Will Chris King’s T47 end creaky bottom brackets?

New standard is potential replacement for troublesome PressFit 30

Parts Video
The new T47 Standard uses the same 46mm internal diameter as press fit systems (thus crank options are vast), but the BB threads into the frame instead of being pressed. Photo by John Watson

The new T47 Standard uses the same 46mm internal diameter as press fit systems (thus crank options are vast), but the BB threads into the frame instead of being pressed in (click to enlarge). Photo by John Watson

Before you roll your eyes at the prospect of another cycling industry “standard” hear this one out. The folks at Chris King and Argonaut Cycles have taken aim at one of the sport’s most troublesome annoyances and seem to have come up with a pretty solid solution.

This issue is creaky bottom brackets, a problem that’s been exacerbated in recent years by the industry’s insistence on using various derivations of the PressFit 30 standard, which is a convenient design to build a frame around because it allows consumers to use just about any crank on the market.

The catch is that press fit systems require super tight tolerances in both the frame and bottom bracket — and often those tolerances work against each other, resulting in ride wrecking racket and the need for frequent maintenance.

Threaded style systems are a far better solution from a noise and durability standpoint, but they can limit crank options. Enter the new T47 Standard, which was designed in collaboration between the two Oregon-based companies. It uses the same 46mm internal diameter as press fit systems (thus crank options are vast), but the BB threads into the frame instead of being pressed in.

The new bottom bracket will work with cranks that have the commonly used 30mm diameter spindle, and Chris King is also planning to produce adapters for 24mm set-ups.

 The T47 now comes standard on Argonaut Frames, and there is hope of more industry wide adoption down the road, as other domestic component companies work in collaboration with Chris King to embrace the new standard, which will be an open standard in 2016 for all builders and component companies to use. Photo by John Watson

The T47 now comes standard on Argonaut Frames, and there is hope of more industry wide adoption down the road, as other domestic component companies work in collaboration with Chris King to embrace the new standard, which will be an open standard in 2016 for all builders and component companies to use (click to enlarge). Photo by John Watson

All this will alleviate the primary issue with PressFit, which Argonaut’s Ben Farver refers to as tolerance creep between frame manufacturers and component companies. The new threaded system removes the risks associated with the convenience of the press fit products.

The T47 now comes standard on Argonaut Frames, and there is hope of more industry wide adoption down the road, as other domestic component companies work in collaboration with Chris King to embrace the new standard, which will be an open standard in 2016 for all builders and component companies to use.

“As a frame manufacturer I don’t want to have to talk someone into buying one of my bikes while at the same time talking them out of a crank they might want to use,” explained Farver, who owns and runs Argonaut Cycles. “My production manager and I were talking about all the challenges of PF30 one day, and thought, why don’t we just make a new standard that solves both problems? So I called Jay Sycip, who runs the Cielo arm of Chris King, and we discussed the true consumer benefit of creating a threaded spec that leverages the larger bearing used in the PF30.”

Heretofore, threaded style systems are a far better solution from a noise and durability standpoint, but they can limit crank options. Photo by John Watson

Heretofore, threaded style systems are a far better solution from a noise and durability standpoint, but they can limit crank options (click to enlarge). Photo by John Watson

The pair agreed that it would need to yield a much higher interface success rate, and more importantly, a better ride. “So this project is an attempt to solve a problem the entire bike industry is suffering from,” added Farver. “That in turn will lead the way to a better, lasting standard.”

For more info and background, check out this video from Argonaut.

[vimeo width=”610″ height=”343″]https://vimeo.com/144672392[/vimeo]

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying time with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora.


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Comments:

  • skinewmexico says:

    Sadly, my Praxis adapter limited me to Shimano cranksets. I’m sure if I had a 30mm spindle, I would be on the pro tour.

  • Ross says:

    Isn’t this solution basically the same as what Colnago introduced nearly 2 years ago on the C60? Can some please explain how it is different to Colnago’s solution. If it is basically the same that Colnago has already introduced, why it is being hailed as a breakthrough innovation?

  • David O'Brien says:

    *sigh* yet another BB standard. Rather than start with the worst BB standard out there, why didn’t they start with the FSA EVO386 — which is the best one out there for compatibility with all existing cranks *AND* gives a wider BB for increased stiffness over the BB30.

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