I appreciate both Aldo's and Chuck's comments regarding the demise of the Cambio Corsa and Paris Roubaix gear systems from Campagnolo. I believe that rather than looking to the Cambio Corsa for a comparison, the Paris Roubaix system can best be compared to the C-Record gruppo. As Aldo correctly describes, the PR was a thing of pure aesthetic beauty and an incredible technical development of an already obsolete idea. It was the perfect expression of Campagnolo's Italianess: with style being an integral part of the product. I have long been a fan of the Cambio Corsa and Paris Roubaix. I am also an unabashed lover of most of the components of the C-Record Gruppo too. They too were heavy in 'design' (and overall weight) and were the last gasps of breath for an antiquated gear system.
I spent a bit of time with Aldo at le cirque trying to describe the basics of the functioning of the Paris-Roubaix system. After over 10 years of ownership of a PR bike, I was under the impression that I had quite a good handle on the system. I can now tell that Aldo has gone into far greater detail as to how it works. This makes me very happy and all that more keen to complete the rebuilding of the PR equipped bike that I have hanging in my garage. I would truly love to go out for a PR ride together with Chuck on his Bianchi Folgorissima, Aldo on his Learco Guerra and any other PR bikes in the US.
One of my most memorable moments in cycling was when I managed to make my first smooth shift with a PR system. As Aldo poignantly describes, it gives you an incredible high, making you forget the shortcomings of the whole system. Unlike the Simplex system of the same age, it reminds you at every shift just how much bikes have evolved. I must recommend that all CR members endeavor to search out a CC or PR bike, not necessarily to own, but to try out or simply to admire for their simple complexity. Anybody in my vicinity is welcome to check out my Benotto with CC (you can see it on the Benotto page on the CR site and no it is not for sale) or my semi-assembled PR equipped bike. When returning from my next trip to Italy, I hope to be accompanied by 4 further CC bikes (Bianchi, Bartali, Pinarello and no-name) and one more PR bike (Bianchi).
Steven Maasland Moorestown, NJ
PS to Dave Anderson: Your mailbox is full, so I couldn't respond to you offlist.