For some time, I’ve wondered how I would tension the chain on the Rock Lobster. As I was determined on having an internal geared hub, I was overwhelmed with a sense of sacrilege from the thought of bolting a chain tensioner to the derailleur hanger. The clean chain line that was on offer; I couldn’t bring myself to do it, as my OCD took over. So then there were two real options: one was to approach Gripsport and do the horizon drop out conversion (which I found out that they no longer do) or fit an eccentric bottom bracket.
I decided to go with the Phil Wood Philcentric eccentric bottom bracket. Another company in Germany, Trickstuff, also produces EBBs and from the reviews they are pretty similar in terms of performance, but the Phil Wood could be ordered from my local bike shop.
I found three things worth noting about Philcentric EBB:
1) The bottom bracket is noticeable bigger and heavier than the standard BB that came with my Shimano cranks.
2) A special tool is required to install EBBs (this is true for both the Phil Wood and Trickstuff version)
3) The Philcentric EBB requires modification to the crank if you are running one designed for 2 or more rings (I can’t speak for all crank sets, but this was definitely the case for Shimano). This is because the face of the EBB is larger than the factory BB and will foul the inner chain ring tabs.
First impressions are that the unit is very very professionally made and assembled. The tolerances and fitment is perfect between the cups and threaded piece. As adjustments can only be made with the cranks out, I found the process of getting the perfect chain length a little tedious. Besides that and the weight penalty, it’s definitely worth the coin if you suffer from a little bit of OCD like me.