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Tech Weenie Wednesday!

Posted by on May 10, 2017
Today's post is a short one again because it's equipped with discs and thus ends sooner due to the increased stopping power.

It's a significant occasion in bike geek history as storied Italian shifty-parts maker Campagnolo has finally gone disc:

This is huge, because until now if you wanted to use disc brakes with Campagnolo you had to retrofit a set of Delta brakes:

Here's a step-by-step tutorial on how to do that in case you're interested.

Of course, it's tempting to say that if Old Man Campy were alive today he'd be hoisting his pants even higher and harrumphing indignantly, but that's probably not true:

Oh, sorry, wrong pic:

After all, this is the man behind the quick release and the derailleur, which were cutting-edge Fred tech in their day, so if anything he'd probably be wondering why it took so long.

As for the brakes themselves, Campagnolo claims they're even better than Shimano and SRAM, because what the hell else do you expect them to say?

Campagnolo claims its new road disc brakes stop faster than Shimano and SRAM in the dry and the wet, with less hand force required.

They also feature two innovations.  The first is that there are two lever travel settings, which is actually pretty nifty:

The brake levers have two settings for pad engagement. There is adjustment via a 2.5mm hex key socket on the inboard side of the lever body. A clearly marked two-position cam controls the long or short travel settings, with the long position allowing about half of the lever’s full travel before the pads engage.

And the second is Campagnolo's introduction of a"disc-specific crankset:"

This is particularly groundbreaking, because now it's only a matter of time before companies start introducing other disc-specific components such as saddles, pedals, and bar tape:

Then again, there's no such thing as a disc brake "conversion" that doesn't basically involve buying a whole new bike anyway, so what's the difference?  As for what makes the crankset "disc-specific," it basically just moves your chainrings a bit, which in the olden days you'd accomplish with a different spindle or some spacers.  Fortunately now that that we have integrated bottom brackets and proprietary chainrings those days are gone, and you get to buy a whole new crank instead.


Alas, what I was really hoping for when I read "disc-specific crankset" was this:

One of the most entertaining aspects of the Fixie Golden Age was their steadfast refusal to do anything even remotely sensible in the area of braking.  If they weren't destroying $50 tires in three days because they insisted on skidding in order to slow down they were using the greasiest part of the bicycle as a braking surface.

Those were the days.

Lastly, a Bahrain-Merida rider was booted from the Giro d'Italia for pushing, and here's the dramatic video:

If only he'd waited until they were under the tree canopy he might have gotten away with it.

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