Today, Darcy Saccucci posted an impassioned defense of the Spanish bottom bracket over at Macneil that boils down to just two points:
• It's lighter.
• It looks better.
No mention of performance, no mention of longevity, no mention of bearing loads or anything like that. Just a series of photos of bearings on digital scales that prove—well, would you look at that—that the smaller Spanish bearings are lighter.
Well I'll be.
Only sometimes smaller isn't better, is it? Despite the apparent epidemic of shrinking frame tubes, you don't see anyone clamoring for the return of 1/4" dropouts and 1" headtubes. Why not? They'd be lighter, right? You're telling me a company couldn't produce a viable 1" internal headset, or a viable 1" threadless fork in 2009? Why not?
You know what I want to do with my bottom bracket? I want to install it and forget about it. And if that extra 100 grams means I don't ever have to look at the thing, then that's 100 grams I don't mind carrying around.
Besides, who still uses Spanish anyway? There's Macneil, of course, and Fly, and T1, and...
Hey, what if I told you that there was another bearing system that's even SMALLER and LIGHTER that's been in use forever where you actually screw cups into your frame, thus avoiding the use of hammers and mallets and scavenged pieces of 2x4? Would you be interested in that at all? What's that? Durability? Haven't you been listening at all? It's lighter and sleeker! What more could you want?