EPS: an obstacle course, started 20 years ago, tackled by people with a great vision for the future, a large heart and an incomparable passion for their work and the world of cycling.
All too often the launch of a product on the market is not stopped by errors in design or false qualitative steps, but more often by the difficulty in finding technological solutions that satisfy the needs and ideas that emerge from the minds of the engineers in the Campagnolo research and development department.
The history of the Campagnolo electronic drivetrain, that now takes the name of Campagnolo EPS (Electronic Power Shift), is a 6 step trip, 6 stages of design each of which corresponds to great innovation, great change of direction, and great challenges, but most of all they each represent a ring in the DNA of the current EPS, making it a product that has a soul, created by people with a soul.
year 1992 8 speed
ERGOPOWER: with a switch on lever 2 to go up on the sprockets, whereas a button inside the grip allows you to go down.
FRONT DERAILLEUR: driven by an electric motor with the application of 2 contact limit switches. The derailleur goes from the first to the second chainring by moving from one limit switch to the other.
REAR DERAILLEUR: with an electric motor positioned in the parallelogram. The system uses a mechanical cable that operates a linear optical led encoder located under the shell that is mechanically operated by a cable extending from the rear derailleur. This solution allows the resetting to zero process to be completed as with the mechanical drivetrains.
ELECTRONICS: located in the encoder. It is an electronic digital component that reads the position, the speed and the direction of a part in motion and translates this data into a binary code in output. The system does no more than receive input, translate it and control the movement of the rear derailleur.
BATTERY: The power supply is provided by normal AA Ni-Ch batteries, in the place of the water bottle cage.
- infiltration of water inside the electronic "brain“, caused largely by its position under the shell.
- the led optical encoder is not very exact and generates problems with the alignment of the rear derailleur.
ERGOPOWER: envisions the use of only keys: 1 key on lever 2 to move up and 2 separate keys to move down, that can be used alternately, and positioned in such a way that they can be reached in all riding positions.
FRONT DERAILLEUR: controlled by a specific gear motor equipped with an optical led encoder built into the derailleur itself. This is done with the aim of making shifting faster and more precise, and allows the movement and position of the drop out to be controlled and monitored.
REAR DERAILLEUR: re-considered, eliminating the mechanical cable that initially indicates the position to the encoder by including a new and more sophisticated type of optical led ENCODER inside of it.
BATTERY and the ELECTRONICS: positioned inside the seat tube. A first, semi-handcrafted version is also developed, with a digital display.
year 1994 8 speed
The choice of positioning battery and electronics in that very spot is innovative for its time, but requires particularly long electric connections that lead to a loss of power and do not allow the operations of the derailleur to be carried out.
it is more subject to shorter service life and loss of precision over time.
ERGOPOWER: does not undergo variations with respect to the previous version.
REAR DERAILLEUR: designed to work with 9-speed sprockets, with more limited tolerances and a greater stroke that requires greater precision in processing and planning. To increase the shifting speed the power of the electric motor that operates the rear derailleur is increased.
ENCODER: it is rotative using a friction sensor to increase the shifting precision even when subjected to the stresses and vibrations generated by the asphalt.
year 2001 10 speed
ERGOPOWER: the buttons are eliminated, but levers 2 and 3 are introduced to go up and down on the sprockets and to make the controls for the future electronic system match the Ergopower controls developed for the 10 speed mechanical drivetrains.
FRONT DERAILLEUR: re-designed moving on from a worm screw and rack system. The initial friction, rotative type encoder becomes a magnetic one, increasing the capacity and precision of translating the impulses into digital data.
REAR DERAILLEUR: rigidity and response are increased by the massive use of the carbon fibre. Even the ENCODER of the rear derailleur is replaced with a rotative magnetic one to increase its level of precision.
BATTERY: removable and built onto the side of the water bottle cage.
ELECTRONICS: housed inside a base that is designed expressly for this purpose. The brain of the system communicates with the new cycle-computer that integrates the entire diagnostics system and creates an interface between the system and the cyclist.
year 2005 10 speed
year 2011 11 speed
An industrial pre-serial of the latest version of the Campagnolo electronic drivetrain branded as “Campy Tech Lab” is used during the 2011 competitive season by the Pinarello Movistar team, winning two titles at the Giro d’Italia, 1 at the Tour de France and 1 at the Vuelta di Spagna.
November 7, 2011 – the era of the EPS Electronic Power Shift begins.
The engineers at Campy Tech Lab™ are forced to dive in yet again into a completely new design of the drivetrain to go from the 10 to 11 speeds that were introduced the year before.
ERGOPOWER: The ergonomics are re-designed and improved and the system is enabled by levers 2 and 3. The multiple shifting is optimised.
FRONT DERAILLEUR: totally re-designed to interface with modern frames with a new built in encoder inside of it. The motor and gear motor are re-designed and built to interact and be installed on new concept frames.
REAR DERAILLEUR: To achieve the maximum precision required by the minimum tolerances, a great amount of work is done on miniaturising the rear derailleur displacements and their electronic indexation, by continuing to fine tune the algorithm that manages shifting. A recovery mechanism is also fine-tuned in case of accidental shock, as well as the possibility of moving the rear derailleur manually in case of broken parts or shocks from falling.
ENCODER: of the derailleur and the rear derailleur are improved and the rotative-magnetic type is chosen for both.
BATTERY: re-designed increasing its autonomy and positioned inside a special casing called Power Unit that can be placed in different places on the frame according to the manufacturer's choice.
ELECTRONICS: re-designed and positioned inside the Power Unit. The digital screen is eliminated and the frequency and speed are transmitted with wireless technology.
year 2012 11 SPEED
11 July 2012 – Campagnolo presents ATHENA™ EPS
The rapidly growing popularity of electronics in the world of cycling means continuous research and development.
Just 9 months after presenting the electronic Super Record EPS and Record EPS drivetrains, Campagnolo presents Athena EPS.
The same functions and quality but, thanks to the aluminium used for all components, Athena EPS can offer the Campagnolo mechanic and electronic quality at a more affordable price.
Athena EPS has the same technologies and characteristics available on the electronic Super Record EPS and Record EPS drivetrains.
ERGOPOWER: the ergonomics and design of the controls are the same as those used on the Ergopower™ Super Record™ EPS and Record™ EPS. There is a much better feeling especially as regards to lever number 3. The Multi-Shifting technology is also available on Athena EPS.
FRONT DERAILLEUR: Same design as the Super Record EPS but with different materials. A special aluminium alloy has been used in place of carbon fibre. The automatic re-alignment function is also available on Athena EPS.
REAR DERAILLEUR: Geometries and design are the same in the top versions of the Super Record EPS and Record EPS range. Athena EPS is equipped with the RideBackHome technology as well.
BATTERY: charge lasts up to 2,000km or 6 months on standby.