Campagnolo may be braking late, but it’s because they’re comin’ in hot with an expansive hydraulic disc brake line up across their EPS and mechanical road group range.
After several years developing their disc brake project and testing it with their Pro Tour riders in semi-secret, Campagnolo decided they couldn’t wait any longer. While the pro peloton half-heartedly experiments with racing disc brakes, Campy is giving the rest of us a well thought out, modular design that puts hydraulic road disc brakes into each of their existing mechanical and electronic groupsets. And, availability at all levels is coming very soon… most by early summer.
Read on for an overview of everything that is new with Campy’s disc brake project from the top Super Record EPS down to mechanical Potenza. From new carbon tubular race wheels to tubeless alloy clinchers. And everything in between…
Campagnolo’s disc brake project goes far beyond just a set of levers paired to hydraulic disc brake calipers. There are a lot of new, non-brake components designed to work together as a whole, with unique tech solutions every step of the way. The goal? An improved disc brake riding experience compared to what’s already on the market.
It takes more than a cursory look to explain, so this post is your overview. By the time you’ve read through it, our first of several articles focusing in on the nitty gritty tech will be live, explaining what makes Campagnolo’s disc brakes a real viable alternative to the existing systems from SRAM & Shimano.
The biggest news for Campy disc brakes, besides the fact that they are coming to consumer bikes as early as May/June 2017, is that they will be available at each level of Campagnolo’s current crop of 11 speed road groupsets. Campy are doing that with three sets of all-new hydraulic disc brake Ergopower shift/brake levers, each sharing identical ergonomics: a new non-series carbon H11 in EPS & mechanical shift versions for Super Record, Record & Chorus; and a new alloy version for Potenza’s unique Power-Shift mechanical internals.
Of course for those levers to bring bikes to a stop, a new hydraulic disc brake caliper design was required. After some initial consulting with an outside company specializing in hydraulic disc brakes, Campagnolo developed their own flat mount calipers in house that drop the typical mounting adapters most other brake makers have used. They even reimagined motorsports technology to dramatically reduce noise at the rotors.
The rotor shapes aren’t an afterthought either, with Campagnolo putting in a good bit of design effort and pro team feedback to come up with their round, alloy carrier solution for both 160mm & 140mm brake rotors.
Road racing performance is at the top of the list of priorities for Campagnolo, so it was key to them to develop both carbon and alloy cranksets to work with the wider rear hub spacing of road disc wheels. Not one to sacrifice perfect shift performance, the H11 and Potenza cranks move the chainring spacing out (without changing Q-factor) so they’re optimized for the wider thru-axle spacing of road discs, while allowing short, racy chainstays, in much the same move we’ve seen with Boost cranks on mountain bikes.
You can’t have a road race groupset without race-ready wheels, and Campagnolo has that covered as well. They are adding four new wheelsets immediately, with hints of more to come. The new wheels include their top of the line alloy Shamal Ultra race-ready wheels in a tubeless disc brake version, plus carbon-rimmed Bora Ones in a 35mm deep profile in both tubular & clincher, and a 50mm that will be tubular only for the time being. And if you are opting for the more reasonably priced Potenza alloy groupset you can always go for the aluminum Zonda DB wheels introduced last summer.
That’s the overview. Hop back to the home page at any time to catch the latest, or hit these links as they go live with our deep dive tech stories:
- H11 carbon in depth – EPS & Mechanical levers and calipers detailed tech
- Potenza 11’s alloy disc brake solution
- Disc-specific cranksets
- Shamal Ultra alloy 2-Way Fit tubeless disc brake wheels
- Bora One carbon tubular & clincher disc brake wheels
- Campy H11 mechanical long-term review