In this article I will review the CEMA Bearing Interlock BB86-BB92 Bottom Bracket. I will share my experience from installation, the interlock design and compare it with my C-Bear BB86-BB92 press fit bottom bracket experiences.
Some of my thoughts will cover design, quality, what is in the box and many more angles. In a separate review I will have a deeper look into the CEMA tools for Interlock Bottom brackets.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Design CEMA Interlock BB86-BB92 Bottom Bracket
The CEMA Bearing Interlock BB86-BB92 Bottom Bracket was sent to me for testing purposes when I wrote ta review about the CEMA Bearing Professional Bottom Bracket Replacement Tool with product# SRC-TT-BB006C back in 2017. With the recent purchase of a Scott Scale 925 hardtail mountainbike it was the moment to change the stock Shimano Bottom Bracket for a CEMA Bearing Interlock BB86-BB92 Bottom Bracket (simply because it was on a shelf in my garage).
The Interlock system is basically a cross over of the older BSA threaded bottom brackets with the newer type press fit bottom brackets. The CEMA Bearing Interlock BB86-BB92 Bottom Bracket has two aluminum halves that thread into each other in the middle of the cylinder of the bottom bracket. Theory says it should provide a more rigid and solid bottom bracket. The old BSA threaded bottom brackets have thread into the bottom bracket cups of the frame.
In the picture of the CEMA Bearing Interlock BB86-BB92 Bottom Bracket you can see two rubber rings on the cup surface that goes into the frame. The Interlock BB86-BB92 Bottom Bracket comes in a normal steel and a ceramic bearing version. This review of the black CEMA Bearing Interlock BB86-BB92 Bottom Bracket is a normal steel ball-bearing version, while the red colored one in the picture above is a ceramic bearing version. Furthermore in the box you can see 1 or 2 aluminum spacer rings that I fortunately I didn’t need to use.
Another design feature of the CEMA Bearing Interlock BB86-BB92 Bottom Bracket is the aluminum dust cover. These can be removed and re-installed with a simple finger tip or the PB Swiss Tools Straight Picktool 7676.3-80 BL. For regular maintenance I re-grease it with Motorex Bike Grease 2000 applied with the Hazet 2162M Mini Grease Gun.
In the below installation section you will get my analysis and thoughts on some of the design features.
Installation CEMA Bearing Interlock BB86-BB92 Bottom Bracket
Before you can install a new bottom bracket, you need to remove the stock Shimano Bottom Bracket from the Scott Scale 925 frame. I do own CEMA Bearing Bottom Bracket Replacement Tool SRC-TT-BB006C. I followed now the exact steps for removing the bottom bracket from the previous review, with the only difference that I’ve pressed out cups and beating separately (using two different extractor rings).
Having a professional tool like the Enduro Bearings BRT-03 Tool or the SRC-TT-BB006C, give you so much controle while driving out the bearings, without the peak load of hammering. I can only advise these professional tools, because they will pay themselves on the longer run.
Cleaning the frame, and carbon cups with a piece of cloth is the final step of removing the old bottom bracket en the tipping point in the process toward installation of the Interlock Bottom Bracket.
The installation YouTube video above shows a very good way of installing the CEMA Bearing Interlock BB86-BB92 Bottom Bracket. I’ve applied Morgan Blue Aquaproof Paste on the aluminum cups (round and over the rubber rings also) as well as on the carbon cups in the frame. In addition I’ve also applied the MB Aquaproof Paste onto both the threads end of the “interlock” cylinder. The Aquaproof Paste makes sure that pressing and tightening goes smooth, while also guarding the fact that you can loosen the parts when needed. In the end all bottom brackets wear out at some point.
Installation high level works in two steps:
- Pressing in the short non-drive-side cup, just like a press-fit bottom bracket;
- Installing the longer drive-side cup and bearings with the CEMA Bottom Bracket Tool 24 mm. (SRC-TT-B019) or the CEMA Bottom Bracket wrench (SRC-TT-B020)
The first part in step 2 is hand-tightning the drive-side cup (just like you would do with a bolt) until the rubber ring on the bottom bracket cup touches the frame. Than I used the CEMA Bottom Bracket Tool 24 mm. (SRC-TT-B019) attached to a Wera Zyklop 8000 C ratchet for 1/2″ sockets to fully tighten the cups into each other. Finally I’ve used a Stahlwille Manoskop 730N (the bigger brother of the 730N/2) to torque the Interlock Bottom Bracket to specification.
The CEMA Bearing Professional Bottom Bracket Replacement Tool SRC-TT-BB006C also has two pairs of red plastic interlock adapters. While I’ve used one of these to tighten the cup, simply because I didn’t want to damage cup and frame, the result was a deformed plastic adapter. That is probably the reason why CEMA Bearing now only offers the hardened steel Interlock Tools. When discussing this with the CEMA Bearing Europe team, I’ve received the following installation tip:
Before putting the hardened steel CEMA Bottom Bracket Tool 24 mm. (SRC-TT-B019) on top of the aluminum bottom bracket cup, I’ve laid an Ikea Zipper bag over it. So the plastic zipper bag is in-between the engaged tool and the interlock teeth of the drive side cup. This helps avoiding disengagement and damage to the interlock teeth on the cup.
I’ve followed the installation tip and to my personal experience this option has a way better engagement (with less force on the tool). We know that bottom bracket standards are a mess, and I do own an older Park Tool BB19-2 Bottom Bracket Tool that fits the Interlock Bottom Bracket cups as well. The Park Tool only works with a 3/8″ ratchet and seems to be a more standard in the US.
Finally the CEMA Bearing Interlock BB86-BB92 Bottom Bracket comes with aluminum dustcovers. Like I’ve explained in the design features section, I’ve popped out both covers and (re)greased the bearing surface for winter protection with the Motorex Bike Grease 2000 and sticked the dustcovers on top of that before re-installing the Shimano SLX Hollowtech II cranks again.
Concluding thoughts and wrap-up
Overall the CEMA Bearing Interlock BB86-BB92 Bottom Bracket is a good value for money option with a price point of € 120,00 for the stainless steel bearings and a price point of € 150,00 for the ceramic bearing option. The two color options don’t make a pricing difference.
With this BB86-BB92 Interlock bottom bracket you can install a Shimano or any other 24 mm crankset in a BB86-BB92 frame. The perfect bearing alignment ensures a creak free bottom bracket solution.BB86-BB92 for Shimano | CEMA Bearing
The 24 mm spindle of the BB86-BB92 covers the spectrum of cranksets from Shimano, Rotor, FSA and Race-Face. But please note that you can get the interlock design bottom brackets also for other crankset spindle diameters and different bottom bracket standards. So if you are a Campagnolo or SRAM GXP fanboy/girl than CEMA Bearing has you covered.
I cannot scientifically proof that the interlock system is stiffer and more rigid than just a press-fit bottom bracket. While I fully understand the theoretical case, I don’t have the watts in my legs to challenge the bottom bracket stiffness of the Scott Scale frame (to do a before and after comparison). I cannot feel the difference with my Canyon Ultimate CF SLX bottom bracket (which is a press-fit one from C-Bear).
An additional advantage of the interlock system is that you can just replace the bearings of the bottom bracket. Ceramic Bottom Bracket Bearing 24377 will cost you € 38,00 extending the the lifetime of your bottom bracket and it is a relative cheap upgrade from steel- to ceramic bearings. However you would need to own a professional bottom bracket replacement tool like the CEMA Bearing SRC-TT-BB006C. And I think this is only a long term benefit, based upon the the current lifetime of the C-Bear BB86-BB92 Bottom Bracket.
In summary the CEMA Bearing Interlock BB86-BB92 Bottom Bracket is a solid quality bottom bracket produced in Taiwan and used by professional teams like TopSport Vlaanderen-Etixx-guillD’or.
What bottom bracket do you use on your mountain bike and if so are you using a different brand on your road or gravel bikes?
Do you own tools to do the replacement yourself or will you just visit the local bike shop to have a bottom bracket replaced?
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