In the good old days, from about 1980 to about 2000, most people agreed roughly what a quality mechanical derailleur should look like. Notably, Campagnolo was the last of the major brands to adopt this look - and possibly the brand that struggled the most with it.
But then it all went slightly crazy, with Shimano's 'Shadow', or with SRAM's XO and 'Eagle', or with large, larger and sometimes even truly massive pulley wheels or with a dozen other weird and wonderful aesthetic tics.
Again, Campagnolo was the last of the major brands to try a wacky look. And here it is, perhaps 20 years after the trend began; the 12-speed Super Record. To my eye Campagnolo is struggling again. I have tried quickly glancing at it, and I have tried squinting at it through half-closed eyes - but I still find it to be a strange looking object - a Smörgåsbord of seemingly unconnected curves, flat planes, angles, cut-outs and other inexplicable forms. Is it animal, vegetable or mineral? Or a car-crash of all three?
In use, it seems more coherent, deploying all that precision engineering, lush carbon and discreet titanium to change over 12 sprockets sporting up to 34 teeth. But despite all this technology it is not as extremely lightweight as I had expected - coming in at a full 201g.
I feel that a Super Record derailleur should be something that fills me with uncontrollable lust - but this one leaves me worryingly cold.
This is a 2 by 12 version.