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Campagnolo is an Italian manufacturer of cycling components. It has one of the oldest cycling heritages in the world, and its components are used in bikes in Grand Tour pelotonnes as well as other disciplines including triathlon, cyclocross, and track. They make groupsets (collections of a bike's mechanical parts), wheels, and other components.
The company was founded in 1933 by Tullio Campagnolo, a competitive cyclist. According to the famous storey he was competing in a race on a cold November morning in Europe and could not change his wheel. His hands were too cold, and the leaver was too stiff, so he decided at that moment that he would design a better solution. That solution was the quick release system, versions of which are still fitted to bikes manufactured today.
Campagnolo patented the design, and has gone on to create over 100 other patented cycling systems, technologies and designs. Some of the most notable were the introduction of the rod gear, the development of the modern rear derailleur in the 1940s and 1950s, the development of front derailleurs in the 1950s, the introduction of the groupset, the world's first completely-assembled wheelsets, the world's first internal cables for bike controls, and much more.
During the company’s historey they have not just made bike parts, though. They’ve also been involved in making wheels for race cars and racing motorbikes, and lightweight specialist parts for the aerospace industry. They even reinvented the bottle opener, making it easier for wine drinkers all over the world to remove their corks.
The heart and soul of Campagnolo, however, has always been cycling. Right from the start the company made parts to improve the performance of the world's best cyclists. This meant working with cyclists on the big European bike races, something which the company still does today. This includes offering a race service, which involves providing professional cycling team mechanics with spare parts and technical assistance at the world's biggest races.
As a result Campagnolo has a long historey of bikes, riders, and teams using its equipment winning prestigious events, including the three Grand Tours. In addition Campagnolo is directly involved in the sport, offering sponsorship to a number of teams and riders competing in road racing and track cycling.
Campagnolo manufactures high quality bike components organised into groupsets. These groupsets include the popular Record, Super Record, and Chorus brands, both in the original groupset design and in the EPS variation.
Each groupset typically has controls, a rear derailleur, a front derailleur, a crankset, sprockets, a chain , and brakes. The EPS versions also have a power unit. These items make up the bike's drive train.
Other products that Campagnolo manufactures include high profile, medium profile, and low profile wheels.
Campagnolo is involved with a number of professional cycling teams. This includes three UCI Pro Tour teams who compete at the three Grand Tours plus other races throughout the season. Those teams are Lotto-Soudal, Movistar, and Astana. The UCI Women's Team Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling also uses Campagnolo products.
Other teams that have a Campagnolo connexion include the Pro-Continental teams Europecar, Bardiani-CSF, and Rusvelo.