CAMPAGNOLO 12 SPEED
As an official CAMPAGNOLO PRO SHOP, the new rim-brake 12 Speed groupsets are available from Super Domestique now.
We have already built up our first 12 Speed-equipped Colnago C64 and it has been rider-tested in the Alps over the last few weeks.
The feedback on the road and in the workshop is hugely positive.
Gear-shifting is smoother, quieter and requires a lot less lever-throw.
The ability to adjust the reach of the levers depending on the rider is very welcome for bike fit options.
Braking feel and quality is markedly improved, with increased rigidity throughout the system.
Campagnolo have seen the improvements their competitors have been making, and have tackled them head-on with an exceptional new groupset.
Super Record 12 Speed groupset rim brake: £2,599.99
Record 12 Speed groupset rim brake: £1,749.99
EPS versions of both rim and disc-brake groupsets are rumoured to be coming in early 2019.
12 SPEED IS ONLY THE BEGINNING
The headline-grabbing number of gears is just one feature in a massive upgrade from Campagnolo.
Every single component on the two new groupsets has been entirely re-engineered and re-designed: cranksets, brakes, shifters, derailleurs, even the cables and cable housing.
That extra sprocket means you now have a wide range of gears (11-29T or 11-32T) without having to compromise on gear selection and without large, clunky incremental jumps in between.
But Campagnolo have used the opportunity of introducing 12 Speed to also reveal a complete overhaul of their products.
ERGOPOWER SHIFT LEVERS
From a bike-fit perspective the new shifter design includes an exciting and welcome first: three levels of adjustment mean that the levers are accessible for riders with different reaches.
The shifters have also been enlarged for greater shifting control. The upshift lever has been brought closer to the brake lever blade making the shifter easier to use.
The Vari-Cushion technology in the hoods has been improved, with different thicknesses giving greater grip and comfort.
Finally, the new brake levers are slightly angled, allowing for greater braking control over rougher surfaces.
Again, as a bike-fitter, it is great to see 165mm cranks available for the first time in Record and Super Record. The standard options of 170mm, 172.5mm and 175mm are also available.
The chainsets in both groups have a smooth, aerodynamic design. Underneath the surface, Campagnolo have really focussed on stiffness, especially with the new eight bolt design now instead of four.
Both groupsets will be available with compact 50/34T, semi-compact 52/36T or standard 53/39T chainring options.
Both Record and Super Record brakes have been completely upgraded and are a real highlight.
Not only are the calipers offered in either center-mount or direct-mount formats, but they also accept tyres up to 28mm!
The lever movement and bearings are completely new, offering increased modulation and smoother braking.
The rear derailleur is dramatically different from its predecessor.
It is produced in an ultra-light technopolymer with reinforced long strand UD carbon fibre.
Chain wrap has been maximised through 3D Embrace Technology, with the top jockey wheel sitting very far forward and as close as possible to each sprocket.
A new return spring absorbs road vibration and protects the derailleur from violent movement on the road.
It can also fit direct mount or standard systems making it easier to remove the wheel.
The front derailleur has been designed to match the new lever throw. The number of pivots in the mechanism has been doubled, giving more immediate upshifts from the moment the lever is moved.
The cable-grip bolt can be fitted on the rear or front of the mech arm, allowing space for tyres up to 32mm.
CASSETTE AND CHAIN
The first thing to note is that you don't need new wheels!
(Although Campagnolo have also just launched a beautiful new aero wheelset, the BORA WTO...)
Despite the extra sprocket, the cassette is the same width as the 11-speed versions so they are compatible with all existing Campagnolo freehub bodies.
The extra gear allows for single tooth increments all the way up to the 7th sprocket.
The cassette's last two triplets are CNC'd out of one piece of steel for optimum stiffness. Alloy spacers have replaced plastic to improve durability.
The new chain is thinner (and thus lighter) to accommodate the extra sprocket, but no less durable than its predecessor.