Where is the Campagnolo style in 2009?

Record Delta brakes

Campagnolo Record Delta brakes - circa 1988* Photo: Leigh West

I’m sure the new 2009 top end kit works like a dream, but lets face it, cycling is as much about aesthetics as anything. And if there is one component manufacturer that sums up this up more than any other, it’s the Italian firm Campagnolo. Or, I think, used to sum this up.

This week, Cycling Weekly have confirmed all the spy shots and rumours about an overhaul of the 2009 Campag offerings and re-introduction of Super-Record. 11 speed cassettes are one thing, but it’s the new ergo levers and rear-mech that concern me. Carbon fibre has taken over the whole show, and although it can look good in moderation, there are no clean crisp lines to be seen. Functional? Probably. Aerodynamic? Doesn’t look like it. Good looking? Er, no thanks love.

Pick up any cycling magazine in the past couple of years and you’ll notice an amazing amount of retro articles abounding - harking back to a golden age (the 80’s, bizarrely) where bike technology leapt forward with style, the racing was exciting and EPO just a sponsors dream. But look at the bikes - and look at the kit that Campagnolo were producing - it’s was so stylish. Yes, I wanted some of it, and I couldn’t afford it. Not on my Sunday job wages.

I never want to go back, I just want some style injected into modern cycle components, not just carbon. Still, the new Shimano Dura-Ace looks quite nice…

*Issue 5 of Rouleur magazine has an excellent article on Campy Record Delta Brakes