Interbike 2010: Phil Wood Eccentric BB for Standard Threaded Frames and More
For a company that is known for being fairly old school, but with an incredible attention to detail and quality, Phil Wood had some very new school and intriguing parts on display this year at Interbike. Take this belt drive freewheel for example, due to the lack of belt drive freewheels on the market Peter Enright (current owner of Phil Wood) teamed up with White Industries to create one. Peter told me that rather than trying to create a freewheel, he would rather leave that up to the masters at White, and Phil would provide the actual cog. Like everything else Phil and White, it is 100% made in the US and combines Phil’s precise machining with White’s precise engagement, a win-win.
There were many other very interesting parts on display as well, although in typical Phil Wood style there was little fanfare and it took me a while to talk Peter out of an Interbike induced state of lethargy to get the scoop on the goods. I stumbled upon the Phil wood booth on the very last day, and was able to snag Peter for some last minute questioning. If you have been living under a rock, or just not in the know, the late Phil Wood sold the business to Peter in 1991 and Peter has been the face of Phil wood Components ever since. The bicycle world lost one of its grate innovators early this year as Phil passed away, however Peter is clearly making Phil proud by continuing his legacy of perfectly made parts. While Peter was slow to talk at first due to it being the end of an exhausting show, he quickly perked up once the conversation turned technical and was more than happy to show us everything he had that was new.
Got a geared frame you want to single speed? Phil Wood has an interesting option after the break!
Initially this is what caught my attention at the very beginning, it looks like an eccentric bottom bracket, but it looks like it threads into the frame, how could this be? Turns out, it is exactly that, an eccentric bottom bracket that you can install on any standard English threaded frame. The EBB caps contain the bearings presumably for Shimano style outboard bottom brackets with a 24mm ID, although I’m guessing you could get a 22mm non drive version if you wanted to run a Sram crank. So I know you’re thinking that since the Philcentric BB is two pieces, how can you possibly keep the two adjusted to the same degree to keep the spindle straight?
In true Phil form, they have a tool for that. The red cog in the middle houses a tool that interfaces with the inside notches of the EBB cups. First you use the Philcentric driver to install one of the EBB cups.
Once both cups are installed, place the PHilcentric Symmetry Gage (gauge?) into the first EBB cups.
Finally, use the alignment mark on the symmetry gage and the alignment mark on the Philcentric driver to line up the two cups. Once the cups are installed properly, you can rotate and install the bearing caps to the desired position effectively setting chain tension.
While definitely not the simplest solution to chain tension for a single speed, it is a very elegant design and is sure to solve someone’s issues.
Finally, there is this beautiful lock ring wrench. Pretty simple by design, the notches fit directly to Phil Wood’s lock rings and can either be used by hand or with a chain whip to tighten or loosen stubborn lock rings. Anyone who has ever struggles with the standard lock ring wrenches will surely be able to appreciate this tool, as it will likely save some knuckles and prevent mushroomed rings.
So what do you think, would you have a use for the Philcentric EBB?