Monday, March 1, 2010

Velo Orange Bottom Bracket and Phil Wood Rings

I picked up one of these bottom brackets from Velo Orange the other day. Or I should say, I ordered one on Friday and received it today.

I bought it to try it with a set of Phil Wood rings. The Phil bottom bracket in the Motobecane is a smidge wider than I'd prefer (111), and I was hoping that a 107 bottom bracket from VO would work with the Swiss rings, much as the old Shimano UN-72 did. But let me get this out of the way right now -- it doesn't work. The outer diameter of the VO bottom bracket's cartridge bearings are just slightly too large to slip inside the Phil Wood rings the way they should for this hack to work. I suppose I could remove a little material from the outside of the bearing or the inside of the rings, but doing so without a metal lathe seems dicey. Oh, well -- it was worth a shot.

Otherwise, I have to say that the VO bottom bracket is a nice part. It has a nice alloy body, with alloy cups, a chromed spindle and seals on the cups to keep crud away from the bearings. It comes with new crank bolts, pre-swabbed with thread locking compound. The loose cup (the other one is pressed or glued onto the bottom bracket) also has a little plastic spacer at the bottom, presumably to serve as a washer, providing a slick surface so the cup and sealed bearing don't gall and bind up during torquing. Again, a really nice part.

It's unfortunate that it doesn't meet my immediate need, but the part is welcome in my parts box until called for elsewhere.

All for now,


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