[CR]Campagnolo titanium parts

(Example: Framebuilding:Technology)

From: "The Maaslands" <TheMaaslands@comcast.net>
To: "CR" <Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Subject: [CR]Campagnolo titanium parts
Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2006 14:26:29 -0500


Jan wrote:

"At the 1973 Paris bike show, Campagnolo introduced the following parts (from Daniel Rebour's article in Le Cycle 12/1973):"

IT SHOULD BE POINTED OUT THAT THE PARIS SHOW WAS NOT CONSIDERED BY ANY NON-FRENCH COMPANY AS BEING THE PRIMARY TRADE SHOW TO DISPLAY AT, AT THE TIME. I REMEMBER GOING TO THE 1972 SHOW IN PARIS. IT WAS ALMOST ENTIRELY A FRENCH SHOW. ALL THOSE INTERESTED IN GETTING INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION OF THEIR NEW PRODUCTS LOOKED TO COLOGNE, MILAN AND SOMETIMES NEW YORK TO LAUNCH; THEREFORE MUCH OF WHAT WAS SEEN DISPLAYED IN PARIS BY NON-FRENCH COMPANIES WAS NOT "NEW" OR NECESSARILY DEFINITIVE.

- Nuovo Record derailleur with titanium bolts. The article calls it just the "Campagnolo rear derailleur" and the Rebour drawing clearly shows it's labeling "Nuovo record." Also, it does not appear to have black pivot housings. So no trace of a Super Record yet. (In fact, the name Super Record is not mentioned.)"

THIS IS THE FIRST GENERATION SUPER RECORD, WHICH WAS IDENTICAL TO THE NUOVO RECORD EXCEPT FOR THE BOLTS AND THE COLOUR OF THE TWO BODY PARTS. IT IS QUITE LIKELY THAT THE FIRST DERAILLEURS DID INDEED CARRY THE NUOVO RECORD FRONT PLATES AS THE NR WERE ALREADY IN PRODUCTION AND IT WAS THE TITANIUM BOLTS AND NOT THE NAME ON THE FRONT PLATE THAT WOULD HAVE INTERESTED THE PURCHASERS. FURTHERMORE, IT IS VIRTUALLY CERTAIN THAT CAMPAGNOLO HAD BEEN TESTING THE TITANIUM BOLTS ON PRO RIDERS BIKES FOR QUITE SOME TIME BEFORE THEY WERE OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED AS A SECOND MODEL. ON THE PROS' BIKES THEY WOULD HAVE CARRIED THE NUOVO RECORD FRONT PLATE AND WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ANODIZED BLACK. SO THE ONE SHOWN COULD QUITE EASILY HAVE BEEN ONE SET UP FOR ONE OF THE PRO TEAMS.

"The whole stuff seems to have been called "Serie Ultra-Legere" or "Ultralight Series."

WHOLE STUFF? WHAT DOES THIS INDICATE? IS "Série Ultra-Légère" REBOUR'S DESCRIPTION, OR IS IT AN OFFICIAL CAMPAGNOLO DESIGNATION? MY GUESS IS THAT THIS IS REBOUR'S DESCRIPTION. IN PRE-SHOW 1973, CAMPAGNOLO WAS STILL REFERRING TO THE COMPONENTS BY THE ITALIAN MONIKER 'SUPERLEGGERI AL TITANIO' WHICH WOULD TRANSLATE TO 'Super-légère au titane' IN FRENCH AND NOT 'Ultra-légère en titane'. IN THE RALEIGH CATALOG, (CHECK OUT HERE: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/retroraleighs/catalogs/Raleigh-Catalog-1974.p df) YOU CAN SEE THAT THEY DESCRIBE IT SIMPLY AS 'THE NEWEST SUPER LIGHT TITANIUM CAMPAGNOLO COMPONENTS'. TO SOMEBODY READING ONLY THE ENGLISH, THIS COULD READILY LEAD TO A POSSIBLE MISINTERPRETATION OF THE MEANING OF TITANIUM. IT COULD BE UNDERSTOOD TO MEAN FULLY TITANIUM, WHEREAS THE MEANING IN ITALIAN IS CLEAR THAT IT IS MORE 'WITH TITANIUM' THAN 'OF TITANIUM'.

"- Titanium chainrings. These were black, and look like Super Record ones. The weight gain comes from the cut-away profile made possible by titanium being stronger than aluminum."

CAMPAGNOLO DID MAKE SOME BLACK ANODIZED ALUMINUM CHAINRINGS, AND APPARENTLY THERE WAS THOUGHT GIVEN TO MARKETING THE SUPER RECORD ONES THAT WAY. APART FROM THE TITANIUM CLAIM, THIS WOULD THEREFORE CORRESPOND TO THE REAL SUPER RECORD GRUPPO. IT SHOULD ALSO BE NOTED THAT THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON TO PAINT TITANIUM, SO THE MERE FACT THAT THEY ARE BLACK WOULD TEND TO MAKE ONE THINK THAT REBOUR EITHER MISUNDERSTOOD OR WAS MISLEAD ABOUT THE MATERIAL USED.

"- Titanium spindle, with pressed-on steel bearing races."

THIS IS THE STANDARD SUPER RECORD

"- Titanium pedal cages, black. 270 grams per pair."

THE FACT THAT THESE ARE BLACK GIVES CREDENCE TO THE LIKELIHOOD THAT THESE ARE ACTUALLY THE SUPER RECORD PEDALS WITH ALLOY CAGES AND TITANIUM SPINDLES.

"- Titanium headset, weight 110 grams without balls, black."

HERE TOO, THE BLACK COLOUR LEADS ONE TO EXPECT THAT THE HEADSET WAS ALUMINUM ALLOY AND NOT TITANIUM. THIS TOO WAS SEEN AS PART OF THE SUPER RECORD GRUPPO IN THE RALEIGH CATALOG.

"- Drilled-out brake levers. Look like Super Record to me."

THEY ARE SUPER RECORD LEVERS.

"The text also mentions that combined with seatpost and hubs - about which they don't give any specifics - the weight savings of this new group are more than 600 grams (230 gram from the chainrings, 140 gram from the bottom bracket). The article says that the plan is to have these pieces available by early 1974."

PERHAPS IN THE FRENCH MARKET IN EARLY 1974, BUT THE REAL SUPER RECORD GRUPPO WAS ALREADY AVAILABLE IN ITALY IN 1973. THE FALIERO MASI BIKE THAT I RECENTLY SOLD ON BEHALF OF MATTEO HAD A 1973 PATENT DATE REAR SUPER RECORD DERAILLEUR. YOU CAN ALSO SEE ONE HERE, IN KAUZO'S COLLECTION: http://members.jcom.home.ne.jp/my_bianchi/from1979%20sr.htm

"Questions: Has anybody ever seen the titanium (or any black) SR chainrings? How about the ti pedal cages and headset?

Also, when were the aluminum SR chainrings first available? What about SR derailleurs - when were they available?"

I BELIEVE ONE CAN SAY WITH REASONABLE CERTAINTY THAT NO TITANIUM CHAINRINGS, PEDAL CAGES OR HEADSETS WERE EVER COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE FROM CAMPAGNOLO. AT LEAST A FULL PRE-PRODUCTION OR PROTOTYPE SERIES OF THE BLACK COLOURED COMPONENTS WERE PRODUCED, HOWEVER WITHOUT ANY RELEVANT MARKET APPEARANCE. APPARENTLY THE FULL SUPER RECORD GRUPPO WAS LAUNCHED IN 1973, WITH FIRST DELIVERIES TAKING PLACE IN 1973 AND 1974. REMEMBER THE 1974 RALEIGH CATALOG WAS DISTRIBUTED AT THE FALL 1973 BIKE SHOWS AND WAS THEREFORE PUT INTO PRODUCTION IN MID-1973.

ONE LAST POINT THAT I HAVE MADE PREVIOUSLY, BUT THAT BEGS REPEATING, IT IS BAD FORM AND ILL-ADVISED TO BASE ANY SUPPOSITIONS REGARDING CAMPAGNOLO OR ANY NON-FRENCH COMPANY ON PURELY FRENCH SHOW INFORMATION OR SOURCES. ORIGINAL LANGUAGE SOURCES ARE INVARIABLY BETTER. IT IS ALSO BEST NOT TO RELY ON ONLY ONE SOURCE.

Steven Maasland
Moorestown, NJ