The Phil Wood "q" vs the Shimano "Q"
Last Post 08/14/2019 01:52 PM by 79 pmooney. 4 Replies.
Author Messages
79pmooney

Posts:2168

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07/28/2019 12:15 PM
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".

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:2168

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08/09/2019 03:51 PM
Got Jessica J back Wednesday from TiCycles and Black Magic Paint. Measured its Q-factor. 132. (Stock Miche BB, Sugino 75 crank.) Confirms one of the reasons I love riding that bike. Went for a short ride yesterday. (Was going to go up to Bald Peak but it was grizzling, traffic pretty heavy and staying crash free just seemed more important. Plus I was making a mess even with fenders of my freshly spiffed bike. It's never been this clean before, even new.)
longslowdistance

Posts:1862

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08/09/2019 09:07 PM
Hope this is not heresy, just observing that this former as low as possible or even lower Q advocate has enjoyed a wider Q angle as his joints have aged. Which is fortunate, as the low Q options of our youth have vanished. And also observing that unlike back in the day, the current pro peloton rider's knees no longer brush the top tube. And look at Sagan, knees way wide, and near as I can tell that dude is plenty fast. Back in the day it was understood if the paint on the top tube was tarnished by the rider's knees. You won't find that anymore. Was it better back then? It had a certain elegance, like skinny rims and small tires, but you can't stop progress. Ben, consider your modern options.
79pmooney

Posts:2168

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08/10/2019 01:27 AM
lsd, my knees still like brushing the top tube. I'm still battling the knee condition i was diagnosed with in 1978. I have yet to talk to an orthopedic surgeon and hear that the doctor who diagnosed me was wrong or that his prognosis has changed.

My knees have been drifting out over the years. They've been feeling worse. I've paid attention sometimes in recent rides to brusihng the top tube and every time I do it, it works and my knees thank me.

Those knees keep telling me that what is happening in the bike industry might be "progress" but it is not "good". And the pro peloton? I'm not sure I could have brushed the top tube in my racing days riding some of the Q-factors now. (No one ever told me to brush the top tube. After my chrondomalcia set in, I found that was what I had to do to ride and race.)

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:2168

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08/14/2019 01:52 PM
I tackled my final "bad" bike, my Competition. Had a Q-factor of 164. Pulled the cranks and BB. Shiimano 128.5! Went ot my favorite coop and picked out a pristine 110 Sugino spindle and near pristine cups, drive SunTour and non-drive Tange (with matching rubber seals and near matching details though not finishes, I'm huessing Tange made both.

Put the BB in with fresh balls and marine grease. NO way either crank is going to work! So pop can shims, yet again, but this time I used a trick I learned on-line. Cut the shims to rectangle the length of the taper times two plus the taper width at the outboard end. Bent them into "U"s and inserted them from the inside. Tapped the cranks on gently with a mallet. Poked a hole though the shims with an awl. Drilled them out with a bit too big to get into the spindle. (Messy. The shims tore up badly.) Ignored the mess, started the crank bolts and tightened.

Right crank tightened to a perfect chainline. Left to 3mm off the bottom bracket. Pretty hard to argue with. Q-factor is still 150 but I think I am going to feel the improvement. I could get another 5mm with thinner shim material taking everything to very close to hitting the chainstays but I am not going to bother. At least not this year.

So I now have Q-factors of:

TiCycles 139
Jessica J 132
Mooney 135
Trek 137
Competition 150

Let's see what my knees think? Sunday, I'll ride Jessica J for the Portland Century with 8 miles to and from. 4200 feet of climbing. Looks like about 10% max. I'm thinking to go 43 x 13, 17 and 23.

Ben


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