Could Campagnolo have wireless derailleurs, shifters, and a power meter coming soon?

Could Campagnolo have wireless derailleurs, shifters, and a power meter coming soon?

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Ask just about any seasoned bike mechanic which road electronic groupset they’d avoid, and unless they’re a masochist, they will likely say Campagnolo EPS. In Dave Everett’s first impression of Campagnolo EPS, he said, “there seemed to be something lacking, something that would have me picking their mechanical version over the electronic version, at least for now.”

Campagnolo seems to have addressed that, at least according to these leaks. These leaks amount to the next groupset, potentially called Campagnolo Super Record WRL.

Filings with the FCC and US Patent Office appear to show wireless electronic Campagnolo shifters. And with a break from tradition, the shifters lack the Italian company’s iconic thumb shifter as well.

Other supposed leaks seem to point toward a number of changes, including new chainring sizes, updated bottom bracket designs, new cassettes, and more. Numerous recent patents show the groupset could include wireless derailleurs and a potential power meter crank option as well. Here is everything we found.

updated shifters

The new Campagnolo WRT shifters (more on that name later) feature a pair of shift paddles just behind the brake lever blade. One should assume that they’re for upshifts and downshifts, with a rigid brake lever only for braking, maintaining the traditional independent control.

A look at what the inside section of the shift buttons look like. Seems to be that the switches themselves are in the shifter body, far away from where one would press to shift between gears. (Image: Campagnolo)

While both shift functions are integrated into one paddle, it looks like the buttons hinge from different spots. Both the upper and lower buttons seem to hinge from closer to the bodynot unlike how a Shimano or Campagnolo mechanical downshift lever hinges from the body.

The buttons seem to serve as levers themselves, actuating a switch much closer to the shifter body itself, in comparison to Shimano, Campagnolo, and FSA’s levers which actuate a switch close to where the button is.

While these FCC images are largely two-dimensional, comparing these images to US patent images shows a lever that is likely to be narrow and slim in size and overall a lower profile than current EPS hydraulic brake levers.

The hood itself looks to have different texturing compared to current Campagnolo hoods.

Campagnolo WRL shifter pairing
More detail on what the inside of the shift buttons looks like. (Image: Campagnolo)

Other shifter details show that the lever takes a CR2032 coin cell 3V battery, much like current SRAM AXS and Shimano Di2 levers.

One bit to note here: are these for cable-actuated or hydraulic brakes? Current trends indicate these are likely hydraulic but it is hard to conclude from these images. Further, a patent from earlier this year shows off a quite compact hydraulic fluid tank with illustrations that look similar to the levers we have here. But if there was a company to continue to bear the rim brake torch (#savetherimbrake) it would be Campagnolo.

Campagnolo WRL patent images
Hard to tell at a glance what’s going on here, but the shift paddles seem to connect up to a pair of switches in the brake lever itself. Removing electronics from where your fingers touch. (Image: Campagnolo)
The new Campagnolo WRL wireless levers look to use a CR2032 coin cell battery. (Image: Campagnolo)

Is a native power meter crank on the way? Perhaps

Up until this point, Campagnolo fans have had to rely on third-party options should they want a power meter on the bike. SRAM offers Quarq options built into the crank or chainrings, and Shimano offers an option built into their Dura-Ace cranks. This latest patent seems to show Campagnolo is hard at work for their own option.

Campagnolo WRL Crank Patent power meter
Rough patent sketches of what a Campagnolo WRL crank could look like. It retains the four-bolt pattern and Campagnolo’s Hirth joint axle. (Image: Campagnolo)

Many of these Campagnolo patents have the name Keith Wakeham attached. Wakeham has worked with the brand on a power meter for a few years and is well-known for his work with 4iiii and their power meters.

There are a number of patents that have been released around these cranks. The latest is for a “temperature-compensated stress/strain sensor” with figures showing off a crank arm. It is a four-bolt style, much like the latest generation of Campagnolo cranks.

From patents, a look at what a recharging system could look like for a crank-based power meter. Looks like it uses a proprietary charging system. (Image: Campagnolo)

Another patent seems to show that these cranks could have a rechargeable battery cell in the crank arm itself, as shown by a patent in 2019 and another much more recently. Some of these patents go as far back as 2019, leading to speculation that this next Campagnolo groupset could have a power meter option well underway.

Based on the retail leaks as well as patent drawingsexpect these latest cranks to continue to use the Campagnolo Hirth joint style that sees an axle on each crank meeting in the middle of the bottom bracket.

Changes to gearing, including chainrings and cassettes

Campagnolo released an updated freehub standard called N3W (Next Three Ways) with its Ekar gravel groupset. N3W essentially followed the same shape as their existing Campagnolo freehub, just shortened to allow the use of as small as a 9T cog.

A leak, first seen through the Weight Weenies bike forum, says that while the new cassettes won’t start with a 9t cog, many, if not all, of their cassettes offered will use a 10T cog as default.

There are at least three cassettes available, including 10-25t, 10-27t, and 10-29t options.

Campagnolo WRL cassette options
Campagnolo Super Record WRL should have three cassette options at launch: 10-25t, 10-27t, and 10-29t. (Image: 365 Cycles)

From the same leak is a new chainring choice of 48/32t option. Rumors say this is now the mid-range option, with 50/34t and 42/29t as the other options. This is similar to SRAM downsizing their chainring options, but Shimano has traditionally stuck to larger chainring options.

Expect these cranks to use the new ProTech bottom bracket style rather than Campagnolo’s current Ultra Torque system, first seen on Campagnolo Ekar.

Campagnolo WRL 12 speed cassette
Patent images show a 12-speed cassette, with the final two cogs hanging off the freehub ala Campagnolo’s own Ekar cassette. (Image: Campagnolo)

Campagnolo wireless derailleur updates

While there are no leaked images yet of Campagnolo’s derailleurs, the latest patents reveal some interesting notes about what could be in a future Campagnolo electronic groupset.

The patent refers to a derailleur that has a driving assembly that includes a motor and a clutch assembly. This clutch isn’t for chain retention, however. Rather it is there to “engage and disengage power transmission when… hit by an external force.” This is much like SRAM’s AXS system first debuted on their mountain bike derailleurs to prevent the systems from breaking at the first rock strike, and very similar to the clutch the new SRAM transmissions use.

Campagnolo WRL derailleur patent CyclingTips
A rough sketch of what a Campagnolo WRL derailleur could look like. Based on the patent, it looks like the battery could be placed on the exterior of the derailleur cage. (Image: Campagnolo)

The rear derailleur patent refers to a battery module on the moving portion of the rear derailleur “so that there is no need to provide a power cord from the frame of the bicycle to the rear derailleur.” Expect a fully-wireless option ala SRAM, here with a rechargeable battery that faces away from the chain guide. It is unclear whether that battery will be mounted upward, downward, or outward of the derailleur itself.

Expect this rear derailleur to be slimmed down compared to the current EPS derailleur as well.

A later slip-up by shows a ‘Campagnolo Super Record WRL rear derailleur.’ This has a medium cage and uses the part number RD23-SR12WRL. It also confirms the wireless connectivity patent as well as a 12-speed designation.

Unanswered questions

What we do know is that this next Campagnolo WRL groupset will have 12-speed gearing, several cassette options, and smaller chainring options as well. We can guess that the shift levers will be smaller than before and ditch the Campagnolo thumb shifter. Derailleurs are likely to be wireless and use removable batteries as well.

We obviously don’t know everything, and what we have here is nothing more than educated speculation. Many ideas are patented, and few end up being used, but the slew of patents in relatively quick succession from Campagnolo leads me to believe that something is on the way soon.

And if the leak is any indication, looks like online retailers will continue to be able to discount Campagnolo groupsets. As one might say on the internet, lol.

Campagnolo Super Record WRL crank options
Super Record WRL will hurt your pocket, but not if discounts have anything to say about it! (Image: 365 Cycles)

When can we expect a new wireless Campagnolo groupset to come? How much will the new Campagnolo WRL wireless groupset cost? We aren’t sure, but as soon as we know, so will you.

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