The mud, the guts, and the beer, which means cross season is rapidly approaching. I can almost hear cowbells in the distance, and the good folks at Campagnolo must hear them too as they recently updated their site with a few ‘cross specific components. Campy has always been a popular choice for the rigors of the cyclocross circuit, perhaps due to the inherent rebuildable nature of the shifters, or maybe it’s because the ergos of the hoods fit so well with bulky gloves. Regardless of the reason, there are a lot of Campy fans that run it for cross, with the almost unanimous exception of the crankset. While it seems that many consumers are now spending much more on their cross rigs, rather than seeing them as a receptacle for the old blown out parts from their road bike, it is still easy to see why someone wouldn’t want to buy a new crank only to have to immediately change the rings.
Now that is no longer necessary with the introduction of the Campy CX 10 and CX 11 line of cranksets in both aluminum and carbon models. While it would be easy to dismiss the new cranks as rebranded Chorus and Record cranks with different size rings, there is more to the story. Campagnolo is claiming the new chainrings are specifically designed to be more efficient in every condition (think mud, snow, sand, dust, etc) and are calling them C.A.R.T. which is short for Cyclocross Advanced Racing Technology. The new bottom bracket also receives the cross treatment with special double lip seals to keep everything happy and spinning smooth. They also note that even more attention has been given to the finish of the rings, i.e. the black anodized portion, to increase the rings durability over the long run. Shift ramps are also supposedly changed to ensure precise shifting, even if the crank is packed with mud.
More on the new CX cranks, plus the new line of CX specific wheels after the break!
The entire line of CX cranksets will be available in two chainring setups, the traditional compact 50-34 and the more often used cross set up, 36-46. Whether you are running 10 or 11 speed, campy is offering the sameÂ options between the two groups.
Cranks aren’t the only area that has received Campy’s attention when it comes to cyclocross as they are releasing a CX specific line of wheel as well. Truth be told, it doesn’t look like much is changed on the cross wheels from the website, other than possibly the bearings in the hubs and the spoke lacing. While the Scirocco road wheels specify a sealed bearing hub, the Scirocco CX note that they have an extra seal and nothing is mentioned of them being sealed. This would make sense, as a non sealed hub is easier to overhaul for the average Joe. Other than that it seems the wheels are virtually identical to their road counterparts down to the weight. The Vento Reaction CX sees a change from 9 triplets of spokes in the G3 lacing pattern of the road model, to 8 triplets for the CX model. While there is probably more to it than meets the eye, this appears to be the only difference in spokes. Three models will be offered, the Scirocco CX, Vento Reaction CX, and the Khamsin CX.