Wednesday, May 28, 2014

New Campagnolo: It's Officially Ugly

The spy photos of the new Campagnolo Record group taken during the Giro d'Italia have been confirmed. The new flagship line from Campy is officially ugly. The new designs are shared by the Super Record, Record, and Chorus groups

New Super Record crank. The fat-looking 4-arm spider crank borrows a lot from the trend set by Shimano's Dura-Ace, with a slightly asymmetrical bolt pattern -- though not quite as noticeably asymmetrical as the Dura-Ace (when I first saw it in the spy photos, I was thinking it was a symmetrical bolt pattern). Campy (and Shimano, for that matter) claim that it makes for a stiffer crank, though I cannot imagine how a 4-arm spider can be stiffer than one with 5 arms. Campagnolo also says that the same crank will accept "regular" (53/39 or 52/36) and "compact" (50/34) chainrings. You know what else accepts both regular and compact chainring combinations? Compact cranks. So that isn't exactly a benefit or improvement. Also, the new design makes all existing Campy chainrings obsolete. I haven't seen any word yet on whether this will be translated into aluminum for the lower priced groups such as Centaur or Veloce -- but I'd have to guess that the 4-arm spider will filter out across the entire line at some point.
The new Super Record rear derailleur. The design is shared by (non-Super) Record and Chorus. Big, bloated, and deformed-looking. The s-bend in the parallelogram is supposed to move the chain closer to the cogs for better wrap, which Campagnolo says improves power transfer and alignment, leading to better durability. I have no doubt that the change will be so dramatic that all our current derailleurs will feel imprecise and clunky by comparison. The new design also necessitates new mechanicals in the Ergo shift/brake levers -- though all the changes in levers are internal -- the levers will still look and feel like the current models. Again, no word on whether this design will be set in aluminum alloy for lower priced groups, but if that happens I doubt it will improve the look any.
Not that I'm eager to see what an electronic-shifting version of the parts would look like, but so far only the cable-operated version has been revealed.

On the plus side, prices for the leftover stocks of old parts might actually fall now that they're about to be rendered obsolete.


  1. Man, this could go right to the " Why?" post. Although we actually know why.

  2. It's almost like they are TRYING to be more ugly than ShimaNO, and that's hard to do !!! They couldn't have made it any uglier, in my estimation...