Forward Components EBB! All the adjustability of a half-link....- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Forward Components EBB! All the adjustability of a half-link....

    At only 30x the cost! What a bargain!!!

    After dicking around with my forward components EBB for the past few days, I've realized what a POS it really is.

    It is not functional without a half-link, period. The worst 175 dollars I've ever spent on bike stuff, ever. 3.99 for a half link, and $125 for CK BB would have been a much better investment.

    Anybody want a Forward components BB? I hate that POS.

  2. #2
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    That bad eh? How much adjustment does it give you?
    read KNOBBY MEATS or be sadly ignorant of the mediocrity that is allowed to exist in the interwebs

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by the munts
    That bad eh? How much adjustment does it give you?
    Less than a full link. That makes it worthless to me.

  4. #4
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    That is exactly as advertised imho, and certainly wouldn't stop me from buying one. As I understand the process: get the chain length close through smart choice of gear ratios and a half-link as needed, then use the EBB to remove the slack as well as take up slack as the chain stretches. You can't get more than that out of a conversion bb that still fits within a normal bb shell. A half-link alone does not give you any adjustability. I don't see how requiring a half-link for your combo makes it unworkable, just an extra step to set up

    Also, don't forget that every frame works out differently in terms of how close your chosen ratio will be. Depending on the gear combo and the chainstay length a half-link wouldn't be required at all.

  5. #5
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    Sure, I will take the EBB. PM me if you are serious and not just ranting. I guess you would have to be pretty mad to do that though.

    The half-link gets you in the ballpark, but not where I would want to be for chain tension. If you are not going to run a full EBB, or sliders, or track ends on the frame, the forward components approach should be workable, although I have never owned one. If I was looking at it, I would use a tool like the eehouse chainstay calculator thing:
    http://eehouse.org/fixin/formfmu.php

    Pick tooth numbers that get you real close, with a little bit of slack to take up with the ebb. Otherwise you could be buying lots of cogs and chainrings to try and get things right. I would suggest, don't give up. Just that the forward components solution comes with an included math problem you have to solve, unless you just happen to hit it lucky.

  6. #6
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    I'll take that POS off your hands.

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  7. #7
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    what c-rat said... I run magic gears on several bikes (both in the past and currently) and the extra tooth of a cog, or the use of a half-link is all I've ever needed.
    once you've got your gear ratio nailed, find the right combo of gear/cog to get you within a few mm worth of chain length.
    Looked at the FC-ebb myself, and still thinking about it for the merlin I have.
    reminds me... I DO have that half-link in the basement.
    think I'll ss the merlinski tonight, s'posed to be snowing overnight

    (two guys ahead of me to try and take the POS off your hands... dang!)
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    I'll take that POS off your hands.

    --Sparty
    same. pm me with a price.
    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding View Post
    The dude is like 120lbs, tops lol he can run any tires he wants without issues, i'm sure.
    :D

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by playpunk
    Less than a full link. That makes it worthless to me.
    Please explain why? - if you change your ratios from time to time and find that one ratio needs a half-link and the other doesn't, then just have two chains prepared to the optimum lengths and swap them at the same time as the sprocket. Simple. If you never change ratios, then what's the issue anyway

    Even with EBB's with more throw plenty of people do this anyway, to avoid big changes to the effective geometry caused by, say, having the EBB go from right forward to right back.

    Put my name in the draw for the FC anyway yessir.....

  10. #10
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    A half link and a magic ratio is fine if you never ride your bike.

    If you do ride your bike, you'll find that chains wear and adjustment is needed. That's when a POS EBB comes in really useful
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike
    A half link and a magic ratio is fine if you never ride your bike.

    to quote colonel potter: Bull Bagels!
    magic gear works fine... just use your damn head and realize that if the chain stretches enough to warrant tensioning then you need to go up a tooth and change the cog!
    (just cause it's magic NOW doesn't mean you never change it)
    it's not hogwart's here, it's a couple largish pieces of metal interacting with a whole bunch of tiny pieces of metal!


    anyways, if your gearing wasn't within 1/4 inch or so of "magic" in the frist place, yeah, you expected too much from the EBB.
    snipey snape over n out.
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  12. #12
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    I just expected the FC EBB to solve all of my tensioning problems.

    I'll send some PM's to those who want the EBB.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by byknuts
    ...magic gear works fine... just use your damn head and realize that if the chain stretches enough to warrant tensioning then you need to go up a tooth and change the cog! ...
    Really, you actually change your gearing when your chain stretches?

    If the chain can handle another tooth that means it has stretched 1/2" and continuing to use it is going to stuff your sprockets. Or do you keep a stock of 1 tooth smaller chainrings to match?

    I don't want to change my gearing if I'm happy with it.

    I've done a few magic ratio conversions, but their life is limited because of chain stretch*. It's ok for trying out SS but it's not a long term solution - it's only good for 100 miles in the dirt in my experience - maybe in drier conditions than I get here it is different. (I'm not talking about road use where the chain will last longer)

    If you can tolerate a lot of slack in your chain when it wears then maybe you'll be content. If I liked slack I'd probably still be on a derailleur.

    *The only exception is a belt drive magic ratio conversion I have done - it didn't stretch in the 300 miles I ran it before dismantling it for another conversion.
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  14. #14
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    send me a PM if it hasn't sold yet
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  15. #15
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    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by byknuts
    ... just use your damn head and realize that if the chain stretches enough to warrant tensioning then you need to go up a tooth and change the cog!
    ...
    Personally I would never consider owning a bicycle that forced me to use a certain gear ratio (which will remain unknown until the bike is built) &/or did not include some effective method of tensioning the chain.

    --Sparty

    P.S. It's not "if" the chain stretches enough to warrant tensioning, it "when" the chain stretches enough to warrant tensioning. Unless, as Velobike mentioned, you never ride your bike.
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  17. #17
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    Two singlespeed chain tension myths:

    Magic
    Ghosts

  18. #18
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    Thanks playpunk I'm always happy to see folks put up their money to try things out and give real reviews. Lots of folks might disagree with you, but the only ones that might matter are the other ones that ponied up and bought one.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    Two singlespeed chain tension myths:

    Magic
    Ghosts
    well i have to disagree with you there, ghost rings do work, i jsut stopped using it because I was changing my gear ratio many times over. which just reminds me to use the ghost ring again.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by byknuts
    to quote colonel potter: Bull Bagels!
    magic gear works fine... just use your damn head and realize that if the chain stretches enough to warrant tensioning then you need to go up a tooth and change the cog!
    .

    Did your chain stretch itself a new link, or like mine did the links just get longer? Maybe I'm not using my head! Because if the links got longer, your new cog won't fit.

  21. #21
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    Neither of my FC eBB conversions needed a 1/2 link. But I was careful with the chainring/cog selection.

    And doesn't their site specifically say you need a 1/2 link for full compatibility? Complaining about that is lame.

    1/2 links change the chain length by 12.5mm, and changes effective chainstay length in 6mm steps. Chains start derailing with <1mm slack, unless you only ride smooth roads.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by themanmonkey
    Thanks playpunk I'm always happy to see folks put up their money to try things out and give real reviews. Lots of folks might disagree with you, but the only ones that might matter are the other ones that ponied up and bought one.
    i own and ride and enjoy mine. there was plenty confusion during the set up and i hated 'putting it on' and not the product. once i figured the set up out it has worked wonderfully.

    playpunk definatly sounds impatient thus his review shouldnt be taken serously. flush it down the tiolet.

    like many say, custom is good, not fast. and in this case its true.
    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding View Post
    The dude is like 120lbs, tops lol he can run any tires he wants without issues, i'm sure.
    :D

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by veloreality
    i own and ride and enjoy mine. there was plenty confusion during the set up and i hated 'putting it on' and not the product. once i figured the set up out it has worked wonderfully.

    playpunk definatly sounds impatient thus his review shouldnt be taken serously. flush it down the tiolet.

    like many say, custom is good, not fast. and in this case its true.
    You can't spell, so I'm flushing your opinion down the toilet.

    I am a bit impatient, but for 150 dollars, one would expect a product to have a bit more functionality. I will probably keep it, and my current gearing using a 1/2 link, but it has still been a frustrating experience.

    I think that in most cases a 1/2 link would do the job, but I'm not an experienced SSer. I'll check back in in a month or so with some less angry feedback.

  24. #24
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    My Forward Components EBB functions perfectly and I can't say enough good about it...a product that works well for me.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by playpunk
    I think that in most cases a 1/2 link would do the job, but I'm not an experienced SSer. I'll check back in in a month or so with some less angry feedback.
    May I make a suggestion based on experience? Rather than using a half-link (where you have to join it to the rest of the chain by pushing the pin through, just like joining a chain without a Powerlink or similar) get a link and a half, which you can join into the chain with two master links (the ones with the "U" shaped clips).
    Much easier and much more reliable in, my opinion at least.

    Half link on the left, link and a half on the right, obviously...
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  26. #26
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    Please provide a "link." Thanks.

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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by playpunk
    I think that in most cases a 1/2 link would do the job,
    It won't.
    Ride more!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by playpunk
    You can't spell, so I'm flushing your opinion down the toilet.

    I am a bit impatient, but for 150 dollars, one would expect a product to have a bit more functionality. I will probably keep it, and my current gearing using a 1/2 link, but it has still been a frustrating experience.

    I think that in most cases a 1/2 link would do the job, but I'm not an experienced SSer. I'll check back in in a month or so with some less angry feedback.

    Quote Originally Posted by Super E
    My Forward Components EBB functions perfectly and I can't say enough good about it...a product that works well for me.
    this.
    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding View Post
    The dude is like 120lbs, tops lol he can run any tires he wants without issues, i'm sure.
    :D

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    Please provide a "link." Thanks.

    --Sparty
    I get mine from here but that's probably not a lot of use to you the other side of the Atlantic (I presume?), although if you got 10 at a time or something the postage wouldn't be much.

    Anywhere that stocks "Gusset" ( ) stuff should be able to get them, even if they don't have them in stock.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by themanmonkey
    Thanks playpunk I'm always happy to see folks put up their money to try things out and give real reviews. Lots of folks might disagree with you, but the only ones that might matter are the other ones that ponied up and bought one.
    Hundreds of these EBBs have been sold. This is the first complaint I have heard regarding the potential requirement for a half link. The Forward Components website clearly states that a half link is required in some cases. One of my setups required a half link, one did not. In both cases the EBB functioned as expected.

    The only reviews that matter are fair reviews that are based on an understanding of what the product is capable of, given the design constraints. The EBB does not claim to give the adjustment range of horizontal dropouts or a conventional oversized eccentric bottom bracket.

  31. #31
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    Hey folks get off my back. I have no dog in this fight beyond not liking to see people get shot down for their opinion. This is a riders review of something they own and their experience is completely legitimate.

    forwardcomponents if you can't handle a bad review by someone who may, or may not, be able to install the part correctly this is not the industry you want to be in. The road you should be on is the high one. Just let it go.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by themanmonkey
    Hey folks get off my back. I have no dog in this fight beyond not liking to see people get shot down for their opinion. This is a riders review of something they own and their experience is completely legitimate.

    forwardcomponents if you can't handle a bad review by someone who may, or may not, be able to install the part correctly this is not the industry you want to be in. The road you should be on is the high one. Just let it go.
    The information Forwardcomponents posted is quite pertinant to the issue. They are providing information about the proper use of their product and the limitations of said product.

    The OP had expectations of this EBB that it would give the same type of adjustability as a "standard" EBB which is unreasonable this product. Based on his expectations, he is reasonably upset. Based on the limitations of probuct (an EBB that fits into a standard BB shell) they are not.

    I don't see Forwardcomponents response as anything but helpfull and informative.
    "There are those who would say there's something pathological about the need to ride, and they're probably on to something. I'd wager though that most of the society-approved compulsions leave deeper scars in the psyche than a need to go and ride a bicycle on a mountain." Cam McRea

  33. #33
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    Frozenspokes you're right. I'm kinda over reacting to the over reactions in the thread. It does say right on the FC blog front page near the bottom "Depending on your specific cog and chainring combination, you may need a half link installed on your chain."

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by tm240z
    Did your chain stretch itself a new link, or like mine did the links just get longer? Maybe I'm not using my head! Because if the links got longer, your new cog won't fit.
    nope, the chain stretched enough that the previous magic gear now had too much slack, so i figured I'd toss in a tooth up ring up front, too tight, tried a one up cog instead seeing as how it changes the tangent between the cog/chainring and it fit perfectly, chain was already broken in so no initial break-in stretch.

    you know i used to think ss'ers were all about resourcefulness, but man has there ever been a lot of negativity and "professional" opinions being bandied about.

    yes, i DO have a lot of extra cogs around, since I've learned to adapt myself and change my riding style to match the terrain, i'm also able to change my riding style to match the gearing....

    please take what I say with a grain of salt as it is only the actual use of the magic gear that I'm talking about, and not just an opinion.

    the point of the FC-ebb was that they assume you know what ratio you need ot run, and using your frame, you can get yourself within a hair's breadth of that ratio with different rings of cogs, the ebb is there to take up the 1/8th inch of slack that you chain will stretch, maybe a bit more. SO if your chainring combo isn't lip-smackingly close to magic gear then you're expecting too much form the ebb and will (as they state) probably need a half-link.

    is it even worth me posting this retort? probably not... because like anywhere else on the net, everyone's convinced theirs is the only way. forgive me for light-heartedly mentioning options and solutions, i know not why i try .l.. ..l.
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  35. #35
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    I bought a 4' ladder to reach my 12' roof.

    After dicking around with my 4' ladder the past few days, I've realized what a POS it really is. It simply won't reach my roof!

    It is not functional, period. The worst $$ I've ever spent on house stuff, ever. $$ for an extension ladder would have been a much better investment.

    Anybody want a 4' ladder. I hate that POS.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbnutty
    I bought a 4' ladder to reach my 12' roof.

    After dicking around with my 4' ladder the past few days, I've realized what a POS it really is. It simply won't reach my roof!
    All you have to do is nail more rungs on. Use your head.


    Well said, sir
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  37. #37
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    I didn't realize this thread took so long to die the first time around, so I figured it's time to fan the flames a bit.

    After all of the screwing around, I decided to use the FC BB, despite my initial misgivings. and have had it on the bike for more than a year.

    During that time, I didn't ever *need* to adjust the tension, despite the dire predictions of those who posted earlier in the thread.

    That said, several months ago, I removed the half-link that my setup needed, rotated the BB back, and have been running the BB in a rearward position. Between 9 and 12 o'clock.

    This setup is within the permissible positions explained in the installation guide.

    I rode it like that for a couple of months, with no problems.

    The problem arose when I tried to get the BB out of the bike. It won't budge. I soaked the BB in penetrating oil, used a big, big wrench, etc. Everything is clean and dry, and I put plenty of torque on the set-screws when I put the insert in.

    That thing is never coming out of my bike, and I think I know why.

    When you run the BB in the rearward position, any impact on your feet, really, any impact on the bike tightens the cup against the frame. The rider's body weight acts like an impact wrench on the cup, and tightens it like crazy.

    When I installed the BB I greased the crap out of the BB and the BB shell, and I didn't torque the cups down excessively.

    After using the BB on my bike for a year I still think my original bad review holds water. I really wish that when I got ticked the first time around i'd taken the BB off the bike and sold it to the highest bidder.

    It does "work" but the problems with the product overwhelm its limited benefits. If you are super anal-retentive, you might enjoy fiddling with the 12 set screws every time you feel like the chain-tension on the bike isn't sufficient, but I didn't drop a chain even when my tension was low - probably due to the middleburn ring and CK cog I have on the bike.

    So that's the deal. I don't think this product is really that useful. It's a bandaid at best.

    I know there are all sorts of good reviews on this website and others, but as far as I know, this is the only long-term ***** anyone has with the product.

    I guess I'm an outlier, but as I actually ride my bicycle, I'm an MTBR outlier to begin with. This product is only useful for bikes that hang on hooks in the garage and don't get ridden. As a long-term conversion option, it sucks.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by playpunk
    That said, several months ago, I removed the half-link that my setup needed, rotated the BB back, and have been running the BB in a rearward position. Between 9 and 12 o'clock.
    So would things have been different if you'd just kept the halflink in your setup and run the EBB in a forward position between 12 and 3 o'clock...?

    I just got the EBB from Eric a few weeks ago and will be testing it soon.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by playpunk
    That thing is never coming out of my bike, and I think I know why.
    Now, that's just not true. Get a bigger wrench. I've had BBs that I could only get out once I slipped a Thule roof-rack bar over the end of my wrench ( a trick I learned from a Mavic team mechanic). Reef on that sucker; it'll move.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbnutty
    I bought a 4' ladder to reach my 12' roof.

    After dicking around with my 4' ladder the past few days, I've realized what a POS it really is. It simply won't reach my roof!

    It is not functional, period. The worst $$ I've ever spent on house stuff, ever. $$ for an extension ladder would have been a much better investment.

    Anybody want a 4' ladder. I hate that POS.
    You have to use a half-link dumbass!

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Val Garou
    Now, that's just not true. Get a bigger wrench. I've had BBs that I could only get out once I slipped a Thule roof-rack bar over the end of my wrench ( a trick I learned from a Mavic team mechanic). Reef on that sucker; it'll move.
    I thought that I could get it out with some more torque, too, but it won't budge. The problem is the circular insert that fits inside the cups. It's secured by the set screws, but there isn't any true mechanical connection, so the insert rotates against the set screws when a bunch of torque is used.

    If I had left the half-link in, I think this probably wouldn't have happened. I guess I could put it back in, ride it for another couple of months, and see if it gets any better.

  42. #42
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    Leave everything loose and ride it. It'll all fall part at the worst possible moment, most likely either when crossing a busy intersection, or grunting up a hill.
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  43. #43
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    What about running it in the forward position? Would that loosen it up?

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by p nut
    What about running it in the forward position? Would that loosen it up?
    I think it might, so I'm going to flip it forward, put the 1/2 link back in, and run it for a while. Hopefully that'll help.

    I also like WV Bob's suggestion. I'm pretty sure I'd die pretty fast here in Morgantown if it fell apart at an intersection or going up a hill.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by playpunk
    I think that in most cases a 1/2 link would do the job, but I'm not an experienced SSer.
    This seems to be the main problem; inexperience; just using a half link will not properly tension a chain. As far as your dissatisfaction with the product, RTFM would seem to be the apropo initialism.The Forward Components EBB was designed to address a particular problem with SS and that is tensioning with vertical dropouts without using a pulley style tensioning device. The only other alternative is the magic gear or phantom gear; phantom gears can pop out and if you were angered with the complexity of the FC EBB, the magic gear is certainly not for you. I used one successfully on my Bontrager, a perfect 32:18 or 32:16 with a half link, but I am one of those a.r. types who likes a properly tensioned chain, not just tight enough so it won't fall off.

    Quote Originally Posted by playpunk
    I thought that I could get it out with some more torque, too, but it won't budge. The problem is the circular insert that fits inside the cups. It's secured by the set screws, but there isn't any true mechanical connection, so the insert rotates against the set screws when a bunch of torque is used.

    If I had left the half-link in, I think this probably wouldn't have happened. I guess I could put it back in, ride it for another couple of months, and see if it gets any better.
    If you really want to remove the EBB your going to have to remove the insert, then put a pipe wrench on the outside of the cup. Yes, it will probably leave a mark, but I think you'll find it won't be as bad as your think. Or, if your handy with tools, you can take a Dremol tool and grind some opposing flats on the cup, similar to a an old style bottom bracket cup
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Forward Components EBB! All the adjustability of a half-link....-fcebb_cup_insert.jpg  

    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by aka brad; 01-27-2011 at 11:21 AM.
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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by aka brad
    ... The only other alternative is the magic gear or phantom gear; phantom gears can pop out and if you were angered with the complexity of the FC EBB, the magic gear is certainly not for you. ...
    Don't forget the simple & elegant ghost ring.


    Or is that what you meant by "phantom gear"?
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by aka brad
    This seems to be the main problem; inexperience; just using a half link will not properly tension a chain. As far as your dissatisfaction with the product, RTFM would seem to be the apropo initialism.The Forward Components EBB was designed to address a particular problem with SS and that is tensioning with vertical dropouts without using a pulley style tensioning device. The only other alternative is the magic gear or phantom gear; phantom gears can pop out and if you were angered with the complexity of the FC EBB, the magic gear is certainly not for you. I used one successfully on my Bontrager, a perfect 32:18 or 32:16 with a half link, but I am one of those a.r. types who likes a properly tensioned chain, not just tight enough so it won't fall off.

    If you really want to remove the EBB your going to have to remove the insert, then put a pipe wrench on the outside of the cup. Yes, it will probably leave a mark, but I think you'll find it won't be as bad as your think. Or, if your handy with tools, you can take a Dremol tool and grind some opposing flats on the cup, similar to a an old style bottom bracket cup
    I did RTFM - it's not exactly exhaustive. I had two main "problems" with the product. First - there just isn't very much throw. The BB has only about as much throw as a 1/2 link. Second, there is absolutely no documentation on compatibility. When I bought the product, the website said "for use only on 68 mm bottom brackets. IF YOU HAVE A 73MM bb, it is relatively easy to face the BB down to 68MM, and this can be done at any bike shop."

    The first is *kind of* a non-issue. After using it for a year, and taking tons of sh*t for it on this thread from internet experts, I have come to accept the FCC for what it is a tensioner that can take up about 1 to two teeth of SS gearing. Exceptional.

    As for the second problem, here's how I "solved" it. My (custom) frame uses a 73mm BB, and has big old 26.8mm round chainstays. It is a pretty beefy bike. When I purchased the BB, i did it assuming that I could easily take 2.5mm off of each side of the BB. While I could easily do that, There would have been no way that the cups would have fit flush against the BB without bottoming out on the CS before I got them properly torqued. I "solved" this problem by just installing the cups on the 73mm BB, and doing a custom mod on the XT 770 crankset using a grinder. Not the preferred solution, but I guess it's OK. Still, I never would have purchased the BB if there had been adequate tech documentation, delineating what kind of frame clearances necessary for using it successfully, as a simple list of necessary clearances would have made it clear that the product would not work on my bicycle.

    If your read more closely, you would see that it isn't the "complexity" of the FC EBB that bothers me, it's the fact that it doesn't really do anything, and the fact that the website and the provided documentation is not terribly helpful. Combine those two existing problems with the fact that the BB seems to be in there to stay, and I'm no satisfied with the product. I think that it's a bandaid, and I can't imagine ever recommending that someone purchase it.

    As to the anal retentive types, that like "proper chain tension" - what more do you want from chain tension than having it not be 1) so tight that it eats up your drive train and 2) not so loose that you drop your chain in the rough stuff? There isn't a whole lot in between.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by playpunk
    I think it might, so I'm going to flip it forward, put the 1/2 link back in, and run it for a while. Hopefully that'll help.

    I also like WV Bob's suggestion. I'm pretty sure I'd die pretty fast here in Morgantown if it fell apart at an intersection or going up a hill.
    Get Gunnar to get that cup out for you!
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by playpunk
    ... it's the fact that it doesn't really do anything ...
    Comments like this one are where you lose credibility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by playpunk
    ...the fact that it doesn't really do anything...
    ...it tensions your chain. That's all it does. What more are you expecting it to do? Jump up and dance around?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    Comments like this one are where you lose credibility.

    --sParty
    Internet credibility is my number one priority.

    And comments like that is where you lose credibility, too. What's your problem with that statement? All the BB does is allow for maybe 1/8 of an inch more adjustment than a half-link. Thus, it accomplishes nothing.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manicmtbr
    Get Gunnar to get that cup out for you!
    Does he still rock that mullet? If so, one look at that and the EBB should fall out and run away.
    Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    Don't forget the simple & elegant ghost ring.


    Or is that what you meant by "phantom gear"?
    --sParty
    Yeah, that thing; it works until it doesn't
    Last edited by aka brad; 01-27-2011 at 05:23 PM.
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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by playpunk
    I did RTFM - it's not exactly exhaustive. I had two main "problems" with the product. First - there just isn't very much throw. The BB has only about as much throw as a 1/2 link. Second, there is absolutely no documentation on compatibility. When I bought the product, the website said "for use only on 68 mm bottom brackets. IF YOU HAVE A 73MM bb, it is relatively easy to face the BB down to 68MM, and this can be done at any bike shop."

    The first is *kind of* a non-issue. After using it for a year, and taking tons of sh*t for it on this thread from internet experts, I have come to accept the FCC for what it is a tensioner that can take up about 1 to two teeth of SS gearing. Exceptional.

    As for the second problem, here's how I "solved" it. My (custom) frame uses a 73mm BB, and has big old 26.8mm round chainstays. It is a pretty beefy bike. When I purchased the BB, i did it assuming that I could easily take 2.5mm off of each side of the BB. While I could easily do that, There would have been no way that the cups would have fit flush against the BB without bottoming out on the CS before I got them properly torqued. I "solved" this problem by just installing the cups on the 73mm BB, and doing a custom mod on the XT 770 crankset using a grinder. Not the preferred solution, but I guess it's OK. Still, I never would have purchased the BB if there had been adequate tech documentation, delineating what kind of frame clearances necessary for using it successfully, as a simple list of necessary clearances would have made it clear that the product would not work on my bicycle.

    If your read more closely, you would see that it isn't the "complexity" of the FC EBB that bothers me, it's the fact that it doesn't really do anything, and the fact that the website and the provided documentation is not terribly helpful. Combine those two existing problems with the fact that the BB seems to be in there to stay, and I'm no satisfied with the product. I think that it's a bandaid, and I can't imagine ever recommending that someone purchase it.

    As to the anal retentive types, that like "proper chain tension" - what more do you want from chain tension than having it not be 1) so tight that it eats up your drive train and 2) not so loose that you drop your chain in the rough stuff? There isn't a whole lot in between.
    Believe it or not I was not trying to say you are wrong about anything. The complexity I was referring to was the knowledge you would need to know to properly set up this gizmo. What is obvious from this last post is indeed your inexperience was your undoing. I say that only because FC instructions seem to have made with a very broad brush and if you were not experienced with theses issues, (i.e.if you have a 73MM bb, it is relatively easy to face the BB down to 68MM; NOT!) then you would not understand FC was making a very broad generalization; as you figured out, sometimes a bike has a 73mm bottom bracket because it needs one! Imagine that. As I tried to explain before, the FC EBB was marketed to SingleSpeeders who did not want a pulley style tensioner. Since a pulley style tensioner cost much less than a FC EBB, it was probably (and perhaps falsely) assumed you understood the short throw and need for a half-link; for those of looking for a more elegant solution, the FC EBB works exactly as advertised.

    Perhaps FC should include the following verbiage:

    The FC EBB is adjustable by an 1/8". Since you have a continuous chain, the EBB adjustment is doubled, as it moves the chain above the EBB and the below it; therefore the EBB being one of two points (point to point) that hold the chain can adjust up to 1/4" of a continuous chain. If you add a half link that measures 1/2" pin to pin, on a continuous chain, this only adds 1/4" point to point. A complete link is 1" pin to pin, meaning it adds 1/2" point to point. Thus, depending on the distance you need to make up, you made need a half link to properly tension your chain. Would this have made it more clear?

    You do have a valid point in regards to trying to remove the EBB. It is not unusual for a standard BB to be difficult to remove, that fact that that was not taken into account appears to be a design fault. Finally, your belief there little difference between an over tensioned chain and one so loose it falls off shows you are squarely in the minority and probably explains why you are so bent out of shape about the short throw of the FC EBB. Again the gizmo is marketed to riders that desire very fine tuning of their chain tension. The tension of a SS chain can be critical, chainrings and cranks on high end fixed gear components have a guaranteed percentage of rotational centerlines (tips of the teeth teeth should be equidistant from the center) of .05mm for just that reason. Obviously you have not experienced the loss of a chainring when a fairly well tensioned chain tears off a couple of teeth while if you are attempting to pedal through very rough terrain; it only becomes a problem when it happens to you, then you tend to pay more attention to chain wobble.

    Any luck getting the thing out? I fairly sure either of my ideas will work, with the latter being the more elegant.
    Last edited by aka brad; 01-28-2011 at 10:01 AM.
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  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by playpunk
    When you run the BB in the rearward position, any impact on your feet, really, any impact on the bike tightens the cup against the frame. The rider's body weight acts like an impact wrench on the cup, and tightens it like crazy.
    Hundreds of these units have been sold. I have heard of a threaded cup not coming out only once, and that was because the bottom bracket shell was ovalised by careless welding. The manufacturer admitted to the error. The threads were chased by a thread tap. The EBB was reinstalled without a problem after being forced out with high torque.

    To my knowledge, you are unique in being affected by this problem. If the design is the cause of the tight cups, then all three manufacturers of this type of product(Trickstuff, Forward Components, and Phil Wood) would all be suffering similar problems, since they all offset the spindle by the same amount. So far there are no reports that I am aware of from any of the three manufacturers. The amount of torque on a threaded cup that comes from a 1/8" offset is very little, so I doubt that this tight cup is caused by normal riding.

    Regardless, there is a way to remove the cup whatever the cause may be. Add six indents into the installation tool at positions coinciding with the six set screws. Tighten up the screws into the indents. This way the set screws cannot possibly slip under high torque. A long bar should get the cup out easily with that setup.

  56. #56
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    No Mullet, but still riding and racing and faster than most. SS or geared!
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by playpunk
    All the BB does is allow for maybe 1/8 of an inch more adjustment than a half-link. Thus, it accomplishes nothing.
    You don't understand chain tension very well, do you? Yes, it provides the total amount of adjustment a half link does, but it provides infinite adjustment within that range. A half link doesn't, and you need finer adjustment than 1/4" for correct tension.

    You can ride with a loose chain if you want, but it's dangerous, and the results of a chain slip on a climb can be extremely painful.

  58. #58
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    put the tool in the BB cups, and get a drill bit about the size of the minor diameter of the threads of the set screws. Drill a small pilot hole at each screw location into the tool, about 1/8" deep or so. Remove tool and drill those pilot holes out to slightly bigger than the outside diameter of the set screws, to the same depth. Go to home depot, get a few longer set screws (or even non-set screws will work) and screw them in to the cups, insert the tool, and screw the set screws in so they each enter those holes you drilled and snug them down. This will keep it from spinning.

  59. #59
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    Just a few comments.

    Quote Originally Posted by playpunk
    I know there are all sorts of good reviews on this website and others, but as far as I know, this is the only long-term ***** anyone has with the product.
    I bought my 1st FC eBB over 2 years ago, posted a <a ref="http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=490528&highlight=forward+componen ts">review</a>. I have not had any issues with is it, it works, and I can ignore it.


    Quote Originally Posted by playpunk
    I don't think this product is really that useful. It's a bandaid at best.
    ....
    I guess I'm an outlier, but as I actually ride my bicycle, I'm an MTBR outlier to begin with. This product is only useful for bikes that hang on hooks in the garage and don't get ridden. As a long-term conversion option, it sucks.
    I average 4~5 chains a year. Since you only needed one chain, I can conclude that you don't really ride your bike much.... - OK, I'm being facetious. If I only rode in fair weather, my chain would probably last a year. One chain usually requires 1~2 tension adjustments before replacement, and that's to prevent the chain from slapping the chain stay. Since I have several bikes, I don't change the chain on the 2 FC eBB conversions that often, but a few tension adjustment a year. 12 set screws are a pain, but not a big deal. But I could have paid more for the Exzentricker, which only heeds 2 set screws. However, I don't think it functions any better.

    I also ride a Fixie off-road, and that requires chain tension adjustment about every month, I'm not sure I'd use the FC for that unless it's special VRC frame.

    As far as it being a bandaid, if you did not use the FC eBB, you would need something else, like a spring loaded tensioner. But that would be a bandaid as well.

    As far as I can tell, it work as described on your bike with the only issue being removal. FC could have provided a better install/removal tool, but I'd rather save my money. I have not tried to remove my cups yet (no reason to), but I can't see any issues, the cups are heat treated stainless, and are not likely to sieze in any frame material that a bit of elbow grease could not handle.



    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    Don't forget the simple & elegant ghost ring.

    --sParty
    sParty, have you tried the ghost ring? It may look simple and elegant. But you need a pretty in-board chain-ring/cog position to put any ring in there without hitting the chainstay, and you have to be pretty close to the "magic" ratio. Only 3~4 teeth engage the chain, so on smooth trails or bike paths, it works. Once you are into some technical terrain, it likes to come flying out just before you need to hammer, resulting in close encounters with your stem. Then you put it back in, and repeat.



    Nothing wrong with a spring loaded tensioner conversion. I just like the cleaner look.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsdoable
    Just a few comments.
    ...
    sParty, have you tried the ghost ring? It may look simple and elegant. But you need a pretty in-board chain-ring/cog position to put any ring in there without hitting the chainstay, and you have to be pretty close to the "magic" ratio. Only 3~4 teeth engage the chain, so on smooth trails or bike paths, it works. Once you are into some technical terrain, it likes to come flying out just before you need to hammer, resulting in close encounters with your stem. Then you put it back in, and repeat.

    Nothing wrong with a spring loaded tensioner conversion. I just like the cleaner look.
    My comment was intended to be tongue in cheek. Shoulda tossed a smiley in there for clarification.

    I do in fact own a ghost ring equipped bike, but it's a novelty bike (tall bike). I've actually ridden it off road but not for anything epic or hardcore. I have to admit I'm amazed the ghost ring has yet to fly out. I've owned the bike for several years. This one time, at Band Camp, a talented AM rider borrowed it and hit a ~3' jump -- the ring stayed in! But the 4' long fork legs bent! I replaced them with thicker walled tubes.

    It's all good but yeah, ghost ring isn't for serious riding.

    --sParty
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    We get old because we quit riding.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    My comment was intended to be tongue in cheek....

    I do in fact own a ghost ring equipped bike, but it's a novelty bike (tall bike)..... This one time, at Band Camp, a talented AM rider borrowed it and hit a ~3' jump -- the ring stayed in! But the 4' long fork legs bent! I replaced them with thicker walled tubes.

    --sParty
    I remember seeing pictures of that bike. It would have been a good ride for our winter solstice ride (which is a pretty silly ride, with lots of post ride drinking...)

    I actually tried to make the ghost ring work (having read lots of people say it's great - maybe I missed all the smilies!) but al I got was close encounters of the stem kind.

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