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http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?id=tech/2006/news/05-12

Check out this just in on cycling news
Outboard bearings BB with no extra q factor "Other interesting features of the Ultra-Torque design include no increase in Q-factor (the distance between the pedals, which has increased in a lot of two-piece designs) and a single bolt in the middle of the axle that holds together the whole assembly." Looks like it may be a response to the "campag behind the times in crank design" blah blah blah
 

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...the fact they totally mantained the ankle/heel clearance.
Why do you say this? I read somewhere else that, while the Q factor is maintained, to achieve this with the outboard bearings, the crank arms are now flat rather than curved, which means there is more chance of ankles rubbing on the cranks. One reason why I switched to Record from Dura Ace is to avoid the crankarm/ankle collision problem, so the new design doesn't seem like a good outcome for those of us for whom this is an issue.
 

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rossb said:
Why do you say this? I read somewhere else that, while the Q factor is maintained, to achieve this with the outboard bearings, the crank arms are now flat rather than curved, which means there is more chance of ankles rubbing on the cranks. One reason why I switched to Record from Dura Ace is to avoid the crankarm/ankle collision problem, so the new design doesn't seem like a good outcome for those of us for whom this is an issue.
I say this because this is the case, their selling point is that the outer shape of the cranks remains unchanged, so Q-factor and Q-clearance or ankle/heel clearance, whatever you wanna call it, does not change, despite going to outboard bearings. They explained that the crank is much flatter to compensate for the bearing space.
They apparently identified the weak points of the competitors' cranks and designed something to overcome those problems.
You get the benefits of the outboard bearings without the defects.
They may turn out having other problems/defects that may come up after the release, but based on what they say this is the situation.
 

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their selling point is that the outer shape of the cranks remains unchanged, ... They explained that the crank is much flatter to compensate for the bearing space.
Aren't those two statements contradictory?

I'm not sure I understand your reasoning. Ankle clearance and Q factor are independent of each other - ankle clearance (especially for those of us whose feet splay outwards) depends more on the outwards curvature of the cranks than how far apart the cranks are spaced. If the crank is flatter, isn't there more chance of ankle rub?
 

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rossb said:
Aren't those two statements contradictory?

I'm not sure I understand your reasoning. Ankle clearance and Q factor are independent of each other - ankle clearance (especially for those of us whose feet splay outwards) depends more on the outwards curvature of the cranks than how far apart the cranks are spaced. If the crank is flatter, isn't there more chance of ankle rub?
Ok, I apologize, I meant thinner, not flatter. The outwards curvature is identical and they are as much far apart as the current designs. Bottom line is your feet will have the same identical position and the same identical available lateral space, no ankle rub (unless the current campy cranks are already too wide for you).
 

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Crank thickness

rossb said:
Quote:
their selling point is that the outer shape of the cranks remains unchanged, ... They explained that the crank is much flatter to compensate for the bearing space.


Aren't those two statements contradictory?
Not necessarily. They may have meant that the crank is thinner, not that it was straighter/flatter.

On a standard 3 piece crank, the width of the crank at the spindle interface must actually be a double thickness: Firstly, the crank must be thick enough to form a solid interface with the spindle; But secondly, it also has to have an additional thickness for the internal threads which engage the crank puller. On a two piece system, no crank puller threads are required, so the crank may be thinner at the spindle interface, possibly making some room for the bearings between the BB shell and the crank.
 

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There's a couple of discussions about the Ultra Torque BB/Crank going on at Weight Weenies and at Fairwheelbikes forums along with a few hands-on testimonials. Campy has shown the new equipment to a couple of manufacturers, so to this date the available info is incomplete.... Please feel free to speculate and second guess until Campy leaks more data and pix....

(The graphics are from CampyOnly Rumors and the Mirage cranks photo is from Cycling news/Bianchi).





 

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I'll go out on a limb, here, and say that I'll bet that Campy has already thought of all the questions people have raised re: the function, durability, design, or whatever about this crankset. My guess is that is what engineers get paid for.
 

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alienator said:
I'll go out on a limb, here, and say that I'll bet that Campy has already thought of all the questions people have raised re: the function, durability, design, or whatever about this crankset. My guess is that is what engineers get paid for.

I other words, it's freak'n Campy. Would you expect any less?
 

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Engineers and product design

alienator said:
I'll go out on a limb, here, and say that I'll bet that Campy has already thought of all the questions people have raised re: the function, durability, design, or whatever about this crankset. My guess is that is what engineers get paid for.
But the question is, do they employ any? At many bicycle product companies it seems that product managers design products, not engineers. Back in the late 1980s, after Campagnolo had sat on their laurels for a decade or more with their Nuovo and Super Record components, their next generation of products seemed to be designed more for looks and for "me too" specsmanship than for actual function. Anybody remember Syncro shifters, rod activated derailleurs, Delta brakes, etc. (not to mention their failed MTB groups)? It took Campy years to catch back up on technical design. What makes you so sure that they learned their lesson, and history isn't repeating itself?
 

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Mark McM said:
But the question is, do they employ any? At many bicycle product companies it seems that product managers design products, not engineers. Back in the late 1980s, after Campagnolo had sat on their laurels for a decade or more with their Nuovo and Super Record components, their next generation of products seemed to be designed more for looks and for "me too" specsmanship than for actual function. Anybody remember Syncro shifters, rod activated derailleurs, Delta brakes, etc. (not to mention their failed MTB groups)? It took Campy years to catch back up on technical design. What makes you so sure that they learned their lesson, and history isn't repeating itself?
Good point, but I'm willin' to bet that they employ a couple engineers or so. That, of course, doesn't mean they're good engineers. Still, my "guess" would be that since this is a change that has been in the works for a while now, I think they've prolly studied it pretty closely, examining all its orifices for fissures, leaks, or protruding elements. But I could be wrong.
 

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Mark McM said:
But the question is, do they employ any? At many bicycle product companies it seems that product managers design products, not engineers. Back in the late 1980s, after Campagnolo had sat on their laurels for a decade or more with their Nuovo and Super Record components, their next generation of products seemed to be designed more for looks and for "me too" specsmanship than for actual function. Anybody remember Syncro shifters, rod activated derailleurs, Delta brakes, etc. (not to mention their failed MTB groups)? It took Campy years to catch back up on technical design. What makes you so sure that they learned their lesson, and history isn't repeating itself?

What recently would have given you the impression that history is repeating itself? It seems to me that their overall product line and the info. coming out about the new design are good indicators that this isn't the case.
 

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rocco said:
What recently would have given you the impression that history is repeating itself? It seems to me that their overall product line and the info. coming out about the new design are good indicators that this isn't the case.
Well, how about the rush to 10spd, only 3 years after 9spd debutted? It's not like anyone was beating down the door for an extra sprocket - it looks more like they wanted to one-up Shimano (and it still took Shimano 4 years to take the bait). Campanoglo didn't get how to re-joining the super-narrow 10spd chain right before they released it, and maybe didn't get their 2nd try right either, and we're now on our 3rd iteration of 10spd chains.

How about the electric shifting group they've been working on? Fortunately, they haven't released it yet, since it appears to be an answer to a question nobody asked.

And what's up with G3 lacing - on front wheels?

How come Campagnolo has 6 different cassette lockring over the past decade, whereas Shimano has gotten by with 2 different lockrings for the past 2 decades?
 

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Mark McM said:
Well, how about the rush to 10spd, only 3 years after 9spd debutted? It's not like anyone was beating down the door for an extra sprocket - it looks more like they wanted to one-up Shimano (and it still took Shimano 4 years to take the bait). Campanoglo didn't get how to re-joining the super-narrow 10spd chain right before they released it, and maybe didn't get their 2nd try right either, and we're now on our 3rd iteration of 10spd chains.

How about the electric shifting group they've been working on? Fortunately, they haven't released it yet, since it appears to be an answer to a question nobody asked.

And what's up with G3 lacing - on front wheels?

How come Campagnolo has 6 different cassette lockring over the past decade, whereas Shimano has gotten by with 2 different lockrings for the past 2 decades?
Now you're in for it. :) TF
 

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I can play that game too


Mark McM said:
Campanoglo didn't get how to re-joining the super-narrow 10spd chain right before they released it, and maybe didn't get their 2nd try right either, and we're now on our 3rd iteration of 10spd chains.
After they dumped the Perma-Link the chains were good. Subsequent changes were made to reduce weight without effecting durability.

Shimano also went through several chain iterations. Their 9s CN-7700 was notorious for breaking in MTB and improved with higher pin retention. A similar thing happened to the CN-7800 10s chain, which was superseded by an improved chain with-in the first year.

How about the electric shifting group they've been working on? Fortunately, they haven't released it yet, since it appears to be an answer to a question nobody asked.
Shimano has been testing prototypes of electronic groups in Europe for a while now. In the rear it sounds like a maladjusted derailleur and if you think you know ugly, you haven't seen this yet.

And what's up with G3 lacing - on front wheels?
What's up with Shimano not even being able to make a reliable race grade wheelset? In Europe their sponsored teams dump the factory hubs and re-lace them to standard DA hubs or from other manufacture.

How come Campagnolo has 6 different cassette lockring over the past decade, whereas Shimano has gotten by with 2 different lockrings for the past 2 decades?
Got me there...but I'd like to know how come it's going to take Shimano until 2008 for road groups, before they can shift multiple gears in both directions?
 

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Both Campy AND Shimano have made missteps over the years. Delta brakes, Synchro, first generation clipless pedals (that weighed about as much as a crankset), etc., for Campy.

Meanwhile Shimano fed us some godawful wheels, the original splined BB, and EVERY chain they ever made, and components that generally aren't servicable. So There!!
 
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