CAMPAGNOLO has released details of its new Ultra-Torque crank – the Italian component giant?s response to Shimano?s 10-speed integrated, outboard-bearing bottom bracket, which has been around for three years now.

Campagnolo has said it would not resort to existing systems and claims its new offering is an improvement in a number of areas.

The Ultra-Torque crank consists of two integral large-section semi-axles which join in the middle via a Hirth joint borrowed from automotive engineering. A Hirth joint connects two shafts which develop enormous strength via meshing teeth. Campagnolo says this makes for an extremely rigid assembly which is 100g lighter than its 2006 equivalent and far superior in terms of torsional and lateral rigidity.

Q-factor remains identical to 2006 designs ? something which Campagnolo is keen to highlight ? despite external bearing cups, and no cleat adjustment is necessary.

High-quality sealed bearings are used for super-low rotational friction.

Mechanics will be relieved to know that no special tools are required for installing the Ultra-Torque system. You simply screw the two cups onto the frame and join the two cranks together via a single screw, then a 10mm socket wrench is needed to tighten the cranks.

Prices are yet to be confirmed.