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Technical FAQ: Campy year of manufacture, SRAM flattop-compatible chainrings, brake rotors

Lennard Zinn answers questions about dating Campy components, SRAM chainring compatibility, and tolerances for new TRP brake rotors.

Have a question for Lennard? Please email him at veloqna@comcast.net to be included in Technical FAQ.

Dear Lennard,
Thank you for the great reply to my question about getting more gear capacity! Can you tell me how to verify the year of manufacture on my Super Record rear derailleur?

Any idea where to find a 32t 11-speed Super Record/Record or Chorus cassette?
— Robert

Dear Robert,
That’s a good question. Here’s the answer from Campagnolo’s Buddy Spafford:

“Aside from having a photographic memory for all the minute running changes for model years that we have, you can identify many of our parts from some decals and markings on the components.

All of our components should have a small white QR code decal on them with product codes and serial numbers. These decals include our commercial code which references the model year of a component. This is an alphanumeric code that has a component category letter followed by model-year number. For example FC9-XXXX would be a crankset from 2009. EP15-XXXX would be Ergopower levers from 2015, WH19-XXX for a 2019 model year wheelset, and so on. Here is an example of one of the decals found on a shifter:

Campagnolo brake lever with QR code decal to indicate product information.

Campagnolo brake lever with QR code decal to indicate product information. Photo: Buddy Spafford of Campagnolo NA

In 2015 we began marking components with model year compatibility engravings in addition to the QR code decals. For example, the 2015 and later components for Chorus, Record, and Super Record are marked with an [A]. This means any components with this marking will be compatible with each other. For 12-speed the markings are [F], [G], and [FG]. Components that share either F, G, or both are compatible.

Campagnolo brake lever with model year designation.

Campagnolo brake lever with a 12-speed model designation “FG”. Photo: Buddy Spafford of Campagnolo NA

A Campagnolo Super Record front derailleur with an "A" designation.

Beginning in 2015, Campagnolo put [A] labels on components for Chorus, Record, and Super Record to indicate cross-compatibility. Photo: Buddy Spafford of Campagnolo NA

If no decals or markings are present, then folks can contact our office to get help in identifying the model year or answering compatibility questions. Hopefully, this helps!

— Buddy Spafford, North America (east) technical service Campagnolo North America, Inc.

And as for getting an 11-speed cassette in Super Record, Record, or Chorus: I don’t think those exist. You can get an 11-speed Centaur 11-32 cassette, however; it will be compatible with your drivetrain.
― Lennard

Dear Lennard,
I was wondering whether you know of any manufacturers that have since come out with chainrings that mesh well with SRAM’s flattop chains. I’m not ashamed to admit that aesthetics play more than a small part in my choice of components, and I’m really hoping to find a crankset in polished silver. Know of any that might work?
— Adrian

Dear Adrian,
Wolf Tooth makes a number of different chainrings that are compatible with the Flattop chain. As for polished silver ones: I don’t know of any.
― Lennard

Dear Lennard,
I recently purchased a brand new TRP 2-piece disc brake rotor, 140mm center lock.

When I installed it using recommended torque (and also using a larger-sized threaded mounting bolt) I noticed it was quite warped right out of the box new. No matter how much I adjusted my caliper and even split the pads apart inside my Dura-Ace caliper the disc was rubbing bad on both sides. It was worse than the rotor being replaced.

I contacted TRP and right away they said they would warranty it no questions asked. Then, sometime later a U.S.-based rep emailed me asking for a video of the rotor rub and I sent it. TRP’s response was shocking to me: This is perfectly normal and acceptable new out of the box and that all brake rotors have this issue when new. It was within limits.

The response provided was:

“Unfortunately I cannot warranty this rotor for you as the video shows it is within tolerance. All rotors, regardless of manufacture, will have some type of run out and will not be perfectly true.”

I get that rotors will rub especially after being knocked or from heat and need to be adjusted with the tuning fork from time to time and I am perfectly capable to do this. I’m just really surprised this is acceptable new out of the box.

Here is the video I sent to TRP:

I would be interested to hear your take on this.
—Tim

Dear Tim,
I have never heard or seen the amount of allowable rotor runout quantified from a disc-brake manufacturer. What I can say is that we see this all of the time. We build up between five and 15 brand new Clydesdale and Zinn bikes every week. To eliminate brake rub, we regularly do a lot of truing of brand-new rotors.

While I would agree with you that one ought to be able to expect a perfectly true rotor out of the box, I have never taken this up with any manufacturer of bicycle disc brakes, because it is a lot easier for us to simply true the rotor than to try to get a warranty replacement. And currently, with the pandemic bringing enormous supply-chain challenges to the bike industry, simply getting enough rotors to put on our bikes is about all we can ask for — also demanding that they be perfect out of the box — is a bridge too far, right now.
― Lennard


Lennard Zinn, our longtime technical writer, joined VeloNews in 1987. He is also a custom frame builder (www.zinncycles.com) and purveyor of non-custom huge bikes (bikeclydesdale.com), a former U.S. national team rider, co-author of The Haywire Heart,” and author of many bicycle books including Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance,”DVD, as well as Zinn and the Art of Triathlon Bikesand Zinn’s Cycling Primer: Maintenance Tips and Skill Building for Cyclists.” He holds a bachelor’s in physics from Colorado College.

Follow @lennardzinn on Twitter.