Campagnolo is set to expand its family of 11 speed groupsets this summer by introducing the Athena 11 speed groupset. The new Athena groupset will be slotted right underneath Chrous and be Campagnolo's entry level 11-speed groupset. The design and technical aspects are reportedly the same as those of the other three 11 speed groupsets: Super Record, Record, and Chorus. With shifting and performance said to be exactly identical to the rest of the range. The major difference being that Athena will be mainly aluminum, with an optional carbon crank.
The aluminum Athena 11s groupset comes in at 2,352 grams in the standard version and will be priced at $1415 when it arrives in early July. The optional carbon crank version of the group will add an additional $175 to the price tag, but sheds 113 grams on the overall groupset.
Photos and specs available on the following pages...
Let's take a look at the details:
Athena 11s controls
The controls are Ultra-Shift and feature all the design particulars:
- Body with asymmetrical design. The form of the body follows the natural form of the hands, thus allowing for a more comfortable position when the hands are resting on the controls;
- Double curvature of the lever. The lever has a double curvature, which provides an adequate place for the fingers whether the hands are positioned on the upper or lower part of the handlebars. This guarantees perfect braking in every situation;
- AluCarbon lever. The brake lever is in carbon fibre with aluminium core. This ensures reliability over time, stiffness, mechanical resistance and corrosion resistance, a long life cycle, and an aggressive "racing" look;
- Vari-Cushion. The lever hoods incorporate Vari-Cushion technology developed by Campagnolo, which gives a different consistency depending on the point: softer where it serves to dampen vibrations, firmer where the hands need to have greater sensitivity and grip;
- Mechanisms in low friction polymers. The mechanisms of the controls are made of special low friction polymers that make shifting very light and maintain extremely high precision over time;
- Weight: 360 g.
Athena 11s front derailleur
The front derailleur also incorporates all the characteristics of the 11s groupsets:
- Inner cage with Ultra Shift 11s geometry. The special design of the inner cage considerably increases the swiftness of shifting under stress, and thanks to the "funnel" shape, in the resting position it allows the most extreme chain crossing without annoying friction;
- Steel plate. The plate is made of steel with special anti-friction treatments;
- Available in the versions: braze-on, 32 or 35;
- Weight: 92 g.
Athena 11s rear derailleur
The heart of the groupset and its key player, the rear derailleur is constructed along the 11s engineering lines:
- Ultra-Shift front plate in aluminium. Greater rigidity of the whole, it increases the speed and precision of shifting, reduces play, prolongs the life cycle, and is resistant to corrosion;
- Ultra-Shift Parallelogram. Increases rigidity and therefore the speed and precision of shifting, and reduces the weight;
- Ultra-Shift bodies in aluminium. Both bodies are aluminium, which translates into greater stress resistance, reduction of play, and increased shifting precision;
- Pulleys in special material. A material that reduces the weight and dampens the annoying vibrations of the chain;
- Weight: 218 g.
Athena 11s sprocket set
The Athena 11s groupset will employ the Ultra-Shift 11s sprocket set of its "elder brother" Chorus:
- Steel sprockets. The sprockets are steel with Nickel-Chrome surface treatment, which considerably increases the life cycle;
- Lockring in aluminium;
- Ultra-Shift frame. In aluminium, it was engineered to give the maximum rigidity to the assembly. This means greater shifting precision and less dispersion of energy during the pedal push;
- Ultra-Shift toothing design. The special design of the teeth optimises shifting especially in the descent phase of the chain;
- Ultra-Shift synchronisation. The sprocket set is designed to ensure that everything is always perfectly synchronised. This means that shifting is always precise and rapid and that the chain is not subject to any type of stress;
- Combinations: 11-23, 11-25, 12-25, 12-27;
- Weight: 236 g.
Athena 11s chain
The chain is hands down one of the most challenging components to engineer and requires design choices that are often not evident. The Athena groupset will use the Chorus 11s chain, which has the following characteristics:
- 5.5 mm wide;
- New steel for outer links. Campagnolo took advantage of the occasion of the 11s to develop a new steel that is 20% stronger than the one used for the 10s chains;
- Ni-PTFE treatment. This is a special treatment that prolongs the life of the chain;
- Ultra-Link System. A special fastening system developed for the 11s chains with an extremely high retention force of the pins;
- Weight: 256 g.
Athena 11s crankset
The Athena 11s crankset makes use of the Campagnolo Ultra-Torque system and in the standard version it is aluminium:
- Supersize design. The chainring has a new design that increases its rigidity for greater power transfer;
- 8 pins. The outer chainring is equipped with 8 pins, which facilitate the ascent of the chain in many more points with respect to other chainrings on the market;
- Synchronisation of the Ultra-Shift chainrings. The new 11s chainrings have been designed in such a way as to have two sectors specialised for ascent and two for descent, which makes shifting much faster and without hesitation;
- Ultra-Shift design of the teeth. The teeth of the inner chainring have an asymmetrical profile to facilitate the descent of the chain from the outer chainring;
- Versions: standard 39/53, compact 34/50 with cranks of 170 ? 172.5 ? 175 mm;
- The Athena crankset is also available in the carbon fibre version as an optional;
- Weight: 869 g (aluminium version).
Athena 11s brakes
The Athena 11s brakes are designed to stop the bicycle in the least space possible without locking the wheels:
- Skeleton design. This particular design makes it possible to eliminate the material in excess, thus reducing weight while maintaining the rigidity of the braking system unaltered and therefore the braking performance;
- Differentiated brakes. The front brake provides strong stopping power, while the rear brake serves to modulate braking and prevent the rear wheel from locking;
- Special compound of the pads. Developed in-house by Campagnolo, this compound has the merit of maintaining a virtually identical braking curve in both wet and dry conditions. Also guarantees excellent modulatability and a good service life;
- Ergal screws;
- Weight: 322 g.