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Occasionally engaged…
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been riding my Rohloff equipped Black Sheep for over 4 years now and feel like I've finally found the right crank to make everything come together. The chain is tensioned via an EBB and that's been an issue with me as the expanding Bushnell EBB, when tightened sufficiently to prevent slipping and creaking, bound the bearings of both a Phil Wood Ti BB and several different Shimano UN BB (all of the square tapered axle cartridge version). I have felt wedded to the set up so that I could run the narrowest Q-factor cranks I thought were available which also matched up with the Rohloff chainline: old Sugino made Ritchey Logic Compact Cranks.

Well, I finally figured out that the Ritchey WCS Compact Road Crank could be mated to a 116 mm Shimano Octalink XTR bottom bracket and I ended up with NO binding of the BB bearings when the EBB was tightened, the same Q-factor as before (154 mm), and by moving the EBB about 2mm out of center to the drive-side I have a perfect chainline for the Rohloff. The Ritchey Crank comes with a 34 tooth stainless steel inner ring that I mounted in the outer position. I've used the same crank setup on my single speed (but with a 112.5 mm XTR bottom bracket to get the right chainline for the WI ENO hub) and that ring looks unscathed after 3 years of hard riding. The crank can be found on Ebay for about $80 shipped and I paid $40 for the XTR BB. And those XTR BB last forever.

I'm quite pleased with the setup and it has breathed new life into my Rohloff-equipped bike. I was imagining more drag in my BB than from the hub, and in my desire to eliminate the binding I often tightened the EBB just enough so it wouldn't slip but not enough to keep it from creaking -- between the racket from the EBB and the whirrr of the hub, I was driven to ride the SS most of the time. So with the new crank and some small amount of quieting of the hub by dosing it with molybdenum disulfide, the bike is almost as stealthy as my single speed...
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