Nov 7 launch date set for Campagnolo Super Record Electronic

Presentation to press and teams followed by push to woo manufacuters… coming to a shop near you in 2013?

by Tony Farrelly   October 18, 2011  

Campagnolo's much anticipated electronic version of its 11spd Super Record Groupset will officially launch on November 7 in Sicily when it will be presented to the press and Campag riding World Tour teams reports European cycling trade website Bike Europe.

Two weeks later the teams (Movistar, Omega Pharma Quickstep, Europcar, & Lampre) will receive their electronic groupsets followed shortly afterwards by presentation to road product managers at the Taichung Bike Week at the end of November.

So far their are no details on pricing (it'll be expensive) or on what the new groupset will be called – electronic components on 2013 Pinarellos at both Eurobike and the recent Cycle Show were branded "Campy Tech Lab" (please God no! - ed) CTl 11-spd anyone? Or maybe they'll just stick with Super Record Electronic. We'll find out on Nov 7. What we can say is that technically it appears very similar to Shimano's set up, no surprise there because both companies entered the race to produce an electronic groupset at the same time and both systems have mirrored each other during the various stages of their development. So it's a battery pack, brain, and a couple of electronic stepper motors in the front and rear mechs. The problems in producing an electronic groupset has always been in making something that is durable and reliable, with a long battery life and then coming up with a design that can be manufactured on on industrial scale, the extra wrinkle for Campagnolo has been doing all this without infringing any of Shimano's patents. The fact that the Campag system has to deal with an 11th cog at the back really should add to much to the complexity of the whole thing. Oh, and Campag purists will be pleased to note that if the versions we've seen so far are anything to go by the Italian outfit are sticking with their two lever methods of shifting using thumb and forefinger… you just won't have to push very hard, well not that you did anyway. Another potential point of differentiation with the Di2 is that by the looks of it Campagnolo have incorporated the brain bit into the battery pack, which does neaten things up at the swings and roundabouts cost of a bigger battery pack.

Campag's 11-spd groupset  is by now hardly a secret Movistar have been using a prototype version (isn't that against UCI rules -ed) for a whole season now including at this year's Giro d'Italia. Movistar ride Pinarellos and the Italian marque gave the broadest hint yet that the production version was finally about to arrive by showing off on their top end 2013 bike the Dogma 2 decked out with a Campy Tech Lab powered Super Record groupset.

However, excitement about Campy Tech Lab Electronic (well, it  might be called that) should be tempered by the fact that the Italian component maker has a lot of ground go make up in the electronic shifting stakes – by the time the curtain officially goes up on Super Record Electronic (it's snappy) in Sicily Shimano will have had a three year head start with first Dura Ace Di2 - which can now be seen as an exercise in demonstrating proof of concept - partially subsidised by the cycling world's early adopters, and powerfully marketed by all those top pro teams using it.

Having demonstrated that electonic shifting works this year Shimano played what is looking like their trump card with the new Ultegra Di2 electronic goupset - a completely re-engineered Di2 simplified and improved with a new two core wiring system that will be reverse engineered in to the new version of Dura Ace Di2 rumoured to be on the way…soon.

Given the strides Shimano has made and the fact that it has undoubtedly been squeezed by  SRAM  RED groupset at the top end of the lucrative US market Camagnolo had to act. As recently as Eurobike Campag spokespeople were saying their electronic groups would launch before the Giro next year… and indeed in the last few weeks, even as the Sicilian invites went out we spoke to manufacturers who were sure the Italians were still fettling their system and who doubted even the Giro 2012 launch date. Campagnolo have either been setting up a careful smokescreen or decided that if they leave their launch any longer the train will have left the station and they'll be left in the sidings with SRAM… with luck we should be seeing it on 2013 production bikes, and by the looks of it 2012 bikes if you're buying a Pinarello.

18 user comments

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Too expensive, too late, too bad... Yawn
and before anyone asks - I ride Campagnolo Wink

posted by Sven Nijs [20 posts]
19th October 2011 - 7:34

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If someone thinks of a good name for it can they win one?

Noli porcum linguere

captain_slog's picture

posted by captain_slog [263 posts]
19th October 2011 - 7:52

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Seen the groupset on a Movistar Team Pinarello they had at Tweeks Cycles recently, very neat and very expensive!! Surprise

posted by thejonesy [20 posts]
19th October 2011 - 8:00

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hmm.... electrics and italians are not a good mix.... if their cars are to go by... Thinking

ashy_2002's picture

posted by ashy_2002 [56 posts]
19th October 2011 - 8:47

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Campag fan here - don't worry, it will be better and outperform Di2, no doubt .....

posted by Karbon Kev [667 posts]
19th October 2011 - 9:10

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"Campy" !!! Just what on Earth is that supposed to be when it's at home ? Was the great Tullio Campagnolo ever known as "Campy" to his mates ? And why no downtube shifters ? Angry

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posted by michophull [95 posts]
19th October 2011 - 10:01

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Why?
As with Di2 ... weight penalty (guessing) and no gain for us mere mortals?
KISS - Stick to mechanicals says the "Reliability Engineer"
(Campag & Shimano rider)

posted by GrimpeurChris [59 posts]
19th October 2011 - 10:37

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michophull wrote:
"Campy" !!! Just what on Earth is that supposed to be when it's at home ? Was the great Tullio Campagnolo ever known as "Campy" to his mates ? And why no downtube shifters ? Angry

http://asofterworld.com/index.php?id=581

"Campy Tech Lab" is a silly name, but get over yourself and stop looking for reasons to hate; it's clear to anyone who isn't trying to pick a fight that that isn't the name the gruppo will be released under. DT shifters? Would you like a 7-speed version too?

Stewie

posted by stewieatb [298 posts]
19th October 2011 - 11:41

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I think it will be called Electronic Power Shift (EPS). Campagnolo have registered this as a trade mark. Colnago kindly agreed not to use EPS for their frames.

posted by Arwel [3 posts]
19th October 2011 - 16:09

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One of the problems with the electric shifting system is hiding the battery where it wont increase drag (and doesn't look like a puncture repair kit) There's also a a good few cable ties/o-rings and the like. It seems as if the actual method of attachment is a bit of an afterthought. Now if Shimano or Campag built their own frames or at least worked with frame-building partners that would be interesting....Imagine seamless integrated cabling, 'brain' units and batteries on something like the Spech Venge?

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [536 posts]
20th October 2011 - 9:46

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A seat-tube shaped battery seems the next logical step. I think I read that Ivan Basso had to put weights in his seat tube at the Giro to meet the 6.8kg limit for his Super Six Evo. I guess it would need an external port to allow for charging without having to remove the seat post every time. Remove the bottle cage bosses to gain access....?

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [536 posts]
20th October 2011 - 9:53

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All will be revealed after the press launch ... all else is conjecture 'til then for most of us ... watch this space Smile

This week I have mostly been riding a Mondiale in Deda V107 with Campagnolo Super Record 11 ...

posted by velotech_cycling [73 posts]
20th October 2011 - 11:56

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arrieredupeleton wrote:
...or at least worked with frame-building partners that would be interesting....Imagine seamless integrated cabling, 'brain' units and batteries on something like the Spech Venge?

You're dead right there arriere! Once the size of the battery has become if not standard at least the same sort of smaller size rather like camera batteries now, it will be *relatively* straightforward for frame designers to incorporate an inboard 'hatch' of some kind. Meanwhile, I don't think the unit mounted down behind the downtube bottle looks too bad and has the benefit of being readily accessible - especially if there's talk of Shimano shortly introducing some sort of smaller, lighter battery with a shorter life for special rides and races. The cables, on the other hand, are already well on the way to being 'disappeared' and the great majority of the bikes we saw at Eurobike with Di2 had to all intends and purposes invisible cabling due to internal routing. Don't forget our 'Campy' Pinarello above is still a prototype.

posted by nick_rearden [859 posts]
20th October 2011 - 12:14

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velotech_cycling wrote:
All will be revealed after the press launch ... all else is conjecture 'til then for most of us ... watch this space Smile

ooooh Thinking

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [536 posts]
20th October 2011 - 12:57

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ashy_2002 wrote:
hmm.... electrics and italians are not a good mix.... if their cars are to go by... Thinking

- it'll be fine - as long as it doesn't rain.

posted by youngoldbloke [71 posts]
21st October 2011 - 17:27

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During the Giro, teams will enlist hackers to provide inconvenient shifts to opponents as they begin accents and during sprints at the finish line. Devil

posted by Gotta Ride [19 posts]
21st October 2011 - 17:56

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Where is the end of electronics in cycling? And what's the next step? Cancellara's motor?

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posted by karpkg [9 posts]
22nd October 2011 - 13:20

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Name? Bona Campy?

Silly me. You're probably right....

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posted by MercuryOne [1031 posts]
22nd October 2011 - 13:31

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