I thought that the one place where ball retainers was acceptable was in a bottom bracket because the balls are easy to lose down the chainstay and difficult to place with your finger if you already screwed in the fixed cup. I just installed a brand new old stock high end Italian bb using the retainer because: 1) I was too lazy to go out and get a full set of balls (bearings that is) 2) I didn't want to lose any balls which in the past I have done and had to take it apart to get to the noisy ball.
To my surprise there is a touch of something I don't like with the retainer. The shell is nicely faced so that's not it. The crank still spins nicely but you can feel that there is room for improvement. How many people use the retainer on their personal bikes? Is it sacrilege or just in bad form?
Garth Libre in Miami Fl. USA