In praise of Campagnolo

It’s time to admit it. I didn’t expect it, but where cycling is concerned, I have become a big fan of Campagnolo. I don’t know exactly when it happened. It wasn’t instantly. It overcame me so slowly that I didn’t notice it coming, but there is no denying it now. Some things are so beautiful that you have to appreciate them. I have begun to appreciate and enjoy the functionality and beauty of all things Campagnolo. It isn’t uncommon for people to wear company logos. NIKE sells lots of logo merchandise, so do many other brands. Campagnolo is a relatively small and specialized  company, but I have their logo on a coffee cup and a shirt. This is a very telling sign. Maybe it’s because it’s not so common any more. Maybe it’s history. I can’t say exactly, but I’ve become a fan.

Campy_Cup

The winged wheel with quick release badge of Campagnolo on my coffee mug.

15 years ago I came back to the Washington DC Area where I attended college, and essentially started over after a failed marriage. I needed something to keep me from depression, and I had a bicycle. I sought out an old friend who was a road rider and the rest is history.  I got a road bike. That was the beginning of this cycling obsession. For the most part, I’ve ridden Shimano equipped bicycles. They make wonderful and precise gearing systems.  Yet I’ve never felt compelled to wear a “Shimano” shirt. They’re the industry leader, but they don’t inspire the kind of loyalty that Campagnolo does. It makes no sense. Maybe it has to do with tradition. I can’t really say. All I can say is that after riding with Campagnolo for over a year, I’m a fan. Great ergonomics. It all feels right. I rode Shimano Ultegra and 105 for years, and I think they’re outstanding, but I like the Campagnolo levers better and it all works beautifully for me. I’ve had rides with  SRAM equipment, and I’m not impressed. I have friends who have had bad experiences with their equipment. I won’t use their gear while Campagnolo and Shimano both exist.  I would buy another Shimano bike without hesitation, but I have become a Campagnolo guy. Maybe I should take another sip of coffee from my Campagnolo mug and just taste the acceptance.

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