Campagnolo Electronic Group at Flanders in Full Force, Up Close Pics

campagnolo electronic group tech lab electric drivetrain at tour of flanders campagnolo electronic group tech lab electric drivetrain at tour of flanders

Campagnolo’s teased with an electronic shifting group since before Shimano’s Di2 was a twinkle in our dream bike builds, but they’ve continued to test everyone’s patience by putting the group on only a select few riders’ bikes over the years.

This year, they seem to be saying (without actually saying anything) they’re close to bringing the group to production by outfitting entire teams with the group and showing off a rather polished collection of parts. Shown here on the Movistar team bikes for ye old Ronde van Vlaanderen in pics from iRide UK’s Tom Marchment, the full electronic group looks amazing.

Jump past the break for lots of pics and speculation…

campagnolo electronic group tech lab electric drivetrain at tour of flanders campagnolo electronic group tech lab electric drivetrain at tour of flanders

Up top and below, the derailleurs move through the gears via stepper motors and feature plenty of carbon fiber. The rear looks to have the motor mounted directly in line with a screw-type gear to actuate the derailleur movement much the same way as a car jack raises and lowers. The front D’s motor looks to be mounted perpendicular to the axle’s movement at the top of the unit.

The battery pack is a bit larger looking than Shimano’s, and James over at the other BR noted that it appears to have a charging port that’s accessible without removing the battery and seems to have a tether loop, apparently to attach as a backup to keep the battery from getting lost if it bounces off.

campagnolo electronic group tech lab electric drivetrain at tour of flanders

Note the tied and soldered spokes on the rear wheel to stiffen them up.

campagnolo electronic group tech lab electric drivetrain at tour of flanders

The levers keep the controls in the same position as their mechanical brethren, but the thumb levers are considerably sleeker than the obtrusive mech versions…which makes it look good, but will be interesting to see if they tend to cause mis-shifts as you change hand position.

campagnolo electronic group tech lab electric drivetrain at tour of flanders campagnolo electronic group tech lab electric drivetrain at tour of flanders

Like Di2, there’s a small control box wired in near the shifter/brake levers.

campagnolo electronic group tech lab electric drivetrain at tour of flanders

The battery mount looks to be incorporated into the bottle cage bolts with a small blue cushion to keep it from smacking the frame…probably a good thing for the cobbles at Flanders. James saw team mechanics wrapping electrical tape around the battery and frame, too, likely for the same purpose.

So, the “Tech Lab” moniker is Campy’s black box program. The appearance of that logo on these items mean they’re still prototype, but we fully expect them to get official later this year.

Comments

T - 04/04/11 - 2:16pm

On a side note: how long have those rims been out of production?

Robin - 04/04/11 - 4:01pm

Those rims could be Ambrosio rims .

jonah - 04/04/11 - 4:45pm

on another side note how long have those hubs(top left picture) been out of production.
its been at least four years since they made silver hubs that are 10/11 compatible.

topmounter - 04/04/11 - 10:44pm

I’m sure the Cancellara Conspiracy Theorists will have a field day once he starts using this stuff.

ShopMechanic - 04/04/11 - 11:11pm

I sure hope they figure out a more elegant solution to the control box than where it is now. It looks absolutely terrible and unfinished just like Di2.

jonah - 04/05/11 - 12:00am

i disagree with the comment above
in my opinion its looks more finished in that sense, Di2 is zip tied to other cables and is just kinda stuck where ever it fits.
Campy looks like they actually have made something to mount it with, ideally I think it should tuck onto the back side of a brake lever or the
unused side of a shifter blade.
Also if they are going to go toe to toe with shimano they should make a TT electric groupo, otherwise they are wasting their time and narrowing the market that can buy these. As small as that market will be judging by what italian electronics cost.

Condor - 04/13/11 - 10:17pm

I’m a huge campy fan, but it looks kind of big and clunky to me.

Yes, I realize they will polish it up before release.

Also shudder at what the cost will be considering how expensive Record/SR is in the US.

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