Making a Singlespeed

It may be no secret that I’ve been riding singlespeed since around 2009. Yes, I did ride a few geared bikes in that time- spent a week on many speed Specialized road bike, a couple years on a Norco downhill bike, and a random ride here or there on other bikes. But most of miles have been on one gear, either freewheeling or fixed, for a few years now. When it came time for a new cyclocross bike, I had the opportunity to get a geared bike and convert it, which is often a better loaded bike than the three “off the shelf” singlespeeds I had bought before.

I was “connected” to a Cannondale dealer, which resulted in an amazing deal on a 2015 CAADX Rival Disc, couldn’t pass this up, even if it meant I would have to solve the SS problem. After much research, I found the best solution- Wheels Manufacturing, makes BB30 Eccentric Bottom Brackets!  https://wheelsmfg.com/bottom-brackets/ebb/eccentric-bb-for-bb30-24mm-shimano-cranks-black.html

withbox
A little worn, but still works great!
endview
Not new, but you can see how it works, a little.

The bike did not get ridden until it was converted, but it did have one small issue. BB30, (if it still exists), must have a stop for the bearings to rest against. On this bike, it only had C-clips, got lucky. Some bikes had machined ridges of BB material, but not mine. So what was the issue? For some unknown, to me, reason, Cannondale didn’t machine completely, the inside of the BB shell. This resulted in a ridge of aluminum, vertically, in the center and on the back 1/3 of the shell. The issue?

bbshell2
The grinding scars are visible in both images.

The EBB assembly has two bolts reaching through the BB space, connecting both sides, and providing the position security when tightened. The bolts would move past the excess material in the BB space stopped full rotation and reducing the chain tension adjustability needed. I ground it down smooth with a grinder bit on a drill. With this free movement, the system allows a 2 rear tooth increase or decrease, without breaking the chain.

bbshell1

This EBB was well worth the retail price, $135.00, as I now have 18,070.6 miles on it, (as of 31 January 2019). No problems at all. I remove, clean, replace, every couple of months, but no issues. I had a thought that I wasn’t using the correct tools for removal and replacement, it’s a very tight fit, but can rotate easily with a spanner. I contacted Wheels Manufacturing, and although I really wanted some shiny new tools, they said I didn’t need anything special. Dagnabbit! (Even though I’m not old enough to use that word). Shiny tools are a drug!

angleviewwithgrease
After a good cleaning, I add some grease to all the contact areas.

With the Enduro bearings, and with proper installation, this thing may last the life of the bike; I’m in no hurry to solve this again with another conversion product, but the challenge is always good. There’s always some kind of issue with everything, so, I’ll admit, it rotated on two rides last year. Not a big deal, if you don’t mind a sagging chain, but those tend to bounce off the ring easily. This may have happened due to not tightening after adjustment, not sure of any other way this thing could move. I had to get creative and find a way to rotate this thing without a spanner. I solved it both times, but decided I should carry some type of “correct” tool for the job.

topview

I found the Pedro’s Trixie, and it looked like the best option. You’re right, haven’t had an issue since I’ve been hauling this weightless tool on all my rides. Other issues? I thought the EBB was creaking, a few times. I did the cleaning thing, didn’t go away. I later discovered my freewheel body was eating itself from the inside out. Could be a SS torque issue.

typicalspanner
Typical spanner wrench.
trixie
Pedro’s Trixie wrench!

WM makes a few versions of this EBB, should solve most any need. Make sure you get the right one! And enjoy a simple conversion, and no chain tensioners.

 

https://www.cannondale.com/en/USA

https://wheelsmfg.com/bottom-brackets/ebb/eccentric-bb-for-bb30-24mm-shimano-cranks-black.html

https://pedros.com/products/toolsfor-the-ride/trixie-black/

 

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