Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Spanish Fly

Hey, look, another new bottom bracket!



You can thank Fly for this bastard child of a Spanish bottom bracket and an integrated headset. From what I can tell, the bearings drop in (like an integrated headset), and then you tighten the spacer setup up to hold everything in place. Why the cranks can't hold everything together like they do virtually every other modern bottom bracket, I have no idea. (Although maybe it has something to do with not needing a middle tube spacer.) Also, it appears that they will require some sort of proprietary bottom bracket shell. Of course! They're like external bearing cups only without the cups.

I also like that Fly trumpets "no more hammers!" First off, most civilized people use a bearing press, whether it be store-bought or homemade, when popping in a bottom bracket. Secondly, how many times do you find yourself installing and removing bottom bracket bearings? Seems like yet another solution in search of a problem. Or a way to make sure people have to buy YOUR bottom bracket when they buy YOUR frame. Jerks.

Maybe every company should use a slightly different proprietary bottom bracket bearing. Fit and S&M could have the "California Bottom Bracket," Standard could have the "Iowa Bottom Bracket," Macneil could have the "Canadian Bottom Bracket," etc., etc.

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Hey Bicycling, we know that BMX is in the Olympics this year and you want to seem all in the know. That's terrific. But next time try a little harder, huh? Because this is seriously embarassing. And this isn't all that much better (the brief history of BMX in there is amazing).

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Today's video:

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

No. Just, no. Fly, please stop messing with my damn bottom bracket. There's not a damn thing wrong with it. Why change it? How does this make it better? It's not press fit? Can you say side to side wobble as soon as those aluminum cups start to wear, or after about 15 average crashes to impact on one of your pedals? If I'm looking at the pieces correctly, you still have a tube spacer, it's just built into the cones, so where is the advantage? This is three words, Dee, You , and Emm. Or, more accurately, this is planned obsolescence and change soley for the sake of change in action.

Stephen said...

DEVIL MOON.

I like the regular spanish bottom bracket, though I totally think it is pointless. Mid works fine and makes sense. One size for all, please.

Russ said...

I want a frame with a mid bearing on the drive side and a Spanish bearing on the non-drive side.

Vesa said...

Wasted years was on Mutiny Subversion, Walter Pieringer's part!

wade said...

Connecting this bottom bracket rant to the pivotal adapter for rails rant...
Has anyone else noticed that there is a mid - to- American BB adapter available?
Want to have the advantage of a mid BB bearing but are attached to that old frame with an American BB?
The solution is really quite genius. These "bearing cups" are even machined out of aluminum for light weight. Check the Profile page for spy shots.

Bone said...

Can't be arsed to work out how this works, but I don't like buying a new frame and cranks and then haveing to hammer seven shades of shit out of them till they're installed. We've all got a bearing press on our work bench...not.

marsi said...

also scott powel's part in the last aspire video

dayday said...

Yes! I always thought that song should be in a video. Now i have to find it, subversion you say?

Claydog said...

How about a redneck bottom bracket for those companys in the southeast U.S. no, Dixie,no Ok I got it

Southern fried chicken B.B.

todd from albe's said...

i'm gonna hi-jack this post for a second:

has anyone else seen the Freestylin' Magazine retrospective coffee table book? it's a really cool compiltaion of old footage and breaks it down with highlites of the most influential riders of the early days of the sport (like Mat Hoffman, Dizz Hicks, Woody Itson etc) and also talks about all the lifestyle stuff that went along with it like 'zines, demos and crappy ramps. very cool for sure. i have no idea about availability or where someone might obtain one, mine just showed up in the mail today with Nike's address for the return and since they have a little propaganda catalogue stuck in the back and the credits thank them in a hundred different ways it would seem as though they paid for the project.

just thought some of you guys might like to be on the look out for this and i now return you to your regularly scheduled bitching.

Stephen said...

I'd be stoked to have a look at that, Todd.

If and when I make it up to Michigan, I'll stop by and demand to see it. My girlfriend has also agreed to flash her cans if it means I get on the flow team, so we have that to look forward to. Sweet!

t.f.a. said...

"can flashing" is always welcome here...and it would seem as though your chick is a real team player.

Russ said...

The FREESTYLIN' book was definitely a Nike SB (of course) doing. Also, they had the release party for it at Brooklyn Projects, which is, of course, in California. I'm pretty sure I've got a line on one, it just hasn't happened yet. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet.

Anonymous said...

Wade, I like the way you think.

I think I have a line on one of those Freestylin books too, I entered the Dan's contest and I'm pretty sure I'm going to win it. It's pretty idiotic that Nike, a corporation, produces them, and then doesn't have the sense that they could make a skadzillion dollars selling them at 85 bucks a book to all the vintage BMX retards oops I mean collectors. Even though I don't have a basement full of motomags, I would like to own one of those books.

As far as Bicycling mag goes, what do you really expect from a rag that has 12 variations of the phrase "Get Fit Fast" on their cover every year, and a somehow different article to match it?

Rob D said...

I hammer my bottom bracket in with a rubber mallet. I thought everyone did that. What is this talk of a "bearing press"? Next you'll tell me they make grip glue to use instead of spit.

t.f.a. said...

Russ, i'm about as cynical as it gets and, aside from the Nike aspect, even i can't see what would make you have to figure out "how you feel about it, yet". something i'm overlooking? maybe i'm blinded by the fact that in the 'zine section there are two different one's that i had a hand in.

and even though i'm not a big Nike supporter i respect them for their "limited editons" actually being limited when they know all too well that they could sell the shit out of things like this.

now tell me i'm wrong, please.

Russ said...

I haven't even seen the book yet, so I'm just being crotchety. I've seen photos, that's all.

brien said...

what bums me out about the Nike book is that it'll be nearly impossible for most people to see it. Yes, the limited ones are cool, but there could easily be a 2nd, more basic printing for the general public.

wade said...

I have secured a copy of said book. I am assured that it is on the way to Toronto.
How? Networking. Friends of friends.
Life is good.

Loop said...

"I like the regular spanish bottom bracket, though I totally think it is pointless. Mid works fine and makes sense. One size for all, please."

I might be very wrong but I thought that the Spanish BB pre-dates Mid size? I was under the impression that Fly sorted out their BB and then some bright spark in the US copied the idea but used a larger bearing (same size as a USA BB bearing?).

Tat would seem to make sense to me as I would imagine Fly patented the design (like Macneil and Pivotal) and other companies didn't fancy shelling out (sorry, that's an awful pun) for a license?

Imay have made this all up and convinced myself it's true though...

g. edward jones, jr. said...

I've heard that the Freestylin' book will be put online in its entirety with bonus materials for all to see. However, there will be no more printings past the original 2500. Basically to get one you have to be someone or know someone.

Since I basically know no one, there will be no Freestylin' book at the Mystic Negro High Command and that makes me sad.

Also, thank you Russ, I've had King's X stuck in my head since yesterday (although, there are worse fates.)

Stephen said...

loop, i think you are right, spanish did come first, but it seems like most companies went with mid. i like the smaller spanish bearings, though.

i just wish they all could have done one size.

Anonymous said...

Spanish predates Mid, but due to it's size there are no off-the-shelf bearings for it (unless you run Haro etc.'s 20mm cranks).

Mid at least uses SOME off the shelfers. R12s for instance.

Anonymous said...

I fucking love Maiden!

Pjoubert

Anonymous said...

FWI, Russ, I have the original FREESTYLIN' book. put out by Wizard publications way back when. it's not signed by Buff and RL though. The first 100 were. I wonder who has those...?

jeff said...

Hammering bearings is far too sketchy for me. I just use a vice and a couple two by fours.

Anonymous said...

Everyone should use hammers to put in BB cups. Hell, I probably fix about 75% of my bike's problems with a hammer.

-DrunkBMX

daz. said...

i thought that a mid bb was just the same bearings from an american bb pressed into the frame rather than into a cup and then into a frame?

and wasn't the spanish an attempt at taking the smaller size 'trend' for the euro bb and making it a bit stronger and usable for a bmx?

dan haugh said...

Todd F.A. -- which zines? maybe we traded back in the day...

todd from albe's said...

Dan, i said i had a hand in two 'zines they show in the book, as in i contributed things to them as they were done by some Albe regulars...if you got either Spazum (about 1988) or Bean 'Zine (about 1991) then you may have seen some of my cartoons. the only 'zine i personally did was a joint venture with Taj in the mid 90s called Big Boys On Little Toys.

Arriaga said...

Spanish Fly. I just got it, a day later. What was that, some sex pill or something like that...

Anonymous said...

The Freestylin' book was apparently put out to make us regular bike-buying types hate and refuse ever to deal with any "somebody" who had anything to do with producing or distributing it.

There are far fewer than 2500 people on earth who actually want the thing, and not a single one of us can get it without overpaying some scene shithead or fake-contest "winner" who has it and doesn't care about it.

No sale. Ever.

t.f.a. said...

we got one copy of the Freestylin' book and each one of us here wants it which will undoubtedly result in a rock, paper, scissors-a-thon (which i am sure i will lose).