Bottom Brackets AGAIN!!!

Once again I find myself writing about bottom brackets. Bollocks. I really don’t want to get labelled as some kind of obsessive dude who only thinks about bottom brackets all day long, yet I don’t seem to have much choice in the matter either.

Equally, I imagine that you -the noble reader- is pretty bored reading about them, but you too have little choice but to think about it. If you are in the market for a new frame anytime soon then you will HAVE to choose a bottom bracket. Most frames still come with a USA BB if you just want something you know works (even if it is a bit of a pain to fit sometimes), but most also now come with the option of a euro, some frames only come with a euro and some of the new ones to be launched over the next 12 months will only come with a Spanish or other BB shell.

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Bottom Bracket Compendium

You may remember that 2 years ago in issue 58 I wrote about the new Euro Bottom brackets that were starting to pop up on some frames. I also predicted that there would be some other new standards to look forward to. Well now they seem to be starting to come through so I thought now would be a good time to try to review the whole lot… Hold on to your hats, it’s going to be dull…

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Euro/USA Bottom Brackets

BMX is a great big multi headed hydra of a beast. Rearing up on ugly great legs with lots of heads to snap at you and lots of tails to whack you round the face as you try to retrieve the golden fleece of freestyle…

OK, maybe not, I never was very good with metaphors; what I was working up to in my very laboured way, is that there are many, many strands to BMX these days. We have magazines, videos and websites; street, dirt, park, ramps and flat; there are multi-million dollar training camps and skateparks; shoes and clothes. Most of these get their fair share of coverage but what about the actual bike you ride? It has never been very “cool” to spend too much time thinking about your bike but surely it is crucial to your daily ride? None of us would like to go back to the bikes of the ‘80s, at least not for serious riding. Can you see Stephen Murray doing a double back-flip on a super-burner? Technology has come on a fair bit in 20 years but we had to dodge some bullets in there too. Answer suspension forks anyone? As long as BMX is big, and lets face it, it IS big now, there will be a businessman seeing a profit to be made. Just because a businessman is also a rider doesn’t mean that everything they say should be taken as gospel. The aim of this column is to discuss some new and coming innovations that may be on your next bike, and to see if they are genuine improvement or a marketing gimmick. I say discuss because there are two sides to every argument, as far as possible I will try to present the case for and against with balance. But bear in mind that I am just another rider trying to screw a few quid out of the kids…..

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