In a completely expected move, Campagnolo has updated their top-level Super Record EPS groupset for 2019 with the step up to 12-speeds following on their Movement 12-speed mechanical debut last year. The new groupset has been a pretty poorly kept secret, alluded to even at last year’s mechanical launch, and also having been raced by their sponsored pro teams (including the current road world champion) since November 2019. But now it is official, Campy EPS with 12 speeds, coming soon to super expensive road bikes near you…
Campy Super Record EPS 12-speed road bike groupset
Pretty much on cue, just under a year after the debut of Campagnolo’s 2×12 speed road bike groupset in a mechanical shift version at both the Record & Super Record level, the Italians are back bringing 12-speed to their top-tier EPS electronic groupset – at the Super Record level only!
Why did it take a year to add 12-speed EPS?
That first question comes down a lot to delivering on promises. You may have noticed that since the advent of road disc brakes, a new road groupset introduction brings with it multiple different groupsets. (The latest Dura-Ace launch had 4 distinct groups. AXS wireless has at least three distinct variations, including MTB. Even Rotor’s 1×13 has two or more iterations, with or without MTB depending on how you look at it.) What that has meant is that often times companies are debuting new drivetrain, and then struggling to get it into the hands of consumers, or for that matter even to their pro teams.
Campagnolo doesn’t want to face those problems. They actually told us last summer that it was in development, and would be on pro bikes soon.
But they were patient. They introduced mechanical 12 speed groups, got that out to consumers, then are now introducing EPS 12 which will be available in the coming weeks.
Why is Campy EPS 12-speed only in ultra-premium Super Record?
Campagnolo sees EPS serving two purposes. One this is what the pros demand, for its lightning fast shifts and trusted, smooth running operation. The other is for no-holds-barred premium bike builds. At the pricing level that EPS hits (almost 1500€ more than mechanical), Campy figures if you are deciding to buy EPS, why not just go all in on Super Record. It also has you opt for the lightest overall EPS groupset possible since the electronics add a couple of hundred grams anyway.
What’s new in Super Record EPS 12?
Looking over the new groupset in detail, Super Record EPS 12 applies pretty much all of the ergonomic and performance updates that Super Record 12 mechanical introduced last spring, now with electronically actuated shifts.
Super Record EPS 12 Ergopower controls
SR EPS 12 Ergopower controls (shift/brake levers) get the same updated ergonomics of Movement 12 mechanical. That means that rim & disc brake levers move to a higher position of the brake pivot for easier reach & more leverage. The hydraulic disc levers include the same dial reach adjust, and the two-position adjustable hydraulic brake leverage/modulation (all with the same 8mm height increase over the rim brake hoods.) The rim brake levers add the third lever position with a shirt-reach position in addition to the open lever release to remove your wheel from the brake caliper.
Both rim & disc brake versions get the same longer thumb downshift paddle to make shifting easier without moving your hands from any perch on the bar, plus the more comfortable variable cushion rubber brake hoods, and the revised S-curve reshaped brake lever blade again for easier reach from different hand positions.
EPS function itself is mostly unchanged with an extra speed adapted to the new shape, including continuous multi-shift where you can to run through the full cassette, 11 shifts with one long lever push if needed. And of course you can customize shift action if you want through the wireless MyCampy app on mobile devices. Apparently now you can also reconfigure all the lever buttons (including the mode buttons) to perform different actions. While few people will use this feature, it is even possible to configure the three buttons of one lever to perform ALL shift functions (definitely a useful feature for riders with mobility issues.)
One hidden element inside, the main EPS shift buttons use a special button that Campagnolo calls ‘multi-dome tech’ which stacks four thin metal domes on top of a further ten small flex plates to ensure a proper tactile click. All of that happens between your finger and the internal switch to give you a real sense of clicking to shift, much like a traditional mechanical shift setup.
Inside the SR EPS 12 disc brake lever bodies, Campagnolo has kept the same hydraulic internals (one shared master cylinder from right-to-left, and the same proven part shared with H11, Record & Super Record groupsets – mechanical & EPS.) That master cylinder is vertically oriented so it is easy to bleed, and has been delivering what we feel is industry leading road disc brake performance since its introduction.
Super Record EPS 12 v4 electronic interface
This new 12-speed EPS introduces a new v4 electronic interface. The new control unit is essentially the same size and same aero shape as before, for a traditional setup under the stem. BUT, a new second option is coming soon (we’ve seen photos but none in person) of a bar end mounted control unit like Shimano’s that will also be compatible with the new standard frame-mounted (usually downtube) plates. The EPS v4 controller will not be backwards compatible with 11-speed EPS it seems, but carries over it ANT+ & BLE communication protocols making it easy to set up, adjust (and even update your gruppo’s firmware) wirelessly from your mobile device.
New Super Record EPS also gets a new v4 Power Unit. The new internal battery is a bit slimmer, slightly longer, and now will deliver 10% longer battery life. Most everyone will install them inside a seatpost, but the new design is said to make installation into a downtube easier than before.
Super Record EPS 12 derailleurs
The new Super Record EPS 12 rear derailleur takes the completely overhauled 12-speed derailleur geometry of the Movement 12 groups, and puts that strong EPS actuator piston inside. Campy’s new long chain wrap technology is called Embrace, using offset cage pivots and new derailleur geometry to let the pulleys closely track the wider range cassettes and ensure good chain wrap.
Again one length cage fits both wide or narrow cassette spacings, with 11-29 or 11-32 spreads on offer. The new SR EPS 12 derailleur uses larger 12t chamfered pulleys (the same as M12) for low-friction running, and the derailleur uses a modular hanger that can be setup for standard or direct mount hangers.
The new SR EPS front derailleur essentially combines the proven EPS tech from the 11-speed generation (claiming to be the strongest actuator motor on the market), plus the new thin cage design introduced with Movement 12 for happy cross chaining. The EPS front mech still communication between derailleurs for always perfect alignment.
As always, Campagnolo EPS includes a section of wire fixed to each derailleur to maintain a totally waterproof and trouble-free installation, ensuring uncompromising function in the worst weather.
Campy 12-speed carry overs
The new Super Record EPS 12 group shares the same tightly spaced cassettes with the 12-speed groups introduced lat year. That cassette is available in two configurations (11-29 & 11-32) which both share one tooth steps from 11-17 and are entirely machined from steel, with the top two triplets of cogs CNC machined out of a single block. The cassette is essentially still a Record-level component, as Campagnolo haven’t found a way to make anything lighter with the same performance & durability (yet.)
The Super Record 12 cranks with their stiffening ribs are also a carry over of Movement 12, again all carbon straight out of the mold with UV blocking resin, no clearcoats or polishing/post-finishing. It offers Campy’s proven narrow 145.5 Q-factor, Ultra-Torque ti axle & CULT ceramic bearings. Chainrings are four-arm, with 112 & 145mm BCDs specific for inner or outer rings, offering standard road, semi-compact & compact gearing combinations and
165, 170, 172.5 & 175mm lengths. Interestingly (although it makes sense), each chainring gearing combination includes a different number & separately located shift points, optimized to get up & down shifts at the same point in the pedal stroke for each gearing setup.
Super Record Skeleton rim brakes are the same, offered in single bolt & direct mount versions, but now will get Super Record specific logos.
Wait, one more thing!
Even though the actual hydraulic brake internals and the actual disc brake calipers are the same as introduced all the way back with H11, the new Super Record EPS 12 group introduces two new disc brake updates. First, disc brake pads get a new shape with added small wing loops for a bit more cooling capacity, a revised organic pad resin, and they add a new return spring for pads pad retraction from the rotor. The new pads still have all of the proven Campy disc brake pad features like chamfered pad opening & wear indicators, plus the anti-brake squeal backing. The new mechanical spring isn’t entirely necessary for regular function, but it boosts the magnetic return spring for faster action to deliver Campy’s guaranteed 0.4mm roll back, and can be retrofitted onto all existing Campy disc brake setups.
And lastly, there will now be a new option to run 140mm Campagnolo front disc brake rotors. Campy says they have been testing heat with their new pads and will make an adapter setup available for users who really can’t live without smaller 140mm rotors. rotors themselves stay the same with the semi-floating steel rotor on alloy carrier design, centerlock attachment, and rounded edge
Super Record EPS 12 pricing, claimed weights & availability
A super Record groupset doesn’t come cheap, and neither does EPS. Combined that means a new Super Record EPS 12 groupset is going to cost you a pretty penny – $4292 / 4327€ with rim brakes, or $4636 / 4677€ with disc brakes. (All $ prices are without tax, € pricing includes VAT.) Complete groupsets claim weights of 2255g for rim brakes and 2505g for disc brakes.
The good news if your wallet can handle it, is that it will all be available very soon. Campagnolo has confirmed that the complete groupsets are being shipped out as we speak to distributors worldwide, with retail availability expected by the end of this month, in March 2019.
Following up on this Super Record EPS 12 overview post, we have come back with a detailed look at the real weights of the new components comparing them to Super Record 12 mechanical, plus our first impressions of riding the new groupset.
Oh, and Campy has new Bora WTO aero carbon wheels out today, adding a disc brake set too.
Keep your eyes peeled…