Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sheldon Brown and Campy Only

We just learned that the great Sheldon Brown linked to our web site ( from his web site:

We're honored to be part of Sheldon's legacy.

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Blast from the Past: The Gran Sport Front Derailleur

The Gran Sport front derailleur shown here debuted in Campagnolo's 1958 Catalog #14, marking the company's first cable-controlled front derailleur. Prior to this, Campagnolo offered a hand-operated front derailleur (shown in Catalog #13).

The Gran Sport derailleur used a push/pull rod to move the cage left and right. Pulling on the cable forced the rod out of the housing, moving the cage to the right (and the chain onto the large ring). This arrangement worked OK, but would have been at its best with cranksets on which the chainrings were almost the same size. Later designs, which we still use today, move the cage diagonally outward and upward, better matching the differently sized chainrings on more modern bikes.

The Gran Sport was offered for some two decades. It became the Valentino in Catalogs #15 (1967), #16 (1969), and #17 (1973). By the time of the classic Catalog #18 (1984), this Gran Sport design had disappeared. The example from the CampyOnly collection shown in these photos reflects the longevity of this item--look closely in the bottom photo at the inner face of the outer cage, and you can see a wear pattern that must have taken years to develop.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

New CampyOnlyCam

Mrs. CampyOnlyGuy gave us a bike-mounted video camera for Christmas, and here's a first test. Apologies for the lack of onscreen Campy content--the camera platform was a Campy-equipped bike. See the video here.

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Location:Near Davis, CA

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve's Campagnolo Girl

From a Rossin catalog of the late 1980s:

Rare Sportman Derailleur

Reader Jeff H was kind enough to send these photos of his rare Sportman derailleur. Offered for only a limited time in the 1960s, this is a seldom-seen item. Other than the lackluster styling and build quality (this was not a top-of-the-line item), the most interesting feature for us is the location of the limit screws at the top of the derailleur. This was a departure from other Camy derailleurs, which to this day have the limit screws on the body near the cable fastening.

Jeff's Sportman, by the way, is currently for sale on eBay. Check it out here.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Today's Campagnolo Girl

A rather imaginative eBay photo that the seller used to show off a ... ah ... a ... umm ... oh yes, a Record Pista crankset:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Today's Retro Photos: Toeclips

Toeclips went the way of the buggy whip in the 1980s when Look introduced the first popular clipless pedal system. But until then, toe clips and straps were a part of every racing bike, and Campagnolo offered some very nicely made versions.

The photos below show an example of Campagnolo's toe clips with the "invito scarpetta," a tab that extended into the pedal and made it easier to get your shoe all the way into the clip.

Some riders today still use toe clips (mostly offroad riders), but most riders who have used clipless pedals and tried clips and straps will agree that the modern system is much better. Anyone who pulls up to a stop sign or signal and then remembers that they forgot to loosen the strap will recognize this as they fall to the ground with their shoes locked in ...

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Campy Photos

Lots of cool retro photos on the Flickr photostream of "OldCampy.". Here's a sample:

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

CampyOnlyGuy and the California Triple Crown

The results of the 21st California Triple Crown double century challenge have been released, and for the 21st time the CampyOnlyGuy is on the list of official finishers. In fact, your CampyOnlyGuy is the only rider to finish the challenge each year (which requires finishing at least three double centuries each year).

To see our results for each of the CTC's 21 years, click here.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Facebook Rides Campy

Well, at least one person at Facebook's Palo Alto headquarters does. We spotted this Campy-equipped DeRosa Primato in the photos that accompanied Time Magazine's profile of Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. Nice.

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Today's Ride Photos

Monticello Dam, originally uploaded by Campy Only.
Taken during a ride on our Campy-equipped retro Benotto.  More photos here.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Winter Riding

For our fellow Campy-equipped riders who brave the winter cold to get those miles in:

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

High Hopes, Low Interest?

So far, no buyers for those $599 Atlanta rims on eBay.  Wishful thinking on the part of the seller?

Team Movistar Will Be Electronic in 2011 is reporting that the Spanish Movistar team will use Campagnolo's still-in-prototype electronic shifting system for the 2011 racing season.  Here's an excerpt from their article:

Movistar to run electronic Campagnolo groups, Catlike helmets
The new Movistar team - formerly known as Caisse d'Epargne - will reportedly retain most of its previous equipment sponsors, including Pinarello, Campagnolo, Selle Italia and Elite. However, Campagnolo will equip the riders with a brand-new electronic group that was just briefly shown at the official team presentation back in October.
Campagnolo is still elusive with details, though it has confirmed that Movistar will be the only team so equipped for next season. Certain aspects look to mirror those of Shimano's Dura-Ace Di2 version however, including shift actuator placement analogous to Campagnolo's mechanical levers, a giant front derailleur body (required to house the high-powered motor), and a down tube-mounted battery positioned just below the bottle cage. And of course, the system moves the chain across eleven rear cogs instead of the ten employed by Shimano and SRAM.

This and other news is available here.  We reported here on Campagnolo's response to ordinary folk who want to buy the electronic system.

Valentino Campagnolo: The Big Interview

Cycling Weekly has published an extensive interview with Valentino Campagnolo--check it out here.  Example:

Is Campagnolo is different from Shimano?
VC: If you compare our products with the others, you can clearly recognise them. It is not just because of the name. The difference is the detail, the development of solutions that may seem costly and not necessary, but produce lightweight and durable pieces. We do not subscribe to throwaway products, we want them to last and be maintainable. This is not just the case with Super Record, but all the way down to the Veloce range.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Campagnolo Rally Derailleur

Just arrived from an eBay seller in France is this great Rally derailleur from the 1970s, which will find a home on our retro Benotto. More photos here.

The Rally was offered for a few years in the 1970s; it changed after this version to a less attractive model based on the Nuovo Record mech.

Update 12-13-10: We've read further on the Rally, and it appears that at some point Campagnolo ran out of the cast upper body and started assembling the parallelogram and cage to a standard Nuovo Record upper pivot body, creating the much less attractive version we mentioned above.  When they ran out of the lower assembly, they dropped the Rally altogether, and it was some time before they made another foray into touring/wide range gearing.

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Yesterday's Photos

It was cold and foggy yesterday, but that didn't stop us from getting a few nice shots on our training ride. Here's a sample:
Stevenson Bridge--Photoshopped by Steve P

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Discontinued Campy Rims: $599 ... Who Knew?

Spotted these on eBay--a set of Atlanta rims for $599. Wow. The CampyOnlyGuy had a set of wheels built up with Atlanta rims in the early 90s. Eventually sold them--we found the ride far too harsh, probably the result of the very tall rim section. On bumpy downhills, we sometimes felt like the bike was airborne more than on the pavement.

We sold those wheels years ago, for far less than $599. Guess we should have waited.

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Some Black-and-White Ride Photos

From the CampyOnlyGuy's ride yesterday.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Colnago and Campy!

Great stuff from our friends over at the Colnago Con Brio blog in their latest post, including lots more photos like this:

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Ysterday's Ride: The Annual Post-Thanksgiving Ride

The CampyOnlyGuy and friends rode 126 miles from C-O World Headquarters to San Francisco. Everyone was Campy equipped; the CampyOnlyGuy rode retro Super Record. More photos here

Campy Only's Benotto, rolling on high flange Record hubs

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Yesterday's Ride Photos: Pt Reyes

A few photos from yesterday's ride. Apologies for the paucity of Campy equipment on my mount ...

More photos here.
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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Today's Ride: Dodging the Storms

Today's weather forecast was for rain--and rain it did. But the CampyOnlyGuy managed to get in 40 or so miles between the storms. Here's our fixed gear Quickbeam at the turnaround in Winters, CA:

And here's a radar shot of the rain coming down later in the evening:

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Electronic Photos: The Best Yet

The folks over at were able to snap some great photos of the recently revealed incarnation of the electronic gruppo.  They also learned a bit about the gruppo, but all they can reveal is that it won't be showing up in your local bike shop until at least 2012.  More photos here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Why Nobody Rebuilds ShimaNO's STI Levers

Most Campy fans know that Ergo levers can be rebuilt fairly easily using common tools (the CampyOnlyGuy has done it several times). A friend recently asked us why nobody rebuilds ShimaNO levers.

The answer to that question is illustrated below. One of the mechanics at Branford Bike took apart an STI lever just to see what was inside, and found this incredible assortment of tiny parts:

No word on whether he was able to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Alex Marco "The Bike" (Scopitone)

Just some fun for your Monday. There's probably a little bit of Campagnolo in there somewhere ...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Campy Equipped Vitus 979

Back in the late 80s and early 90s, Vitus frames (like this very nice example sent in by reader Bruce) were quite popular.  They were very light and well made, although they worked best in small sizes and for lighter riders.  Bigger, heavier riders usually found that they flexed too much for racing, so many large fellas turned them into long distance machines, where the flex created a comfortable ride.
Vitus 979 owned by Bruce L.
Vitus 979 frames were assembled in France using epoxy to join the tubes to the lugs.  This made the frames repairable (just glue in a new tube), but also led to reports of frame failures.  

You don't see many of these nowadays, but Bruce has clearly taken great care of his.  You can read more about the Vitus 979 here.

Campy-Flavored Blog is All About Colnago

Blogger Warren wrote today to let us know that he has linked to Campy Only from his Colnago Con Brio blog. Right back at ya, Warren!

Lots of cool stuff there about Campy-equipped Colnagos and the folks who ride them ... Like Giuseppi Saronni:

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Non-Campy (but Retro) Crankset Installation

Today's project at Campy Only World Headquarters was the installation of a Grand Cru crankset from Velo Orange on our retro-styled Benotto.  Detailed photos and descriptions here.
Grand Cru Double Crankset from Velo Orange
The Grand Cru crankset is nicely made and finished.  Although it resembles a older Stronglight crankset more than a retro Nuovo Record, it's close enough to match the overall look of our Benotto.  With 48/34 rings, it also offers a lower gear range.

Next project will be to install a classic Campagnolo Rally derailleur to replace the Super Record unit now on the bike (see the post below).  The Rally will be able to handle the wide range of gears easily--the SR struggles a bit with the largest cog, as the jockey pulley isn't quite far enough from the cog.

Feel free to post comments, or email me: enorris [at] campyonly [dot] com

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rally Rally Nice

This 1970s-era Rally derailleur will soon be gracing one of the CampyOnlyGuy's bikes:
The Rally was offered for a few years in the Nuovo/Super Record era.  It fell by the wayside as Campagnolo changed its lineup and eventually started switching to indexed shifting.  Two versions of the Rally were made--this one, and another that was basically a Nuovo Record derailleur with a longer cage.  This is by far the more desirable of the two.

Photos of the completed bike will be right here as soon as we're done.

P.S. We'll also be mounting this crankset.  It's not Campy, but it's very retro and will give us lower gears.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Today's Mod Girl--With Campy

"Hey, my eyes are up here!" Photo from Interbike in Las Vegas. More like this.

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Campagnolo to Anyone Wanting to Buy Electronic Gruppo: Don't Hold Your Breath

Campagnolo's recent unveiling of an advanced prototype of their long-awaited electronic gruppo has sparked worldwide attention from cyclists eager to spend several thousand dollars to have battery-powered derailleurs. This, in turn, has led to the release of an official Campagnolo statement which essentially tells these cyclists to cool their jets.

We'll keep you posted on any news about the electronic gruppo that comes our way. If you have any, send it to us: enorris [at] campy only [dot] com

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rare Campy Stuff You've Probably Never Seen

Longtime reader and former Campy Only contributor Jeff K sent this photo of some rare Campy parts. Shown is a brake part that used an internal spring to prevent overbraking--essentially an early attempt at bicycle antilock brakes. Applying too much pressure would compress the spring, limiting the amount of braking force.

The version on the left is a prototype that included a "lockout" setting. On the right is the production version without the lockout.

Thanks to Jeff for the photo. If you have any rare Campy bits, please send us a photo and info and we'll post them.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Inside Campagnolo (With Video)

Read the first in a series of articles about Campagnolo's inner workings here (includes a link to an official Campagnolo video).

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

And Still More Electronic Gruppo News

This time from the Italian web site, which posted these and other photos:

Read the entire article here (in Italian).

Scroll Down for Electronic Gruppo News

We posted several items earlier this week about the upcoming electronic gruppo.  Scroll down to see them.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Todays Bike: Larry's "S. Tomi"

Larry T sent these photos and writeup about his Campy-equipped bike:
Ciao Eric,

Attached are some photos of a Campagnolo-equipped bike I recently acquired from Serafino Tomi of Viterbo, Italy. One of the photos is of Serafino himself, a student of Cino Cinelli who worked for the great man in the '70's before coming back to Viterbo to create his own frames, using Columbus tubing with Cinelli and CAMPAGNOLO parts.

This example has been built-up with recent Ergopower triple 9-speed bits.

I hope you and your viewers enjoy looking at the photos as much as I enjoy looking at and riding this bike.

Best Wishes, 

To see your bike on the Campy Only blog, email your photos and a brief description to: enorris [at] campyonly [dot] com

More Electronic News--And Photos

The web site BikeRadar has an article today with photos (apparently of the camera phone variety) of the electronic gruppo. Click here to read the article and see more photos.

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

It's Official--Spanish Team Will Race Electronically

Hot off the web from!  From the Cyclingnews article:

Valentino Campagnolo posed with Fausto Pinarello and the new bike but was reticent about revealing more details.
"Shimano were the first to produce an electronic system but we kept working hard on our system and now the bike unveiled is very similar to the bike that will be used by the new Movistar team," Valentino Campagnolo told Cyclingnews.
"Our system is different to Shimano's. Their one is ten-speed, while ours is 11-speed. It will also have other different aspects too but it's a little bit soon to talk about it now."

More Electronica

Another blog noticed the photos of the electronic Pinarello.  Click here for more.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

More Electronic Gruppo Photos

Valentino Campagnolo was on hand for the recent unveiling of the 2011 Giro D'Italia route, and apparently brought along the latest version of the electronic gruppo.  In this photo posted on an Italian-language blog, he is shown with Fausto Pinarello (right) with one of Pinarello's bikes equipped with the electronic gruppo (identifiable by the large battery pack below the bottle cage on the down tube).
More photos from the event (and of the bike) are available here.

Thanks to reader Andrea A for finding these photos.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Campy Clothing Clipped

Police in the UK are on the lookout for the thief or thieves who stole a shipment of Campagnolo clothing. Click here for details and an email link to notify them if you see any particularly well-dressed perps.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Foxy Photos

Photos from the Davis Bike Club's Foxy's Fall Century, that is.  The CampyOnlyGuy was there on our fixed-gear, Campy-equipped Raysport, riding rolling support and helping fellow riders with flats, gear adjustments, etc.

See all of our photos here.