It's becoming a tradition--Campagnolo updates their lineup every year, and our tech expert Tim Laflin hauls out the scales and tools and checks it out. Here is Tim's review and comparison of the 1998 lineup.

Also available online is is Tim's exclusive review of Campagnolo's '98 wheelsets.
For those of us with '97 gruppos, we also have in our archives Tim's review of last year's parts.

Headsets | Bottom Bracket | Chains | Hubs
Shifters | Crankset | Brakes | Derailleurs
Cassettes | Pedals | Seatpost
The Bottom Line


Headsets
Record

The '98 Record headset is unchanged this year in the threaded version to the headset offered in '97. I have included last years review just for completeness.

The '98 headset is 104 grams. The design uses a labyrinth O-ring top seal and a full contact O-ring bottom seal with grease ports. The upper bearing is much better sealed and the grease ports have been dropped. The lower bearing can still be injection lubed without disassembly like the headsets before it. The lock nut has an O-ring seal to keep water out of the headset and stem quill area. The lower head tube race and upper head tube race are aluminum with steel races embedded to lower weight. The crown race is still steel.

One Item that was not covered last year was the addition of the threadless headset. The '98 threadless headset is improved over last year by form and function. The lower bearings are injection lubed like the above threaded headset. The '97 version lacked this feature. Campy also shaved 9 grams out of it for a weight of 110 grams this year. The bearing adjustment bolt is aluminum (7005) instead of steel and the top cap is carbon similar to the Ergo lever body. The seals are good, but not as good as the threaded version. The seals come from a plastic ring like that of an Athena or Veloce headset. The lower bearing will need to be watched a little more closely for lube and cleaning. The upper bearing cap is an overlap design like the threaded version, but again the seals are not quite as good. Look for a little more care and feeding if you choose this one. The lower head tube race and upper head tube race are aluminum with steel races embedded to lower weight.

The crown race is still steel.

Chorus

The '98 threaded headset is the same as last year. No changes were made. The '98 headset weighs in at 106 grams. Keeping with tradition the Chorus does not have grease ports. The the special labyrinth seal on the top of the Record has been dropped and a full contact 0-ring seal is used on top and bottom. The seals are very good. The O-ring seal on the stem is just like the Record.

The threadless headset from last year's Record gruppo now belongs to Chorus. The headset is 119 grams and is identical to the Record version except for the lack of grease ports on the lower bearing, the bearing adjustment bolt is steel and the top cap is aluminum instead of carbon.

Athena

Campy finally kills the dinosaur! The Athena headset from the dark ages is gone. We do not have to stack up a 40+mm headset any more. The new design gets a low fat award. The new stack height is 36.5mm which is a good middle line height and the weight is 35 grams less. This bad boy is 109 grams. That is 3 grams more than a Chorus. Not bad. Ok, so what is the bad news. The seals are not as good as Record or Chorus threaded versions. The seals are however very similar to the Record and Chorus threadless headsets. The seals are good, but not great. The upper bearing is protected with a overlapping lip with an internal plastic seal. The lower bearing has only the plastic seal. The good news is that it rolls like a Campy and like Shimano can only dream about.

The lower head tube race and upper head tube race are aluminum with steel races embedded to lower weight. The crown race is still steel.

Veloce

Veloce gets passed over this year in the headset department. The'98 headset is the same as last year. The tall 40 mm stack height and 141 gram weight make for a heavier design. The seals are a contact fit plastic that are not as sound as the Chorus style O-ring and even less well made compared to the new Athena headset. The crown race and upper head tube race are all steel that accounts for the heavier weight. The rest of the headset employs aluminum and pressed in steel races. It still has good Campy bearings as easy movement.

Bottom Bracket
Record

The '98 Record bottom bracket is the same as the '97. It is hard to improve on this design. The Record bottom bracket gets a light tapered spindle. It is has a lighter shell of the bottom bracket with a carbon fiber casing instead of aluminum. The sealed triple ball bearing design stays this year. Two drive side bearings and one non-drive side bearing carry the bottom bracket spindle. The fixed and adjustable cups have an extra set of seals just for good measure. The new bottom bracket tips the scales at 188 grams.

Chorus

The '98 version is unchanged from the '97 bottom bracket. The Chorus bottom bracket is the same basic design as the Record except for a few changes. The spindle of the Chorus is a solid steel unit instead of a hollow tapered steel shaft. The bearing and spindle casing is aluminum instead of carbon fiber. The rest of the bottom bracket is the same as the Record, with aluminum end caps and sealed cartridge bearings. The bearings on both the Record and Chorus are easily user replaced. The Chorus bottom bracket weight is 218 grams.

Athena

The '98 version is a carry over from '97. This bottom bracket departs from the user serviceable units of Record and Chorus. The bottom bracket is a complete unit with spindle, bearings and casing all in one. This is a throw away unit when it wares out. This bottom bracket uses aluminum end caps that are both adjustable cups, unlike the Record and Chorus that have a fixed cup on the drive side and adjustable cup on the non-drive side. It also uses the same bottom bracket tool and cassette tool as Record and Chorus, but lacks the extra seals on the cups (to the spindle) like Record and Chorus. The weight is 270 grams for the 111mm spindle.

Veloce

The '98 Veloce bottom bracket remains unchanged. The Veloce unit is very similar to the Athena in design. The only difference is it has the fixed cup pressed to the all in one bottom bracket sealed bearing and spindle unit. The non-drive side cup is adjustable with an old style lock ring. The fixed cup and adjustable cups add a little weight to the entire package. The Veloce unit is 300 grams for a 111mm spindle. The one big drawback to this bottom bracket is the installation tool is unique to Veloce and lower gruppos. You can use standard tools, but it gars up the fixed and adjustable cups a little. This is something that Campy needs to fix. Lets get the old standard design back and use the tools we have.

Chains
Record/Chorus/Athena

The '98 9 speed chain gets updated for the top 3 gruppos. The big feature here is longer life. Something not easily had in a 9 speed drive. The chain sports new nickel-plated chain rollers in stead of unprotected burnished rollers. The rest remains the same. The side plates are cut to allow for the more radical chain angles leaving and entering the cogs. The floating link chain design; like the Rohloff chain of old, allows the links to pivot slightly about the pin to give positive shifts and adjust to the cog teeth better. The chain pins also get a Shimano like treatment to assist in shifting. The chain pins are cut with a protruding rectangular feature to help shifting. The pins and links get a nickel Teflon finish to make them run quietly. The uncut chain weight is 300 grams.

Veloce

OK, so who gets stiffed with last years shorter-wearing chains? Veloce, that's who. Stiffed may be a little harsh. Shoot, last year Record used them, so how bad can they be? All of the above description applies except for the nickel-plated rollers for the Record/ Chorus/ Athena chains. The weight is 300 grams also.

Hubs
Record 9 speed

I have seen some talk on the net about the hub spline. This years hub is 3 measly grams lighter. It is not a big deal. The 3 grams came from the non-drive spline side. Campy just removed some of the material. All you gram-heads can do the same with a Dremmel tool and void your warranty. The front hub and rear hub for '98 are virtually unchanged. The front hub receives a cartridge bearing and a titanium axle. They still maintain the ability to lube the hub without disassembly, because the back of the cartridge bearing is open to the grease port. The new bearings have a much improved seal and lighter end caps. The rear hub gets the titanium axle and aluminum freehub body from last years Ti eight speed. Along with this, the hub pawl surface is also in Ti. The skewers get new lighter aluminum end caps and the quick release gets a special low friction insert to make operation smoother. The rear hub can be lubed as always without disassembly via the grease ports on the freehub body and hub body. The front hub with skewer is 185 grams and the rear with skewer is 388 grams. The front skewer is 62 grams and the rear is 67 grams.

So what about the cartridge bearings in the front hub? Didn't I say they were not good in the tech talk on hubs? What gives? Did Campy buy Tim Laflin off? NOOOOOO! The Campy Record front hub for '97 and '98 is a little different animal than you may be thinking. In the mode it is set up from the factory it is a radial load bearing look. This is not the case in real life. The way this assembly really works is the following. The hub shell has the axle placed in it first. The next thing that is done is the bearings are placed over the ends and pressed in until they bottom on the axle stops. Note here that the left side bearing is a light press fit, while the right is a heavy press fit. Bushings are placed on the axle with lock nuts to keep the bearing captive on the axle. Here is the trick. Campy uses a threaded insert on the left side (light press fit side) that screws into the hub shell which allows you to adjust the clearance on the bearings. It is like lenghtening or shorting the hub shell. The way this is done is by keeping the inner races of the cartridges captive on the axle the outer race of the left side is moved in or out to adjust out the play via the above threaded insert. The axle will move to adjust both sets of bearings together. It is effectively a cup and cone setup in this manner. If you actually understand the limitations of using sealed bearing this is a pretty trick setup. Rest assured that Campy is not the fastest to market or the biggest user of new technology, but they are very seldom the makers of crap. This ain't no Spinergy or White Industry cartridge bearing setup so don't sell it short.

Chorus 9 speed

The '98 hubs remain unchanged except for the 3 grams of spline removed like the Record. The nine speed hubs for Chorus are the same as the Record in design with the following cost reductions. The front and rear hubs use steel axles instead of Ti. The front hub uses the older cup and cone ball bearing setup instead of the new cartridge bearings like Record. The rear hub body also employs a steel pawl interface instead of Ti. The rest of the hub is identical. The Chorus hubs with skewers are 438 grams for the rear and 206 grams for the front. The skewers are almost the same as Record in weight but do not have the cut out on closing lever like the Record. The hubs like in the previous year have grease ports like the Record and the aluminum free hub body carries triple bearings just like the Record.

Athena 9 speed

Athena goes 9 speed this year! Now we are talking. The hub design is almost identical to the Chorus. The things you don't get are grease ports for external lubing and the freehub body for Athena also gets a double as opposed to the triple bearing of Chorus and Record. Minus these features you are looking at a Chorus hub. The skewers are a little cheap and heavy. Skewers are mostly steel and the adjustment nut is plastic over steel. Over all the hubs lost 43 grams to the '97 8 speed. The front hub is 216 grams and the rear is 457 grams with skewers.

Veloce 9 speed

Yep, that is right. Campy didn't leave out the Veloce from the 9 speed family. While Shimano leaves 105 swinging in the wind with 8 speeds Campy offers 9 across the board. Heck Shimano still sells 7 speeds to the RSX people. The Veloce and Athena hubs are identical in every way. As far as I can tell the only difference is the quick release which has the same weight as the Athena, but a different style. The front hub is 216 grams and the rear is 457 grams just like Athena.

Shifters
Record

The '98 levers are mostly new this year. Campy overhauls the design with a new shifter body that is more comfortable. The body is a little wider (thus proving wider is better) and more rounded in front. The 1/3 of an inch reach reduction is very nice. The levers are closer and easier to get at from the drops. If you use ergo bend bars, this reach reduction is very welcome. The improvements don't stop there. New internal and external hardware make the lever lighter. An additional helper spring makes the up-shifts lighter to the touch. With all the improvements, the levers drops a decent 35 grams from last year. The shift levers employ a ball bearing shift mechanism. The brake and shift lever cables are routed under the bar tape and out of the way. The Shifter body is carbon fiber. Up shifts and down shifts are on separate controls. Shifters make multiple up or down shifts in a single movement. The shifters can be used with the Racing Triple. The quick release for the brakes is a slide pin on the brake lever for the Ergo shifters. The new levers still have the ability to route the shift and brake cables on the same (front) side of the bar if you prefer. The pair of Record shifters weighs 365 grams.

Chorus

The '98 Chorus levers are the same as the Record levers in almost every way. The main difference is the weight. Chorus uses heavier internal parts in steel where Record will use aluminum. Chorus gets a 46 grams reduction for a total weight of 380 grams for a pair of shifters. All the Record features apply.

Athena

As you may have guessed the Athena levers are new this year also. What you are getting is a Chorus lever from '97 without the ball bearing movement. The Athena lever uses a bushing instead of ball bearings. The shifting is not on par with the Record and Chorus, but the new helper spring is included to make it a little less heavy than the previous 8 speed version. The body is all carbon and it does not benefit from the new shorter reach that Record and Chorus received. A pair of shifters weighs in at 435 grams.

Veloce

The Veloce shifters are almost identical to the Athena except they drop the carbon composite shifter body for plastic resin. The weight is 453 grams for a pair. The shifter is a bushing design like the Athena and the extra weight may come from other heavier pieces in the shifter. Shifter feel is like the Athena.

Cranks
Record

The Record crank is a carry over in design from the previous year. The four-arm spider is a unique design in the fact that the crank arm functions as one of the arms in the spider. This allows for maximum strength and minimum weight in the spider. The deflection of the crank arm is not placed between two adjacent spider arms, but directly to the chain rings mounting point. The design relaxes the stress of torsional spider defection and crank arm defection by joining the crank arm to the rings to give a stronger design. Most light weight cranks fail at the crank arm to spider junction. Campy has eliminated this problem. 135mm bolt center on the spider makes the chain rings less structural in the design and reduces flex. The chainrings have small shift pins that help the chain up to the big ring. The crank weight is 632 grams. The crank bolts are 33 grams.

Chorus

The Chorus crank is a more classic design and does not receive the same design as Record. The five arm spider is still a 135mm bolt circle, but the rings are not joined to the crank arm like the Record. As with all Campy cranks, it still has the shift pins embedded in the chain ring to assist up shifts. The Chorus crank is 667 grams picking up 35 grams from the Record design. The Record and Chorus crank forging are setup for a 102 mm bottom bracket which saves weight in the bottom bracket spindle and makes for a more rigid design. Some riders like the extra ankle clearance the Record and Chorus have due to the flared arms. The Athena and lower cranks lose most of this flare.

Athena

For '98 the Athena crank remains unchanged. Athena is the first gruppo to pick up the triple crank option. This crank and the associated name "Racing Triple" (Athena level) derailleurs are spec'd on Record and Chorus triple component gruppos as well. Athena is available in a double or triple. The doubles come in 39/53 or 42/53 just like Record and Chorus, and the racing triple (Athena) comes in 30/40/50, 30/42/52, or 32/42/52. The Athena double is 650 grams and the triple is 735 grams. The Athena double is lighter than the Chorus double, because the Athena bottom bracket is much longer and the crank forging does not need to be offset as much. The Chorus crank is stiffer due to the shorter bottom bracket spindle and beefier design. The thing you get with Athena is a easy swap to a triple without needing a bottom bracket change. The double and triple use the same bottom bracket. If you think you might need a triple, go for the triple front and rear derailleurs and all you need to do is swap the crank down the road. It seems like the triple gets a better finish than the double for Athena, because the guys at Campy know it may end up on a Record or Chorus bike.

Veloce

Veloce follows in the line of Athena and uses the same double and triple chain ring cranks with all the same features. The Veloce triple finish is a bit more rough than Athena and the crank weight is the same at 735 grams. The double is almost identical in design and weight also at 650 grams. The finish on the Veloce double is not as nice as Athena either. The Veloce and Athena cranks perform almost identically and may differ in only finish.

Brakes
Record

Campy keeps the Record dual pivots about the same this year. The weight is a portly 388 grams. The Record calipers maintain full features like return spring adjustment, fine tune centering adjustment and adjustable pads for toe and rim angle. If you use aero rims, all the Campy brakes have ball jointed pads that can be canted to match the rim profile (Unlike Shimano). The dual pivots have a solid feel and powerful braking. Quick releases are mounted at the lever to deliver full brake power even when the quick release is open unlike the Shimano offerings (see Tech Talk). Caliper movement is made on self-lubricating sealed ball bearings inside the caliper body.

Chorus

The Chorus brakes are almost identical to the Record except for a few pieces of hardware on the Record are substituted for aluminum in the internal of the brake. The Chorus caliper pair weight is 380 grams. The Record hardware saves some weight, but the new self-lubricating bearings take the weight back. The Record calipers are 8 grams heavier.

Athena

The Athena dual pivots are of the same design as Record and Chorus, but the stainless ball bearing caliper movement is now a brass bushing design. The brakes feel more sluggish than the Record/Chorus versions. They still have a fine adjustment side to side and return spring adjustment like Record and Chorus. The Athena dual pivots are 380 grams.

Veloce

The '98 Veloce is now dual pivot also. The '97 monoplanar brakes are gone. With the new Veloce 9 speed came the dual pivot brakes from the Athena gruppo. They are identical in almost every way except for 10 grams in the hardware. A pair of calipers weighs in at 390 grams.

Derailleurs
Record

The '98 Record rear end is designed for the narrower drive line and gets a 4 gram reduction in weight this year. The rear is 226 grams and the front tips in at 100 grams. Ti hardware is being used in the pivot bolt and hanger bolt. Solid one piece adjuster on the rear is easy to use and will not rust (aluminum) like all Campy adjusters. Weight reduction comes from the cable clamping hardware. The new lower pulley has chamfered teeth to reduce driveline noise.

Chorus

The '98 Chorus rear derailleur is identical in design to the Record. The main differences are in hardware. This year the Chorus and lower derailleurs get a new drilled out mounting bolt that is 7 grams lighter. The Record gets Ti hardware and Chorus get steel in the hanger and pivot bolts. The Chorus rear is 243 grams and the front is 106 grams. The Chorus front derailleur does not receive the extra cutouts in the cage that the Record receives. The functionality is identical from Record to Chorus, but Record has the weight advantage.

Athena

The '98 Athena rear derailleur similar in design to Record and Chorus. The new 9 speed derailleur is updated to the rounded and sculpted higher line versions. The Athena double rear is 248 grams and the Racing triple is 261 grams. The front derailleur for the Athena double is 110 grams and the front for the triple is 121 grams. The Athena triple keeps last year's design which is more modern in design to match the Record and Chorus gruppos in style and performance. The Athena is a lighter feel and easier to move with the shift lever than the Veloce.

Veloce

The Veloce derailleurs are almost identical to the Athena in weight and performance for the doubles. The finish on the derailleurs is not quite as nice as Athena, but all of the function is still there. The Veloce front derailleur is the same weight as the Athena, but the rears are heavier. The Veloce rear derailleur is 251 grams for the double and 268 grams for the triple.

Cassettes
I am going to lump all the cassettes into a single category. The new cassette is the EXA-Drive MK2 cassette. For all you gram heads this is at 10 to 20 gram savings in the standard Record cassette depending of the cluster. In the all Ti version (optional) for Record the savings are in the few grams. What is new about the cassette is the Shimano like design. The MK2 cassette has an aluminum carrier with cogs riveted to it. The biggest 3 cogs are a single unit and the next two middle cogs are a unit. The smallest 4 cogs are still individual like last year. Why this change of philosophy on Campy's part? Well, the new freehub body is aluminum and the steel and Ti cogs are chewing them up. The big cogs in the back did not have the support even with the deeper spline of the new 9 speed to take the abuse. By joining the biggest 3 back cogs into a package you can spread the load over a larger area and eliminate the damage. The steel cogs on a loose cassette can chew up the aluminum pretty quickly. The Ti cogs were not much better, because of the inherent flex. They tend to defect and chafe the aluminum freehub body, if you leave the cassette a little loose. Campy reduced weight and made a better long term design. The cassettes are not any cheaper. Record, Chorus, and Athena all get the MK2 cassettes. Veloce gets the older all steel version that is not riveted together. If you keep the cogs tight it is not a big deal, but the MK2 cassette is probably a good upgrade here. All 9 speed cassettes fit all the 9 speed hubs and there is not a compatibility issue. The all Ti 9 speed MK2 will do nicely on the Veloce hub just as the Veloce all steel individual cogs will work on the Record hub. What you are going to lose is the ability to toss on a single big cog for a special event on a MK2 cassette. Not a big deal, but it is a loss of a feature. Single cog replacement is getting so expensive that I am giving up the recommendation this year. For the price of 2 individual cogs you can buy a new cassette. It just doesn't pay any more.
Pedals
The pedals have been broken out into their own tech talk since they are new for '98. I cut out the summary from that review here. Suffice it to say everybody gets new pedals.
Seatpost
Record

Record was scheduled to get a brand-new seatpost this year--a steel post with an aluminum insert (as used by the pros in the peloton last year). Unfortunately, Campagnolo ran into production problems, and decided not to release the new version. At the same time, they didn't make any new posts, so the inventory of '97 posts was exhausted fairly early in the year. If you're looking for a brand-new Record seatpost, you may be out of luck until 1999!

Chorus

The Chorus post is for '98 looks very much like the '97 Record post except for the weight. The Chorus post is 210 grams. Some of the special clamping hardware of the Record is not aluminum and the heavier clamp bolt add the extra few grams.

Athena

The '98 Athena post if very similar to the '97 Chorus post except that the clamp is a little different and heavier. It still has the aero profile and single bolt clamp. The weight is 258 grams.

Veloce

Veloce uses the Athena seatpost for its gruppo.

The Bottom Line

To get complete weight comparisons I used 170mm cranks and 39/53 chain rings were used and a 12-23 MK2 steel cassette cogs for all. All the comparisons below are for double chain ring cranks, with clamp on front derailleurs and threaded headsets. I do want to make a note on a couple of weights that surprised me. The Record crank seemed to loose some weight and so did the dual pivot brakes. I found nothing in the standard literature to indicate why, but the scale does not lie. There were some minor discrepancies from last years components that should not have changed, but gave different weights. After building several bikes with all of the existing gruppos and trying them out for extended periods of time, these are my conclusions.

Record

Is it worth going from Chorus to Record? This year the value of Record is about the same as last year. The weight difference from Record to Chorus is about 240 grams depending on the cassette choice. The full Record gruppo is 3509 grams. The cost from Branford Bike is $1,498 for Record and $998 for Chorus. The extra $500 for Record gets you 240 grams less weight. The rule of thumb I use for a good upgrade is $1 per gram. If I can shave a gram for a $1 it is a good deal. Record is about a $2 per gram. It is still a little expensive to be a value priced upgrade, but definitely passes the common sense test. If you are looking at Chorus and have money to make upgrades for weight Record is a better investment than any aftermarket substitute. This gruppo gets the thumbs up. The new pedals and seatpost mean that you do not need to go looking for an aftermarket company to get rid of the extra pork in the gruppo. This is the first year in the last 9 years I can say a full Record bike will be cutting edge. So will for an extra $400 bucks I get Record over Dura-Ace. Was it worth it? Hard one to call. The gram counters will all head for Dura-Ace land. The guys that ride 10,000 miles a year will be doing themselves a great disservice going the way of the grams for Dura-Ace. It doesn't take too many bottom brackets or a set of shift levers to make up the price to Record. If you want to hang the bike on the wall as art like Seinfeld, Record is not for you. Record and Chorus are close together in performance. Dura-Ace is in the middle and getting squeezed hard by Chorus. Record is a little high on the buck scale to be considered a hard competitor in dollars, but it is in weight.

Note the Record gruppo should get the big 3 cogs in Ti and the rest in steel so the MK2 cassette used here gives Record a 15 to 20 gram penalty.

Chorus

Why go for Chorus? Because I don't have an extra $500 burning a hole in my pocket. This is even more true this year. In fact I would guess that the Chorus components over the long haul will be easier to maintain and service due to the lack of sealed cartridge bearings. The rear hub also uses a steel pawl ratchet which I am fairly certain will last longer than the Ti one in the Record hub. This is my choice for the hard rider that is not a gram counter. You get almost all the functionality of Record at 30 percent less. You give up almost nothing in performance, but take a little less than half a pound weight gain (the entire gruppo weighs in at 3,749 grams). If I had to buy a new gruppo for myself this year I would be Chorus. Chorus is below the Dura-Ace in price by almost $100, but quite a bit heavier. The positive feel of Chorus and rock solid design, with ease of service make it a long running choice. If it were my money Chorus would get the nod over Dura-Ace. If you are counting grams and the function and longevity are a don't care Dura-Ace is the way to go.

Athena

Branford Bike sells the Athena the gruppo for $749. The total weight for a gruppo is 3913 grams. Athena is almost a full 100 grams lighter than Veloce, but 264 grams more than Chorus. The gruppo does not quite pass the $1 per gram test up to Chorus, but it is real close. For $249 you can go up to Chorus and get the top end performance that this gruppo offers. If you have the extra money it is much better spent on Chorus than on some of the other upgrades you might be looking at for the Athena gruppo. This year I have a little easier time telling buyers to go Athena. While it is 9 speeds and gets a new headset it still lacks clear advantage over Veloce. The step up to Athena is a little nicer operation and finish, but the price over Veloce is a big upgrade.

If you have the money for Athena it is a decent step, but not a clear cut bargain. Looking at the Ultegra competition at $729 it is not clear which to choose. The light action and easy feel of Ultegra will sway many buyers from Athena. This is a tough one. While Chorus destroys Ultegra it is closer in price to the Dura-Ace. While Athena may never feel as light and easy to shift as Ultegra it will last longer than your frame (maybe even a Merlin). The initial reaction at the bike store will tip toward Ultegra.

* Note that Athena is getting cheated about 20 grams on the cassette because Veloce was compared with the Athena level cassette.

Veloce

Veloce lists in the Branford Bike catalog for $549. This gruppo is still the hands down winner of the best bang for the buck in Campy's line. Veloce for '98 gets 9 speeds, dual pivot brakes and new derailleurs. It is not quite as attractive as last year, because it picks up nearly 100 grams in weight compared to Athena when going to 9 speed. Veloce tips in at 4017 grams. Veloce is a full $200 less than Athena which makes the step up to Athena a $2 per gram upgrade for not much more than looks and a little function. Veloce is not the unbelievable value of '97, but it is still the my pick for the most for the least. With a few upgrades to Veloce you can have the Athena weight. Any rider caught buying a 105 8 speed instead of Veloce should be arrested by the idiot police. Last year Veloce was 8 like the 105. This year it would be just plain stupid. For a mere $90 more you can get 9 speed Veloce. If Shimano sells any 105 equipment in '98 it is a miracle. Enough said.


This page created on March 8, 1998

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