How Campagnolo’s bottom bracket uses ProTech™ to serve and protect you, your bike and your ride.
“Our unique Hirth jointed semi-axles are the same length each side so pedalling load is balanced symmetrically and highly efficient”
As gravel riders we know that our choice of routes can throw up the toughest challenges to equipment. We also know that it’s sometimes the hidden parts of the ride that make for the best experience. That’s certainly true with the ProTech™ bottom bracket of our Ekar groupset.
ProTech™ is a gravel-orientated development from Campagnolo's innovative and proven Ultra-Torque™ technology.
It retains all the lower weight, higher stiffness, smoother bearing, self aligning advantages of the Ultra-Torque™ split-axle, and protects them.
Ultra Torque is the connection system of the two carbon arms, and the two AISI 630 high-grade stainless steel half-spindles which, together,form the crankset.
The spindles – 125mm long and 25mm in diameter – are connected by a 20-tooth meshed Hirth joint, machined to very high tolerances for smoothness, efficiency and durability.
On the outside of the spindle are the stainless steel bearings and a new ‘containing’ external sealing ring on each side. Along with the BB cups and the resilient fiberglass-charged polyamide central tube, this comprises the ProTech™ system.
The BB cups, fitting to the frame, have a new shape and a specific machining enabling the cups to perfectly match up to the sealing ring on the spindle. They feature further specific machining on the inner part, where the internal tube fits.
It takes the sealing and longevity of axle and bearings to a whole new level.
Perfect for riders who go far beyond the accepted limits in search of the best adventures.
The result? However deep the river you ford, however heavy the rain you fight through or whatever grit and mud creeps into your frame as you ride into the wild you don’t need to worry. T
he benchmark super smooth, oversized stainless steel bearings and perfectly balanced central axle joint will stay totally clean and protected by their own dirt defence system.
Keeping everything as blissfully silk spinning and efficient as you’d expect from Campagnolo.
By mounting the crank bearings directly onto the axle rather than bearing cups we can make them larger. That means bigger individual bearings with shallower contact angles and better lubricant fill create less drag so they run smoother for longer.
Our stainless steel bearings are not only corrosion-proofed to resist pitting over time they are harder and machined and polished to a higher grade for a difference you can feel in the sustained spin of our cranks.
There are 15 bearings each side, made of a specific grade of steel selected for its high resistance to wear and fatigue – they are machined and polished to a high level for a difference you can feel in the sustained spin of our cranks. The ProTech™ BB uses a special grease with a low friction coefficient, which stays smooth even under the highest loads. It operates in a temperature range from -50°C to +120°C and is even resistant to chemical agents.
Every small detail combines to ensure the system’s durability and longevity – put simply, it lasts longer while you’re enjoying gravel riding!
The ProTech™ architecture also allows for larger diameter axle shafts than some others, increasing the stiffness of the whole system and amplifying the acceleration of Ekar’s class-leading light weight. The Ekar crank axle also uses a super strong 630-grade steel alloy. This further boosts the strength and durability of the already inherently better protected single central bolt system shielded deep inside the bottom bracket.
Because our unique Hirth jointed semi-axles are the same length each side pedalling load is balanced symmetrically – and highly efficient – rather than being offset by the unequal leverage of single piece axle systems.
The super clean, clamp free crank to axle interfaces also allow maximum ankle and shoe clearance, while maintaining the comfortable and efficient Q-factor familiar to our high-end road groupsets.
This offers a modest advantage on the road, but much more significant off-road where ankles can catch painfully on wider cranks as you pedal across technical terrain and scuff and rub from dirty shoes can soon ruin the good looks of your bike.
It’s not just about what we make but about how we make it.
While other brands choose manufacturing convenience over performance, at Campagnolo we build to incredibly high 0.01mm tolerances. Together with the self aligning and self centring tooth technology of the Hirth joint that ensures optimum bearing function even in frames that are fractionally misaligned.
We also produce Ekar’s ProTech™ bottom brackets in versions for every current frame standard so you can benefit from next level performance whatever bike you ride.
Ekar ProTech™: this unique, advantage packed bottom bracket system is a development of the Ultra-Torque™ technology that has been proven on the road at the highest level for over a decade, but now evolved even further for those bold enough to push the limits of off road performance and adventure.