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  • dcaspira

    #33 is where my thumb naturally sits. Not sure about the headline, but this seems like a positive natural progression.

    • Pete

      No! My thumb has saved me on many occasions and I really like using my thumb.

    • Yep, the lever shown in the figures is for the right-hand–I presumed I was looking at the left hand lever.

      • Dave

        It took me a while to work that out too – what threw me out was the suggestion you push the button inwards, which I took to be inwards towards the centreline of the bike and not towards the centre of the hood.

    • Albert

      True, when you’re on the hoods. Not sure how this addresses the criticism about shifting from the drops …

  • Sean parker

    I’m still baffled why gruppo manufacturers replicate mechanical shifting with their electronic shifter designs….

    • philipmcvey

      Great observation. It must be a serious design limitation to have to incorporate the ergonomics and interface of two disparate systems. On the other hand, there’s something to be said for ‘family’ resemblance between both products, and perhaps Campy assumes its customers don’t want to go on a learning curve when they upgrade to electronic (can we call it an upgrade? Cross-grade perhaps?)

    • philipmcvey

      PS: There’s that little consideration of Intellectual Property where they can’t infringe on another manufacturer’s system. How many different ways can a simple binary up/down system be setup?

    • Dave

      In the case of EPS, it’s because the Campy thumb button is so awesome that there are only minor improvements to be made once you switch it to electronic.

      Once you’ve ridden with Campy shifters, you’ll never go back to the lame ShimaNO brifters again!

      • Legstrong

        I found exactly the opposite. I came from no cycling background. I don’t have that fascination toward Italian stuffs. Started riding in 2011. Tried out the big 3 shifters, I found that Sram shifters are the simplest and most intuitive. Thumb shifters are not for me. They felt awkward when riding on top of the hoods.

        I used sram in the 1st and 2nd year of racing until the left shifter exploded during a CX race. It shot a small spring to my left cheek. In 2013, I changed the mothership. Shimano Di2 it is for me and for all my bikes (only my road bike for now). IMO, the best bang of the buck for shifting quality, reliability, price point, so on.

      • Sean parker

        Are the hoods the only position that riders use?
        Thereare alternatives not slaved to a button or lever attached to the brake assembly that could be used.
        For example a trigger alongside the forward radius of the drop, reachable by the trigger finger whilst on the hoods or the 4th finger whilst on the hoods. A supplementary button on the tops covers all positions. My point being that a duplicate of a mechanical design that only looks that way because it was restrained by mechanics is not necessarily the most ergonomic option.
        Hell, you could have three buttons on each side of the bar if you wanted. How clumsy does it look with a rider aero on the tops having to reach across to change gear?
        You could even have the gears voice actuated if you wanted with a physical backup.

        Moreover, why have actuators that select front and rear dérailleur? One actuator to change down on the left, one to change up on the right. A microprocessor can select which optimal combo of gears to use. You could even hack it to do any combo you want.

        • ebbe

          Newest electric MTB group from Shimano does just that: Only an up-button (or several if you want) and a down-button (or several if you want), and the switchbox coordinates the shifting between front and rear derailler. It’s coming for road as well, I’m sure. Roadies are just a bit (a lot) conservative. I can see a future where you don’t even need to perform an action to shift at all: “Measurables” such as (upcoming) gradient, your speed, cadence, heart rate, blood oxygen level, etc are input for a computer, which then calculates the ideal gear for that pont in time. Only need to figure out how the computer knows you’re ready to dish out a break away ;-)

          • Samuel Clemens

            I was thinking about just that while out training the other day; I like to be in charge of my cadence, as, while I average between 89 and 92, I almost always pedal faster (~102-110) on downhills and slower (~75-90) on uphills. Cadence also varies depending on fatigue and state of fitness, so, while you could programme easily for uphill/downhill, infinitely variable factors such as form, fitness, fatigue and just plain old ‘I don’t feel so great today’ could be trickier. I’d prefer to be in control for now, in other words!

      • Melissa Drew

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      • Samuel Clemens

        Over the years I’ve had Dura Ace 8sp STI, Campag Chorus Ergo 10sp, Dura Ace 10sp, Campag Record 10sp for 7 years, and just now back on to Dura Ace 11sp. I fully appreciate both; I loved my Campags, but the new DA are, like the older 10sp DA, a much smoother and slicker operation. Less ‘soul’ than the Campag, assuredly.
        Though now made in Taiwan, the Campag still has more of a ‘stylish’ feel to it. And those mouse ears are awesome.

  • ebbe

    This would still be a thumb button, right? Just relocated (to a better location I’d say) and flatter (also seems better for EPS to me). Or am missing something here? The “ergonomic logic” of Campa shifting would stay the same:
    – Push left with right hand (finger), chain goes left at the rear
    – Push right with right hand (thumb), chain goes right at the rear
    – Push right with left hand (finger), chain goes right at the front
    – Push left with left hand (thumb), chain goes left at the front

    The chain simply always goes to the side you push it.

    • Yes, you’re quite right. What I took to be the left hand lever is actually the right, so the thumb button has simply been re-positioned. I’ll update the text to reflect this.

  • Dave

    Looks like Campagnolo are continuing their strategy of evolution rather than revolution.

    The pressure will now be on Shimano to show they can still innovate. They have four competitors doing new cool stuff now with SRAM eTap, Campagnolo constantly evolving EPS, the FSA semi-wireless groupset and the Rotor hydraulic groupset (the one I want the most).

    • Legstrong

      IMO, I don’t think the pressure is on Shimano. The pressure was on both Sram and Campy. These two are playing catch-up. Other than wireless feature on sram and hydraulic shifting, I don’t see anything new on the features you listed. In a product life cycle term, Shimano is enjoying their maturity phase of Di2. Yes, they need to come up with something exciting sooner or later, not gonna argue with that.

      Matt’s three take-away points in the last paragraph, both Shimano and Sram had already done those. Both Di2 and etap are integratable to headunits. Shimano has Di2 groupset even for their commuter line up. It looked to me Campy is trying to keep up with the other two.

      Wireless shifting and the way etap shifts, yes, I would call those as exciting features.

      Hydraulic shifting on the other hand, I personally don’t see hydraulic shifting is an “innovation” that would necessarily make cyclists’ life better, just like disc brake right now. As Velonews article mentioned, Rotor was forced to make their own groupset so they can stay in the pro peloton. “Rotor established itself as a manufacturer of chainrings but found that it needed a complete group just to stay on pros’ bikes. “We had teams riding our chainrings, but they had other drivetrain sponsors who were always putting pressure on them to use their chainrings,” Carrasco said at last year’s Eurobike trade show. “They were always trying to kick us out.”” They had to go around so many patents, that’s why they chose hydraulic system.

      FSA semi wireless… when are they gonna release it? They are too late in the game. Look at sram. Luckily, sram has a Trump card, which essentially stole all FSA’s thunder. People would say… I can go full wireless with sram why the hell I should go with semi-wireless. Unless, they sell the groupset half of etap or even ultegra di2’s price point, that’d a different story.

      • Stevo

        Rotor’s hydraulic shifting certainly does offer features that make the cyclists life “better”. For a start, hydraulic hoses are lighter than Bowden cables and, if I am not mistaken, the complete group is likely to be lighter than anything else on the market.

      • ebbe

        Campagnolo EPS is already integratable with headunits… and with their own “My Campy” smartphone app (for statistics, and provides advice to help optimize your shifting behaviour), which can link to the internet making all sorts of smart applications possible. Steep climb coming up around a blind corner? You might not see it coming, but your groupset already knows.

        It’s quite funny to first discount Rotor as not innovative, and next admit they were actually quite innovative in circumventing existing patents. The whole point af being innovative is… doing things in a new way. Whether hydraulic shifting (+ moving indexing to the deraillers) is an improvement reamins to be seen. The only review I’ve seen so far was extremely positive. But that’s also innovation: Some solutions turn out to be a success, some don’t.

    • Sean Doyle

      I don’t think Shimano have to do anything to be honest. The Di2 is as close to perfect as it’s going to get. Sure eTap is a great idea but I’m hearing rumours of lots of signal interference still. Same with Campy as well. I don’t think they need to reinvent anything. Their design is solid and it works why mess with it? Just incrementally improve it as materials and technologies evolve. This expectation of something new and great every year is what is killing the industry from the inside out.

  • david__g

    This doesn’t look like it would be a whole lot easier to reach from the drops. From the hoods, sure, but I’d have to do some thumb gymnastics from the drops for sure.

  • GFK

    This is probably partly about IP protection – Campagnolo have something like 2800 patents on cycle tech – holding a patent on an idea doesn’t mean that they are going to use it … Shimano, if one takes the time to trawl, also hold a huge swathe of patents that they hold, maybe not to use directly, simply to deny other players from using them. Ditto SRAM.

    There’s nothing to stop Campagnolo using the current switch positioning for a wireless system – that’s a red herring. Wireless is not super-interesting short term for anyone other than those looking at a big OE presence, or hoping for one. The technical challenges are considerable (though on the face of it SRAM have done a good job of negating many of them), the upsides, once the parts are actually installed, are harder to quantify. Longer term, with solutions to some of the challenges of wireless, this may change but although both Shimano and Campagnolo are looking at wireless as areas of interest (especially given FSA’s half-way-house approach), neither are being open about a direct drive to develop in that direction just now. There are other projects of more pressing interest.

    Campagnolo’s general philosophy (which they may be willing to bend but has held true for many years) is that they try to keep ergonomics similar where they can – so, one lever one function (which arguably this is, too) but also the lever positioning on EPS is basically similar to mechanical, just as Q factor is almost identical on all Campagnolo road cranksets (the variation is very small and restricted to the current Triples) … so a user “eyes closed” feels little change in the contact points when they swap bikes, provided other things like bar shape etc. stay the same.

    I’d disagree that Campagnolo are playing catch-up on electronic. Shimano have an advantage on price and at OE, it’s true, SRAM have caused a flap with wireless (but it’s too expensive at present for volume OE supply) … but when one looks at the flexibility that Campagnolo have introduced through the MyCampy App and it’s interaction with EPS v3 and it’s ability to tune the system to both race and leisure user’s requirements, the ease and comprehensiveness of the diagnostic features and the inherent remote access abilities that exist within the App (if a device can attach to the system and the Internet, then the possibility might be open for manipulation of the system from, say the factory, on the fly …) one has to say that as in the cases of 9s, 10s, 11s, Campagnolo are ahead of the technical game … and OK, it remains to be seen if the technical solution is robust but it may be that long-term, with a slow, step-by-step development of the disc brake system, they end up ahead of the other vendors, too.

  • stevec

    If you search for a few more patents, Campag also have some recent ones regarding light illuminating electric switch levers. Would that suggest they are considering either hiding the under-stem control box – or doing away with it for wireless – and having the levers display the status lights?

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