News broke yesterday that Campagnolo has released a new groupset called Potenza, which means strength or power in Italian.
The mechanical Potenza kit is clearly targeted to those riders that want the features Campagnolo offers, but are on a tighter budget than those reaching for Super Record, Record or Chorus. The Potenza’s main drivetrain components, the crankset and derailleurs, forego the use of carbon fiber and are constructed of aluminum. The group is designed to compete with Shimano’s Ultegra kit and replaces the Athena groupo in the line-up.
Potenza does have many of Campagnolo’s higher-end kit features, such as a front derailleur shape like that found on the Super Record kit designed to offer greater mechanical leverage, the four-arm crankset design found on the top-tier groups and the Italian component maker’s distinctive hood shape. But it does not offer multiple upshifts and downshifts as the higher end kits do, just upshifts.
The kit may be seen as a boon for the enthusiast crowd and/or the gravel set as the Potenza derailleur comes in either a standard or long cage option, the later giving you the ability to run a new Campagnolo 11-32 11-speed cassette.
One kit option Campagnolo officials were tight-lipped on was the seemingly short-lived cyclocross crankset. While there wasn’t clear confirmation the Italian company would again offer the ‘cross-specific crank, we wouldn’t bet against it coming back into the Campagnolo line-up, and the Potenza group seems a likely candidate for such an option.
Along with the new Potenza kit, Campagnolo also released a new version of the venerable Shamal wheelset.
The Shamal is one of the first mass-produced wheelsets to receive wide usage from pros on down, with each component part designed as a system, according to Campagnolo.
The new version, the Shamal Ultra C17, has a key feature making the offering better suited to cyclocross and gravel riders, a wider internal rim width.
The new Shamal now sports a 17mm internal width. Not the widest out there for sure, and designed more with 25mm and 28mm road rubber in mind, but the new width still offers ‘cross and gravel riders set on riding Campagnolo an option, particularly in what it dubs its 2-way fit tubeless version.
Stopping those new wheels on a Campagnolo bike coming at you in the future may be hydraulic disc brakes from the storied parts makers.
Seemingly the last one to the table on disc brakes, Campagnolo showed off “Campy Tech Lab” branded hydraulic disc offerings at a recent press camp near its Italian headquarters. There were no test rides, but it seems Campagnolo is coming out with versions to suit everyone, flat mount or post mount versions set up for either mechanical or EPS drivetrains.
The road disc offerings aren’t currently available to the public and there’s no clear timeline on when that may (will) happen.
Campagnolo components marked “Tech Lab” are prototype units in various stages of testing, either in-house or under professional riders. Word is that Pro Tour teams sponsored by Campagnolo will have access to these new disc offerings during the Spring Classics.
The rest of us that want to ride Campagnolo disc brakes will just have to wait.