Caad12 Disc BB conversion

Hello everyone,

as hinted at in the picture thread, I’m looking at making the conversion from the BB30A in this frame to something else to get rid of the creaking.

Before i pull the trigger I’m interested in a few things that the google couldn’t quite help me with:

  1. Is there any obvious (or maybe nonobvious) downside to doing this that I’m not considering?

  2. I’m looking at getting the Wheelsmfg thread together BB for budget reasons. Does anyone have experience with this BB and know whether it might interfere with the brake hose and shifter cables in the BB?

  3. and finally, If I remember this one episode of Nerd Alert correctly, I don’t need any additional spacers or anything if want to install a Shimano crankset, correct?

I appreciate any help I can get with this :slight_smile:

  1. Mostly no. A thread-together BB will stress a frame slightly more than a regular pressfit BB but it’s not significant.

  2. I’m not a mechanic but I’ve used thread together BBs, my friends have used them, plenty of bikes come stock with them. You can google caad12 specifically to see if there are any compatibility issues but I highly doubt it. It’s a 2 piece design and traditional pressfit bottom brackets have weather-sealing sleeves too.

  3. Right. Hollowtech 2 should work out the box. The left crankarm slides on the spindle to take up any slack.

I would recommend trying to stretch to a BBinfinite. There is a significant jump in stiffness. They even have an install video for your bike: CAAD 12 Creaking Issues Solved with BBInfinite - YouTube

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I switched out the BB on my CAAD12 disc, as the creaking was doing my head in as well. This allowed me to install hollowtech II cranks, which match the rest of the groupset. I’ve been pretty happy with it since, creaking has stopped.

I used a c-bear bottom bracket - they make a specific one for BB30A, that allows you to use shimano cranks with no spacers. They are a bit more expensive though, but easy enough to install.

I removed the dust covers from the BB, as the disc brake hose line does take up a bit of space. It might have been ok - it was pretty tight though, so decided to leave them off. I also figured with the hose clipped in to the guide on the frame, there was no way it would touch the rotating spindle. The shifting lines were all fine though.

I’m not sure if you would have this issue with the wheels mfg BB, but it is something to be aware of.

Hope that helps

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I can only answer to 2.

I have been running a Wheels mfg BB on my Supersix for almost 20.000 km without any problems at all. Haven’t even serviced it. It developed a clicking-sound over the summer, so thought I had to replace it, but it has disappeared again:)

As for the cables I run eTap, but did have mechanical Ultegra on it for a while. As far as I can recall there were no issues with the cable to the rear derailleur.

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A shop local to me ask if you want a wheels mfg or c-bear bb installed when you buy a new cannondale or, prior to them going T47, Trek. They don’t charge labour if you do it on a new bike and in their words ‘it will save you hassle down the line’.

I’ve had a few CAAD’s and have never had a creaking BB30 BB, I’ve always had it installed by someone who I trust to do a thorough job. I do believe that a lot of the issues with creaking press fit BB’s is down to poor installation.

I totally accept that a threaded BB is much easier to install and maintain, especially by the home mechanic.

It’s just a shame that press fit frames just aren’t made to good enough standards (aside from maybe Giant) that we’re now at the point that the most sensible thing is for a return to threaded BB’s. This wouldn’t be accepted in many other industries but seems to be fine for the cycling one.

This (bad installs)! or get a Hambini BB, at least that’s what I would do but have not had an issue with creaking BB30 (knock on wood) and I have a CAAD12 and SYNAPSE.

The BB creaking might be fixable if the frame’s BB is within spec and you use loctite 641 to hold the bearings. Creaking isn’t always the bearings - with a Cannondale crank on my CAAD12 it was caused by grit under the wavy washer after riding in rain.
It might be worth having the shop remove the crank and bearings, check that the BB is within spec, and reinstall with loctite justbrinsee if it fixes it.

Then, if it still creaks, or if the BB is larger than spec, and you’re set on using a BB adapter, be sure to check with the BB manufacturer for compatibility with your hydraulic CAAD12. Because there is not much room to fit your shift cables and hydraulic hose around the BB adapter, the external BB cable guide and then back into the frame.

Threaded two-piece BB designs generally have more space to fit your cables / hose around but might not be quite as perfectly aligned side-to-side as one-piece designs.
Of the one-piece designs, the BBInfinite one is NOT suitable for hydraulic brakes on a BB30A CAAD12. The Hambini one has a narrow central section which will ease the task of cable routing and should be suitable - but it’s quite costly.
Good luck.


I have a Enduro thread together BB on my BB30A SuperSix Evo. It works fine. There is just enough clearance for the brake hose. The reason it works is that the thread together part is smaller in diameter in the middle and there is enough clearance for the hose there. I did need to replace the zip-tie that holds the hose in place.

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@mcmrtzn assume you’re using a 30mm spindle, but in case you are using 24mm Shimano the Token thread together one is cheap (<100AUD) and has been trouble free for 2 years for me

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Thank you all for your replies, much appreciated :slight_smile:

I’ve had one go in one shop local to me but they didn’t have the appropriate tools to extract the chainset and bearings, they had to order them specifically… which doesn’t really give me much confidence that they would get the bearings back in alright. I have generally a few trust issues with shops in my area, there doesn’t seem to be one who does mainly road bikes. Don’t know if I’m being unfair or if that says more about the cyclists in my area than the shops.

Yeah, definitely. The thought of using a hammer to get something out of my frame… :sweat_smile:

Thanks for the recommendation, seems to be perfect for my budget! I’ll have a look at that one.

Yeah, I notices that, it specifically said it’s incompatible with the Disc version. Couldn’t find out if they made a compatible one, gonna have to have another look.

Good call on this. Didn’t know there was a difference between rim and disc.

I’d say that while a Hambini is extraordinarily expensive, it is the final word in bottom brackets. You can put whatever bearings you want in there. Maybe even email him and ask if he’s willing to put in cheaper bearings and use a cheaper alloy rather than the racing alloy. Afaik he pretty much makes every BB to order.

If you plan to keep the Caad12 for more than a couple years and like to ride hard, I’d highly consider it.

I put a Hambini BB in my PF30 Focus Izalco Max Disc a few years ago and I’ve been very happy with it. Solved all my creaking problems and opened up my bearing choices.

To remove the Cannondale crank you need a special tool part number KT013 [edited], about $50. Ideally you’d find a Cannondale shop that has the tool and can do it for you. Once the crank is removed the best way to remove the bearings is with a bearing press so as not to damage them, rather than knocking them out with a hammer and punch. But since you’re planning to install a new BB then damaging the old bearings matters less.
I’ve never used the Token BBs so I can’t comment. But for any 2-piece once you’re considering, you’d want to check it has a narrow middle, doesn’t need special tools to install, and that the bearings can be replaced without having to remove the whole thing.

Regarding the Hambini BB, they are very good and take standard sized bearings. The newer “necked” one he makes for BB30A looks good - previously his would only work for electronic CAAD12s. I have a Hambini BB on my Cervelo, it’s fine. Although the whole BB is removable with the right tools, it’s normally something that you’ll leave on the bike forever and just change the bearings when needed. You wouldn’t necessarily be tied to a Shimano crank - by changing Hambini’s delrin “top hats” that go between bearing and crank, you could for example fit a Sram DUB crank in the future, and probably some other brands.

This last bit isn’t relevant to your situation because my CAAD12 is rim braked and mechanical, but I did use a BBInfinite BB30A / Shimano bottom bracket for a while. I liked the design with the clever cut-out to give space for the cables to transit. It does require absolutely perfect alignment within the frame to prevent one of the cables “sawing” into the edge of the cut-out. After nine rides, one with 4 hours in the rain, the BB was squeaking. I removed the bearings and seals to find that one was full of black muck, the other was fine. I asked BBInfinite about this and co-founder Gary E. Mailhiot, Jr.'s response was:

“Never remove bearings to clean them. You will damage them and it’s completely unnecessary: [link to his video]. You should always service your bearings after a rain ride. It’s always needed. Water cannot be kept out of a system. It’s water. it gets into everything.”

Therefore I wouldn’t recommend BBInfinite if you ride in the rain.

I can only assume they are based somewhere warm and dry and don’t envisage selling many bb’s to the UK. I’d be servicing bearings twice a week…

Wow that’s insane. I have a hambini racing (non contact) BB that I never serviced. Rode it in the rain several times over multiple years with no issues. One day I did a long ride over sandy, snowy roads (I assume the grit was thrown over snow to melt it?) and of course the front tire threw that grit straight onto the BB.

I didn’t have the Shimano tool to remove the crank and clean up the bearings at the time so I just hosed the crap out of them until they went quiet. Dumb move. The bearings rusted out. But I took apart the bearings, cleaned, then greased them and now, while they are slightly clicky, they’re still faster than probably 70% of BBs out there.

So yeah maybe just go Hambini.

Yeah, unfortunately a Hambini BB is above my budget, even though it looks pretty nice. It’s not only the cost for the BB but also the import taxes and duty I have to think about. That pushes it even further out of my reach.
I’m not even sure it fits, because he specifically says you need to be able to “look through” the BB shell and I don’t know at the moment if the hose or RD-cable would be in the way.

Thanks again everyone for getting involved and suggesting different things :slight_smile:

I’ve had good results with a C-Bear press-in one on a Synapse (BB30a). Instead of the bearings pressing directly into the frame, they sit in an aluminium shell which presses in, and you can still use the 30mm spindle. The two parts don’t thread together but they are long enough to hold the bearings on axis.

I didn’t have creaking problems to solve, but this is a bad weather bike and I was going through BB30 bearings very quickly. I’m pleased with the C-Bear upgrade and would recommend it.