First ride impressions: New Campagnolo Super Record Wireless groupset

Does the Italian brand's flagship groupset live up to expectations and its big price tag?

Sam Gupta perfects blue steel look while cornering on a Super Record Wireless equipped bike
(Image credit: Campagnolo)

Cycling Weekly's video manager Sam Gupta, had the opportunity to ride a bike equipped with all new Super Record Wireless at the launch event in Italy. These are purely first impressions and we'll bring you a far more in-depth review as soon as we can.

You'll find plenty of in-depth information in our news article on the all new Campagnolo Super Record Wireless groupset, but the headlines are a mightily impressive price tag - $5,399/£4,499, a completely wireless set up (as the name suggests), no rim brake option and no more famous Campagnolo thumbshifters.

I'll kick off with the ergonomics. My initial feeling was that both shifter buttons felt a little too similar. I would have loved to have had a bit more of an obvious difference in feel between them, so that I can build up a sub-conscious understanding of which each does what without having to think about it.

Like anything new, they might just take some time to get used to - especially if you're a long time Campagnolo user - but I do wonder if, come winter and when full fingered gloves are needed, it might be a bit too easy to hit the wrong button.

It’s not just the buttons that are new for these levers, they’ve been fully redesigned from the ground up. This has resulted in an all new shape, one which is claimed to be even more ergonomic. However, I didn’t feel that these levers represented a vast improvement over the outgoing ones.

First off, there’s a rather large gap behind the back of the levers. That wasn’t an issue when riding on the hoods on the flat, but, when out of the saddle and pulling on the bars going up a climb, the edges of the shifter housing dug into my fingers.

Also, the shape of the hoods has resulted in a harsher angle on the upper outside edge of the lever. When descending and pulling on the brake levers, the edge dug into my palms and did become uncomfortable. 

Lastly, the rubber used for the hoods has a slight sheen to it, much like other Campagnolo products, and that’s not something I’ve ever been a huge fan of because they become slippery much faster than other brands when sweat or water is on the surface.

When riding in a more aggressive, tucked aero position, it has to be said that gripping the hoods from the sides is much nicer as the hydraulic reservoir comes up quite high so you have a lot to hold onto. 

Campagnolo Super Record Wireless shifter hoods and a rider's hand

(Image credit: Campagnolo)

I’m also disappointed that the shifters do not have the programmable ‘magic buttons’ on top of the reservoirs in the same way that Shimano does. Campag claims that its aim was to focus on the riding experience and to allow the riders to fully immerse themselves while on the bike. For me, extra buttons on the shifters would have aided this, as it would mean you can tuck in on a fast section of road and perfectly adjust your gearing whenever you need to without changing position.

Onto the brake levers themselves, they still have a classic Campagnolo feel to them. They’re curvy and feel soft and smooth on the fingers. The lever reach can be easily adjusted via a torx head bolt found on the front and accessed via a hole in the lever. It’s the performance of the brakes that really does this new groupset justice. They really are excellent.

The test ride with the new set-up had a good few climbs in it, which also meant there were descents. The brakes felt smooth and progressive - there’s no instant bite, just the reassuring, gentle sound of pad making contact with rotor.

Pull on the levers more and more and the power ramps up at the same level and, despite my best efforts, I had a hard time locking the wheels up. I had to pull on the levers uncharacteristically hard to get them to do so. 

Sam Gupta riding a Campagnolo Super Record Wireless equipped bike

(Image credit: Campagnolo)

While brakes and shifters are obviously very interesting, The biggest difference which needs addressing - other than the wireless-ness, which worked very well - are the changes in gearing and gear ratios.

There will be three cassette options, a 10-25, a 10-27 and a 10-29. Chainring options will be  50/34,  48/32 and 45/29. Campagnolo made one of its key design pillars to create the perfect cadence, so they have kept single tooth jumps towards the bottom of the block and jumps of between two and three when you’re in the easier gears. 

I found that the changes in cadence were fantastic. I was never left searching for the right gear, it was always there, you just had to shift to find it. Purely from a cadence and gear ratio point of view, I was impressed.

However, I wasn’t as impressed with the shifting itself. First off, the drivetrain seemed particularly loud when shifting was incredibly loud.  While there’s something quite satisfying about hearing the metallic ping of your gears changing, I found Super Record’s soundtrack distracting...

Secondly, the shifts weren’t always super smooth. On one particular 10% climb, I went to shift up at the back of the block and was on the receiving end of the typical gear crunching / chain slipping over cassette noise before it finally found its place. 

This wasn't an isolated incident and, of course, user error may have played a part, but there were a handful of miss-shifts which left me lacking confidence.

It’s not just the shifting at the rear which I felt left a little to be desired - I didn’t feel that the front derailleur was as fast as its Shimano equivalent. There was an ever so slight hesitation, which I picked up on. 

Campagnolo Super Record Wireless rear mech

(Image credit: Campagnolo)

Until I can spend more time with the groupset, and run it head-to- head with rivals I’ll give it the benefit of doubt, but I did come away a little disappointed.

Aesthetically, I feel Super Record Wireless is missing some of that iconic Campagnolo Italian flair. This might be a completely subjective view, but it doesn’t look as premium as the price tag undoubtedly says it is.

As the new Campagnolo Super Record wireless groupset will cost £4,499/$5,399 or, 5200EUR, it’ll cost significantly more than SRAM Red eTap and Shimano Dura-Ace in a power meter specced bundle. I’m led to believe this will be an option for Super Record in the future, but that will simply add to the price. Likewise, satellite shifters.

My overall takeaway from this first interaction with the new groupset is a real mixed bag. There are aspects that I really do like - the braking, the cassette options and the embracing of wireless technology. 

But I’m also left with doubts. I wonder if Campagnolo created this groupset out of passion or necessity. My gut tells me it's the latter. I wish it captured more of the flair, excitement and heritage the brand is known for.

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Sam Gupta
Video Manager

After discovering his love of cycling in college, Sam has always kept two wheels very close. Having spent over five years working in a couple of local bike shops, it's fair to say he enjoys getting hands on. He also loves to push himself to ride ever longer distances and to explore as many new places as possible. 

Sam has been Cycling Weekly's video manager since January 2022. You'll find him on our YouTube channel where he brings you the latest cycling tech news, rides, reviews and all of the most important new launches while taking in some incredible cycling adventures too.