Campagnolo trolled us with social media watchmaking teasers back when they introduced their Movement campaign ahead of a clothing launch at the end of 2017. It seems underlying the whole idea was the concept of 12 hours on a watch face, as Campy prepped to debut the first road bike twelve speed groupset. But now new Record & Super Record are on their way, developed around a tightly spaced, but wide range 12-speed cassette concept that will come to market in a matter of weeks.

Campagnolo Movement 12-speed road bike drivetrains

Campagnolo Record Movement 12 tightly-spaced steel 12-speed cassette road bike groupset twelve-speed climbing in 50-28

What marks the move to a 12-speed double road bike drivetrain? Campagnolo was talking up the perfection of the number twelve (in a playful and amusing way) but it ultimately came down to delivering tightly spaced gearing options, while not giving up overall gearing range. Spin smoothly across the flat and through rolling hills at your ideal cadence, and still have plenty of low gear range for the long steep climbs.

Campagnolo Super Record 12-speed Movement 12 mechanical shift hydraulic disc brake road bike groupset new twelve-speed drivetrain rear end

The new 12-speed Record & Super Record groups essentially boil down to a pair of new 12 cogged cassettes and a new, more narrow R12 chain.

12-speed Record level, all steel cassette

Campagnolo Record Movement 12 tightly-spaced steel 12-speed cassette road bike groupset twelve-speed profile

The heart of Campagnolo’s move to 12 speeds are the two new Record-level cassettes (11-29 & 11-32) that keep gear ratios close, while providing a broader gear range. Both cassettes share single tooth jumps for the first seven gears (11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17) to maintain the smoothest possible steps in gearing. Then the last five gears get two to four tooth steps to again maintain smooth steps for a lesser impact of rider cadence.

Adding in the extra cog has pretty substantial effect on smoothing the gear ratio spread, so Campy says that makes just two different cassette sizes necessary. They did however concede, that much like the small but real demand for 11-23 & 11-25 cassettes, they may potentially work on a third pro-specific cluster with even tighter spacing (11-25 or 11-27) for especially flat racing. But so far, Campagnolo’s pro teams have been pleased with the small gearing jumps of the 11-29, which also weighs just a claimed 266g.

Campagnolo Record Movement 12 tightly-spaced steel 12-speed cassette road bike groupset twelve-speed front & back details

The new 12-speed cassettes are only available now in a Record level (not branded as part of a series) and are entirely made up of steel cogs. Lighter versions possibly with ti cogs are in development. So far Campy hasn’t seen performance improvements over these steel clusters, but will continue to work on lighter options.

Both version of the cassette share the same loose steel lower 6 cogs with their 1-tooth jumps. They also get machined aluminum spacers between each cog, which Campagnolo says guarantees more precise cog spacing for perfect shifts.

At the upper end, the largest six gears of the cluster are machined from two 3 cog clusters – with unique gearing combinations for each cassette option (17-19-21 + 23-26-29 or 17-19-22 + 25-28-32). Each triplet cog grouping is machined from a single chunk of steel, making for a light, stiff & durable gearing solution.

Campagnolo Record Movement 12 tightly-spaced steel 12-speed cassette road bike groupset twelve-speed 11-32

A key point of the new 12-speed cassettes is fitting them with the same 11-speed cassette spacing. That means the new 12-speed drivetrains will be compatible with all existing 11-speed compatible bikes. And there will be no need to upgrade or replace any 11-speed Campagnolo compatible wheels.

Of course to fit an additional cog in the same spacing, without increasing overall freehub width, both cog spacing must be thinner, and the sprockets themselves are thinner. That’s a big reason why both Record & Super Record are getting the same all-steel cassettes. The tough steel sprockets can be made to achieve the same durability as 11-speed cogs, also helped by a new chemical surface treatment to the steel sprockets that increases their lifespan.

12-speed Record R12 narrow chain

Campagnolo Record Movement 12 narrow R12 12-speed chain road bike groupset twelve-speed

Making 12 speeds work in the same width as 11 isn’t just the realm of the narrowly spaced cogs on the cassette. As those cogs got closer together, the chain must get narrower to stay in place on the cogs, so that it shifts up the cluster only when desired.

Campagnolo Record Movement 12 narrow R12 12-speed chain road bike groupset twelve-speed 5.08mm actual width

Thankfully adding another cog didn’t require drastic reshaping or redesign on the chain. In fact Campagnolo says that moving from the 5.5mm R11 chain to this new 5.08mm R12 chain they didn’t have to make the plates any thinner.

That means that the new chain gets the same construction as before with <10% narrower pins, actually making for a chain that is both a bit lighter (at 220g) and a little stronger. The end result is the more narrow R12 chain maintains the same lifespan & durability of its 11-speed predecessor.

Record & Super Record 12-speed mechanical road groupsets

Campagnolo Super Record 12-speed Movement 12 mechanical shift hydraulic disc brake road bike groupset new twelve-speed drivetrain

Of course, the switch to 12 speeds is a bit more complicated than just a new cassette and chain. The rear derailleur certainly needs a full overhaul to shift across that larger cluster. And of course that means you need a new set of Ergopower lever to actuate the shifts. Plus, Campagnolo also took the opportunity to tweak the design of their cranksets, front derailleur geometry, and it comes in both updated rim and disc brake versions. We’ll update with full tech details on the entire new groupsets this morning.

Check out our in-depth coverage of the entire 12-speed Super Record & Record groupsets here.

Campagnolo.com

65 COMMENTS

  1. I suspect this is going to run up against stiffness issues with some of the poorer rear mech hangers out there.

    The rear mech interface is in serious need of a redesign. I know new standards and blah blah, but it’s a crippling weak point on almost all bikes.

    • Rear mech handlers are by design, weaker. Built to break in crash to absorb impact forces to save the dereailluer and the bike frame. Hangers are cheap, mechs and frames aren’t.

      • I know this, but it often causes more problems than it solves

        Strength and stiffness are complimentary, but separate issues. Stiffness is a problem with many modern hangers, which comes from trying to package the hanger attachment between the locknut and the QR. Groupsets fitted to decent stiff hangers, such as those on thru-axled frames, or on non-replaceable hangers shift noticeably better.

        In any case, I’d rather have a mech bend than than have a hanger shear and the mech end up smashing through the stays and killing the frame.

      • I’m ok with wrecking my deraileur during a crash, if i can have a stiffer hanger. the softer hangers cause more of an issue than theyre worth, because of how narrow the spacing on the cassette is. most cases, if im crashing that hard, the deraileur is gone anyways. crashing is expensive, period. no way around that. we just need to come to terms with it.

        • The problem with a significantly stiffer hanger is that it’s not the derailleur which is next to bend, it’s the frame. A few manufacturers, GT most notably, learnt this lesson the hard way in the early days of alloy frames.

  2. Campagnolo is just trailing Shimano, they can’t keep up with R&D, they’ll be folding down in no time, we don’t need another cog.

    Until Shimano makes their 12s system, that’s it.

        • Shimano can only dream to have the racing heritage of Campagnolo, and it showed many times including when they came out with integrated index shifting. Jumping from commuter bikes and fishing reels to actual racing, takes more than few years.
          What is really killing cycling is companies like sram, producing low quality stuff that nobody wants or needs and still be able to force it on the market thanks to $$$ spent in ads and marketing.

            • I rode Campy for 30 years and I’m a big fan. But after owning Shimano Di2 and Sram Etap I’m not sure I’ll be spending my cash with them unless they make some big improvements in price and straighten out the wonky EPS v2/v3, wire harness mess and the magnet needed to turn the system off. As far as I’m concerned Etap wins. On the mechanical group side I’d go with Campy.

          • Campy kills itself with its premuim pricing and OEM on only botique itallian bikes. The world is full of dead heritage brands, heritage means nothing. Sram is doing just fine, it basicaly owns all of MTB and CX.

            • Agree (except pricing, which may be more of a distributor thing in the US).
              But, Campy is trying to get on more OEM bikes. They have a handful and are not Italian only. Ridley has a potenza disc Fenix i believe.
              I think Campy would be smart to leverage this by coming out with 1×12 for CX and gravel.

          • I love Campy an inordinate amount, but “racing heritage” =! money in the bank. To pretend that they are a serious competitor to Shimano is delusional.

        • Shimano and sram are useless, you can only upshift 1 up which makes 11 speed bike impossible to ride, not talking about this new electronic craze, they can shift more but come on so much complication.

    • Hey Dave, It took Shimano 12 years to finally figure out how to aero route their gear cables, and you’re calling for the death of Campy because…. 12sp? #crylaughing

      • my favourite part of that is that they (shimano) copied the sram solution for routing the cables. Which was garbage at the time. I’m glad they’ve made some adjustments there, because rethreading a cable you’ve extracted to inspect and lube was utterly horrible on the early sram road stuff.

    • During early 80s Campy were still in barn style factory with 500 workers, and 1 engineer, whereas shimano was and still is in a modern factory near Osaka and has already surpassed 100 R&D engineers on the team, but nobody would use them in European, pros and amateurs until Francesco Moser won Giro 84′ with a Shimano index shifting equipped bike!

  3. That rear derailleur? Yikes.

    Even if it wasn’t always the logical choice, Campy used to make it easy to fall in love with their looks. Maybe it’ll grow on me- or at least look better on a DM hanger.

  4. This is not the good ol trusty campy, than thin chain will last lest than the already short life chains and cassettes. Not the efficiency and reliability of shimano, and shimano price… campy shooting their own feet apparently.

    • The chain production and specs are in the article. Steel cassettes last a long time. The efficiency of derailleur systems is fairly standard across all manufacturers.

      Campy has always been more expensive than Shimano. Keeping it that way isn’t ‘shooting themselves in the foot’

    • Just to be clear as stated in the article, the chain’s plates are not thinner. Only the pins are shorter. There is no reason to think the chain will last any less than the comparable R11. In fact the shorter pins will make for a stronger chain.

      You are of course welcome to debate however whether thinner cogs will result in faster wearing cassettes, even with the claimed new treatment process.

      • Stronger yes, but there is less load area for the force as the pin is shorter. So theoretically, it could wear/elongate faster but it may be marginal compared to other factors (maintenance, operation).

      • Yup, longest lasting chains on the market in my experience. I’ve run one through at least two Montreal winters. Even ran it fixed for one, threw the extra links back on with a pair of KMC quick links and am riding it again. When i ran sram road stuff it was a cassette and chain per season easily, oh, and an inner chainring!

  5. The weak link of any chain is the rollers, they are the only thing that wear out. Plates and pins are no problem. I would like to see harder rollers, that would really extend the life of chains. Of course that would make chainrings wear faster. Maybe steel teeth, swaged onto alu rings.

  6. Campy ergonomics are the best IMO, if they were offering a clutch rear derailleur for 1x and 12 speed 11-36 cassette this would be on my gravel bike in July.

    • I’ve been running 1x campy since last summer with zero issues. I’ve used wolf tooth, absolute black, and white industries 1x chainrings.

      I’m using a 34 cassette without a roadlink and a chorus derailleur. You can make the switch. I believe in you.

    • You want srampagnolo, Campy 10sp shifters, sram 10sp mtb derrailuer, doesn’t works pretty well, and gets you 11-36 or 11-40 with a sunrace casette.

  7. No need for an 11 tooth for me and my Mid Compact crank. I’d be willing to upgrade when they introduce a 12 – 29 cassette. Love a tight cluster.

  8. That SR crankset is sweet.
    Looks like Campy will have dedicated “group” cransets rather than their H11 non series crank for disc 142 applications.

    Just built a new bike with H11. Nice but the hood plastic is bulkier where it meets the bars and makes wrapping kind of funky.

  9. I think Campagnolo makes a big mistake every time they release more speeds ahead of the larger competitors that dominante the OEM accounts. If they want to get a toehold back in the OEM market – and they should, if they want to have any customers left in 10-20 years – they really need to get freehub and cassette spacing compatibility.

    • Let me preface my take by confessing that I’m not a product manager for a bicycle manufacturer: cost and availability was the problem, not the spline pattern of the cassette. For the last 15 years the dollar has been gaining strength against the yen while the opposite has been happening with the dollar and euro. The result is that a Campy Veloce group hits the same price point as Ultegra and Chorus costs the same as Dura Ace. That sucks (because I ride Campy) but that comparative disadvantage may have factored into their decision to chase the boutique market. They won’t beat Shimano on unit cost so they play a different game.

      Lastly, Campy is privately held; Shimano is publicly traded. Both companies will pursue different growth strategies as a result.

      • You should double check your assumptions regarding foreign exchange values… Both the Yen & EURO are sitting at almost the exact same dollar value they were at 15years ago. In that time, the Euro spiked first around 2008, while the Yen spiked a little later (but greater & longer lasting) in 2011-2012. At the start of 2015, both were way down vs. the dollar. Though the Yen did have a bit of a rally in 2016, that is past and currently, they are loosely trending together vs. the dollar.

        All that said, regardless of what people say about Forex values playing into the price of our toys, they actually have little to do with how the prices of luxury goods are determined. Which, if we’re being honest, is exactly what all this stuff is.

        • We are talking about an industry that foisted Pressfit BB’s on us in the name of saving 10 minutes on frame production. They will cut corners to save a few dollars — especially at the lower/middle end of the market.

          Your point of luxury goods is valid — a Record level bike will always cost $7-10k – no matter the exchange rate.

    • They have the better freehub spline, and the best interchangeability. It’s quite rare to see a Campy cassette that has eaten itself into the splines and takes significant effort to remove, even on alu freehub bodies; but it happens all the time with shimano cogs even on steel bodies.

      • Here’s what I mean (I am a product manager, though not in the bike industry, so I may be more opinionated than reasonable, diss the following as you like):

        If I’m responsible for a road line and planning to move some of my spec to Campy, I need to have at a minimum different wheels, cassettes, as well as a second set of tools and maybe fixtures, to build up the line, in addition to shifters and derailleurs. So immediately my inventory needs go up, my capital risk goes up, and my ability to respond quickly to demand goes down, all in the face of uncertain demand for a test spec. I can’t mix and match as well, and it’s just a pain. So maybe I’d keep a single high-end Camppagnolo bike in the line for image and positioning purposes (and build it on on demand only), but I’d never shift a portion of the higher volume stuff to see how the market responds. It’s just riskier and more of a PITA than it needs to be.

        The big down side for Campagnolo as a brand of the above risk aversion is that the first, and probably second and third, road bikes that people buy aren’t going to be Campy bikes, and so customers spend years getting acquainted with Shimano and SRAM and are far less likely to go with Campy later.

        In part because they remain low volume, and their lack of a coherent OEM strategy contributes to that, their price points get driven up and they’re not really competitive for equivalent spec. Which also impacts availability in shops and retail part pricing. So they stay niche, poorly capitalized compared to the competition, and struggling to keep up.

        And that’s just my perspective on impact speccing a road bike line, not even getting into the logistics of where parts are made and assembly options at the factory in Asia, exchange rate fluctuations, etc. They make a lot of other weird product choices too. For example, there’s no bar-end shifters for the Tri crowd yet, which is huge. They once released cranks with no means of removal (remember the powertorque fiasco?). They had special 10-speed spaced 9-speed cassettes for their ghibli disc wheel for a while that had a shorter freehub than everything else – requiring the user to buy a one-off cassette @ ~$200 IIRC just to use the wheel.

        There’s a pattern here of bad or incomplete design and dubious engineering going a long ways back (read Jobst Brand on the delta brakes if you want some Monday entertainment). Campagnolo just can’t put a growth-oriented product strategy together to save their lives. Which is a shame, because they need growth and scale to survive in a high-tech competitive market, and living in the aftermarket alone isn’t going to get them there.

    • I think this is a red herring. Is anyone not choosing Campy (or equipping bikes with Campy) because of freehub compatibility?
      Cassettes on 11 spd are interchangeable across all brands.

      Campy isn’t big because they can’t leverage their supply chain to get in as an OEM group. They are trying, but its hard given Shim/Sram capital.

      • Campy is its own freehub, it locks you into campy only cassettes. Only shimano and sram play nice. Not all given wheelsets have a campy freehub body option. If they do, its an upcharge. Campy isnt oem becuase you can’t mix and match it with anything, campy requires every peice to be campy

      • My point is, they’re not making it any easier w/ a bunch of dedicated parts needed – if they were compatible a PM would just need to spec/source/stock shifters and derailleurs (maybe brakes) to offer a build and test the waters. Lower capital risk, simpler logistics.

  10. That 11-23 “straight block” might be tightly spaced, but 1t jumps between all those cogs are nowhere near consistent. The tight-spacing princesses will find that pea.

  11. I like their cassette cog spacings. Having a tight spacing for the high speed flats that lets you fine tune your cadence and then a wider spacing to get the slower speed climbing gears in. This is exactly how I’ve been designing my custom cassettes. I pick my chainrings to put the change between the tight and wide spacing where I like it, something that depends on your preferred cadence and speed.

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