|There are no short-cuts in history. What Campagnolo is today has only been possible through patience|
|On 11th November 1927, when Tullio Campagnolo was on his own under the first ascents of the Croce d'Aune pass, he was not afraid and did not surrender. So now, as we can count on crowds of friends, enthusiasts and admirers of Campagnolo® products along our path, nothing will stop us. It is specifically from that image from the start of the century that we wish to retrace the salient milestones in our past and present history.
An alternative idea
Campagnolo was founded eighty years ago, in 1933. Soon the idea of the quick release turned out to be too constrictive for the young Campagnolo: why not redesign the entire gear?
This led to the debut of the famous “rod gear” which marked the launch of a specific school of thought: no chain-stretcher and pulleys. Campagnolo dreamt up a completely innovative path: eliminating pulleys means reducing friction and making the system insensitive to mud. The Campagnolo® brand began to consolidate its reputation for meticulous and precise workmanship.
The contribution of champions
The rod gear evolved into the Corsa 1001 version with which Gino Bartali won the Tour de France in 1948, and then into the Paris-Roubaix 1002 version, so-called in honour of Fausto Coppi for his victory in the homonymous race in 1950.
Their respective teams, Bianchi and Legnano, also used Campagnolo® components in those years. But gear technology had arrived at a turning point: the first derailleur with an articulated parallelogram, the Gran Sport 1012, debuted in 1950 and established the standard to which all manufacturers would soon refer.
The “groupset” is born
The second half of the fifties saw the introduction of the Record™, accompanied by a set of new components: seat post, headset, pedals and crankset. While manufacturers at the time used components made by various brands, Campagnolo went against the grain by offering set of components made by the same manufacturer and designed for improved interaction with one another. This was how the “groupset” concept was born.
Innovate, every time
The end of the Fifties confirmed Campagnolo®’s entrance into the motoring sector..
The new Bologna works would produce superlight wheels for cars and motorbikes in Elektron magnesium alloy which in a few years would become the preferred type on British roadsters and Italian, American and German custom-built cars.
Campagnolo® was the first company in the world to use the technique of casting magnesium in earth that would revolutionize the use of this material.
Even NASA made use of it: the Elektron alloy chassis of the OSO 6 satellite, launched in 1969, used Campagnolo® castings..
Some years later this commitment led the International Magnesium Association to honour Campagnolo with the “Design and Application Award”.
1983. Campagnolo is 50 years old. 50 years of racing victories, but first and foremost, 50 years of technical victories.
The Gruppo del Cinquantenario collection was designed to mark this important occasion. It is an exclusive limited series of products, autographed and numbered specially for all those enthusiasts who make cycling not only a sport, but also a lifestyle.
In 1986, the Campagnolo product range expanded with the arrival of the first lenticular wheel, the Ghibli M23, developed in two distinct models, one for the racetrack and the other for the road.
The Shamal™ era
The link between cycling champions and Campagnolo® has always been very strong.
In 1994 Eugeni Berzin and Miguel Indurain, respectively, won the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France using the Shamal™, a wheel that revolutionized the very concept of the wheel.
Performance and materials
The carbon fibre years were approaching. Campagnolo® selected a less conventional way to develop parts in composite material: instead of outsourcing production, the choice was made to bring the associated know-how into the company. This decision was a winning choice and allowed Campagnolo® to redevelop our components in a more modern high-performance key. The much-admired Ergopower™ controls in carbon arrived in 1999.
The present and the future
In 2003, carbon manufacturing was improved: the Record™ group cranksets were launched and the next year saw the first appearance of the Hyperon™ for clincher tyres, with a carbon fibre monocoque structure, hubs included.
In the race towards improved gearing, Campagnolo® continued pedalling ahead of the competition with the introduction of the first 10-speed transmission for the Record™ and Chorus™ groupsets.
The future is upon us, and various spoking techniques are being studied: the G3 geometry comes into being. In 2006 the classic ISO truncated cone coupling gave way to a new standard: Ultra-Torque™. The new crankset makes it possible to drastically reduce lateral dimensions as the coupling between the two parts is now located in the middle of the axle.
In 2008, for the first time in history, Campagnolo introduced the 11-speed drivetrain to the world of cycling, an ambitious project that gave cycling enthusiasts an extra gear for confronting any kind of route, including the toughest climbs.
In addition to the 11-speed groupsets, Campagnolo also entered the world of tubeless tires, proposing a less restrictive choice, however, with the 2-Way Fit wheels and their innovative rim profile that makes it possible to fit either a tubeless tire or a classic clincher..
In 2011 Campagnolo opened a fundamental new chapter in its glorious history when it introduced the EPS electronic drivetrain. This was a landmark for both the future of the company and the future of the bicycle, and the crowning moment of an idea conceived twenty years earlier, and pursued, developed and finalised with the hallmark competence and determination of the company.
2013 will be another momentous year for Campagnolo, with the eightieth anniversary of its foundation and the thirtieth anniversary of the passing of its founder further motivating the company to continue to proudly be an exemplary case and global ambassador of Italian entrepreneurship.