Thursday, December 8, 2011

Italian Soul

My 1987 Nuovo Record friend...
rear/front derailleur & pedal. 



After reading the insightful article, The Italian Job by Bruce Barcott I could never be more steadfast for my devotion for Campagnolo.

I'm part of the middle age set, raised on the passion and the old world charms of the Italian component maker. The lure intense. The Vicenza based component maker is endearing to me and represents a business oddball. Staying true to their roots, especially in this profit margin, out-sourced mad business world, maintaining manufacturing from Italy and Romania. While Shimano and Sram chase profits offshore.


Tuillio Campagnolo...
the master of the first release.


In 1927 Tuillio Campagnolo found himself in great difficulty, on the assent of Croce d'Aune Pass, he tried to take off the rear wheel to change the gear ratio. The legend tells us that he said, "Something has to be changed back there." He patented his first release in 1929. In 1933 he founded Campagnolo becoming the choice of the greats: Coppi, Bartali, Merckx, Hinault...

When I was measured for my custom 1987 Marinoni, I was so happy to partner the Italian/Quebec frame with Campagnolo. It was a no brainer. Like the majority riders during the eighties I was weaned on Campy as the traditional choice. Components exotic and beautifully crafted to last and made from old world artisans. Ok, I'm a romantic by heart. I couldn't afford the top of the line Super Record but I knew the Nuovo Record gruppo would suit me just fine. It worked heartily and solidly for me for over twenty years. I know it's only cold metal but there's a warm soul lurking here.


Coppi...
Campy pioneer.


Now, I've still kept it Campy changing to the new Veloce groupset, going to new technology foregoing the down tube shifters and adopting the Power Torque System. I've gone for their amazing aluminum Khamsin wheels. The result a second marriage as good as the first time.

The heart and soul is the same. And that's where Campagnolo will endure crafting well made, highly innovative components. Perhaps they can't match their competitors profits but for 78 years... they thankfully continue to serve their passionate and loyal fans.



My 1987 Marinoni...
Campagnolo Veloce & Khamsin inspired.
Image courtesy Hans Sipma Photography

2 comments:

Larry and Heather said...

Nice piece! Our sentiments exactly. (Disclaimer: Campagnolo is an official supplier to CycleItalia)

Richard said...

Thank you! Nothing like riding with a warm Italian heart!

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