Vintage Campagnolo Super Record Bottom Bracket Review

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

History

Campagnolo Super Record was released in 1974 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.

Campagnolo Super Record titanium axle 1st version
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

Campagnolo Super Record titanium axle 2nd version
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. This bottom bracket was not mentioned in the 1985 Campagnolo catalogue.

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 Aluminium Cup
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 Chart
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
Campagnolo Record bottom bracket specs

BB Installation Tips

I have written a complete article on how to install a vintage Campagnolo bottom bracket. In this article I demonstrate how to install a Campagnolo Record Italian bottom bracket into a Colnago Nuovo Mexico frame.

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 supplied in other 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
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 against 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 by turning the tool in the correct direction. 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 drastic measures.

UK Pricing in 1981

I found a 1981 catalogue for a British cycling shop with pricing as follows;
The Super Record titanium bottom bracket (v1) retails for GBP 72.45
The Record steel bottom brackets retails for GBP 22.90

Super Record Component Weight

I have weighed a set of Super Record components and quite surprisingly, these vintage parts compares quite favourably against the weight of a modern Campagnolo Super Record group set.

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.

About Me.

I have been riding and working on my own bikes for many years now. I wanted to share my experiences, knowledge and research with others. My aim is to inspire people to get involved in all aspects of this amazing sport. Cheers.

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.

10 thoughts on “Vintage Campagnolo Super Record Bottom Bracket Review

  • Thanks very much one of the most helpful and complete article I have ever read on bicycle maintenence. Please keep up the great work

  • Thank you very very much for that comprehensive article! I just bought a Super Record Type 2 Bottom Bracket with a BSA threading for my Hugo Rickert, but unfortunately the nuts, washers and the cages for the BBs are missing does anyone have an idea where I can get the nuts, washers and cages? Which threading is on the end of the axle? Thanks for helping me out.

    • Hi Thomas, Thanks for your comments. E-bay is probably the only option to find original parts but that would probably mean buying another BB set. It shouldn’t be too hard to find some suitable nuts and washers from a specialist bolt shop that will do the job. Similarly a bearing specialist my have what you need, otherwise the BB should still work fine with loose bearings. Just use a good helping of grease to hold the bearings in place during assembly. Make sure to use the correct qty and size of bearings in each cup. I think the cage just makes it easier and faster to assemble. There are plenty of wheel hubs and older BB’s that use loose ball bearings. Once assembled, everything stays in place. Just be careful when you pull it apart later not to lose any bearings.

  • Hi, very interesting series of articles. I’m an ‘aul fella’ now, but many years ago the last bike I raced was a Raleigh ‘team’ frame, built up with mostly Nouvo and Super Record components, apart from the chainset which I couldn’t afford at the time, so I fitted a cheaper Campag alternative. Flash forward over 30 years and I was out for a spin, when some smart alec commented on my mish mash of components (I think the seat post wasn’t to his liking either.
    Anyway I managed to find a crankset, and then had to hunt for a BB set, as the more ‘modern’ Campag Bb was too narrow. Eventually I found one on eBay, and thanks to your measurement chart, all is good, and my bike is now (more or less) complete.
    Here’s one for you, I bought (what I thought) was a second Super Record crankset, but which turned out to be what looks like a bastardised ‘track’ crank, with a second chainring on the inside, held in place by only the chainring bolts. There is no inner ‘step’ to locate the inner ring. What’s really odd about it, is rather than ‘Piste’ stamped on the inner face, it had ‘Strada’, but it’s definitely not a ‘double’ crank…… any ideas.
    I can send photos if you like.

    • Hi Kevin. Thanks for posting a comment. That’s disappointing to hear that someone passed judgement on your pride and joy! But glad to hear you had success with a replacement BB. I didn’t really research the Campagnolo track cranks, but I wouldn’t expect them to be stamped Strada. Both my SR Strada cranks have an inner step to fit the small chain ring on the spider just like you mentioned. (For other readers) the spider is shown my article How to identify a Vintage Super Record Crankset. I would be interested to see a photo of the right crank arm (with the spider). Please post a link to the photos in the comments section.

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