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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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.