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November 30, 2009



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I been reading stuff and still do not understand why people is so bitter with the roguemechanic guy.

Regarding the issue wonder if this has to do with brands in specific, never got problems with bmc neither with kuota. The other option is that the washer material and quality is not even and some last longer than other ones? The only way to know is measuring the wavy washers in the good systems and in the systems that arent working right.

Good luck thanks


Don't FSA, Race Face, and the Specialized proprietary bottom brackets all rely on wave washers/elastomer washers for proper bearing pre-load (to my chagrin)? I think the Truvativ/SRAM and Shimano designs are much smarter when considering proper bearing function.


No credibility until you explain why some bikes develop this "knock" while the vast majority dont, considering you claim the width of the bottom bracket is not the issue.
Thats right, give us some facts.

todd richards

Thank you so much for your analysis, fix, and spacer kit for the UT crankset....

2 years ago I was proud to buy the (then) new UT design when choosing parts for the new rig. Over time I came to discover my Dean custom ti roadbike had a slightly narrow bb shell. I eventually gave-up chasing the creeks, play, and add'l wavy washer ideas. I was quite peeved at Campy for quite sometime, and almost ditched the whole system. Instead I reluctantly went back to a Campy square taper bb, it was heavy but the ti rig was no lightweight so....

Now 2 years later I'm on a Cervelo and found your solution. I went to eBay, found a used Record UT, and bought it with your bb spacer kit. Installed immediately when the arrived and it works absolutely perfectly.

Now, finally, I have a ligjt rig of 14.5 pound that shifts perfectly, has no creeks, and feels like the stiffest crankset I've ever owned!

todd richards


John, an excellent series of posts since day one! Just as with most issues in life generally, there will always be ideologues for whom the facts matter not. Even good companies can be forced to make poor proprietary decisions. Carry (Balls) On!


Hello Drew!
I hear ya. What I meant by "dry" is with minimal light-weight grease. I was liberal applying high quality grease. Additionally, when you have good ceramic bearings, they have different seals and grease that significantly decrease the drag. Thanks for writing! -John


My Dura-Ace crank spins much more freely than the UT in your video, and I experience no knock or "axial play" that I am aware of. Not sure what you mean when you say it would spin more freely if "dry." I do not have ceramic bearings, either. Drew.


Hello Isaiah,
I hope that this message finds you well and thanks for taking the time to comment.
With all due respect Isaiah, I have explained and rebutted numerous posts on RBR until I was blue in the face and quite frankly, I don't think that any other amount of time spent on that forum discussing this will amount to anything positive from this point forward.
Initially, I had hoped that I might be able to help anyone that might be experiencing this issue, and I still do. Never have I stated that all UT systems experienced this problem or the the UT design sucked. I think that all designs have shortcomings and I also believe that it's naive to think that Campagnolo is infallible with this design just because of who they are and their history. I fix high-quality bikes. That's what I do. I am passionate about doing things right and I'm passionate because I care about my clients and others who have spent their hard-earned money on a component or a bike that has major shortcomings. I'd be ticked if I had spent $400+ on a crankset and bottom bracket only to find out about this "non-issue"...
In closing, If you would take the time to get to know me, you would find that I am very honest, some have said to a fault. And I would be less than truthful to say that the attacks on my character leaves me motivated to spend any more time or energy on the RBR forum. Thanks again for writing and I wish you the best. -John


Hello Brendan,
Thanks for your comment and your observances. I wouldn't be surprised if Wilier did indeed replace the Campy wave washer with one to their spec...
Regarding doubling up the wave washer, when I first experienced this issue over a year ago, that was my first attempt for a solution and I found that it was too think and caused binding.
Thanks again for writing.
Best regards,


Hello Nathan,
I appreciate your comments and your questions. Since I'm a one-man-band so to speak, the order of magnitude is going to be relatively small compared to the total number of UT systems out there. If I had to estimate, I've installed approx 25 UT systems (and many others that I didn't install)and of those, I've had about 10 develop the excessive axial movement that has caused the knocking noise. But I cannot say for certain that the others do not make the noise because some riders are more sensitive to noises and even more probably assume that this is normal... Besides my first hand experience, I have received hundreds of emails directly because of this.
All of the shim retrofits that I have completed this year have a least 1K miles on them and have experienced zero failures or the need to add additional shims.
In conclusion, at no time have I stated that every UT system is prone to this issue. Just about all designs out there have shortcomings. I hope that this info helps. Thanks again for writing.
Best regards,


If you were honest, you would post the thorough rebuttals of all of your alleged issues by the experienced RBR crowd.

The fact of the matter is, this is a non-issue, and if it were, you would be able to explain it to them there rather than run away to blog this misinformation for the masses.

Brendan McDonnell

In dealing with this issue I have tried to explain to my local shop the issue I have. When I explained your possible fix to them I was asked to show them what I meant by play in the bottom bracket. Unfortunately I didn"t have my bike to show them so I tried to show them on one of the bikes in the shop. The only bike they had built with a UT crankset was a Wilier, this bike had no play at all. I was later informed that the UT crank system is a direct fit for Wilier. The bottom bracket shell for this bike was designed not to take any cups, and the frame comes with a retainer spring and wavy washer from the factory(possibly designed to be proprietary). I came across this information when I asked if they had an extra wavy washer I could purchase. They said the only one they had was out of a Wilier that they had retrofitted with Dura Ace. What I had in mind was to double up on the wavy washer to try to eliminate the play. It turns out that the washer that comes with the Wilier has four waves to it and also a higher preload pressure. I wasn't able to double up on the washer because of the difference. What I did do was add a 1mm spacer between the non drive side cup and shell, and installed the Wilier washer this seems to have done the trick no noise yet, time will tell if noise comes back if it does I'll be using your method to be sure. Just wanted to relay what I have found in my quest. Hope some of this info helps or is at least interesting.

Nathan Griffin

Congratulations on your "balls on" wavy-washerectomy! You should post a follow-up after a few thousand miles with this setup. I'm curious as to if it will hold or if it will need additional spacers over time.

I have a few questions in general about the UT "Knocking" issue:

For all Campy UT cranks you have installed, what percentage have developed a "knocking" problem? I'm assuming you have installed some UT cranks that have worked properly, or are 100% of the UT cranks you have installed have the knock?

What is the total number of people you have encountered that have this knocking problem? (either direct clients or just through correspondence.) Just an order of magnitude; 5, 50, 500 people?


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