I just noticed that you have changed your chainset to a Shimano SLX with Hollowtech II. I am in the process of building my own version of the Troll, and would appreciate your review in comparison to a square taper build. Is the Hollowtech II bottom bracket reliable? Does it require much maintainance? Did the troll frame need facing to install it? Christian
Previously, I’ve always stuck with square taper and I’m still a fan, especially if you can get your hands on Shimano’s UN72. SKF also do some very nice, reliable square taper bottom brackets too.
The only issue I did find, though, is that ironically sourcing square taper bottom brackets isn’t as easy as it used to be – finding the right size (73mm for the Troll/Ogre) and width – dependant on your cranks – can be problematic. Most places I went to in the back of beyond had 68mm shell bottom brackets, or spindles that were too narrow.
So when I was back in the UK, I moved over to an outboard bearing crankset. I had a spare SLX around, so figured I’d give it a go as an experiment, seeing as I need to fit a new bottom bracket anyway. The wider Q factor has never bothered me, though I guess in theory the bearings – though larger – are more exposed, so prone to more wear.
I don’t expect outboard bearings to last as long but every good bike shop I’ve been to in Latin America’s larger cities stocks them – Shimano ones, at least. They’re easy to fit, and light to carry if you want to pack a spare. And they’re cross-compatible, as it’s simply a case of adjusting the spacers to fit the cranks you have.
If you’re feeling flush, the bearings from Phil Woods can be removed and changed from the cups without a tool, which is a neat feature for touring. They should last a lot longer too.
And yes, I needed to get the Troll faced, which is a quick job.