[CR] Campy thick and thin cups, BB widths, and Phil BBs.

Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2010 19:36:06 -0500
From: Harvey Sachs <hmsachs@verizon.net>
To: <jonswriter@att.net>, Classic Rendezvous <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>, OROBOYZ <OROBOYZ@AOL.COM>
Subject: [CR] Campy thick and thin cups, BB widths, and Phil BBs.

Jon Spangler wrote: WHY did Campagnolo make thin and thick BB cups? I have been reading about thick and thin cups for months and never understood why anyone would offer two thicknesses (two thinnesses?) in BB cups, if not to deal with the vagaries of different BB shell widths, axle lengths, crank arm designs and ages/wear factors, Q factors, etc.

Harvey: The thick cups have helical grooves in the inner surfaces, left on one side and right on the other. The theory was that the rotation of the spindle would carry grease out through the grooves, extending the maintenance interval. To compensate, the cones are closer together than "normal" ones. This probably helps it flex better. Incidently, both Shimano and Suntour offered "thick" cups, too, but without the spiral grooves. So

Jon Spangler: As a Phil Wood BB user and partisan for 35 years now, I can attest to their durability and superb price/value ratio, for all of you who think they are too pricey. I am still using my two original 1970s Phil BBs and they are going strong with NO signs of wearing out. (I may have replaced the bearings once...). You can buy used Phil BBs on ebay fearlessly (just check for the correct tapers) since Phil Wood can replace bearings on anything they have made, including the CR-acceptable "vintage" BBs of long ago. And it is SO simple to dial in the BB fits, crank offsets, Q factors, chain lines, and such.....

Harvey: I'm also a huge Phil fan, but there are actually two models of Phil BBs that I would shun. One is easy to spot: it doesn't have replaceable bearings, but an integral cartridge set-up, only made for a few years. The other is harder to spot, can't do it w/o disassembly. This one used a snap-lock washer inboard of each bearing, and the washer seated in a sharp-edged groove in the axle. Stress risers, and they are reputed to have broken frequently. This design gave way to ones that use an aluminum sleeve to maintain the bearing separation.

Dale Brown: Remember in almost every case; > 70 mm wide = Italian. > 68 mm wide = British, French, Japanese, Spanish, Swiss.

Harvey: Let's not forget the 65 mm BBs on older British frames with narrow rears. And my on-topic Schwinn Town & Country tandems had a 74 mm. rear bracket, if memory serves.

Harvey "details, details" Sachs mcLean va