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Phil Wood Bottom Bracket for racing?

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Phil Wood Bottom Bracket for racing?

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Old 07-11-18, 09:41 PM
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avhed
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Phil Wood Bottom Bracket for racing?

Was this bottom bracket used for racing in the 1970 and 1980s or did racers avoid the high friction of the sealed bearings?
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Old 07-11-18, 10:02 PM
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79pmooney
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I'm sure plenty of people raced them. Many of us paid for the equipment we raced out of our own pockets. For use every day when the miles pile up and maintenance is a drag, those Phil BBs were the cat's meow. Rain didn't touch them. Not even rainy races where you might be following someone's dirty rooster tail for hours.

And if you raced and trained on the same bike, you piled on so many miles the seals would break in completely and the feel with no cranks on was sublime.

Ben
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Old 07-11-18, 10:27 PM
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I used one in my 1972 Masi back then. I was certainly not a great bike racer, but I sure appreciated the smoothness and no need for maintenance, especially after that race on dirty roads around Aspen in a spring snow storm. Phil Wood hubs were pretty nice to have that day, too.
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Old 07-11-18, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by avhed View Post
Was this bottom bracket used for racing in the 1970 and 1980s or did racers avoid the high friction of the sealed bearings?
Seals are noticeable when you turn a bearing in your hand, but they don't experience a significant increase in load during use, so it's never much worse than it looks in the stand. And what feels stiff when rotating a narrow spindle with your fingers is nothing compared to what else you're facing when you're riding along at 25mph.

I'm not sure about how square-taper BBs compare, but the gains from switching from a touring tire to a racing tire are often 100+ times larger than those from removing the seals from modern BB cartridge bearings.
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Old 07-12-18, 12:32 AM
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Unless one has a bum or damaged sealedbearing BB, I highly doubt if ANYONE can feel the "drag" from the bearing seals.....
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Old 07-12-18, 07:38 AM
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By the 80s Phil was top quality. By the 80s it was also solidly linked to the touring set and racers would not use it.

Early 70s Phil was pretty shaky. Literally. The hubs came in a box with a little 3 x 5 card that stated free play of 0.003" -- 0.004" (and often more) at the rim was normal. The bearings were plain loose. When you find older bikes with old Phil hubs they still shake loose at the rim. Those who actually rode their bikes discovered the bearings were done in a couple thousand miles. This was before UPS or Fedex and the Post Office was extravagant for shipping wheels. So you removed the hub and mailed it off to Phil. Who was slow as molasses. He sent the hub back with new bearings and a note about how you now had Mark IV bearings. Or Mark VI bearings. And it still died quickly. Only the thoroughly propagandiized (suckers) (me) fooled with Phil in the early days. Racers used Campy.

Sanshin Gyromaster hubs were available the whole time and far superior to Phil. Phil was basically about PR.
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Old 07-12-18, 03:34 PM
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Oh dear.

phil in the 70's did have play at the rim on hubs, it was not the cartridge bearings but the intentional avoidance of lateral preload.
I am running a bike with Phil hubs right now.
i only don't like the sound when moving the bike that it "sounds" like a loose headset.

used a Phil bottom bracket circa 1973.
the lip seals wear in. Always a bit of drag.
did I lose a race due to it? No.
I did start winning races once on a full Campagnolo bike but that is not related- psychological.

phil has changed their designs over time.
i still have a few early bottom brackets, one needs bearings now 43 years on.

being able to fine tune chain line is a nice feature. I have a stealth triple that way on one bike.
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Old 07-12-18, 03:51 PM
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Now you guys tell me.....my 1972 vintage bike has this play on it's original, 1st gen, Phil Wood hubs....
couldn't figure it out as the wheelset/hubs look like they didn't have that much miles on them.
I guess I don't have to worry too much about them as they still spin as smooth as glass....
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Old 07-12-18, 06:39 PM
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My Phils were 1973. 1500 to 2000 miles on first set of bearings. Second set the same. I was enough of a fool to send them back a second time. Phil did not replace the bearings that time, he sent me a new edition of the hubs. Less shake but still some. 2500 to 3000 miles. That was all one year. Then they were round filed.

What happened with my Phil BB was so scary I'd still rather not talk about it.

As above, later Phil was top quality wonderful kit.
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Old 07-12-18, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post

What happened with my Phil BB was so scary I'd still rather not talk about it.
the early phil bottom bracket cartridge had half exposed bearings, the bearings outer race themselves were what contacted the retaining rings.
If the bottom bracket shell threadings were not aligned longitudinally there was a strong possibility of misalignment stress on the bearings.
Similar problem to my fathers 1966 XKE that spent three of nine months of ownership having the differential rebuilt. Kept eating bearings.
Traded in at 12k miles, the limit of the new car warranty. Beautiful car, mechanical disaster.

The stamped steel bottom bracket shells in particular are prone to this misalignment condition.

The later Phil cartridge has an aluminum overall cylinder that isolates the bearings quite a bit.
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Old 07-13-18, 10:58 AM
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Thank you repechage. Forty-five years later some clarity. The bike in question was an A.M.F. Gloria La Garibaldina Extra, prewar track bike. This would be well before anyone knew that was collectible. Even the local old Italians were not quite sure what it was. It was a top quality frame but it had been through a lot and quite likely the BB shell was less than perfect. After removing the rubble of the Phil bearing the shell did get chased and faced and went back to Magistroni.
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Old 07-13-18, 02:09 PM
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Myself, and the crowd I hung around with, wouldn't touch Phil. The Campy BB was light weight (relatively), great quality and easy to service once you invested in the tools. If you didn't want Campy, you could use Mavic and still maintain respectability (this was before Dura Ace got their game together and came out with index shifting). Phil was more for the crowd that liked bar-end shifters and helmet mirrors. I still harbor some prejudice against Phil, although I do have some Phil stuff and it's great quality, albeit overbuilt.
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Old 07-13-18, 02:31 PM
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My good friend Brian, has early era Phil hubs. Rusty, but trusty. He only toured on them, and only once replaced the bearings. Still uses them, but does not ride more than 1000 miles a year now. I have Gyromaster hubs of the same vintage and have repacked the bearings, but not replaced them. They only get ridding perhaps a few hundred miles a year now. It is my opinion the early Phil stuff was very good much like a BMW, but required service often, much like a BMW.
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