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April 06, 2012



Hello Pierre,
I hope that this message finds you well and thank you for your comments! It just so happens that I just posted a video here on my site showing step by step how I install the shims. You might want to take a look at it... warning, it's not fancy! I'm a bike mechanic and not a video producer! Anyways, regarding splitting the shims between the DS and the NDS, I found that it really not necessary because the amount of shims rarely is more than 3mm. I agree that the UT is nice, but the inability to account for shell width differences is a substantial flaw in the design. Fortunately, if installed properly, I've seen very good results using the shims. Thanks again for writing and for your kind words! -John


Dear John,

I fully agree with your analysis on the ultra torque lateral clearance. This issue is not be overlooked since the bearings may become loose in their cups.

Adding washers in the right amount seems to be the solution. I think the spring washer ought to be removed (really works one way only).

The question is what amount of washer is to be installed. Just enough to remove the undue clearance ? Or more to apply a preload on the BB bearings (like on the old cup and cone system) ?

It's probably better to stick to the first solution, like you do, since the acceptable preload is not known and difficult to apply precisely (maybe a nylon washer can help). Some lateral mouvement will remain therefore, with some possible noises and especially when standing up on the pedals.

Where should the washers be ideally placed ? Between the shell and cup ? The cup and bearing ? Or between the bearing and the crankarm ? In the later solution, you need to removed the bearings from the shafts ... Whatever the solution, shouldn't the washers be split between both sides, provided it doesn't interfere with the spring clip on the drive side ?

Additionnaly, part of the issue seems to be with the industrial bearings which move sideways quite a lot. This means that all modern BB systems are probably proned to it ... So much for all the super-rigidity claims by the manufacturers !

Please note that I do not own an ultratorque crankset. I however saw the clearance problem when looking at the design. This (with the high price) delayed the purchase. But I remain persuaded that the ultratorque design is one of the best ... once the clearance issue is corrected !

Thanks for your nice post,

Cheers, Pierre

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