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A first look at the new internal battery for EPS and first 30mm press-fit crankset

At the recent Core Bike Show we had a first look at Campagnolo's updated EPS V2 groupset, which now offers a lighter internal battery option, and Over-Torque, the Italian company's first 30mm press-fit crankset.

Over-Torque

In a very short space of time it seems like press fit bottom brackets have become the standard on high-end road bikes, but Campagnolo has taken its time in offering a suitable crankset. Until now, you’ve had to use adapters, but that has changed, as for 2014 it adds the new Over-Torque crankset.

The new cranks use a 30mm axle with a redesigned crank arm which the Italian company claims is 5% stiffer than its regular crankset and also 5% lighter as well. Small gains but not to be sniffed at in a sport increasingly obsessed with marginal gains.

The cranks won’t be label with the familiar group names, instead there will be Comp Ultra (Record level) which weighs a claimed 540g for the cranks, while Comp One (Chorus equivalent) weighs a claimed 590g. The key difference between the two is that Comp Ultra uses hollow carbon arms, and on Comp One the arms are solid carbon.Those weights are without bearings.

The cranks come in 53/39, 52/39, 52/36 and 50/34 options and 70mm, 172.5mm and 175mm crank arms. Campagnolo will still continue to offer its regular Ultra Torque cranksets, this is an option for anyone with a PF30, BB30, BB386 bottom bracket on their frame.

To fit the cranks you’re going to need Campagnolo’s proprietary installation and removal tool.  The bearings are self-aligning which it reckons will ensure the bearings last longer and run smoother. The bearings can be popped out of the cups for easy bearing replacements. There’s a slim preload collar on the non-driveside crank, sandwiched between the crank and bearing, that can take out any play.

Campagolo EPS V2 now available

Campagnolo now has an internal battery, and here it is. The battery is much slimmer and lighter, by about 50g, than the previous EPS battery. Battery capacity is reduced by about 5%, which Campagnolo claim is good for 1,800km of riding, though of course that depends on how much shifting you do. With front shifts contributing an increased drain on the battery, riding in a mountainous area is likely to reduce that distance more than riding somewhere like Belgium.

The battery isn’t going to be compatible with a lot of frames on the market. It’s simply too large to fit inside some frames, especially those with an aero seat tube like the Orbea Orca. Alternatively, in such situations, the battery can be mounted in the down tube, but that is only doable if you can physically get the battery to negotiate the head tube/seat tube junction. If you can’t fit it internally,  it can still be fitted externally, to the down tube or chainstays.

For internal fitting, it’s designed to slide down into the seat tube and fix into place using two sided bottle cage bolts. It’s orientation can be flipped depending on the size of the frame and seatpost drop, smaller frames will probably need the battery installed cables first, which is said to be a little more tricky a job. To charge the battery when it’s concealed in the frame, the frame needs a dedicated port to access the charging wire, so you don’t have to whip the battery out every time. It’s not quite as user-friendly as Shimano’s new Di2, which has a mini-USB port located in the junction box to charge the battery. To switch the system off, magnets encased in a rubber band wrap around the area of the seat tube where the battery is, and switch the battery off.

The new battery can be used with current EPS groupsets, but you need to install the new DTI interface unit, which has been updated. This is the brain of the EPS groupset, its job is to monitor the state of the battery and check for system faults. Charge time for the new battery is claimed to be 4 hours. Weight is a claimed 130g.

If all that wasn’t clear enough, here’s a video Campagnolo has produced showing how the new internal battery is installed. 

There’s also a new 11-27 cassette option, which will be available at Super Record, Record and Chorus levels. I didn’t photograph it. So here’s a stock photo.

More at www.campagnolo.com

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

10 comments

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pirnie [198 posts] 2 years ago
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Any idea what levels of groupset the 11-27 is going to be available for?

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David Arthur @d... [651 posts] 2 years ago
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pirnie wrote:

Any idea what levels of groupset the 11-27 is going to be available for?

Super Record, Record and Chorus

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pirnie [198 posts] 2 years ago
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Thanks!

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jarredscycling [456 posts] 2 years ago
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That battery seems like the most complicated way to install an internal battery that Campy could come up with. I mean it literally seems like they tried to make it more difficult

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DeanF316 [135 posts] 2 years ago
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Campag's over torque crank set is a response to the industry lead problem of press fit bb system. At first the system appears good but it is nothing but a problem waiting to happen - bearing walk out, replacement, bearings creaking etc. We are seeing solution like inserted tubes with threaded insert cups. Isn't that how bb used to be.

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velotech_cycling [79 posts] 2 years ago
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@ jarredcycling - It is a more complicated method of inserting and retaining the PU than, say, jamming it inside a tube with a load of bubble wrap (a "solution" I have seen on a production Di-2 equipped bike, out of the factory) but it does give a firm anchorage and allows Campagnolo to dictate how the PU is used, so saving a whole raft of issues at the (hopefully rare) warranty stage. It's very controllable and goes a long way towards making it possible to test for things like battery heating on charging where if users are allowed a free hand in installation, none of this stuff can be effectively tested for.

It sounds harsh but it's axiomatic in engineering design where you don't have a lot of control over how things are installed that it's less troublesome in the long run to restrict the options allowed ...

@ridein, a seat-tube mounting is very quick, simple and allows a relatively easy retro-fit of v2 to a v1 bike - a solution such as you suggest looks like a lot of wiring to accommodate (and losses in the cabling are one of the biggest headaches in designing electronic shift systems) as well as a potentially higher number of ingress points for water and dust.

@deanF316, I agree in some respects - all press-fit BBs suffer from the fact that PF is a lousy solution in pure engineering terms to mounting a bearing, where that bearing is subject to cyclic loads at 90 degrees to the axis of the bearing and which needs to be readily removable. It is, however, a good solution to a whole raft of questions around weight saving, bigger junction areas for tubes and crucially, of course, reducing production costs. Bonded inserts which can be threaded (as in many 1st gen. carbon moulded frames) go some way in these areas but can be troublesome to bond reliably. A lot of creaky O/S BBs that fetch up in my workshop are not creaky because of the BB assembly, they creak because the BB sleeve is shifting inside the frame.

What Campag have sought to do is to make the cup walls between bearing and BB shell thick enough to deform to accommodate the imperfections in roundness tolerance inherent in composite tubes, whilst making them thin enough that the bearing can provide substantial support to the cup - after all, there's damn-all point in making a super stiff frame and a super-stiff crank / BB assembly then sitting a load of squidgy plastic between.

We are at an interesting time in component design as frame designers are looking at whole new areas of materials technology and component designers then have to play catch-up with the frame designer's attempts to maximise the properties of the materials they have, whilst both parties seek to control costs ...

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Flying Scot [908 posts] 2 years ago
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jarredscycling wrote:

That battery seems like the most complicated way to install an internal battery that Campy could come up with. I mean it literally seems like they tried to make it more difficult

I would disagree, that's a well thought out and controlled process that looks solid, easy and neat.

Not yet for me though, I'm waiting for someone to build the whole shebang into the bars.

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ridein [110 posts] 2 years ago
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[[@ridein, a seat-tube mounting is very quick, simple and allows a relatively easy retro-fit of v2 to a v1 bike - a solution such as you suggest looks like a lot of wiring to accommodate (and losses in the cabling are one of the biggest headaches in designing electronic shift systems) as well as a potentially higher number of ingress points for water and dust.]]
Quick? I'm guessing you didn't watch the video, because that installation looks like a total pain in the ass. My idea would require less wiring in total since your shifters are already on the bars and upon installation you would just need a short connection cable to one/two batteries. This connection it could be installed under the tape at the initial install. Even with no "special Campag tool", you could snake a wire thru a drop bar with the help of a simple brake cable if necessary. I also fail to see any extra ingress points for foreign debris, since over 90% of a battery would be INSIDE the handlebar, therefore protected from the elements. Campagnolo already learned the hard way about weatherproofing their EPS battery. Another factor is that bar-ends rarely get dirty, due to the fact they aren't on the centerline of the bike. When centrally mounted there is always more water and road debris kicked up by the wheels onto the bike and passenger.

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ridein [110 posts] 2 years ago
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After watching some of that battery mount video, I can't help but wonder why bother with seat tube battery? Wouldn't a smaller battery work inside a drop bar? I'm guessing maybe a 1000Km capacity each, so 2 batteries would be required. So just one special snake tool required for wiring them together or use a simple inner brake cable. The magnet on/off port could be on the left side barend plug and a recharge port (for both batteries) could be on the right side barend plug. Or maybe combine the magnet plug somehow with the recharge port? In my opinion this would be easier to recharge and reduce a lot of the installation headache this video entails.
As a 2nd idea, how about a simpler external battery, but with through holes where it could be sandwiched in between a bottle cage and a frame. I believe that Campagnolo used that format while still in the prototype development stage. Bottle cage mountable is much more universal for triathloners/non-traditional frame compatibility. As you can see I would like to have more options available.

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Fipzee [5 posts] 2 years ago
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I've heard that Shimano are working on a secret system where no battery is required at all. You can just change gears with a small amount of effort from your fingers. It will revolutionise cycling but will require all the people that have changed over to battery operated electronic shifting to throw their bikes away.