Introduction to Campagnolo Road Bike Gear Systems!
Introducing the Campagnolo road bike gear systems.
Campagnolo, hailing from Italy, is one of the most legendary bicycle gear brands. In 1933, they designed a lever that allowed riders to quickly control rear shifting while riding, eliminating the need to dismount for rear shifting during races. They are often regarded as the inventors of the gear shifting mechanism. Over the past 85 years, Campagnolo has consistently upheld an innovative spirit, continuously conceiving better and updated technologies. This ensures that every rider not only controls their bicycle but also attains optimal product performance. Moving towards the 12-speed milestone is a new era, providing riders with the fastest, most precise, and multifunctional product experience.
The Campagnolo family is currently divided into:
Super Record EPS electronic (full range 11-speed)
Super Record (12-speed)
Record EPS (full range 11-speed)
Chorus EPS (11-speed)
Entry-Level Campagnolo System: Centaur
The entry-level Centaur gear kit is on par with 105 or SRAM Rival in the same category, both being 11-speed and made of lightweight aluminum alloy. While Centaur is Campagnolo's lowest-ranked series, its performance is comparable to 105. Campy claims that the only difference between Centaur and its higher-tier kits is the use of more affordable materials.
The new crankset is similar to the Super Record but slightly heavier. Both the large and small chainrings use a four-arm connection, with independent BCDs and different screw ring sizes, enhancing their rigidity. Only 50/34 and 52/36 combinations are available, as Campagnolo believes these combinations are most suitable for amateur riders.
Encompasses all gear ratios up to 32 teeth, eliminating the need to choose between short and long cage options.
The polymer shift levers and top-tier EPS internals offer similar shifting sensations, mainly limited to one gear change at a time without the function of continuous upshifting or downshifting.
The All-New Campagnolo Series: Potenza
Potenza ranks fourth in Campy's hierarchy, following Super Record, Record, and Chorus. This new model replaces Veloce and Athena, and is the starting point for disc brake options in Campagnolo's lineup.
The all-new Potenza kit became a competitor to Ultegra in 2017. It inherits functions from Record, featuring a four-arm crankset and shifters similar to the discontinued Veloce and Athena kits, enabling three-gear upshifting and single-gear downshifting. Potenza effectively replaces Athena.
Unchanged Campagnolo System: Chorus
The new Vari-Cushion™ shift levers, featuring Ultra-Shift™ ergonomic lever mechanisms, provide 1 to 4 gear changes based on finger force, starting from this level, there's a significant shift towards carbon fiber material, with red and white options available.
Upgraded Lower-Level Campagnolo System: Record 12-speed
Previously the top-tier Record series, it is now considered an advanced model. Structurally, it combines high-grade carbon fiber, lightweight alloy, and titanium, positioning itself between Shimano Ultegra and Dura-Ace, or SRAM Force and SRAM Red.
Professional-Level Campagnolo System: Super Record 12-speed
Campagnolo offers a higher level of combination with its top-tier Super Record. Similar to Record but utilizing carbon fiber and titanium, Super Record components are lighter and more robust. The redesigned shifters are easier on smaller hands, allowing up to four upshifts and five downshifts in a single action. The Super Record crankset is beloved by riders as a work of art.
Both Record and Super Record can now be equipped with Campagnolo's disc brake options.
Campagnolo EPS Electronic Shifters
Campagnolo's Super Record EPS is the most expensive among the three major brands. Besides mechanical shifting, Campagnolo offers electronic shifting called EPS (Electronic Power Shift). It starts with Chorus EPS, similar to Shimano, combining mechanical and battery-powered shifting. The battery can be placed externally or concealed within the seat post or seat tube. Super Record EPS enhances all these features. Just like Shimano, the mechanical EPS shares the same crankset, cassette, and chain as the Super Record.
The performance of Campagnolo gear systems varies only slightly among different levels. Even the most entry-level products offer decent performance. Higher-level shifters mainly differ in weight and material used (carbon fiber, titanium, etc.). The major material difference is that mid to high-level shifters use ball bearings, while entry-level ones use nylon bushing bearings.