Don't miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you join Outside+.
By Matt Pacocha
Campagnolo’s three new 11-speed groups are tied by two bonds, the Ergopower Ultra shifters and 11-speeds. All are intended and designed for competition. There are numerous technologies, but each is tied to one of these end features — for a full report on the technical features of the group, reference our initial 2009 Campagnolo product report. Aside from that, Chorus, Record and the new Super Record are merely defined by materials.
The coming words will outline the specifications for Chorus and Record. For the details of Super Record be sure to check out VeloNews Issue 14 for a full report. The most sensible way to understand the differences between each groupo is to break it down component by component.
Ergopower Ultra-Shift Shifters
Chorus and Record share the same shape. The two models share the same carbon fiber brake levers and the same dual-density Vari-Cushion hoods. They differ by way of the internal mechanism; the internal gears of the Record group run on bearings where as Chorus relies on bushings.
Chorus and Record rear derailleurs share the same geometry and 11-speed design. Both have a carbon outer plate and oversized, newly designed pulleys. The Record derailleur, however, has a carbon pulley cage and ceramic bearings in the pulley wheels. Interestingly, Campagnolo has omitted the titanium hardware, which this year’s Record derailleur sports. Both derailleurs have a capacity for a 28-tooth cog.
Chorus and Record front derailleurs are cross compatible for standard and compact cranksets. The inner steel cage is coated with a proprietary anti-friction treatment to aid in smooth shifting. While Chorus relies on an all-steel cage, Record employs a carbon fiber outer plate as it historically has.
The new 11-speed cassette was designed from the ground up to improve the timing of the shift ramps for better shifting and less noise. Both Chorus and Record cassettes have their cogs fastened to new, stiffer aluminum spiders. Campy claims the alloy carriers increase bending stiffness by 70 percent and torsional stiffness by 180 percent. Both use Campy’s Nickle-Chrome treatment to increase the durability of the cogs, and both now feature an aluminum lockring. 2009 is the first time Campy has offered a lockring made from a material other than steel. The two cassettes differ only by cog material; Chorus has 11 Nickel-Chrome steel cogs, where as Record’s three largest cogs are made from titanium.
The 11-speed Chain
Campagnolo worked hard so that it can claim its new 11-speed chain as strong as the previous 10-speed version — it’s claimed to be stronger, in fact. The steel Campagnolo uses is 20 percent stronger than that used for the 10 speed chains. The chains are completely redesigned and are only 5.5mm in width. Both employ an anti-friction treatment called Ni-PTFE. They differ in that the Record chain has new hollow pins, while Chorus uses solid ones.
From Centaur to Super Record, Campy uses carbon fiber for its cranksets. All also rely on the Ultra-Torque semi-axle integrated bottom bracket spindle design, a groundbreaking technology introduced last year. Both Chorus and Record feature alloy chainring bolts and nuts. The chainrings have newly designed shift ramps and gates and an anti-friction coating. The cranks differ by way of their carbon construction. The Chorus crank uses a foam core that its carbon structure is molded around, while the Record crank has hollow molded arms. In addition the Record crank comes standard with Campagnolo’s USB Si3N4 ceramic bearings, while Chorus rotates on high-grade steel bearings.
Campagnolo sticks with its differential brake design for 2009, meaning that the front caliper uses a dual-pivot design for power and the rear uses a single pivot design to save weight. Chorus and Record both use the forged Skeleton design. The Record brakes rotate on bearings, while the Chorus brakes use bushings. Record also gets Ergal screws and nuts — Ergal refers Campagnolo’s 7075-alloy material — Chorus uses steel.
Even though Campagnolo has taken a step back, reassessed its technologies and then presented three impressive new groups for 2009 one thing hasn’t changed: The price of the 11-speed Chorus group will remain the same as it was in 2008 for the 10-speed version. That’s amazing, considering that Campagnolo has infused a wealth of technology and insists in manufacturing its top groups in Vincenza, Italy.
While no price change for Chorus is amazing, the 2 percent decrease in the price of the Record group should knock your socks off. Yes, the price of Record will drop, despite the redesign and the inclusion of ceramics as standard equipment. While the group was expensive to begin with, it is obvious that Campagnolo is making an effort to put the customer’s best interest in mind with the pricing of its new groups. Along that same line, Campy will add a year to its warranty for all three groups, bringing its guarantee to four years, which is best in class coverage among the industry’s racing components.
Finally, the numbers you’ve been waiting for: Campy’s claimed weights for its new groups with standard cranks and 11 speeds (11-23 cassettes).
Chorus: 2145 grams
Record: 2015 grams
Without a doubt Campagnolo has set it self up for a great 75th anniversary year in 2009.