Identifying Campagnolo Pista Track Cranks

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Lets get this straight, there are NO Campagnolo Strada DOUBLE Chainsets for Track bike use!  Also there are very few Pista cranks over 165mm/170mm long!
Track equipment is termed Pista in italian, road is Strada, Campagnolo applied both of these terms to their respective product brands.
Four features distinguish double chainring Strada cranks from Pista ones; inner chainring supports, non-rebated chainring bolt hole, different crank chainline and bottom bracket.

Strada cranks have supports (or lips, flanges, etc) to locate and support the inner chainring, these are NOT present on a Pista crank.  There were however, single chainring Strada cranks made which were identical to the Pista models.  Genuine Pista and single Strada cranks had no evidence of this inner support ever being present on their castings, equally there should be no evidence of these being machined off.  Any evidence of machining means that you are looking at a converted double Strada crank.

Pista and single Strada cranks have rebates on the rear face to allow the 'nut' part of the chainring bolt to sit flush, these rebates are NOT present on a double Strada crank.  Again this feature was present on the original castings of genuine Pista and single Strada cranks, again equally there should be no evidence of these being machined.  Any evidence of machining this rebate means that you are looking at a converted double Strada crank.

The chain line of single chainring Strada cranks was identical to the Pista models, this chain line effectively sits centrally between the two chainrings of the Strada double crank.  Converted double Strada cranks will therefore have a larger chain line offset than the Pista/single cranks, with a greater risk of chain loss due to the resulting misalignment.  This chain line misalignment is far worse if a fixed sprocket is used on a Strada road hub, rather than a Pista model with a lockring, and potentially dangerous if the chain is slack.

The bottom bracket of a Strada double crank was wider than that of Pista/single cranks.  Unless the bottom bracket (or axle) of a converted double Strada chainset was changed, the chain line offset will be greater than that of the Pista/single cranks, again with a greater risk of chain loss due to the resulting misalignment.  Fitting an UNCONVERTED (or partly converted) Strada double crank to a Pista axle may also risk either the inner ring supports or the chainring bolt 'nut' catching on the chainstay when the bike flexes under load.  This may just scrape the paint off, or it could wear through and possibly allow corrosion of the chainstay, in an extreme case it could cause the chainset to lock at speed with attendant dangers.

Very few Pista chainsets were sold compared to Strada double road models and for many riders, track racing was secondary to road events.  It was not uncommon to find riders coverting old double Strada cranks for track use, to avoid the expense of buying new cranks, then reducing the chain line by turning the bottom bracket axle the other way around, again to avoid buying a new axle/BB.  This worked on some frames, but not all, with some you had to fit a full Pista chainset to get the correct chain line.

Although Pista/singe Strada cranks were available in any length, most track bikes only ever had 165mm fitted, with 170mm on some.  Longer cranks would only have been fitted to pursuit bikes, you would have risked crashing when riding anything over 170mm on many tracks, with steeply banked tracks needing 165mm.  Both single and double Strada cranks were generally found in lengths of 170mm, with some riders choosing longer lengths, often up to 180mm, although such lengths would normally be on single Strada cranks used on time trial bikes, where bigger gears might be used.

Finally, track tandems using Campagnolo tandem cranks were crossover drive and these are still expensive, special order items.  Many tandem riders chose to use standard cranks in straight drive, which was the cheaper and readily available option.  With track tandems even rarer than track bikes, many riders stripped down a road tandem for track use, but the lower bottom bracket height usually meant that cranks were limited to 165mm anyway.
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