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Verdict: 
Brilliant performance, stunning looks, low weight, big price tag
Weight: 
1,939g
Campagnolo Super Record Road Groupset
9 10

Super Record is Campagnolo's flagship mechanical groupset and commands a hefty price tag, but it is ergonomically wonderful, its appearance is stunning and the performance is impeccable.

It's also available in electronic guise (Super Record EPS) but it's satisfying that the company, as with Shimano, hasn't quietly dropped its support for mechanical groupsets and instead continues to develop and refine them. Which is great for fans of mechanical groupsets with their lack of batteries and simplicity of design.

> Find your nearest dealer here

It's not a radical or major overhaul, instead a refinement of the previous Super Record groupset. Critically, the Italian company has managed to retain the same aesthetics of the previous groupset which to my mind, with its smattering of carbon fibre and titanium, is one of the nicest looking that money can buy. And what a lot of money you'll need to buy it. But let's not get bogged down with the price just yet.

The most obvious change is the new chainset. It follows Shimano's lead with a four-arm crankset that allows chainrings to be easily swapped, so you can run 53/39, 52/36 or 50/34. The front and rear derailleurs have also undergone some redesign work, with a focus on improving the shift speed, and the shifter levers have also received some attention.

Pinarello Dogma F8 - crank.jpg

Pinarello Dogma F8 - crank.jpg

While the shifting layout remains classic Campagnolo, it has changed the indexing in the front shift lever. It now takes two clicks to downshift from the large ring, with a third click trimming the front mech when in the largest sprockets on the cassette. To upshift from the small to big chainring requires three clicks. There's no trim option in the big ring, instead Campagnolo has widened the front mech cage so there's more clearance. The rear shift lever retains the previous multi-shift pattern of five downshifts and three upshifts with one throw of either lever.

Visually, the Ergopower levers look the same as the previous version, but along with those indexing changes, the hoods are now constructed from a hypoallergenic silicone with varying density and grooves to provide more comfort and grip. Campagnolo has also reshaped the inside face of the brake lever body so it is a closer fit with a wider range of handlebars.

Pinarello Dogma F8 - brake lever.jpg

Pinarello Dogma F8 - brake lever.jpg

There's a restyled rear derailleur, designed to shift gears even quicker. It has reshaped the parallelogram mechanism with a stronger spring that now pushes the chain in a horizontal rather than diagonal manner, and also keeps the chain closer to the cassette on the top jockey wheel for more engagement and improved power transmission. It's only available in one cage length but is compatible with an 11-29 cassette.

The new front derailleur uses a one-piece carbon fibre outer cage, to lower the weight while maintaining a high stiffness level, but it's the longer arm that delivers a lighter shift feel.

Ride and performance

I tested the Super Record groupset on a Pinarello Dogma F8 (review to come), so there's no review of the installation process. The groupset comprised a 52/36 chainset and 11-23 cassette. Nobody in their right mind these days would choose such a tiny cassette – I certainly wouldn't – and if I was buying this groupset, I'd opt for the 11-29.

Pinarello Dogma F8 - rear mech.jpg

Pinarello Dogma F8 - rear mech.jpg

Despite the changes, there's a familiarity with the revised Super Record. Campagnolo has been using its one-lever-behind-the-brake lever and finger-operated paddle shift layout for many, many years. It works and there's no reason to change it. I find it intuitive and easy to use: changing gear is different to Shimano and SRAM, yes, but it works wonderfully.

I find it easy switching from one groupset to another, but it's always a pleasure (rare these days) to test a bike equipped with Campagnolo. There's never any doubt that a gear change has occurred after prodding one of the levers, and that's something I really like about the Super Record groupset. It's especially useful at higher paces in a fast bunch.

The shape of the hoods and the materials used, in my opinion, makes them the most ergonomically satisfying of all the main groupsets. They're simply really comfortable in the hands, there's a nice degree of cushioning for longer rides and even riding without gloves is a pleasant experience, with good grip even when your hands are covered in sweat or rain. (You'll probably have your own opinion on Campagnolo and I'm not going to try to change that.)

Get a shift on

So far, so familiar, but it's the refinements that really make this an improved groupset. The changes, especially at the front mech, have closed the gap to Shimano's Dura-Ace mechanical groupset (arguably the benchmark mechanical groupset and the big rival to Super Record) while the rear shift speed is much faster and, I'd suggest, in the same ballpark as Shimano's top-tier groupset.

Front shifting performance is exceptionally good. The new front derailleur uses a one-piece carbon fibre outer cage, to lower the weight while maintaining a high stiffness level, but it's the longer arm that delivers a lighter shift feel. It works extremely well; shifting is easy with a light action at the lever meaning only a small push is required to change gear. Changes from the big ring to small are lightning quick, and it never missed a gear even in those panic situations at the bottom of a massively steep climb. Shift performance is enhanced by the usual plethora of ramps and pins on the inner face of the chainring.

Pinarello Dogma F8 - front mech.jpg

Pinarello Dogma F8 - front mech.jpg

Rear shifting is sharp and accurate, but is it quicker? That's tricky to assess without a previous generation Super Record groupset to compare it with, but there's certainly a rapid response when you flick the lever – no delay, no hesitation. Shifting gears is an accurate and very definite process – I love the bolt action feedback that accompanies a gear change, which you'll either love or hate. I like this sort of feedback but it's definitely very different to Shimano's whisper quiet gear changes.

You can change gear easily at any time you need, and it works well under load as well, such as when changing gear on a steep hill when you've realised you're not going to get up it in the big ring. You can even cross the chain from big to big without any consequences.

> Read our review of Campagnolo's Chorus groupset here

Leaving the question of whether the new four-arm chainset is better looking than the old version, Campagnolo claims to have improved the stiffness of the carbon crankset by bolting the chainrings directly to the larger spider, with the four arms positioned to better transfer power. Such a difference in stiffness is tricky to assess, but it's certainly on the same level as a rival chainset from one of the other two big groupset manufacturers. Being able to easily change the chainrings is also going to be a huge benefit: you could have a compact on standby for a trip to the Alps, for example.

Pinarello Dogma F8 - rear brake.jpg

Pinarello Dogma F8 - rear brake.jpg

The brakes have gone unchanged and are the same as the previous groupset, with a dual-pivot design that has been around since 2009. Suffice to say they offered brilliant performance with a firm lever feel when used with carbon fibre wheels and carbon-specific brake blocks.

Weight

As I tested the groupset supplied on a review bike, I wasn't able to weigh the individual parts of the groupset. Here, though, are the manufacturer's claimed weights:

Ergopower Controls (pair) 342g

Rear Derailleur 166g

Front Derailleur (braze-on) 71g

Crankset (52/36) 631g

Cassette (11-29) 177g

Chain 210g

Brake Calipers (Dual Pivot f+r) 297g

Ultra-Torque Threaded Cups 45g

Complete groupset weight: 1,939g. That's a smidgen lighter than current Shimano Dura-Ace mechanical but not as light as SRAM Red mechanical.

Conclusion

The changes to Campagnolo's flagship mechanical groupset might be only minor, but they do provide a noticeable improvement in shifting performance, with lighter and quicker gear changes. Functionally and aesthetically it's a superb groupset and if you're a fan of the Campagnolo shifting layout, you'll be pleased.

However, because the changes are refinements rather than game-changers, they might not be enough to convince anyone with a current Campagnolo groupset to upgrade. It's great that Campagnolo is still investing in the future of mechanical groupsets, though, and despite the growing popularity of electronic groupsets, you really have to want electronic to be able to look past mechanical when it's this good.

Verdict

Brilliant performance, stunning looks, low weight, big price tag

road.cc test report

Make and model: Campagnolo Super Record Road Groupset

Size tested: Carbon

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

From Campagnolo:

For over 80 years Campagnolo has researched, developed, tested and produced a cornucopia of innovative solutions in order to push the limits of what is possible through mechanical shifting.

The current limit at this point in time can be summed up in two words: SUPER RECORD.

With 2015 range Campagnolo presents the new Super Record groupset, namely the maximum evolutional and technological expression of a mechanical drivetrain for bikes.

And thanks to its materials and performance, Super Record is still the reference groupset without equal on the market.

Each component of the drivetrain has been completely rethought in terms of both design and function, to give maximum performance.

Carbon, titanium, lightness, silence, design and exclusiveness are the ingredients for unprecedented performance and unique sensations.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Chainset: Carbon with titanium axle

Bottom bracket cups: choice of threaded or BB30 options

Rear Derailleur

Front Derailleur: Braze-on fitting only

Cassette: Choice of ratio, 11 speed

Chain

Ergo Levers: Carbon Ergo brake/gear levers

Brake Calipers: Dual pivot front and rear

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Stunning quality and attention to detail, all the carbon and titanium is wonderfully put together.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

It's the Italian company's flagship mechanical groupset and the performance is the best it has ever been, with rapid and accurate gear changes.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
9/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
9/10

The redesigned hoods are even more comfortable than the old ones, and in my opinion the nicest to use of any groupset from Shimano or SRAM.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

Tricky to judge value for money on such an expensive product – you can get a functionally similar groupset in Chorus which saves a load of money.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Shifting is lighter and quicker than the previous version, the hoods are ergonomic and tactile, and it all works smoothly.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The shape and feel of the shifter hoods, and the easy shifting layout.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

It's a bit noisier than Shimano Dura-Ace.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

It might not score highly for value, but if you can afford it you'll love it. Judging it on performance and quality, it's superb.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180cm  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

16 comments

Avatar
P3t3 [413 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Surely shift speed is controlled by the number of shift ramps on the sprockets and chainwheels not the derailleur, I'd be surprised if shimano or campy had different numbers.  

 

I've only ridden campy once and it was absolutely gorgeous and at the time I think it was 5-10 year old record.  

Avatar
iso2000 [79 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I've always wanted to know if that little lever on the brake hoods gets in the way when climbing out of the saddle.

Avatar
700c [1150 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
iso2000 wrote:

I've always wanted to know if that little lever on the brake hoods gets in the way when climbing out of the saddle.

The thumb shift lever? No it doesn't.

Avatar
Peowpeowpeowlasers [517 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

I'm building a retro bike with C-Record. The equipment is gorgeous - all shiny aluminium, bits of chrome here and there, pearl white cables. Why can't manufacturers offer shiny components, instead of boring black? Is it fashion, or are they trying to save money by not having to polish the individual parts?

Avatar
javi_polo [10 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
Peowpeowpeowlasers wrote:

Why can't manufacturers offer shiny components, instead of boring black?

I completely agree. I was thinking about rebuilding and old steel frame with new parts, but I wanted a "shiny" groupset (just like the original groupset was). My alternatives were basically reduced to Campagnolo or Shimano 105, which were a bit expensive for what I was looking for.

I might end up buying and old 2300, if I can find something that is not in a really bad state.

Avatar
il sole [86 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
javi_polo wrote:
Peowpeowpeowlasers wrote:

Why can't manufacturers offer shiny components, instead of boring black?

I completely agree. I was thinking about rebuilding and old steel frame with new parts, but I wanted a "shiny" groupset (just like the original groupset was). My alternatives were basically reduced to Campagnolo or Shimano 105, which were a bit expensive for what I was looking for.

I might end up buying and old 2300, if I can find something that is not in a really bad state.

doesn't athena still come in shiny silver, not just black??

Avatar
javi_polo [10 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
il sole wrote:

doesn't athena still come in shiny silver, not just black??

Yes, even Veloce, the cheapest Campy groupset. But Veloce would have roughly the same price as 105, so still a little bit expensive (compared to, say, the old 2300/Sora... it's an old bike after all so I wanted to upgrade it "on the cheap").

 

Avatar
Rapha Nadal [602 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

Not sure you get shiny silver carbon.

Avatar
reippuert [73 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

SR is  ridicuously expensive, please review Chorus instead wich performs 100% identical to Record and SR all over the board. Only difference is a tiny weight addition and a bit more durable - and significatnly cheaper.

Campagnolo's 'marketing' problem is to pesuade costumers that all 3 top tier groupsets Chorus, Record and SR are every bit as good as DureAce and Red. Chorus is not to be compared to Ultegra or Force in either fuctionality, durability or weight.

IMHO Chorus is the hidden 'gem' in the top tier groupset market - it compares very well to DuraAce with Ultegra Casette/Chain or Red without the powerdome cassette (aka a Force casette).

 

 

Avatar
reippuert [73 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
700c wrote:
iso2000 wrote:

I've always wanted to know if that little lever on the brake hoods gets in the way when climbing out of the saddle.

The thumb shift lever? No it doesn't.

agree.... compare Campy Ergo's to anything from Shimano or SRAM - the whole double shift lever/hood or STI lever/hood gets in the way.

Campagnolo levers/hoods is ergonomicly supriror to anything from SRAM or Shimano by a large margin - weater climbing or not.

Avatar
David Arthur @d... [792 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

reippuert wrote:

SR is  ridicuously expensive, please review Chorus instead wich performs 100% identical to Record and SR all over the board. Only difference is a tiny weight addition and a bit more durable - and significatnly cheaper.

Campagnolo's 'marketing' problem is to pesuade costumers that all 3 top tier groupsets Chorus, Record and SR are every bit as good as DureAce and Red. Chorus is not to be compared to Ultegra or Force in either fuctionality, durability or weight.

IMHO Chorus is the hidden 'gem' in the top tier groupset market - it compares very well to DuraAce with Ultegra Casette/Chain or Red without the powerdome cassette (aka a Force casette).

 

 

 

Campagnolo Chorus review - http://road.cc/content/review/177288-campagnolo-chorus

Avatar
bendertherobot [1453 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
reippuert wrote:

SR is  ridicuously expensive, please review Chorus instead wich performs 100% identical to Record and SR all over the board. Only difference is a tiny weight addition and a bit more durable - and significatnly cheaper.

Campagnolo's 'marketing' problem is to pesuade costumers that all 3 top tier groupsets Chorus, Record and SR are every bit as good as DureAce and Red. Chorus is not to be compared to Ultegra or Force in either fuctionality, durability or weight.

IMHO Chorus is the hidden 'gem' in the top tier groupset market - it compares very well to DuraAce with Ultegra Casette/Chain or Red without the powerdome cassette (aka a Force casette).

 

 

Didn't you actually post a comment in the Chorus review?  4

Avatar
Prosper0 [102 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Potenza review!!?

Avatar
matthewn5 [1063 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

The claimed weight (1939g) appears to be 99g heavier than the claimed weight for the 2014 SR groupset with the carbon-titanium 5-arm cranks (1840g). Is that right?

Avatar
muppetteer [95 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
reippuert wrote:

SR is  ridicuously expensive, please review Chorus instead wich performs 100% identical to Record and SR all over the board. Only difference is a tiny weight addition and a bit more durable - and significatnly cheaper.

To be fair Super Record is really only necessary if you're racing, need evey gram, or are paid to ride. I'm got Record and Chorus on all of my bikes, and there's very little difference between them functionally. 

Chorus is by far the best groupset for quality / price from any manufacturer. I just can't understand why more bikes don't come with it?

Avatar
Teisetrotter [2 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
reippuert wrote:
700c wrote:
iso2000 wrote:

I've always wanted to know if that little lever on the brake hoods gets in the way when climbing out of the saddle.

The thumb shift lever? No it doesn't.

agree.... compare Campy Ergo's to anything from Shimano or SRAM - the whole double shift lever/hood or STI lever/hood gets in the way.

Campagnolo levers/hoods is ergonomicly supriror to anything from SRAM or Shimano by a large margin - weater climbing or not.

 

Yep, it has always utterly bemused me why people reviewing groupsets don't point out the main upsides of Campy:

1. Ergo Hoods - They are market leading, DA is catcing up but is still way off the comfort levels

2. Change Flexibilty - The top end Campy change is light years ahead of anything else in the mechanical world. That is driven by the hood design

a) The button will allow three instant changes, instead of the inner paddle swing click, swing click, swing click wait change on other sets. You can change three gears down and then three gears up in the same time you do one change on DA

b) Push both buttons or swing both levers and you change front and rear with no ratio change. So then to do one or two change of ratios you do one or two less clicks for the ratio change. All of this is seemless and instant.

So the lfexibility of moving all around your gear ratios in an instant is market leading. I have both groupsets as I have a disc groupset. The Shimano front mech' is much more concise but it is all compromised by the hoods which in the disc format are so ugly, uncomfortable as to be an embarrassment to their brand. Saving now to change to Campy.