Prototype Campagnolo group spotted at Giro d’Italia
Four-arm carbon crank, revamped front and rear derailleurs
Quietly hidden away on the Colnago C60 of Europcar rider Maxime Mederel was a prototype Campagnolo drivetrain that – as far as we’re aware – hadn’t seen a camera lens until today. The radically new design is a major departure from Campagnolo’s current design and while there were no identifying logos, we’re also guessing this will ultimately wear the Record model name. If our observations hold true, this new group will be lighter and more versatile with faster shifting to boot.
The star of the new group is the four-arm crank which uses molded carbon fiber arms, an integrated chainring spider, and what looks to be the same Ultra-Torque split-spindle design of current Campagnolo cranks. Chainring bolts feed in from behind and thread directly into the spider and given the estimated size of the bolt circle diameter, the crank looks like it will be compatible with both standard and compact chainrings.
Both chainrings were clearly made via CNC machining, but we would expect more durable forged construction come production time. Given the recent introduction of Campagnolo’s Over-Torque cranksets for BB30 and PF30 oversized bottom brackets, a similar option on this new crank seems like a safe bet.
Both derailleurs have been completely redesigned as well and current Campagnolo users will be happy to know that – at least on this prototype setup – the new drivetrain carries on with an 11-speed rear end. Mederel’s Colnago appeared to be equipped with current-generation Campagnolo Record Ergopower levers (although it’s entirely possible that internal differences will prevent full cross-compatibility).
Geometry on both derailleurs is clearly different from current designs with the rear utilizing an offset parallelogram linkage and the front featuring a very long and upright lever arm similar to Shimano’s latest offerings. As is – and assuming the same internals in the lever – this suggests that the front derailleur will initially move more with the same amount of lever movement for faster shifts to the outer chainring.
The offset rear derailleur linkage, on the other hand, suggests an increased amount of chain wrap around the cassette for a more positive interface, especially for cogs with fewer teeth. We also spotted new Allen-head set screws for the rear derailleur limit adjusters, which lends a decidedly neat and tidy appearance.
Materials on both derailleurs are similar to what Campagnolo uses currently, including molded carbon fiber for the rear derailleur knuckles and outer linkage plate, and aluminium for the inner plate. The pulley cage is aluminium on Mederel’s bike but could easily be carbon by the time production units come around.
Meanwhile, the front derailleur uses forged aluminium linkage bits and a dual-material cage with a carbon fiber outer plate and aluminium inner.
We’ve contacted Campagnolo for an official comment and were still awaiting a response when this article was published. However, a few cues suggest to us that this new group isn’t far from being introduced to the public: the arms bear serial numbers, the outer chainring is apparently already in its fifth revision, and both of the derailleurs are clearly made with production-level tooling.
Either way, we’re certainly excited to hear more and we’ll be sure to report when we do.