Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Confirmed: This IS the Ugliest Campagnolo Gruppo Ever

Campagnolo has confirmed that next year's gruppo upgrade will feature what is possibly the ugliest crankset ... nay, the ugliest single part ... ever produced by Vicenza.

Here's a photo from the official press release.

Campagnolo calls this "fresh and cutting edge aesthetics." We call is the ShimaNO-ization of the once great design house in Vicenza.

Among the benefits of the new, ugly cranksets, according to Campagnolo, is the use of a single, 4-bolt pattern for all cranks in all lines (Super Record, Record, and Chorus). From the press release:

"The new bolt pattern allows for all 3 chainring standards 53/39, 52/36 and 50/34 to be built upon the same crankset. Changing between compact and standard is now as easy as changing 8 bolts and two chainrings."

That's a great idea--the bolt pattern on the current compact cranks is inexplicably different from everything else--but the benefit is predicated on buying ... all new cranksets. All of the millions of riders who currently have Campy cranksets will have to wait 'til theirs wear out (or the peer pressure on the weekend club ride becomes too much to bear).

"Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and with the seal of approval coming from the Campy Tech Lab as well as top professional athletes, these new groupsets are now worthy of bearing the Campagnolo name."

So says Campagnolo. What do you think? 


  1. ...try not to so completely down on it and try to like it a little bit! After all You are Campy Only.

  2. Being Campy Only means holding Campagnolo to the highest standard. They've managed to make beautiful components for more than 80 years, so there's no reason for them to stop now.

  3. It's not all that hard on the eyes. Reminds me a bit of the old Mavic Starfish cranks albeit with four arms. The redesigned derailleurs are what interest me more though. Better chain wrap on the back and even faster shifting on the front, that's good. Hope they work well with current 11s shifters, I guess the front shifter has a slightly different actuation (hopefully a refinement, not a completely different cable increment), hope the cable-pull/index ratio is the same on the back otherwise there will be a lot of brand loyalty being questioned... I'm sure they know better than pulling yet another instant obsolescence stunt across half their components, quite enough with the all-new chainring dimensions taking over!

  4. When I first saw the new cranks, I thought EXACTLY the same thing expressed in this article! But, maybe in person it looks better? Maybe the shifting is much improved, the crank stiffness, etc?
    Since I've owned 2010 Record 11 for the past 4 years, I assume it will NEVER need replacing. But, if someone bought me a 2015 SR group for Father's Day - would I turn it down? Probably NOT!
    Campy only, of course!

  5. As a user of Campagnolo since 1968, I think that the idea of a crank that will take a wider range of chain rings is a great idea. Its happened in the past; Campag cranks from mid 1960s that had a max 44 inner ring, then the bolt circle was reduced (around 1968) to allow 42 and then later 39. The 4 bolt crank is not terrible, just a big change and no so traditionally Campagnolo. Things change. I like the new cranks. I actually also really like the look of the new derailleurs such as the SR model and it sounds like the actual shifting is improved which is a plus. If I build a new bike (such as a Colnago C60 or PINA Dogma F8 for instance ) I think for sure I would try out the new design cranks and derailleurs.

    Regarding price: Campagnolo has always been at a premium product price point but then again it is a high quality product which lasts for many years and is generally quite serviceable. Nobody is forced to jump on this right away. As the old stuff wears out then you choose; repair/service the existing or make a move to the newer improved technology.

    I do think that on an older frameset (say pre 2000) the new group would likely look out of place. Also aesthetically it would be very much the wrong mix.

  6. They were already ugly because they were plastic, er a, carbon fiber. So I can't see that this makes it worse. As to shifting better I doubt that a person could tell the difference if they didn't know.

    This is the way of the world though. I will cling to my progressive mantra and say that change is inevitable and always good thought that is getting harder to swallow as I get older

  7. Campy has been losing its market share in the past few years, if this new design helps then all credit too them. It still is the greatest component ray on the market.

    1. Campy may have won over some converts after finishing first in this year's Giro d'Italia and Tour de France.

  8. Eric an interesting article reviewing the new groups


  9. this stuff has the asthetics only a monster energy fan could be into. maybe under armour should get into the components game.

  10. The new 2015 crankarm will be prefect for my new Batman theme bike !!!!

  11. When campy didn't win the tour de france for over a decade, at least we could say, "Oh but our bikes are much more beautiful than ShimaNO bikes!" But now they have tried and succeeding making the world's ugliest crankset, I predict there will be almost no reason to ever buy another campagnolo crankset. On EBay half the 2015 grouppos come with 2014 cranks because NOBODY wants these turds...