Campagnolo took their time, but they’re here now: the new Campagnolo hydraulic disc brakes for road bikes. They have been developed with the help of Magura, one of the biggest names in the business when it comes to hydraulic disc brakes. The alliance between Magura and Campagnolo is bound to combine German engineering with jaw dropping Italian design. There’s more good news: you can opt for hydraulic discs on both the Record and Potenza-tier groupsets. The new groupsets offer a choice for any fan of Italian components!
Shimano and Sram have had Hydraulic Disc Brakes for road bikes on offer for a while now, and at first Campagnolo seemed to be lagging a little. The fact that they took their time at Campagnolo certainly wasn’t because of a lack of faith in the potential of disc brakes on road bikes however!
Campagnolo worked with Magura -who are best known for their line-up of phenomenal mountain bike disc brakes- to create an entire collection of disc brake options for road bikes. All of which neatly play into the necessary modifications required for disc brakes.
Campagnolo H11 Ergopower Shifters
The Campagnolo Ergopower has been with us for years. The ergonomics and simplicity of the design are a big hit with riders at all levels. The new hydraulic versions have been given the name of “H11” and are on the same level as the current Record groupset, according to Campagnolo.
Just like their cable-operated counterparts, the Campagnolo H11 Ergopower shifters use gorgeous carbon brake levers. This alone makes your bike look faster.
Hydraulic disc brakes require a little more hardware in the levers than regular rim brakes. This means that they’ve had to alter the shape of the shifters slightly. This is where the know-how brought on board by Magura really helped the Italian engineers at Campagnolo. Their specialism has ensured that the H11 Ergopower shifters are just 8 mm taller than the mechanical version!
The shifting mechanism has also remained exactly the same. This means that life-long Campagnolo users can effortlessly switch to the new system.
The H11 Ergopower shifters are available in both mechanical and EPS guises. They’re compatible with the existing derailleurs in the Record groupsets.
Ultra-Shift and Multishift for the mechanical and electronic EPS groupsets respectively, allow you to shift through multiple gears with a single action. The starting position and dead zone of the brake levers are entirely adjustable to your own preferences.
Campagnolo Potenza 11
Not just the top-end groupsets have been given hydraulic brakes. The Campagnolo Potenza groupset has also been given hydraulic disc brakes with the Campagnolo Potenza 11 components.
Contrary to the H11 Ergopower shifters, the Potenza 11 brake levers will be made of aluminium. Identical to their mechanical counterparts. The shifting mechanism in all levers is identical to the one found in the regular Campagnolo Potenza mechanical groupset.
Brake Calipers and Rotors
A couple of good grips alone won’t cut it. You’ll also be needing proper brake calipers and rotors! The brake calipers of the Campagnolo hydraulic disc brakes are made from forged aluminium. They also use the flat mount system and don’t require any spacers or converters. This makes for a more rigid unit and ensures sleeker looks.
Campagnolo offers a 160 mm front brake option, and a choice between 160 and 140 mm rear rotors. The pistons come in at 22 mm across and use a magnetic spring mechanism. This ensures that the pistons return to their resting position quicker when you release the brakes compared to mechanical springs.
The actual braking happens upon contact between the brake pads and the brake rotor of course. Both have been designed by Campagnolo themselves. The pads have been designed with optimal performance in mind without sacrificing safety or durability.
The compound used in the pads can take a high amount of heat. This ensures stable braking performance under all conditions. Swapping wheels has also been made easier because of their unique pad design. They taper out slightly to guide the rotors between the pads.
The rotors complete the set and have been designed to resist overheating. The rotors have highly rounded edges, conforming to the safety demands made by the riders.
Campagnolo H11 and Potenza Cranks
The use of disc brakes on road bikes has also caused frame manufacturers to redesign their bikes. The internal width of the rear fork has been increased with the arrival of through axles to a solid 142 mm, which would normally cause a less optimal chain line.
The crankset is often identical to regular cranks, but the cassette is moved slightly further outward because of the wider rear forks.
The engineers at Campagnolo have considered this by designing two brand-new crank sets. The Campagnolo H11 crankset and Potenza 11 crankset.
Both cranks have been designed to consider the wider rear dimensions but without altering the Q-factor compared to the regular versions!
Campagnolo Bora DB (Disc Brake)
The hydraulic disc brakes only form half the story. You’ll also be needing a suitable set of wheels after all. As an answer to that need, Campagnolo gives us the DB version of the legendary Campagnolo Bora One wheels. More on this very soon!
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