You kick your front foot back hard, scooping the pedal back and flicking the cranks around underneath you with your battered Vans. Something is wrong. Your cranks squeak to a halt a mere 180 degrees from their original position. Your feet slap down anti-climatically upon the asphalt. Your heel-bruise worsens. The attractive woman who was showing mild interest as she walked past looks away in embarrassment and quickens her pace. Your peers nonchalantly look back down to their smartphones in silence; Courage Adams just posted on Insta and he actually lands his tricks… You try again- you kick back harder, grunt a little, people can smell your desperation now. This time you get a better grip of the remaining three pins left in your pedal. ‘This is the one…’ you think, ‘the fist bumps are coming my way.’
As you lay there, tangled among steel tubes, bleeding from a chunk missing from your Achilles tendon (probably caused by a Schrödinger’s pedal; a pedal that paradoxically seems unable to grip the bottom of your shoes yet will savagely butcher any part of your body it may end up touching) with your pride in tatters, thinking ‘Maybe I should make crankflips easy for myself and just ride a cassette…. like Courage.’ you might be better off by simply lubing your chain and changing your bottom bracket.
There are plenty of crank installation videos out there, this Merritt one being the latest example. While it gives you some good pointers on crank installation, it completely skips the BB installation stage so today I’m going to take you through what it takes to properly measure and install your new bottom bracket like a goddamn… god! We’ve all seen a number of wrong ways to fit a BB; some accidental, some on purpose, and with the evolution of the BB slowed down to a halt on the extremely efficient press-fit Mid sized BB shell, I’d say it’s high time to explain how to install the sucker correctly. Continue reading