Italian component legend Campagnolo has announced new double and triple cranksets and two new ten-speed cassette combinations, broadening the gear ranges it offers in a move that's clearly designed to appeal to the burgeoning MAMIL market.
Triples return to the Campagnolo range at Athena 11-speed, and Centaur and Veloce 10-speed levels, which is bound to please any Campagnolo aficionado who regular tackles steep hills or carries big loads.
The Athena crank is a 52/39/30, Centaur is offered in two options, 52/39/30 and 50/39/30 and Veloce just in 50/39/30. All come in 170mm, 172.5mm and 175mm lengths.
Campagnolo has also announced all-new matching front derailleurs to move the chain around the three rings, and new rear derailleurs with longer cages to take up the extra chain slack.
There's no technical documentation for the new cranks available yet, but we're crossing our fingers and hoping that inner ring has a 74mm pitch circle diameter so you can go even lower than a 30-tooth inner ring if you want to.
For Campagnolo users who want a really big gear range, Campagnolo has also announced two new ten-speed sprocket cassettes. There's a 12-27 (12-13-14-15-17-19-21-23-25-27, gear chart fiends) and a 12-30 (12-13-14-15-17-19-21-24-27-30) which means that with the new triples you can go down to a 1:1 ratio for pootling up even the most hideous hills.
Last but not least, Campagnolo has announced a 52/36 option on some of its compact cranks. “Go compact or standard? How many times do cyclists ask themselves this same question before a race or before purchasing a bicycle?” That's the question in Campagnolo's announcement of the new cranks, and the answer is sort of 'super-compact' option that gives you slightly higher gears, but doesn't go all the way to the 39-tooth inner ring of a proper grown-up racing set.
The new chainring combination will be available at Super Record, Record, Chorus and Athena carbon level, in 165, 170, 172.5, and 175mm lengths.
If you're wondering why 52/36 and no some other combination, Campagnolo says it, “wanted to offer the broadest range of ratios possible (16), but with no loss in the vital prerequisite of derailing quality. This crankset offers the same derailing speed and precision as standard or compact components.”
We suspect you could sneakily combine a 34-tooth inner with the 52 outer and persuade it to work if you didn't mind slower shifts and a bit more set-up finnickiness, but with the caution typical of component manufacturers, Campagnolo doesn't recommend it.
More more information see Campagnolo's news page
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.