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Is Campagnolo 12-speed coming soon?

Patent applied for in USA by Campagnolo describes cassette with 12 sprockets

Joe Robinson
19 Mar 2018

It looks as if Campagnolo could buck its traditional trend and be the first big groupset manufacturer to launch a 12-speed road groupset. In a patent applied for on 6th July 2017, the Italian bike component giants Campagnolo describe a 'bicycle rear wheel sprocket assembly (that) has twelve sprockets in a twelve sprocket assembly.'

The patent, which was posted last year, was recently spotted and reported on by BikeRadar.

The patent details the gear ratios that it would produce the cassette in, with five individual options being listed. Among those were 11-23 and 12-27 which ironically still gives this 12-speed cassette a smaller ratio than Shimano Dura-Ace, SRAM Red and its own Campagnolo Super Record.

Of course, 12-speed groupsets exist with the Sram XX1 Eagle yet these sit exclusively within the world of mountain biking. With the increase of 1x specific road frames, the 3t Strada being the most noticeable, many saw the creation of a 12-speed road-specific groupset as only a matter of time.

The patent fails to disclose whether the development would be specifically for a 1x or 2x groupset yet with the tight gear ratios - no jump is bigger than two teeth - it can be assumed this development would be better matched with 1x.

It is widely believed that SRAM is also currently working on a 12-speed road-specific groupset and it would not be outside the realms of impossibility that Shimano is also close to this new innovation.

Patents are applied for regularly without coming to market, yet with it quite some time since the last major development in the road groupset, do not be surprised if we suddenly see 12-speed groupsets from the three biggest players.

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