Vintage Campagnolo Super Record Review

Vintage Campagnolo Super Record Review

Campagnolo ‘Super Record’ components were first sold in 1974 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.

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.

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 4 main variations of the Super Record group set.

Steel vs Titanium Group Sets

Campagnolo offered the group in 2 versions; steel or titanium. The differences were found in the following parts;

  • Pedals – steel axle vs. titanium axle.
  • Bottom bracket- steel axle and cups vs. titanium axle with alloy cups.

Anniversary Group Sets

Campagnolo released 2 anniversary editions of the Super Record group set;

  • Campagnolo 50th Anniversary Super Record to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Campagnolo. The first 5000 group sets sold out instantly so another 10,000 were manufactured. Each group set is individually numbered, the lower numbered sets more valuable. Group set #0001 is in Campagnolo’s museum and #0002 was presented to the Pope John Paul II. The inside crank are is stamped with the serial number.
  • Colnago 30th Anniversary Super Record to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Colnago. This group was sold fitted to a small number of Colnago Arabesque bicycles.
Campagnolo 50th Anniversary Groupset

All components in the 2 anniversary editions of Super Record were essentially standard, but 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 Colnago 30th Anniversary Groupset

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 a number of 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.

Campagnolo Super Record Catalog No.18 (early 1980’s)

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 or aluminium parts 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
– Aluminium bottom bracket cups
– Titanium rear derailleur bolts

Record Group
– Steel Headset
– Steel bottom bracket axle
– Steel bottom bracket cups
– Standard rear derailleur bolts

Performance

I have installed Campagnolo Super Record on my Colnago Master and the components 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. The wheel hubs are very smooth rolling. The brakes are OK (considering they are only single pivot callipers). The cranks and chainrings are stiff for my 82kgs. The headset and bottom bracket work perfectly and both front and rear derailleurs work well once you set the right tension in the cables and gear shifting levers. Remember that Super Record components were used by many professional riders back in the 70’s and 80’s, so they are high quality, durable parts.

Aesthetics

Obviously a personal thing, but I love the design and styling of the components as well as the anodised silver finish. I also love the drilled brake levers. Because most of the parts are alloy, they are less susceptible to corrosion than steel parts.

Campagnolo Super Record crank with scratches on silver anodized finish.

The downside is if the silver anodised finish is worn or damaged, it is difficult to restore the finish to original. Some repairers I have spoken with say that modern anodising gives a more milky finish. The outside face of the crank arms is a common place for wear to occur.

Installation Tips

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 really 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 your 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.

References

I hope you found this article interesting. I have listed the following website pages as general references.

www.campagnolo.com/WW/en/Milestones/history
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campagnolo
www.velo-retro.com/tline.html
https://premium-cycling.com/product/campagnolo-50th-anniversary-groupset-no-10595/

Disclaimer!

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.

Comments.

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.

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