Friday, May 1, 2015

Video: Campagnolo Revolution

I saw this little promotional video from Campagnolo a couple days ago that really caught my eye: The Revolution Continues. The concept is cool, the music is energetic, it has some intriguing camerawork, and it features some really awesome vintage bikes. As commercials go, it's almost more like a short movie.

The concept of the video is that we see a rider on a Campy-equipped bike riding through gorgeous Italian countryside -- as well as through time itself. His bike, his Campy components, and his clothing keep changing, or evolving, as he rides.

The rider starts out on a 1940s-era Bianchi with Cambio Corsa shifting. You get a nice drive side view of the bike and the shifting system -- though you don't actually see the rider shift gears with it, which I think would have been a great touch.
Close-up of the twin levers of the Cambio Corsa, identified as being from 1946.
The rider, with his Bianchi wool jersey and a spare tire wrapped around his shoulders, passes the mysterious gentleman leaning against a car, reading a newspaper. . .
Who is this mystery man?
The rider stops to fill a waterbottle. . .
And when he comes back, he discovers his bike has changed. What are these levers on my downtube?
It's now 1951, and the bike is another Bianchi, this time with a Gran Sport parallelogram derailleur -- the granddaddy of Campy's derailleur designs for the next 35 years or so.
One of those unusual camera shots.
Stopping by woods for a "natural break."
The mystery man appears . . . 
. . . and leaves a calling card of sorts. By the way, that must be a really early version of the Campagnolo cone wrench. I've got several, some which might be as old as 1970s, but none looks quite like this one.
The rider comes back to his bike and finds it replaced by a Colnago with the full Campy. . .
. . . And a new jersey. 
I have to question the video's dates at this point. The video says Gruppo Record 1963. It's true that Record was introduced in '63 -- but this really looks like Nuovo Record, which was introduced in '67 (with modified chainrings on the crank). I'm thinking that the Colnago is more like '70s, or even '80s vintage, as well.
There's the tell. Campagnolo completed their gruppo with the addition of brakes in 1968. But this is a short-reach Super Record brake with other details (script logo, domed quick-release lever) that say early '80s. Oh well.
Another water stop, and the rider transforms with a really bad mustache (in what era would that have been stylish? Maybe in Italy?) and a new jersey . . .

. . . While the bike transforms into a Super Record-equipped Atala. Super Record was introduced in the '70s, so I'm not sure why they chose to highlight 1983. But it's a good period choice.
The rider continues on in his Atala team kit and bike -- still being watched by the mystery man.

. . . Who is now following in a VW Microbus.
The rider transforms again into lycra kit, on a bike that looks like a pretty generic aluminum and carbon-fiber machine. At this point, the Retrogrouch stops being interested in the bikes.

On the close-up, we see 10-speed Super Record. Still don't know what the bike is -- don't really care, either.
I can't identify the team jersey at this point -- but I really think it says "Gran Fondo." He rides into a tunnel, and when he reemerges back into the light . . .
. . . His bike is transformed into a carbon fiber Trek with 11-speed Super Record. Odd, because I'm not aware of Trek offering bikes with Campagnolo (I could be wrong).
At the top of the climb, we see the mystery man, surrounded by Campagnolo support people. I still don't know who the mystery man is -- I know he isn't Valentino Campagnolo. Maybe he just represents a visual personification of the Campagnolo name, identity, or "presence" -- like some kind of visual metaphor? 

They present the rider with a new bike. A pretty generic-looking carbon fiber frame, loaded up with the latest Campy Super Record parts.
I still think that's a really ugly crank.
The rider at this point pulls on a Europcar team jersey -- and actually changes into a completely different person -- I presume a member of the team. I'm having to declare ignorance here, as I don't know who it is. The only Europcar rider I would recognize is Thomas Voeckler, and this ain't him. Also, I find it odd that it focuses on Europcar, since last I heard, they were denied their WorldTour license for 2015
A few odd choices, and maybe some questionable dates, but the overall effect was kind of fun to watch. You can watch the complete video, which is linked here to YouTube:



  1. It really is a cool video, and sooo Italian in style--though I, too, question some of the bicycle and equipment choices.

    I think 1983 was highlighted because it was a pivotal year in Campagnolo's history. Tullio Campagnolo, the founder, died that year. It was also Campy's 50th anniversary. You might recall the 50th anniversary gruppo that came out that year. Also, that was when Campy started to introduce new component lines, including (in descending order of quality and price from Record) Chorus/Athena, Croce d'Aune, Triumph and Victory. A couple of years later, the Nuovo/Super Record morphed into Record-C (sometimes called "C Record). People who like the latest stuff would say that 1983 was when Campy started to progress away from their traditional offerings, while those of us who prefer the beauty and simplicity of vintage stuff might say that it was "the beginning of the end".

    1. Great point! -- I knew all that -- yet it didn't occur to me that might be why they highlighted 1983 specifically. That year is also the cutoff for the Classic Rendezvous discussion group -- for much the same reasons.

  2. I really enjoyed watching it. And, I love one and only bike with its 1974 Campy Nuovo components.