Damn Italians…

January 10, 2012 — 3 Comments

So I’ve got a new project build on the stand – this most lovely Bianchi Mono-Q Reparto Corse, made in Italy in 2009 and procured from the Bay of E just before Christmas. It’s the same dimensions as my beloved 57cm C2C, just a nick tighter in the front end and a mite lighter. And it looks hot. Hot.

Early in the ‘what bits does it get deserve?’ self-argument, I’d ruled out the need for Dura Ace – let’s face it, it’s pure self-indulgence for someone barely covering 5000km a year – and I wasn’t sufficiently enamored by my time with Ultegra Di2 that I’d pay Dura Ace money for it. It’s shifting, Jim, but it’s not as intuitive as we know it. And it’s really monkey’s-arse ugly when it’s bolted on the bike, too, especially the rear mech. Ask me about it and I’ll tell you more…

SRAM? No experience with it, and I’ve recently de-SRAM’d the mountain bike fleet. Horror stories about goofy front shifting, plus a rumour that the whole shooting match will be updated soon, sealed its fate.

Which leaves two options, and one is Campagnolo.

I’ve never had cause to run Campag on anything, ever. I’ve just never been a big enough road fiend to tap into the legend (though I’d love to get a genuine peanut butter wrench some day, to go with my Chris King coffee tamper and Park Tools pizza cutter in my imaginary bike kitchen). I did search through a few groups to get a handle on cost… but I’d then be forced to adopt yet another set of fitment standards at a time when I’m doing my damndest to shed myself of them. Shimano may well follow Campag’s long lead and go 11-speed this year, but I won’t be.

The less disinterested among you may have noticed a set of Centaur Carbon cranks on my new toy – they would be on eBay now, but for the singular lack of sense of behalf of the Italians, who decided that adding a self-extracting bolt to their BB axle set-up was far too complicated. Hell, they’ve only been around for at least 25 years.

As a result, their removal requires the purchase of a $50 tiny plug tool that magically appears in this video for precisely three seconds before disappearing, a 12mm Allen key and an automotive bearing press tool. That I’ll need to modify. And hope it doesn’t ruin the cranks. Arrivederci, Campagnolo…

So, what’s left in the world of groupsets? Stay tuned to find out…

3 responses to Damn Italians…


    Hi there,

    I found your video whilst searching for the solution to, perhaps, the same problem. I’m trying to get Campag Xenon 170’s off a frame I’m rebuilding. What was the name of the tool you used? And was it specifically for Square taper Campag cranks? AND did it work on the Drive side? In this case the chain Crank arm is integral to the chain ring. Any help much appreciated!


      Hi Rob – No, I think our cranks are a lot different. My long-gone crappers were a multi-spline design with the axle attached the to drive side, and used a stupidly obscure design to retain the off side crank on the axle.

      Had a quick look at the Xenons – looks to me like they’re a very traditional square taper set up, with both sides cinching down onto a central BB axle. So you’re having dramas getting the drive side cranks off? Sound like they might be stuck fast on the axle. The tool I’d suggest is this one – http://www.parktool.com/product/universal-crank-puller-for-square-taper-and-splined-cranks-cwp-7 – but bear in mind I’m not looking at your cranks in my hand/on your bike.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help!/Tim

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Arrivederci, cranks… « The Ol' Crank - August 10, 2012

    […] done, outta here… the longest, most drawn-out mechanical job in the history of recreational cycling has written its final […]

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