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A look at the pros and cons with Campagnolo's Record 12-speed groupset

Do you even need 12-speed on a road bike? It's a really good question, and since we had a very nice Canyon Ultimate CF SLX in the office with the latest Campagnolo Record 12-speed groupset recently, David thought it would be a good idea to try and answer that question. So hit play on the video above to find out. 

If you missed the launch of Campagnolo Record and Super Record 12-speed earlier this year, you can read Jack's first ride story on it here and watch his unboxing video here.

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.

29 comments

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bechdan [264 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Do you need Campagnolo.......

you can stop the question right there, the answer is no

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grasen [17 posts] 1 year ago
9 likes

Silly comment. We need at least 3 or 4 companies that all try to improve their equipement . Competition and inovation would benefit us all. 

If you like Campagnolo or not is another question.

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jaysa [160 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

Bit harsh that. Campag make some lovely stuff.

Do you need 12-speed though? My bikes are Shimano 10 and Campag 11 speed and both have small enough gaps between ratios where it matters.

Love Campag's thin, neat hoods, but preferred older style thinner crank arms to the monolithic look here.

Where I'm out though is money. 105/Ultegra works so well, why spend more? 

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bechdan [264 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

They dont play well with other manufacturers - cross compatibility is as important as competition

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bechdan [264 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
grasen wrote:

Silly comment. We need at least 3 or 4 companies that all try to improve their equipement . Competition and inovation would benefit us all. 

If you like Campagnolo or not is another question.

 

without sounding too much like a Life of Brian quote (what have the Romans ever done for us) - what has Campag innovated in the last 20 years that has been better than Shimano SRAM etc?

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reippuert [125 posts] 1 year ago
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bechdan wrote:

Do you need Campagnolo.......

you can stop the question right there, the answer is no

 

disagree... ergonomics is far supirior

 

reg 12 speed: if we have to accept all casettes starts with a 11 tooth cog and that the smallest crankset option is 50/34: then yes we need 12 speed in order to have a straight block from 12 to 17 teeth.

Shimano's 11-28 and Campy's 11-29 11-speed casettes does not have the 16t cog (or the 18t). 11-32t are even worse off. At least Campagnolo still have a nice 12-29t 11-speed casette.

Unfortunately Campy only offfers the 12 speed casette in 11-29 and 11-32.

A 12-speed 12-29 and 12-32 with both 16t and 18t cogs would be nice (tight high end and decent lowend)

 

 

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reippuert [125 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes

Campagnolo was forst with 9 speed, 10 speed and 11 speed.

12 speed: first road groupset...

and that 12 speed casette will still fit a 1997 9-speed hub (propper Ingeneering and design from the start where Shimano, SRAM and others are constantly failing by intruduceing new inferiour standards not improving on previous failed desings

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Jer81 [2 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
jaysa wrote:

Where I'm out though is money. 105/Ultegra works so well, why spend more? 

Indeed. But my Campa 2x10 Veloce groupset was almost the same price as the at that time current 105 2x10. I do like the ergonomics better (like the thumbshifter) and in a group of Shimano riders why would I want more of the same? We all like to be (more or less) unique. That's why there are dozens of bike brands.

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picard2bridge [1 post] 1 year ago
3 likes
bechdan wrote:

Do you need Campagnolo....... you can stop the question right there, the answer is no

Nonsense! I am entirely loyal to Campy now because they are loyal to me.

I have a 1950s track bike,  a thing of beauty. Campy Record hubs and bottom bracket. Last time I needed spare parts, I could still get them.

On the other hand, I tried to get some spare parts for some 10 year old Dura Ace brakes a few years ago and they weren't available because Shimano change ranges and tech so often they expect cutomers to constantly upgrade.

 So I made a decision some time ago that it was Campy all the way, and I've never regretted it. Both Shimano and Campy make good gear. But I'm sticking to the latter.

And as others have said, the more manufacturers of premium parts the better.

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Jimnm [325 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

Their running out of ideas to extract money from the cyclist. No need for 12 speed. IMO 

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David Arthur @d... [964 posts] 7 months ago
2 likes
Jimnm wrote:

Their running out of ideas to extract money from the cyclist. No need for 12 speed. IMO 

Did you say the same when 11 speed came out? And 10? How about 9, 8, 7 and 6?

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peted76 [1637 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

I'm always running out of gears, surely the answer to the headline is a resounding yes!

 

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peted76 [1637 posts] 7 months ago
1 like

meme day!

 

 

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Disfunctional_T... [462 posts] 7 months ago
2 likes
peted76 wrote:

meme day!

Bad grammar day.

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WolfieSmith [1402 posts] 7 months ago
2 likes

Er? Didn’t Campagnolo also invent the quick release and the rear mech too? I’ve been using Campag for 25 years now. Sram is lovely too. I tried Shimano for the first time in 2017 and was shocked into laughing at how the levers wobble in four directions when braking.  Is that why Shimano is so cheap? I can’t think of any other reason why the brake levers shimmy. 

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Jimmy Walnuts [106 posts] 4 weeks ago
0 likes

In the 11 months since this video was posted Campagnolo have launced three mechanical 12-speed groups, two EPS groups and one EPS disc group (with Record EPS disc on the way). SRAM have launched their new eTap road grouspets in 1 x and 2 x to join the 12-speed gang, yet Shimano are late to the party.  

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CyclingInBeastMode [269 posts] 4 weeks ago
1 like

If one of the big three actually offered cassettes that the majority needed not what the higher end amateur/pros use then they'd increase their market share.

A 13-36 12 speed with a 52/33 would give you a hell of a set up for touring/mountain riding with a double and reduce further the nasty jumps between the ratios that can upset your rythm when having to transition between terrains and when you're pushing hard on a steep incline, 13 speed would go even further.

However, 13 or 12 requires new wheels that are having to be redished which is making them subtly weaker like for like.

No-one 'needs' 12 speed, just like most people don't need anything beyond 5 speed, especially when 36T sprockets were available by at least the early 80s, however it could make cycling slightly but is it really enough of a difference to justify all the extra cost? 

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Morat [352 posts] 4 weeks ago
1 like

Yes, I do.

I also need a new 6kg bike with aero wheels, power meters in the pedals, and a Garmin 10 million with auto-plan, auto-train, auto-diet and auto-flush. It'll be my perfect machine for Peloton sessions.

Please send it soon!

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srchar [1658 posts] 4 weeks ago
0 likes

Money no object, unlimited maintenance time, yes, I'll have an extra sprocket.

But it is, and there isn't (and the cassettes are gappy AF), so I'll stick with Veloce 14-26 on the commuter and Chorus 12-25 on the weekender.

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srchar [1658 posts] 4 weeks ago
0 likes
CyclingInBeastMode wrote:

A 13-36 12 speed with a 52/33 would give you a hell of a set up for touring/mountain riding with a double and reduce further the nasty jumps between the ratios

Sounds great (although 13-36 would still be pretty gappy) but how long would the rear mech have to be to take up the 20 links of slack chain that would be required when running 33x13 to annoy the anti-crosschainers?

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ChasP [72 posts] 4 weeks ago
0 likes
srchar wrote:
CyclingInBeastMode wrote:

A 13-36 12 speed with a 52/33 would give you a hell of a set up for touring/mountain riding with a double and reduce further the nasty jumps between the ratios

Sounds great (although 13-36 would still be pretty gappy) but how long would the rear mech have to be to take up the 20 links of slack chain that would be required when running 33x13 to annoy the anti-crosschainers?

Rear mech capacity would'nt be a problem but it would be horrible to ride with such a big jump between the front rings needing several shifts at the back to compensate. Now if only someone could come up with a way of adding an extra ring at the front to make shifts closer while still giving a wide range...

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srchar [1658 posts] 4 weeks ago
2 likes
ChasP wrote:

Now if only someone could come up with a way of adding an extra ring at the front to make shifts closer while still giving a wide range...

That's a great idea; I can foresee it would be particularly useful for hilly touring.  It would allow the gaps in the cassette to be closed up while maintaining range.  You wouldn't even need 12 sprockets, perhaps 10 would be enough.  I can't see an additional e.g. 30T chainring weighing any more than two additional large sprockets. It would in all probability be cheaper and easier to maintain too.

The only downside I can see is that it wouldn't look pro.

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alexb [213 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes
srchar wrote:
ChasP wrote:

Now if only someone could come up with a way of adding an extra ring at the front to make shifts closer while still giving a wide range...

That's a great idea; I can foresee it would be particularly useful for hilly touring.  It would allow the gaps in the cassette to be closed up while maintaining range.  You wouldn't even need 12 sprockets, perhaps 10 would be enough.  I can't see an additional e.g. 30T chainring weighing any more than two additional large sprockets. It would in all probability be cheaper and easier to maintain too.

The only downside I can see is that it wouldn't look pro.

 

Perhaps they could even design it with a left hand shifter that will operate either a triple or double chainring set up so that you don't have to buy a complete new set of ergos if you change your mind?

Oooh, and they could offer the cassette drivers in Shimano or Campag pattern, so that if you change manufacturers, you don't have to throw away a perfectly good set of wheels!

 

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Argus Tuft [131 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes

I remember saying we didn't need 6 speed.

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Russell Orgazoid [566 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like
bechdan wrote:

Do you need Campagnolo.......

you can stop the question right there, the answer is no

Correct. One of the few people who read the question!

Need: no.

Want: yes or no or maybe.

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Grumpier-Older [4 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes
jaysa wrote:

Bit harsh that. Campag make some lovely stuff.

They do, I covet everything thay create apart from the shifters, which IMHO are an ergonomic fail, however I do realise that some people think they are wonderful, I prefer SRAM, my other half, prefers Shimano...

CyclingInBeastMode wrote:

A 13-36 12 speed with a 52/33 would give you a hell of a set up for touring/mountain riding with a double

52/33 would need a very long rear derailleur when combined with a 13-36 cassette, but I'd be quite happy with a 13/36 cassette with 50/34 chainrings

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Jimmy Walnuts [106 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Grumpier-Older wrote:

apart from the shifters, which IMHO are an ergonomic fail

 

Elaborate? 

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devon__tri [11 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes

Why would anyone want a company more commonly  known for their fishing parts on a bicycle?

 

Veloce is the equivalent of Dura Ace, above that Campgnolo excels in every other respect.

 

With regards to ratios I find 39:16 easily gets me up porlock, widdecombe, haytor and I can just about keep up with the club at 160rpm on the flat! - and yes it's a campag single speed

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devon__tri [11 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like
CyclingInBeastMode wrote:

If one of the big three actually offered cassettes that the majority needed not what the higher end amateur/pros use then they'd increase their market share.

A 13-36 12 speed with a 52/33...

Sounds like somebody needs to take up golf.