We won’t lie, our first thought when hearing that Campagnolo had not one, but two new disc brake-specific road cranksets was something along the lines of  “You’ve got to be !*%$ing kidding me!” The last thing we need is another new standard and less cross compatibility, am I right? But then, like the progression of most well thought out tech, when we learned more we started to wonder why other companies who’ve been selling road disc components on the market for the last couple of years hadn’t done the same thing…

Campagnolo has been unburdened by history (and inertia) as they developed their disc brake project. Having never produced their own hydraulic disc brake systems before. And having never developed 12 x 142mm wheels until now, they came at it with a fresh outlook.

And looking at it analytically, it’s pretty obvious that if you are going from 130mm road hub spacing to the nominal 135mm hub spacing of the going 12×142 thru-axle standard and you keep your rings in the same place, the chainline relationship of cassette to chainring is no longer going to be perfectly aligned where you wanted it. Campagnolo is a stickler for precise shift performance, so just moving the cassette outboard an extra 2.5mm wasn’t acceptable to them when they had the ability to easily adapt to the new alignment.

It is exactly the same issue that has just taken hold on the mountain bike side of things with Boost spacing. (Sure Boost is an extra 6mm, vs. road disc’s additional 5mm.)

Clearly the difference is tiny. Campagnolo didn’t say how far their new chainrings were moved outboard to maintain ideal alignment, so we did the simple math. 5mm wider hubs. That moves the cassette 2.5mm outboard. So the chainrings just need to move the same 2.5mm outboard to again line up with the cassette. Ok, that is small, and explains why Campy said they were able to make the change without impacting the 145.5mm Q-factor of their cranks.

 

Clearly with that little difference it probably doesn’t make sense to sell your Super Record cranks and buy a new set of H11s, but if you are buying a new groupset, it might as well come with a crankset spaced to align with your rear wheel. That will be especially important on disc brake road bikes with very short chainstays. We’ve already seen that some disc brake race bikes have chainstays shorter than recommended by current road disc brake component makers Shimano & SRAM.

The new disc brake specific cranksets will come in two varieties: H11 carbon & Potenza 11 aluminum.

The H11 DB crankset with its carbon arms will be available by the end of My 2017, and sell for 650€ and come in 170, 172.5 & 175mm arm lengths and 50/34, 52/36 & 53/39 chainring combinations using Campy’s double standard BCD that has separate bolts for each chainring. The aluminum Potenza 11 Black DB crankset will sell for just 255€ in the same size combinations, and be available from June 2017. A silver version is expected to make it to market in August. Interestingly it looks like the new cranks will use Ultra-Torque, phasing out Power-Torque.


There’s still more to cover in depth with the arrival of the Campy disc brake project. Keep abreast of our full Campagnolo disc brake groupsets coverage here:

Campagnolo.com

*note: Euro pricing does include VAT. The previous reference to the exclusion of VAT was incorrect. We apologize for any confusion.

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BMX
BMX
5 years ago

Hmm, so that 2.5 mm makes a difference to the chain-line. Most the freds that buy this will be riding cross chaining big to big rings so I wouldn’t have worried too much about the 2.5 mm.

ebbe
ebbe
5 years ago
Reply to  BMX

Campagnolo designs their equipment for pros who demand pro performance. That it ends up with people who don’t kwon how to use it won’t and shouldn’t stop them from designing it for pro performance. People who do know how to use their equipment properly will appreciate this, so why not? And if you’re really dead set on having your chain line slightly out of alignment, just put a Campy rim brake chainset on. They’ll still sell these.

pinko
pinko
5 years ago
Reply to  ebbe

2.5mm is Huge difference. More the chain is in a angle, more enegry is waisted.

ebbe
ebbe
5 years ago
Reply to  pinko

And a bigger angle = more friction = more wear on your components = more money wasted on replacement parts. A simple design change, which doesn’t hurt anybody, can go a long way

Mike Hewson
5 years ago
Reply to  BMX

HAH!

Dave
Dave
5 years ago

One bright spot is they are getting rid of Power-Torque for crank installation. Ultra-Torque is complicated enough but Power-Torque was a dreadfully poor design.

Morten Knudsen
Morten Knudsen
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Ultra-Torque complicated? As an end user its super easy and the best design out there (admitidly a bit overengeneered, but still brilliant simple)

chewda
chewda
5 years ago
Reply to  Morten Knudsen

Its not a good design. Not as stiff as Shimano cranks, you need a special tool to replace the bearings, and the bearings have a shorter life in rainy conditions when compared to their competitors.

SSS
SSS
5 years ago
Reply to  chewda

Shorter bearing life. What planet are you from. The bearing life of Shimano and SRAM cranksets is rubbish in wet conditions when compared with Campagnolo

Eugene Chan
5 years ago
Reply to  SSS

Shimano and SRAM cranksets don’t have bearings. A Dura-Ace bottom bracket costs somewhere around US$25-35, less than the price of a top-end chain. An Ultegra BB costs less than $20. Personally I’ll keep using my Chris King BB in the color of my choice.

Morten Knudsen
Morten Knudsen
5 years ago
Reply to  chewda

I have done +50000km on 2007 ultratorque bearings no promblem

at 60000km they began to feel worn.

at 75000km i swapped the entire crnakset as both chainrings where completly worn out – by then the right bearing was almost ‘no more’

as fa as the ultratorque and stiffness, its stiffer than Shimano’s.

1mm more in diameter. Shimano left side crank arms are like butter, rightside they compare to campy due to the chainrings.

Eugene Chan
5 years ago
Reply to  Morten Knudsen

Deflection really doesn’t have too much to do with spindle diameter and everything to do with crank construction. It seems that Shimano’s DA9000 NDS crankarm deflects ever so slightly more than the current generation Super Record, but the DS deflects less. SRAM’s Red/eTap cranks deflect less regardless of DS/NDS in addition to being lighter and less expensive.

Morten Knudsen
Morten Knudsen
5 years ago
Reply to  chewda

And you dont need a (very) special tool to extrack the bearings from a shimano BB cup ?

With shimano you have to trow away the BB cups, and if you search youtube for do-it-yourself guides on how to replace the bearings in a Shimano BB you wil understand why no on does it and just throws the entire BB away with cups. A total waste of resources.

2ndly, a beraing extractor you can use for Ultratorqe is not expensive and can be bought in just about every tool shop. ITs no more specialyty than say a shimano PF24.

Reg. longlivity – Ultratorque cups does require a frame with a corect BB tolerances, nota problem on high qality frames.

Eugene Chan
5 years ago
Reply to  Morten Knudsen

If you think Ultra-Torque is the best design out there, you probably don’t have experience with many other systems. SRAM GXP for example with its stepped 24/22mm spindle and the self-extracting 8mm hex bolt. Look it up and be amazed.

GFK
GFK
5 years ago
Reply to  Eugene Chan

I am biased in that I run Campag’s UK Technical Centre – but I am also a race mechanic and I work on every manufacturer’s equipment at the highest level all the way through to Freds riding sportifs, and beyond, all the time.

My general experience is that UltraTorque, if it’s correctly assembled, is extremely durable under almost every condition. I’ve seen badly installed systems from every major maker fail and conversely seen properly-installed systems from every major maker exceed the expected design parameters.

Each of the big makers out there have systems that work and work very well if correctly assembled – none of them work well if not.

Personally, I prefer the design of UT to most others as it’s self-preloading, self adjusting when wear and tear does occur, the bearings are reasonably well shielded and simple to strip and rebuild. The cups stay in place (so in the case of threaded BBs, no repeated torque loads on, say, alu BB liners that are bonded into carbon BB shells with all the problems that can bring, especially in older frames) and the bearing swap is easy and quick.

Every manufacturer out there is happy to speak about how much the cranks do or don’t deflect but as there is no industry standard test and all of them pass the UCI repeat-load / torque test, I would suspect that they are all in the same ballpark. If someone can come up with a real-world test that definitely shows a significant advantage of one design over another, including any movement that is inherent in the bearing-to-cup-to-frame interface, it would be interested to see it – but like wheel aerodynamics, there is a huge amount of frankly bullsh*t talked about this subject as every maker will choose a test that shows their crank in the best possible light.

The chainline shift, by the way – is, if anything, more important to the Fred population – they run cross chained more than other users, better tutored in the use of gears, so retaining the ability to run cross-chained and not have the issues around “extra” chain deflection in one direction or the other has to be a good thing …

Robin
Robin
5 years ago
Reply to  Eugene Chan

I’m going to be that almost no one has data that confirms how much performance loss they’ve suffered going from a Shimano crank to a Campy crank, or from any current crank to a more stiff current crank. If any has that data, they should post it.

Robin
Robin
5 years ago
Reply to  Robin

bet not be

Dane Morrison
Dane Morrison
5 years ago

Ultra Torque is Complicated? It’s only one bolt. In practice you don’t even need the clip.

What bearings are on the H11 Carbon Crank? What’s the weight on it?

Greg
Greg
5 years ago

Other companies came out with cranks for 135/142 rear spacing, moving the chainrings out. Shimano with 9100 altered their chainring profiles to allow the greater cross chain angle of the small small combination.

Rowan
Rowan
5 years ago

Why have 4 articles and not just make one covering allow the information?

Rob
Rob
5 years ago

umm, the Shimano FC-R9100 crank does the same thing

Lars TB
Lars TB
5 years ago

The 5 mm difference in hub spacing is compared to 130 mm hubs. So they are a bit late discovering that their cranksets need an adjustment…

Brent Coe
Brent Coe
5 years ago

Did you really need to do 4 articles on one bike?

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
5 years ago
Reply to  Brent Coe

There was a lot of info there for the release. Is your day ruined because you have to click on more than one link to get the whole story?

PabloE432
PabloE432
5 years ago

Nah, just seems like BR is trying to milk this as much as possible.

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
5 years ago
Reply to  PabloE432

Milk what? This flurry will be off the front page in another 24hr.

PabloE432
PabloE432
5 years ago

I guess you don’t understand how people make money on the internet.

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
5 years ago
Reply to  PabloE432

No, only part of my work week is dealing with this topic. So it was a big news day from the most storied brand in all of cycling. All you’re telling me is you have an uncanny understanding of the obvious.

Derrick
Derrick
5 years ago

The new chainline is very important. I wouldn’t skip it. I’ve been using Campagnolo cranks on two disc frames with 410mm chainstays. Everything worked fine until the sprint. With any pressure in the 50×12 or 53×11 the chain falls off to the outside (regardless of how perfect your FD might be setup). The angle out to the small cog from the big ring is too sharp. Add in a little bouncing from the sprint and you have a scary moment while you were showing off toward the town line.

Jon
Jon
5 years ago

Off topic a bit…Why did Campy discontinue making Record/Super Record cranksets in 177.5mm and 180mm lengths a few years back? I understand Campy did not sell as many in these sizes as their common lengths, but the competition continues to market 180mm for their top models.

gringo
gringo
5 years ago

Can we get another stand alone article on this new campy stuff please? Features and benefits are still not clear to me.

Robin
Robin
5 years ago
Reply to  Cory Benson

Good. Now get to work and get that stuff posted.

A.User
A.User
4 years ago

The H11 chainset has the chainline at 44.5mm. The standard for other cranksets except Centaur is 43.5mm (Centaur is 44.5mm). So, it’s the H11 chainrings that move the chain outboard the most, and they can be retrofitted to existing cranks.

A 1mm movement of the chainline by the H11 cranks is trivial but the price to buy the crankset is outrageous.

Anyone with half a brain would just get the H11 rings and forget about the H11 cranks.

Terry
Terry
1 year ago

You said you run Campag’s UK Technical Centre, I have a H11 Crankset and a 2018 Record Crankset and I am trying to find the difference in the location of the sprockets and it looks to be about 1mm at best, not the 2.5 stated. How big of a difference is the shifting if I use the 2018 Record?