I've been running a splined Hollow Tech 105 9-speed triple crankset and BB on the TiCycles since new. Beautiful crankset. Shifts beautifully, Only gripe is the the outer ring picks up the chain too well and makes small-small crossovers difficult. (DT friction, so still easily done.) But the Q-factor! Symmetrical BB (like most/all Shimano and the cranks had that sexy curve away fro the bike. Crank misses the big-small chain-line by a mile.
Now, I had this set up as a 53-42-28, my all-time favorite gears, but my knees and body have been tell ng me to go 24 or stop doing the really hard hills. (BUt I did have that crankset on a symmetrical Shimano BB, so there was romm for improvement on that score. Cranks are old Specialized I believe, clearly made by SR or Sugino and old-school straight!) I went 50-38-24 for my gravel setup on the Mooney. My knees said "yes!" Well the Mooney is back to fix gear service while my ti fix gear is having its fork painted. So I took the 105 crankset off the TiCycles and put the gravel setup on. Much better! But still a lot of Q-factor and now my two most ridden bikes are that and the super-low Q Mooney. My knees have been feeling the difference, preferring to ride fixed!
Well, the cranks are straight, Nothing to be gained there. I can tweak the cleats maybe a little but wearing out cranks is getting old. What's left? The bottom bracket. Time for a Phil! Measured up my Shimano 118.6, mounter the cranks and measured crank to chainstay (left) and to chain in high gear (right). Noted chainline (actually about a full cog too far out.) Calculated a new from-scratch BB what would have comfortable minimum clearances at chain and stay. A 105 2mm offset should do it. Went to the Phil Wood website. Rats, the 105 isn't in stock. Emailed them, saying "I want it and I am willing to wait". They E-mailed me back that they had some just hadn't updated the site yet. Go back and try again. Two days later it was in my hands; this short little BB! Put is no last night, setting it up .2 mm to the right just in case. Clearances are right on! Misses the chain. About 4mm off the left stay, 6mm right!
Now, my Dura-Ace triple FD wan now a fish out of water. No one at Shimano ever dreamed anyone would want an FD that needed to travel that far inboard. Barely could get the chain to drop onto the small cog even on the tiny gears in back. Hmmph! An old SunTour? Those AR do this geometry in their sleep. Ahh but!! The the old SunTours are for 26.8 seatposts! My box full on them won't help at all. Looked at the FD again. OK, the issue is the really wide cage at the bottom. I often narrowed up the SunTours to speed up middle to inner shifts, but Shimano bent the Dura-Ace cage into a big block "U". No help there. But, suppose I add material to the inside of the cage? Bent a scrap of aluminum sheet around the cage. Micky-mouse. But I tried it and shifting was "ahhh!" fast. I'm going to ride it now. I don't expect it to hold up. Betting 5 successful shifts then it gets trashed, pulled off and eaten by the chain. Since everything except the chainrings and pulleys in the system is hardened steel, I doubt much damage will happen. And if it works, the cage comes off the bike, a piece of steel gets epoxied on, the bike goes on and my knees say thank you!
And to justify those not-very-cheap Phil Wood BBs - stainless steel BBs are much cheaper than even just the co-pay for those custom titanium knees.
Having fun in my sandbox! Up to now, everything on my first TiCycles has been done "correctly". Now it is time to bend the rules and make it "right".