The phrase More is Better is apparently the consensus at Campagnolo, as the vaunted Italian component manufacturer unveiled its latest 12-speed Super Record and Record groupsets today, making them the widest commercially available drivetrains to date.
However, as we previously speculated after learning that Campagnolo was fast at work developing a new 12-speed drivetrain, the heart of the design would likely fall in the area of a newly designed cassette and chain.
But, this turned out to be only partly the case, because in order to accommodate the new parameters in spacing, Campagnolo had to make revisions across the board, including revamped shifters, derailleurs and cranksets.
In the case of the shifters, new tweaks to the shape of the hoods, along with new low-friction cables and housings were needed in order to make the new transmission work. In addition, while the hydraulic-brake shifters appear much like their caliper brake counterparts, an additional 8mm of height was added to accommodate the hydraulic master cylinder, while the internals and bleeding port on top were kept the same as the current 11-speed design. Also, the new system allows for reach adjustment of the shifters via a 2.5mm hex key.
Both the front and rear derailleurs have been updated as well, which have been designed to meet the new “spacing” and “throw” of the shifters. Moreover, the cable bolt on the front derailleur can now be fitted on the rear or front of the “arm” in order to avoid possible cable rub when using wider tires.
In addition, the new Super Record rear derailleur now features a cage that’s made of Technopolymer reinforced carbon to increase strength and durability, while its Record sibling gets an alloy cage.
Both derailleurs get the necessary larger pulleys, but interestingly they only come in a size medium cage (72.5mm).
The new derailleurs also get Campagnolo’s 3D Embrace Technology that’s designed to keep top pulley positioned as far forward as possible on the cassette, thus maximizing chain wrap and the trajectory curve that’s needed for larger gearing. Furthermore, an upper body return spring has been added to absorb more road vibrations by stabilizing the derailleur better, along with a slimmer inner plate to increase spacing between the cage and the wheel spokes.
Unlike the current 11-speed groupsets, the new 12-speed system doesn’t require different cranksets to work with either braking option. Also the cranks have been treated to a more aerodynamic shape, along with a new uni-directional carbon finish. The Super Record differentiates itself by virtue of a lighter “hollow carbon” design.
Additionally, the new cranks are now secured via a single bolt on the non-driveside, while the Record crankset comes with a steel axle and USB ceramic bottom bracket bearings, whereas the Super Record version has a titanium axle, Campagnolo’s CULT ceramic bearings and an extended spider with two additional integrated carbon braces on the outer-ring’s edge to counteract the higher torque values.
The cassettes share the same sizes, to include larger 11-29t and 11-32t options, which feature two triple and six individual steel sprockets that rely on machined aluminum spacers, while the ratios equate into single-tooth increments all the way from the lower gear to the seventh sprocket, followed by 2- and 3-tooth jumps for the 11-29 and 2-, 3- and 4-tooth jump on the 11-32 cassette.
Brakes for the new system now feature dual-pivot calipers for direct-mount or single-pivot for traditional one-bolt frames, along with a new aerodynamic profile and brake-pad-release system.
The single-bolt calipers are compatible with tires up to 28mm, which now make use of bearings instead of bushings, whereas the new direct-mount rim brake allows for tire clearances up to 32mm. Furthermore, the direct-mount calipers feature a new integrated brace for increased rigidity that prevents the stays or fork legs from flexing, while again providing for tire clearances up to 32mm as well.
As far as the hydraulic disc brakes are concerned, they remain unchanged from their initial launch a year ago, with the front only being compatible with 160mm rotors, while rear can accommodate either 160 or 140mm.
In addition, Campagnolo says its flat-mount design fits any modern frame without the need for an adaptor, only requiring specific bolts that are available in lengths from 10mm to 39mm.
According to Campagnolo, the caliper brake version of the new 12-speed Super Record and Record groupsets will become available in May, while the disc brake versions will follow sometime in June or July.
It seems only natural that Campagnolo will soon give its electronic EPS groups the same treatment.
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