Vintage Campagnolo Super Record Front Derailleur Review

Campagnolo Super Record Front Derailleur braze on
Campagnolo Super Record Front Derailleur (braze-on mount).
Required for frames that have a front derailleur mount installed.

History

Campagnolo Super Record was released in 1974 as the successor to Campagnolo’s top tier group set, Nuovo Record. Whilst the front derailleur design didn’t change much between these groups, the Super Record front derailleur is easily identified by it’s black upper and lower pivot arms. The Nuovo Record front derailleur had silver coloured pivot arms.

The Super Record front derailleur was available with 2 different mounting options ie. braze-on (pictured above) or clamp mount (pictured below). Your frame will determine which derailleur mount you require. In the late 1980’s, Super Record was replaced by C-Record.

The return spring on this front derailleur has plenty of power to shift the chain from the large to the small chain ring once the cable tension is released by the shifter.

Campagnolo Super Record Front Derailleur with clamp
Campagnolo Super Record Front Derailleur (clamp mount).
Required for older frames with no front derailleur mount.

Campagnolo 50th Anniversary Version

Campagnolo Super Record 50th anniversary front derailleur
Campagnolo Super Record 50th anniversary front derailleur

In 1983 Campagnolo released a special version of the Super Record group set to commemorate their 50th anniversary (founded in 1933). Many of the parts featured special engravings and gold shields. Notice the pivot arms of this version are silver rather than black. The cage is also engraved differently.

1978 C.P.S.C Ruling

In 1978 the Consumer Product Safety Commission (C.P.S.C.) required a front lip to be added to the Nuovo Record and Super Record front derailleurs. Subsequently this resulted in a 2.5 mm increase in spacing between crank spider and arm to clear the new lip and required the bottom bracket axle to be increased in length.

Parts Schematic (Braze-on type)

Campagnolo Super Record front derailleur parts schematic (braze-on)
Campagnolo Super Record front derailleur parts schematic (braze-on)

Parts Schematic (Clamp type)

Campagnolo Super Record front derailleur parts schematic (clamp)
Campagnolo Super Record front derailleur parts schematic (clamp)

Installing the Front Derailleur

The following instructions are the method I used to set-up the front derailleur on my vintage Colnago road bike and it works very well.

  • I set the height of the derailleur so the lower outside edge of the cage clears the tallest teeth of the large chain ring by approx. 1 to 3mm.
  • I then aligned the lower outside edge of the cage to be parallel with the large chain ring (just like a modern Shimano derailleur).

Connecting the Shift Cable

  • Make sure that the friction shifter for the front derailleur is all the way forward and resting against the stop (so no cable is wound-in).
  • Before connecting the shift cable to the derailleur, look for the groove in the upper arm (pictured below). The shift cable is designed to be fixed into this groove, however, due to the angle of the groove not aligning with the travel of the cable, it can be a little tricky to lock the cable taught in this exact position.
  • Once the cable is tightened in place, pulling the shift lever backward will cause the derailleur to travel out toward the large chain ring.
Front derailleur shift cable clamp location
Front derailleur shift cable clamp groove

I spent a bit of time working with the cable tension to remove all slack so that the derailleur responds the moment you begin moving the lever. However you may prefer to set it up differently. The important thing is the derailleur is able to travel far enough across to shift the chain to the large chain ring before the shift lever runs out of travel.

Adjusting the Limit Screws

Front derailleur limit screws
Front derailleur limit screws

The front derailleur features 2 limit screws as indicated on the above diagram.

Limit screw (A) is designed to restrict outward travel of the front derailleur. Set this screw with the chain on the largest chain ring and smallest cog. Take your time to set this accurately, you don’t want the derailleur rubbing on the inside of the crank arm.

Limit screw (B) is designed to restrict inward travel of the front derailleur. This setting will stop the chain dropping off the smallest chain ring and falling on the frame. Set this screw with the chain on the smallest chain ring and largest sprocket.

Front Derailleur Capacity

According to the 1985 Campagnolo catalogue (no.18), Campagnolo offered road chain rings in sizes 42 teeth to 57 teeth, however it is not specified what the maximum allowable difference between the small and large chain rings may be. My Super Record crankset is fitted with standard 52t – 42t chain ring combination (difference of 10 teeth) and the front derailleur works extremely well.

Whilst modern front derailleurs can handle a difference of 16t (50-34t compact crankset), I am not sure what the maximum difference is for the 1980’s Super Record front derailleur. After reading some online forums, I believe some pros were riding a 42-54t combination which is a difference of 12t and possibly more.

Super Record Component Weight

I have weighed a set of Super Record components and quite surprisingly, these vintage parts compares quite favourably against the weight of a modern Campagnolo Super Record group set.

Learn more about Campagnolo Super Record

This article is just a small part of my full review of Campagnolo Super Record groupset.

References

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

sscycleworks.com/components/derailleur-front-campagnolo.html
www.velo-retro.com/tline.html
forums.roadbikereview.com

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.

About Me.

I have been riding and working on my own bikes for many years now. I wanted to share my experiences, knowledge and research with others. My aim is to inspire people to get involved in all aspects of this amazing sport. Cheers.

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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