Record 12 Ergopower Hydraulic Lever and Disc Brake Caliper
Not many brands in the cycling industry can boast the history and racing achievements quite like Campagnolo. Think about it, many of its inventions were born out of necessity. Tullio Campagnolo is responsible for creating the first quick-release lever as his hands were so frozen in a race, he couldn't undo the wingnuts holding his wheel in the dropouts to repair a flat. He's later credited with bringing adjustable gear ratios to bikes with a rod-operated derailleur that morphed into the now ubiquitous cable-pull parallelogram derailleur. And while the firm might not be the first these days with the newest/latest innovative product, it instead relies on a heavy amount of testing and racing to guide production, ensuring that when the product does reach the market, it will be ready to go with all of the bugs worked out. Case in point is the Record 12 Ergopower Hydraulic Lever and Disc Brake Caliper. Campy provides the shifting internals that's the benchmark of form and function, however, it reached out to the German braking experts at Magura to provide a safe and reliable hydraulic system.
We wholeheartedly believe that the future of road braking is in hydraulic discs and the Italian brand agrees with its claims of increased stopping power and modulation over rim calipers. What really impresses us with these new 12-speed brake/shifter combos is how Campy was able to retain its excellent ergonomics and aesthetics. The hoods are almost indistinguishable from its non-hydraulic brother, only gaining a few millimeters in height in order to accommodate the hydraulic reservoir. If anything, that extra height only serves to further increase hand security which is a boon in the rain, over bumpy roads, or if you left the gloves at home.
The shifting is Campagnolo's much-lauded Ergopower system, proven over a number of years in World Tour arenas. Campagnolo turned to Magura for brake consultation helping to design the master cylinder, caliper, and hydraulic system. The other players may have the technology of their mountain bike groups to draw from while designing their road disc brakes, and partnering with Magura is a smart move as the German brand has decades of experience with hydraulic systems in bikes and motorsports alike. Intelligent features include a master cylinder with a bleed port at the highest point of center for better bleeding that completely rids the system of air bubbles and thus, mushy brakes. It uses the same blue mineral oil similar to Magura, that it dubs Royal Blood, which doesn't absorb water like DOT fluid, lowering its boiling point, and it's safer for planet earth.
Besides the addition of the master cylinder and reservoir, the levers themselves are quite similar to the pair of carbon Record non-hydraulic units. It receives Campagnolo's Adjustable Modulation System (AMS) which provides long and short travel position settings for adjusting the brake's leverage ratio to your particular liking. This adjustable modulation gives you the ability to fine-tune how quickly the brake moves from open to fully locked. Moreover, 16-millimeters of reach adjustment give you additional control over where your brake levers sit in relation to your hand.
As for the brake calipers, they're designed exclusively for 160-millimeter rotors on the front, giving you the option of selecting between 140 and 160-millimeter specific rotor versions for the rear. Flat-mount compatibility (for both forks and frames) ditches the need for adapters, meaning you'll reap the benefits of a stiffer and cleaner attachment interface. Pads travel on 22mm-wide pistons of phenolic resin helping reduce heat transfer during prolonged descents that would normally create a loss in braking performance.
- Record 12-speed from Campagnolo with hydraulic braking
- Master cylinder and hydraulics co-developed with Magura
- Moderately taller lever body doesn't compromise ergonomics
- Carbon brake levers keep Campy aesthetics in check
- AMS adjusts brake leverage ratio with long and short settings
- 16-millimeters of reach adjustment for fine-tuning the feel
- 160mm front caliper only, rear is available as 140 or 160mm
- Each set includes one Record 12-speed brake/shift lever and one disc brake caliper