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Campagnolo is an Italian manufacturer of bicycle components with headquarters in Vicenza, Italy. The components are organised as groupsets (gruppi) and are a near-complete collection of a bicycle's mechanical parts. Campagnolo's flagship components are the Super Record, Record, and Chorus groupsets that represent their recent shift to 11-speed drivetrains. Record and the vintage Super Record (circa 1985) were the former top groupsets, followed by Chorus.
Founded by Tullio Campagnolo, the company began in 1933 in a Vicenza workshop. The founder was a racing cyclist in Italy in the 1920s and he conceived several ideas while racing, such as the quick release mechanism for bicycle wheels, derailleurs, and the rod gear for gear changing. Campagnolo have been awarded more than 135 patents for innovations in cycling technology.
At the end of the 1950s Campagnolo started to manufacture magnesium parts such as wheels for sports cars like Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati, and built chassis for NASA satellites in 1969.In the 1970s they also supplied wheels for Ferrari Formula One car.
Campagnolo worked with the racer Eddy Merckx, and produced lightweight parts for his bike used to beat the world hour record in 1972.
Following Campagnolo's success during the 1970s and 80s, innovation lagged as rival Shimano developed indexed gears and combined brake-gear levers. A foray into mountain biking, the Record-OR (off-road) groupset, contributed to the company's decline during those years. Despite its struggles, Campagnolo introduced its Ergopower shifter/brake levers and renewed its focus on the high-end road cycling components.
The late 1990s and early 2000s saw Campagnolo's increased use of carbon fiber and titanium parts in groupsets, and the development of wheelsets. In 2004 Campagnolo introduced a complete Compact drivetrain with smaller chainrings, to give lower gears than traditional drivetrains. Other innovations included a Hirth-joint engineered Ultra-Torque external-bearing crankset and G3 spoke lacing for racing wheels. In 2008, Campagnolo introduced 11-speed drivetrains with Super Record, Record and Chorus groupsets. Campagnolo is rumored to be developing an electronic version of its drivetrain.
Campagnolo have focused on road cycling and track cycling. Campagnolo sponsor teams in the UCI ProTour such as Caisse d'Epargne, Cofidis, Quick Step-Innergetic (Tom Boonen, Paolo Bettini), and Lampre. Campagnolo are associated with the victories of Eddy Merckx, who used Campagnolo almost exclusively and was friendly with Tullio Campagnolo.
Campagnolo have used various trademarks, the best known the Campagnolo signature; another is a hub quick-release lever (Tullio's most famous innovation). The logo of the company is the winged wheel.
For many years Campagnolo provided professional race mechanics with spare parts, and technical help at races. Campagnolo rely on riders and mechanics to improve products.
Road bicycle groupsetsEdit
For 2009, road bicycle groupsets include:
Campagnolo history and timelineEdit
1901 Tullio Campagnolo is born on 26 August in the eastern suburbs of Vicenza, Italy
1922 Tullio Campagnolo begins his racing career
1930 Campagnolo patent the quick-release hub
1933 After fabricating parts in the backroom of his father's hardware store, Tullio starts Campagnolo SPA with production of the quick-release hub
1940 Tullio hires his first fulltime employee. The derailleur enters production, enabling gears to change without removing the wheel. The pieces are handmade
1949 Campagnolo introduce a parallelogram rear derailleur, the Gran Sport
1956 Campagnolo introduce a parallelogram front derailleur
1963 The Record rear derailleur (chromed bronze) is introduced
1973 The Super Record Road and Track groups are introduced.
1983 Tullio Campagnolo dies on 3 February1985 Campagnolo creates Delta brakes, with a parallelogram linkage to actuate the calipers.
1986 Introduction of re-designed Record road and track groupsets (also known as C-Record), replacing Super Record as the top of range
1987 The last year of Super Record until 2008
1992 Introduction of Ergo Power levers, combining brake lever and a shift lever to answer Shimano's STI levers
1993 Delta brakes discontinued
1994 Campagnolo leave the mountain bike components business
1995 Introduction of group names on components
1997 9-speed shifting
1998 Next generation Ergo Levers and last year of Athena
1999 Introduction of the Record Carbon Ergo levers
2000 10-speed shifting introduced
2001 Carbon-fiber shifting levers for Record group
2004 Carbon-fiber cranks for Record and Chorus groups
2005 10-speed Centaur and Chorus shift and brake levers introduced for flat bar road bikes
2006 Hollow external bearing crankset announced
2007 Introduction of 10-speed Mirage and Xenon component groups, new Ultra-Torque components
2008 Introduction of 11-speed Record, Super-Record and Chorus groups
2009 Re-Introduction of 11-speed Athena component group below Chorus in product line
The ErgoBrain cyclocomputer compatible with the Ergo shifters displays cadence, gear, and the normal functions of a cyclocomputer.
Tour de France winners with CampagnoloEdit
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