Regardless of how neatly one thing works, the bicycle business turns out decided to reinvent it. Believe the fast liberate, an totally dependable element which lets you connect and liberate a wheel in seconds that has now all however vanished from the efficiency bicycle, handiest to get replaced through the thru-axle…which for all sensible functions works the similar manner because the previous nut device that impressed Tullio to invent the fast liberate within the first position. Whew!
On the other hand, one usual that has so far resisted this “innovation”–or a minimum of persisted to thrive within the face of it–is the standard English threaded backside bracket shell. Positive, there are all way of press-fit programs available in the market nowadays, however other people hate them, and so even a $13,000 S-Wanks comes with a conventional threaded backside bracket:
However whilst right-minded other people know that the threaded English backside bracket shell was once, is, and all the time can be one of the simplest ways to connect a crank to a bicycle body, there are nonetheless quite a lot of bearing programs to make a choice from, each and every with its personal benefits and downsides. The “vintage” one makes use of sq. taper spindle, which may also be both be a part of a sealed cartridge device, or else it may possibly run at the older free-ballin’ setup:
Both manner, it’s just right as it’s dependable, it’s ubiquitous, and for those who’re a tinkerer or kludger you’ll mix ‘n match tapers and lengths and all of the remainder of it to clutter along with your chainline or “Q-factor,” the latter of which is essential to a few other people, however which I’ve made up our minds I don’t even realize. The principle problem is that bearing set up could be a bit time eating–free-ballers require quite a lot of equipment and want to be adjusted in moderation, and cartridge ones have recessed splines that may be a little bit traumatic. On best of that you just in most cases want a crank puller on best of no matter different bearing-related equipment are vital on your specific bearing set-up, and in case your crank is under-tightened or over-tightened or put in and got rid of continuously you’ll reduce to rubble the crank arm hollow, and doubtlessly destroy the crank.
I love sq. taper cranks–they paintings, backside brackets are reasonable, and extra importantly, they appear just right on metal bicycles. On the other hand, from a purely sensible point of view, I don’t suppose you’ll beat the Shimano Hollowtech II device:
Sure, by the point Shimano offered it, the cranks themselves had change into unpleasant, and handiest were given uglier. (See above.) On the other hand, they’re extremely simple to put in and regulate, they by no means make noise (except you don’t tighten the bearing cups or one thing, even though pulling the crank and snugging them is set a 5 minute process), and so far as I will be able to inform the bearings final necessarily ceaselessly. If you need vintage appears to be like and/or the facility to fine-tune your chainline, through all manner, move with sq. taper. But when you need boneheaded simplicity that even a ham-fisted fool like me can’t appear to reduce to rubble, move with the Hollowtech IIs.
After all, there also are different outboard bearing crank programs available in the market, and whilst I’ve come throughout some that suck, I’ve additionally encountered some that paintings relatively neatly. Typically, those that fall beneath the latter class paintings like Shimano, and use the similar spindle measurement and non-drive pinch bolt setup. (The DUB crank that got here on my Jones works another way from Shimano, however it has additionally been completely wonderful, and I’ve by no means had to take away or reinstall it…even though as a result of that I don’t know if it’s as simple to paintings on because the Shimano device.)
Then there’s Campagnolo, and their “Extremely-Torque” device:
I take note when Shimano offered Hollowtech II; it sounds as if they did so after a patent owned through this corporate expired, and having coveted the ones cranks in my early life I used to be predisposed to embody the concept that on my street motorcycle:
[Photo from here.]
Moreover, I noticed instantly how easy it was once, and as any person with deficient mechanical talents and a particularly low tolerance for creaking and/or ticking backside brackets I discovered the design very promising.
In the meantime, Campagnolo was once nonetheless the use of a sq. taper, and there was once completely not anything unsuitable with it. I do know this as a result of I used to be the use of it on the time, and up to I appreciated the glance of the Hollowtech II I used to be completely content material with my beautiful hidden-arm 10-speed Report crank. However, Shimano had pressured Campy’s hand. Additionally, sq. taper backside brackets are nearly utterly invisible when put in, so no one may just inform Campy’s was once crabon!
[Photo from eBay. Why the Sharpie? Is it to show scale? Does anybody shopping for a bottom bracket not know how big they are? “I hope that’ll fit in the truck of my car!”]
When Campagnolo spoke back with Extremely-Torque I used to be horrified. Being Campy, they didn’t do an exterior bearing crank the simple manner; as an alternative, it looked like they made it as difficult as conceivable. That bizarre joint within the heart particularly in reality freaked me out, however there was once additionally a maintaining clip and a wave washier, either one of which additionally me, because it looked like the device could be susceptible to growing noise and play. My issues looked to be borne out, too, since once they’d been out awhile I’d steadily see other people complaining about simply that, or even that Mavic portions man sells a shim equipment for this supposedly not unusual drawback. So I resolved to avoid it, as a result of like all uptight individual I generally tend to reject issues out of hand.
Alas, destiny had different plans, and in 2019 my Litespeed got here to me with an Extremely-Torque crank. Between the weirdo spindle and the crabon I used to be able to modify it on the slightest provocation, however in fact it became out to be completely wonderful, so I temporarily made my peace with it. At some point early on it did get started squeaking right through a rainy trip, so I took it aside and put some grease in there; if truth be told operating on it cured me of my fears for just right, and it was once completely quiet for the following 4 years. Then this previous Sunday I were given stuck in a heavy rain, and the day before today I heard a faint chirping sound. So I ended and got rid of the chain from the chainring:
Sadly I didn’t have a Swiss Military Knife:
However I persisted:
Spinning the crank, I showed the sound was once coming from the ground bracket:
Appears like a whimpering pet.
As I say, regardless of being a slob, my tolerance for noisy backside brackets is relatively low. So upon my go back I instantly set about remedying the placement, and I’m documenting it right here for someone available in the market who wish to know what’s happening within these items, despite the fact that there’s no scarcity of tutorial movies available in the market made through individuals who if truth be told know what they’re doing, in addition to through Campagnolo themselves, who might or won’t know what they’re doing. Regardless, for those who’re questioning how these items come aside and return in combination, I’m gonna let you know the right way to do it. First, be sure you have an Extremely-Torque crank. In case your crank is lovely, it’s now not Extremely-Torque:
If it’s unpleasant and it says “Extremely-Torque” on it then it’s surely Extremely-Torque:
If it’s unpleasant and it doesn’t, it is going to nonetheless be Extremely-Torque…even though it may well be Energy-Torque, wherein case God assist you to.
Anyway, if you’ve decided it’s an Extremely-Torque, first you take away that maintaining clip through pulling it out of the bearing cup with needle nostril pliers:
Right here it’s:
If there’s something Campy’s just right at, it’s making stuff that calls for a whole lot of tiny spare portions.
I do know other people love Campagnolo as it’s rebuildable and there are spare portions, however it’s essential to take into account that Shimano doesn’t want rebuilding or spare portions. (Even though all that is now moot, as they each want batteries. In 5 years they’ll each and every be judged fully through their apps.)
Subsequent, you undo the bolt that holds the spindle in combination:
All the time use a torque wrench, and take note when eliminating a bolt that you need to torque it all of the manner right down to 0 or else it gained’t pop out:
It it’s at a torque of -1 N-m you’ve became it too some distance.
After you get the bolt out it’s a easy subject of pulling the 2 halves aside:
But even so the maintaining clip and the deeply recessed bolt it’s now not in reality all that a lot more difficult than Shimano. On the other hand, the actual distinction is that Shimano’s bearings are a part of the cup, while Extremely-Torque bearings live to tell the tale the crank, and if you wish to have to switch them they should be got rid of with a distinct bearing puller from Vicenza or one thing:
Thankfully, those are nonetheless smoother than a marble countertop lined in olive oil, so I doubt I’ll have to fret about that anytime quickly. They’re additionally noticeably smoother than Shimano’s, even though I doubt that issues in observe. General, Shimano’s setup is so much more practical, even though I assume it’s slightly handy that at the Extremely-Torque you by no means want to hassle with eliminating the cups. And sure, within the spirit of being rebuildable, Campagnolo permits you to switch the bearing and stay the cups, while Shimano treats all of it as a unmarried disposable unit. This would seem to determine in Campagnolo’s desire, till you believe that the bearings on my own value far more than an entire Dura Ace backside bracket, and that’s now not even together with the particular instrument. (Even though in my case it doesn’t subject, as those bearings stay just right as new.)
Right here’s the wave washing machine at the non-drive facet:
It’s Campy spare phase #841851871/1171/4181.
Additionally, on all sides, between the bearing and the crank itself, you’ll see a little bit rubbery seal:
I’m guessing that is most certainly what was causing the whimpering pet noise, since there’s nonetheless a lot of grease all over the place else:
Sure, there’s a little bit grit in there, however that handiest took place when I got rid of the crank.
Anyway, as soon as the whole thing was once aside I wiped it down, re-greased it, and put some of these things at the rubber seals:
On reflection I most certainly may have simply dripped some in there with out eliminating the crank in any respect, however once in a while it’s just right to get in there and notice how issues are doing.
Then I put the whole thing again in combination the use of the best quantity of torque:
That zoomed-in photograph isn’t on your get advantages; I’ve formally reached the purpose at which I want to use my telephone as a magnifying glass a minimum of a number of occasions an afternoon, and it was once the one manner I used to be ready to learn the numbers at the bolt.
I’m guessing the Extremely-Torque design is much less tolerant of body imperfections than the Shimano device, however it kind of feels completely glad in this motorcycle, and general it’s lovely simple to reside with. Additionally, it’s smoother than Shimano in some way that doesn’t subject, whilst being somewhat extra difficult in some way that does–which is in the long run what Campagnolo is all about.