We had a very nice visitor at Above Category this past Saturday. His name is Brian Sarmiento and he is the Marketing Manager for Campagnolo USA. As nice as it was to meet Brian, I was much more interested in the contents of the pelican case that he was carrying, looking like some spec-ops guy with his rifle and optics case. In hindsight, he might want to think about hiring one of these guys as the contents of the case would be a very tasty temptation for the majority if not all cyclists out there.
What lies inside this black case is the sole example in the United States at present time...
Here Brian is making me close my eyes while Dean contemplates having the first Campagnolo Super Record group set in America on his own bike
I'm still unsure of what it is that I'm looking at. Isn't Campagnolo Super Record supposed to have gold plated everything? Maybe in another 25 years for the 100th year anniversary group...
Damn, Dean saw it first and gets to touch it first as well?
Wasn't sure how I really felt when I saw the first pictures of the new Ergo levers on Cycling News, but trust me, these are nice. Everything was very well thought out, and all the changes have a purpose. You can now fit three fingers between the handlebars and the levers, which is nice, and as such means that the lever bodies are longer. Campagnolo also says that you should never have to service the internals, which if you have levers that are over 10 years old like I do, may seem like a brash statement, but if true will be quite nice. The levers are also a little closer to the handlebar, which will make my wife happy, but come with a shim for folks with really big mitts. But I really doubt anyone will need those. They have also used a dual compound grip which supposedly makes the levers more comfortable, though I have never had issues with that in the older models. The Super Record also comes with little ram air ducts on the top of the brake levers. Lastly, and most importantly, Campagnolo has kept all the action the same in regards to the shifting patterns.
The rear mech. Beautiful. First big improvement here is stiffness. A stiffer derailleur is a better shifting derailleur. Not sure how shifting can get much better than the old one, but put me first in line to find out!
The pulley wheels are actually made out of rubber. Because of this the drive train will run quieter and last longer.
Yep, ceramic. And not just any ceramic, but special German made, much stronger steel races that will not wear out and let Campagnolo run oil instead of grease for even less friction. Word is service intervals will be the same as grease. This is cool, very cool. I remember when I was a Jr. and I would tear apart my bottom bracket and hubs before a time trial and replace the grease with oil in the attempt to reduce friction and smash course records ala Ritter, you know what I'm talking about?
Cranks are unchanged except for the chain rings. They are treated and supposed to last much longer. Also, they have added another pick-up ramp and now they can shift up twice per revolution. Did I get that right Brian? That should help those shifts up to the big ring when cadence is a little lower like on a climb when you are getting ready to put some distance on your riding partners. They also added the same special oil only ceramic bearing here as well, and take my word for it, they are SMOOTH! Lastly, and in my book sadly (though this pertains to every group out there) they added more marketing speak to them like "Campagnolo Super Record 11 speed" and "CULT". Will we ever see the days of nice sleek components, like the original Super Record? Marketing is king these days...
Sweet and smooth. Time for a little game of catch-up Shimano and SRAM?
Well, obvious thing here is 11 speeds. Why? Campagnolo answers, "why not?" I agree. I used to run 7spd and thought 8 was silly. Then 9spd was just stupid, and lastly 10 was just a gimmick. Well, I was wrong on all counts. Never had any issues, chains never broke, the dish on the wheels was fine. I'll take another gear now for sure. Cassette has more titanium cogs now and is treated for more strength like the chainrings. Will there be a full titanium option? Not sure...
5.5mm! Campagnolo says it will be stronger. I have no reason not to believe them, but it's still hard to believe 5.5mm! Quieter as well. Also, I love tools, and now I get to buy another one! New chain tool is pretty freaking trick...
Front Derailleur is nice, they upgraded this as well, though for the life of me I don't really remember what exactly. I mean it's a front derailleur you know? They usually don't keep me up at night, no matter how nice they are. But in light of how nice the new Super Record is, I can't see it as being anything but superb.
There are still the brake calipers which are unchanged except for some new titanium bolts and the bottom bracket cups which are also treated for a longer life. Again, I am so excited to ride this new group.
Will this new group keep me up at night as much as THIS ONE though?
Campagnolo Super Record will be coming out in limited numbers this fall/winter. If you want to get on the waiting list for one of these give us a call...
Also, we want to give a big thank you to Dean Bentley who took these photos. Please keep in mind that they are his property and if you would like to use some, contact us. Thanks!