Seriously… this whole Campag crank thing is doing my head in. It’s almost the end of February, and STILL I can’t get the damn things off my new Bianchi frame. I actually found myself looking for the carbon saw the other day. It still may come to that…
To recap, I’m having some dramas with a new road bike build, but I could have sworn that there was light at the end of bottom bracket shell. My small, bespoke, expensive Campag tool arrived from the UK a couple of weeks ago, supplemented by a hack-handed car-spec bearing puller. Which didn’t fit. Back to shop, swap it, back to my workshop. Two minutes, I think to myself, mentally working out a ride route for the afternoon, two minutes and these damn cranks’ll be in the eBay box.
Not even close.
Despite milling up a protectve plastic sleeve and taking the utmost care, I still managed to carve off a sliver of carbon fibre from the back of the arm. It won’t hurt the crank’s functionality, but by the living Lord Harry did it piss me off.
If there’s a worse piece of design in the bike world, I’m yet to see it. Not only do you need a bulky, blunt, dim-witted car tool to take off the left-side crank, but you need a very particular bulky, blunt, dim-witted car tool to affect the removal. There is, of course, an elegant solution from Park Tools (above) but, somewhat inexplicably, another bespoke Park Tool is required to make it all work. What. The. Hell.
So, what to do? I’ve ordered another bearing puller and will hope beyond hope I can make it work. I simply can’t justify another $200 (at least) to buy a set of single-use tools to service a brand that I now detest.
What’s that? Why don’t I just use the cranks? I like my compact gearing, unfortunately. I may give them a spin just to get this gorgeous project moving, but at this rate, I’d rather douse them in accelerant and cackle manically as they dissolve in little clouds of carbon.