Italian cycling component maker Campagnolo has enjoyed a loyal following since it was established back in 1933, but its components are increasingly rare on road bikes as many big bike brands commonly favour Shimano and SRAM when speccing new bikes. Nevertheless, Campagnolo's reputation for durability and style makes a Campagnolo-equipped bike well worth a look.
The company with the richest heritage in cycling, Campagnolo introduced the quick release skewer, the modern parallelogram rear derailleur, the groupset and a host of other innovations from its long-standing base in Vicenza, Italy
Campagnolo has long been in the vanguard of the move to increase the number of gears on our bikes; its Super Record, Record and Chorus groupsets include the only 12-speed mechanical shifting available
Campagnolo components haven't been common on mass-produced bikes for many years, but many bike makers equip a handful of super-prestige models with the top Campagnolo groupsets
From most to least expensive Campagnolo groupsets go: Super Record, Record, Chorus (all 12-speed), Potenza, Centaur (both 11-speed), and Veloce (10-speed). Super Record and Record are available with EPS electronic shifting
It’s still possible to cut through the Shimano domination and find bikes that are equipped with Campagnolo, but such bikes are getting harder to find. So we’ve done the search for you and rounded up a nice selection of road bikes built around the Italian groupsets covering a wide band of price points.
For many people, there is no brand more synonymous with the heritage and prestige of cycle racing than Campagnolo, the company founded by a man who invented the quick release skewer. Campagnolo has long been an innovative company bringing some of the lightest and advanced components to market – Campagnolo also invented the rear derailleur as we know it today.
Over the years Campagnolo is increasingly found more on very expensive showstopper road bikes, with Shimano cleaning up at the more cost-conscious price points. This is down to the Japanese company offering a wider range of competitively priced groupsets and the economies of scale working in its favour, it’s able to provide good deals for large bike companies selling bikes in huge numbers.
To cut the decline of Campagnolo support the company launched the Potenza groupset, aimed at the mid-range market dominated by Shimano’s Ultegra, but it did look like you were still paying a premium to have Campagnolo on your bike.
In the next stage of the fightback, Campagnolo launched the Centaur groupset, aimed at the riders who currently use Shimano 105. Campagnolo components are still not what you'd call common, but with Potenza and Centaur there are a few more Campagnolo-equipped models on offer than a few years ago.
One of Italy's most famous bike brands, Cinelli is known for striking design, though the Superstar here really only nods to that with its colourful stripes. We suspect that painting the Toray 700 cabron fibre frame in a riot of colours might have looked a bit odd with the black Potenza components.
Sport megastore chain Decathlon is known for great-value midrange bikes but it's maybe not the place you'd expect to find a Campagnolo-equipped bike. The Van Rysel RR920 CF Potenza confounds expectations with an excellent carbon fibre frame and full Potenza groupset including the chainset which many brands swap out for a cheaper model. The wheels are Campagnolo Zondas and it rolls on Hutchinson Fusion 5 Performance tyres. It's a very tidy package for the money.
The legendary Dogma with Campagnolo's top mechanical groupset, and the renowned Bora wheels. You don't really need both kidneys.
The GTR Team is Wilier's all-rounder frame, suitable for racing or just for long days exploring the lanes. It's clad here in a Chorus groupset and Campagnolo Calima wheels. Wilier offers a substantial range of Campagnolo-equipped bikes, as you might expect from a company whose very name celebrates Italian liberation.
The Tifosi line of bikes belongs to UK Campagnolo importer Chicken Cyclekit, so it's no surprise to find a number of Campagnolo-equipped bikes in the range. With the Campagnolo's Ultegra-and-a-bit-level groupset, Chorus, this is the one of the top bikes in the range, with a frame claimed to weigh just 980 grams.
Bianchi’s Intenso has the entry-level version of Bianchi's C2C carbon fibre endurance frame and is built with Campagnolo’s Centaur 11-speed groupset.
The De Rosa Idol is a quick and energetic gran fondo/sportive bike that rides a lot like a full-on race bike. If you're after a lively performer, it's well worth a look. The Idol is available in various builds including one with a Campagnolo Potenza groupset and Fulcrum wheels.
London-based Condor Cycles lets you spec any Campagnolo groupset, and using their bike builder we picked an Italia RC aluminium frame with a Campagnolo Chorus Carbon 11-speed groupset and topped it off with Bora One 35 Clincher carbon wheels plus a selection of other mostly Italian goodies.
The Ultimate CF SLX is German company Canyon’s lightest model and is available in a wide range of builds, including this full Campagnolo Super Record EPS version, as ridden by Team Movistar. We can't argue with reader Mathemagician who says "New Canyon Ultimate Team Movistar... 12 speed Record EPS disc and Bora One 50 wheels for £7249 is really expensive, but a really expensive bargain."
Colnago’s C64 is a custom build option so you can build it with any parts you like, but here's one of Sigma Sports' stock options in the stunning Art Decor paint job.
If money is no object, and it really needs to be for this bike, the Specialissima is Bianchi’s latest full carbon race bike and is outfitted here with the top-of-the-range electronic Super Record 12-speed groupset.
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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.