We began receiving our first Campagnolo 11 speed groups this week after a long fall spent reading about the improvements in the group. Now that the wait is over, we have already sent the first Super Record equipped bikes home with very excited clients. I am sure everyone has an idea of all the changes in the new group by now, but I wanted to touch on the ones that stood out the most for us, from the point of view of an experienced mechanic.
So the new group has 11 speeds, but do we really need them all? The simple answer is yes. With 11 gears back there now, the spacing is a bit tighter between gears and offers quick shifting in both directions. This was not something I noticed right away, but after a short ride and some shifting under pressure, the transitions were quickand seamless. The new shifter internals have the same Campy mechanical feel when shifting to higher gears, but have a new Shimano-like smoothness when going to the lower gears. The lever throw seems a bit shorter as well, making the transition to the big chainring easier than in the past. In general, the 11 speed shifting is an improvement on the already stellar Campagnolo quality.
Ergonomics seems to be found in every aspect of our lives now. When STI shifting came on the market, we were all amazed by how easy it was to shift while riding on the hoods. The new Campy shifters are no exception, and they have brought a new level of comfort to riding on the hoods. The new lever shape, while odd looking, really gets the job done. The brake lever is easy to reach from any position, the new blade shape gives the fingers a nice place to rest, either on the hoods or in the drops, and the new hoods are softer than ever before. With the new tri-density rubber, Campy shows Shimano and SRAM the extent that they have taken comfort. I believe these levers are going to work well for a wide range of hand sizes, since they seem to fit my large mits very well, but are narrow enough to allow even small hands to reach the brake lever.
With any high end component group you expect flawless execution of shifting and braking, but come on, we expect it to look good too, right? Super Record does not disappoint in this category either. The subtle changes from the Record 10 groups of past is with the brakes and cranks being mostly unchanged except for the stealthy dark grey chain rings. The rear derailleur adds a new beefy carbon plate for extra strength and a more aggressive aesthetic. Overall, this group lives up to the hype of months of waiting and short supplies. If you are interested in any of the new 11 groups, let us know, as we have great pricing on full kits. If you’re thinking about the SRAM or Dura Ace options, we can get you in line for the new 7900 or Red groups too.