The long-awaited new version of the Super Record EPS goes entirely wireless and remains 12-speed.
It was on a Monday afternoon, on the second rest day of the Giro d'Italia, that we met in Vicenza to preview the new Super Record WRL, the eagerly awaited new groupset from Campagnolo. On this occasion, it was not simply a product presentation like any other, but the launch of a new generation of technologies and products that will arrive on the market in cascades in the next few years.
Campagnolo worked hard on the new version of the Super Record and to get it to fruition, it faced a “road paved with limits, patents and obstacles placed in the way by our competitors,” Valentino Campagnolo explained at the presentation. “We had to in turn give our best to arrive at solutions which, from the point of view of innovation, are the expression of 90 years of history in the sector, with a total of 120 registered patents.”
The new Campagnolo Super Record WRL was designed and built to define a totally new segment in bike components, that of top-of-the-range luxury products.
During development, the end user and the riding experience was kept firmly at the centre of the project. The new use of wireless technology allows a significant leap forward in terms of performance but also simplicity in assembly and operation compared to the previous EPS system.
A dynamic riding experience
The groupset has been totally redesigned in terms of ergonomics, shapes and proportions to allow all users the same type of riding experience. Keeping the rider at the centre of the project is an idea that remained constant, said Campagnolo, with solutions that range from the new design of the brake levers and shifter body to the addition of innovative gear ratios to the drivetrain.
Campagnolo’s signature thumb button inside the shifter body disappears, in favour of more easily accessible buttons located outside the brake lever. The wireless signal transmission is almost instantaneous and thanks to a redesigned crankset and cassette, allows a fluid and precise gear change, even under load.
One of the distinctive features of Campagnolo groupsets has been braking, which has been clean, progressive and powerful in every situation. With the new Super Record WRL the braking feeling remains unchanged or possibly even improved compared to past versions, thanks to the fixing on the floating rotor supports and the patented rotor profile which avoids excessive heating. The renewed design of the calipers contributes to a more consistent and gradual wear of the brake pads, maintaining over time that characteristic ‘Campagnolo feeling’ of clean, modular and powerful braking.
The new Super Record WRL is 12-speed but there are a lot of new features to take note of. Campagnolo offers three different 2x cranksets: the classic 50/34T and the brand new 48/32T and 45/29T. Three different cassette types can be combined with the cranksets: 10-25T, 10-27T, and 10-29T. The idea behind these combinations focuses on the user experience and in particular the desire to minimise the jump between one gear and the next, Campagnolo says. Even aesthetically, Campagnolo's choice goes in the opposite direction compared to the competition: while we might be getting used to seeing bikes equipped with cassettes of ever-increasing size, a classic 10/25T combined with a 45/29T crankset allows you to obtain the same ratio as wider cassettes with less weight. The new tooth design and the integration with the chain allows for a reduction in friction without the need to excessively increase the diameter of the chainrings and consequently the weight. Speaking of lightness, the entire groupset weighs in at 2520 grams.
Electronics and app
Campagnolo has worked hard on developing new electronics and on creating more integration with the excellent mechanics that have always distinguished it. The new MyCampy app allows you to customise the groupset functions through a very instinctive and simple to use interface. The groupset, in the shifters, in the front and rear derailleurs, is completely free of cables and this helps make the assembly and maintenance of Super Record WRL much simpler, as well as giving the whole groupset a particularly captivating aesthetic, characterised by clean and squared lines.
A power meter version is planned (a space for the power unit has been set up inside the cranks already) but it is not yet available. It soon will be and it will be "totally revolutionary", in the words of the company's product managers.
The groupset batteries can be recharged both while remaining installed on the bike and via a desktop charger when removed. Recharging is pretty fast (20% in 10 minutes and 90% in 45 minutes) and the declared battery life is between approximately 750 and 1000 km.
A new era
The launch of the Super Record groupset is an important moment for Campagnolo, a projection of sorts into what the company's technological future will be. “What we presented today is not just a new groupset for road bicycles, but a technological platform with which we will work in the future for a series of new products that can be used in every area, on the road, on gravel and in every direction in which the development of bike products will lead us”, explains Nicola Baggio, chief sales and marketing officer of Campagnolo.
The bad news for lovers of the brand is the definitive disappearance of the rim brake version. Campagnolo Super Record WRL will only be available in disc brake version, an unequivocal sign of the passing times but also a clear sign that the Italian company wants to leave the narrow circle of brand admirers and enter a new era.
Campagnolo is characterised by a unique heritage in the world of bicycle component manufacturers and approaching a new type of modern consumer, attentive to performance and technological quality, but also to exclusivity and design, means projecting oneself into the future and into modernity. “Exclusive is something unique that many desire. We work above all on the desire of our potential customers and users”, is the summary of Davide Campagnolo, son of Valentino and grandson of Tullio.
After seeing it and testing it on the road, it's hard not to agree with him and not want a new Super Record WRL, which is undoubtedly exclusive also in terms of price: it costs the public €5,200 (£4,499) and if you’re interested it is already available in a number of selected shops.
Cover image by Campagnolo