Tech news: Campagnolo time trial components to go up to 11 in 2012
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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tech news: Campagnolo time trial components to go up to 11 in 2012

by Ben Atkins at 3:41 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tech News
Italian manufacturer to bring equipment against the watch up to speed with the rest of its groupsets

campagnolo ttCampagnolo will introduce new components into its time trail range next year to bring its equipment against the watch up to speed with the rest of its groupsets. The Vicenza, Italy company moved its top groupsets up to 11-speed in 2009, as well as redesigning its lever shape, but the time trial equipment was left behind, meaning Campagnolo users were forced to use the compnents’ previous incarnation.

As well as taking on the extra sprocket, Campagnolo has redesigned a number of items to give them a more modern look in keeping with the rest of its groupsets.

Carbon shifters that return to centre

Probably the most important items in the new range are the 11-speed bar-end shifters; the introduction of these means that Campagnolo’s flagship 11-speed groupsets can be used on time trial bikes. The lever shape differs from the old, classical looking 9- and 10-speed levers in that they share a similar ergonomic style with Campagnolo’s new Ergolever shape.

11-speed levers will be available in either carbon or aluminium, while a 10-speed aluminium version will also be available.

Functionality-wise the new bar-end levers also have a “Back to Zero position” action, which returns the lever to its starting point at the end of the shift. This is similar to SRAM’s R2C lever, except that Campagnolo’s lever will allow the rider to shift three sprockets in either direction.

Like SRAM’s R2C levers, if the bar-end levers are mounted horizontally (were Campagnolo says they are most aerodynamic), the “Back to Zero position” function means that they will be counted as part of the rider’s tri-bar and will have to be included within the International Cycling Union (UCI) limits. Many riders get around this rule by mounting their levers in a non-horizontal position.

New brakes and levers

Campagnolo’s previous time trial brake levers were simply versions of its old-shape ergolevers, without the gear lever functionality. In its 2012 range the Italians are following other component manufacturers in making a small aerodynamic lever to fit into the end of the time trial bar.

The new levers, Campagnolo says, have been tested in the wind tunnel, and require minimum effort in braking because of their curved shape. Because Campagnolo brake callipers have no release lever, the new aero levers, have a special quick release system in common with the company’s other levers.

Like the bar-end shifters, the new brake levers are available in carbon or aluminium.

To go with the new brake levers, Campagnolo has also introduced some new, more aerodynamic callipers that it calls “U Brakes”. The callipers are available in a lateral pull version for the front and rear, as well as a central pull version for the rear. This, says Campagnolo, is to maximise the compatibility with all TT frames.

New cranks and chainrings

To go with the new shifters, Campagnolo is also to introduce a new chainset with larger rings. Because of the larger gears that tend to be used in time trials, the new chainset will be available in 54/42 and 55/42 combinations. Although the new rings are larger in diameter than the standard 53/39, Campagnolo says that it is no less rigid.

Also, due to its new Extreme Performance Shifting System (XPSS), Campagnolo claims that shifts are consistent and accurate, even under load.

What Campagnolo has not mentioned is whether there is to be a new 10-sprocket “11-speed” cassette for its Ghibli disc. Due to its slight dishing there is not room for a complete cassette on the Ghibli and so Campagnolo has always made a purpose-built block with the same indexing but one sprocket short.

Electronic on the way?

While Campagnolo has yet to launch an electronic groupset commercially, the Movistar ProTeam is currently using its prototype group on all of its road bikes. Should this go into full production any time soon then it would surely not be long before electronic time trial components, similar to those available as part of Shimano’s Di2 range would be available.

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