Enter Phil Wood

15 July 2009
Installing a bottom bracket is an interesting process of trial and error. It all comes down to aligning the chainline. The basic idea being you want to center the freewheel in the back with the crank in the front. It’s easy to measure the alignment of the freewheel in the back, so it’s just a matter of getting the crank to line up.
The Procedure:
  1. Screw on the bottom bracket cups and roughly center the bottom bracket
  2. Put the crank on
  3. Measure the chainline, if it’s all lined up, go to step 7
  4. If it’s not where it’s supposed to be, take the crank off
  5. Adjust the bottom bracket cups to improve the alignment
  6. Go back to step 2 and repeat
  7. Things are properly aligned, so measure how far the threads are exposed on each side
  8. Take it all apart
  9. Generously apply Loctite to threads of the BB cups.
  10. Thread it back in using the measurement from step 7 to get the alignment right.
  11. Pray to God that the Phil Wood logo lines up in the star cut out of the frame because that would look awesome
  12. Jump up and down in victory
  13. Attach the cranks
Didn’t get a good picture until a bit later and a few more components were installed. Oops.
The italian frame adds an extra kink – both sides of the bottom bracket are threaded right-handed. As a result, the left side has a tendency to unscrew itself. Less than ideal if you find yourself on a long ride. Best you can do is crank it down during the install and put Loctite on the threads.

Bottom Bracket – Nice Woody

10 June 2009

Ever think to yourself: “you know what would be fun? firing some bullets at my bike.” Well, that’s what Phil Wood components are all about. Bulletproof. Great choice for a bottom bracket.

This will be one of the few modern components on the bike aside from the Mavics. Based on what I’ve heard about the old school cup-and-cone bottom brackets, it is a nightmare. In addition, what were the Italians doing? Besides bizarre choices for threading and so on, extra bonus with an Italian bottom bracket — right handed threading when you’d like left means the cup likes to loosen itself (physics!). With a California bike heritage, the first component maker to utilize cartridge bearings, and the maker of the best lube around, Phil Wood is a natural fit. If I know what I’m doing, you’ll even be able to see the beautiful Phil logo through the G-star. If that’s not bike porn, I don’t know what qualifies anymore.