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Review: Campagnolo H11 disc brakes shine for long haul

Campagnolo H11 Disc Brake Review

Introduction

Last summer, Campagnolo introduced their highly anticipated H11 disc brake project. Although they were late to the market, the brakes proved to work as well as, if not better than, other hydraulic road disc brake groups available. We have been riding a Chorus carbon gruppo with the H11 components, including a longer medium cage rear derailleur, and have been impressed with its excellent performance.

Campagnolo H11 Mechanical Road Bike Disc Brakes

Unlike their competitors, such as Shimano, SRAM, and Rotor, Campagnolo released their new disc brake technology across a wide range of component group levels. They also delivered the brakes to consumers in a short amount of time. As someone who had been looking for a mechanical shift/hydraulic disc groupset with improved ergonomics for an all-road bike, the mechanical Chorus version of Campy’s new disc brake series seemed like the perfect fit. It shares the same H11 levers as the Record and Super Record groups, as well as the same crankset. Additionally, Campagnolo now offers their top mechanical rear derailleurs with a mid-length cage, allowing them to work with Campy’s newest 11-32 cassette.

Tech Details & Actual Weights

Adding disc brakes to a carbon road bike build will inevitably add some weight. However, since the heavier components of the H11 group are shared with the higher-spec Record and Super Record groups, choosing the Chorus groupset provides the best value in terms of weight per Euro. Our Review groupset can be divided into two categories: H11 and Chorus mechanical. It includes H11 brake/shifters, flat mount disc brake calipers, 160mm H11 rotors, and a H11 carbon crankset. The H11 levers have a slim profile, comfortable ergonomics, and unique independent reach adjust and two-position leverage adjust features. The H11 crankset has a slightly wider chain line to accommodate the wider rear hub spacing.

Chorus 2×11 Mechanical Drivetrain

The Chorus components include a medium cage mechanical rear derailleur, a standard mechanical front derailleur with an integrated CSD chain catcher, a Chorus C11 chain, a non-series Ultra-Torque press fit bottom bracket, and a non-series C11 steel 11-32T cassette. The standout component here is the mid-cage rear derailleur, which offers a larger gear range for the Chorus, Record, and Super Record groupsets. Although the steel 11-32 cassette is heavier, it provides a more usable range for the top-end groupsets.

Riding Impressions

Campagnolo has successfully executed their disc brake debut with the H11 group. The brakes offer powerful braking and consistent, reliable modulation, comparable to Shimano’s top Dura-Ace disc brake setups. We have ridden this group in various conditions, from smooth tarmac to mixed surfaces, and have been impressed with its performance. The adjustable leverage ratio and reach adjust features, although more commonly found in mountain bike brakes, add to the comfort and customization of the system. Overall, Campagnolo’s H11 disc brakes provide an excellent riding experience for those transitioning to road disc brakes.

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