This morning Campagnolo unveiled the first production ready 12-speed road bike drivetrain, built on a wide-range, tightly-spaced cassette fitting in existing 11-speed spacing. But there are more updates to the two top-level Super Record & Record gruppos from all new derailleurs to cranksets, even series branded disc brakes. And we have all the tech details.
Campagnolo Super Record & Record 12-speed in detail
Campagnolo took the opportunity to tweak the design of their cranksets, unifying disc and rim bike versions into one. The rear derailleur gets a full overhaul to shift across that larger cluster, and the front derailleur geometry gets tweaked for faster shifts & easier setup. Of course you are going to need a new set of Ergopower lever to actuate those 12-speed shifts, and it also allowed Campagnolo to improve the feel of the rim brake levers. Rim brakes get updated too for more modern functionality. And lastly, the disc brake Ergopowers get updated internals.
Super Record & Record cranksets
The new cranksets get a smoother, more aero look that highlights the overall angular aesthetic that will probably be a love or hate thing. Super Record is probably the most divisive with its new carbon brace that is said to reinforce the outer chainring at its highest point of torque input for more precise power transmission & shifting. The Super Record crank gets hollow carbon construction, and a titanium spindle, in addition to CULT ceramic bearings.
The Record crank without the carbon chainring brace uses a solid carbon construction, a steel bottom bracket spindle, and USB ceramic bearings. Both cranks retain Campy’s narrow 145.5mm Q-factor and still use a Ultra Torque spindle bolt, although now shifted to the non-driveside. The 4-bolt design retains the same separate 112mm & 145mm BCD for each ring as the previous generation of cranks, but does have its own new rings with a new two-stage hard anodizing treatment and new symmetrical teeth on the inner ring for lower friction while cross chaining.
Both new cranks will be available in 165, 170, 172.5 & 175mm arm lengths. And both can be spec’ed with 50/34, 52/36 or 53/39 rings using the same crankset (no different standard vs. compact cranks arms.)
Also Campagnolo has moved with the new cranksets to a new chainring position that somewhat splits the difference between H11 disc brake specific (or rather 135/142mm spacing-specific) and 11-speed rim brake specific (130mm rear end spacing-specific) cranksets. No more separate cranks depending on your brakes or rear end spacing. Just one happy medium crankset for both.
Super Record & Record rear derailleur
The new rear derailleurs get equally striking aesthetics. They both feature a new upper body with long strand carbon fibers reinforcing their molded engineered polymer (fancy reinforced plastic). The derailleurs have a completely new layout to their linkages to optimize movement across the larger 11-29 & 11-32 cassettes, while keeping the upper pulley farther forward to maximize chain wrap around the cogs.
Both Super Record & Record will be available in a single medium cage only design with large 12T pulley wheels to work with the two cassettes available (and even with a possible future smaller cassette.) Pulley wheels get longer teeth up top, chamfered & shorter down below for low friction running – and red CULT ceramic pulley bearings for Super Record & USB bearings for Record.
With the move to 12 speeds, Campy also designed thinner internal cage to keep the new derailleurs even further from the spokes. Super Record gets a carbon outer cage with an alloy inner, while Record uses two alloy cages.
Most interesting about the new derailleurs is the new direct mount hanger option with a single derailleur design. The upper link is simply removable from behind the upper knuckle and the derailleur can be bolted to a frame with a direct mount for more precise shifting.
Super Record & Record front derailleur
While not 12-speed specific in its updates the Super Record & Record front derailleurs get an all new design as well, while retaining Campy trim functionality. Both spec levels are essentially the same outside of the more shaped carbon outer cage of Super Record, with both featuring thinner cage designs to allow more extreme chain angles.
Both use the new design that Campagnolo says separates the traditional upper/outer lever arm of the front derailleur into two individual and lower profile elements. Now with a lower external rod and an upper semi-rod lever attached to the cable, Campy claims a smoother, faster movement of the derailleur. We’re not entirely clear why this arrangement would speed shifts, but paired with the updated shift levers, there is a noticeably more immediate movement of the derailleur when you throw the shift lever.
More importantly is probably that the front mechs allow for the cable to be clamped to either side of the upper arm thanks to a reversible clamp. This should help provide more tire clearance on some bikes with short chainstays/large volume tires, or just allow for the most efficient cable routing possible on a wider range of frames.
Super Record & Record rim brake Ergopower shift/brake levers
The rim brake Ergopower shift/brake levers get a pretty significant update with improved ergonomics. Campagnolo has reshaped a new outward curve to the double bend brake lever, that is a bit wider, a bit curvier, and more closely resembles the updates that H11 got last year. The rim brake Ergopowers also now get both larger, more curved up and down shift levers for easier shifting, with the upshift lever tucked more tightly against the back of the brake lever.
The pivot point of the brake lever also moves down slightly to better align with the bar top for a more comfortable motion. Above that pivot, Campagnolo has reworked their standard brake cable quick release button to include a third position for a more customizable fit for riders with small hands.
The levers now have: open, long reach, and short reach positions that allow full brake lever function.
Internals of course get updated to 12-speed, but still keep the same ‘one lever, one action’ for intuitive shifting and the same UltraShift tech for up to five combined downshifts at once or up to three upshifts.
Campy also seems pretty excited about new smoother, lower friction cables & housing. They apparently use a teflon coating, but it is much longer lasting than before, not degrading noticeably with regular use.
Super Record & Record aero rim brake calipers
Both groups also get overhaul rim brake calipers to compliment the new Ergopowers. Gone is the open Skeleton design, in favor of a more aerodynamic shape. The Skeleton shaping continues internally to keep things light but now with a sleek outer profile. Both Super Record & Record get their own branded traditional single bolt brakes now with room for at least 28mm tires.
A new direct mount set of rim brake calipers have also been developed, but get generic non-series Campagnolo branding to work with either groupset. The big improvement in the direct mount calipers is a new integrated brake brace that stiffens the brakes for improved performance without transmitting braking force into spreading the bike’s stays. They also get more tire clearance for at least 30mm tires.
All of the new caliper brakes upgrade from the previous generation’s bushings to new bearing pivots, and include a new light brake shoe design with a tool free pad release.
Super Record & Record disc brake Ergopower shift/brake levers
The disc brake Ergopower shift/brake levers are functionally the same as the current H11 Ergopowers with respect to braking. That certainly isn’t a bad thing as we have found them to deliver among the best hydraulic road disc braking on the market. They still use the same universal H11 master cylinder for reliable, performance braking and interchangeability, the same adjustable reach, the same adjustable leverage ratio, and the same overall hood ergonomics.
The key improvement here is that like the cranks, each group gets its own branded levers. Super Record gets hollowed out carbon brake levers, while Record gets just the single hole to access their adjustment screw.
Inside they get new 12-speed UltraShift internals to control the new rear derailleur, and also less free stroke in both shift levers before an upshift movement starts to move. That partly works to deliver excellent fast shifting due to the improved, longer lasting teflon coated mechanical shift cables that Campy has developed and spec’ed.
Super Record & Record disc brake calipers
The hydraulic brake calipers and rotors themselves remain unchanged as well. Here the stay without branding to keep things simple with no difference between Super Record & Record (or to 11-speed Super Record, Record, Chorus, or even Potenza for that matter.) They stick with the same organic resin brake pads, and industry leading 0.4mm guaranteed pad retraction thanks to the magic of magnets.
12-speed cassettes & chains
We’ve already detailed what’s new in the cassette and chain department, since those are the real core of what sets these new group sets apart. To get into the details of the all-new steel cassettes available in 11-29 & 11-32 gearing, or the new 5.08mm wide R12 chain, check out our first Campy 12-speed article.
New 12-speed wheel options?
OK, so you don’t really need new 12-speed wheels. Remember that the new cassette maintains the same overall width as 11-speed, so all of your current Campagnolo wheels are still compatible. But that hasn’t stopped Campy from developing more and more wheels, especially with the growth of aero profiles and disc brakes. Today Campagnolo also unveiled their most aero wheels yet – the rim brake tubeless carbon Bora WTO series for your aero road race bike.
They also have a new clincher version of their deeper carbon disc brake Bora One 50 DB wheelset like we saw last spring in 35mm or 50mm in tubular only. Then there will be a new tubeless-ready aluminum Scirocco DB 2WF clincher wheelset, and a budget friendly aluminum reworking of the rim brake Khamsin clinchers. All of those use Campy’s wider C17 & C19 (17 &19mm internal) rim profiles and will be available June/July 2018. The promising looking tubeless-ready aluminum Shamal Ultra 2WF clinchers are expected to also hit the market finally this summer.
Why is there no 12-speed EPS?
Maybe the better question is when is 12-speed EPS coming? Campagnolo has decided to put its focus in getting mechanical Record and Super Record groupsets out to customers first this summer. Announcing Record & Super Record at the same time, in both rim & disc brake variants, there are already four groupsets to manage here. As we have seen with Campy’s big Japanese groupset competitor, it is very difficult to mage the logistics of such an introduction, resulting in delayed deliveries of a year or more. Campy did pretty well of offering even limited groupset availability of their new H11 components last summer/fall, so it looks like they are trying to not get in over their heads.
Campagnolo has confirmed that an electronic 12-speed gruppo is in fact in development. And it will hopefully be announced by the end of 2018. Campy’s pro teams demand the fast & reliable performance of EPS for competition, so we’ll likely spot them on a Super Record EPS version of the 12-speed drivetrain first, possibly even through the summer racing season.
Groupset Pricing & Availability
Campagnolo has said that all of the new 12-speed components should be available by mid summer. 12-speed mechanical Super Record with rim brakes should come first in late May 2018 at a complete group price of $3195/2915€ and at 2041g total. Record with rim brakes will be next sometime in June 2018 at $2175/1960€ and 2213g.
12-speed mechanical Super Record with hydraulic disc brakes should come next in late June/early July 2018 at a complete group price of $3600/3199€ and a total weight of 2323g. Record 12 with disc brakes will be the last available later in July 2018 at $2750/2395€ and 2453g. (All EU pricing including VAT.)
Campagnolo OEM bikes
Besides individual groupsets, big news is that Campagnolo has secured OEM distribution deals with many premier bike makers, lured by the first 12-speed road bike drivetrains to hit the market. We’ve seen rim brake bikes built up with Campy 12 from Basso, BH, Bianchi, Cannondale, Canyon, Cervelo, Cipollini, Colnago, De Rosa, Orbea, Ridley & Wilier.
And we’ve also seen (and at some points ridden) disc brake bikes built up with Campy 12 from Basso, BH, Bianchi, Cannondale, Canyon, Cervelo, Colnago, De Rosa, Orbea, Ridley & Wilier.
These may be your first opportunity to get ahold of a 12-speed road bike groupset…