In an effort to eliminate as much friction from the drivetrain as possible, many cyclists are swapping their traditional stainless steel bearings for either full, or hybrid ceramic options. HSC, one of the most reputable manufacturers of aftermarket ceramic bearing options for nearly every application on a bike, have put together a hybrid ceramic bottom bracket designed to replace worn out bearings on your Campy or Fulcrum Ultra Torque cranks.
HSC's ceramic hybrids use grade 3 silicon nitride (Si3N4) balls matched with hardened steel races and low-friction seals and retainers. The grade of the ball bearings refers to their sphericity in thousandths of an inch. Put simply, the lower the number, the closer the ball is to being perfectly spherical. As a reference, the highest quality stainless steel ball used in bicycle applications is rated at grade 25, and many ceramic hybrid manufacturers use grade 5 ceramic balls. Advantages over standard steel bearings include: lighter weight, lower thermal expansion and deformation under load, lower friction with reduced start and running torques, and reduced wear for longer running life. Again, put simply, ceramic bearings allow you to roll faster with reduced effort over a longer period before needing replacement.
Due to ongoing changes in Campagnolo’s Ultra Torque design, it is very important you know exactly which bearing size you require before ordering your HSC ceramic bottom bracket kit. Over the years, Campy has changed from a 6805w7 bearing, to a 6805w6 bearing being used in their Ultra Torque bottom brackets. Essentially, the only difference is in the width of the bearing, varying from 7 mm to 6 mm (Hence the”w7” and “w6”).
Very specific tools are needed to remove and reinstall the bearings on the spindle of your Ultra Torque crankset, therefore we highly recommend you have your HSC ceramic bottom bracket installed by an experienced shop that uses proper bearing pulling and installation tools.