All three major component manufacturers have adopted electronic shifting. So why is Campagnolo updating the mechanical versions of its venerable Super Record, Record and Chorus groups?
According to its recent announcement, “Campagnolo does not seek to produce an electronic groupset that outperforms the mechanical version, or produce a mechanical version that claims to be superior to the electronic counterpart.”
Regardless of whether you buy this egalitarian philosophy, it results in some nice improvements to the Italian company’s high-end groupsets. Many of the updates, including the big update to the company’s crankset design, will likely migrate over to the EPS groups later on as well.
Front and rear derailleurs in all three groups are updated. The front sports a one-piece carbon outer cage, as well as a lengthened arm to boost cable leverage.
The rear derailleur now moves at a different angle relative to the cassette. Campagnolo claims that this pulls the chain closer to the cogs and allows for smoother shifts into larger cassette cogs, all the way up to a 29-tooth.
The body of the derailleur has been stiffened as well, further improving shifting performance. The chain will wrap further around the cassette as well, engaging with more teeth, which will improve durability of both the cassette and chain.
The Italian engineers have also gone to work on the groupsets’ shifters, with refined internals and ergonomics that Campagnolo claims will interface more cleanly with different handlebar shapes.
The most notable update here is the front shifter action. It requires two clicks to downshift to the little ring. From there, you have one click of trim. Click it three times to put it in the big ring. Also, Campy claims that the entire range of gears are usable without any rub or ugly cross-chaining, similar to SRAM’s “True 22” concept.
Updated BCD and proprietary chainrings
For those who like to fiddle with chainring sizes, the new Super Record, Record and Chorus cranks will satisfy all of your urges. Similar to Shimano’s Dura-Ace design, Campagnolo’s four-arm crankset accommodates three different chainring configurations: 50/34, 52/36 and 53/39. Crank arms are sold in three lengths: 170, 172.5 and 175mm.
Check back for more information and first-ride impressions.