Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Is Campagnolo Planning to Introduce Low-Priced Electronic Shifting?

A recent court decision out of Canada is shining a light on Campagnolo's plans to come out with a new group of components with the name, "Potenza." According to information available online, the company plans to expand its current line of electronic derailleurs into this new gruppo, which has not been formally announced.
The case arose when Bridgestone, which owns the trademark for its line of automobile tires, sued Campagnolo SRL, claiming that consumers would be confused if Campagnolo used the trademark for bicycle parts.

The court disagreed, clearing the way for Campagnolo to use the name.

So, what is "Potenza"? According to court filings, Campagnolo is planning to release a complete gruppo:

"Bicycle parts and accessories, namely, pedals, hubs quick release devices and hubs comprising said devices, rear derailleurs, front derailleurs, crank arms, gear wheels and gear wheels assemblies, crank arms with gear wheels, sprockets, sprocket assemblies, transmission chains, drive or control means for front derailleurs or rear derailleurs (mechanic and electronic), cable guide, knobs and control levers, shafts and bearings for crank arms and for pedals, head sets for steering assemblies and bearings and bushings thereof, cables and casings, fastening clamps, bottom brackets, bottom bracket assemblies, and cycle computers to detect, monitor and display functioning and performance data, but not including tires, brakes, wheels, rims and spokes."

That's all we know so far, but the Potenza name sounds to us suspiciously like a lower-priced gruppo--it just doesn't have the "ring" of Record or Chorus. If that's the case, it's interesting to note that the line is planned to include electronic derailleurs, pointing to an expansion of electric shifting across a wider range of gruppos. Campagnolo, it seems, may see electronic shifting as the wave of the future, and a way to attract buyers away from Shimano, which does not offer a low-priced electronic groupset.
Tell us what you think in the comments!


  1. I read that as a catch-all "everything we might make except wheels and tires which might be confused" not a promise of a lower-priced electronic group where a brand with some existing recognition (Centaur) might do better.

    Taking the alternative reading of "we're making this stuff" would suggest a return of ErgoBrain which doesn't make business sense.

  2. It could also be a dedicated off-road, tandem, flatbar road group or triathlon group.

    Any of those are as possible as a lower priced electrically shifted group

  3. Reminds me of the silly Athena-Daytona-Centaur daze. Why bother trademarking a name like Potenza? Xenon, Mirage, Veloce are already owned and have some history. As to low priced electronic, does anyone doubt the big S is working on this too? ALL the electronic stuff to me is an answer to a question yet to be asked anyway...unless the question is "How can we create, market and sell more expensive electronic stuff that doesn't really do anything better than the mechanical stuff we make?" Thank Tullio they're still putting attention into mechanical as in the RS groupset!!!