Campagnolo was founded by Tullio Campagnolo back in 1933. He is known for inventing the quick release lever and the rear derailleur, but the company has been awarded more than 135 patents for innovations in cycling technology.
Campagnolo ‘Super Record’ components were first sold in the early 1970’s as a successor to the Nuovo Record group which was apparently the first alloy group made by Campagnolo. In 1987, Campagnolo ended production of the Super Record group. It was replaced by C-Record (which was later replaced by Record) as the top offering. It wasn’t until 2008 that Super Record returned as the top level group. Regardless, throughout Campagnolo’s history, Super Record components have always been at the pinnacle of Campagnolo’s product range.
In this article, I will be focusing on Campagnolo Super Record components that were manufactured in the early to late 1980’s. During this period, Campagnolo released 3 versions of the Super Record group set.
- Standard Campagnolo Super Record.
- Campagnolo 50th Anniversary Super Record. To mark the 50th anniversary of Campagnolo.
- Colnago 30th Anniversary Super Record. To mark the 30th anniversary of Colnago. This group was sold fitted to a small number of Colnago Arabesque bicycles.
All components in these 3 versions of Super Record were essentially the same, but the anniversary editions featured special engravings and gold detailing. As the anniversary editions were limited, they are valuable to bicycle collectors, particularly the Colnago 30th Anniversary edition which was produced in smaller numbers.
Campagnolo Super Record was sold as a group of components. You could order it with part variations for either pista (track) or road bikes. I will focus on road components in this article. Interestingly, the Super Record group set did include some components from the second tier Record group set. These were;
- Front and rear hubs including quick releases
- Friction shift levers
Super Record Road Group Components
Please click on a component below to learn more.
- Head set
- Bottom Bracket
- Front Derailleur
- Rear Derailleur
- Brake levers
- Seat post
- Seat post bolt
- Crankset with chain rings
- Toe clips
In order to differentiate some components of the Super Record and Record groups, you need to look at the parts closely. Just like modern group sets, often the difference was in the inclusion of titanium hardware in order to make the Super Record components lighter than the equivalent Record components.
Some examples of this would be;
Super Record Group
– Alloy headset
– Titanium bottom bracket axle
– Titanium rear derailleur bolt
– Steel Headset
– Steel bottom bracket axle
– Standard rear derailleur bolt
I have installed Campagnolo Super record components on my Colnago Master and they perform very well. I particularly like the down shift on the front derailleur from a 52t chainring to a 42t chainring. It is very smooth and accurate even by modern day standards.
Obviously a personal thing, but I love the design, styling and anodised silver finish on all the components. I also love the drilled brake levers. As most of the parts are alloy with some titanium, they are less susceptible to corrosion than steel parts.
The downside is if the silver anodised finish is worn or damaged, it is difficult to restore the component to match the original anodised finish. Some repairers I have spoken with say that modern anodising gives a more milky finish than the original part. The outside face of the crank arms is a common place for wear to occur.
Tip 1. Take your time setting up the front derailleur so that it doesn’t scrape the inside of the crank arm when in it’s outer most position. You only have to look at all the used crank arms on Ebay to find nearly all of them have been scored by the front derailleur being incorrectly set-up at some point.
Tip 2. Be gentle with the seat post bolt as it is made from alloy and can only be tightened to a moderate tension. If you tighten it too much it will break. This bolt should not need to be very tight if seat post is the correct diameter for the frame.
Tip 3. Modern Campagnolo shift and brake cables are compatible with these components, but you will need a step-down ferrule for the shift cable outer at the rear derailleur. You may also require one for the frame cable guide.
Tip 4. Use the correct size cone wrenches for the headset which is made from soft alloy. These parts are very easily damaged if you don’t. Have a look on eBay to see how many are damaged with scored or rounded flats on the lock nut.
Tip 5. If you brakes squeal you may need to toe-in the pads, by either using a different set of brake pads (with conical washers) or using 2 wrenches to slightly bend the calliper arms. Sounds scary, but works well. Those calliper arms are cold-forged aluminium alloy and subsequently are pretty sturdy.
Titanium Bottom Bracket Axle Problem
The original Super Record titanium axle (pre 1983) looks very similar to the more common ‘Nuovo Record’ steel axle. The main difference being it was made from titanium to reduce weight. Unfortunately, the original design was not able to withstand the forces generated at the crank and was subsequently prone to breaking where the crank is attached. This famously happened to 1982 Giro d’Italia, race leader Laurent Fignon who had a bad crash thanks to a broken 1st gen Super Record axle.
To overcome this problem, Campagnolo redesigned the titanium axle to use nuts instead of bolts for securing the cranks to the axle. This meant that the threaded hole was no longer required in the axle and thereby eliminating the original design flaw. You will see that both versions feature steel cones pressed onto the titanium axle to provide a durable contact point with the bottom bracket bearings.
I hope you found this article interesting. I have listed the following website pages as general references.
Please remember that this information is only to be used as a guide.
I consider myself an enthusiast, not an expert. The information I have presented in this article is based on my many hours of online research.
Whilst I enjoy working on my own bikes, I am not a qualified bicycle mechanic. The content of this article is purely illustrative and does not constitute professional advice. For your own safety, any type of work should only be undertaken by a qualified bicycle mechanic. Incorrect assembly of parts could result in equipment damage, personal injury or death.
I welcome reader feedback in the comments section. Should you wish to suggest an amendment, please include a note advising the source of your information so that myself and other readers can ascertain the accuracy of your information. Note: Trolling or argumentative comments will be removed as they are counter-productive.