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. Throughout this period, Campagnolo released a number of variations of the Super Record group set including component refinements and anniversary editions.

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.

The following extract is from the 1984 Campagnolo catalogue in reference to the Super Record group.

It is the jewel Group of Campagnolo line, for professionals, balanced to obtain the best results during races. It is manufactured with aeronautic and space materials (titanium and light alloys). The lightness of each component takes into consideration the safety while racing and the stiffness, to have immediate action during the sprints and efficiency in climbing.

All the frictions are reduced to the minimum, with surfaces grinded to have a very low roughness. The gear and the front changer are extremely functional; also used under stress give a sure and smooth performance.

The brakes intervene also in descents covered at 80 km/h, with dry and wet roads, gradually and with the minimum effort of the hands, without vibrations and slipping of the wheel on the road. Everything is extremely sliding and silent, accentuated by the very high handicraft care of the details; it is the group of World Champions.

Super Record Road Group Components

Please click on a component below to learn more.

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

Steel vs Titanium Group Sets

Campagnolo offered the Super Record group set in 2 variations; steel or titanium. The steel components were heavier but arguably more durable, whilst the titanium versions were lighter. The difference between these versions were 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;

1. Campagnolo 50th Anniversary Super Record group set was released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Campagnolo in 1983. The first 5000 group sets sold out quickly, 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.

Campagnolo 50th Anniversary Groupset
Campagnolo’s 50th Anniversary Group set

2. Colnago 30th Anniversary Super Record group set was released to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Colnago. This group was sold fitted to a small number of Colnago Arabesque bicycles.

Campagnolo 30th Anniversary Groupset
Campagnolo’s Colnago 30th Anniversary Group set

All components in both the 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 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 vs Record Components

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.

Weight

The components of this group set were mostly made from alloy with some steel and titanium parts to provided durability and weight savings. Learn more about individual component weights and how it compares against a modern Super Record group set.

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 Scratch Annodized Surface
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 headset 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.

UK Pricing in 1981

The full Super Record group set with;
Steel (bottom bracket & pedal axles ) retails for GBP 431.25
Titanium (bottom bracket & pedal axles ) retails for GBP 373.75

The Nuovo Record group set it superceeded retails for GBP 333.50

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/
velobase.com/CatalogScans/Campagnolo/Campy1985_catalog18.pdf

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.

2 thoughts on “Vintage Campagnolo Super Record Review

  • Hello (sorry, did not find your name … ):

    very nice review on what is probably the most iconic road group set ever, and I am not sure the modern successors will get near. Interesting work up on the year stamps.

    A few comments from my own experience – sorry no source:
    Cranks: the drive-side cranks, even though beautifully machined all-around from probably a die-forged blank, do tend to break at the cross-sectional jump where the arms meets the spider. I personally had two sets from the early – mid eighties slowly developing visible cracks on the inside.
    Rear axles: there were series apparently wrongly hardened that would break after as little as 2,000kms – no avail, but easy to fix. Re: the material: Campagnolo apparently tried titanium axles both front and rear – I had a set with their C in the diamond. Never tried them knowing that even steel would not last in the rear axle, and that also with the older 126mm frame stays.
    Anyway, nice initiative, your write-up, and particularly the comparison of weights.
    Good luck.

    Markus, Lyon, France

    • Hi Markus, thanks for your kind remarks and sharing some of your own experiences with Super Record.
      Interesting to read your comments about the titanium axles in the hubs, I have heard something about the existence of these, but not able to find much information online, they must be quite rare.
      So the Ti axles were stamped with a C in a diamond? Are you able to post a link to some photos that I can add to the review of the Campagnolo SR Hubs?

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