External Bottom Bracket on new bike
I just bought a new 2005 Lemond Buenos Aires. It has a few parts/things that are radically different from my 1997 Bianchi Eros, including the threadless headset (going on a tangent, the old quill/stems were much better looking), and the funky steel/carbon frame. But the one feature I'm puzzled by is the bottom bracket. According to the bike description, it is a TruVativ GXP external. It looks like it has these large black plastic parts sticking out of the bb. I've never seen this before. How long have these type of BB's been around? Do I need to do any special maintenance/care? What are the benefits? and lastly, any feedback about the quality of TruVativ GXP? (Never heard the name before). Pardon my ignorance, but since I bought my last road bike 10 years ago, and my last mountain bike 8 years ago, I haven't been paying much attention to the "latest & greatest".
They've been around a couple of years on high end stuff. Starting to trickle down now. Supposed to be lighter, stiffer, all that good stuff. Much easier to remove and install. No real maintenance as everything is sealed.