Campagnolo launched its much-anticipated electric groupsets in November in Sicily. The EPS group, in both Super Record and Record models, is now ready to compete with Shimano’s Di2 and mark a new chapter in the Italian manufacturer’s story.
“It’s been 20 years since the idea took root,” communication manager Lerrj Piazza explained. “The ideas were too advanced back then. We wanted to work on passing to the next cog – nine ,10 and 11-speed. We only wanted to release the electronic group when it was perfected.”
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The Vicenza-based company released the two groups designed to take on Shimano’s Di2 Dura-Ace and Ultegra groups. Piazza explained that Campagnolo is ready to fight, competing in weight and feel. He claims Super Record and Record are lighter than Shimano’s Di2 Dura-Ace, and about 200 grams lighter than their equivalent mechanical versions.
It is that mechanical feel that Campagnolo hopes will help give it the edge over its Japanese rival.
“We maintained the one lever-one action policy, which is important when you race so you don’t make a mistake,” Piazza added. “We also kept the ergonomics and made sure we had the ‘click’ feeling. We worked a lot to keep this; we want the rider to feel the change.”
Sticking to familiar ground, the thumb lever still shifts down and the forefinger lever still shifts up. Their clicks come from what Campagnolo calls the multi-dome concept, which amounts to several metal discs layered together to create the right resistance before clicking to shift. Similar to putting pressure on an aluminium drinks can to deform it.
Prices are still unavailable for the groups, but the Record group is expected to compete pricewise with Dura-Ace Di2.
“Super Record utilises every advanced technique possible, so it’s going to cost more: all-carbon, the CULT system – just those ceramic bearings cost a lot,” he explained. “Both groups, though, are beautiful to the eye and feel great under your hands.”
Movistar and other Campagnolo-equipped teams will use the EPS transmissions next season. Piazza said that Campagnolo will continue to produce the mechanical range, giving riders a choice, but said the electric group “is the future.”
We’ll wait and try a production set for ourselves before we go along with Campagnolo’s statement but it certainly looks as though electronic is here to stay.