Campagnolo EPS V3 Review, Features and Updates

Campagnolo EPS V3 Review, Features and Updates

2016 CAMPAGNOLO EPS V3 – CONNECTIVITY WITH ITALIAN ELEGANCE

At the EuroBike industry exposition last fall, Campagnolo announced some changes to its EPS electronic shifting system. While the EPS system was, in my opinion, the industry leader when it was introduced in many categories, it lost ground to Shimano’s dominant latest generation of Di2 system. For example, second generation Shimano systems allow for customization of the system through a user interface and firmware updates, while Campagnolo’s second generation EPS V2 systems remained static in the interface and updates department. Will Campagnolo EPS V3 take back the lost ground?

Campagnolo EPS Progression

While Campagnolo EPS V2 was eclipsed by Shimano in some departments, it did see some nice progressions from the original Campagnolo EPS V1. For example, the power unit of EPS V1 was large and had to be mounted on the outside of the frame. It was not the most aesthetically pleasing solution. Campagnolo addressed this aesthetic point with the introduction of the V2 version and a power unit that could be mounted inside the frame. This looked better, but this still was not ideal as it could not be universally installed in all frames and was quite challenging to install in others. The Power Unit had to be bolted into place inside the frame, using bolts that went through the seat tube water bottle bosses on the bike’s frame. This required a custom tool from Campagnolo and often a strong portion of patience on the part of the installation technician. All in all, not a simple task. Well, for 2016, Campagnolo has addressed these shortcomings and more with its new Super Record and Record EPS V3 system.

A New Power UnCampagnolo EPS V3 Power Unitit for Campagnolo EPS V3

First of all, Campagnolo has redesigned the battery pack/brains of the system in EPS V3. The new ultrasonically sealed, waterproof Power Unit is now slender and round, so it will fit inside a seatpost. It is also easier to fit inside an aero bike frame, if need be. These changes will make installation and, if ever needed, removal, easier than before and far more universal and simple to service if needed.

A New Cockpit Interface for Campagnolo EPS V3

Campagnolo EPS V3 Stem MountAnother big change is to the cockpit interface. The EPS V2 system, with the brain/battery pack inside the frame, required the bike manufacturer to provide a hole somewhere in the frame, in the vicinity of the bottom bracket, for mounting a charging port. This was never a great solution as installing the charging port receptacle firmly in the frame could be a real challenge and some bikes mounted the port on the underside of the bottom bracket, making charging without the use of a bike repair stand truly inconvenient. The new cockpit interface in Campagnolo EPS V3, designed to attach to the stem, now incorporates a charging port at the stem. Charging will now be easier for the bike owner and similar to charging the current Shimano Di2 system and it will work easily on most any frame. The lights on the interface, indicating the functional status of the system, are now also visible from three sides making checking battery levels easier.

Wireless Updating for Campagnolo EPS V3

Campagnolo EPS V3 MyCampy AppOnce installed, probably the greatest benefit is that the EPS V3 system will now communicate via Bluetooth or ANT+ with a computer, tablet, iPhone or Android, via a forthcoming “MyCampy” app. This wireless connectivity will allow the bike owner to make changes to the system, such as changing individual shift button and lever functions, and changing EPS settings. This is similar to what can be done with Shimano’s Di2 system, but without the need to plug the bike into a separate computer interface that must then be plugged into a laptop like Di2 currently requires (rumor has it Shimano will be offering a wireless interface very soon too). With the “MyCampy” app, the owner will be able to wirelessly download firmware updates to the system, and run component-by-component diagnostics as well. The “MyCampy” app will also perform a variety of other services, such as tracking mileage use of each component, so that you can better judge when replacement of items such as the chain is needed.

How Does Campagnolo EPS V3 Perform and Ride?

From a performance standpoint, little has changed. I have always liked the functionality of the Campagnolo system. Shifts are solid feeling, quick and precise and multi-shifts are very fast, especially going to harder gears. The functioning of the rear derailleur can take a bit of getting used to though as the derailleur is designed to momentarily slightly over shift, to be sure that the chain seats properly, and then it returns to the proper position. The result is that you may hear a slight chain noise for a split second when you shift. Nothing you can’t get used to, and it is a very functional feature when it comes to clean shifting. As for the front, the EPS front derailleur, as with all Campagnolo front derailleurs, has always been a bit finicky to set up, and it still is. However, once it is set up correctly, it provides quick, precise shifts as well. The increased chainring stiffness of the latest generation Campagnolo crankset also improves front shifting.

Campagnolo EPS3 Lever Ergonomics

Campagnolo has retained its traditional shifter feel and function. The shift lever and thumb paddle mimic the functioning of their mechanical brethren. Unlike Shimano, the electronic buttons even have a very similar feel to the mechanical units. Shimano’s two levers, mounted so close together, can sometimes result in misshifting, particularly if you are wearing full-fingered gloves. That won’t happen with Campy shifters as the thumb lever is placed far away from the shifter paddle. The shape and feel of the lever remains the same as the last generation Campagnolo, which I have always found very comfortable and functional.

Upgrade Campagnolo EPS V1 or V2 to Campagnolo EPS V3

The new Campagnolo EPS Power Unit and cockpit interface are compatible with previous generation Record and Super Record shifters and derailleurs. Thank you Campagnolo! Owners of bikes with Campagnolo EPS V1 and V2 will be able to upgrade, getting the new features, by replacement of these parts. This is not quite as easy as it sounds, particularly the Power Unit, and will require at least partial disassembly of the bike in order to run cables from the new EPS power pack to the various components. While it is better for most people to leave this upgrade to a shop familiar with the Campagnolo EPS system, it is great that Campagnolo allows for such upgrades.

Shimano Di2 eTube vs. Campagnolo EPS V3

Modern electronic shifting started in 2009 with Shimano’s original 7970 Di2 system. From a performance and feel standpoint, this was superseded by the original Campagnolo EPS system from my perspective. However, Shimano upped the stakes with the latest eTube versions of Ultegra and Dura Ace Di2 systems. Now it appears that Campagnolo may have arguably leap-frogged over Shimano again in at least a few departments, in that the new EPS has more communication features even a Di2 system equipped with the D-Fly module, and can be updated and tailored to your needs without the need for a separate interface. At the moment, there is no clearcut winner as both systems continue to show great progression and once again the winner for an individual will likely rest in personal preference or a singular feature that one system offers over the other. It is nice when there are multiple good options and SRAM’s forthcoming eTap should provide a third very valid electronic shift option as well.

Availability of Campagnolo EPS V3

At the time of this writing, availability of the Campagnolo V3 components is still very limited, but Campy should have their production up to speed in the near future. Let the battle continue, for you and I will be the beneficiaries of the improved technology. This stuff keeps getting better and better!
Contact us to talk more about upgrading to Campagnolo EPS V3 or getting a Rider Matched new bike with Campagnolo EPS V3.

About Jim

After almost thirty years as an attorney, Jim decided he was ready for a change in 2007. After being a Fit Werx client for years, Jim started working with us as part of an internship and he went full-time at Fit Werx in early 2009. In the summer of 2010 Jim assumed the Service Manager role for our Vermont location and is now a mainstay. Whether he is helping a rider find a good road ride in the area, fixing a pesky bottom bracket issue, or carefully building up someone’s new bike to their positioning numbers, Jim is an accomplished technician, a great resource and here to help.

Find out more about Jim Here

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18 Responses to Campagnolo EPS V3 Review, Features and Updates
  • Johan Bouma

    Hi

    I am using campa EPS super record v1 and would like to upgrade the interface to v3. Can I do this without also remplacing the battery?

    Regards
    Johan

    • Ian

      Hi Johan,

      The primary benefits of the V3 system are the integration of the “My Campy” app, the charging improvements and the more concealed and integrated nature of the combined battery/brain that can now be concealed in a seatpost. The battery needs to be upgraded if you are to change to V3 as it is the main component.

  • Bill Hall

    I’ve got EPS Record V2 which is brilliant; except for charging it. It’s just about impossible to line up the four soft metal pins of the charging unit with the four holes in the battery lead. As a result I’ve successfully charged it four times and broken it three times, requiring an expensive replacement.
    Does V3 manage charging any better?

    • Ian

      Hi Bill,
      Sorry for the delay in reply, I missed this one…
      The location of the charging port is better placed on the EPS V3 and that could help reduce the chance of breaking it. The connector itself is pretty much the same as it was on V2 though.

      • Janelle

        I too have had the pins bend twice to now be told it’s stuffed! What an absolute waste of money! You would think that this day and age the pins would be encased in a cover unit to ensure the pins can’t be bent and the system is more user friendly. It’s really a joke!

  • Robert

    I have installed by Record EPS V3 and things are working great. One question that I have that you might be able to answer has to do with the power unit firmware update. According to Campy the only way to update that is from a Campy authorized dealer due to needing to reset the derailleurs. I live in western Arizona and can not find any shops in the Phoenix area that knows anything about EPS. Do you know anything about this firmware update or what it does? I was able to update the interface and wireless module with MyCampy. Thanks for your help.

    Robert

  • Sascha

    Can I combine V3 power unit and interface with Athena EPS derailleurs?

    • Ian

      Hi Sasha,

      We don’t have an absolute answer for you as all the EPS systems we have installed and worked on have been Chorus level or higher and I don’t have an Athena system here to compare. I suspect that Athena is a little different from the others and thus it may not work. However, your best bet will be to find a shop near you who can look at your connectors and compare it to the new battery pack and junction. Sorry we don’t know the answer to this one…

  • Joe Davis

    Any idea if V3 is currently, or will be, compatible with the V2 Chorus grouppo? I have the V2 Chorus and have suffered from pin damage on the charger side, but now also the charging port. Pretty fed up with the poor design of that interface in V2, so debating a V3 upgrade if available or abandoning Campy for SRAM eTAP.

    Seven AirHeart / Evergreen SL w/ S&S Couplers

    • Ian

      Hi Joe,
      The answer is yes, it is compatible. The shifters and derailleurs work fine. The battery/brain has to be replaced, as well as the cockpit interface box. The charger is the same, so long as it has not been damaged in some way. The charger plug is the same as on V2, but is no longer located in some awkward position on the bike, but rather it is on the junction box. Let us know if we can help with any of this conversion.

  • Terry

    I have the V3 Super Record having owned Campag all my cycling years it preforms as expected, very well. My only gripe (apart from cost) is the charging port and plug which is like something from 20 years ago with copper pins, utter rubbish! Trying to install the charger plug with the new V3 interface is not easy. A USB style connector would be much better. I have the latest Di2 on another bike and that has no such problems.

    • Ian

      Thanks for the feedback Terry. We agree that the USB connectors, like those found on Di2, are better than Campagnolo’s connectors. Connectors have never been a strength of Campagnolo…

  • Robert

    I am getting ready to build my 4th campagnolo bike (Look 695 Aerolite) but this time it will be EPS V3. I was wondering if you had any recommendations for a successful install of V3 besides the two additional tools (cable magnet and connector tool)? I have watched the EPS videos on the Campagnolo website and everything seems fairly strait forward. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Robert
    “A tailwind makes you feel strong but a headwind makes you strong, enjoy them both”

    • Ian

      Hello Robert,

      The correct tools are by far the best way to install EPS. You could try fishing things through with derailleur cables and the like as guides, but I think you are likely in for a long haul with this approach with most frames. We have never had reason to try it without the tools and our techs have said they would think it would be very, very difficult to come up with a substitute that would work well on many frames. If you find a way that works without them, please post again. It sounds like you have some nice bikes. Keep us in mind in the future, we’d love to help you out down the road…

  • Tom

    Ian, have you any idea when v3 will be available? I have a C60 frame waiting since last November and am just about to give up and install v2. What would you recommend?

    Tom

    • Ian

      Hi Tom,
      My apologies for the delay in reply. We had a technology issue on our site. You can email me directly at ian@fitwerx.com and I will get things.
      Right now, suppliers are saying that the next batch will be in by the third week of April.
      Ian

  • Kenneth

    Does Campagnolo offer a solution to cover the hole drilled for the V2 Battery charging port when upgrading to the V3 battery?

    • Ian

      Hi Kenneth,

      Good question. We have not seen anything from Campagnolo to fill the hole. We have often modified rubber stoppers form the hardware store to create a good “plug”.
      Ian

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