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Campagnolo debuts H11 road disc, goes after OE market with new entry-level group, Centaur

Published May 9, 2017
Campagnolo unveiled its new H11 road disc groups and Bora One 35 wheelsets in Grand Canaria.

PUERTO DE MOGAN, Gran Canaria (BRAIN) — In this seaside town on the Southwest coast of Gran Canaria, renowned for sunny year-round weather and switchback roads that extend from sea level up to several thousand feet, Campagnolo unveiled its latest drivetrain and wheel technology to international media and global distributors.

After many years of development, the Italian component brand is debuting hydraulic road disc offerings across its entire range: Super Record, Record, Chorus and Potenza groups. And eventually, it will offer it on its newest entry-level group, Centaur. (More on that below). Road disc will be offered on mechanical and electronic drivetrains. Campy’s midrange disc brake offering will be in its Potenza group, which will have an aluminum brake lever. The higher-end groups — Chorus, Record and Super Record — will feature carbon fiber brake levers.

Hydraulic road disc in detail

The company partnered with Magura to gain expertise in hydraulics. Magura helped develop the master cylinder’s shape and design. “We didn’t have expertise going into this. We wanted to partner up with someone to help us overcome the learning curve with regards to hydraulics,” said Joshua Riddle, press manager for Campagnolo.

Campagnolo's new H11 road disc rear

Hydraulic road disc, called H11, will be offered on Super Record, Record and Chorus mechanical drivetrains and on Super Record and Record EPS electronic drivetrains. Potenza will offer a midrange version with different internals specific to Potenza’s 11 transmission.

Unlike the rim brake versions, the disc brake Ergopower hoods will be about 8 millimeters taller, but Riddle noted that the ergonomics have been maintained with both EPS and mechanical disc brake levers. The master cylinder took extensive R&D to develop its shape and size. Its bleeding port is located at the top, and the brakes use mineral oil. The same cylinder is used throughout the range, and is the same for both right and left hoods, minimizing the need for spare parts. 

Campagnolo also allows full customization of the performance and ergonomics of the levers with an adjustable modulation system (AMS). With a 2.5-millimeter Allen key, riders can adjust for short or long throw and also when the brake pad engages. Riders can also adjust the position of the physical position of the brake lever itself. “We’re customizing free stroke, but you’ll see when you start changing the position that it’s really more than free stroke customization,” Riddle said.

Campagnolo is offering only a flat mount option for its road disc, with both 160-millimeter and 140-millimeter forged aluminum calipers. Riders have the option to run 160 in front and either 160 or 140 in the rear. “We did a meticulous study to make sure calipers are compatible with every flat mount frame on the market with absolutely no need for adapters,” Riddle said. “It is a flat mount with zero adapters. Apart from being aesthetically more pleasing, adapters represent a risk of movement. You’re adding leveraging forces and more componentry between the brake and the frame. We feel that represents a risk. The Campagnolo system reduces the variables. We don’t need adapters.”

Calipers are mounted by two screws, and Campagnolo offers six screw lengths that it says fit all frames on the market (19, 24, 29, 34, 39 and 44 millimeters). The pistons are constructed out of phenolic resin, which was chosen for its thermal insulating qualities. It doesn’t conduct heat and provides great power transfer, the company said.

Campagnolo used a patented design and technology for its steel brake pad, which uses an organic resin compound that it says is highly resistant to heat. Campagnolo also features a buffer between its brake pad housing and piston that absorbs vibrations and reduces noise. There’s also a visible wear indicator on the brake pad and an audible wear indicator as well. A special form helps guide the disc into place, making wheel changes easy.

Rotors will be provided in AFS standard (otherwise known as Centerlock) in 160- and 140-millimeter rounded versions for safety. And Campagnolo chose to go with steel instead of aluminum because it claims it offers better and more consistent braking performance and is less volatile under heat and stress. “Safety is always a large concern,” Riddle said. “So Campagnolo went to great lengths to ensure disc is safe, so we have a rounded edge. It adds cost to development. We had seven different versions of rounded edges. We also made a test to replicate human flesh and this could not penetrate it.”

Super Record EPS hydraulic road groupset

The new road disc groups require distinct disc brake cranksets to account for disc brake frames' geometry, Riddle said. To optimize chainline, it has developed the H11 crankset with spaced-out chainrings. Campagnolo moved its chainline out on the crankset without altering the Q factor, which stays at 145.5mm. The H11 crankset is offered for Super Record, Record and Chorus and will be available for Potenza. The new crankset features changes to the spider and chainrings but doesn’t require a new front derailleur.

Campagnolo claims that its disc brake offerings are capable of decelerating 23 to 26 percent faster in wet conditions compared with competitors, and decelerating between 14 and 55 percent faster than its competition in dry conditions while requiring less hand force.

Road disc will become available in the aftermarket end of May/early June, with the first offering in Potenza. On the OE side, some 2018 bikes will start spec’ing H11.

Pricing starts at $1,610 for Potenza disc brake. Chorus disc brake will retail for $2,135. Record disc brake is $2,385. Super Record disc brake is $2,610. H11 will also be offered on Campy's electronic groupsets, with Super Record EPS disc brake retailing for $4,230 and Record EPS disc brake for $3,835. 

Trickling down technology  11-speed from top to bottom

But while road disc was the highlight for many media members, Campagnolo began its press launch with the introduction of a new aluminum groupset aimed at gaining wider OE spec and offering a more affordable price point for consumers. The company said Centaur offers the same performance and reliability riders are accustomed to in its top-end range and at a more democratic price point. “It’s similar to Super Record in everything but the material used in the construction and consequently the weight,” Riddle said.

Centaur uses the same four-arm spider crankset design, which trickles down from Revolution 11 Plus, and independent bolt ring diameter. It will come with universal 52/36 and 50/34T chainring options. “It’s good news for shop owners and end consumers. You don’t have to buy completely new cranksets if you want to change your gearing ratio. Storeowners have to keep less stock on hand,” Riddle said. Crank lengths will be 170, 172.5 and 175 millimeters.

Campagnolo offers independent design for compact and semi-compact chainrings just as it does with higher-end Super Record and Record groupsets and Potenza. And the chainring incorporates ultra torque axle for the first time with an aluminum crankset, more trickle-down technology from Super Record.

The Ergopower shifting pod is made of lightweight techno-polymer reinforced with carbon fiber. And the upshifting lever is made of a lightweight composite material. The Centaur group has the same one lever, one action design that is a hallmark of Campagnolo products, with the same position in its upshifting lever and downshifting lever. Much of the derailleur design from Revolution Plus has trickled down to Centaur. With this group, Campagnolo now offers 11-speed throughout its range. This group will replace Campy’s Veloce groupset, which will no longer be in the lineup.

Centaur is compatible with cassette options up to 32 teeth with the same rear derailleur. Campy also notes that its rear derailleur weighs 15 grams less than comparable product on the market. The Centaur group will have a new steel three-cassette range which is distinct only in its finish to be able to bring down the price point. The three cassettes are 11-29, 11-32 and 12-32T.

Centaur will be offered in both black and silver finishes and total weight is 2,484 grams. The Centaur black group will retail for $692.76 or 636.41 euros. Centaur silver will retail for $733.57 or 673.90 euros. “We are confident Centaur can make some inroads into the OEM game,” Riddle said.

Finally, new wheels  carbon and aluminum disc brake wheels

In addition to new groupsets, Campagnolo showed new wheels. Its new C17 Scirocco aluminum rim brake wheel is a new price-point offering. Aside from improving with a new C17 profile design, the Scirocco maintained all previous technologies, but the rim is tweaked slightly to adapt to the ever-growing trend of wider tires. The wheel mates with 25- and 28-millimeter tires, allowing tires to take a less bulbous shape. The wider rim allows for a more uniform surface area between the tire and rim, creating less turbulence, according to the company. The 35-millimeter rim profile trickles down from higher-end offerings; the profile was previously reserved for more expensive carbon rims.

“We feel it’s versatile, aerodynamic and lightweight. We’re not going all the way to 50, which would be heavy in aluminum construction. It’s aerodynamic without the heft that would keep you from going up the climbs,” Riddle said.

Campagnolo's Shamal Ultra aluminum race ready disc brake wheel.

The wheel features aluminum hubs and axles, welded rim joints, and Campy’s Mega G3 spoke pattern. The set comes in at 1,654 grams. It becomes available at the end of May/beginning of June. Scirocco will retail for $525.

Disc-specific wheels — in carbon and aluminum versions

Bora One 35 is Campagnolo’s new disc-specific carbon wheelset. The Bora name has been part of the company since 1994. But the new disc brake offerings are a completely new project. The Bora One is a C17, 24.3-millimeter-wide carbon wheel for tubular tires offered in 35- and 50-millimeter profiles.  

“We’ve chosen that rim profile because it mates perfectly with 25- and 28-millimeter tires and it offers aerodynamic benefit,” Riddle said. “It creates more efficient air flow — no ice cream cone effect. The wider stance offers better tire-rim interface, more contact for tubulars, and a better shape and form for clinchers.”

Riddle said that while the rim looks similar to the rim brake version, the internal structure is modified with carbon layup optimized for the force created by disc brakes. The rim no longer has a brake track, which results in slight weight reductions. To combat asymmetric forces on both front and rear wheels created by disc brakes, Campagnolo uses its G3 spoke design and 2-1 spoke ratios in areas of high stress.

The wheels also feature Campy’s MoMag technology, which eliminates the need to drill holes in the outer portion of the rim. The wheels also feature a new hub design, made of a one-piece aluminum hub shell and new flange design because of G3 spokes, as well as USB ceramic bearings.

The Bora One comes with stock 12-millimeter axles front and rear and with adapters for QR framesets. Spacing will be 142 millimeters in the rear and 100 millimeters in front.

The 35-millimeter tubular version weighs 1,297 grams and retails for $1,965. The clincher version weighs 1,509 grams and retails for $2,195. The 50-millimeter tubular weighs 1,364 grams and retails for $1,965. Campy is not offering a Bora 50 clincher at this time. 

And finally, Shamal Ultra, Campy’s new aluminum disc brake race-ready wheel. Now offered as a C17 standard, it’s a 22-millimeter-wide rim optimized for 25- and 28-millimeter tires. It’s tubeless compatible. The rim heights are different for front and rear, at 27 and 30 millimeters, respectively.

The wheels feature oversized aluminum spokes, Mega G3 design for both front and rear, and 2-1 spoke ratio in high-stress areas. The front hub is made of carbon with aluminum flanges, while the rear hub is all aluminum. And the wheels come with 12-millimeter axles front and rear. Spacing is 142 millimeters rear, and 100 millimeters front. The pair weighs 1,540 grams.

The Shamal Ultra disc brake wheelset retails for $1,375. 

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