Welcome to our Ask a Mechanic column where our expert mechanic Daniel Slusser answers your bike maintenance questions. If you have a question for Daniel, please post it on our Facebook Wall or e-mail Daniel directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question: Daniel, hello from Brazil! I just saw your BBRight adaptor article on the Art’s Cyclery blog. Very instructive, but I can’t find a answer to my problem anywhere. I have a FSA BBRight crankset from my 2012 Cervelo S5 and I wanna use it in my new 2013 SPZ Roubaix, that has a BSA English threaded BB. What should I do? Excuse me for my ignorance, but I feel like I’m missing something here. Thanks a lot for any help! From: Edson
Answer: I spoke to FSA about the issue and found out that your specific crank is not compatible with any bottom bracket standard other than BBRight because there are no adaptors available for BBRight specific cranksets. These cranksets have a slightly shorter spindle than the somewhat similar BB386EVO standard that FSA is also producing. BB386EVO cranksets are compatible with BBRight, but BBRight cranksets are not compatible with any frame bottom bracket standard other than BBRight. If you had a BB386EVO, Shimano, or SRAM GXP road crank, all you would need is a new English bottom bracket cupset and you would be good to go.
Rotor makes many cranks that conform to the BB386EVO standard, although they don’t actually say that the cranks are BB386EVO. Campagnolo does the same with their Comp Ultra crankset. Race Face and e13 follow the same vagueness regarding their BB386EVO compatible cranks in the mountain bike market. I bring this up to make two points. The first point is that I think BB386EVO is the most versatile crankset standard on the market because it is compatible with virtually every frame bottom bracket standard including BSA (English), ITA, BB86, BB89.5, BB92, BB30, PF30, BBRight, and BB386 frames usually without the need for adaptors. My other point is that bottom bracket standards are clearly out of hand in the bike industry; but I feel that BB386EVO is a move in the right direction. Now all the companies making cranks that meet that standard need to clear up the confusion and label their cranks as BB386EVO to help buyers to know what they are getting and which parts will work together.
Daniel Slusser is a professional bicycle mechanic with over a decade of experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from HSU and a master’s degree in history from Cal Poly. When he is not riding, wrenching, or writing he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.