Sunday, October 24, 2010
Pinarello with Campagnolo Electronic Shifting?
Thanks to reader "AD" who sent this photo in of a Pinarello bicycle on display at the Giro d'Italia presentation yesterday. Standing by the bike are Valentino Campagnolo and Fausto Pinarello (l-r).
It looks to have electronic gadgetary (battery, front derailleur); click on photo to enlarge.
What do you think?
The last word we had on Campagnolo's electronic shifting system was that they had decided to focus on 11 speed development rather than 10 speed electronic. Perhaps Campagnolo has an electronic gruppo close to production now? There were rumors that Campagnolo was going to announce their electronic shifting gruppo at Eurobike in September but that didn't occur.
We had several stories regarding Campagnolo electronic shifting including these: Electronic Shifting (February, 2009) which cited Campagnolo as having delayed bringing its version to market because of the economic downturn. Electronic Shifting, Part II (June, 2009) which discussed the progress that Shimano was making on the development of Di2.
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While Campagnolo is an official supplier to CycleItalia, we lament these attacks on the fundamental simplicity of the bicycle, even if it IS a Super Record 11-speed bike! We understand the need for electric servo-motors and hydraulic actuation on airliners, trains and automobiles, which grow ever more heavy and complex, making human-powered movement of their essential parts difficult. Bicycles don't follow this "progress", getting lighter and lighter (UCI regs allowing of course) each year. Modern mechanical, cable-actuated shifting and braking systems for bicycles work fantasticly well these days -- do we really want to enter an era where, when you want to ride your bike you (in addition to inflating the tires and perhaps applying a bit of oil) must make sure the battery is charged....and if not, postpone your ride for the hours it takes to charge it up?ReplyDelete
What does this do to Campagnolo's storied serviceability? Unlike their competitors, a halfway skilled technician can rebuild even the complex Ergopower controls and spare parts are available. Now mechanics will need battery powered testing devices to trouble-shoot these systems. Will this electronic stuff simply be recycled when it stops working, or worse, get tossed into the landfill? Is electronic shifting truly progress...or just the next thing in marketing, adding to the demand for the "newest-latest" while making perfectly good equipment seem obsolete?