You may Think you know all about Campagnolo, but there's always something new to discover . . .
For instance, brevette (or Brev. or Brevettato) is Italian for "patented." Check out your Campy gear--especially older parts--and you're bound to find in there somewhere (although sometimes they stamped "Patented" in English). It seems almost everything on Campy's parts was patentable in some way. How is their cable fixing bolt different enough to be patented? Don't ask us!
While we're on the subject, did you know that Nuovo Record was not named in honor of Eddy Merckx's Hour Record (accomplished on a Campagnolo-equipped bike)? Super Record, the next upgrade to Campy's lineup, was for the most part Nuovo Record, with a few changes:
Some Campagnolo parts found on bicycles can be dated by codes or patent dates. As an example, the Nuovo Record rear derailleur has a patent date that corresponds to its manufacturing date. And the lock nut on the hub axle typically is stamped with "CAM. 60" or some other number corresponding to the last two digits of the year of manufacture. Also, the crank arms can have a code consisting of a diamond (1970's), circle (1980's), square (late non-fluted SR), etc. with a number in the center possibly denoting the last digit of the year of manufacture. Thanks to Chuck Schmidt of Velo Retro for this info.
One of our readers (David Walker email@example.com) sent the following most amazing trove of Campagnolo trivia. Everything you always wanted to know about Nuovo and Super Record (but didn't know to ask) . . .
There's more obscure NR/SR trivia elsewhere . . .
You list the differences between the Super and Nuovo Record gruppos. I think you missed some things which are not exactly obscure:
John Chang, Palo Alto, CA
More SR trivia:
Re whether SR bottom bracket cups contained more aluminum: they are akin to the headsets in their composition, with steel races. They also required a smaller bearing.
Did you know that Campagnolo is Italian for "Of the country" (as in "countryside")? Makes it harder to explain why Campy's mountain gruppos never got very far . . .
Campagnolo's hometown in Italy is Vicenza, known as the "City of Palladio" for its beautifully preserved buildings. Learn more about this beautiful place at http://metro.turnpike.net/~mosaic/homeus.html (We note, incidentally, that this otherwise fine web site contains not a single mention of Campagnolo!)
The Cobalto brakeset is basically a Nuovo/Super Record model, but is distinguished by the blue (cobalt) "jewel" at the pivot point of the calipers. One of our readers also pointed out the following to us:
Reader Simon Gardner sends along this Cobalto tip:
Trivia: Your classic Campagnolo short rear
drop out . . . we all have them on our 1980's Italian steel. Have
you ever wondered about the 2 small M3x0,5 threaded hole on the
right dropout? Do you know of the obscure contraption which did
attach here? It was a crescent shaped chain hanger. For pro
racers this innovation allowed quick rear wheel changes by
allowing the rider to derail the chain off the 5th cog on to the
hanger by way of a shifting lever that slipped past 5th position
when a chromed spring clip was depressed. After a successful
change a mechanic would push the rider on his way and a shift
back to the 5th position placed the chain in a "chase back
to the pack" 5th gear. Follow? Pretty neat eh? Editor'
note: This feature was called the "Porte catena;"
there's a complete parts listing and installation instructions in
the Campy catalog compilation from Velo Retro.
Here are some little details about Campy.
I know these to be true because I was there starting in 1969. The
early 70's saw a transition between 5 & 6 speeds, and
changing wheels could hazardous in a race if you ran a six and
your wheel change was a five. Hence, the shifter with the funny
little clip blocked the chain from jamming into your frame if you
had such a wheel change. Spacing for five speeds was 120mm, six
speeds at first were 124mm. Six speeds started to shift design
away from the spokes and come closer to the chain/seatstays,
especially suntour. So six speed spacing was standardized at
126mm. Also, some bozo engineers at the "big" factories
were not indenting, filing, whatever, their stays to accomodate
the new six speeds. The 2mm extra saved them in production time. One difference between old and new
Campy brakes was the quick release lever. Old Nouvo and
SuperRecord had a flat lever, later production had a finger
"bulge". Old derailleurs used alloy pins with brass
bushings, later models used steel pins.
How are the new Moskva rims different from Campy's Omega Aero (which they closely resemble?) Our tech expert Tim Laflin has the answer: "The extrusion is different on the new Moskvas. They specifically beefed up the interior at the spoke nipple perch and changed the way they cut the holes to leave more material. I can tell the difference immediately when building. The old Omegas used to bulge at the nipple points under tension. These guys stay fixed. It should be a real strong rim. I use this as the general all purpose rim for everything. I just love the cosmetics of it. The ti finish is cool looking more than the polished or hard anno."
Looking for intimate details about your Ergo levers? You'll find the complete text and description of the levers that Campy submitted to the U.S. Patent Office at http://patent.womplex.ibm.com/details?patent_number=5479776 Did you know that Ergopower was invented by a Mr. Giuseppe Dal PrÓ, in Padova, Italy? Giuseppi, we salute you! (Note: The patent shows Antonio Romano as the inventor of Ergopower. One of our readers pointed out--based on his inside knowledge--that Giuseppi was actually the inventor.) Click here to view our online version of the Ergopower Instructions and the Ergopower Tech Manual.
Do you have trivia to add? Send it to us!
We're not experts or mechanics, but here are a few tips we can pass along. If you have your own Tech Tip, send it to us!
We recommend the use of Gore-Tex shift cables for Ergo systems. They work great, and their customer support is fantastic. (We had trouble installing their cables, and they sent a whole new set!)
We like White Lightning lube for our chain and pedal cleats. It's the first lube we've ever used where we actually went through a whole bottle! Great stuff.
If you have a Super Record crankset, you'll notice that the "web" (the point at which the right-hand crank arm meets the spider) is very thin. An old mechanic's trick is to get a fine, round file and smooth out that sharp edge, which otherwise had a tendency to concentrate stresses and crack.
Tech tip: Front shifting on flat-caged Campy derailleurs (meaning all but the latest models with "profiled" cage plates) can be improved by taking a pair of needle nose pliers or a small crescent wrench and carefully bending the leading edges of the both plates inwards a little to facilitate chain throwing, as well as bowing out the center section of the outer plate behind the cage attachment point to provide more chain clearance in the small rear cog. (Thanks to David Walker for this tip!)
If you can get your hands on a pair of Campy's original Super Record titanium-spindled pedals, be careful! Those pedals were produced with axles of pure titanium, which is not nearly as strong as the 6/4 alloy now used to produce Ti fasteners and bike parts.
If you can get your hands on a pair of Sun Tour jockey pulleys, put them on your Campy derailleur. They turn on ball bearings, and they last, and last, and last. We've had the same pair on our bike for some 30,000 miles, and they show no signs of wear.
Here's a breakdown of some tech facts about Campy's Nine-Speed gruppo:
And a response to the above:
After having built or converted about 5 bikes over to 9 speed, I feel comfortable making a few comments or corrections to your Campagnolo Only site- the coolest place on the web.
Submitted by firstname.lastname@example.org
I have a '94 Chorus Ergo group which works today exactly the same as it did the day I got it. I am a Cat 2 racer and put 7,000 to 10,000 miles a year on my bike. The front derailer is a clamp-on style, with small alloy roll pins used in the "hinge" mechanism. These alloy roll pins snap at the least amount of stress. No problem - go to a hardware store and buy some 3 cent steel pins of a similar diameter and length. The weight difference is absolutely negligible ( I bet it's way under a gram ), and it lasts forever. I'd like a Shitmano freak to try to fix a Shitmano part with something this easy.
Also, being a racer, I fall down once in a while. The front of my Ergo levers are a bit scratched. Other racers with brand "S" components usually have the shifting mechanism wiped out by a good crash. (Thanks to email@example.com)
Want to add your own tips or trivia here? Send it to us! If it's good, we'll add it, and we'll credit you for the item!