New system is limited to the pro ranks, for now

Campagnolo disc brakes will be used in upcoming WorldTour races after the Italian company officially revealed the prototype systems that will be used by Lotto-Soudal, Astana, and Movistar.

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Despite Shimano and SRAM having released road bike disc brakes some years ago, Campagnolo insisted that it was “not in a hurry” with its disc brake project, apparently taking time to launch a system that is better than its competitors, with extensive testing in the WorldTour arena before becoming publically available.

ridley campagnolo disc brakes

There will be numerous types of Campagnolo disc brakes used by Campagnolo-sponsored teams over the coming months, each labelled ‘Campy Tech Lab’, as the company assesses different designs and solutions before deciding which to pursue.

>>> What do pro riders think of disc brakes?

Unfortunately, Campagnolo is not currently willing to give details of any of the systems, but we were able to glean a few technical details from casting an eye over the Lotto-Soudal and Astana team bikes at the launch of the Campagnolo disc brake project. (The Canyon disc brake bike – a finished verison of the prototype Ultimate CF SLX Disc that we saw at Eurobike – to be used by Movistar is yet to be officially revealed).

campagnolo disc brakes brake lever campy tech lab 2

The hood design looks less bulky than Shimano and SRAM’s versions

It appears that Campagnolo disc brakes will be designed to work with both mechanical and electronic groupsets, with Super Record and Super Record EPS-equipped disc brake bikes being present at the launch. These will be controlled by levers with a similar design to the existing Campagnolo levers, with the only deviation being the cut-out on the EPS lever, possibly a weight-saving measure.

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The hoods are also similar to those on the existing Campagnolo groupsets, and even though they have needed to be enlarged a little in order to incorporate the hydraulic brake fluid, they are still considerably less bulky than the hoods on the Shimano and SRAM disc brake systems.

campagnolo disc brake 12

The brake calpiers will be available as flat mount or post mount

The calipers will be available as post mount or flat mount, while the three bikes that we saw with Campagnolo disc brakes coming with a 160mm rotor at the front, and a 140mm rotor at the rear, which are attached using a six bolt system.

>>> Disc brakes: everything you need to know

The rotors are attached to disc brake specific wheels, which were also labelled ‘Campy Tech Lab’ and will likely be tested by Movistar and Lotto-Soudal who both also have Campagnolo has a wheel sponsor.

campagnolo disc brake campy tech lab wheel

Campagnolo is also developing its own disc brake-specific wheels

All three Campagnolo-sponsored teams are currently in receipt of the disc brakes and wheels, with the feedback they give being used to determine the final design of the disc brakes, a similar process to what Campagnolo has done in the past with its products receiving testing by professional riders before being released to consumers.

>>> ‘Women’s cycling is not really ready for disc brakes’

However, according to current UCI rules, any prototype equipment used in the pro peloton must be made commercially available within nine months of its race use. With Campagnolo indicating that, despite it being the teams’ choice as to when to use disc brakes, that the new technology could be used in the Classics, this could mean a full release scheduled for, at the latest, January 2017.

  • Semnoz

    Can’t blame Campagnolo for waiting. It’s partly their own fault they’re behind in this category, most probably a result of stopping their MTB component line over 20 years ago. But when they ‘waited’ for the others to do out-board BB bearings, their response [UltraTorque] was excellent, and the best approach to cranksets. Their EPS is damn good too. And they were first to do 11 speed. I’m sure it’ll all be good 🙂

  • Greg Garrett

    campy undoubtedly has let the others’ trial and error their products while seeing what works best, then developing their own version with their own improvements. there is no “years behind” anymore with tech, and there are 1000 diff ways to do the same thing. patents don’t need to be wholesale changed to be new and legal, just different. and disc brakes aren’t brain surgery. product development happens from observance, prototyping and making smart alterations, then testing them. that’s exactly where campy is, and doing it the smart way I might add. they were the followed for years——everyone wanted to be campy, campy paid the price but survived. its expensive to be the “first” every time, much cheaper and more efficient to let the others spend the money to try what doesn’t work. ask the the Asians, they’ve used US company’s ideas for years and made it work for them. its like watching your big brother mess up with your parents, then not falling into the same trap.

  • Leodis75

    I love Campagnolo but they have really dragged their feet over on this one, they are years behind and no doubt the brakes will be top end market stuff unlike Shimano who have targeted all areas with SRAM.

  • Fergus Nash

    No cooling fins on the pads or ice tech type rotors. Don’t think these will be any where near as good as shimano. Shimano have been doing the disc brakes on mountain bikes for years and probably have most the patents on all the good tech.