This C Bear DUB bottom bracket review has been provided by Adam Cooper from Davy Sprocket. Davy Sprocket specialise in custom bike builds where the finest custom details are all part of the pleasure of the build.
If you’ve been following SRAM’s announcements this year you’ll be aware of their DUB bottom bracket system. Designed around a 28.99mm crank axle, SRAM claimed DUB would have the stiffness and low weight of 30mm axles yet have better durability – all while supporting the majority of bottom bracket shell standards.
While many dismissed this as a major player trying to impose yet another standard, it was only a matter of time before third party manufacturers started releasing their own DUB compatible bottom brackets. The first of these to hit the market was C-BEAR’s ceramic bottom bracket.
C-BEAR may not be a household name in Australia, but they’ve been providing the Lotto road team with ceramic bottom brackets since 2009. C-BEAR pride themselves on providing bottom brackets to suit a wide array of standards, so it made sense that a DUB bottom bracket would soon be part of their offering. Like all of C-BEAR’s bottom brackets, their DUB solution is only available with ceramic bearings, which the company specialises in.
For MarathonMTB.com’s long term test, C-BEAR’s DUB bottom bracket was installed into an OPEN ONE+ frame (with a press-fit PF92 bottom bracket shell) paired with SRAM’s XX1 Eagle DUB crankset.
Installation of the bearing cups went smoothly into the OPEN’s bottom bracket shell. Surprisingly smoothly in fact – not too tight, not too loose – almost as if C-BEAR had designed their bottom bracket specifically for this frame.
C-Bear has a “KISS” (keep it simple stupid) design philosophy that translates into a belief that bottom brackets shouldn’t need wave washers or various sized spacers. In the case of our test bike however, we were forced to rummage through our spare parts bin in search of a 3mm spacer which was required on the drive side to properly centre the cranks within the frame. It’s worth noting that SRAM provides 3mm and 4.5mm spacers with their DUB bottom brackets.
Once installed it was immediately noticeable how smoothly the cranks spun. It wasn’t the spin-for-hours result that you may have seen online (proper MTB-worthy seals ensure that), but it was nonetheless a huge improvement over the original bottom bracket it replaced.
Given how smoothly the installation went, there was a worry there would be creaking – something press-fit bottom brackets are renowned for. However, after over 600km of winter trails there’s been no noises – not a single creak, tick or squeak. If anything, the bearings are running even more smoothly than the day they were installed.
Bottom brackets are one of those parts that we only really notice when something’s wrong.
Regardless, a smooth running bottom bracket can save energy – albeit minimal – resulting in a better race results, faster Strava times or just a better ride. It might not add bling to your bike, but given that C-BEAR’s DUB bottom bracket spins smoother than the competition, remains creak-free and (so far at least) has proven to be durable, it’s a worthy upgrade.