Vintage Campagnolo Super Record Bottom Bracket Review

Campagnolo Super Record Titanium Bottom Bracket (Type-2)
Image courtesy of www.steel-vintage.com

History

Campagnolo Super Record was released in the early 1970’s as the successor to it’s top tier component group Nuovo Record. According to the 1982 Campagnolo catalogue, the Super Record group could be ordered with either a Nuovo Record bottom bracket (steel cups and axle) or with a Super Record bottom bracket that featured aluminium cups and a titanium axle to save weight. Both steel and titanium axles shared an identical square taper design with threaded holes on each end. Bolts were used to fix cranks to the axle.

Original Type-1 Campagnolo Super Record titanium axle (pre-1983).

Unfortunately, this new titanium axle was not able to withstand the forces generated at the crank and was subsequently prone to breaking at the point where it attaches to the crank. This famously happened to 1982 Giro d’Italia, race leader Laurent Fignon who had a bad crash thanks to a broken first generation Super Record axle.

Redesigned Titanium Bottom Bracket Axle

Redesigned Type-2 Super Record titanium axle (post-1982).
Nuts are used to secure the cranks. No hollow ends.

In order to solve this problem, Campagnolo redesigned the titanium axle to use nuts instead of bolts for securing the cranks to the axle. This meant that the threaded hole was no longer required in the axle and thereby eliminating the original design flaw. You will see that both versions feature steel bearing races pressed onto the titanium axle to provide a durable contact point with the bottom bracket bearings. This titanium 70-SS axle (117 grams) is about 25% lighter than the equivalent steel Record axle (158 grams). Note: these weights do not include the required washers, nuts or bolts. The total weight of the Super Record bottom bracket is approx 205 grams vs. 285 grams for the Record bottom bracket.

Problem with Lightweight Aluminium Cups

Unfortunately, lightweight aluminium cups do not offer the durability of traditional and cheaper steel cups. As you can see in the image below, the right side cup is easily damaged or rounded-off. This is a common occurrence for Italian threaded frames that require the right cup to be very tight. Using a good quality tool to install and remove this cup is imperative.

Damaged Campagnolo Super Record Right Side Aluminium Cup

Specifications

Campagnolo produced a range of bottom brackets to suit different frame bottom bracket shell diameters and threading standards. The axle also varied in dimensions to suit either track or road bikes. As this series of articles is focused on Super Record group for road bikes, I have not included bottom bracket specs for track bikes.

Bottom Bracket Width

Super Record bottom bracket axles were available in 2 different lengths to suit road bike frames with either 68mm or 70mm wide bottom bracket shells.

Ball Bearings

The Super Record bottom bracket features one pair of caged bearings (3/16″ bearings x 14pcs). The more common Record bottom bracket featuresone pair of caged bearings (1/4″ bearings x 11pcs). The bearings may not be caged in older bottom brackets.

Bottom Bracket Cup Threads

The bottom bracket cups were available in 4 different thread standards to suit the bottom brackets of a variety of different frames.

Standard
English
French
Italian
Swiss
Thread
1.370″ x 24 TPI
35mm x 1.0mm
36mm x 24 TPI
35mm x 1.0mm
Left Cup
RH thread
RH thread
RH thread
RH thread
Right Cup
LH thread
RH thread
RH thread
LH thread

Notes:
1. Left cup is only threaded into the frame as far as required to set the correct amount of load on the bottom bracket bearings.
2. Right cup is threaded all the way into the frame (on the drive side).
3. RH thread = turn clockwise to tighten.
4. LH thread = turn anti-clockwise to tighten.
5. Right cup with RH threads is prone to coming loose over time. This is due to the bearings rotating anti-clockwise in the cup (which can loosen the cup over time), hence the reason a LH thread was created.

Bottom Bracket Axle Length

Campagnolo Super Record Axle Bracket Chart

Notes:
1. OLD STYLE axles are designated with a ‘120’ suffix. These axles are designed for use with a rear hub that is 120mm wide (measured from axle lock nut to lock nut). NEW STYLE axles that are not designated ‘120’ are for use with 5/6/7 speed clusters.
2. The first number ie. 68 or 70 is the frame bottom bracket width.
3. Axles marked SS (Serie Strada) are designed for use on road bikes.
4. The ‘+1.0, +1.5’ markings indicate the amount (in mm) the axle was lengthened on each side. In 1978 the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) set out requirements for the front derailleur to have a lip. In order for the crank spider and arm to clear the new front derailleur lip, the bottom bracket axle length was lengthened by 2.5mm overall.
5. Super Record Type 1 axle is the original hollow titanium axle design that uses crank fixing bolts. Super Record Type 2 axle is the improved titanium axle that uses crank fixing nuts.

Campagnolo Record Bottom Bracket

Out of interest, I have included the specifications of all the Campagnolo Record bottom bracket varieties below. Interestingly I have a 70-SS Campagnolo Record axle and it measures 115.5mm in length. This axle works fine with a Super Record crankset on my 1984 Colnago Master. The weight of the Campagnolo Record bottom bracket is 285 grams (with steel cups and steel axle).

Interestingly, this measurement of 115.5mm is 2.5mm longer than the 113mm specified length of a Record axle (below) and 2mm shorter than the 117.5mm specified length of the Super Record 70-SS axle (above). Presumably these variations will slightly alter your chain line.

Campagnolo Record bottom bracket specs

BB Installation Tips

Tip 1. Always use good quality bottom bracket tools. Use high quality waterproof bearing grease to prolong the life of components & to prevent corrosion.

Tip 2. Before placing the caged ball bearings into the greased cups, make sure they are inserted in the correct orientation, as shown below. Note: This cup has not yet been greased to show how the bearings installed.

Campagnolo Record left bottom bracket cup with bearing fitted (no grease yet).

Tip 3. Remember to install one of the dust sleeves into the right cup before threading the cup into the frame. This image depicts the longer sleeve fitted to the right cup, but you can fit the shorter sleeve if you prefer.

Example of a Campagnolo Record
Bottom Bracket with dust sleeve fitted.

Tip 4. If the Right BB cup is RH threaded, it can come loose over time. This cup needs to be pretty tight or you can apply some Loctite to the thread for an easy fix. I also use a Sharpie to mark the BB cup and frame so if the cup comes loose, the marks will no longer align.

Tip 5. You will notice in the dimensions chart above that the axle is asymmetrical, dimension C is about 3mm longer than dimension B. The longer end of the axle is designed for attaching the crankset, on the drive side of the bike.

Tip 6. I also use a little bit of Loctite on the left crank bolt as I have had this come loose once before. Alternatively, make sure this bolt is firm.

BB Removal Tips for Right Side Cup

Before you try removing the bottom bracket cups, remember the Super Record cups are made of aluminium and therefore much softer than the steel cups used in the more common Campagnolo Nuovo Record and Record groups. Due to their rarity, they are also valuable parts you don’t want to damage. Using high quality tools that fit perfectly is a good idea.

Tip 1. Removing the right BB cup from the frame can be very difficult. Most importantly you need to figure out which direction the cup must be turned to loosen it. Depending on the frame, this could be clockwise or anti-clockwise. It is also a good idea to secure your cup wrench tool onto the cup using a tool like the one shown here which is just built from parts available at your local hardware store.

BB cup wrench retaining tool
  • Get a bolt & nut plus 2 washers with specs like this;
  • The bolt must be longer than the width of the frame BB shell. I use an M12 (1/2″) 100mm long bolt with matching nut.
  • The washers must be a larger diameter than the frame BB shell. I use 2 x 50mm square washers to suit an M12 bolt.
  • Now remove the left BB cup, bearings and axle from the frame.
  • Place one washer all the way down to the end of the bolt.
  • Pass the bolt through the open left side of the frame BB shell so that the threaded end of the bolt protrudes out of the hole in the right cup.
  • Position the BB cup wrench tool onto the right cup.
  • Place the second washer onto the bolt.
  • Thread the nut onto the bolt until the washer prevents the BB tool sliding off the right cup. The nut must NOT be tight. Tighten just enough to keep the tool on the cup. If the nut is too tight it will prevent the cup from being loosened.
  • Now try to loosen the cup. Once the cup starts to move, you may need to loosen the nut a bit more to allow the cup to keep unthreading. Continue until the cup is loose enough that you can remove the bolt and washers to full unthread the cup.

Tip 2. If the cup still won’t budge, you can try;

  • using a rust penetrator like ‘Penetrine’
  • a ‘breaker’ bar to give you more leverage.
  • heating the BB cup to try to expand the threads in order to unbind them.

There is plenty of information on the internet using these methods. Hopefully a good quality grease and regular servicing will eliminate the need to take these measures.

Learn more about Campagnolo Super Record

This article is just a small part of my full review of Campagnolo Super Record groupset.

References

I hope you found this article interesting. I have listed the following website pages as general references.

https://road.cc/content/feature/190040-retro-shimano-and-campagnolos-greatest-design-blunders
http://www.velo-retro.com/tline.html

Disclaimer!

Please remember that this information is only to be used as a guide.
I consider myself an enthusiast, not an expert. The information I have presented in this article is based on my many hours of online research.

Whilst I enjoy working on my own bikes, I am not a qualified bicycle mechanic. The content of this article is purely illustrative and does not constitute professional advice. For your own safety, any type of work should only be undertaken by a qualified bicycle mechanic. Incorrect assembly of parts could result in equipment damage, personal injury or death.

Comments.

I welcome reader feedback in the comments section. Should you wish to suggest an amendment, please include a note advising the source of your information so that myself and other readers can ascertain the accuracy of your information. Note: Trolling or argumentative comments will be removed as they are counter-productive.

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