Brian Sarmiento introducing Super Record at Interbike
For 2009, Campagnolo is "Raising the Level" and introducing not one, not two, but three groupsets in the 11 speed variety. Super Record, Record, and Chorus will all be available in 11 speed. And after Brian from Campagnolo stopped by our offices this past summer to introduce Super Record, we were pretty anxious to get our hands on a group to see if it lives up to expectations. And high expectations they are... for Campagnolo isn't just any bike company. For those not familiar with the story, it all started on the famous Croce D'Aune climb, where Tulio Campagnolo, in 1927 tried to change a rear tire, with his hands frozen, he became frustrated and yelled, "There must be an easier way..." (in italian of course) And there began the first idea for the quick release. It would be the beginning of a long line of invention and innovation from Campagnolo. Not only in the bike industry, but in the automotive, military, and even NASA has collaborated with Campagnolo. But history aside...
We were able to test a set recently when we were out at Interbike, Campagnolo had a Bianchi setup with Chorus 11 speed waiting for us. Initial impressions were very positive, the completely redesigned levers with their longer hoods and double curve lever design felt very intuitive. The new shape allows for a third hand position which worked well, even allowing us to brake very effectively due to the higher pivot point and shape of the lever. Shifting felt very quick, almost too fast... and the skeleton brakes which are carried over from the previous generation still had great stopping power. Of course, the short 30 or so miles we had in the desert wasn't quite enough to give the new group set a full review. That's why we took the Bianchi home from Vegas with us!
We'll post a follow up soon. But so far, we're liking the new levers and the addition of the extra sprocket doesn't hurt (we'll get into whether it's needed or not in the full review).