Campagnolo Global Press Camp
Disc Brake Project, Centaur, Wheelsets
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.