For those seeking electronic enlightenment of the Italian groupset variety, we wanted to post a journal highlighting the differences between the current Campagnolo Super Record EPS system and the new Campagnolo Super Record Wireless electronic groupset.
We were fortunate to be among the select few to receive the new Campagnolo Super Record Wireless 12-speed groupset ahead of the launch. So in this post, I'll share our initial thoughts on how Campagnolo's new hero wireless road group compares to the outgoing EPS system.
The new Super Record Wireless derailleurs are dramatically larger than the EPS group's, but that is to be expected, given the batteries now connect to the derailleurs. With Campagnolo's EPS system, the power pack resided inside the frame and used cables to get the derailleurs to work. Honestly, they are not much, if any, larger than the SRAM AXS parts though the shape is a bit different, which gives them a slightly chunkier appearance.
The Super Record Wireless shift levers look smaller than the older EPS disc levers and feel smaller. But the main difference with the levers is that the iconic thumb shifter is gone, replaced by two buttons behind the brake lever. Count me as someone who liked the thumb lever, but the new lever looks slimmer and more proportionally sized for the bike's front end.
The crankset looks mostly the same, if smaller. Campagnolo gave us a crankset with the 48X32T combination, and I could tell the difference from the 53X39 or 52X36 combination I run now on EPS - not good or bad, just different. But if you're a rider who generates their worth through the size of their rings, you may be disappointed that the largest Super Record Wireless 12-speed offering will be the 50X34 combination.
However, for those who don't dig the smaller rings, you will most likely rejoice that there is now a 10X25 cassette in Campagnolo's 12-speed lineup. Up to now, 11-29 was the smallest size of cassette you could get. I know that the trend has been going with larger rings mated to a larger cassette, and some say that you lose efficiency with the 10T cog, but I don't spend too much time in that gear, and I like the small jumps between cogs the new option in the Super Record Wireless 12-speed group affords.
The Super Record Wireless and EPS brakes and rotors look pretty similar to the older units though the calipers look much nicer in the new polished, gloss black finish. There are also new brake pads.
User interface differences
One thing I am happy to see stay at the startline is the EPS recharging system. The older group had us plugging a 5-pinned charging cable into the internal interface inside the handlebar (on most bikes), and I've lost count of how many people bent one of the pins and had to buy a new (expensive) charger. It was one of the more nerve-racking operations in all of cycling, akin to tap-dancing your way across a polished floor in road shoes while trying to appear cool. Impossible.
Installing the new Super Record Wireless group was much easier than installing the older EPS one. However, at the time of testing, we didn't have access to the new group's app (available at the launch date), so we couldn't play around with all the options. We're assuming we'll be able to adjust the speed of front and rear shifting.
The Super Record Wireless rear derailleur is fast, though. Very fast. If you want multiple shifts at a time, hold the lever down, and you'll go from one end of the range to the other noticeably faster than anything else out there.
As we mentioned in our Super Record ride report, the front derailleur is slower than the older EPS group, but here at the shop, we spoke about that possibly being a good thing. It still seems about the same speed, if not a little faster than SRAM AXS and a good bit slower than Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, but we didn't have any dropped chains while riding the new group. Would I take a few milliseconds slower shifting up front to avoid potentially dropped chains? Anyday. Also, keep in mind we have yet to see if we can play with the shifting speed of the new system - more on that in a long-term test of the group.
Naturally, we weighed everything and it looks like the old and new systems come out pretty even. We weighed the new Super Record Wireless levers with the uncut brake lines and didn't realize that the older ones were not weighed the same way until after we built our bike, so it's not exact. But for the gram watchers out there, the old group tips the scales at 2479g, while we have the new one at 2525g. I'm expecting more than 46g for the brake line.
After more time in the saddle and more time to think about it and talk to a few others that received the group in time to ride it pre-launch, we all concluded that this is the most un-Campagnolo group that Campagnolo has launched. I don't mean that as a negative, but everything has changed. You may say you'll miss the thumbshifter or the clunky but sure-sounding shifts of the old group and whatnot, but I don't think you will. The Super Record Wireless 12-speed group is quieter, more ergonomic and faster. It’s just a better group.
For more on the new Super Record Wireless system, read our ride report to see how the group performs where it really matters!