If a 2009 brochure page leaked on weightweenies.com is to be believed, Campagnolo has added another sprocket to its cassettes to take them up to 11 speed.
With Shimano in the final stages of testing it’s prototype Dura Ace electronic groupset, and with a new prototype mechanical groupset being spotted on pro bikes, Campagnolo has been quiet save for the few test riders using its developmental electronic groupset.
But it seems the Italian company has now stolen a march on Shimano yet again and beaten them to market with a new groupset that includes that all important extra gear.
The spec sheet for the 2009 Bora Ultra II wheelset confirms that it will be 9 / 10 and all importantly 11 speed compatible. This makes us think that in the great tradition of Campagnolo, there is backward compatibility with existing cassette bodies being used.
This means the sprockets and spacers need to be thinner to fit the extra sprocket onto the same free hub body, along with the chain getting narrower. Speculation on the internet mentions chain widths of 5.5mm (currently 5.9mm) with sprocket widths of 1.5mm with 2.2mm spacers.
It’s still unclear as to whether or not the design of the Ergopower hoods is set to change, as nothing has so far been spotted on any pro bikes. However new lever shapes are being tested by Campag as part of its new electronic shifting system and were recently featured in Cycling Weekly.
Electronic shifting should have very little effect on lever shape so maybe Campagnolo is going for the third shape of Ergopower shifters in its lifetime? This could mean that the internal shifting mechanics are not interchangeable with current 9 or 10 speed.
It has previously been simple enough to perform home upgrades from 8 speed to 9 and 10, so an 11 speed shifter may be aesthetically similar to the current ones.
New lever shapes might explain why the ?Limited Edition? Pro shifters came out this year; what better way to shift stock that will be obsolete next year than to rebrand it and label it ?Pro use only?! An announcement from the Italian company is expected next month.