Super Record 12 Ergopower Hydraulic Lever and Disc Brake Caliper
For many cyclists, the pinnacle of bicycle shifting and braking comes from a firm from Italy known as Campagnolo. Not many brands have the history and racing achievements quite like the firm from Vincenzo. Early on, its inventions were born of necessity with founder Tullio Campagnolo 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 tire. The brand later brought us adjustable gear ratios with a rod-operated derailleur that later evolved into the cable-pull parallelogram derailleur we are familiar with today. And while it faces steep competition from the two S's, it only focuses on building high-end, race-level components designed with a heavy amount of testing and racing to guide production, so when the product does reach the market, it's ready to go with all of the bugs worked out. Case in point is the Super Record 12 Ergopower Hydraulic Lever and Disc Brake Caliper. Campy provides the excellent Ergopower shifting internals offering up precise and positive shifting and called on the German braking experts at Magura to help it develop a powerful, safe, and reliable hydraulic system.
We're completely on board with hydraulic disc brakes on all bikes, road included, and Campy's on board as well, and the increased stopping power and modulation over rim calipers has to be ridden to be fully appreciated. What's impressive with these new 12-speed mechanical shifting and hydraulic brake combo levers is how closely 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 decide to leave the gloves at home.
The shifting continues the excellence that is Campagnolo's Ergopower system that’s proven itself time and time again in World Tour races all over the globe. Its ability to dump multiple shifts in either direction is a favorite of the sprinters and its low weight keeps the climbers happy too. Campagnolo turned to Magura for brake consultation to help design the master cylinder, caliper, and hydraulic system. The other players with road disc have the technology of their mountain bike groups to draw from, and since Campy's last mountain bike group had cantilever brakes, partnering with Magura was 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 the 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, that doesn't absorb water like DOT fluid which can lower 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 a pair of carbon Super 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 bite point gives you the ability to fine-tune how quickly the brake moves from open to engagement. 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 diameter pistons of phenolic resin, helping reduce heat transfer during prolonged descents that would normally create a loss in braking performance.
- Super Record 12-speed shifting from Campagnolo with hydro braking
- Master cylinder and hydraulics co-developed with Magura
- Moderately taller lever body doesn't compromise ergonomics
- Carbon brake levers keep Campy Super Record aesthetics in check
- AMS adjusts brake leverage ratio with long and short settings
- 16-millimeters of reach adjustment 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