We first saw Spanish outfit Rotor's brand new Flow cranks at Eurobike last year, and worked hard at getting a pair in for test as soon as possible. So for the last couple of months I've been riding the new aero crankset, a niche market in itself, and have been impressed with their stiffness. And their aero properties? Well that's a little harder to quantify.
A Chris King bottom bracket is an excellent option that will last you years if you service it periodically.
It's the law in the world of cycling that you have to like Chris King stuff. If you don't, you're not In The Know. That's the way it works. Unlike lots of the nonsense that masquerades as truth, this one is grounded in reality. In my experience, Chris King components are superbly engineered, better still they work too.
What do you want a bottom bracket to do?
a) Spin smoothly
b) Carry on spinning smoothly
FSA's BB-8000 has done both for me all year.
The BB-8000, available in both BSA and Italian versions, comes with oversized cartridge bearings that sit in forged and then CNCed cups. The same BB is available with ceramic bearings too but that's more than three times as expensive.
The One23 Ceramic/Carbon is a trick Shimano compatible bottom bracket that is sure to spruce up your drivetrain.
A quick spin of the pedals with this model installed and I was quite simply blown away (sad, I know)! There is noticeably less friction than with my usual Shimano XT BB installed; the smoothness approached that of a quality ISIS style bottom bracket.
Twenty grams lighter and markedly cheaper than a recently tested titanium model, One23’s composite external bearing bottom bracket has some interesting features but will have greatest appeal amongst budget conscious riders of moderate weight seeking a fit and forget Shimano compatible alternative. That said, I reckon it's capable of churning up to ten thousand plus miles before pensioning off.
External ceramic bearings and space age materials translate into almost the ideal bottom bracket for high-end bikes in demanding applications and the VNT from Van Nicholas is without doubt the smoothest I’ve come across in a very, very long time.