Monday, November 7, 2011

Campagnolo The Italian Job

Back in early 2009 I wrote about why I am so loyal and passionate about Campagnolo, the iconic Italian manufacturer of premier bicycle components. For me, it's not just about the gear, it's about the history, culture, and commitment of the company to a way of life:

This month's Bicycling Magazine takes an in-depth look at Campagnolo and finds much to admire about the Italian Way:

Campagnolo has resisted the sell-out and remained private. They have bucked the trend and not outsourced and off-shored their manufacturing. Campagnolo employs well paid skilled craftsmen and remains family owned. Can the company survive in this era of cheap global labor and mass production?

Some forward thinking economists maintain that they will not only survive, but that the Campagnolo old school way may thrive in the modern economy. Perhaps even mighty Boeing can learn a thing or two from Campagnolo about manufacturing?

On a sad note (at least for me), Campagnolo has released their electronic shifting groups:

It's much better looking than Shimano Di2 (but still ugly), and at least Campy has engineered some "feel" into the shifting buttons. Nevertheless, I won't be pushing any buttons to shift on my bikes.


psorr said...

I respect Campy's heritage and vision... to me it feels wrong to bolt their components onto a frame cranked out of an Asian assembly line. When I get a European- or custom-made frame, Campy will be a no-brainier.

Tom Meloy said...

Unfortunately (or fortunately, since Asian carbon fiber frame production is now really the benchmark), many if not most of the European frames are made in Asia. Willier, Mercxk, Colnago, etc, all have frames made in Asia.

My custom steel bike is actually made of non-US steel!