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What is a bottom bracket?
A bottom bracket is the bearings that the crank axle passes through, keeping the cranks turning smoothly.
Who needs a bottom bracket?
Every bike has a bottom bracket, so if your bike is creaking or feels stiff or notchy as you turn the pedals, your bottom bracket might be worn out and need replacing.
What are the choices?
It’s not so much a choice as a matter of compatibility. You need to establish whether your bottom bracket is press-fit or threaded and what size. Then you need to make sure it is compatible with your crankset. If it’s worn out, replacing like for like is often the easiest thing to do.
What should I buy with it?
You need some specialist tools both to fit and remove bottom brackets and to remove the cranks to get at it.
If you’re fitting a bottom bracket into a brand new frame, your frame will need some preparation first. Bottom bracket shell-facing tools can be very costly, so you might need to bring it into a bike workshop to get this done.