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Twenty grams lighter and markedly cheaper than a recently tested titanium model, One23’s composite external bearing bottom bracket has some interesting features but will have greatest appeal amongst budget conscious riders of moderate weight seeking a fit and forget Shimano compatible alternative. That said, I reckon it's capable of churning up to ten thousand plus miles before pensioning off.
Sealed cartridge bearings turn smoothly and should prove dependable in hard service although they lack the outright refinement of the ceramic type and aren’t replaceable. However, our test model bedded in after a hundred or so miles and with careful installation, immersion in gloop and other casual neglect hasn’t revealed any obvious weaknesses.
Installation procedure is identical to Shimano and other pattern designs but greater care is required when fitting the aluminium cups and a thorough application of stout grease is recommended-especially on tourers, crossers and trainers that are ridden long and hard. The composite mid section certainly trims some fat and although the distributor assures us there’s no upper weight limit, riders over 85 kilos might be better served elsewhere.
Despite my initial reservations there’s been no unnerving squeaks or creaks even climbing out of the saddle with my feet dancing on the pedals*, although it has to remembered, at a modest 70 kilos I don’t tax components in quite the same way as bigger, more powerfully built brethren. While happy to churn four seasons’ road miles, I’m not so confident of its staying power for regular, competitive cross racing.
* ©Phil Liggett
Lightweight bottom bracket best suited to road duties and lighter riders.
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Make and model: One23 Alloy/composite external BB
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The One23 is an external bearing bottom bracket with a transparent, composite centre which looks very fetching while shaving a ferw grams into the bargain. Primarily intended as a road component, it tackles other disciplines too. However, in my opinion, it's best for riders not exceeding 85 kilos
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Standard sealed (non replaceable)cartridge bearings, 68mm shell, composite centre to keep weight low.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
There's no doubt the One23 feels every bit as smooth as others at this end of the market, although it took our test model a hundred miles before the bearings bedded in. Performance is generally very good with no apparent contamination from gloop and grime but remember to apply thick grease to the alloy threads and I have small reservations concerning longer term durability for competitive cross and similar duties.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Low weight and curious, eye-catching design.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Bearings could've been just a touch smoother.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, just so long as they weren't too big
Age: 35 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)