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Campagnolo Chorus 2×12: Reliable Shifts & Stops for All-Road and Gravel Bikepacking

Riding Campagnolo Chorus 2×12 for Gravel Riding: A Comprehensive Review

Introduction

When it comes to gravel riding, Campagnolo Chorus 2×12 might not be the first groupset that comes to mind. However, this slightly older 12-speed group cannot be ignored for its capabilities in mixed-surface riding. In this review, we will explore the performance and features of the Campagnolo Chorus 2×12 groupset for all-road and gravel biking.

Performance and Features

Having ridden Campagnolo Chorus 12 for over a year now, I can confidently say that its performance is just as good as when I first started. The groupset offers fast shifts with a positive click of the lever, excellent braking power, and overall reliability in various weather conditions. Whether it’s rain, mud, snow, or sunshine, the Chorus 2×12 groupset delivers consistent performance. It also carries over the familiar look and function of a traditional road double drivetrain, with lower and wider gearing to tackle steep hills and loose surfaces.

All-Road/Gravel/Bikepacking Build Details

To fully take advantage of the endurance all-road and fast gravel perspective of the Chorus groupset, I mounted it on a titanium Lynskey Pro GR gravel bike. This bike, with its diamond-shaped front triangle and rear end designed for big tires, proved to be a perfect match for the versatile Campagnolo groupset. The Chorus 2×12 groupset adapted well to mixed-surface riding, from flat asphalt to steep forest singletrack.

Individual Components – Actual Weights

Weight-wise, the Chorus groupset’s components had a slight deviation from the pre-production components, weighing about 48g more in total. However, this small increase in weight is a welcome sacrifice for the improved gearing and the cost savings compared to other Campagnolo groupsets.

Gearing

One of the standout features of the Chorus groupset is its gearing. The sub-compact road double crankset with a 48/32 set of chainrings, combined with the steel 11-34T cassette, offers a low Chorus gearing of 48/32 x 11-34T. This provides a 464% range, making it suitable for a wide range of terrains. The gearing is comparable to the widest spread offered by the Ekar groupset.

Review: Riding Campagnolo Chorus 2×12 in All Conditions & Surfaces

One of the challenges I encountered when testing the Chorus groupset for all-road and gravel riding was dealing with unexpected mud. The tall arm of the Chorus front derailleur tended to collect mud, but the reversible cable clamp bolt helped increase tire-to-derailleur clearance. Mud build-up did not affect front shifts significantly, although I did experience chainsuck once due to extreme mud accumulation. The rear derailleur also had some issues with sticky mud, but the shape of the cage edges helped cut off most of the mud. The complex pulley shapes of the Campagnolo pulleys, however, tend to accumulate dirt and grime, making them challenging to keep clean.

Despite the challenging conditions, the Chorus 2×12 groupset performed well throughout the testing period. The braking performance was excellent, and the hydraulic calipers provided consistent and reliable stopping power. The carbon cranks showed some signs of wear, but they remained durable and functional. Overall, after a year of hard riding, the Chorus groupset held up exceptionally well.

The Choice: Chorus 2×12 vs….

In conclusion, the Campagnolo Chorus 2×12 groupset proves to be a reliable and capable option for gravel riding. Its performance, gearing, and durability make it a worthy choice for riders looking to tackle mixed-surface terrains. While newer groupsets may offer advanced features, the Chorus 2×12 groupset remains a solid option for all-road and gravel adventures.

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