Written by Wally Wallace Tuesday, 01 August 2006 11:07
In an industry where standardization often takes a backseat to a companies need to put their own twist on a product (mmm.. Shimano) the external bottom bracket cup seems to have escaped the Evil Empires clutches. That is right external bottom bracket cups are to this point standardized. Shimano Hollowtech II, FSA MegaEXO, TruVativ Giga Pipe, and Race Face X-Drive bottom brackets all use the same 16-notch outer cup surface. So with that standardization comes one tool that will cover the bases, the Park BBT-9.
The BBT-9 is a professional quality tool designed to take the everyday use and abuse a shop mechanic can dish out. Bikeman's BBT-9 has been in his box for a few years now with no noticable wear. Taking into consideration the low tourque requirements of bottom bracket cups and the fact that the material the cups are made of is much softer than the tool.... this guy should last forever. Or atleast untill they come up with a new bottom bracket design. Bikeman also likes the fact that the BBT-9 complete wraps around the cup. Other companies make similar tools that are open-ended. While this does allow for tightening the cups without removing the crank arms, (the only real draw back of the BBT-9), it also provides less grip on the cup and in a sticky situation this can come back to haunt you.
The BBT-9 is a multifunctional tool with one end used to engage the 16-notch cups, while the other end engages the 8 internal splines of the Shimano Hollowtech II crank arm adjustment cap. Currently Shimano is the only company using this adjustment system so the little roller on the BBT-9 can also be used as a back scratcher, if you aren't running the Shimano system.
A tool Bikeman can't go without. Professional quality that is bound to outlast the current bottom braket technology.
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