Including the three EPS electronic shifting versions, Campagnolo currently offers eight groupsets from Veloce up to Super Record EPS. In the way that we journos and the great cycling public like to compare different manufacturer’s wares, we’ve always thought that Shimano’s popular Ultegra groupset matches up somewhere between Chorus and Athena, but it never felt like a fair fight.
Well for all lovers of parity and equality, worry no more, because Campagnolo’s new Potenza 11 Speed groupset is aiming to strike a direct hit on Ultegra, seemingly shuffling Athena out of the way in the process. Meaning power, intensity and strength in Italian, Campagnolo describes Potenza as an Ultegra rival (no SRAM pun intended), but with more soul. The Italians think they suffer a little in the marketplace from having too many groupsets (five mechanical options).
Sitting fourth in line beneath Campagnolo’s other mechanical groupsets (Super Record, Record and Chorus), Potenza gains trickle-down technology from its loftier cousins. The groupset is mostly alloy, and made entirely within the European Union, with production beginning in Campagnolo’s Vicenza factory, then moving to Romania as it scales up.
The new Ergopower levers maintain their familiar family ergonomics, but the tops are a little more rounded to improve the grip of riders who prefer to rest their hands there. The rubber hoods have been redesigned to stay grippy at all times, with Varicushion technology to improve vibration absorption, and a new surface that ensures water drains away. The bar clamp is now said to better fit all current road bars, and the lever body is made from a material Campagnolo calls Technopolymer, which is reinforced with carbon fibre.
The brake lever is alloy, while both shift levers are of composite construction, and the new power shift mechanism allows up to three upshifts (to inboard sprockets) at a time. Because an EPS-style thumb shift lever is fitted, downshifts are limited to one gear at a time, but ergonomics are improved. The left hand lever maintains its trim function, with an extra click between ring shifts to fine tune chain line when exceeding the front derailleur’s ideal eight-sprocket range.
Claimed weights per component
- Front derailleur: 94g
- Rear derailleur: 211g
- Shifters: 370g
- Crankset: 754g
- Chain: 235g
- Bottom bracket cups: 69g
- Brake calipers: 321g
- Cassette: 249g
- Total: 2,303g
- Ergopower shifters: €174.99
- Power-Torque crankset (any combination): €227.01
- Braze-on front derailleur: €65.62
- Power-Torque BB cups BB386: €41.96
- Power-Torque outboard BB cups: €23.54
- Rear derailleur (either cage): €145.82
- Brake calipers: €58.33
- Chain: €41.01
- Cassette 11-25, 11-27, 11-29: €154.94
- Cassette 12-27: €116.20
- Cassette 11-32: €167.85
- Groupset with 11-32 cassette: €904.18
- Groupset with 12-27 cassette: €852.53
First ride of Campagnolo Potenza 11 Speed
Shamal Ultra wheels
- Shamal Ultra C17 2-Way Fit, front & rear, Campagnolo freehub: €1250.37
- Shamal Ultra C17 2-Way Fit, front & rear, Shimano/SRAM freehub: €1255.75
- Shamal Ultra C17 clincher, front & rear, Campagnolo freehub: €1201.92
- Shamal Ultra C17 clincher, front & rear, Shimano/SRAM freehub: €1208.08
You can read more at BikeRadar.com