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Campag Athena Pedal Washer/Insert Fails

Old 06-01-20, 12:08 PM
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Nosfour
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Campag Athena Pedal Washer/Insert Fails

I've had two new sets of cranks in as many weeks and both have the pedal inserts fail after just two rides?
set 1 = non-drive side insert fallen out completely
set 2 = drive side starting to come loose( you can see a small piece of metal starting to come away in washer/insert is loose)



has any had this happen/seen/heard opinions please?

Last edited by Nosfour; 06-01-20 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 06-01-20, 02:40 PM
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Well, these were discontinued in 2015, so they may be NOS but they aren't new. Were they used when you got them?
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Old 06-01-20, 03:11 PM
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I don't personally use carbon cranks but I've heard of this happening to Campy cranks.

To be honest it doesn't seem like a great place to use carbon fiber... I feel like I looked it up once and there was little or no weight savings over a comparable aluminum crank.
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Old 06-01-20, 05:39 PM
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I, too, have read of Campy pedal thread inserts coming loose. I, too, think this is one more location where carbon is not the right best choice. Andy
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Old 06-02-20, 11:12 AM
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Guys, looking at the shape of the crank arm, I'm not sure that its CF. The CF cranks have straight/parallel sides. The OP's are more "dogbone" shape: thick in mid crank, thicker at the ends. Could this be an alloy crank with a steel insert? When I look at some of the cranks available on ebay it seems like this is the case.

The thread insert looks to be pretty large diameter. I suspect that these units fail frequently in service. You could contact Campagnolo and ask if they can be fixed. I suspect not, because the inserts seem to have a very large diameter. Normal (diamond-wire) thread inserts don't have a large enough diameter to fit once you've removed the original insert.
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Old 06-02-20, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
I don't personally use carbon cranks but I've heard of this happening to Campy cranks.
Links?

Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
I, too, have read of Campy pedal thread inserts coming loose. I, too, think this is one more location where carbon is not the right best choice. Andy
Can I ask where you have read about this? Not trying to be antagonistic, but I would genuinely like to know.

Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
Guys, looking at the shape of the crank arm, I'm not sure that its CF. The CF cranks have straight/parallel sides.
Yep, those look like the aluminum version, which was certainly in the catalog.
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Old 06-02-20, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
Links?



Can I ask where you have read about this? Not trying to be antagonistic, but I would genuinely like to know.
.
...I first read about it here.
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Old 06-02-20, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...I first read about it here.
Ok, but that's hardly anything conclusive.
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Old 06-02-20, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
Guys, looking at the shape of the crank arm, I'm not sure that its CF. The CF cranks have straight/parallel sides. The OP's are more "dogbone" shape: thick in mid crank, thicker at the ends. Could this be an alloy crank with a steel insert? When I look at some of the cranks available on ebay it seems like this is the case.

The thread insert looks to be pretty large diameter. I suspect that these units fail frequently in service. You could contact Campagnolo and ask if they can be fixed. I suspect not, because the inserts seem to have a very large diameter. Normal (diamond-wire) thread inserts don't have a large enough diameter to fit once you've removed the original insert.
Athena 11sp carbon cranks are indeed this "dog-bone" shape, although the shape appears to be a result more of increased chamfering mid-crank arm, tapering off toward the ends. I doubt if it's a steel insert, for the simple reason that I don't believe Campag alloy cranks have ever had one or needed one - certainly none of the half-dozen or so cranksets I have used have had any such inserts. However, I have heard (source lost in the mists of time) that early Campag carbon cranks suffered from metal pedal inserts spinning out - looks like this issue hasn't been fully addressed - would make me think twice before investing in carbon for this application.
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Old 06-02-20, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
Ok, but that's hardly anything conclusive.
...if you go to the thread, you'll find that was posted by another disappointed owner. You'll also find that I know absolutely nothing about CF cranks. So anything "conclusive" will need to come from someone else. It's a first world problem as far as I'm concerned. I don't own a crank newer than one made in 1990. Most of mine are a mix of 60's-80's stuff that I ride. You couldn't get me to use one of those babies if you gave it to me free...maybe if I was riding pro and got paid for it.
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Old 06-02-20, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
Ok, but that's hardly anything conclusive.
Sorry, I didn't realize we were on trial here. Let the record show that I said, "I've heard of this happening" which was not meant to imply anything conclusive.
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Old 06-02-20, 03:38 PM
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Old 06-02-20, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
Sorry, I didn't realize we were on trial here. Let the record show that I said, "I've heard of this happening" which was not meant to imply anything conclusive.
My tone didn't come across correctly, and I take responsibility for that. I should have written my post better.

Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
Athena 11sp carbon cranks are indeed this "dog-bone" shape, although the shape appears to be a result more of increased chamfering mid-crank arm, tapering off toward the ends. I doubt if it's a steel insert, for the simple reason that I don't believe Campag alloy cranks have ever had one or needed one - certainly none of the half-dozen or so cranksets I have used have had any such inserts. However, I have heard (source lost in the mists of time) that early Campag carbon cranks suffered from metal pedal inserts spinning out - looks like this issue hasn't been fully addressed - would make me think twice before investing in carbon for this application.
I did some searching and only found a couple of comments about the early generation Record carbon cranks. I'd genuinely like to know, since I'm riding on a couple of carbon cranks and an aluminum set right now. But since they have been in use for almost 20 years now, I'm going to hope they sorted out any issues (especially since we know that the Campagnolo haters wouldn't waste any time in screaming about some perceived issue).
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Old 06-02-20, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
My tone didn't come across correctly, and I take responsibility for that. I should have written my post better.



I did some searching and only found a couple of comments about the early generation Record carbon cranks. I'd genuinely like to know, since I'm riding on a couple of carbon cranks and an aluminum set right now. But since they have been in use for almost 20 years now, I'm going to hope they sorted out any issues (especially since we know that the Campagnolo haters wouldn't waste any time in screaming about some perceived issue).
...you're tone is getting a little sharp again. I have plenty of Campagnolo equipment. I just think that in the early indexing period in the 80's, Shimano worked waaay better.
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Old 06-02-20, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...you're tone is getting a little sharp again. I have plenty of Campagnolo equipment. I just think that in the early indexing period in the 80's, Shimano worked waaay better.
Haaa, if you can believe it, the final line of my post was, "just like they never fail to bring up Syncro issues from 30 years ago." I omitted it in order to seem less combative. And of course I wasn't talking about you personally, especially if you aren't a Campagnolo hater. But they are out there...
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Old 06-02-20, 09:00 PM
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How the thread twists... No Campy hater here although I do know how the public voted with their pocket books so many times over the last 4 decades. I just retired my NR calipers that had, maybe, 30K miles on them (although most of that with Scott Mathauser pads) Not because they failed or didn't have any carbon in them but because current dual pivots are more powerful with less hand effort (not that this is a problem for my hands but it is easier just the same). I'd have chosen Campy calipers if they still had cam action cable QRs on the calipers. Even though my 4 pairs pairs (in use, wit a few in reserve) of Ergo levers have push button QRs I still like to use the caliper located ones.

My memories of Campy crank pedal thread inserts coming loose is both from this forum and from my working in a LBS (including the one I owned for 15 years). Do I have documentation, No, why would I see the need to do that? My customers don't ask for my references when i advise them...

What has remained pretty constant over my years of pro wrenching and personal riding is a fairly conservative approach to component choices and materials. After so many decades of certain materials and designs having proven themselves to be so reliable and serviceable my passion isn't peaked by stuff that is limited by current market trends. Leading edge stuff doesn't get me up. Sure i like talking about some of this but when I ride I do so for the enjoyment of me, not to post to any social group for their approval. To me so much of current carbon craziness is more about the buzz then the experience. Andy (who is interested in some carbon frames that most just wouldn't understand or consider)
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Old 06-03-20, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
How the thread twists... No Campy hater here although I do know how the public voted with their pocket books so many times over the last 4 decades. I just retired my NR calipers that had, maybe, 30K miles on them (although most of that with Scott Mathauser pads) Not because they failed or didn't have any carbon in them but because current dual pivots are more powerful with less hand effort (not that this is a problem for my hands but it is easier just the same). I'd have chosen Campy calipers if they still had cam action cable QRs on the calipers. Even though my 4 pairs pairs (in use, wit a few in reserve) of Ergo levers have push button QRs I still like to use the caliper located ones.
My memories of Campy crank pedal thread inserts coming loose is both from this forum and from my working in a LBS (including the one I owned for 15 years). Do I have documentation, No, why would I see the need to do that? My customers don't ask for my references when i advise them...
What has remained pretty constant over my years of pro wrenching and personal riding is a fairly conservative approach to component choices and materials. After so many decades of certain materials and designs having proven themselves to be so reliable and serviceable my passion isn't peaked by stuff that is limited by current market trends. Leading edge stuff doesn't get me up. Sure i like talking about some of this but when I ride I do so for the enjoyment of me, not to post to any social group for their approval. To me so much of current carbon craziness is more about the buzz then the experience. Andy (who is interested in some carbon frames that most just wouldn't understand or consider)
Thanks for the reply. I really appreciate your feedback, as you have a level of knowledge and experience that most of us will never obtain.

People voting with their pocketbooks is nothing new, even if it isn't always the best course of action. Not trying to get political or derail the thread, but look no further than people putting countless local business out of business to save a few dollars at Walmart and the like.

But I was genuinely interested in the prevalence of these pedal thread issues, because as I mentioned I do own a few sets (nothing older than 2010 for Ultra Torque, with everything else being square taper aluminum). I'm not all about chasing performance at the risk of reliability and/or safety, but I do like more sporty bikes and I have done some racing, so I'm not looking to ride an anvil either. (It makes me think of when I first started getting into bikes and was shocked to read about chains lasting only a few thousand miles. It seemed inconceivable that I could have a motorcycle chain last so much longer while dealing with much higher horsepower/torque and weight forces, but then I realized that this is a world where fractions of a millimeter and few grams are really important.)
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