Campagnolo brings the 12-speed road tech of current world champ Alejandro Valverde down to a more accessible level with the addition of Chorus 12 mechanical groupsets for rim & disc brake bikes. And in their ever expanding evolution, Chorus 12 brings a wider range cassette & sub-compact crankset (with new BCD!) offering all-road gearing that we expect to cross the lines onto gravel as well…

Chorus 12, 2×12-speed mechanical road bike groupset

Campagnolo Chorus 12 groupset, Campy Chorus, C12, Movement 12, 2x12, 12-speed mechanical road bike gruppo

With the addition of a Movement 12 Chorus road double drivetrain, Campagnolo now offers four 12-speed performance road bike gruppos across a wide price range – including Super Record 12 EPS (SR12 EPS), Super Record 12 mechanical (SR12), Record 12 mechanical (R12) & Chorus 12 mechanical (C12). Chorus is certainly not a budget groupset, still selling for much of the price of other companies premium kit, but the performance is almost indiscernible from even Super Record. So if you are looking for premium carbon gruppo made in Europe at more attainable pricing (less than half of EPS), Chorus 12 might just be the ticket with only a slight weight penalty.

Campagnolo Chorus 12 groupset, Campy Chorus, C12, Movement 12, 2x12, 12-speed mechanical road bike gruppo

Plus, with the addition of a smaller Chorus 12 chainring set pairing, and larger range 12-speed cassette, we expect to see a number of custom all-road and gravel bikes get built up with the latest Chorus 12.

Chorus 12 component tech updates

Campagnolo Chorus 12 groupset, Campy Chorus, C12, Movement 12, 2x12, 12-speed mechanical road bike gruppo

The core component technologies of Chorus 12 are pretty much the exact same as we saw introduced last year for Super Record 12 & Record 12 mechanical. As is generally the case, Chorus still features carbon components, but ceramic bearings shift to steel balls, small bearings shift to bushings, titanium parts & bolts shifts to steel, and the hollowed out weight savings elements get dropped adding a few extra grams here & there.

Chorus 12 Ergopower shift/brake levers

Campagnolo Chorus 12 groupset, Campy Chorus, C12, Movement 12, 2x12, 12-speed mechanical road bike gruppo

All of the same ergonomic updates to the new Chorus 12 Ergopower shift/brake levers carry over, including the newer double curve levers, the outward slant to the brake levers with a higher pivot location for increased leverage, vibration absorbing Vari cushion rubber hoods, and larger up & down shift levers. The levers become simplified in alloy and keep Camp’s Ultra shift mechanism, allowing up to 5 downshifts or 3 upshift in a single throw of each independent lever. They also use the same updated shift internals as SR12 that reduced free cable movement for faster shifts, and get identical SR12 slick cables & housing for longer-lasting shift performance.

Campagnolo Chorus 12 groupset, Campy Chorus, C12, Movement 12, 2x12, 12-speed mechanical road bike gruppo

The rim brake levers now get two positions for short or long reach, plus Campy’s standard extra open brake release position.

Campagnolo Chorus 12 groupset, Campy Chorus, C12, Movement 12, 2x12, 12-speed mechanical road bike gruppo

The hydraulic disc brake levers get tooled dial-in reach adjust, but not the leverage adjust (AMS adjustable modulation setting) of the SR12, R12 , or even H11. Instead Campagnolo says the modulation is set in the middle of the adjustable extremes as a happy medium. Inside Chorus 12 Disc Brake uses the same mineral oil, vertical master cylinder with top bleed port (again limiting the number of service parts needed, and not messing with something that works really well).

Chorus 12 front derailleur

Campagnolo Chorus 12 groupset, Campy Chorus, C12, Movement 12, 2x12, 12-speed mechanical road bike gruppo

The Chorus 12 front derailleur is pretty much identical to the higher end versions with a thinner cage, trim settings & the reversible cable attachment, but sticks with all-metal construction of alloy links & steel plates.

Chorus 12 rear derailleur

Campagnolo Chorus 12 groupset, Campy Chorus, C12, Movement 12, 2x12, 12-speed mechanical road bike gruppo

The Chorus 12 rear derailleur looks much like the Record 12 derailleur, sharing the same long strand UD carbon reinforced ‘technopolymer’ upper & lower knuckles, now with alloy links in between.

Campagnolo Chorus 12 groupset, Campy Chorus, C12, Movement 12, 2x12, 12-speed mechanical road bike gruppo

It also gets the same 12T pulleys (chamfered teeth on the lower, longer on the upper) for quiet running, and the versatile hanger system that can be kept standard or remove the upper link for direct mounts.

Campagnolo Chorus 12 groupset, Campy Chorus, C12, Movement 12, 2x12, 12-speed mechanical road bike gruppo

C12 also comes with a single length alloy cage, with offset ‘3D embrace’ movement optimized to work with 11-29 to 11-34 cassettes. We measured this pre-production derailleur cage and it was the same 73mm as on SR12 & R12, but Campagnolo was cagey as to whether it would grow a bit for the new gearing. And their spec sheets specifically say the larger cassette is only compatible with a C12 rear derailleur!

Chorus 12 cassette – now available in 11-34!

Campagnolo Chorus 12 groupset, Campy Chorus, C12, Movement 12, 2x12, 12-speed mechanical road bike gruppo

Yes, that is right! Campy now adds an 11-34 12-speed cassette with the C12 groupset offering a wider gearing range.

Campagnolo Chorus 12 groupset, Campy Chorus, C12, Movement 12, 2x12, 12-speed mechanical road bike gruppo

Construction is the same as SR12 & R12 since Campy says they haven’t developed a better or cheaper construction yet, but does use less aggressive (less time consuming) machining to keep prices down. The C12 cassette still uses two machined steel monoblock clusters of 3 cogs at the top, followed by six more loose steel cogs & spacers.

Campagnolo Chorus 12 groupset, Campy Chorus, C12, Movement 12, 2x12, 12-speed mechanical road bike gruppo

The new C12 adds 11-34, with a gearing spread of 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 22, 25, 29, 34. While Campagnolo wouldn’t confirm that cage lengths were the different, we’d love to try the 11-34 on our Super Record groupset (if possible!) And we’ll certainly measure the production cage length as soon as we can to check real world compatibility.

Chorus 12 crankset – now available in 48/32!

Campagnolo Chorus 12 groupset, Campy Chorus, C12, Movement 12, 2x12, 12-speed mechanical road bike gruppo

The C12 crankset again looks much like its Record big brother, much of which can be put to it using similar unidirectional carbon contraction with the same UV-blocking resin so it comes straight out of the mold like this with no extra finish applied. Like Record 12 (but unlike SR12), the Chorus 12 crankarms are not hollow, but retain Campy’s signature narrow 145.5mm Q-factor.

Campagnolo Chorus 12 groupset, Campy Chorus, C12, Movement 12, 2x12, 12-speed mechanical road bike gruppo

Chorus 12 retains the split steel Ultra-torque axle bolted together from the left side, and spinning on steel bearings. UPDATE: The four-arm cranks no longer share Campy’s 112/145mm BCD, but still use two separate bolt circle diameters to allow for light & stiff chainrings. In order to fit lower gearing, Campagnolo introduces a new 96mm & 123mm four-bolt BCD for Chorus cranks that will be available in common 165, 170, 172.5 & 175mm length options.

Campagnolo Chorus 12 groupset, Campy Chorus, C12, Movement 12, 2x12, 12-speed mechanical road bike gruppo

Interesting here, Campagnolo gave Chorus 12 a new smaller set of rings more inline with everyday road & all-road riders, topping out at a mid-compact 52/36, then the road compact 50/34 as well. But adding to even more versatility with the new 11-34 cassette is a first-for-Campy sub-compact 48/32 gearing combination that will make Chorus 12 even more versatile off smooth tarmac. Those ring combinations are not interchangeable, as each pairing gets its own multi-shift points for quick shifting. The rings are of course not interchangeable with other groupsets either due to the new 96/123mm BCD, which also means that replacement rings for the time being will only be available from Campagnolo.

By the way, there’s no reason that those gearing combinations won’t also work with your Record & Super Record drivetrains (although the 48T chainring won’t likely clear the extra carbon support rib on Super Record cranks). And we expect the cassette & rings to be available separately to update your current range soon.

OK, so the rings obviously won’t work on other cranksets due to what we now know is a unique BCD. Cassette compatibility with standard length Record & Super Record derailleurs is probably still up in the air officially as we wait to see if the Chorus cage is a bit longer. Unofficially, I know that I rode an 11-speed Chorus derailleur that was said to have a 32T limit on a Shimano 11-34 cassette a few times without any issue, so I suspect with careful setup it should be possible with Movement 12 derailleurs as well.

Chorus 12 chain

Campagnolo Chorus 12 groupset, Campy Chorus, C12, Movement 12, 2x12, 12-speed mechanical road bike gruppo

Chorus does get a new dedicated C12 chain that is a little heavier, and slightly cheaper that the hollow-pin R12 chain used for both the Super Record & Record groupsets.

Chorus 12 brakes

Campagnolo Chorus 12 groupset, Campy Chorus, C12, Movement 12, 2x12, 12-speed mechanical road bike gruppo

Disc brake gruppos share the identical flat mount calipers that have been around since H11, but now a 140mm rotor option will also be available on the front brake with an adapter. Rim brake gruppos get a new set of Skeleton Chorus 12 dual-pivot rim brake calipers that offer expanded clearance for 28mm tires, rotating on bushing pivots.

Campagnolo Chorus 12 groupset, Campy Chorus, C12, Movement 12, 2x12, 12-speed mechanical road bike gruppo

Chorus branded direct mount brakes are also said to be coming, with the same internal brace debuted on SR12/R12.

Pricing & Availability

Campagnolo Chorus 12 groupset, Campy Chorus, C12, Movement 12, 2x12, 12-speed mechanical road bike gruppo

The new Chorus 12 will soon replace 11-speed Chorus, and be offered in two versions. The C12 DB disc brake groupset will sell for $1819 / 1837€ with a claimed complete group weight of 2631g, phasing out the current Chorus 11 + H11 setup (which was actually 500€ more expensive!) The C12 rim brake groupset will be much more affordable (without the same brakes that are in SR12) at $1288 / 1275€ and significantly lighter at a claimed 2333g, replacing Chorus 11. Once the new C12 rolls out this summer, only Potenza and Centaur will remain with 11-speed.

The entire new Chorus 12 group is in production now, made entirely by Campagnolo in Italy & Romania, with availability slated for the middle of this summer. Campy tells us that means that it will be in shops before the end of the Tour de France.

Campagnolo.com

Do you want to see our exclusive breakdown of the actual weights and the lower pricing of the new Chorus 12 DB group? Check it out here!

40 COMMENTS

  1. If the shifting has a decent adjustment tolerance, this will be great move for Campy. I’d still like to see smaller gearing offered for the wide tires that are available, but I can see why that’s not happening just yet. I’m happy to see it retain the very reliable ultra torque spindle. This is a cool group for sure!

  2. Great looking stuff. Hope they get some traction with it. I prefer these gearing options to the new SRAM stuff and the availability of a mechanical group is a plus.

    • It’s crazy that SRAM has abandoned mechanical groupsets, even at the Force level. I’m sure they know their demographic, but I wouldn’t have thought there were that many dentists interested in higher-end bicycles.

  3. Looks good but I’d like to see a gravel option to fit a 42 tooth cassette or at least the compatibility to work with other 12 speed brand cassettes. I just bought Sram Force 1 last week.

    • For giggles I put a Record12 on an Eagle equipped bike and the Eagle cogset on a Record19 equipped bike (frankenbikes not ridable)…the shifting was spot on – the reason for my experiment/test. With the tolerance being what it is, like 11 there is no reason to think that a Campy 12 wont be just fine with a SRAM 12 or eventually a ShimNO 12.

  4. I won’t buy another hydraulic disc mechanical group until my chorus 11h is dead. The future upgrade costs is to high.
    And I won’t buy another hydraulic disc electronic group until they future proof the shifters to allow for more speeds via programming.
    There has to be a market that allows one to upgrade from 11 to 12 to 13+ via change to a RD + cassette + (free) software flash/selection. The shifter is just a button on an e-group. Come on!
    I realize sales of full new groups may go down, but wouldn’t you steal sales from competitors with this?

  5. I expect you meant to say the C12 chain is heavier than the R12 one.

    Do Campy 12 speed chains have the same roller sizes as 11 speed?

    • @Tom… yes, heavier. Thanks, I fixed that. And no, the C12 chain is narrower than the C11, so ever so slightly narrower rollers.

      • Someone should mention (in the article) that a Campy 12 speed cogset will fit on hubs as old as a Campy 9 speed….no changes, no shims nothing special (but for possibly a 12T lock ring) .

  6. SWEET. I’ve been waiting to see how 12 speed would play out before getting a new (Campy vs SRAM) drivetrain to replace my worn SRAM Force, and this new 11-34 cassette means I’m going to build up a sweet, sweet new Campy drivetrain! I want to keep on with my Easton EC90 SL crank, which works with SRAM off-road 12 speed and should therefore be fine w Campy.

  7. Great job with the article, Bike Rumor.

    I like what Campy is doing with this, the sub-compact crankset, wider-range cassette, and the cheaper prices. On the downside, the hoods are ugly in both versions, the rim brakes look cheap, and the rear derailleur looks like it really sticks out.

    Campny should push shiny groupsets for classic bikes.

    • I saw someone on Twitter today call that Chorus-12 rear derailleur the “Anti-Shadow”, and now I’ll never be able to get that thought out of my head.

    • I have run the Record12 mechanical for a year now. It is excellent for riders who like to maintain cadence…with its 7 single spaced gears )11-18 and steeper climb to 32. This is a great set and works perfectly on my 12yo bike. As for ‘classic’ bike, this Chorus has mostly aluminum parts…it could be polished aluminum…and I think that iwould be a super option…

  8. 48/32 – 11/34 yes. Will dump my 10 speed Chorus/SRAM type 2.1/11-36/HY/RD for this on my gravel bike. Finally a groupset with a modern gearing and its Campagnolo. Whats not to like – except tsht there is still no postmount option from campagnolo and you need a Magura postmount capilper.

    Currently touring Andalusia on my roadbike with Chorus 11-speed 50/34-12/29 for which im too fat

    • You can put a Potenza medium cage on that Chorus 11 derailleur, and then use the Potenza 11-32 cassette. Or on another brand of wheels, use 11-34 or 11-36 from the other brands.

      However the 12 speed groups work so much nicer.

      • Yes, i know. Have had a medium cage for a while i havent mounted yet – still havent sourced a 13-14-15-16-17-19-21-24-27-30-34 Miche casette & a HG body for the record hubs on my road bike – i didnt really plan to climb anything long or really steep on the Andelucia bike tour anyway as i knew my fitness level was hopeless.

  9. I think this is a bigger release than the Record/Super Record Mech 12 speed and the 12 speed EPS releases earlier. I think once this hits the stores, the price will be reasonable and with the 48/32 option, they’re offering something that Shimano isn’t.

    Frankly I think the 11-34 cassette and the 48/32 chainring are the best part. If I have the dosh, I’ll switch to that. My knees will like that, and that combo would offer all the gear range I could ever want.

    • couldnt agree more.

      And Campy’s 11-34 distribution accros the casette is far more usefull than Shimano’s hopeless offerings with 11-13-15-17-19 which is useless for road.

  10. Campy’s 11-34T cassette is basically an old-fashioned corncob with a few bailout gears added for good measure (SRAM did something very similar with their 10-33T). Which I guess makes sense, at least for Campy, when you think about it.

    I personally prefer Shimano’s 11-34T, the gaps are more reasonable in the middle and low end of the cassette where I tend to find myself at any given moment.

    Still, happy to see Campy embracing gravel. I think that leaves Shimano as the odd man out (of the big three) when it comes to offering subcompact chainrings.

  11. > Campy’s 11-34T cassette is basically an old-fashioned corncob
    > with a few bailout gears added for good measure

    Just glancing at the profile of it without analyzing the ratios, I think you are wrong.

    > (SRAM did something very similar with their 10-33T).

    Incorrect. SRAM’s ratios for all their 12-speed road cassettes are as evenly spaced as possible, given the constraint of a 10-tooth small cog.

  12. 32×34 isnt a gravel gear lol. Hit a decent gravel pitch on that and you wont get much traction at slow speed/high torque and will be walking your ‘gravel bike’. xD

  13. So – chainring interchangeability? Is it just a shift ramp issue?

    I’ve never had a 16t jump shift as smooth as a 13-14t jump. It would be nice to see a test review where one fits a 48/34 combo. 48-11 is bigger than my 50-12 which suits almost all my needs. 34-32 is more than I’ve needed on my roadie. Seem like a perfect match while gaining better FD function with the smaller 14t jump.

    • That’s the theory behind the 46/33 on the SRAM AXS (not that they’ve ever sold a quality shifting FD).

      In that case I’d rather see them do a 44/30, but they are too busy marketing to riders who aspire to the DK200 podium than to be concerned with normal gravel bikes, esp. given the price point.

    • @JB, yes a ramps issue. The 50/34 & 48/32 have a different number of ramp points, ie. 3 vs. 4 upshift points, so upshifts especially will be noticeably slower.

  14. @Cory Benson:

    ” The four-arm cranks share Campy’s separate modern 112mm & 145mm BCD spider arrangement which allow for light & stiff chainrings, and come in the same 165, 170, 172.5 & 175mm length options.”

    This is not correct, it should be:

    ” a new 96 and 123 mm BCD, in order to achieve the 48/32 combination”

    Many thanks for adjusting.

  15. Great that Campagnolo care for the small loud group that is riding the latest trend.
    (Enduro bike anyone? Hopefully but not likely it go better than their MTB group)

    Really sad that Campagnolo seems to have given up on the road racing completely.
    (TT what is that? medium size cranks with very limited ring choice, 11-27?, MTB style derailleurs etc. etc.)

    • MaxG, the VAST majority of riders will barely be able to push 48×11 on anything other than strong tailwind or downhill. Thats 50km/h at 90 rpm. Also most people spin faster when doing strong efforts, and at 110rpm 48×11 means 61.3km/h. How many people do you know that hit those speeds any often and are not coasting in a tuck by then? 99% of serious riders don’t really need more than a 48t chainring but they want to look manly with their big rings. lol Maybe if you live in flatlandia, race in very strong pelotons, and are a very strong sprinter (like.. a pro) and can sprint at 70km/h, then you need 52×11. And then if you need bigger than that, your pro team will get you bigger chainrings for sure, don’t bother searching the internet.

      The big reason I’ve been riding 11s campy is because I can have 12-29 cassette, and more recently with centaur, 12-32. I’ve never needed an 11t cog and I’m not that weak (ftp = 4.6w/kg). I also ride Athena 3×11 because of the low gearing (52/39/30), me climbs da hilz!! (steep ones). Now this new Chorus basically matches the range I have (32×32 =~ 30×29 and 32×34 =~ 30×32) and the top gear is basically the same (48×11 =~ 52×12). Have a look at bikecalc.com.

      There are a few caveats there though. One is that the range has slightly bigger gaps, because the 11-32 cassette you have to use to match the 11s 12-29 with triple has bigger spacing in the bottom (same goes for 11-34 12s vs 12-32 11s), and also with a smaller chainring you will effectively be riding one cog smaller the whole time, which means the equivalent gaps are a bit bigger. Also smaller cogs will be a bit less efficient, plus the 11t and even the 12t cogs wear faster than the rest, so I don’t like spending time on those.

      Actually one can look back into 10s triple by campy and that actually is theoretically better than the later stuff, because one can have 53/39/24 (or even 23) with their old 74bcd granny, and you can ride something stupid like a 12-23 corncob or 13-25 – if you can still find those parts to buy and replace wen worn. The Athena 3×11 has a stupid 92mm BCD that doesn’t let you go smaller than 30t unless you go with a really hard to find 29t chainring. 3×10 speed stuff was great!! And it has even been seldomly spotted in the pro peloton. If only the 3×11 Athena groupset had a 74bcd inner chainring, then probably it would have been a popular groupset among tourers and randonneurs. I’d certainly get a 24t and ride 12-25.

      So… All of that makes me doubt if 2×12 chorus would be ANY better than my current 3×11 Athena. The advantages I see are narrower q-factor (not that the triple Athena is too wide, 152 as I remember), and there’s a 165mm option which I love (Athena triple only goes down to 170mm). And some 200g lighter than Athena.

      I have also considered swapping only the rear mech cassette and chain and ride a 3×12 groupset LOL! I bet I’d be the only one in the world doing that. But seriously, I’ve thought about it, just for the lols. If only they had a 12-32 12s cassette (with 21-23-26-29-32 cogs in the bottom end), then I’d certainly do it.

    • The VAST majority of mortals don’t need big gearing. 48×11 at 90rpm means 50.1km/h, which is a bit higher than 52×12 (49.8km/h). You could still get 52/36, but that’s a waste of climbing gears IMO, unless you are getting paid to win races. Any half decent rider will be able to maintain at least 100rpm, most will sprint at 110rpm, so unless you can sprint above 60km/h, there’s no point getting taller gears…

      For taller options AFAIK the record cranks go up to 53/39.

      I’d still rather have a 12s cassette starting with 12t anyway, 11t is less efficient and wears faster. That’s why I’m keeping my 3×11 Athena groupset, gives me all-in-one.

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