Athena EPS: Electronics for the people

Campagnolo is to produce an Athena level Electronic Power Shift (EPS) system for 2013, following its introduction of EPS systems for its top end Super Record and Record groupsets in November 2011.

The Athena EPS will be an 11-speed drivetrain and, says Campagnolo ‘has the same technologies and characteristics’ as the Super Record and Record EPS kit.

So what’s the difference? Well, whereas the Ergo levers, front and rear mechs on the more expensive kit are constructed from carbon, the same elements in the Athena EPS gruppo are aluminium alloy. Otherwise Campag is insisting that the gears will function identically – with the same multi-shift capacity, shifter feel and identical design geometry on the Athena EPS rear mech as on the pricier equivalents.

Basically, if you want to change up or down several gears, even with the Athena EPS, you keep the lever engaged in the direction you want the rear mech to travel in – and the front mech automatic trim function features on the Vicenza-made Athena kit too.

After initial problems with water ingress in the early development phase of its EPS systems, Campag has acquired an Ingress Protection rating of IP67 (fully waterproof to a depth of one meter for three minutes) for its system – which is more than enough to withstand rain and a bit of vigorous washing. Although the same housing and power pack will run on all three gruppos, the Record wiring looms will not be compatible with the Athena control module and power pack.

Front mech features auto-trim function

Campag is also claiming that the inner, down shifting paddle (‘lever three’) has been improved to offer a smoother feel and the new down-swept shape makes a lot more sense, ergonomically speaking. Prices for all of Campagnolo’s EPS offerings will be released in September and the groupsets should be in dealers near the end of the year.

Athena EPS shifters are made from alloy

This article was first published in the August 23 issue of Cycling Weekly. You can also read our magazines on Zinio and download from the Apple store.