Spotted: Next-Gen Campagnolo Prototype

The wheels of progress are always turning. Earlier this week, BikeRadar posted a gallery of a prototype Campy group spotted at the Giro.

Spotted on Maxime Mederel's Colnago C60, the group appears to be an advanced prototype (i.e. near production). Some of the changes appear to have been influenced by competitors designs. The most obvious of which is the 'Shimano-fied' crank and front derailleur.

Shimano introduced the four arm crank design with the introduction of Dura Ace 9000, after their analysis showed that the fifth arm added very little to the stiffness or shifting of their cranks while adding material and weight. FSA soon followed with the new version of the K-Force Light crankset.

I definitely feel some mixed emotions about the look of the new design. I had come to really admire the classic look of the Campy cranksets. Ultimately, form should follow function and if the fifth arm isn't helping, then it should be removed, regardless of how it looks.

From a business perspective, one of the greatest advantages of these new cranks is having a single spider for all sizes of chainrings. This means reduced production costs, and allows the companies to be more nimble in adjusting to market changes.

The other Shimano inspired change is the long arm on the front derailleur. This should lead to faster shifts with reduced effort.

Head over to BikeRadar.com for the full gallery