Karate Kid bottom bracket repair

You never know when a mechanical issue will test your kung fu skills.

My 2014 Specialized Camber Expert Carbon 29 came with SRAM cranks in its PF30 bottom bracket shell.

In order to run God’s own Shimano XT, a Wheels Manufacturing adapter must be installed in the bottom bracket shell. Actually, it’s glued in with 3M epoxy. Once that’s done, the XT slips right in. I’ve been running setups like this for several years with no issues.

Well …

Last weekend in Peoria, IL the cranks were getting harder to turn. Day by day, harder and harder. I blamed myself: Lack of sleep? Poor nutrition? Just plain weakness?

On day three, while we climbed, it got WAY harder to pedal, then came the screech. Every time I pushed with my right foot, screeeeeeeechhhhh …

Yikes. The adapter had backed out!

I don’t have a multi tool for that. I pulled the cranks and started hitting the offending part with the heel of my hand. Nope.

Then an idea.

Two of my clients set my bike on a fence post, with the bottom bracket flush on top. I climbed up, put my cleat on the adapter and balanced there like Daniel San.

When the moment felt right, I gave it a little hop and


The adapter went in!

Not perfect, but good enough to ride. Everything has to be cleaned and re-installed.

Paint the fence, wax the car …


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3 replies
  1. Christoph says:

    > I blamed myself: Lack of sleep? Poor nutrition? Just plain weakness?

    I am happy people like you get fooled by this, too. I was on a ride at Lake Tahoe with friends last year and was struggling to keep up. I thought it’s the jet-lag, elevation, whatever… Back in Germany I realized: The bottom-bracket bearing was broken!

  2. hmm says:

    switch to a praxis adapter? different design. maybe less chance to practice one foot balance on the side of the trail.
    (never used either, but my camber’s sotck pf30 bb is failing as apparently all pf/bb30 is wont to do.)


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