This is what was in the docket for last Friday. It’s a really nice Italian build (except for the Enve wheels). Beautiful spec’d setup. It’s also the newest 2015 F8 frameset. Check it out!
I got an excellent opportunity this morning to join my fellow mechanics and gaze at the new 2015 Campagnolo Record group brought by the US rep to explain new features and designs. It really packed a punch aesthetically and is sure to be a powerhouse to compete with the other major drivetrains out there. That being said — onto the good stuff!
The first component we looked at are the new shift/brake levers and how they differ from previous generations. The hoods and body of the brifter are the same shape as the prior edition, but have small improvements. The hood has a different pattern that contours the brifter better and helps to eliminate the ‘crease’ that some worn in hoods experience after heavy use. This is also reflected on the inside of the hood where they created a thicker mesh under pressure points for better vibration dampening and a more secure fit. A small print of “Campagnolo” is displayed in white at the outer front side of the hood. Here are a couple photos:
The internals look basically the same with the exception of a different ratcheting shift mechanism that corresponds to the way the rear derailleur will travel up and down the cogs (actuation ratio). This does mean that it is incompatible with the prior generation.
The crank was totally redesigned with the newer four arm spider made of carbon fiber and the chainrings each using 4 chainring bolts to attach to the arms. This, along with the profiling of the top of each arm over the outer chainring is expected to confidently support the near 45Nm torque of the front derailleur shifting from the inner to the outer ring. Also, I should note that the downshift is slightly different and acts much more like its electronic cousin, EPS. When dropping from the outer ring the inner ring, the derailleur will drop to a low trim position — one slight click up from its innermost position. This should help greatly in eliminating a chain dropping. Here is a photo:
Next was the front derailleur which ties into the prior paragraph about the 45Nm torque of the shift. This is an improvement of about 10Nm more than the last generation and only 7Nm less than its EPS counterpart. A 3D molded carbon cage exists on the Record and Super Record mechs and is an alloy cage on the Chorus level. The improvement of the shifting power is mainly due to the added length of the arm used to anchor the cable. Here’s a couple views:
The rear derailleur was definitely the best part about the entire presentation. It boasts an incredibly light weight and features carbon fiber all over in both the Record and Super record levels. The Chorus level will have an alloy outer parallelogram plate. The reintroduction of a B-tension screw will help to eliminate differences in frame manufacturing specifications and allow the derailleur to be dialed in the exact same way on any number of bikes. It’s best feature is a spline drive inside the anchor pivot that winds the spring tighter as the derailleur moves up and down the cogs. Its benefit is to keep the upper pulley moving with the same curved slope of the cogs to prevent missed shifts and smoother transition. Check it out:
Lastly, here are a few photos of the EPS bike with current generation Super Record 11 EPS:
One of the guys I work with arrived early this afternoon to a surprise that his frameset had arrived earlier than expected from Italy. As one of the most interesting people to work with in the industry I have met, I waited for his reaction to opening the box, eagerly handing scissors to cut the packaging. It had been three months of waiting. This is the first one to hit the United States. It’s a limited edition Pinarello Dogma Think 2 65HM1K World Champion Edition frameset. As far as I am concerned, there are lighter framesets out there and maybe even more elaborate paint jobs, but combine the two and you have this Dogma. I installed the headset bearing, races, and spacers and ziptied the steerer tube so we could set it up for some photos.
For those of you reading who have never ridden a Pinarello Dogma (particularly I mention the Dogma due to its reputation above the other frames in Pinarello’s lineup, all of which, of course are also very good framesets), I would like you to envision the coolest tech gadget or hobby or passion you have and think of what the absolute best version of that in the entire world would be. Got it? This is one of the best designed bicycle frames in the entire world. I was really happy to be there at the right time to see it. The asymmetric carbon frame is made by a company called Torayca. Their use of Pinarello’s designed 65HM1K carbon fiber with Nanoalloy construction alloys them to create extremely responsive feel and strength in their frames. For instance, carbon fiber ribbing stretches down the downtube near the bottom bracket on just the drive side to reinforce the unequal power distribution in the frame between right-side thrust (drive) + pull on chain and the left-side thrust (non-drive) + pull on chain. Classic breaks on many carbon frames of the past have been implemented into the design to be reinforced in these areas as well, creating something truly race worthy or simply as the ultimate thrill of flying down descents and roads with less fatigue, better performance, and comfort all the way through.
It’s a beautiful frame in both form and function. If you find an opportunity to ride one, do it. Let’s put it this way, “I really hate my Pinarello. It really just doesn’t ride well and I’ve had so many problems with it” … said no one ever in my experience…
As I finish compiling all of the knowledge I gained at the Park Tool Summit, I thought I would distract you for a moment to show some photos of a recent pro build on Wednesday that was scheduled after having the frame refinished. The frame is a Seven Cycles Axiom SL titanium frameset with Campagnolo Super Record 11 and Rolf Prima Vigor RS wheels. What a sweet ride!
This was the anticipated build of the season. Campagnolo Super Record EPS on a Lynskey polished titanium frame from Interbike 2011 and topped off with Campagnolo Bora Ultra CULT wheels. Talk about a beautiful setup for adventure and thrill. Once installed, the components actually were a bit tricky to fully understand, but step-by-step following of instructions along with a healthy amount of experience from mechanics on the build brought the perfection to light. While there are many things in the cycling industry that I love and admire, this drive-train group lit my eyes up and had me at a loss for any other components better built or operated.
Shift it up, shift it down. Dump the cassette, go from high to low flawlessly. Tune individual gears with memory by the system so those favorite cogs still ride true and smooth through the life of the cassette and chain. It reminded me of an almost cybernetic system that was the realization of the technology. Electronic Power Shift. Digital Tech Intelligence. It works. I couldn’t make it slip gears once. Slow cadence pedaling also revealed a beautifully smooth upshift from the small chainring to the large chainring even with some torque on the pedals.
Campagnolo Super Record EPS is a thumbs-up. That is, if you’ve got somewhere around $5k to put down on it. 😉