Bike Kit: Will you be using Electronic Campagnolo in 2012?

News on November 7 that one of the World’s most loved brands, Campagnolo, is to release two electronic based group sets for 2012

Marcus Bridge writes … After rumours have abounded for many years, Italian brand Campagnolo have announced they will be releasing two different groupsets with the EPS (Electronic Power Shift) electronic gears, Record and Super Record.

Like there is in the non-electrical versions, both groupsets work basically the same except for the way the gears are ‘wired’ to the levers but there are differences in their weight and performance. The product will go head to head with the Shimano Di2 group set which is also available for two of Shimano’s flagship groupsets, Dura Ace and Ultegra but has been in the market place for many years already.

Not that the Campag system is new. It was on bikes as long ago as 2005 but failures on test bikes in the pro peloton saw it’s release continually delayed. The system has been in use in 2011 on bikes used by the Movistar team and a victory in the Tour Down Under by Francisco Ventoso was yet another milestone for it.

The EPS system, like Shimano’s, is powered by a battery under the bottle cage near the bottom bracket which is wired to the front and rear derailleurs. The gear change is made from the brake leavers which are the same near as damit as the non EPS versions of Campagnolo Record and Super Record.

Unlike Shimano though, where you need to push the lever for each change of sprocket, with the Campagnolo system  you can shift all the way up/down the cassette by holding the lever. There is said to a better ‘feel’ to the changes with the Campagnolo but like anything on a bike, whatever system you use, you’ll get used to the feel. For many, the mechanical system will always have the better ‘feel’.

A downside perhaps to the EPS system is that overall, it’s heavier by just over 200 grams to the weight of the Non-EPS system but, say Campagnolo, the system is lighter than Shimano’s.

If using an electronic system, battery life will be critical. It would not be the first time I have heard of a battery going flat on a Pro’s bike requiring a change of bike mid race. That may well be just bad management though as the battery is said to be good for between 1,500 and 2,000 kilomtres.

The wiring used for the system which frame manufacturers have had to design into their bikes is said to also be the same as Shimano’s meaning bikes like the Dolan which is Di2 compatible will work with the Campagnolo system. Check with the frame manufacturer or bike shop before buying to make sure.

Finally, the price. Campagnolo say the cost of the Record EPS group set will be in line with that of the Shimano Dura Ace Di2 but the Super Record will cost more they say. Will the extra price be worth it? Reaction to the system on the web if the comments seen are in any way a measure of how popular it will be seem to be more negative than positive.  So you will you be using Campagnolo EPS in 2012? If so, Contact Us