- Jan 3, 2005
VICENZA, Italy (VN) — Amid rumors that the UCI may experiment with disc brakes in select professional races as early as this year, the CEO of the storied Campagnolo brand, Valentino Campagnolo, told tech press at a wine tasting near the Campagnolo factory, “I’d sooner drink a Pinot Grigio from California than have disc brakes on my road bikes.”
One of the greatest hurdles to allowing disc brakes in the WorldTour peloton is the braking discrepancies between disc-brake bikes and rim-brake bikes. Without all three of the current WorldTour drivetrain sponsors on board, the UCI’s decision has been at a standstill. Campagnolo is the last hold-out, years behind Shimano and SRAM, which both offer disc brakes for road bikes.
Now, Campagnolo is staking its claim on the rim brake-only market, refusing to ever manufacture disc calipers or hydraulic levers.
“With all of the recalls and dangers that come with disc brakes, our efforts are better served developing a lighter, more travel-friendly corkscrew than to go through the headache of prototyping a disc-brake platform,” Campagnolo said, while demonstrating his company’s latest bottle-opening device at Le Pignole vineyards, just southwest of Vicenza, Italy.
When asked about the added braking benefits of thru-axle design and hydraulic disc brake systems, Campagnolo set down his wine glass and exclaimed, “Thru-axles! This company was not founded on thru-axles. When the people want to devolve to the time before quick-releases, we’ll hold a product launch in the Dolomites, and it will be snowing,” he said, referring to the genesis of the original Campagnolo quick-release design.
The press event was then abruptly canceled as Campagnolo stormed away and drove off in his red Ferrari 250.
An internal source later said, “Valentino believes that to stop too fast it is no good.” When pressed, the company insider explained, “It is not Italian to stop quickly. One most stop slowly, observing the riders around him, the spectators at the side of the road. Do not rush what should not be rushed.”
Responding to a request for comment on Campagnolo’s outburst, Shimano’s Wayne Stetina said, “The truth is, we’ll sue the pants off Valentino the moment an Italian can stop faster than us. You can tell Valentino I said that.”
The UCI’s Technical Committee did not respond to inquiries by VeloNews for comment on the matter.
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