Campag unveil Athena EPS

Italian gruppo to rival Ultegra Di2; like Shimano's newer groupset it's not backwards compatible

by Dave Atkinson   July 17, 2012  

Campag Athena EPS rear derailleur

Campagnolo have been busy trickling their EPS technology down to a more affordable level, and yesterday they announced that EPS will be available as an Athena groupset. They've missed out Chorus and gone straight for their entry level 11-speed groupset in an attempt to go head to head with Di2 and get the equipment specced on 2013 bikes.

We don't have masses of information on the groupset at the moment; what we can tell you is that, like Shimano when they released Ultegra Di2, the new EPS gear uses slightly different technology to the Record and Super Record EPS groupsets that we had a go on at the end of last year. As such, the Athena groupset won't be compatible with the current high-end offerings. We're not sure at the moment whether future groupsets will all use the Athena standard; that's been the case with Shimano, with the new Dura Ace 9000 series Di2 now compatible with Ultegra.

Campag have thinned out the Carbon fibre on show for Athena, of course, with more of the componentry made from steel and Aluminium. The stated weight of the Athena groupset is around 2,500g, which is similar to Ultegra Di2. Campag have been busy trying to get the new groupset specced on 2013 bikes, and with some success; you'll likely see Athena EPS next year on Pinarello, Fuji and Felt bikes among others. If you fancy upgrading your current bike, you'll likely be waiting until the end of 2012 to see it on the shelves. We don't have a retail price for the groupset at present, but they should be able to tell us the RRP by the time the Eurobike show comes around. As well as Ergo shifters, there'll be TT units for your against-the-clock bike.

Like the Record and Super Record gear, Athena EPS is currently made at Campag's Vicenza facility that we had a look round when we were over there for the last EPS launch. They didn't let us in the EPS bit, though; presumably because it was full of Athena components in development and they didn't want to spoil the surprise.

There'll be more info on the groupset as soon as we have it.

7 user comments

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As expected they missed out Chorus, as its really so close to Record these days there isn't much difference.

I do want this though. Really. But I wonder how many of my children I will still need to sell? One, or both?

posted by othello [281 posts]
17th July 2012 - 8:36

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The Campag mechs look a lot sleeker than the first gen shimano ones. I'm hoping the ultegra mechs get updated to a similar design to the new dura ace - waiting until 2014 I guess...

posted by step-hent [683 posts]
17th July 2012 - 9:25

7 Likes

Italian? Electric? In the rain?

posted by mbrads72 [121 posts]
17th July 2012 - 17:54

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They spent a lot of time getting the waterproofing on EPS right, so they told us in Vicenza. the original electric system almost went to market years ago but production was halted after water worked its way in when the bikes were on top of team cars driving 80mph along the motorway in the rain. after that 11-speed came in, so they had to redesign for that. but they're happy it's weatherproof. they have a system running entirely submerged in the factory.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7391 posts]
17th July 2012 - 19:09

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dave_atkinson wrote:
they have a system running entirely submerged in the factory.

Underwater cycling will be the next big thing after disc brakes on road bikes, you heard it here first...

posted by don_don [149 posts]
18th July 2012 - 19:42

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posted by xkiller213 [10 posts]
19th July 2012 - 5:04

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Waterproofing really is a non-issue on EPS.

We built a bike for Dave Harmon the day before this years Londres-Paris sportif, and those who rode it will tell you it was WET with a a bit of wetness thrown in ... Dave's Onix RH signature bike was externally wired, so all the pluggery was completely exposed to the weather and guess what - it never missed a beat.

I've ridden EPS right through the winter an all the weather we've had - and man, we've had a lot of weather - same experience.

If there was going to be a problem with water and EPS, because of what we do (given that we deal with Campag's material for service & warranty alongside the 3 other UK ASCs), we'd have started to see it by now - but so far, no cases in the UK.

Di2 has proved similarly reliable by and large, so far as we are aware here at Velotech Cycling Ltd - but obviously, we've had less to do with Di2 / Ui2, though we have worked on a fair bit of it over the events that we provide technical back-up for.

Please note if you are looking at EPS, you do need to buy a group complete and have it shop-fitted at present, in order to gain full warranty support.

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

posted by velotech_cycling [74 posts]
19th July 2012 - 17:33

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