Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.
Sometimes it is the little things that can make a big difference. When it comes to bottom brackets, investing in a higher end BB can result in an extremely smooth and reliable setup. In this review, our customer Bill shares his thoughts on the Cane Creek Hellbender Neo 30 bottom bracket. Enjoy!
I'm a self-admitted "parts whore". I love new parts on my bike...so much so that I often will change out perfectly good parts just to see what the next part would work like on my bike. Seldom do I find myself actually replacing a part that I didn't feel was still in excellent condition and functioning great.
That was not the case with my bottom bracket back a couple of months ago. I had found it creaking and just feeling a lack of smoothness that really began to bother me. I'd cleaned and repacked the bearings, pulled the BSA cups off my bike, cleaned, and reinstalled them, yet I still felt like it wasn't how I wanted.
So, I began the hunt for a new bottom bracket. I had narrowed down my choices to Chris King and the Cane Creek Hellbender. While both were around the same price point, they were quite different when it came to how the bearings are housed in the cups. Chris King has the usual "balls in a channel of grease", Cane Creek now has their new Solid Oil technology that is supposed to make water ingress into the bottom bracket a thing of the past. I decided I would put the CC to the test.
A quick order from Worldwide Cyclery and a few days wait and I had this box in my hands:
They come in a plain cardboard box that's probably not as "blingy" as many cups do, but that's not a big deal. Opening the package reveals the standard 2 cups and the center tube (apologies that I somehow managed to delete the photos of my unboxing).
I quickly realized my error when I went to install the bottom bracket on my bike. In my haste, I had not realized that this bottom bracket uses a different tool for installation. Yep...if you have a SRAM or Wheels MFG BB, you will have to buy a new tool. This baby uses a 12 tooth bottom bracket tool. So, I put the parts back in the box, walked into the house after saying a few expletive words to myself about stupidity, and proceeded to order a cheapo one for Next day delivery. I then had this wonderful tool for installation and was able to continue my quest for bottom bracket joy
After having the correct tool, the installation was a breeze, and this bottom bracket set up perfectly with my Hope AM Spiderless cranks.
So, now comes the $150 question...HOW DO THEY WORK? In short? Great! I've got about 100 miles on them now and they are flawless. They start off a tad slower spinning than the RWC cups that I replaced them with, but after my first ride, any resistance was completely gone. My trails are a mix of sand with rocks and roots with not much downhill, which leads to two things: 1) You spend 95% of your time pedaling under power, and 2) My bike needs a wash after every trip out to the trail. So far, the bottom brackets have zero slop or indication that they are wearing at all. They spin smooth and easy.
I'm really happy with my choice and am looking to putting a ton more miles on this set.