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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