• Larry @CycleItalia

    R.I.P. Athena (again) and I guess it’s R.I.P. triple crankset as well? :-(

    • Dave

      No need for a triple when you can go for 53/34 at the front and 11-32 on the back.

      • Larry @CycleItalia

        Perhaps that’s enough for studs like you Dave, but 34-32 isn’t enough to let me enjoy the Passo Mortirolo nor does a compact give me enough choices in ratios vs a triple. I was happy to see a triple option brought back to Athena and tried to promote it to our tour clients (Campagnolo is an official supplier to CycleItalia) but now I’m sad to see it (and the Athena name) go away again with the introduction of Potenza.
        On another note, I’m beginning to think if I posted a comment that said UP you’d instantly reply with DOWN. Are you just one of “those people” or it something particular to the comments I make here?

        • Hyun-ji Song

          It’s not like you have to go and buy a non-triple crankset now…

          • Larry @CycleItalia

            True, but is there something wrong with lamenting the loss of a groupset I liked and have been promoting? Are you a friend of Dave?

            • Liam O’Dea

              Nothing wrong with lamenting the loss of Athena, I’ll miss the aesthetic too.

              But I’ll agree with Dave on the need for triples. The difference between Athena’s triple (30/29) and Potenza’a compact (34/32) is less than 3%; less than one tooth on the rear. Every bit counts when it’s tough going but even so, that’s a relatively negligible difference.

              • Larry @CycleItalia

                Liam – 3 X 11 simply gives a lot more choices within the same range of high to low. Think of an old-time car with a three-speed transmission – did that have a narrower range of gearing overall? Usually not, instead you had 3 widely spaced gears, so often you lugged or over revved the engine while wishing for a 1.5 or 2.5 gear. IMPROVEMENT came with 4, 5, or 6 speed gearboxes, no? Overall low or high gears didn’t change, but you got more, closely-spaced choices to keep your engine in the rev range where it was most efficient. Is the human engine different?
                2 X 11, with the huge gap between 34 and 50 chainrings (and yes, I’ve ridden them – for two seasons before going back to the triple) leaves me making multiple shifts in back for each shift in front due to the 16 tooth difference, something I rarely have to do with a triple crankset. So even if a compact double would give me a 34 X 34 low, I’d rather have a triple with a 30 X 30 so I could have a 39 (or much better, a 42) in the middle and a 50-something for a big ring.
                Sadly (for me) Campagnolo has chosen to go with compact – I’d guess because of low sales of their Athena triple groupset? R.I.P. Athena, I’ll miss you.

                • Sean Doyle

                  Is the Athena you have worn out?

                  • Larry @CycleItalia

                    Of course not! But I just hate to see a good groupset (especially the triple) go away, especially one we promoted to our clients.

                    • Sean Doyle


  • Bill Hostile

    Hi Matt, that was an informative write-up, thanks. Do you know why there’s no 11-28 cassette? I ride 11-speed Campagnolo and Shimano and think this a bit of an omission on Campagnolo’s part.

    • You can always use Shimano’s 11-28 since the spacing is essentially identical. I don’t think Campag have ever offered a 28T sprocket, maybe it’s a distaste for even numbers?

      • Bill Hostile

        Thanks for the reply. I do exactly that but it’d be nice to avoid the slight tweeking when swapping wheels. But then the quirks of Campagnolo are part of the company’s appeal.

  • TT

    How sweet is that frame, recall the Sarto factory tour article a few years back one of the best on CT….. & eerrrmmm those pedals?

  • Mayhem

    It’s a shame they didn’t just go full on for an aluminium version of Chorus. At least this new version of Power Torque seems a lot more mechanic friendly, but the lack of Ultra Shift is seriously disappointing. I guess they’ve got to somehow entice people to go for the more expensive groupsets…

    • Larry @CycleItalia

      …and keep the price down to where some bike makers will use it!! With Shimano dropping prices for Ultegra it’s (sadly) a price war – one that I doubt Campagnolo can win. But if they do get some OEM spec I hope Potenza works well enough to, as you say, “entice people to go for the more expensive groupsets” on their next bike. Our rental fleet in Italy is 100% Campagnolo, but these days I spend a LOT of time explaining how it works vs the Big-S groupsets that dominate the OEM world. After a week riding around Italy with us, a lot of folks tell us they would consider Campagnolo on their next bike, but with zero OEM spec, they have a tough time. I hope Potenza can change this.
      (Disclaimer: Campagnolo is an official supplier to CycleItalia but these comments reflect ONLY my opinion)

  • Isn’t Gran Canaria = Big Dog? Is there a law against using the small chaining?

    • Clarence

      well, “canario” is spanish for a kind of Finch, so probably it’s related to that.

  • Cam

    What are those pedals?!

    • Mayhem

      The out-of-focus logotype on the closeup looks like Shimano 105. Weird that they’d use pedals from their fiercest competitor, but with plenty of test-riding journalists already having Shimano SPD-SL cleats on their shoes I guess that makes things easier.

      • Clarence

        It is also likely that the bikes were originally without pedals, and the journalists were told to bring their own?

  • fignon’s barber

    FAIL. I’m a campagnolo loyalist, but the ergo rd shifting of Athena is horrendous. It’s not even suitable for training, much less racing. Click…pedal rev..click…pedal rev…click….pedal rev.
    And Ultra Tourque= great. Power Tourque= meh.
    I guess what really bothers me about this is that campag is executing the opposite of trickle down technology. They spend time and money developing an inferior tech option to justify their premium products. There. Glad I got that off my chest.

    • Larry @CycleItalia

      Interesting comments about Athena shifting performance – my wife rides a bike I built up equipped with Campagnolo Athena 11 (triple, which I’m sad to see go away) and is delighted with the rear shifting. She’s ridden and raced on Campagnolo all of her cycling life and surprised me with her positive comments on a “new-fangled” 11 – speed groupset. The only issue I had with Power Torque was needing the special puller to take it apart, glad to see they fixed that with Potenza.

  • Alex

    How are they going to compete with Ultegra when you can get Ultegra for 40-50% cheaper? Or is this just the MSRP but actual prices will be inline with Ultegra?

  • István Fedor

    so, it’s athena then. powershift&torque, skeleton calipers.

    IMHO, the new chainset looks hundred times better, albeit, the old design was significantly lighter (the former athena pt chainset was around 720-740 grams depending on chainring choice, and the pt cups were 69 exactly. and there was an option for even lighter carbon cranks, around 640 grams)

    probably campag found it awkward that athena offered lighter chainset as compared to chorus (the four-arm designed ut chainsets also put on some weight compared to their predecessors).

    the shifters also look to be a cheaper version of the former athenas, as those featured alloy paddles, compared to this plastic. the rd also was alloy all throughout, now, it has some plastic :) :)

    the design is improved significantly, but the weight is a step back from the old athena.

    I do not like these ratios, my choice would be 50-36 with a 13-29 at the rear (I really do not need 12-11t, as I’m not racing, and I am a bit nervous above 85kph)

    But the looks of the new chainset&self extracting bolts brings tears to my eyes. esp. with the hollow forged arms. I hope campy will carry on with upgrading their alloy chainsets.

    I do not see why they abandoned the old centaur-ish caliper design with the non-skeletonized arms. I have them, and they are light (311 grams) and have plenty of power, albeit, a bit lack of modulation.

    I really prefer the eps-style thumbie release button, so much easier to operate& I do not think many people miss the multiple shifts towards smaller cogs.

    The ergos would also need a little re-design in their cable use: campag would really should make them compatible with shimano-style shift inner cables as well (many shops do not stock cables suitable for ergopowers, albeit, we always machine the heads to the appropriate diametre to make them campagtible)

    I’m really looking forward to this&probably will be my gruppo of choice for an old steelie.

    • Clarence

      You can Buy the 50/34T version and separately buy a 36T chainring; I believe Miche still makes the full customisable sprocket kit (a bunch of separate sprockets you can mix and build according to what you need) The solid brake arms are heavier and give less modulation apparently, that’s why all of them are now with this updated design. The Skeletonised design gives a controlled flex of the arms and thus improves feel and modulation (according to what I’ve seen when actuating the brakes on stand) Depending on where you ride the ultra-shift is really useful, also it depends on your riding style. Campagnolo cables are not the ones being incompatible, It’s Shimano. You can use Campagnolo cables everywere, but can’t use Shimano/SRAM on Campagnolo. Anyways, Campagnolo cables are pretty good.

      I’m looking forward to this too, I hope they will eventually release an hydraulic or mechanical disc brake version, as I badly want this drivetrain on a gravel bike!

  • Eat More Lard

    Campy talk about it being a direct alternative to Ultegra but I reckon they have missed a beat here by retaining their cassette freebody design. They should have gone with two options for the cassette, one compatible with Shimano/SRAM. That way they could have really gone after the Shimano market – no wheel swap required – whilst still preaching the superiority (?) of the Campy freehub design.

  • Tyron Anton

    Did anyone else find it a bit strange that Campy put Shimano 105 pedals on the bike? That’s their direct competitor!

    • All of the journalists supplied their own pedals to suit their shoes. I had Speedplays on the bike I used but I couldn’t find it for the photos.

      • Tyron Anton

        Good to know. Thanks.

  • bigdo

    lol, Campy will never just bite the bullet and make a bargain basement group a la Shimano’s Tiagra…. cheapest they got is Veloce, and thats still like $400+ right?

    Potenza looks good, and im sure it functions fine… but i am realizing more and more with each passing year, Shimano is just my thing…

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  • Philip Darbyshire

    Just found this news piece and thought that AT LAST, Campy had answered one of my small prayers, for a 32 cassette to fit my Chorus groupset, but NO, the ONLY bit that isn’t chorus compatible is the 32, the cog many of us (older and less fit maybe) have been hanging out for :-( boo hoo


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