The fact of the matter is that the word “standard” doesn’t mean much when it comes to the bicycle industry. In fact I would be more inclined to use the word “variation” when the bicycle industry comes up with a new product specification that they deem a “standard”.
Bottom brackets and headsets are all good examples of products with a great deal of variation. However things as common and mundane as axles, bolts, bearings and hangers all fall into this standard variation category.
So the question is how do you keep track of all of these “standards”?
The answer is pretty simple: You don’t.
Of course in a real life shop environment this really isn’t an option at all; especially when you have a number of insistent customers breathing down your neck looking to get a replacement for their “standard” parts.
This is where your friendly bicycle distributor comes in handy (I am only speaking on Orange Sport Supply’s behalf as I have no idea if any other distributors are as friendly as we are): Orange Sport Supply has a pretty good deal of staff with hands on experience from years of working in shops, both on the sales floor and in service shops.
We also have a lot of charts; taped to the wall, on our hard-drives and tucked away in dusty old books. Even better still we have a large number of tools that measure, calculate and guide you to finding the answers to all of your “standard” related questions.
So if you are looking for information on what hanger bike frame “x” takes, what headset standard you are looking at, which press fit version your bottom bracket you have in your hands, Orange Sport Supply probably has an answer for you. If not I’m sure that we have a chart.
–Dan Graham is the head of BBQ’ing and assistant forklift driver at Orange Sport Supply who enjoys riding his unicycle along the seawall