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BIKE TECH: Campagnolo Ultra-Torque Bottom Bracket & Crankset Installation

The above video from Campagnolo demonstrates the installation process of a Campy Ultra-Torque Crankset and Bottom Bracket.

There is a whole lot of cool bike stuff out on the market now, and Campagnolo is definitely included in that group.  Their Ultra-Torque Crankset & Bottom Bracket system is a engineering wonder and a huge upgrade from the old school square taper system it seemed the Italian manufacturer would never stray from. 

As you'll see in this video, there is a lot to the process of installing high end bicycle components.  However, tens of thousands of miles on a precision riding instrument (a finely tuned bicycle) is well worth it!  Installing a Campy Ultra-Torque Crankset is something that the experienced, well equipped home mechanic can do - but is typically done by an experienced, well equipped bike shop (not all bike shops are created equal).

Following is the 16 step Campy Ultra-Torque Crankset installation process as demonstrated in the above video, for those who really want to know:
  1. Clean the bottom bracket shell.
  2. Inspect the bottom bracket shell.  Are the threads clean?  Is the face of the shell on both sides clean, square, and even?
  3. If the bottom bracket shell threads and faces aren't perfect, the bottom bracket shell should be chased and the faced.  This ensure the shell threads are perfect and the faces square and flat.  In the end, this reduces bottom bracket creaks, ensures the bottom bracket bearings are square in relation to each other (resulting in a free spinning crankset and minimal bearing wear), and that the bottom bracket cups thread in easily.
  4. After chasing & facing, carefully clean any metal filings out of the bottom bracket shell area.  
  5. Begin to thread in the bottom bracket cups, noting the right cup from the left.  Also note the thread pattern of the frame and bottom bracket cups (English or Italian).  After getting each cup started, fully coat the cup threads with Loctite 222 (an anaerobic Loctite that only dries in the absence of oxygen). 
  6. Finger tight each cup, ensuring that all threads are coated with a solid layer of Loctite 222.  No torquing of the cups is necessary if you use Loctite 222.  However, if you use grease, torque the cups to 35NM.
  7. Wipe off excess Loctite from the bottom bracket cups
  8. Notice the 2 holes in the right hand cup.  Place the spring retainer clip such that the ends almost pop into the holes (but not quite)
  9. Lightly grease the bearing interface of the bottom bracket cups
  10. Fully insert the right crank arm into the right bottom bracket cup.
  11. Push the spring retainer clip so that the ends pop into the holes of the cup.  This holds the crankset in place.
  12. Place the wavy washer into the left bottom bracket cup.
  13. Insert the left crank arm into the left bottom bracket cup, carefully engaging the left crank arm spline with that of the right.  Ensure the crank arms are pointing opposite of each other.
  14. Using a Campy UT-BB1100 tool or equivalent, insert, thread in, and torque the fixing bolt to 42NM.
  15. Allow the bike to sit for at least 24 hours before riding if you used Loctite 222.
  16. Enjoy the Italian precision that is Campagnolo!

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