Friday, May 14, 2010

1st generation Campagnolo Nuovo Record brakeset

1968 Campagnolo Nuovo Record brakeset. The first year that Campagnolo produced a brakeset of their own, and for its time, the best looking and most effective caliper on the market. Distinguished from later generations by the lack of the Campagnolo logo on the caliper arms.

This set is NOS and still in it's box (itself in very good condition). Certainly very rare to see in this state and the the price reflects this: currently on ebay for USD $9,999.

From a pragmatic point of view, if you take it out of the box & stick it on a bike (nutted brake mounts of course...) you would be disappointed by its underwhelming performance compared to modern brakesets. Even if you are a collector you would lose monetary value by mounting them on a period build. My guess is that if (and it's a big if) this set is bought then it's destined for a showroom behind locked glass. Truly a brakeset that is haughty and arrogant in it's exclusiveness...

I have a shiny set of these on my pre-1965 Cinelli SC with the quirky (to say the least) orange repaint. It was probably fitted as an upgrade to the original brakes. For me, that gives it a sense of proportion in keeping with the manufacturer's original intention. A brakeset that is cool and classy and with genuine real world experience...

ADDIT: Just an interesting aside. The 1968 calipers have a noticeably finer grade of polish than the subsequent Nuovo & Super Record calipers. Even the calipers of the highly polished 50th Anniversary groupset lacks the warmth of the 1st generation. Sound familiar? Same trend is seen in the production of the Campagnolo delta brakeset one and a half decades later. Appears that a lot of elbow grease goes into the 1st run then the effort seems to drop off as production gains momentum.

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