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Do you even need 12-speed? David looks 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.

9 comments

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bechdan [194 posts] 3 months ago
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Do you need Campagnolo.......

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

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grasen [16 posts] 3 months ago
3 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 [110 posts] 3 months ago
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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 [194 posts] 3 months ago
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They dont play well with other manufacturers - cross compatibility is as important as competition

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bechdan [194 posts] 3 months ago
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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 [117 posts] 3 months 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 [117 posts] 3 months ago
3 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] 3 months ago
1 like
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] 2 months ago
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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.