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…
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.
Note the tied and soldered spokes on the rear wheel to stiffen them up.
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.
Like Di2, there’s a small control box wired in near the shifter/brake levers.
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.