Campagnolo is renowned for its high-quality bike components. Their flagship groupset – the Campagnolo Super Record EPS – is no different.
Campagnolo is the oldest and (arguably) most prestigious bike component manufacturer, famed for its beautiful Italian aesthetics and outstanding engineering.
However, they come at a hefty price tag. Campagnolo Super Record EPS is the most expensive groupset in the world.
If you were looking to buy the best possible groupset for your road bike, and you don’t mind flogging a kidney to pay for it, it’s a no-brainer – the Campagnolo Super Record EPS fits the bill.
But what sets Campagnolo Super Record EPS apart from the competitors? And why is it so expensive?
Don’t worry – we’ll try to answer these questions and give you the lowdown on the world’s priciest groupset. To get you up to speed, we’ll be covering:
- Campagnolo: The World’s Oldest Groupset Manufacturer
- What Is A Groupset – And Who Are The Major Players?
- Campagnolo Super Record EPS
- Why Is Campagnolo Super Record EPS So Expensive?
- Super Record EPS vs Dura-Ace Di2 vs RED eTap AXS
Let’s kick into gear!
Campagnolo: The World’s Oldest Groupset Manufacturer
Founded in 1933 by Tullio Campagnolo in Vicenzo, Italy, Campagnolo is the oldest continuously-running groupset manufacturer in the world.
Tullio Campagnolo could be considered the Leonardo da Vinci of cyclists – not only an avid professional road cyclist but also a visionary inventor.
He took his knowledge of racing and componentry with him into his manufacturing career. Equipped with a deep knowledge of the mechanical difficulties of bicycles, he knew exactly what needed to change.
In 1927, while racing through the Italian Dolomites, he was leading the pack through a harsh snowy winter’s day in the mountains. However, he had difficulty removing a wingnut necessary to change gear, which led to him losing the race.
This motivated his invention of the ingenious Cambio Corsa (literally “Change Stroke” in Italian) shifting mechanism.
It consisted of levers located under the saddle that the rider could open, apply torque to the chain and force it onto a larger sprocket, and then close again. It may seem rudimentary now, but this was an engineering masterpiece at the time.
He used the quick-release mechanism for the levers, which he himself had invented years earlier.
After a long history of innovation, 135 original patents, and Tullio’s death in 1983, Campagnolo remain at the forefront of bike componentry.
Campagnolo groupsets have been on more Grand Tour-winning bikes than any other groupset manufacturer, with the likes of Gino Bartali, Vincenzo Nibali, and even Eddy Merckx loyally sporting Campag on their bikes.
- Check out our Complete Guide to Campagnolo Groupsets here!
What is a Groupset – And Who Are The Major Players?
A groupset is the bike’s vital organs.
It’s what enables the bike to convert mechanical energy from your legs into rotational energy in the wheels, and allows you to grind to a halt with the simple pull of the lever.
It includes every component of the drivetrain and the braking system. It is arguably the most important part of any bike, and the quality of your groupset plays a major role in the feel and smoothness of your ride.
SRAM is the new kid on the block – producing excellent groupsets for slightly more reasonable prices than its competitors. Shimano is actually an older company than Campagnolo, but only began manufacturing groupsets in the ’70s.
Campagnolo Super Record EPS
Campag dropped the latest edition of Super Record – its flagship groupset line – in 2018.
The electronic shifting version, Super Record EPS, was released in 2019.
It comes with the latest cutting-edge technologies in groupset manufacturing, yet retains the classy Italian aesthetics Campagnolo is known for.
Campagnolo pioneered the extension of gearing in recent years.
It was the first to release 8, 9, 10, 11, and now 12-speed cassettes. They’ve even reached the lofty heights of 13 speeds in their new gravel bike groupset, Campagnolo Ekar.
So, it’s no surprise that Super Record EPS is exclusively available with a 2×12 drivetrain.
As for gear ratios, it’s available with a 53/39, 52/36, or compact 50/34 chainset, paired with an 11-29 or 11-32 cassette.
Whilst Shimano and SRAM place all the levers on the outside of the shifters, Campagnolo opted for one on the side and one lever as a thumb paddle on the top inside of the shifters.
While every cyclist has their own personal preference, it gives the shifters a simple and sleek design and is claimed to be more ergonomic for the rider.
The brake levers are said to include Campagnolo’s “Ergopower” design, with extensive research carried out on hand ergonomics.
The result is a beautifully curved design that gives a smaller reach to the brakes when on the drops, and a comfortable feel when on the hoods.
The Super Record EPS shifting also includes multi-shifting technology, which allows the rider to shift up to 11 gears at a time with a single press on the levers.
These controls can also be customized on the MyCampy app – but only on the EPS version, of course.
Front and Rear Derailleurs
The front and rear derailleurs on the new Super Record EPS have exploited Campagnolo’s extensive in-lab testing for shifting speed.
The electronic shifting, coupled with an updated trajectory angle of 45 degrees on the rear derailleur, allows for what Campy claims is the “fastest and smoothest shifting to date”.
We’d have to agree with them here – the shifting is near-instant and absolutely silent, allowing for smooth and efficient transfer of power as the terrain changes.
There are two braking options for the Super Record EPS: disc or rim brakes.
The disc brakes are outstanding, and feature arguably the best modulation of any of the latest road bike disc brakes.
This gives you extensive control when it comes to the severity of your braking application, allowing you to smoothly apply and release the brakes for maximum speed through corners.
Why is Campagnolo Super Record EPS so expensive?
So far, so good!
We have extremely high performance, fast and ergonomic components, with a beautiful modern twist on a classic aesthetic.
This does not come cheap, however.
Campagnolo has slapped a $4300 price tag on Super Record EPS, making it the most expensive groupset of all time.
You might be wondering why you would spend so much on just the groupset of a bike when you could get two high-end road bikes, brand new, for this price.
Well, it’s not for everyone, but for those who want the absolute cream of the crop and for whom “budget constraints” remain an abstract concept, Super Record EPS is hard to beat.
But what makes Campagnolo Super Record EPS so expensive?
One of the major reasons Super Record EPS is so expensive is the quality of the exotic materials involved.
With an absolute splurge of carbon fiber, the rear derailleur, front derailleur, cranks, calipers, and even the shifter levers are made of the highest quality carbon – which carries a hefty price tag.
But even the parts which can’t be carbon – the chain, cassette, chainrings, and disc rotors – are made of titanium, which is ultra-light and notoriously expensive.
This results in an extremely light and durable groupset, coming in at just 2087 grams for the disc brake version.
It’s worth noting this is not the lightest flagship groupset around though – Shimano’s Dura-Ace Di2 weighs in at a feathery 1931 grams.
Almost all modern flagship groupsets are available with electronic shifting these days.
The shifting speed, smoothness, and customizability are superior to mechanic shifting. It doesn’t require any tuning of the cables, and as long as you’ve remembered to charge it, it’s extremely reliable.
However, it does come with a price penalty.
The mechanical Campagnolo Super Record released in 2018 retailed around $1000 cheaper than the EPS version (and is now available at a significantly slashed price).
This isn’t just Campag, though. Shimano’s electronic Di2 Dura-Ace costs around $1000 more than the mechanical version, and it’s a similar story for SRAM’s eTap RED groupset.
The Campagnolo Aesthetic and Prestige
As with any Campagnolo component, you’re inevitably paying a premium for the name.
Campagnolo has a uniquely beautiful aesthetic. Looks and pride should be a secondary consideration compared to performance and reliability – but given how much love we pour into our bikes they’re still important!
The Campagnolo name carries undeniable history and prestige. They have been the pioneers of bike componentry for almost a century, and their groupsets are not only aesthetic and high-performance but also reliable.
Now you know all about Campagnolo Super Record EPS…
You can make an informed decision on whether it’s for you!
Of course, Super Record EPS is incredibly expensive, but you get a state-of-the-art groupset and the knowledge that your bike is kitted out with the best of the best.
However, the flagship SRAM and Shimano groupsets utilize similar technologies and will also have similar performance, so a large amount of it is down to personal preference.
If you’re looking for the best of the best – or maybe you’re an Italian road bike purist – and if money is no object, then Campagnolo Super Record EPS is the one for you!