Turning It Up To 12

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Turning It Up To 12

Postby Duck! » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:08 pm

As you may have seen further up the main index, Campagnolo have just released their new Super Record and Record groupsets, with the main feature being a 12-speed drivetrain, which following the tradition of 11, 10 and probably 9-sp. (which pre-dates my industry presence, so I'm a bit sketchy that far back), makes them the first to bring 12-sp. to the road.

The good bits first: The cassettes are designed in such a way as to be compatible with existing 9/10/11-sp. hubs - thanks to their 9 & 10-sp. cassettes being wider than their Shimano counterparts, dictating more freewheel body real estate, it's been possible to fit the extra sprockets in on the same hubs. However, due to the inward dishing of the large sprocket on 11- and presumably 12-sp. cassettes, some hubs have reqired a thin spacer behind the cassette in order to stop it dragging against the hub shell. Cassette options are 11-29 and 11-32; while not offering an overall increase in gear range over 11-sp, the extra gear allows some rearranging of the intermediate gears to close some gaps & improve the progression through the gear range. Hydraulic disc brakes are an option for both groups, and given how recently (only last year) the H11 brakes were released, I would suspect there's not a great deal of evolution on that front yet.

On the other hand, it appears that beyond the cassette/hub interface there is no compatibility between 11- & 12-sp. stuff, meaning you can't just chuck a shifter set, chain & cassette at the bike and ask it to work with 11-sp. derailleurs. I would imagine that due to the tighter sprocket spacing (the extra gear is accommodated by reducing both the sprocket thickness and space between each gear), the cable pull ratio has been reduced to enable better fine tuning. Similar to what Shimano have done recently, chainring spacing on the new cranks is increased in order to improve chainline and reduce noise resulting from wider disc-brake hubs.

EPS hasn't yet been released in conjunction with the new groups, but is in the works.

And it's not cheap. Australian pricing hasn't been announced yet, but figures listed range from US$2150 for full mechanical Record, up to US$3600 for Super Record Disc, so based on current exchange rates add at least 1/3 for a local estimate. EPS when it arrives will add a fair chunk on top of those figures.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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