Campagnolo Ultra-Torque/Power-Torque BB reliability?
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  1. #1
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    Campagnolo Ultra-Torque/Power-Torque BB reliability?

    I'm considering an Athena 11 group for a '90s steel frame I have.

    I can get either the 2010 Ultra-Torque version or the 2011 Power-Torque version.

    In both cases you need an automotive bearing puller to change the BB bearings. Its no problem, I'm an experienced mechanic, but looking at whats involved in servicing a modern Campy BB its not a job I would enjoy having to do regularly. Shimano/ Sram, simply pull the BB, toss it in the trash, and throw a new one in.....

    Not having ridden Campy for several years, how reliable are the BBs on the Ultra-Torque/Power-Torque cranks proving themselves?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by slegros; 10-25-2011 at 04:41 AM.

  2. #2
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    First: Get the Ultra Torque version. Crank removal is a breeze. Removing Power Torque requires special tools.

    In my experience the modern Campagnolo BBs have traditional Campagnolo quality. I have CULT (ceramic) bearings on my cranks, and I've had to clean and re-oil the bearings after crap weather rides a couple of times. An easy job with Ultra Torque.

  3. #3
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    +1 on Ultra Torque.

    bearings still perfect on mine after 2 years.

    don't understand the logic behind PT design at all.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjulio View Post
    +1 on Ultra Torque.

    bearings still perfect on mine after 2 years.

    don't understand the logic behind PT design at all.
    The PT design seems to be lighter. The 2011 Athena Carbon crankset is lighter than the Chorus UT crank. The 2011 Athena PT is something like 100g lighter than the 2010 UT version.....

  5. #5
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    Check out my build...

    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/ret...ld-259405.html

    2010 Athena UT on a vintage steel Bianchi.

    I address this issue somewhat. I will say this though I have both Athena and Record, I like my Athena better.

    I am not a huge fan of the Ultra Torque my Record tick and squeeks like a stuck pig, and if you think Campy is going to take care of you, they wont, it is hands down the worst Costomer Service i have ever come across!

    I just installed as new UT Record BB on my carbon bike yesterday, I will ride it tomorrow, if it makes anymore noise i will throw a f$#%ing sh!t fit.

    If you have a choice between Athena 2010 UT and 2011 PS, go with the 2010 Ultrashift. The fact that Campy even tried to go to single gear shifts with PS is total BS.

    My Athena UT BB is not without issues too... see my thread. My Athena does not tick but it is a Italian BB thread.

    I think Campy has come to their sense and uses Ultra shift for the 2012 group, but dont quote me on that. I think i saw it on ebay.

    I wonder if Power Torque has the same BB design and the same Ticking/Creaking issues.

    Post some pics once it built up...

    Good luck.

  6. #6
    classiquesklassieker
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnroadie View Post
    Check out my build...

    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/ret...ld-259405.html

    2010 Athena UT on a vintage steel Bianchi.

    I address this issue somewhat. I will say this though I have both Athena and Record, I like my Athena better.

    I am not a huge fan of the Ultra Torque my Record tick and squeeks like a stuck pig, and if you think Campy is going to take care of you, they wont, it is hands down the worst Costomer Service i have ever come across!

    I just installed as new UT Record BB on my carbon bike yesterday, I will ride it tomorrow, if it makes anymore noise i will throw a f$#%ing sh!t fit.

    If you have a choice between Athena 2010 UT and 2011 PS, go with the 2010 Ultrashift. The fact that Campy even tried to go to single gear shifts with PS is total BS.

    My Athena UT BB is not without issues too... see my thread. My Athena does not tick but it is a Italian BB thread.

    I think Campy has come to their sense and uses Ultra shift for the 2012 group, but dont quote me on that. I think i saw it on ebay.

    I wonder if Power Torque has the same BB design and the same Ticking/Creaking issues.

    Post some pics once it built up...

    Good luck.
    Too bad about your squeaking/squealing Record BB, is that what's on your Scott? The Bianchi build is really fabulous, by the way, very beautiful.

    I've installed a few UT systems on new and old bikes, and never had a problem. I wonder if you were unlucky, or perhaps the Scott BB is out of spec? Did you use loctite+hand tighten as some versions of the manual suggested? I actually used grease and a torque wrench mated to the BB cup tool.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by slegros View Post
    The PT design seems to be lighter. The 2011 Athena Carbon crankset is lighter than the Chorus UT crank. The 2011 Athena PT is something like 100g lighter than the 2010 UT version.....
    Agreed, but the difference is a mere 5 g:
    Athena Compact carbon PT, including threaded BB cups: 640 + 72 g = 712 g
    Chorus Compact UT, including threaded BB cups: 667 + 50 g = 717 g

    On PT the left side bearing sits in the cup.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbwh View Post
    Agreed, but the difference is a mere 5 g:
    Athena Compact carbon PT, including threaded BB cups: 640 + 72 g = 712 g
    Chorus Compact UT, including threaded BB cups: 667 + 50 g = 717 g

    On PT the left side bearing sits in the cup.
    5g Compared to Chorus, yes. Comparing 2010 UT Athena to 2011 PT Athena, the difference is over 100g grams for the alloy cranks, and I believe similar for the carbon version.

  9. #9
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    I have a Record 10s crankset with over 25,000 miles of service with the original bearings which are still silky smooth. About once a year, I have the BB bearings flushed and greased by my mechanic. This crank has never made a sound of any kind; it's truly been amazing.

    I also have a 2010 Super Record 11s crankset and love it.
    TOM
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    2014 S-Works Tarmac SL4 Contador Edition Campy Super Record
    2014 S-Works Epic World Cup
    2012 S-Works Epic
    2009 Rodriguez Custom Steel Campy Super Record

  10. #10
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    Thanks all for the info!!

    mtnroadie, the group is going onto an early '90 Columbus Max Concorde, similar to the blu/wht one on this page:

    Columbus MAX Bikes: Concorde

    I'll definitely post some pics when it's done!! Love your bike by the way!!!

  11. #11
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    Thanks,

    Slagros, that Concorde is going to look good, and those forks are very unique I have never seen a fork crown like that. Remember a good wheel set will make a big difference, I recommend a custom set w/ White Industries Hubs

    Orange_julius, Yeah it’s the Scott that has all the BB issues. I have overhauled it numerous times, in every different way recommend by Campy and people on all these forums-

    1.Using just the stock yellow thread locker with a bit of grease
    2. Hand tightening vs 35nm of torque on the cups
    3. entire range of 40-60nm of torque on the fixing bolt
    4. Blue loctite with a bit of white grease
    5. Just loctite 222 w/48hours set up time
    6. Also I have tried two different wavy washers one with 3contact point and one with 4contact points.

    Now finally I purchased a new UT Record BB and used Loctite 222 with the stock yellow thread locker torqued to 35nm and Loctite 222 on the fixing bolt torqued to 60nm.

    All of these overhauls have had various degrees of success, but in the end the problem persists. I hoping for success after this last overhaul, I have around 400 miles on the group! Could it be the Scott frame sure, but the BB tolerance is right on around 68mm, however I cant face the BB shell as it is in a carbon frame.

    I have not had a chance to ride it yet due to rain, but hopefully in the next few days. At least it will now get a good 100 hours set up time. Campy directions are all over the place, the directions say one thing, Customer service says the opposite and to email their tech guru who has not replied for month now.

  12. #12
    classiquesklassieker
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    Mtnroadie, short of factors beyond your control (defective unit, problematic BB shell/face), sounds like you've tried everything. I hope you'll figure this out soon.

    Campagnolo's instructions really leave a lot to be desired. One thing that still baffles me is how one should route the shifter cables through the very narrow funnel at the shifter, when one intends to route the cables through the front side of the shifters. I always end up having to pull the cable out of first hole, make a loop and push it into the second hole, and then yank it on both ends, always resulting in a kink somewhere. It's not a problem because the cable is always longer than necessary and I can just trim, but seriously Campagnolo should upload a cable install video. It's a great idea that they have the videos but it's not comprehensive.

  13. #13
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    info...

    The cable can be guided into the hole by pressing it down with a 2mm hex key. No need to put a kink in the cable. Don't try that with a used cable that's been cut. I also recommend to never reinstall a used cable with the ultrashift levers. If it has to be removed, put in a new one.

  14. #14
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    info...

    Hopefully, you've also performed the very first steps - either facing the BB shell or verifying the the BB shell faces are square to the threads and insuring that the BB shell is the proper width (using a micrometer or calipers, not a rule).

    There is no reason that a carbon frame's BB shell can't be faced unless it's not a threaded BB shell and you're using some sort of adapter. Most BB shells in carbon frames have a threaded aluminum or titanium insert. If you've left paint or clearcoat on the faces of the BB shell, then that could be your problem.

    Never use loctite with anything else. Read the loctite instructions. Loctite only works on clean, dry threads. It won't work with grease or the factory applied thread locker.

    I always use grease and torque the cups to 35Nm.

    The spindle fixing bolt should mever be a problem. Apply a little grease to the threads and also lube the hirth joint - it can't hurt.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnroadie View Post
    Thanks,

    Slagros, that Concorde is going to look good, and those forks are very unique I have never seen a fork crown like that. Remember a good wheel set will make a big difference, I recommend a custom set w/ White Industries Hubs

    Orange_julius, Yeah it’s the Scott that has all the BB issues. I have overhauled it numerous times, in every different way recommend by Campy and people on all these forums-

    1.Using just the stock yellow thread locker with a bit of grease
    2. Hand tightening vs 35nm of torque on the cups
    3. entire range of 40-60nm of torque on the fixing bolt
    4. Blue loctite with a bit of white grease
    5. Just loctite 222 w/48hours set up time
    6. Also I have tried two different wavy washers one with 3contact point and one with 4contact points.

    Now finally I purchased a new UT Record BB and used Loctite 222 with the stock yellow thread locker torqued to 35nm and Loctite 222 on the fixing bolt torqued to 60nm.

    All of these overhauls have had various degrees of success, but in the end the problem persists. I hoping for success after this last overhaul, I have around 400 miles on the group! Could it be the Scott frame sure, but the BB tolerance is right on around 68mm, however I cant face the BB shell as it is in a carbon frame.

    I have not had a chance to ride it yet due to rain, but hopefully in the next few days. At least it will now get a good 100 hours set up time. Campy directions are all over the place, the directions say one thing, Customer service says the opposite and to email their tech guru who has not replied for month now.

    WRONG!! do not hand tight no use loctite.
    torque to spec. voila

  16. #16
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    To date I have a total of four Ultra-Torque cranksets in various guises between the Chorus/Centuar range (alu/carbon/compact/standard...). I had one bearing seize on me a while ago (over four years ago), Campy replaced it under warranty. After that occasion, I'll periodically repack the bearings with grease, depending on how much use its seen, and what weather conditions I'll ride it in. Servicing the bearings is very easy, which is one of the main reasons I chose Campy/Ultra Torque in the first place.I'm more than pleased with my experience with my overall experience with my Ultra Torque cranks. I can't speak for Power Torque, however.

  17. #17
    classiquesklassieker
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    Quote Originally Posted by C-40 View Post
    The cable can be guided into the hole by pressing it down with a 2mm hex key. No need to put a kink in the cable. Don't try that with a used cable that's been cut. I also recommend to never reinstall a used cable with the ultrashift levers. If it has to be removed, put in a new one.
    Thanks for the tip, C-40. I have an install coming up, will try your method.

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