While Campagnolo’s new H11 components were the centrepiece of their disc brake project introduction across the three top-level carbon fiber groupsets, maybe even bigger news is the fact that they’ve introduced a much more affordable alloy setup that offers the same brake performance, adjustability, and ergonomics. Potenza 11 even gets its own uniform branding. Combine that with the wider range 11-32 cassettes offered as part of the Potenza group, and it may have just become the best reasonably priced groupset on the market for the exploding gravel segment…

While Super Record, Record, and Chorus will have to make due with the non-series branded H11 carbon levers (and H11 crankset), Potenza gets its own Ergopower levers on account of two reasons. One it needed to switch to an alloy brake lever to keep costs down and differentiate it from the top-tier carbon groups. And two, it needed to switch to the less advanced (and again lower priced) 11 speed mechanical shift internals that only allows one shift at a time, either up or down.

Even then, the new hydraulic disc brakes (combining levers with brake calipers) remain the most costly part of the otherwise affordable groupset. That’s largely due to the fact that the internals and features are completely shared with the more expensive H11 levers. That amounts to almost 2/3 of the total groupset cost, 391€* per lever with the caliper, plus another 155€ for rotors, oil, the necessary bleed kit & caliper mounting bolts.

In fact, the Potenza 11 DB Ergopowers use the exact modular master cylinder as H11, and the alloy levers get the same 2.5mm adjustable AMS adjustable braking power/modulation and lever reach adjustability. With the same internals they also share the same Ergopower body shaping, meaning ergonomics are the same as well.

They also share the same H11 disc brake calipers, H11 disc brake pads & H11 disc rotors (and all of the innovative tech that comes with each of those). That again means that the Potenza 11 disc brakes will offer the exact same brake performance benefits of the H11 brakes going into the much more expensive top-tier carbon gruppos.

The Potenza 11 Disc Brake components and complete disc brake groupset will officially be only produced in black, with availability by the end of June 2017. That said an update of the rest of the drivetrain components (besides Ergopower levers and brake calipers) is slated for August availability in silver.

Retail pricing is set at 1580€ for the complete disc brake group. That’s a big step up from the 888€ pricetag of Potenza’s rim brake variant, but is of course a direct result of all the top-level tech in the braking system. It’s  still 30% less than the Chorus DB mechanical and at only a 300g penalty, a good bit of which is likely in the aluminum crankset.

Campagnolo’s market strategy when they introduced the rim brake Potenza 11 groupset last year was clearly a move to try to claw back more OEM sales. While it wasn’t so clear whether the rim brake variant was going to have much power to get itself spec’d on more production road bikes, there’s no doubt that Potenza 11 DB has potential in the all-road & endurance sectors.

At its price range it offers a level of ergonomics, adjustability, performance, and even aesthetics that the mid-level groups from Shimano & SRAM just can’t compete with right now. Campagnolo has a bit of an uphill battle fighting against Shimano & SRAM who can negotiate with bike companies to spec their drivetrains on everything from XC & DH mountain bikes to race, endurance & gravel road bikes.

While Campagnolo had to pull together a few new wheelsets to mesh with the new carbon components of the H11 disc brakes, they already had a disc brake wheelset waiting in the wings for the new Potenza 11 DB group. Introduced last summer as Campagnolo’s first official disc brake product,  the reasonably priced, relatively wide C17 aluminum Zonda DB clincher wheels will make a perfect fit for the alloy Potenza groupset, although their lack of tubeless compatibility will see many riders looking for another affordable alternative.


There’s still more to cover in-depth with the arrival of the Campy disc brake project. Keep abreast of our full Campagnolo disc brake groupsets coverage here:

Campagnolo.com

*note: Euro pricing does include VAT. The previous reference to the exclusion of VAT was incorrect. We apologize for any confusion.

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Ryan
Ryan
5 years ago

Just need the cavemen at the UCI to allow global racin gon discs now

juergen
juergen
5 years ago

Stunning frame! Who is the manufacturer?
Greetings.

ebbe
ebbe
5 years ago
Reply to  juergen

Probably Sarto. They do (custom painted) frames for Campagnolo often

typevertigo
typevertigo
5 years ago
Reply to  ebbe

Yep, BikeRadar confirms the frames are from Sarto.

juergen
juergen
5 years ago

Thx!
Sorry, but I am not sure about Sarto.
I think, they only make carbon frames, this is an alloy frame….

ebbe
ebbe
5 years ago
Reply to  juergen

Have a look at the Sarto Asola on Sarto’s website. The fork is different, but that may be because it’s a special disc brake fork. The rest is very similar.

ACM
ACM
5 years ago
Reply to  juergen

Fairly sure those frames are carbon; no welds, and the dropouts definitely don’t look like an alloy frame

Andrew
Andrew
5 years ago
Reply to  juergen

Not sure why you’d think this is an alloy frame….?

mudrock
mudrock
5 years ago
Reply to  juergen

Most definitely not an alloy frame, looks to be tube-to-tube carbon, so no swooping joints like you would see with monocoque construction.

Andy
Andy
5 years ago

Beautiful looking parts but they will probably come with the Campy-tax for replacement items. I’m curiously looking to see if Campy can lower the cost and expand the distribution network of items like cassettes and chains. Given the wear and tear on gravel bikes, that may be a critical development.

Heath
Heath
5 years ago
Reply to  Andy

The cost of ownership with Campag is less as it’s more durable. Most people I know with Shimano need to replace chains and cassettes twice to three times quicker than Campag riding mates.

If it’s less durable and you want to replace you components more with cheaper items, it’s purely a false saving.

James.
James.
5 years ago
Reply to  Andy

11 Speed spacing is identical for Campagnolo, Shimano and SRAM, so if for some reason you want a bargain cassette or chain with a faster wear time or for extra wheels, they all work identically.

Dude
Dude
5 years ago

Campy won’t get much OEM back until they get their cassette spacing and splines onto the Shimano standard. Nice to see them get with the times and innovate, tho.

Original Angry A
Original Angry A
5 years ago
Reply to  Dude

Campy 11s cassette spacing is the same as Shimano and Sram. Only the splines differ, so the cross compatibility of chains and cassettes (on the proper freehub) exist. Run a XYZ 11s Shimano freehub with any SRAM, Shimano, IRD road cassette with any Shimano, SRAM, KMC, FSA, Campy chain.

Andy
Andy
5 years ago

Good point. It will interesting to see if any OEM Campy bikes come with a Shimano or SRAM freehub and cassette. That would open up a lot of options though I doubt Campagnolo would approve.

ebbe
ebbe
5 years ago

Yep. I currently use Chorus with an Ultegra 11-32 cassette. Works fine, even in the 32 cog. With a SRAM 11-32 cassette shifting wasn’t that good to be honest.

Bikemark
Bikemark
5 years ago
Reply to  ebbe

I did the opposite using a 11-25 Campy 11 speed cassette with Ultegra 6800 drivetrain. Never did sound right or work properly. Maybe the Campy derailleurs are more forgiving.

Dude
Dude
5 years ago

Right on, I meant they need to go official with it so OEM builds with more non-Campy drivetrain bits are legit, and especially with the cassette splines. I’ve mixed and matched Campy and Shimano parts, never actually owning a Campy freehub or chain, and it’s worked great. But no product manager would ever spec that mix. A big barrier to getting back in the OEM market IMO is likely the increased stock that needs to be held to offer a Campy option – you need wheels in addition to the groupset. Right now, with the use of non-groupset parts, the difference between a SRAM and Shimano build could just be as simple and low risk as shifters-deraileurs-brakes, but SRAM/ano-Campy the change is shifters-deraileurs-brakes-chain-cassette-wheels at a minimum. That’s where IMO they’re creating unnecessary friction. At least they’ve gotten on board with flat mount and centerlock standards, and didn’t do a campy-esque move of creating a random disc size like 152mm with zero compatibility…

Bikemark
Bikemark
5 years ago
Reply to  Dude

Right. The product managers would never screw over their dealer network by designing and/or spec’ing bikes that are difficult to build and work on and/or that demand investments in inventory and special tools.

Dude
Dude
5 years ago
Reply to  Bikemark

Haha, no that had nothing to do with dealers actually.

Heath
Heath
5 years ago
Reply to  Dude

Smart shops could just stock cassette bodies for customers to swap wheels…..most if not all wheels have interchangeable cassette bodies.

If a shop doesn’t already stock Campag parts like chains and cassettes, it’s their loss. It’s not a huge investment to have a few chains, cassettes and cassette bodies in stock.

MaraudingWalrus
MaraudingWalrus
5 years ago
Reply to  Heath

Yeah! Every shop should stock a Campagnolo and Shimano replacement freehub body for every wheelset that ever came on a bike!

Gillis
Gillis
5 years ago
Reply to  Heath

Which model cassettes? What tooth ranges? 10 or 11 speed? It’s not so simple unless they deal heavily in Campy. They lose money on product that just sits around waiting for the random Campy customer to come in. It’s tough enough for the LBS to compete as it is, they can’t cater to everyone unfortunately.

Jeb
Jeb
5 years ago

The lack of an adjustable Banjo bolt on the calipers is a HUGE oversight. if the hydraulic lines are internal (which most likely will be on the road) and it doesn’t exit in the right spot for these you end up with some wacky runs into the caliper. And also, those calipers should be polished at Record level. As it is they look like entry level shimano stuff.

Bikemark
Bikemark
5 years ago
Reply to  Jeb

Have you seen a flat mount caliper that uses a banjo bolt? I haven’t. Also, Shimano recommends a location/minimum dimension for the hose hole in the frame to avoid this problem. I imagine Campy does the same.

Totally with you on the Record polish.