Campagnolo PF30 Adapter Issues

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Post Reply
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:48 am

by HillBilly

Hi everyone

This is a first post. I'm hoping someone one this board may be able to share some experiences with the use of Campy UT Cranks on frames with a press-fit 30 bottom bracket.

The Campy press fit adapters (68x46) have been available for a while but those I know who have been using them are experiencing both creaking and movement issues. The drive side cup tends not to stay in place but actually moves out of the shell by up to a half mm and the bb creaks and grinds. This is in spite of using anti seize and Teflon plumbers tape. The bikes in question are Ti.

PF30 was developed by SRAM and I have not heard of major dramas using the SRAM/truvativ PF30 bb's and BB30 cranks but I (and others I know) would prefer to be able to stick with a fully Campy group if possible.

It would appear the Campy pf30 adapters are either poorly designed or there is a trick to installing them that is not being freely shared?

Please note, there appears not to be an issue with the Campy BB30 adapters (68x42) - only the PF30 adapters. PF30 uses a wider bb shell without any circlip grooves to retain the bearings. The bearings in a PF30 bb are retained inside a cup.

Lots of smaller custom builders seem to be adopting the PF30 "standard" due it being easier to manufacture.

Any experiences or tips out there?



by Weenie

Shop Owner
Posts: 1980
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:02 am
Location: NoVA/DC

by thisisatest

a couple things: pf30 by design relies less on precise manufacturing tolerances. a pf30 frame is intended to have a plastic sleeve between it and a bearing. so the "fit" of campy's adapter cup may vary in different frames.
assuming the fit is good, there are other things to consider:
for both campy's bb30 and pf30 adapter cups, you have a press in cup with a skirt of a particular depth that will hold a bearing mounted outboard of the frame. the high cyclical loads applied to a crank are basically trying to pry the cups out of the frame. the fact that campy allows for some space between the left bearing and the inside of the cup (the space is taken up with a wave washer) allows the cup to start moving out.
best possible install of current parts:
i would not grease or anti-sieze the cups. leave the plumber's tape for your kitchen sink. remove the cups and thoroughly clean them and the bb shell of the frame with alcohol. being a ti frame, i suggest using a scotchbrite pad on the inside of the bb shell, and cleaning it with alcohol again. spray the inside of the shell with some loctite primer (recommended for inactive metals, both ti and aluminum count) and apply loctite 609 all around the cup skirt. then press it all together.
if it STILL walks out of the frame, repeat, but install very thin shims next to the wavy washer to remove as much of the excess space as possible.
best possible scenario: Cannondale's SiSL crank, (optional: get the 135bcd spider and use genuine campy rings to be super-pro)

User avatar
Posts: 2317
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2004 8:24 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

by ms6073

Creaking is quite common in press-fit applications when there is metal-to-metal interface between the press-fit cups and the frame. Most have found that application of a retaining compund like Loctite 609, 638 (caution this one is nearly permanent), or 641 resolves the issue for a pretty good period of time but is not an end all solution as it has to be reapplied periodically.
Michael - The Anaerobic Threshold is neither...

User avatar
Posts: 1289
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:48 am
Location: Central USA

by tommasini

HillBilly wrote:Lots of smaller custom builders seem to be adopting the PF30 "standard" due it being easier to manufacture.

PF 30 was originated to allow for less than ideal frame tolerances........and frame BB's are exposed to various demands on them during construction...........the result is PF30 relies on the use of plastic material in the hope to down play the less than idea tolerance OK Campy chose to make the cups in a finely machined aluminum that the resultant precision could be part of the problem (but which originates from a less than idea BB surface)....

Do you know that the frame has been finished in an acceptable (tolerances) manner?...since a frame manufacturer who opts for PF30 might be hedging that they can get away with less than optimal tolerances........."thisisatest" has some suggestions - and although I can't agree with them they are food for thought. I suggest a talk with the builder to ask the actual tolerances followed by a few checks with a caliper to gauge the actual accuracy of the BB bearing surface. If it seems acceptable then a bit of grease at all pressure points as a first measure, then if things don't work out experiment with plumbers tape and similar options until the issue is resolved....but do keep in contact with the frame builder.....and keep in mind that he/she played the "easier to manufacture" card by going with PF30.

BTW - BB30/PF30 is NOT the cat's meow...............

Cheers 8)

Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:48 am

by HillBilly

Thanks for the input and tips so far....

My next steps are pretty much in line with what thisisatest has suggested, although I am a little skeptical that loctite with actually hold the cup in place given the force that is pushing the bearing/cup out. A small Shim to take up the wiggle room will hopefully help. Failing that, I happen to have a Cannondale Si crank on another bike that I can put in by using a PF30 bb. I would have preferred full Campy.

I fear the real issue here is simply that the Campy "solution" to PF30 is not a very good one. Like tommasini and others have said, PF30 was designed around the use of plastic sleeves. Campy have used a finely machined alloy option.

I'd still be interested to know if there has been any success at all with the Campy PF30 adapters? I can't seem to find anyone who has had long term success with them...??

Out of interest, my frame is a Moots Vamoots RSL and the tolerances seem to be spot on. I can't fault the frame at all. This is a Campy issue.


Posts: 158
Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 4:37 pm

by mpower

Just throw away these Campy stuff. They are junk to me.

Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:56 am

by Lookbiker

I have a PF30 ti frame with Campy and just went with a FSA BB30 crank and have had no problems after 6K miles. I tried the Campy adapter on a former BB30 frame and wasn't pleased with the results despite numerous attempts to stop the creaking, etc.

Posts: 263
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 2:50 pm

by micropox

Has anyone tried this? campy pressfit bb30 68x42 cups with the plastice sleeves on PF30 frames. will probably stops creaking since it is the plastic that is in contact with the alloy cups. Just not sure if everything will fit.

Shop Owner
Posts: 1980
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:02 am
Location: NoVA/DC

by thisisatest

the issue is that the cups cantilever out the bearings from the frame. the plastic will likely not hold the cup in place firmly enough. ideally, you would just longer skirt in the frame to combat the system prying itself out.

Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:40 am

by iscarrr

Bit of a grave dig here, but the problem is relevant to me.

I'm using Campagnolo UT BB30 (68 x 42) cup set, and am having a devil of a time with them. They just aren't tight enough in my frame (Cinelli Strato). My LBS told me they could take out the cups with their hands, not a good sign.

We've taken them out, cleaned them, tried to glue them in, and it seems fine for one ride, but shortly after it degrades again. Oh wow is the creaking loud and scary sounding.

My next attempt to fix the problem is to use an FSA set up BB30 adapter cups with a mates Rotor cranks. I guess if they press in nice and tight its the Campy cups that are the the problem, and if they don't its the frame. Either way its a shitty outcome.

If anyone has any tips I'd greatly appreciate it.

User avatar
in the industry
Posts: 1800
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:14 am
Location: SYD

by sugarkane

i had campag bb30 cups for a while and the same problems existed, loctight will do the job
in the end i used it as an excuse for a set of THM m3 cranks :mrgreen: much better system

Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:57 am

by swiftvelo

Ive tried to run campag on bb30 never much luck. They are great cranks on a threaded bb. I run Cannodale sl with the campy spider and 11speed rings that's the best set up. Let me know I have two extra spiders one new and other used.

Posts: 885
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:57 pm
Location: NYC

by em3

The only REAL and PERMANENT fix requires the use of Loctite 7649 primer with Loctite 641 or 609...these are retaining compounds and gap fillers specifically designed for cylindrical surfaces. Apply the primer, let it dry a bit, then apply the Loctite liberally, install cups and hold in place with a bearing press for 24 hours. EM3

Shop Owner
Posts: 1980
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:02 am
Location: NoVA/DC

by thisisatest

look into loctite 603.
another option is the newish wheelsmfg bb30-to-campy adapters. you use bb30 bearings in the frame, install the adapters, then install your campy crank. you do end up with two sets of bearings, four total. one set is along for the ride, which bugs me, but like all other wheelsmfg delrin adapters, they should be a fit-and-forget, creak-free option.

by Weenie

Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:35 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia

by Ozvelonut

I tried using Campag PF30 adapter cups in my Cannondale EVO frame so I could run my Super Record UT cranks. After a few rides the R/H cup worked out of the frame (about 1 to 2mm - until the L/H crank wavey washer was fully compressed) . I tried all the suggested fixes, but the R/H cup would keep working out.
The Cannondale manual specifies a minimum of 12mm width contact area for any PF carrier to the BB socket in the frame. The Campag cups have about half this contact area and if you take away the lead-in taper on the Campag cups and o-ring groove, what's left is about 4mm of useable contact surface. Not enough.
At the moment, I've installed a SRAM PF30 bearing adapter and a set of FSA SLK cranks. This arrangement is working well.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Last post