The Campagnolo Super Record was the ultimate derailleur of its time. All sorts of outrageous claims were made for it - the aluminium was some sort of super special alloy, the black anodising was some kind of super special coating etc. etc... One colleague of mine once explained that Campagnolo was the only company in the whole wide world that could work with ‘magnetesium’ - which was fortunate as making products from a non-existent material must be the ultimate example of niche marketing.
The truth is a little more mundane. The knuckles are exactly the knuckles from the Nuovo Record. The aluminium used is exactly the alloy used in the Nuovo Record. Black anodising is - wait for it - black anodising. The parallelogram plates are exactly the parallelogram plates of the Nuovo Record, but with the characters 'SUPER' replacing the characters 'NUOVO'.
The real technical difference is the use of lightweight titanium for the two large allen key bolts and, err, that's it. But, of course, the biggest ‘improvement’ was that the Super Record inexplicably cost nearly twice as much as the already insanely expensive Nuovo Record.
Despite debunking Campagnolo’s (and the horde of Campagnolo groupies’) myths, the Super Record remains something special. Like a £10,000 mechanical Breitling watch that is fractionally less good at keeping time than a £10 quartz Casio, function does not tell the whole story. The Super Record feels great in your hand, has a timeless look, and seems valuable simply because it was once so ludicrously expensive. It’s hard to define what makes a classic - but whatever it is the Campagnolo Super Record has it in spades.
The first generation of Campagnolo Super Record derailleurs was introduced in 1973. I believe that this example dates from 1977. Some of its distinguishing features are:
One of the the laws of nature is that there is always someone out there who knows more about Campagnolo than you do. If you are that person, please feel free to let me know about any errors or omissions!
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