10 July, 2009

New Threadless BB


I recently mentioned a new threadless BB design I saw in Taiwan. Much to my surprise a sample arrived today. Usually development on products like this takes a very long time, so I wasn't expecting to get one for many months.

This BB uses a new locking system that works even if the threads in the BB shell are damaged, or non-existent. That means it should fit Swiss and other oddly threaded bikes. As the adjustable cup is tightened the silver sleeve is pushed up the tapered outside face, expanding and locking in the BB. Installation requires a traditional-style BB spanner or a pin wrench.

We're going to try it on a few frames before ordering, but the quality looks great. The bearing are big sealed cartridges with serious weather seals. The body and cup are alloy with nice machining. The axle is chromo steel, but not hollow. As for the colors, we can have that changed; maybe lime green?

If all goes well we should see these arrive in about 3 months. The first shipment will probably be 107mm, 110mm, and 113mm lengths. We don't have final pricing yet, but I would guess they will run around $75.

41 comments:

cleve said...

You are SO the dude, Chris! Who else would come up with something as cool as this?

Anonymous said...

great solution! thanks for pursuing such a wide array of retrofittable parts, as always.

Anonymous said...

That looks like a good design that will be useful for many project bikes. I especially like the expanding sleeve. I used to have a bike with the famous Mavic BB, but it kept loosening up on itself I suspect because it was held on only with lateral force, which was fretted loose through the repeated pedaling force.
M Burdge

Annapolis carl said...

No colors. Have you gone hipster on us ?

Jeremy said...

i think if this ends up being a viable solution you'll sell tons. Not only is it good for oddly-threaded frames but it means that a stripped BB doesn't mean the frame is toast!

Does installing the BB damage the BB shell in anyway?

Anonymous said...

Lime green would be fantastic. As would a darker green! I wonder if this would work on older Klein/Merlin/Fat Chances with pressed in BBs?

Tom said...

I have a wicked fat chance with a pressed in BBset but changed it to the Mavic threadless BB years ago. this threadless BB does fit my old Fat. I seem to recall the first generation Fats and Merlins had an undersized BB shell. Anyone local with a 1st gen Merlin or Fat that can test it for us?

Patrick said...

Tom-
I had a fat chance with a press in BB that I traded to Joe W, who works at the Bike Doctor Annapolis. I'm sure he still has it and I bet would be able to test it.

Perry said...

looks like a great design, much improved upon the mavic bb. im also curious to see if it will damage threads.

Chris Kulczycki said...

It looks like it may "dull" the top of sharp threads, but it leaves them perfectly usable.

Just to be clear, we did not "come up with" or design this. A company engineer showed us the prototype and we loved it.

Anonymous said...

Do I get extra points for using 'fret' in a Jobst Brant-ian sense?
mb

patates frites said...

It's a great idea, no matter who came up with it.

Fred Blasdel said...

Anonymous: Any reference to Jobst's tribological nomenclature instantly makes you a winner!

The price is just right for the people with odd-threaded bikes -- it's cheaper than a UN72 + Phil cups + Phil tools

Bob G said...

Very cool design. I must have missed the blog entry when your company changed its name to "Velo Lime...." I guess that's better than "Velo Lemon" but you probably already knew that....;-)

Jim G said...

Will this work on all BB shell widths -- 68/70/73mm/etc.?

Anonymous said...

Will there be versions for the new BB30 designs ?

Anonymous said...

If you color products, I would recommend orange. It makes it easier for people who see the product in action to know where to get one.

Anonymous said...

If you are going to colour the BB rings, Please do port/starboard. I realise it may confuse the Phil users who have to contend with a red starboard ring on their bbs, but the rest of the world knows.
mburdge

Anonymous said...

There are a ton of Raleigh Sports and Twentys out there and few options for upgrading cranks. Consider this untapped market.

August Strindberg said...

Are you going to sell Orange Streamers

wycx said...

Can you post some pics of the seals?

Pierre said...

how about some anodized pick rims to match ?

Anonymous said...

bark! bark! (balances ball on end of nose, receives minnow as reward.) bark!
mb

Fred Zeppelin said...

@ Anon 9:08 "untapped"

Ha!

superfreak said...

i would like to see it in widths from 96mm to 135mm in 1mm incriments. good chainline shouldnt only be for the rich. also 68,70,73,100mm shell widths (for my downhill bike). thx superfreak

Tom said...

Patrick:

send your friend to VO HQ and I'll see if the BB will fit. We are open Monday to Friday from 10ish to around 6pm.

Anonymous said...

Mavic stopped making these because they had a tendency to squeak like crazy due to the taper. Requires the bb shell be chamfered too. Not sure it's a great long-term solution.

Mike M said...

This BB looks a lot better than the old Mavic. It is a completely different design. that has a much better interface with the BB shell.

keithwwalker said...

This looks to have more surface area contact with the BB sleeves than the Mavic BB, about a 1000% more since it clamps the inside of the BB barrel, not just the outside rims.

One suggestion, is that with repeated reverse cycles that pedaling would bring, a resilient coating may help the BB bite into the frame threads (I assume that you won't be spec'ing the owner to ream out the threads?).

Either that or a softer metal than the frame material. Good luck on your metallurgy, tribology and voodoo on this one!

Anonymous said...

will there also be a "one size fits all" headset in the pipeline ?

Justine Nicholas Valinotti said...

I want the bottom bracket in the photo. It would go perfectly with my old Zefal competition pump. Now, why I want to match a bottom bracket to a pump...Don't ask. ;-)

John Thompson said...

cleve said...

You are SO the dude, Chris! Who else would come up with something as cool as this?

Well, there was the old "EDCO Grip" cartridge bottom bracket from back in the late 70s early 80s that used eccentric cups to hold the cartridge in place...

Crom said...

now you just gotta get some sealed raleigh threading bottom brackets!

please!

James Leath said...

So any recent plans for selling these little guys? Also, I love the versatility because it looks like it would be able to fit many different BB widths. Are the threaded cups on only one side or both? really what i am asking is this: do you any get chain-line adjustment like with the Phil BB's?

James Leath said...

Any progress on getting a few of these to sell?

Chris Kulczycki said...

We hope to have them in a few months.

d-a-n-i-e-L said...

I just picked up an old TI frame with a press in BB, any idea what the outside diameter of these is? The BB shell is 1.538" / 39.065MM

Thanks!

Yangmusa said...

My old Raleigh city bike is desperately in need of new cranks, the old cotterpin setup is worn out and the creaking is driving me nuts. Looking forward to going square taper with one of these BBs!

Anonymous said...

@ fred blasdel -

by your post do you mean that the Phil rings will work on a Shimano UN bottom bracket for weird threaded applications? If so, I will have to file that away in my brain under "useless factoids that may come in handy someday but probably not."

Still and all, I never thought of that. If the Shimano and Phil outer diameters are the same, that could get one out of a bind someday.

Jesse Schmal said...

Chris -

If this BB is still on the way, do you know if the BB shell requires any modification (Sheldon mentions chamfering w/another model)?

Chris Kulczycki said...

No modifications to BB shell required.