"Facts are stubborn things..."
This is directed to those handful of folks that took the time to painstakingly ripped me up one side and down the other regarding how little I know about the Campagnolo Ultra-Torque design and basic mechanical knowledge. Part of me says that I've wasted enough time on this and I should just let it go. But a larger part just can't let it go because I know that there are some people out there that are experiencing this issue and I want to help if I can.... That, and the truth be told, I have very little tolerance for idiots spewing misinformation as truth while masquerading as some sort of authority. When in actuality, most of them are at best naive, and uninformed at worst.
I'm going to lay out the facts about the design. Then I'm going to then share what my REAL WORLD experience has been relating to the UT system and general bike knowledge, not some theoretical BS. I am then going to wrap this post up with a few of my own opinions. Now, let's get started...
Facts about the Campagnolo Ultra-Torque System
- The design uses the wave washer placed between the non-drive side (NDS) cup and NDS bearing to allow for variances in bottom bracket shell widths.
- It is the only system that has axial movement when the non-drive side crankarm is compressed or pushed towards the frame when the bottom bracket shell width is 68mm (English) and 70mm (Italian).
- It is the only system that uses the Hirth joint in a standard threaded bottom bracket.
Facts about RogueMechanic Installation and Procedures
- I chase and face EVERY bottom bracket shell when installing a new bottom bracket. This insures that the faces of the shell are square to the threads.
- Every bike that has developed the issue of knocking has had bottom bracket shell widths well within the +/- .8mm from 68mm or 70mm.
- I have installed all bottom bracket cups with grease or the appropriate anti-seize applied to the threads and both cups torqued to 35-40Nm.
- All other bottom brackets, the distance between bearings is irrevelevant to the proper adjustment/installation of the crankset.
My .02 about this...
- I think that Campagnolo was somewhat pigeon-holed into this design to not infringe upon existing patents.
- The Ultra-Torque is a good design. But its area of weakness is in its inability to compensate for slight variances in bottom bracket shell widths without the use of a wave spring/washer to apply preload.
- I know how to check for bearing wear and/or failure....
- I think that having bearing fail at around 2K miles is unacceptable and is atypical for a company like Campagnolo.
- This is pure speculation, but I think that the initial rash of "bearing failures" was misdiagnosed and was actually the axial movement or improper installation or both.
Here's a quick video that I shot showing the end result of removing the wavewasher and installing the proper amount of shims. Take a look.
In closing, I'm sure that I'm not the only one scratching my head wondering why Campagnolo put this Ultra-Torque design out there and allowing for this issue to arise. If anyone knows the answer, please let me know. Thanks for checking in. -John