Campagnolo presents new 12-speed groups

Campagnolo presents new 12-speed groups

Super Record and Record mechanical systems have been redesigned

Twelve. Count them. There are 12 toothed wheels on boxes in the new Campagnolo Super Record and Record mechanical assemblies. Recently, on the occasion of press events on Gran Canaria, the third largest island of the Canary Islands, the company based in Vicenza, Italy, revealed its new components, discussed how they were done and allowed me to get some first impressions on winding roads in the warm sun.

The new Campagnolo Super Record and records 12-speed cassettes
Campagnolo has two 12-tooth boxes – 11-29 and 11-32 – for its two high-level mechanical groups. In the lower part, you have modern teeth with high teeth to allow you to turn well on demanding climbs. While Campy is a tradition-rich society, it seems ready to abandon the classic 11-23, which it had for Record, as well as 11-25 and 11-27.

The six largest sprockets are part of two monoblock triplets. Each triplet is made of worked steel. The six smaller teeth are single units separated by aluminum spacers. Each spacer has a width of 2 mm, plus or minus 0.03 mm. Designers needed to get high tolerances here because even small differences in width would cause significant variations when added. Aluminum became the chosen material because the polymer spacers did not cut it. One thing that the mechanics will appreciate is that all the spacers are interchangeable.

The six smaller sprockets increase in increments of one tooth from 11 teeth in the first position.

The 12-speed cassette fits a standard 11-speed freewheel body. It’s a smart Campy move. Cyclists can use the existing wheels with the new gruppos. There is no “new standard” to worry about.

An 11-29 cassette weighs 266 g.

Campy had to create a new chain for the 12-speed cassette. The connections are closer, but the company claims that the chain is just as resistant as its 11-speed model. Also notable: the pins and rollers of the chain do not sit proud of the dishes inside. This arrangement means that the front derailleur faces only two surfaces in one passage from the small ring to the large one. The whole configuration leads to a smoother change.

The chain, with 110 meshes, weighs 220 g.

Why 12?
Why 12 teeth? Because of 16.

It may seem cryptic, but endure me. Campagnolo was a bit shy at the beginning when he introduced the 12 pinion cassette. The company produced a funny video in which a hammam actor in a lab coat talks about the almost mystical meaning of the number 12. One of the most concrete reasons mentioned later was to have a smooth progression among the smallest gears.

Michele Tittonel, Campagnolo’s product manager, reminded me that the cassettes in 11-23 days had less dramatic jumps between the teeth. In a contemporary cassette, like 11 -32 11-speed old Super Record, there are some significant increases across the range as you move from the smallest to the biggest gear. There are not 16 teeth in this box. There is a 15 teeth in fifth position and a 17 teeth in sixth position. Tittonel stressed that this has an obvious and quantifiable effect on the pilot. If a rider has his chain on a 50-tooth ring and a 15-tooth tooth, a complete turn of his crank would move his bike 7.12 m. Should it go to the 17-tooth, a complete crank revolution will move it to 6.28 m. This is a difference of 0.84 m. It is a difference that professional runners could feel on certain roads where they needed a finer lever adjustment. These professionals wanted their teeth back to 16 teeth, creating a difference of 0.45 m only when changing from 15 teeth.

Rear derailleur Campagnolo Super Record and Record

A new rear derailleur moves the cog-to-cog chain. It has a 72.5 mm long cage, which allows you to work with both 11-29 and 11-32 cassettes. On that cage, the jockey wheel at the top, with its 12 teeth, is bigger than its predecessor. Even the teeth are taller to increase accuracy. Even the lower jockey wheel has 12 teeth, but they are bevelled to allow better stroke lines to the rings.

The previous derailleur had what the company calls 2D Embrace technology. He kept the jockey wheel up high near any selected tooth. The arrangement made a precise change and a good winding of the chain around the teeth. The new derailleur has an extra dimension. The 3D Embrace technology not only keeps the jockey next to each gear, but also forward, further increasing the chain. Wrapping better means improving energy transfer.

The component hanger can work with several classic hook supports or with direct mount. The mech has a return spring of the upper body that keeps the derailleur in place and also helps to minimize the effects of road vibration.

The Super Record carbon fiber component is about 3g heavier than its predecessor at 181g. (The Rear derailleur Record weighs 216 g.) In my eyes, the whole unit seems to be more out of the frame. This shape and position are in contrast with the new, more hidden Shimano Dura-Ace and Ultegra rear derailleurs. The company based in Japan has designed their derailleurs in this way to offer the parties better protection against shocks.

Record and Record Campagnolo front derailleur

Like the rear derailleurs, the new Super Record and Record derailleurs have been redesigned. Campagnolo says that he almost eliminated any free jab and increased speed of change. Some of the improved performance of the component derives from the way it moves. The derailleur’s cage does not travel in a pendulum-like oscillation as it moves the chain from one ring to another. Instead, it follows a more linear trajectory.

As with the latest generation of front mechanical derailleurs, the new models maintain the upper swingarm. On contemporary bicycle frames with wider tires than in the past, an oscillating arm and the cable that is placed near its top can be found without sufficient space. With the new Super Record and Record mech front, you can screw the bolt of the cable grip from both the front and back of the arm, allowing you to find the best route for the cable. Campagnolo says that the derailleur should not have problems with 32 mm wide tires.

The Super Record front derailleur weighs 79 g, while the Record model weighs 81 g.

Campagnolo Super Record and Record crankset

Campagnolo says that its new cranks have a more aerodynamic design. They also look very shiny, which is not just an aesthetic choice. The carbon resin not only helps to reduce the weight of the component, but acts as a UV blocking agent. Think of it as sun protection for the component that increases its durability.

The Super Record cranks have a hollow carbon construction, while the Record no. The Super Record component uses CULT (ceramic ultimate level technology) bearings, which Campy claims are nine times smoother than stainless steel bearings. Record gets USB (ultra-smooth bearings), which is said to be twice as efficient as stainless steel. Both have a four-arm spider and eight bolts to secure the rings. The counting of the high bolts means that the rings remain rigid to improve the shifting performance. On the Super Record spider, two sets of arms have a “reinforcement” to further increase the rigidity. The Q factor remained unchanged: 145.5 mm.

The company has added a new length of the maneuvering arm, 165 mm, to the existing range of 170 mm, 172.5 mm and 175 mm. You can make 50/34 teeth, 52/36 or 53/39 rings. All are anodized to increase their longevity. They also all have specific exchange zones. No matter where you are pedaling when you click the lever to move the chain from the small to the large ring, the pins and other design features on the big ring will ensure that the chain only moves in the correct part of the stroke, offering you a regular and successful change.

A Super Record crankset with 172.5 mm arms, 50/34 teeth rings and bearings weighs 618 g. A Record crank with the same configuration weighs 710 g.

Campagnolo Super Record and Record Ergopower

Campagnolo calls its Ergopower hoods and levers. The interior has been redesigned to work with the new rear and front derailleurs. Even below the surface, the Vari-Cushion silicone material on the hoods has seen some improvements for comfort.

The caps themselves have a new shape like the brake levers. Those levers still have the double curve, but now there is more a lip at the bottom. What Campy calls gearshift, the one that brings the chain to a bigger gear or a bigger ring, is better incorporated behind the brake lever and is therefore a bit more aerodynamic. The upshifter also as a larger surface. The downshift / thumb lever is also larger and shaped so that it is easier to use when the hand is down in the drops.

As with the previous Ergopower controls, you can move up to five teeth when you’re looking for a harder gear. When you’re looking for an easier gear, you can jump up to three gears.

A pair of Super Record Ergopower controls weighs 339 g. A pair of discs is 363 g

Campagnolo Super Record and Record rim brakes

The new brakes seem less “skeletal” than previous models. The brake arms are solid and polished making them more aerodynamic. They work with tires as large as 28 mm. It is a welcome development. With my record 11-speed brake disc set, I’ve found that even some 25 mm wide tires have barely enough space.

The new brakes are available in traditional rim models and mounted directly. Each direct mount brake has a reinforcement to increase rigidity and prevent unwanted forces from being applied to the frame.

There are also disc brakes

The new mechanical assemblies are compatible with the hydraulic configuration of the Campagnolo disc brake. Each Ergopower control has a height of 8 mm to accommodate a main hydraulic cylinder, located vertically. The purge port is located at the top of each cylinder when maintenance is required on the mineral oil system.

The brake levers are customizable. Flow rate and performance can be adjusted. Would you like the brakes to engage quickly? You can set them to be more “grabby”. Or, if you like a more fluid engagement, you can do it too.

The pliers are flat. You simply need the right bolt length to attach the pliers to your frame. They can handle a 160 mm diameter rotor in the front and a 140 mm or 160 mm rotor in the rear. The gauges have phenolic resin pistons that prevent heat transfer to the oil. In each unit, a magnetic spring moves the pads, which are made of an organic resin. It is said that they offer a uniform braking in the cold and heat. The pads are beveled at their lower edges to allow easier wheel changes. Once you wear the pads too much, they’ll let you know how they have audible wear indicators.

Availability of Super Record and Record of mechanical groups
Campy is planning to have the Super Record brake disc set available in May. The disc brake version should come out this summer. As for Record disc brake discs, those should be here in June, while Record disc brakes will come out a month later.

Full Super Record 12-speed with disc brakes will cost $ 4,570. The rim brake configuration will be $ 4,060. Full 12-speed record with disc brakes is $ 3,480 and $ 2,760 with disc brakes.

What about EPS?
The electronic versions of the 12-speed groups are in progress. The difficult part of the development process was the mechanical elements of the new systems. While the electronic characteristics of future EPS groups require additional work, they are not as complex as the changes already made.

Campy did not give any precise date for the release of the 12-speed EPS sets.

Super Record and Record first 12-speed impressions

Campagnolo 12-speed

During my first day of testing on Gran Canaria, I drove a Record group with direct-mount brakes on a De Rosa Protos. The movement was regular and precise. The front derailleur was quite surprising. It seems to require very little force to move the chain from the small ring to the big one. As for the cassette, well, the 32-tooth gear was great paired with the 34-tooth ring during a 9-km climb. It was not until the second day, when our rides had more undulating terrain, that I appreciated the subtleties of the gears from 11 to 17 teeth with their increments of a tooth. I had some options to find the right cadence and power with these gears.

I have long been a fan of the Ergopower configuration, especially the brake levers. They seemed custom designed for my hands. While the new brake levers feel great, they do not feel like “custom”, especially near the bottom of the lever when they are in the drops. It’s a little quirk and something I might be able to solve later. The range of the levers is customizable, so with more time, I could be able to better compose those levers. I like the thumbtacks redesigned. They survive their promise to make the change easier and more comfortable.

The brakes on the direct mounting rim work very well. After the first ascent of the day, I made a descent of about 13 kilometers glorious. I could rub a lot of speed or a bit depending on the turn. On the second day, I had a Super Record setup with disc brakes. Even though I had seen the disc brakes two years ago, this was my first time riding them. They are impressive. Their modulation is refined and the power to stop is strong. Thanks to them, I felt sure to shout at the hairpin bends.

They were great first laps. I can not wait to learn more.