Campagnolo Drops 12 Speed Record and Super Record Apr 9, 2018

This came out of the blue. With rumors of SRAM’s 12 speed technology trickling down to their road division, I was expecting their launch to hit the cycling newsstands before any of the other manufacturers. Campagnolo’s Record and Super Record 12 comes with two cassette options; 11-32 and 11-29 and a redesigned gruppo. You can read all about it at Campy.

  • How many more cogs can be fit before the spacing is too narrow to manufacture a reliable chain? Or are we just going to keep making hubs wider and wider and start to space the cogs out again? I don’t see anything important here. It’s like the new iPhone vs the new Samsung. A bunch of bleh marketing. Just one cog closer to CVT’s.

    • tilleya

      You point of view is annoying and at this point so rife with industry platitudes that I don’t know where to start? I ride steel bikes with friction shifters and I’m not as butt hurt about this as you seem to be…

      • butthurt? Seriously? I was just expressing a train of thought. Mate, I ride a steel frame from 1977 with a single speed drivetrain. I don’t actually care what people spend their money on. It was just an honest question. Where does the point of diminishing returns come in? At what point do we have so many gears designed for cadence, that we literally reach the point where a CVT makes more sense? And there absolutely is a huge amount of marketing in this, sense it’s clearly meant for pro racers only, but campy needs people to spend the money. So my analogy was apt, as far as what people need vs what they are told is actually so much better. Honestly, your comment signals that it’s actually you that’s ‘butthurt’ not me.

        • tilleya

          I guess I just see your argument as tired and lopsided. Marketing is a factor of business and some brands are more commendable than others but the other side of the transaction is the value proposition itself. Every company serves a gamut of customer types and some companies optimize for one type over another. There needs to be innovation in the market and someone has to pay for it. Sure I’m peeved that all the good common market parts use standards too new for my gear… But that’s my issue- not Campagnolos. This bleeding edge marketplace also opens up room for Velo Orange and Soma [and the like] to carry on older standards so we can keep using our stuff… So I understand your point, but I think there is more to the market than marketing and I don’t think that we should discredit the hard work that people put into this industry because they keep adding cogs to our cassettes.

          • Okay but you actually completely ignored the first part of my thought and focused solely on the marketing bit at the end. This has nothing directly to do with Campagnolo or shimano or any company that specialises in providing outdated technology. I don’t care one bit about the industry and that’s not where my comments were aimed. I was simply putting the two ends of the spectrum together for context. So you either were purposefully selectful in how you read my comment, taking my questions as platitudes, to fuel your unwarranted anger with immature remarks, or you lack reading comprehension.

          • professorvelo

            I think the problem is that the second half of your ‘question’ undoes the first by introducing a much more negative bent. If you want to ask questions to which you expect authentic answers, I would suggest leaving out the negative subjectivities… it’s a timesaver! you won’t have to spend an additional 4 paragraphs defending (unless that’s what you’re really after).

          • It only ‘undoes’ anything if you choose to read it negatively, or you already had a specific attitude towards such a discussion before I made the remarks. I mean seriously, if you get so upset about an apt comparison for the sake of broader context that you feel the need to attack someone with immature remarks, then frankly it’s your attitude, not my comments that are the problem. But what do I know about Campagnolo? I ride on shimano equipment, and what do I know about 12 cogs, I ride a singlespeed. What do I know about the bicycle race engineering industry, I putt around on 35mm tyres. It’s all good though, I have a sense of humour. 🤙🏼

          • professorvelo

            Hmm… I’m hardly upset. What I was trying to point out was how your comment might have been misinterpreted. What I said, I said in jest – given your reply – that you are bringing as much baggage as everyone else. So much for that sense of humor

          • professorvelo

            I believe you misunderstood me. I was merely offering a reason you might have received so many negative replies. I was speaking in jest when I said it was a timesaver. And here I thought it was safe to comment again.

    • Michael McDonald

      No one is making you buy it dude.

      • I promise you I won’t be. And I don’t care wether anyone else does. You ignored my actual question and read it as some sort of old man style whining. Mate, I honestly don’t care. I ride a singlespeed.

      • David Gillanders Jr.

        Youre not buying it a beer. Youre not taking it bowling, dude.

    • DominicBruysPorter

      To answer the question: I don’t think there is a limit anymore. The range in the cassette that people get excited about seems to keep increasing(500% eagle and 511% E13), and fewer people are running second or third front rings for finer grain adjustment. People who buy high end bikes are already used to the idea of 20, 21 and even 30 possible combinations, so cassettewise I expect the trend to continue. Until somebody comes up with a gearbox that doesn’t sap so much power.

      My two cents on the value of tiny ratio jumps is that they’re nearly pointless, but being able to keep very large portions of the cassette down to one tooth jumps means even less demand to carry a billion SKUs in cassette options, and if you have a range that in principle shares gear counts and technology top to bottom and don’t have quite the financial flexibility of a brand with massive OEM spec, fewer cassettes per level looks reallly good to accounting. Especially if they carry on doing the usual thing which is supporting their old groupsets with direct replacement parts for as many years after introduction as they do now.

      For me, the value is zero. Give me steel 8sp cassettes machined from three pieces for some mix and match, even stress on the freehub body, and the ability to purchase just the used up segment as a replacement and i’ll be happy as a clam.

      • Thanks for sharing your thoughts mate. I actually understand the logic of 12 with eagle, since it’s designed specifically for a 1x, which I have a lot of experience with. But it seems to make a lot less sense for a road double. Putting aside the marketing aspect of needing to ‘oneup’ Your competition, to be able to afford to engineer for pro racers, what are the practical engineering limits here? Campy’s Website specifically mentions the challenge of engineering an even more narrow chain. So what is the logical conclusion to the deraliuer system? 13, 15, 20 cogs? And how would that be engineered? And I mean, at some point, it becomes undoable in the form factor we know, and they can’t stop pushing forward and just say “well 12 is enough.” This is why I specifically linked to CVT’s.
        some people would rather just call me butthurt or waste time leaving snide remarks, instead of actually contributing, so thanks again for your response.

        • DominicBruysPorter

          God, i don’t know man, I suspect now that 142mm hubs are common one of the major players will decide they need to lengthen freehub bodies again. I hope not, but it seems a safe assumption. I think 14 is probably the practical limit, beyond which there’ll need to be an actual revolution in wheels so that they can deal with the dish that’ll come with that. There are a few hybridised hubs out there with both internal and external gearing, but they haven’t ever really caught on except on Moultons. If one were really in search of the widest range a Schlumpf crank could be fitted to a gearbox and then to a super wide range cassette and then to a multi speed hub. That much torque multiplication will kill something though.
          9-50 has gotta be the limit for rear cog sizes though right? BMX ers tried 8 teeth and found that chain wrap was not very good. But then Shimano has had 10mm chain patents sitting in the wings for decades, It would be safe to assume that a 10mm pitch chain would allow an even smaller 9t cog, but then you get into serious issues about axle strength because the axle has to be smaller to go through the middle of such a tiny cog. But with graphene on the far horizon some crazy miniaturization may be possible?

    • Bil Thorne

      The new chain is claimed to last longer/stronger than the older Campy chains, which people already get 10k miles out of.

      Yes it’s like iPhone vs Samsung. It’s also like Campagnolo vs Microshift. Different products doing the same thing. Stick with your Nokia flip phone. Or don’t. It’s not a competition to see which internet commenter is the bikiest.

  • trololo

    That crank… woof. I hope they keep the 10sp stuff around for a bit longer because it’s cheap and cheerful.

    • DominicBruysPorter

      I think it’s an improvement on the old one. The last group’s graphics also seemed like a half assed jab at an update without actually making things look good.
      What do I know, I run my ten speed Centaur with five bolt ultegra cranks.

    • Bil Thorne

      I like the look of it, but if I got a 53/39 and then got injured or moved and needed a 50/34 I’d be pretty upset.

      But since I don’t have Super Record kind of money I’m not really their target demographic anyway.

  • Peter Chesworth

    Campag, Shimano and SRAM vacating the space for a simple, light and good looking group set. Paul Price, Gevenalle, White Industries, Velocity … duty calls!

    • That’s what I want to see. The US-made 11 speed derailleur…

      • Peter Chesworth

        8 or 9 would do fine. Yes I know, I’m a luddite but twelve speeds in a cluster seems like a solution looking for a problem. Not so hung up on location of manufacture, from the perspective of the other side of the world. Sugino do some lovely cranks too.

  • professorvelo

    Just waiting for Dura Ace 12-speed wireless, myself.

  • Rudy Luthi

    I love Campy stuff, the new shifters and crank look slick, and in my opinion they style their components much better than Shimano does. I don’t get the point of a 12 speed if you’re going to top out at 32T though, let’s see a long-cage and a 36T or 40T cassette.

  • AdamBike99

    IMHO, the trouble with adding more and more cogs to cassettes- along with the chains and to a lesser extent, chainrings- that match up to them, is cost. These are the most “consumable” parts on our rigs after tires (and tubes, if ya’ still use ’em haha) and maybe brake pads. The cost continues to rise with each increase in cogs and their corresponding chains, for parts that will ultimately need to be replaced time after time. I can’t afford it haha.
    The beauty in the single ring systems is longer chain life. Without a front derailleur torquing the chain from side to side, which causes more wear than rear shifts do, chains tend to last noticeably longer. On a road racing bike (or any bike that benefits from the closer ratios of a double ring and front mech), more cogs don’t seem as beneficial as in a 1x scenario, costing more, while making the last “ultimate” system obsolete in a fairly short time.
    12sp Eagle makes a strong case for the extra gear, but I don’t see the risk/reward or cost/benefit when utilized in a double ring system. ATMHO.
    That said, I do dig smart innovation. 8-)

    • This is basically where my opinion on this is, in regards to this new campag system. That’s what led me to ask questions about the practical limits here, because it’s starting to look like we’re approaching them and need quite a revolution in wheel and drive train design if we want to keep innovating. As an aside, for all of us that aren’t racers, we still mostly use tubes. 🤙🏼

  • Gordon M

    Scratching my head on this sentence: “Perhaps the most visually striking element of the new transmissions comes in the form of the the new cranksets, of which both (Super Record and Record) are perfectly compatible with rim and disc brake systems.” Maybe I’m missing something, but not sure I’ve every heard of a crankset having anything to do with rim or disc brake compatibility!

    • AllenJarvis

      Some have different chainlines for 130 vs 135/142 spacing

    • Zack Ross

      Yeah, Campy makes a special crankset for their hydro disc groups with 1mm wider chainline, the theory being that since the cassette is further out from the centerline of the bike on a disc brake bike, it’ll align the chain with the middle of the cassette better. I’m sure you could use their “normal” cranks and never have a problem though.

  • Ryan Maynard Eames

    Innovation is great, but i simply cannot forget that dropping 1×11 (40-11-40) To go single speed was the best thing i have done this year.

    If it wasnt for my hydro shimano stis id be running 9spd

    • I had a 1×10 for years but as an average rider/commuter I found I spent nearly all of my time in just a few gears, and when I actually thought about it and realised that pretty much all modern 10 or 11 speed cassettes are designed more for cadence than they are for gear range specifically, I decided to go with a single speed. Considered a 3 speed IGH, but those come with some real headaches as I’ve learned from experience. I’ve been way more happy with my single speed than I thought I would be.