Bicycle Retailer and Industry magazine are reporting
that there will soon be an alternative to Shimano’s splined BB system. The current
splined BB, fitted to LX, XT and XTR cranks is different to the one fitted to old
XTR and Dura Ace cranks. This new one is different again, but that’s a good thing
as it will mean all the fancy aftermarket cranks will have common fixings.
Race Face, Tru Vativ and Chris King have finalized the design of an alternative spline
pattern for bottom bracket and crank systems. And they want to share it with the
“We will not be patenting the design. Though we have authored it, we want the
industry to have an alternative to Shimano. We hope to have engineering drawings
and testing results ready to share with other manufacturers in a few weeks,”
said Craig Pollack, Race Face’s president.
Shimano’s spline bottom bracket and crank system, first available on XTR and Dura
Ace components, has proved to have many advantages over traditional four-sided square
taper designs. The company has aggressively protected its patents on the design,
effectively locking out the rest of the industry.
“You’ve got to give it to Shimano. It really is a much better system. The improvements
with splines are not incremental; we are talking about something completely better.
We are seeing improvements in fatigue life more than 100 percent better than square
tapers. Strength is up more than 50 percent, as well,” Pollack said.
Samples of the new system will be shown at this year’s Taipei International Cycle
Show in the spring. Production samples will be ready for Interbike this fall. <FONT