Campagnolo has a long tradition of Road bikes and has had a decisive influence on cycling right from the start. The origins of the Italian brand are legendary: Tullio Campagnolo lost a lot of time at a bicycle race in 1927 loosening his rear wheel and turning it over to change gears, which is why he invented the quick release for wheels. This was followed by many other innovations and inventions in the field of drivetrain and brake components, later also wheels, and Campagnolo made a name for itself with its high-quality Road bike groupsets. The company continues to stand for the highest quality Road bike components with outstanding shifting performance and ergonomics.
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The Chorus now in 12-speed
Campagnolo's new 12-speed Chorus groupset bridges the gap between tradition and modernity: Italian shifting performance meets off-road qualities.
Campagnolo Chorus: a treat for Road cyclists and Gravel bikers
When you say shift performance, you also mean Campagnolo. Sounds simple, but it's 12-speed: because the latest horse in the Italian cult brand's stable is the Chorus groupset with twelve gears - optionally with rim brakes or disc brakes. These two braking options have been available in the past and will delight the Campagnolo-loving cyclist in view of the wider range. But did someone mention Gravel then? To the best of our knowledge: Not explicitly! Exactly this changes with the latest edition of the Chorus. The traditional component manufacturer not only addresses Road bikers here, but also Gravel Grinder - despite its commitment to a double crank including front derailleur in all variants (chainrings with 32-48 / 34-50 / 36-52 teeth are available).
Campagnolo Chorus with excellent shifting performance
To underline this, Campagnolo has provided us with a show bike set up with the Chorus groupset. Of course, we couldn’t just take pictures with it - we had to test it extensively. The test conclusion first: They can also be modern, the supposed traditionalists from Vicenza, the headquarters of Campagnolo. The limit in terms of tyre freedom - due to the chainline on the small ring - is not exactly lavish with tyres up to 32 mm wide. But Campagnolo's shifting feel is simply unmatched: the gear change starts right at the beginning of the lever stroke. Not just at the end. The remaining distance, however, allows greater gear jumps... If the lever is fully pushed, the rear derailleur skips five sprockets when downshifting or three sprockets when shifting up thanks to the Ultra Shift mechanism. This shifting speed, coupled with the typical Campagnolo precision characteristics, is simply a pleasure. On the road as well as on gravel.
Comments on the Campagnolo Chorus Groupset
by bc employees and riders of the weekly After Work Ride, which starts every Wednesday at the bc store in the Aachen city centre:
Björn, bc Product Management:
"The Ergopower levers are simply great and only with Campagnolo does the chain slam into the right gear with such force. I also liked the disc brakes very much. There's no grinding or squeaking here - that’s how disc brakes on Road bikes and Gravel bikes should be."
Robin, bc Social Media:
"Campy on the Gravel bike? Finally! I've always ridden Campagnolo on Road bikes and I've got used to its ergonomics and shifting behaviour. I don't like to miss features like the thumb lever anymore. However, I was particularly impressed by the disc brakes of the Italians. The finely adjustable brake power, a clean contact point and the excellent Ergopower levers make you feel good off the beaten track. Whether a 2x on a Gravel bike is still contemporary? I think so! Even if the range of a 1x drivetrain is sufficient for me, the fine gradation of the gears in the Chorus 12-speed groupset is convincing.
Is there anything to complain about? Definitely! The Chorus groupset is almost too beautiful to 'torture' off-road, but as we all know, the first scratch is the worst. After that, you get over it."
Guy, a regular on the bc Wednesday ride:
"This is pure nostalgia for me. My old Road bike at home also has a Chorus groupset. So I'm almost a little surprised that they still exist. But I also like the modern version visually. I like it when it's so puristic, so nice and clean."
Jochen, also regularly takes part in the bc Wednesday ride:
"I find 12-speed totally exciting. But only for tyres with a maximum width of 32 mm? We're talking about Gravel tyre clearance here! And: "I am familiar with electronic drivetrains and used to them - a mechanical groupset just doesn’t do it for me anymore."
Jonas, bc brand manager:
"Up to now I was a clear advocate of 1x drivetrains on Gravel bike´s, but with the 2x12 Campagnolo Chorus I experienced a new spectrum again. Of course, the approach that Campy pursues with the Chorus - only occasionally on the forest paths or on the trail - clearly comes from Road. That's why the fine gear jumps are a real pleasure, especially on passages that aren't very demanding from a technical point of view: typical for Campy, you get direct and immediate feedback as soon as you trigger the gear change. If, on the other hand, it gets more technical, I personally still prefer to have only one option to change the gears. But you get used to that, too.
However, the Chorus with 32-34 even offers a ratio, which provides a nice small gear on steep gravel ascents, with which you can still bring the power to the ground.
It is clear Campy developed the brakes together with Magura. They just work. I find it very pleasant that the brake lever, as always with Campagnolo, is rigid at the side and therefore conveys a feeling of safety. Japanese levers are sometimes a bit too flexible for me and don't give me so much confidence while braking in technical terrain."