Need to go to either compact or triple. BB is Italian. What is my easiest/most cost effective way to do so?
    Thanks!!!
     
  5. DiabloScott

    DiabloScott Active Member

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    Compact would be easier and cheaper (that's why it's such a popular modification), you'd only be buying a new crank and doing some adjustments. Triple would require crank plus (probably) shifters, derailleurs, and bottom bracket.

    But Campy triples in Veloce are pretty new and availability might be low so you might have to go expensive Campy crank or go ISIS or external bearing new BB and non-Campy crank. I did an FSA compact with ISIS BB for <$125 this summer on my winter bike.
     
  6. John M

    John M New Member

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    Compact would be generally be cheaper and easier. You could probably get by with only a new crankset. Veloce and Centaur compacts are new in the Campy 2006 line and would work with your current BB. Since they are new, they are probably hard to get right now. Alfred E Bike does have them on their website but whether or not they have them is stock is unclear. You could always go with a different brand or crankset, but that would include the added cost of a new BB.

    http://aebike.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=30&Category=181&Brand=60&type=T

    Going triple would possibly require a new BB (unless you have a 28.6mm diameter seat tube), FD, and maybe rear derailleur (if you have a campy medium cage RD, you can run up to 26T rear cog with a triple) + the crankset. That could easily total $200+ for Veloce.

    Contrary to the post by DiabloScott, with Campy Ergo, you do not need new shifters for a triple modification.
     
  7. jmeloy

    jmeloy New Member

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    Diablo,
    I really appreciate your help!! Ok, so let me regroup. I have a FSA Gossamer Compact from my old bike. It is ISIS. What would I have to do to put it on my new bike with the Campy Veloce italian threaded BB/ double? Am I making this harder than it is? Would love the compact double on there!!
     
  8. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    You need a isis 108 spindle italian thread BB, and lower your FD a bit, and probably readjust.....You aslo need to learn to sort wheat from chaff better.
     
  9. John M

    John M New Member

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    Not sure which category I generally fall into.... :)
     
  10. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    He referenced D.S.
     
  11. DiabloScott

    DiabloScott Active Member

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    I'm chaff? Holy crap Bou - I think we've disagreed on like three minor issues in the 2-1/2 years I've been here, and I'm sure I was in the right on one of those. (hmmm, greasing cassette bodies, 0.1mm clamp discrepancies, and Kool Kovers for bi-material cleats, not that I'm keeping track)

    There are serious dumbasses on these boards for you to badger, a better use of your time than me.

    jmeloy - Bou's right, Isis Italian double BB is all you need for parts, the rest is tweaking. And that's the same set-up I had... Gossamer Compact ISIS on my steel Merckx with Italian threads (there's a photo of it on MY BLOG. Upshifting is maybe just a bit slower than with my old Athena 39x53, but no complaints. Sell the Veloce crank on eBay.
     
  12. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Well, he didn't need shifters,possibly the double BB would work with his frame,and even a short cage RD will work with a triple if one avoids the samller cogs when in the granny and just uses it as a bailout....Agreed on the more serious dumbasses.
     
  13. DiabloScott

    DiabloScott Active Member

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    "Triple would require crank plus (probably) shifters, derailleurs, and bottom bracket."

    He said he had a Veloce double crank, he didn't say he had Veloce shifters or Campy derailleurs. I ran my Athena crank with an older Campy FD that would not have worked on a triple, and Ultegra shifters and RD for 10 years, so I was just trying not to assume anything in my answer.

    I'm WHEAT damnit.
     
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