Technical FAQ with Lennard Zinn: Hiding Campy’s battery and SRM crank as paperweight

Hiding Campy electric's battery, BB compatibility and more on spoke tension.

The battery is mounted under the downtube bottle cage. Photo: Thomas Copenhaver

Q. Dear Lennard,

I am wondering whether the Colnago C59 frame made to accommodate Shimano’s Di2 electronic gruppo will also allow for hiding the battery pack of the new Campy Super Record electronic gruppo in the seat post.

In other words, clearly the Shimano version allows for the battery pack to be hidden, so will the Campy technology also be able to be hidden?

Also, I have just purchased the SRM Record crankset. Do you anticipate any trouble with compatibility with the electronic SR group?


A. Dear Bill,

No, the Campy battery must stay at the water bottle for now. The brain of the system is housed with the battery pack, and for now Campagnolo has no option for hiding it.

I’m sure the crank would work with Campy EPS, and I would think that Campy might even approve and warranty it, since a Record 11-speed SRM crank would have the same shifting modifications to the chainrings.


Q. Dear Lennard,

My team just switched frame companies, Specialized to Lapierre, and I have a bottom bracket compatibility question. I currently am on a Tarmac with a standard threaded BB, with which I run my three-piece SRM on with a Campagnolo BB. Lapierre runs a BB86 bottom bracket. Is there any ability to adapt the Lapierre so I can run my three-piece SRM on it, or am I stuck? Thank you for the help!


A. Dear Ryan,

I think that your crank has just become a paperweight, because there’s no room inside a BB86 shell (or a BB90 shell, for that matter) for a threaded insert. BB86 is for press-fit bearings housed in plastic sleeves (24mm spindles only), whereas BB90 is Trek’s press-fit system (without plastic bearing sleeves) for 24mm spindles.

SRM’s Christoph Adels says:

“Ryan is using an older Pro PowerMeter model with Campagnolo/SRM aluminum cranks. I don’t think there is any kind of adapter to fit the Campagnolo square taper threaded BB into a Press-Fit BB86 frame. I know that there are adapters for BB30 frames to run them but BB86 is too narrow to add an adapter — I’m sorry!”

Not that it would help you with that frame, but in case other readers are interested, there is also no threaded adapter for BB386, despite its large I.D. Here’s FSA marketing manager Fletch Newland on that:

“We do not (have threaded adapters for BB386). The only way to run a 24mm spindle crankset is with a PF30 BB and an EE084 adapter (386EVO to MegaExo reducer) $20 and we have them in stock. Part number #200-3202.”

Unfortunately for you, Ryan, since you don’t have a 24mm spindle, but rather a three-piece crankset, there are no options for you to use your SRM crank with that Lapierre frame.


Q. Dear Lennard,

Wow — it looks like you got a lot of feedback on my spoke de-tensioning issue (see here and here). Here’s some additional information: a week after resolving the tension issue with the rear PowerTap/Stan’s 340 build, I ordered a front wheel built by Handspun, QBP’s in-house brand. It has a 24-hole Dura-Ace 7900 hub laced to a Stan’s Alpha rim with DT Swiss Aerolite spokes.

I mounted a Hutchinson Intensive tubeless tire, but this time I checked tension both before and after mounting the tire. It decreased from an average of ~85 kg to ~60 after I mounted the tire, so I asked the mechanic at my LBS to re-tension the wheel with the tire mounted. It has held up very well for three weeks of riding, and I love the tubeless ride quality.

Here’s Stan’s response to a version of the same question you answered for me:

“The Hutchinson Tubeless tires have a very tight bead made from carbon fiber. It does not stretch like Kevlar so when seated on a tubeless rim it will compress the rim and drop the spoke tension more than a tube and tube-type tire. We have found this to be true on Shimano and Campy tubeless rims also. Some hubs are more prone to lose significant tension. The PowerTap has such a design where the non-drive side requires about half the tension of the drive side for proper dish, which results in much less initial tension and therefore very low tension once a tubeless tire is seated on the rim. The solution for you is to keep the tire mounted and inflated to riding pressure and retension the wheel — bring the drive side up to 80 to 85kgf and adjust the non-drive side accordingly.”

Thanks again for recommending road tubeless and for answering my question.


Q. Dear Lennard,

Great piece on the differences between the tubular tapes out there. I too was confused and got the wrong tape to prep my tubulars for this cyclocross season. After one ride I noticed that the tape was separating from itself. The failure was through the middle of the tape, not between tape and glue or glue and rim. I stripped it all off and started over without any tape whatsoever.

Both wheels have held great so far this season, but I do keep any eye on them and check them after every race. Next reason I’ll probably invest in Uncle Stu’s Belgian Tape.

I’m sure the Velox Jantex is fine for slapping a new tubular on if you flat on a road ride and are OK with riding home gingerly, but as far as the lower pressures and hard cornering involved in cyclocross, it’s not the right thing to use, in my humble opinion.


A. Dear Fritz,

Sounds like maybe you used Tufo Extreme tape. If so, I made the same mistake with cyclocross tires last season with the same consequence; see the last entry on this column.


Q. Dear Lennard,

Any thoughts about the outcome of the Vail time trial in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, where Levi Leipheimer beat Christian Vande Velde by less than a second on a time-trial bike while the latter rode a road bike? As you know, the first half of the course is relatively flat while the rest is steeply up. Do you think Vande Velde is having second thoughts?


A. Dear Howard,

I asked Christian about that, and he is not having second thoughts. He recognizes that the two sections of the course favor two different types of bicycles, but since his road bike is so much lighter than his time trial bike, he felt that it offered the advantage overall.

He was faster on the climb than Levi, and vice versa on the flats.


Q. Dear Lennard,

I have a bike company in northern Norway, just north of the Arctic Circle. I prefer Campagnolo drivetrains, but on my cyclocross bike for commuting use during wintertime, I need lower gearing.

I want to rebuild the bike to Campy Veloce 10-speed Ergopower with SRAM 10-speed cassettes and chain. This works fine with a Campy rear derailleur. But Campy’s derailleurs cannot handle 11-32T cassettes. Maybe the new 11-speed Chorus (11-29T) rear derailleur is capable of this but I am not sure. I presume it is compatible with the 10-speed Ergopowers?

If Campagnolo won’t work I would prefer to use an SRAM X.0 or X.9 10-speed rear derailleur, because the return spring is much stronger than that in Shimano, meaning it will better overcome cable friction during winter use.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.


A. Dear Ole,

First off, I’d use Gore RideOn cables so you don’t need a return spring that will overcome cable friction under your extreme riding conditions.

I don’t know that the 11-speed Chorus rear derailleur is compatible with the 10-speed Veloce shifters. I would have assumed that it is, but I also assumed that a Mirage 10-speed rear derailleur would work fine with my 11-speed Super Record shifters while I was waiting for a replacement Super Record rear derailleur. However, it did not shift well at all. So I’m not sure that essentially inverting those components would work to go with a Campy 10-speed shifter and 11-speed rear derailleur.

You may be able to crank the B-screw on the Campy rear derailleur you have and get it to handle a 32T cog, like you can with Di2 or as Team Sky did on the Anglirú in this most recent Vuelta a España. The Campy B-screw is on the lower knuckle, by the way, not located at the mounting bolt like SRAM and Shimano.


Q. Dear Lennard,

Thanks for your article on using Campagnolo shifters with SRAM derailleurs — it’s working for me! My Campy Centaur 10-speed shifters work perfectly with a SRAM derailleur and cassette.

In fact, I think the Campy shifters are really smoother, quicker and cleaner shifting than the SRAM shifters, and work just as well with the SRAM derailleur and cassette as they did with the Campy Chorus derailleur and cassette I had on my previous bike (that was wrecked when I was hit by a car last January).

The smooth shifting may be helped by the new Campy cables and housing I installed as well, but I was really surprised at how well the setup shifts. All I really did was install the shifters and cables, made a couple of half-turns of the adjustment barrel on the frame and a half-turn on the derailleur and it was dialed right in.

The braking action with the Campy levers is also much better; smooth, strong, and with the return spring in the Centaur levers, require only a feathery touch. I think the SRAM brake calipers are really strong, and matched with the Campy levers make for a great braking system.

I still have a strange problem with the left shifter only moving the front derailleur with two clicks (which is just enough to shift to the big chain ring then not moving it at all after that), but that may just require a rebuild of the left shifter.

The only real issue remaining is what to call my “new” set-up: is it SRAMpagnolo, CampagRAM, or should I just call it SRAMpy or Campram?