Written by Ashley Davis Thursday, 16 October 2008 00:00
The CNC bottom bracket from KDE Direct is a straight forward dop in replacement for the Align bottom bracket. The difference being that the KDE Direct bottom bracket is CNC machined from aluminium. This means it is both stronger, stiffer and more accurately made than the stock plastic bottom tray.
OK, so strength aside what's the point?
Well, the T-Rex 500 has reasonably stiff frames but they could do with being a bit stiffer. The KDE Direct upgrade definitely helps here and produces an overall more rigid airframe. It is also not made from cheap bendy aluminium and feels really strong and solid in the hand. This means less frame flex and more accurate flying as a result. So that being the theory, does it stack up in the flying?
Inflight the increased stiffness can be felt, my 500 was more accurate and less willing to try to screw out of some moves. I wouldn't say the differences are astounding but they can be felt and they are an improvement. Having said this I think it will take a 3D pilot to notice the differences, sport flyers don't tend to stress the frames greatly so frame twist and flex is less of a problem.
Stronger overall frames once fitted
Improved accuracy in-flight
Nice quality and not made from really cheap aluminium
Quite a lot more expensive than a stock bottom bracket
This is an upgrade type that I've not really come across before ie. frame strengthening. Usually I see entire frames but not just a bit of a frame. However, I am glad I got to look at it as not only is it very bling but it serves a useful purpose in reducing frame flex and increasing machine accuracy both of which it achieves. Normally I would recommend an upgrade on the basis of such a conclusion, however, this is quite an expensive upgrade. I can see where the costs comes from so I don't think it's unreasonable, however, I'm not convinced that the expense justifies the improvement in flight characteristics, but for those who love bling it is no doubt a must have item.
( 5 Votes )