First thoughts about a new product are often insightful. But once we've got a few more miles under our tires, especially with something as all-encompassing as a new groupset, it's nice to be able to follow up with a further ride review and dig into the details that only come to light once the honeymoon period has ended.
If you remember, we launched the new Campagnolo Super Record Wireless group at the end of May this year. With our pre-release version fresh from Italy on the workbench, we installed it on my Sarto Seta Plus, and I rode off towards the Headlands to see how it fared. You can read that review here. Afterwards, we took the group off our launch bike and installed it onto my new Bastion Road frameset, which recently hit the road (and you can read that BOTW here).
For anyone who did read our first review of the Campagnolo Super Record Wireless group, you might be wondering if, this time, my mostly positive feelings about the system remained. And whether I got used to the aesthetics of the rather large derailleurs. All that and more, you'll discover below.
Campagnolo Super Record Wireless: Second Impressions
Talking to Dane in service, the build went smoother this time as the team was more used to the derailleurs and shifters' setup. He found a few new setup tricks as well. But in short, the installation was easy, much more so than the older group.
On the road, I liked it even more. From a rider's perspective, I like the new shift button configuration. I still love (and use) the Super Record mechanical option, and there, the thumb shifter is excellent and necessary. But the new Campagnolo Record Wireless system is laid out much better than the older EPS setup was. The only thing that is still taking a little getting used to is that it is a bit of a reach with my finger to hit the top button while in the drops, mainly during a sprint. It's not impossible. It just takes more movement with your hand. Playing with the lever position would help, or using a differently shaped bar if I cared that much (which I don't). But overall, the levers as a whole feel excellent. The shape is fine, though I feel there is so much possibility for creative design work here. It's not just Campagnolo - all the new brake/shift levers feel blah. I'm sure on the inside, they're all marvels of modern-day engineering (sarcasm intended), but on the outside, not so much.
My first ask of Campagnolo is to let the designers off the leash a bit and allow them to do what Italians do best and make an amazing-looking and feeling lever.
But for all that, shifting was still very good. It feels very Campagnolo-like (as you might expect) - a little more firm when shifting up and down the rear cassette. I did start dropping the chain a bit up front, but Robert dialed that in, and I haven't had an issue since.
I still need to take the time to learn what all the blue lights flashing on the derailleurs mean, but it doesn't bother me, and I promise that I'll learn soon.
Unfortunately, the Wireless Record's derailleurs did not shrink during this time. They are still quite big, but when riding the bike and looking down, they look fine and actually quite slim (the front derailleur, at least). Like the levers, I'm hoping the designers concentrate on this next. As battery technology advances, the derailleurs will get smaller, so we have something to look forward to. But honestly, I don't notice the size as much as I did at first, and I'm getting used to it. Do I want them to look better? Yes, always. Would I not buy this group due to how big they are? Not at all.
We'll still need to get some more miles on this group before we can talk about durability, and we will. But up to now, my feelings haven't changed: Campagnolo did a great job with the new Super Record Wireless.
Before closing, I wanted to mention the new Campagnolo Hyperon wheels. In short, I like them. At 21mm internally, they are wider than some and work well with the 32c Veloflex tires. They are light but very stiff and feel great on the climbs and descents. Also, the G3 pattern is absent, which will please some. In many ways, the Hyperons are typical Campagnolo in that the hubs are amazingly smooth, and the whole package feels pretty resilient on the rough stuff.
That does it for now. If you have any questions we haven't covered in this quick review, come on in or email/call us, and we'll do our best to answer them. Thank you for taking the time to read this and have a great ride!