UPDATED! Campagnolo Unveils EPS Electronic Drivetrains for Record & Super Record!

2012 Campagnolo Super Record EPS electronic drivetrain group announced with full weights and tech details

After two decades in development and many prototypes, Campagnolo’s EPS electronic component group has finally been made official, and they’ve launched not one but two complete groups.

UPDATE: Now with complete component weights and other details. This article has been completely rewritten upon receiving official materials from Campagnolo. See comments for full explanation.

Dubbed Record EPS and Super Record EPS, the acronym stands for Electronic Power Shift, and the brains of the operation gets another one: DTI for Digital Tech Intelligence.

The EPS system is fully electronic, with the brain sending and receiving signals to and from the components, particularly the rear derailleur, to monitor its position in real time and keep everything aligned for optimal performance. Given Shimano’s efforts in bringing electronic shifting to the mainstream conversation, what sets Campagnolo’s recent introduction apart? In a nutshell, weight and the way it shifts. Click through to get the details…

EPS SYSTEM OVERVIEW

2012 Campagnolo EPS electronic shifting drivetrain for record and super record component groups

The ErgoPower levers are very similar visually to the mechanical versions. Downshifts are handled by the larger finger lever behind the brake lever, upshifts by the thumb lever, which looks to be placed slightly lower on the inside of the hoods to make it easier to reach from the drops. The levers’ action is designed to mimic the feel of their mechanical siblings. Called “MultiDome” technology, Campy used multiple shaped layers of metal in the sensors to give the shift levers a “click” feeling.

With their mechanical levers, Campy’s “multi-shifting” lets you roll through a couple gears at a time, limited by the amount of cable that can be pulled within the range of the lever’s movement. With EPS, that limitation is gone, letting you run up or down the entire 11-speed cassette with a single push…and it’ll through the entire range of gears in a claimed 1.5 seconds! The number of gears shifted per press depends upon how long the shifter is depressed rather than how many times you press it. This is the most profound difference between EPS and Di2, relying on timing rather than clicks to shift multiple gears. It’s also likely to be the most controversial aspect of its performance.

2012 Campagnolo EPS electronic shifting drivetrain for record and super record component groups

As with Di2, the benefits of going to an electronic system are improved long term precision and better, quicker performance. Once the system is set up, it shouldn’t need any further adjustments. Both the front and rear derailleurs use an actuator-driven worm screw to move the derailleur. The actuator has sensors to monitor derailleur movement, sending signals back to the DTI, which monitors any movement and readjusts the derailleur as necessary. That, combined with a stiffer parallelogram structure on the electronic derailleurs, keeps things where they should be at all times.

The obvious benefit is precision shifting with no need to adjust cables for wear or temperature change. You also don’t have to worry about gummed up cable housings slowing things down.

2012 Campagnolo EPS electronic shifting drivetrain for record and super record component groups

The components look very similar to the late-stage prototypes we saw at Eurobike.

2012 Campagnolo EPS electronic shifting drivetrain for record and super record component groups

WEIGHTS

2012 Campagnolo electronic Super Record EPS and Record EPS weights

The complete groups weigh in at a claimed 2,184g for Record EPS and 2,098g for Super Record EPS. Compare that to the claimed weight for Shimano’s Dura-Ace Di2 (2,219g) and Ultegra Di2 (2,482), and Campy gets a slight weight advantage. Compared to the mechanical Record and Super Record groups, the EPS versions add about 200g…not a bad penalty, but more of a weight gain than with Shimano’s mech-to-electronic switch. What’s really interesting is that while SRAM was first to boast a sub-200g complete group, Campy’s first shot at electronic comes awfully close to the 2kg mark.

BATTERY AND BRAINS

2012 Campagnolo EPS electronic shifting drivetrain for record and super record component groups

Perhaps one of the contributing factors to the weight savings is because the brains and battery are consolidated into a single unit. With Di2, the battery disconnects from the port to simplify recharging. By contrast, Campagnolo’s EPS uses fixed wiring and a completely sealed unit. This means recharging has to be done with the complete bike in attendance. The upside is Campy says this design makes the unit more impervious to water, oil, dust and vibration.

The doodad on the left (above) is the initial interface control unit that:

  • Shows the LEDs in different colors to communicate battery level and component status. Different color lights indicated either battery status or issues with specific components. Each component gets a unique color. Like Shimano’s Di2, though, the color only tells you there’s something wrong, there’s not much you can do to fix the parts on your own.
  • Manages the set up and adjustment procedure.
  • Translates electrical impulses from the levers and turns them into digital signals to send to the power unit.

Just inside the thumb shift lever is a small ‘Switch Mode’ button. Press it once quickly and it shows battery status on the DTI unit. Hold it down and the system enters set up mode. For the initial install, there’s Zero Mode, where the system is fully calibrated to your bike. Ride Mode, which is what you can do via the button, allows minor tweaks to, say, fine tune it if you’re just switching wheels or something.

2012 Campagnolo EPS electronic shifting drivetrain for record and super record component groups

The Li-Ion battery is charged via a covered port, and the system uses a small magnetic plug “key” to turn it on or off. Removing the key turns it on, which sounds counterintuitive until you realize you can just pull it out and leave it in the garage or car while you ride and not risk losing it. Then just plug it in to turn everything off and save power. Actually, Campagnolo recommends leaving the plug removed most of the time, and here’s why: When not in use, the system automatically enters standby mode. This allows it to draw minimal power while still monitoring the derailleurs’ positions. This means if the bike falls over or gets bumped, things are able to be kept aligned. The diagnostics system also monitors the battery’s charge, showing green through yellow through red as it drops during riding or standby. If it gets too low, it will flash red and sound a buzzer to remind you to charge it. The system has protections built in to preserve both the electronics’ and battery’s integrity should power drop too low. At a minimum, it should be recharged fully once every six months.

2012 campagnolo eps electronic group battery life claims

This chart shows expected battery life per full charge based on an average monthly riding distance (top row). To put that into miles, you can get about 964 miles per charge if you typically ride 310 miles per month. At the top end of the range, you’ll get about 1,260 miles per charge if you’re riding about 1,240 miles per month. It’ll hold a charge in standby mode (“autonomy”) for approximately six months without any use.

The system uses a dedicated, proprietary battery charger, and a car charger cable is available separately. It can be charged with or without the pin inserted, and the motors are deactivated during charging, which means you can’t really use the bike on the trainer while simultaneously charging it.

2012 Campagnolo EPS electronic shifting drivetrain for record and super record component groups

The wiring and ports look about the same size as Di2 cables, which means they should work on existing frames. The port on the battery/brain doubles as a diagnostic port and can be used to update the system in the future.

2012 CAMPAGNOLO RECORD EPS vs. SUPER RECORD EPS

2012 Campagnolo Super Record EPS and Record EPS comparison chart

This chart spells out the key differences. The brake lever is “Lever 1″ and the main shift lever behind it is “Lever 2″. (Lever 3 is the thumb shift lever on the inside of each Ergopower unit). “Derailleur” refers to the front derailleur.

 

2012 Campagnolo EPS electronic shifting drivetrain for record and super record component groups

The Super Record EPS ErgoPower levers (above) get the vented brake and shift levers and a few lighter materials, the Record’s are solid (below). Brake levers are carbon and shift levers are composite.

2012 Campagnolo EPS electronic shifting drivetrain for record and super record component groups

 

2012 Campagnolo Super Record EPS electronic rear derailleur photo

The rear derailleurs are also quite similar at first glance, but the devil’s in the details.

2012 Campagnolo Super Record EPS and Record EPS electronic rear derailleur comparison

The Super Record EPS has a knocked out outer plate, and the pulleys are rolling on Campy’s CULT ceramic bearings. The Record EPS has standard ball bearings for the pulleys.

2012 Campagnolo Super Record EPS and Record EPS electronic rear derailleur comparison

There’s only one limit screw, placed to keep the rear derailleur from diving into the spokes. The B-spring screw is the only other mechanical adjustment on the entire range of electric parts, letting you set the “zero” position for the rear derailleur prior to initial set up. From there on, everything is set electronically.

2012 Campagnolo Super Record EPS and Record EPS electronic rear derailleur comparison

An actuator rotates a worm gear to move the rear derailleur. The female thread (bronze part sticking out) has been rounded off from earlier versions for a much cleaner look. Super Record (left) gets treated pivot bolts and black alloy motor housing. Record’s motor housing is silver and steel.

2012 Campagnolo Super Record EPS and Record EPS electronic rear derailleur comparison

2012 Campagnolo EPS electronic shifting drivetrain for record and super record component groups

Both versions have a carbon fiber outer plate and alloy inner plate. Shown here are the SR’s ceramic bearing pulleys.

2012 Campagnolo EPS electronic shifting drivetrain for record and super record component groups

Like Di2, the EPS front derailleur automatically trims (two positions up and down) to eliminate chain rub. Campy says this allows cross chain gear combos not really possible with their mechanical setup. When necessary, the system will slightly overshift to help force a quick shift under pressure (like when climbing), then quickly move to a normal position.

2012 Campagnolo EPS electronic shifting drivetrain for record and super record component groups

The Record EPS front derailleur has alloy chainguide plates and steel motor mounts. The Super Record EPS (right) gets a carbon fiber outer plate and alloy motor mounts. Both derailleurs use primarily high-strength polymer bodies for their main housing.

NON-ELECTRONIC COMPONENTS

2012 Campagnolo EPS electronic shifting drivetrain for record and super record component groups

Their non-electronic components carry over for 2012, with materials differences and weights being the key differentiators between Record and Super Record. The new electronic drivetain will work with both regular and compact chainring configurations.

2012 Campagnolo EPS electronic shifting drivetrain for record and super record component groupsSuper Record has some titanium cogs in the cassette to save weight.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU CRASH?

The rear derailleur has a bit of crashproofing built in. In the event of a fall or extreme shock, the mechanical part of the rear derailleur will uncouple from the actuator to protect the electronics. Assuming you didn’t totally trash it, you can shift all the way down to the first cog and manually recouple it to resume riding as normal. The flip side is if the battery dies while you’re out riding, you can also manually de-couple the actuator and put it in a good gear to get home. Conveniently, Campy calls this the “Ride Back Home” feature and advises you to charge your battery upon your return.

AVAILABILITY & PRICING

Bicycling Magazine is reporting pricing is not finalized but should be in line with Dura-Ace Di2 for the Record EPS group, that Super Record EPS will be more and that you should be able to get your hands on a system aftermarket early next year.

For those on the fence between mechanical and electronic, it’s worth considering what it would cost for cable and housing replacements and tuneups over the life of the system. If you’re buying high-end cables and housing, a few changes narrows the lifetime cost difference between mechanical and electronic. Sadly, it does nothing to mitigate sticker shock.

All photos ©Campagnolo.

Comments

An Alternative Aero Engineer - 11/08/11 - 12:36pm

Good Lord…. (which means: I want it now!)

Will - 11/08/11 - 12:51pm

good looking, but once again. . . electronic driven parts seem to be counter-intuitive to a sport that is about getting outside and away from the machine.

i doubt very much that race times would change at all for someone racing with electronic shifting (all other things being equal). . .

i do believe that a lot of people will spend 4 or 5 thousand on it though.

Trulyspokin - 11/08/11 - 1:05pm

Hopefully an upgrade kit will be available, derailleurs and shifters,and we won’t have to buy it as a full new group

Kovas - 11/08/11 - 1:45pm

What?! All this and no electric brakes?!?!

Steve - 11/08/11 - 2:47pm

Stop for a second. Imagine this stuff was from Sunrace, with the injection-molded plastic parts and the dull black look, and the bulky, inelegant shapes and volumes. Would you really still like it?

I think it’s a shame to add complexity, cost, and batteries to vehicles that need none of it. If you want electricity, you should have to generate it via rider power.

Robin - 11/08/11 - 3:33pm

I think it’s a shame to worry about what someone else is riding, what they’re getting out of it, and why.

I was hoping there’d be a journo with fast typing fingers that would get a ride report out today, but that doesn’t seem to have happened yet. Campy does say more e-gruppos are planned for the future, so this will be interesting indeed.

I tried imagining this stuff was made by Sunrace…..then Mavic……then Almagamated Fishmongers, and I realized all the imagining was a stupid, pointless exercise, especially since these groups are made by Campy.

Now I’m going to pretend I have infinite energy and can go the speed of light………zooooooom!

TMCCLUNG - 11/08/11 - 4:25pm

If the UCI is looking for help this would be the place to find it. Requirements below.

1. Dislike innovation and new ideas.
2. Likes to bitch.
3. Stuck in the 60′s
4. Dislikes cycling
5. Like to be over paid
6. Dislikes Obree
7. Did I say likes to bitch already?

No one is forcing you to buy anything so shut up and ride. I used to like reading about Lance but now I hate seeing his name on a title of an article. Not because of who he is or what he has possibly done or doing but because of people who can’t keep their mouth shut and just enjoy the sport. No one knows anything for sure. Please ease up on the negative b.s.

Rus - 11/08/11 - 5:55pm

To me, this isn’t about replacing cables with electronics. But you have to get that right before you can move forward. This means we can start adding new controls that can’t be done mechanically.

90% of improvement in efficiency (and resulting mpg) of automobiles is due to electronics. Bring on electronic controls to cover all the yet-to-be-solved problems in cycling!

Joshua Murdock - 11/08/11 - 5:58pm

Thank you, TMCCLUNG! That needed to be said. I say this a lot but it’s quite applicable to many scenarios… Almost everyone bashed innovations like carbon fiber, 9sp, 10sp, 11sp, suspension forks, rear suspension, disc brakes, hydraulic disc brakes, the new BB “standards” that are unveiled bi-monthly, etc…

And yet, once these innovations are a few years old, where do they go? On all of our bikes. I mean, constructive criticism is certainly acceptable, but there should be no room for senseless and unfounded bashing of new ideas.

“I think the bike should be pure and mechanical only” is a completely valid opinion.
“Electric shifting is dumb and worthless” is a worthless comment, itself. That hasn’t been posted on this article, yet…

If you simply reject all new innovations I hope you only ride steel bikes with downtube shifters. But if you do exactly that and enjoy it, than who are we to say it’s wrong?

Nathan - 11/08/11 - 6:51pm

TT Shifters??

Cor - 11/08/11 - 9:18pm

I think those rear mechs look dead sexy, and I usually stay away from the full carbon look, but that is nice!

Gillis - 11/08/11 - 10:34pm

@Cor: I would agree accept for the gold tumor sticking out the front. I mean really, they couldn’t figure out how to get rid of whatever that is supposed to do? Unlike the Di2, this rear der almost looks like its mechanical counter part, save for the stupid protrusion.

Colin - 11/08/11 - 11:11pm

@Gillis, that “gold tumor” is the spring, it needs it to move.

Eric - 11/09/11 - 1:23am

Man I was so hoping campy would have a different solution to the rear derailleur power cable. Like Di2, it still looks like its a real derailleur cable, is it meant to be retro looking or something?

Robin - 11/09/11 - 1:39am

Obviously, being an electronic group requires different solutions which can force certain aesthetic results. For their part, I think Campy has done an excellent job at least with the aesthetics of the new groups. Likewise, I think Shimano has done well with the aesthetics, too. Let’s face it, electronic groups are still new to cycling (2 years for Shimano….that’s still new in terms of the history of cycling) and as such their appearance is a counter to what we expect. Our expectations, though, aren’t always reasonable and don’t always take into account objective requirements. We’ll grow to electronic groups and their appearance.

Think about how odd old groups look, and by old, I mean groups made before brake cables were run under bar tape….well, think about how odd or even “ugly” they might look to the newest generations of cyclists.

Rob - 11/09/11 - 2:25am

I know it probably sounds counterintuitive, but I’d really like to see an affordable version of this. My bike has a Centaur/Veloce mix and works amazingly. Not being a weight wiener doesn’t mean I have to give up shifting, ya know. I’d love to see something made of aluminum with a 10-speed cassette.

Robin - 11/09/11 - 4:30am

Campy has indicated that there will be other e-groups in the future besides the Super Record and Record EPS.

Tyler (Editor) - 11/10/11 - 4:49pm

Dear readers,
If you’re reading this for a second time, you’ll notice that it’s been completely rewritten. There are some additional features like individual component weights, battery specs, etc. It’s a much better, more comprehensive article.

Our first iteration inappropriately used information from a competitor’s article. We were not invited to the official launch in Italy and in our excitement to get the news out used poor judgement in how we went about it. For this we are very sorry.

It is not, nor has it ever been, our intention to build this site on the backs of other peoples’ efforts. We take this matter very seriously and have made changes to our own internal policies. We look forward to continuing to provide great original content and, when appropriate linking to others in the appropriate manner and giving credit where credit is due. BikeRadar, Bicycling, Road.cc and Road Bike Action, among others, all have excellent first hand coverage that adds to this story and we encourage you to check it out.

Sincerely,

Tyler Benedict, Editor/Founder

bk - 11/10/11 - 5:36pm

Just lost a reader due to your plagiarism on the original article Tyler…

Allen Krughoff - 11/10/11 - 5:49pm

In ‘your excitement to get the news out’ you stole other people’s hard work in order to drive traffic to your site, your advertisers and your bank account? That is truly terrible.

roadccdave - 11/10/11 - 5:53pm

We didn’t get to go either, Tyler. It probably wasn’t as good without you and us :-)

Alex - 11/10/11 - 5:56pm

You bury your “sorry I stole your original work and tried to pass it off as my own” edit in the comments? That’s pretty low, Tyler.

You’re in the wrong. Man up, put an apology at the top of your page and take your lumps. An edit and apology on an aged piece is a weak gesture.

Gerard - 11/10/11 - 6:01pm

Mavic Zap anyone?

Seriously though, seeing this as I eat my post ride breakfast seems quite apt. Riding this morning I was actually thinking just how well my 10spd Shimano shifters work. Effortless, responsive and all achieved with a simple cable.

At Sea Otter we saw the hydraulic shifting, then Shimano’s electric Dura Ace and now Campy’s attempt. I don’t poo poo on innovation, far from it. I was on board with suspension on MTB’s in the early 90′s and disc brakes back in the 90′s, all despite the ney sayers saying that these things were fads. Same with carbon. But I simply can not get my head around wanting to replace the mechanical simplicity, efficiency and ‘lightness’ of a cable to actuate derailleurs with electronics, batteries and ‘brains’. C-dale tried it with their fork and that died in the arse despite working well.

Sure, this might all be a technological step forward and bravo for companies finally achieving what Mavic etc. tried to do. My question is, is this really a step forward for riders, or just a new way to get people to spend more money in a market that’s flat lined?

For the vast majority of riders, the minute benefit that electronic shifting will provide will be far outweighed by the added complexity, high maintenance and replacement costs, ultimately making this sort of gear for those mid life crisis riders who have very fat wallets to spend on all the latest stuff.

Sorry for the rant.

Cheers,

g

Ian - 11/10/11 - 6:29pm

Dear editor – retractions and apologies for wholesale lifting of information in the way you did have no business buried in the comments.
Your masking of poor journalistic habits is a shame, and deeply regrettable.

The sorts of comments you make,
“Our first iteration inappropriately used information from a competitor’s article. We were not invited to the official launch in Italy and in our excitement to get the news out used poor judgement in how we went about it. For this we are very sorry.

It is not, nor has it ever been, our intention to build this site on the backs of other peoples’ efforts. We take this matter very seriously and have made changes to our own internal policies.”

belongs where the following is found:

“UPDATE: Now with complete component weights and other details. This article has been completely rewritten upon receiving official materials from Campagnolo. See comments for full explanation.”

I’m a huge fan of your site, but this is incredibly bad form.

Fred Zeppelin - 11/10/11 - 6:34pm

Just kept a reader due to owning up to your mistake and posting about it publicly. Please don’t let it happen again.

coop - 11/10/11 - 10:28pm

This will most likely set a new standard for style and function.It looks like it will be worth the time the y put into the whole system and not just parts of it.The only thing I can see that would kill the system is the price.I bet the big S is taking a long look.And Sram is holding its breath,what now!

Dave - 11/13/11 - 6:45am

Odd about the SR cassette having 3 Ti cogs. For 2010 and 2011 it had 6 Ti cogs and Record had 3. Maybe an error?

chris urban - 07/20/13 - 7:35pm

yes, i know there is “zero mode” what i like to know is how to calibrate the system?
campy wants this function performed by campy certified mechanic, give me a break, what? i will hit the wrong button?
any input?

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