Re: [CR] bottom-bracket question

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Subject: Re: [CR] bottom-bracket question
Date: Sat, 01 Jan 2005 01:13:28 +0000

Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2004 22:07:26 +0000 From: To: (Classic Rendezvous) Subject: [CR]bottom-bracket question

Charles asked, among other things about Campagnolo BB's:

"It was only the early Super Record that used the different bearing size, right?"

To which Steven M. responded: Actually, Campagnolo started with 1/4" balls, then switched to 3/16" balls in about 1963 for perhaps a year and then back to 1/4" balls once again. The 3/16" balls reappeared in the second generation Super Record titanium spindle BB. I believe this was a technical requirement brought about by the need to reinforce the titanium as the original female version was shown to be subject to breakage.

As far as thick and thin cups, I have seen them successfully mixed and mismatched with all spindle combinations. Often it is a question of trial and error. If you were to measure it, I would suspect that the difference of tightening a used crank, as opposed to a brand new one onto a spindle can likely make up as much as the difference in the thickness of the cup.

For information about the markings of the spindles and their 'official' interchangeability, check out the Campagnolo USA Record News Vol. 1 No.2 newsletter pages 5-7 (Also included in Chuck Schmidt's Campagnolo Catalog reprint compendium).

Steven Maasland
Moorestown, NJ
Uh, not exactly....
1) All SR BBs use the smaller 3/16" bearings. It's due to having the aluminum cups with steel bearing surface inserts, along with the Ti spindle with its pressed-on steel bearing races. Second-gen ones just became solid spindles (with nuts à la Sugino Maxy) instead of hollow spindles (that used bolts).
2) The difference in the bearing shoulder-to-shoulder distance for thin-cup Campag spindles vs. thick-cup ones is 5.0 mm - not trivial. If you mismatch parts, it usually either won't work at all (you can't adjust the adjustable cup in far enough to work), or your fixed cup will stick out 2.5 to 5 mm past flush with the lockring, and/or your left crankarm may hit the adjustable cup. Your chainline likely will be incorrect also It's pretty important to keep these things straight. That said, if you have certain combinations of mismatched parts, and you're trying to use a spindle that's intended for a different BB width, it might sometimes work. Several wrongs can, on occasion, stack up in the correct directions to make a "right," I suppose....
3) GS = thin-cup, Record = thin-cup, Nuovo Record = thick-cup, SR = thick-cup (but different bearing size and number of balls than the others...).
4) To distinguish between an old Record (thin-cup) spindle, and an old Nuovo Record (thick-cup) spindle, you have to look carefully at (or measure) the bearing shoulder spacing. 49.5 vs. 54.5 mm for 68mm brackets, 51.5 vs. 56.5 for 70mm brackets....
5) Bicycle Classics has NOS 68-SS-120 Record spindles available (along with NOS 68-SS X3 and 70-SS X3 Record triple spindles).
6) There's no such thing as a Nuovo Record single or triple spindle; never was. The thick "rifled" style cups (which is what makes a Nuovo Record BB "Nuovo") were only used for R and SR double cranks during the GS/R/NR/SR era, and only from 1967-1987.
Greg "BB nerd" Parker
Ann Arbor, Michigan