The 1970 Campagnolo Velox was a typical part of the confusing mess of low-end steel gears that Campagnolo offered during its decades of high-end dominance.
Tullio Campagnolo introduced a sequence of low-end steel gears as part of the 'Valentino' sub-brand in 1964, 1966, 1969 and 1976. Each Valentino model was a clear development of the last. But right in the middle of this series, in 1970, they introduced the Velox. In some ways it was a more deluxe item - more richly chromed and sporting flambouyantly red branded main bolt heads. In other ways it was a step backwards, the top pulley wheel was concentric with the p-pivot, not offset as on a Valentino, the pressed steel b-knuckle had an odd bend in it that was clearly noticeable, but too slight to serve any obvious purpose and the parallelogram arms themselves were strangely short, as if designed for 3 or 4-speed freewheels - items that were long obselete.
By the time I started working in bicycle shops the Velox had been around for a few years - but nobody had yet worked out why it existed. Perhaps, because that concentric top pulley wheel gave it a touch bigger capacity than the Valentino, it was suitable for some kind of stylish-Italian-lightweight-touring-type-cycling, kind of an Audax with added hair gel. Or perhaps not.
My best guess was that it was a knee-jerk (but belated!) reaction to the, wildly successful, but very humble and much cheaper, Huret Svelto. A bit like Ferrari deciding to copy a Hyundai hatchback - and, inevitably, making something of a pig's ear of it.
Not Campagnolo's finest hour.
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