Cam­pag­nolo Global Press Camp

Disc Brake Project, Cen­taur, Wheelsets

Pedal Magazine - - Out In Front - BY TIM LE­FEB­VRE

Disc Brake Project

The camp kicked off with Campy’s new disc brakes, and this year, the mys­tery was un­veiled. Pur­ported to have from 14% to 55% more stop­ping power than con­ven­tional brakes while re­quir­ing less hand force, the brakes are stronger, sharper, quicker and more re­spon­sive than any­thing tried be­fore.

“By plac­ing more em­pha­sis on main­tain­ing in­tegrity and en­sur­ing Cam­pag­nolo qual­ity and less pri­or­ity on be­ing ‘first to mar­ket,’ the Ital­ian com­pany has con­cen­trated solely on qual­ity,” reads the of­fi­cial re­lease. Ac­cord­ing to Campy, “count­less hours and kilo­me­tres by Pro­fes­sional ath­letes” went into de­liv­er­ing the pres­ti­gious “Cam­pag­nolo Cor­retto” disc brakes.

The high-end H11 is avail­able in both EPS and me­chan­i­cal ver­sions and comes com­plete with car­bon-fi­bre brake levers. The mid-range comes via its Potenza 11 Er­gopower with an alu­minum brake lever and in­ter­nals. Campy’s new flat-mount sys­tem with no adapters is com­pat­i­ble with all frames on the mar­ket.

Bleed­ing port: faucet de­sign with a spe­cial in­sert for bleed­ing op­er­a­tion, which elim­i­nates any risk of oil on the disc; part­nered with Magura for the master cylin­der.

Calipers: mounted by two screws (19, 24, 29, 34, 39 or 44), six stan­dards in to­tal; fewer pieces equal less weight and all screws are vis­i­ble for in­spec­tion. Pis­tons: 22mm, light­weight and made of phe­no­lic resin, pro­vid­ing great power trans­fer; mag­netic spring main­tains per­for­mance over time.

Brake pad: patented de­sign elim­i­nates noise and vi­bra­tion; vis­i­ble and au­di­ble wear in­di­ca­tor and a spe­cial form that will guide the disc into the space.

Ro­tor: AFS-stan­dard 100/140mm; rounded-edge steel gives in­cred­i­ble re­sis­tance to heat, dis­si­pat­ing it with ease.

Crank: a new crankset fa­cil­i­tates the chain­line op­ti­miza­tion.

Test Re­port

What goes up must come down, and climb­ing through the pic­turesque val­leys of Gran Ca­naria, a true ap­pre­ci­a­tion for Cam­pag­nolo’s qual­ity emerged. The smooth­ness and silky feel­ing of the ride was clearly ev­i­dent as the chat­ter stopped and the gra­di­ent in­creased.

De­scend­ing moun­tains con­tin­ues to be one of life’s great plea­sures for me. There is some­thing about rock­et­ing down a twisty road, un­bri­dled in your pur­suit of speed and con­trol. With this no­tion clearly in my mind, I sped off to test this in­no­va­tive ma­chine to its limit.

Hurtling to­ward switch­back in­flu­ences the mind and tells the hand to squeeze the lever at the time you have be­come ac­cus­tomed to. A disc brake al­lows for more time and there­fore an ad­just­ment – and with this ad­just­ment, you find your­self com­ing in hot­ter to the apex and able to han­dle the sit­u­a­tion with time and con­trol.

The brakes are def­i­nitely stronger, sharper, quicker and more re­spon­sive than any­thing I’ve ever tried be­fore. It helped that the Bora One wheelset be­neath this stealth pack­age con­trolled things ad­mirably from the ground up. There’s no flex, no screech­ing sound, no ping and no feel­ing that doesn’t be­long – it’s pure bliss.

The abil­ity to bring your steed into cor­ners at dif­fer­ent an­gles and tra­jec­to­ries is ap­par­ent as you be­gin to test dif­fer­ent lines with this new­found con­trol. It in­spires con­fi­dence and lets rid­ers who know what they are do­ing so they can push the en­ve­lope even fur­ther and faster.

Gran Ca­naria, Spain was the site of Cam­pag­nolo’s re­cent global press camp that fea­tured its new disc brake project, the Cen­taur groupset and three ex­cit­ing new disc wheelsets. Pedal was stoked to be in­vited once again and get the in­side scoop on the le­gendary Ital­ian lat­est of­fer­ings.

Cen­taur Groupset

The new Cen­taur groupset, de­signed to take the place of the Ve­loce 10-speed, fea­tures an alu­minum 11-speed gruppo with a more af­ford­able price tag that de­liv­ers im­mense bang for the buck.

Crankset: four-arm spi­der de­sign with ei­ther a 52/36 or 50/34 com­bi­na­tion; uni­ver­sal crankset al­lows in­ter­chang­ing of chain­rings; fea­tures ul­tra-torque axle in alu­minum for the first time.

Er­gopower levers: new power-shift­ing mech­a­nism with er­gonomics for comfort; wa­ter-drainage is­sues have been ad­dressed; one lever/one ac­tion makes for a con­fu­sion-free sys­tem; new EPS-style down­shift but­ton on the in­side of the lever.

Front de­railleur: fea­tur­ing a longer rod de­sign, the front de­railleur now needs less force to ac­ti­vate a change.

Rear de­railleur: new tra­jec­tory an­gle in­creases ver­sa­til­ity, while the chain is kept closer to the cogs; com­pat­i­ble to 32 teeth; claimed to be 15g lighter than the long cage of the com­pe­ti­tion; re­in­forced techno-poly­mer con­struc­tion; up­per pul­ley wheel has longer teeth and a lower pul­ley wheel has shorter teeth, al­low­ing for ex­treme cross­over and less fric­tion. Chain/cas­settes: the chain is de­signed for both Potenza and Cen­taur groupsets and is com­pat­i­ble with the up­per-tier groupsets as well, the cas­settes have one triple with eight sin­gle cogs and come in 11-29, 11-32 and 12-32 ra­tios.

Brakes: claimed to be 50g lighter than the com­pe­ti­tion with the same im­mense brak­ing power.

Test Re­port

The new gruppo was mounted onto white Sarto frames to test on the amaz­ing roads of Gran Ca­naria. Tak­ing aim at Shi­mano’s 105, the alu­minum 11-speed group is sim­i­lar in de­sign to the Su­per Record, with the dif­fer­ence be­ing in the ma­te­ri­als used and hence the weight. This new gruppo was a blast to ride.

Rolling along the coast and set­tling in, shift­ing was crisp with a lively and uniquely fa­mil­iar feel to the levers.

Smooth and de­ci­sive is the best way to de­scribe the Cen­taur’s ac­tion, as Cam­pag­nolo has nailed it with no fric­tion ev­i­dent un­der any cir­cum­stance. A long seven-kilo­me­tre climb put the gears un­der pres­sure, and shift­ing was a plea­sure once one di­aled in how the mech­a­nism worked.

The feel of the driv­e­train is im­pres­sive, with the cranks com­bin­ing with the cas­sette and chain to de­liver a feel­ing of com­pe­tence and ex­cel­lence. As well, it’s smooth and silky, thanks to an alu­minum core and great bear­ings.

The real sur­prise were the brakes’ per­for­mance rac­ing down­hill into some nice hair­pin turns. The power of the brakes, brake pads and lack of force needed on the levers are re­mark­able. Grab­bing a full mitt of lever at high speeds en­ables you to en­joy the turns, know­ing there is more if you need it.

Over­all, the groupset per­formed ex­tremely well un­der pres­sure, with nice aes­thet­ics to com­ple­ment any frame­set. Dura­bil­ity and com­pe­tence are two things I look for in a gruppo, and the Cen­taur did not dis­ap­point.

The Cen­taur groupset comes in at 2,454g, and will be avail­able in both a black or sil­ver fin­ish. The SRP is ex­pected to be in the $900-$1,000 range, with de­liv­ery rolling out in May.

Wheelsets

Like all of Campy’s wheelsets, the Scirocco is named af­ter a wind that blows from North Africa across the Mediter­ranean in to South­ern Europe. Pre­sented as a good match for the new Cen­taur groupset, the Scirocco fea­tures the new C17 pro­file de­sign/con­struc­tion and the 35mm-rim pro­file is per­fect for 2528mm tires. The alu­minum hub de­creases weight and in­creases stiff­ness, while an over­size Mega G3 flange of­fers 14 spokes on the drive side to com­bat tor­sional forces and seven on the non­drive. The weight is 1,654g/pair.

Named af­ter the strong cold dry north­east wind that blows through­out in the Adri­atic, the Bora One is a specif­i­cally de­signed disc brake wheelset. First in­tro­duced in 1994, the Bora was a game-changer as the first wheel to have the rim, hub and spokes all pro­duced by the same man­u­fac­turer.

The Bora One full-car­bon rim is 24.2mm wide, which mates per­fectly with 25-28mm tires. A so­phis­ti­cated resin is used on the rim, negat­ing the need to clear-coat. This resin has UV-block­ing prop­er­ties to en­sure aes­thet­ics over the years.

Us­ing Mo­mag tech­nol­ogy, no holes are drilled in the hub, which in­creases re­silience and sur­face in­tegrity. To com­pen­sate for asym­met­ric loads, a G3 front-spoke de­sign fea­tures eight spokes on the non-disc side and 16 on the disc side. The rear has 16 spokes on the drive side and only half that on the disc side.

The hub has a new de­sign with an alu­minum shell and new flange, in­clud­ing an ad­just­ment lock­ring with a mi­cro-set­ting and HH12 axle spac­ing (adapters will be avail­able). The tubu­lar weighs in at 1,297g/pair and the clincher is 1,509g/pair.

At its in­cep­tion 20 years ago, the Shamal was a game-changer as well, and to­day it has been rein­vented to fill the void of lower-end bikes to be fit­ted with ap­pro­pri­ate disc brake wheelsets. The Shamal Ul­tra fea­tures alu­minum con­struc­tion and is 100% tube­less-com­pat­i­ble with two-way fit tech­nol­ogy and C17 stan­dard 22mm-wide rims for great in­ter­face with the tire. With a Mega G3 de­sign and a 2:1-spoke ra­tio, drive to non-drive side, it is com­pletely op­po­site from front to rear with 7/14 on the front and 14/7 on the rear. An HH12 axle is used for both wheels, with Mo­mag con­struc­tion (no-spoke holes) us­ing toroidal milling to keep the weight down. The weight is 1,540g/pair, avail­able at the end of June.

Campy’s new disc brakes de­liv­ered in spades.

Cen­taur’s comfy Er­gopower levers, lighter brakes and ver­sa­tile rear de­railleur

Game-chang­ing Shamal wheelsets.

Bora One wheels are spe­cially de­signed for disc brakes

Scirocco wheels match well with the new Cen­taur gruppo.

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