DISRAELI GEARS

Campagnolo Super Record (4001)

Campagnolo Super Record derailleur (4001) main image

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, the supposedly new geometry was the ultimate expression of something or other that was going to give the ultimate gear change 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 restyled in a 1970’s kind of way, but are geometrically identical to those of the Nuovo Record.

The real technical differences from the classic Nuovo Record are the use of titanium for the two large allen key bolts and for the nuts on the pulley bolts, and a bigger ‘flange’ on the pulley cage to push the chain onto low gears. The use of titanium certainly lowers the weight. The changes to the pulley cage help, but do not improve the desultory change onto the high gears that was a bit of a problem with the Nuovo Record - and remains so with the Super Record. Of course the biggest ‘improvement’ was that the Super Record inexplicably cost nearly twice as much as the already insanely expensive Nuovo Record.

But despite debunking Campagnolo’s (and the horde of Campagnolo groupies’) myths, the Super Record remains something special. Like a £150,000 Bentley motor car that is harder to park and fractionally less reliable than a £15,000 Honda Jazz, 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.

I believe that this example is a later version and dates from 1985. Some of its distinguishing features are:

  • The b-knuckle is not stamped with any letters or numbers.
  • The logo is painted onto the flat outer parallelogram plate.
  • The rotation of the pulley cage is controlled by a screw-in stop at the p-knuckle. In this example this stop is screwed into a sleeve that does not reach all the way to the outer pulley cage plate.
  • The parallelogram spring is mounted on the inner p-knuckle parallelogram pivot.
  • The inner parallelogram plate has a flat surface with no writing on it.
  • The outer pulley cage plate is the 'improved' shape, but is directly bolted to the p-knuckle without an embedded nut
  • The letter 'O' in the the branding on the main allen key bolts is wider than it is tall.

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!


  • Derailleur brands: Campagnolo
  • Categories: Campagnolo - the good stuff
  • Themes: Ultra-lightweight - road racing models
  • Country: Italy
  • Date of introduction: 1980
  • Date of this example: 1985 ( not stamped with any reference to 'PATENT')
  • Model no.: 4001
  • Weight: 182g
  • Maximum cog: 28 teeth (bike shop folklore)
  • Total capacity: 26 teeth (bike shop folklore)
  • Pulley centre to centre: 46mm
  • Index compatibility: friction
  • Chain width: 3/32
  • Logic: top normal
  • B pivot: unsprung
  • P pivot: sprung
  • Materials: aluminium with titanium used for both large allen bolts and for the nuts on the pulley bolts
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