ultra or power torque.
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  1. #1
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    ultra or power torque.

    Hi all,

    I'm in the process of building my new CX bike. My idea is to swap the shimano 105 "boat anchor" compact crankset from my road bike to put it on my CX bike and buy a better one for my road bike.

    I have a GXP BB lying somewhere, so I could easily put a Sram Red or Force crankset. However, compared to their BB30 counterpart, the Sram GXP crankset are not in the light category. I'm not a weight weenie, but I live in the mountains so I take it into consideration. My frame is not BB30 or Pressfit compatible.

    I don't want to go extreme and spend $$ just for a crank so ultra light CNC machined or carbon cranks are not in my budget. I have found that campagnolo middle range cranks looks very competitive, however there are two different systems, ultra-torque (two semi-axles) or power-torque (single axle like shimano/sram/fsa). The Centaur/Athena PT compact carbon cranks are lighter than the Chorus UT (and only 15gr more than the super record). However they are power-torque.

    Would I see a difference between power and ultra-torque ? Is a Chorus ultra-torque stiffer than an Athena power-torque ? What about reliability ? From the description, it looks like the higher end ultra-torque cranks could wear and develop play between the two semi axles. I would hate having a noisy clicking drivetrain. Do these two systems need specific tools ? Which is the easiest to install ?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Bianchi-Campagnolo
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    Both systems needs the specific tool for tightening and loosening Campagnolo bottom bracket cups.
    Both systems need well faced bottom brackets.

    I'm just putting a Veloce PT crank on my wife's bike, and am puzzed by two things:
    1) The crank tightening bolt requires a 14mm hex bit, which I have to go and buy now.
    2) One needs two special tools, one from Campagnolo, to pull the left crank arm off again.

    An UT crank needs no special tools for assembly and dissassembly, but you will need a long 10mm hex bit for a torque wrench to get to the centrally placed crank bolt.

    In other words: I recommend Chorus.

    Go to the Campagnolo web site to find instruction sheets and parts lists.
    Last edited by kbwh; 06-11-2011 at 01:58 AM.

  3. #3
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    Thanks a lot Campy. You just know this tool is NOT going to be cheap. An auto parts store would have it for $30. My guess is that Campy will charge 50% of the cost of the entire Power-Torque crank.
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  4. #4
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    You have to use a gear puller to get the campy cranks off? Lame...

    FSA Energy cranks (the Mega Exo version) are a decent deal. Hollow forged like Dura Ace and pretty much the same weight as DA 7800 at half the cost. No special tools required. I have some on my cross bike and love them. Shop ebay and you can pick them up for ~$120 or so...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbomatic73 View Post
    You have to use a gear puller to get the campy cranks off?
    For the low-end (Veloce, Centaur, Athena) Power Torque cranks, yes. For the Chorus and up Ultra Torque cranks no.

    The Campagnolo UT-FC090 Power Torque Crank Tool pictured in chas0039's post above is about £20. The gear puller can be found anywhere.

  6. #6
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    I'm not saying you can't find the tools elsewhere and get them to work. It is just unfortunate that they come up with designs that keep adding additional expense, especially if you pay Camps prices. It's not as though Ultra had any reason to change, and these days, a lot of Campy's changes are not improvements at all, but cost cutting measures that ruin what is otherwise quality.

    Anyone really like the Escape mechanism ( now barely 3 years out of production and no parts available) or the early UltraShifters that you couldn't feel because the clicks were almost non-existent? And now, the new PowerShift which took away the ability to downshift more than one cog? I really wish they would stop "improving" things for a while.

  7. #7
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    The only reason to get Power Torque is if you want polished aluminium. That means cheap Veloce. Lots of spare money for tools.

    I see no reason to continue the discussion about why in this thread.

  8. #8
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    Clicking noise was my experience with Campy UltraTorque

    The Hirth joint at the center of the Ultra Torque crank design caused a loud click when climbin on my Waterford bike. Changing bearings, refacing the bottom bracket, etc., etc. was to no avail. Replacing crank to conventional type cured, after zero support from Campy.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahardy22 View Post
    The Hirth joint at the center of the Ultra Torque crank design caused a loud click when climbin on my Waterford bike. Changing bearings, refacing the bottom bracket, etc., etc. was to no avail. Replacing crank to conventional type cured, after zero support from Campy.
    two questions:

    why do you think it was the Hirth joint that caused the noise?

    are you 100% sure the retaining clip on the DS was properly installed before the NDS crank was attached?
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  10. #10
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    clicking Campy UltraTorque crank

    Second question first: yes, the clip was in place.
    First (main) question was the subject of a long post--and flaming replies--about a year ago. You will find all that in the archives. I went to great lengths to isolate the source of the click, which only occurred when climbing above 15%. Finally tracked it down using a "chassis ear" setup, with individual microphones attached to different points around the bottom bracket transmitting wirelessly to a switchbox and headphones. Looked quite comical to be climbing a steep incline with so much stuff hooked up..Long story short, the sound came from the crank itself; not the bearings or elsewhere. Campy refused to acknowledge the problem. If you ever see a kick starter mechanism from a '60's Ducati, you will find the same type of Hirth gear coupling, which used to result in broken gear teeth and bum knees.

  11. #11
    'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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    you seem to be the only guy around that's had this problem...
    #promechaniclife

  12. #12
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    check the archives.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbwh View Post
    The only reason to get Power Torque is if you want polished aluminium. That means cheap Veloce. Lots of spare money for tools.

    I see no reason to continue the discussion about why in this thread.
    Centaur polished aluminum from a couple of years ago was Ultra Torque; you can still find them around if you look. Just got one new on Ebay for build I completed last month.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LookDave View Post
    Centaur polished aluminum from a couple of years ago was Ultra Torque; you can still find them around if you look. Just got one new on Ebay for build I completed last month.
    I got one as well for a retro Colnago build. Recommended.
    Kestrel Talon Road, Campy 10, Zonda wheels
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    you seem to be the only guy around that's had this problem...
    my centaur UT compact aluminum crank has a similar click that i swear is coming from the hirth joint, as well. i had a similar click coming from what i swore was the hirth joint of my athena UT standard crank. . . i removed the crank, the cups, cleaned everything, remounted everything and tightened the piss out of the crank, and the problem went away. haven't had a chance to do the same with my centaur. the click would only happen on the athena when i stood and hammered, and then only very rarely. the centaur clicks going uphill, while loaded (cross check built up for touring and commuting) with schoolbooks, etc.

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