BB30a annoyance - tell me my options

So I’ve fully rebuilt my 2017 Cannondale Synapse Carbon disc following an RTA.

New bearings and circlips for the bottom bracket, new crank axle shaft, new compact spider ring, new spacer kit and although I’ve reused the original crank arms (one is a stages LH PM) I have used new retaining nuts that thread into the axle held in with 40nm torque.

Everything was fully cleaned and checked before assembly.

I paid extra for the Hambini higher quality Japanese bearings. Quadruple checked they were the right ones for my bike. Also completely cleaned out the metal sleeve that the whole assembly sits in, using acetone to remove any final residue so it was spotless.

Clear signs of wear on the old axle shaft and bearings and some wear visible (marks) on the aluminium sleeve.

It’s only done about 10k miles in total so I am a bit surprised at the wear but I guess I’m a heavy rider (circa 100kg) so it might be expected. I’ve also read a lot of negative reviews on-line about BB30 but am not sure what / how much to believe.

After reassembly, the following riding has resulted in the dreaded creaking and ticking noises, despite proper application of quality grease in the correct places.

I left it a while to ‘settle’ and then re-torqued just in case but no improvement.

I’ve done all the advised checks to make sure the noise isn’t coming from somewhere else or that the assembly was perhaps done incorrectly.

Did a tonne of on line searching and found a commonly proposed ‘fix’ of using red loctite. Followed this route using a couple of different YouTube videos as a guide and in doing so completely re-cleaned everything beforehand and left more than the required time for the loctite to set.

It’s still creaking and ticking!!!

I suspect the previous wear on the surface of the aluminium sleeve means there is too much room for movement for the new bearings and so the slight ‘out of tolerance’ is causing the creaking.

Removal of the sleeve is impossible as it’s bonded onto the carbon frame.

My options (some of which I’ve discounted) are as follows:

  • new frame (discounted as too expensive)
  • try the loctite fix again with yet another set of new bearings
  • go back to the ‘grease’ solution - apply more; it won’t solve the problem but will reduce the noise caused by the movement
  • do nothing, let it be and just accept the noise (discounted as I don’t like giving up)
  • replace the BB30 pressfit with some sort of ‘supposedly better’ threaded BB shell that would fit inside the existing aluminium sleeve (discounted on two points 1. Mainly, I can’t find anything on-line that appears to do this job 2. The cost is potentially prohibitive because I’d need another new compatible axle shaft / spider ring / crank arms and PM, unless I can recoup some of the cost by selling the other parts)

I’m tending towards the grease option but wanted to ask the forum in case there was another ‘solution’ I hadn’t considered.

If there is a threaded BB solution that allows me to still use the existing axle and spider ring then great - but I can’t find one at present despite a decent amount of time spent searching (unless I’m looking for the wrong thing)?

Also - assuming I leave it to just creak and tick, how long before one of the bearings collapses and I have a nasty accident as a result?

Thanks :+1:t2:

My solution to this was bearing retaining compound, like loctite 641. This is a thin green liquid that dries hard and takes up the slack between the bearing and the sleeve or shaft. You need some on both the interface between the bearings and sleeve, but I think more importantly also between bearing and axle.

As you say the wear on the sleeve and shaft are allowing them to rotate independantly of each other. You can often see this wear very clearly on older shafts. Once the wear sets in I think it just gets worse, so a new axle may also help now you’ve fixed the bearings. The retaining compound fills the tiny gap and stops further wearing of the axle. No need to replace the new bearings.

It’s very simple to apply and shafts and bearings will still hammer out without breaking anything.


I’m using a Wheels Manufacturing BB30 threaded converter had it a few years but has developed a creak so currently in the bike shop. Wheels and Praxis do them there a good alternative but are prone to creaking to.

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Have you seen this? It’s a very permanent option.
FSA BB30 to BSA Adapter

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Yeh that’s exactly the one I used - in the red bottle.

Exactly the application I used. Completely agree with everything you’ve noted. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to have worked in this instance.

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Hadn’t considered that, albeit one of the two reviews on Amazon seems to say it’s not so good and points back to using the Wheels Manufacturing solution mentioned elsewhere in this thread.

Agree it seems a very ‘permanent’ solution!

Now this interests me. Couple of questions:

Do I assume it’s a simple ‘slot in place’ item that fits inside the existing sleeve?

Will the existing axle shaft fit (ie is the hole in the middle the same size) or do I need to buy a new (different diameter) one and the fire need new crank arms and spider ring to attach?

I’m using a C-bear on a Caad ¹², works a treat. Not cheap though.


This right here is the way to go.

Do the full cleaning process of everything, and when you press in the new bearings apply the loctite and let it properly cure before you install the cranks. 24hrs is all it needs.

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Cool :sunglasses:

We’re you able to use the existing axle shaft and other components?

How easy was the installation.?

Yep agree.

Did that and was super fastidious about the cleaning. Left it to ‘cure’ for nearly 70 hours before doing the rest. I think the wear on the sleeve is excessive in this particular case which is what is causing the issue. Annoying :confused:

I think I will strip it all down, fully re-clean and rebuild it all again; just to give it one more try.

Failing this the C-bear option that @willow15 has recommended looks like the next thing to explore, subject to confirmation on compatibility with existing axle shaft etc. :+1:t2:

No. Apply the loctite press in the bearings and install the cranks with preload. This will keep the bearings aligned. Ive replace my cannondale bb30 bearings on my caadx and superx probabaly 20-30x during the cx race seasons over 5 gears and never get creaks

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Another vote for 641. I’ve had good results with this.

You say that you used loctite red. If you really used loctitie 271 (red), you might be screwed. It’s designed to be permanent. The only way I know to release a threaded connection that’s been treated with 271 is to heat it with a torch. That’s not an option on a carbon frame. Hopefully it’s not really 271 or maybe it’s not as permanent when used with these bearings. Good luck.

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I too looked into the C-bear option, luckily didn’t have to go that route.
if you haven’t already, purchase a set of the Park Tool BB30a bearing puller & cups. That way pulling and pressing in new ones is dead easy and as you’re already finding once you know what you are doing its about a 20min process + cure time.

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Ah ok - I will give that approach a go. Thanks :+1:t2:

Thanks; I used 641 as per earlier photo. I called it ‘red’ due to the bottle colour :joy::joy:

Got the park tool puller and cups - you’re right, makes it such an easy job :+1:t2::ok_hand:t2:

I got my mechanic to fit but I don’t think it’s hard to do. As for the axel I swapped to Dura ace so got the C-bear 24mm version, but they do a 30mm hollowgram compatible version.
I would of done the same for my Super X but they don’t do one for that :frowning:

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Whoops, I guess I should have caught that. That’s good.

Just one other thing to think about - double/triple check that the creak isn’t coming from some other source. I’d be particularly suspect since you said the noise came back immediately (grease and 641 should have at least quieted it for a while). I’ve seen several situations (even bikes with multiple visits to the shop) where the owner and mechanics were 100% positive it was a bottom bracket and it turned out to be something else (after multiple BB replacements). Spokes rubbing, quick release, headset, stem, crank arm, chainring bolt, pedal, cleat, etc. can all have a remarkably similar sound that is tied to pedal cadence. Saddle, rails, and seat post are culprits as well, but typically only if the noise only happens when seated.

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I installed the BBInfinite BB30a bottom bracket insert in my 2015 Synapse Hi-Mod.
Zero creaks.