Friday, March 18, 2011

Has Campagnolo Gone Too Far?

Thought readers here might want to chime in on this email from one of the online communities we read:

"I look forward to the new Canti's from Campagnolo, as I have a cross bike that could use them. My biggest problem with Campy in recent years is that they have pushed so far into the 11-speed madness across most of their range and they don't really sell much that I'd want to buy. They discontinued their silver hubs and low end triple cranks as well.

I have 3 Campy equipped bikes but if I bought a new bike this year, I'd be hard pressed to outfit it with new Campy stuff. 11-Speed Chorus? Man, I don't think so.

What do you think? Has Campagnolo gone too far in the 10- and 11-speed direction and abandoned some of their customers (CampyOnlyGuy, for instance, still runs 9-speed on his Ergo-equipped bikes). Use the Comments function to let the rest of our readers know what your opinion is.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad2


  1. A company that doesn't innovate dies. Is there anyone that thinks that Campy would still be in existence if it had stopped at 9 speeds? Isn't likely that there were Campy fans that were verklempt when Campy moved from 8 speeds to 9 or from 5 to 6? Does anyone think that Campy would still be in business or thriving as it is now if it had stuck with 9 speeds? Does anyone actually believe that the market for 9 speed.....or 8 or summat.....Campy componentry is stable or growing market?

    Debating the whether 10 speeds or 11 speeds are good; whether the new hubs are a sin against cycling or well executed designs; or whether another change signaled the end of times or a better future is about as productive and enlightening as a debate about whether vanilla or chocolate ice cream is better. It's a wholly subjective exercise devoid of indisputable points and objectivity.

  2. I have 2 sets 10-speed Centaur right now. Bought the 2nd as NOS 2009 Alloy, and NOS silver hubs. Personally, I have no interest in 11, and will only buy NOS 2009/2010 10-speed as the 2011 is dumbed down.

  3. Campagnolo faces a difficult future - competing against giant operations making their stuff in low-wage countries is not easy. While I miss things like polished hubsets too, how many of these would be sold in this day of complete wheelsets? A decent rim to lace up to a hub is tough enough to find these days! Parts from Vicenza are never likely to compete on price though there's pressure to make groups inexpensive enough to gain spec on complete bicycles -- creating (we hope) new generations of Campy-philes. The first rule of business is to stay in business, Campagnolo doesn't do ANY of us any good by going away and they must compete with their rivals. Be thankful they still make most everything available to keep your old 8-9-10 speed bike running - the others pretty much force you to buy their newest-latest by discontinuing spare parts fairly quickly.

  4. Now with silver CX and Athena you can get an all silver 11 speed 12-19 with a 36/46 up front. Pretty fair replacement for the old racing triple set up. With compact and CX cranks and the new 29 tooth capability Campagnolo has some good options for non-racers who like shiny alloy.

    And if that's not enough choice you can get third party smaller BCD cranks like the TA Carmina and have High Path make you some smaller polished silver 11 spd rings say a 30/44 set. Of course none of this is cheap but Campy never was cheap. The only negative for me was the dumbing down of the silver shifters both 10 and 11. Should have a ultrashift option there in 10 and 11.

  5. I think something we've failed to recognize is that 11 speed absolutely does not work as well as 10 speed did across the range of applications. What I mean is that 11 speed is prone to shifting problems on a variety of frames (internal routing, etc..) as well as use in cyclocross. Their proprietary BCD's on their chainrings further alienate their market. 110 BCD that only works with the limited rang of campy chainrings? They finally adressed this with cross specific rangs. New propriety BCD on their TT cranks? so silly..