Token External Cup Type Bottom Bracket Tiramic Bearing £59.99
All that glisters… may just be coated in titanium nitride, just like Token’s Tiramic bottom bracket bearings. Back in June they found their way into the editorial Time Edge Racer, since when they have completed the Dragon Ride, London-Paris, the Tour of the Hills and plenty more. Far and hard enough, then, to give an initial assessment of what is an important component of the bike.
Fitment of the Shimano-compatible EX-Type bottom bracket bearing assembly is as easy as fitting Shimano’s own bracket; the same tool fits, the threads are cut with the same precision and, since the Token cups are machined from aluminium alloy, there is some marking of the splines afterwards. Installation of the cranks is equally straightforward.
Turning the cranks by hand suggests, backed up by counting turns, that they spin a little more freely than the OE ones, perhaps thanks to lighter seals. Since the balls are harder than steel, they deform less and require less constrictive seals.
Once in the saddle, the sensation is of enhanced smoothness and rigidity. That’s not to say I’d guarantee to be able to discern any difference in a ‘blind’ test, but even a placebo effect is welcome when it comes to turning pedals. More impressive is the definite weight difference, due to the 40percent lighter balls, and the complete lack of deterioration over a couple of thousand kms of hard riding in all weathers. The surface treatment looks as good as new, the cranks turn with the same silken solidity and the seals are unsullied by weeping grease. Maybe I’ll stick them in the Roberts over winter and give ‘em a real hard time.