Campagnolo 11 speed chains

IMG_20130413_115605_233I am a retrogrouch by heart and have persisted with my Campagnolo 8 speed groups for 20 years.  Why would I need a new group?  The 8 speed Record stuff will last forever and looks awesome.  That being said, I recently broke down and got an 11 speed Athena group to see what the new stuff is like.  I’ll go a review of the group in a separate post but I did want to discuss the chain.  There have long been complaints about how Campagnolo’s chains require special (expensive) tools to install and I did find that irritating at first for the 11 speed chain.

Now needing a new chain tool, I looked around and settled on the Pedro’s Tutto Multi chain tool, which works on basically any chain.  The Pedro’s tool is very nice.  It has a good heft and fits nicely in the hand.

Installing the 11 speed chain requires the use of a special chain pin, which is not new.  Back in the day, one just pushed in the pin with a simple chain tool.  The pin stayed in place because it was press-fit into the outer links of the chain.  The Campagnolo pin is not press fit; it stays in place because the ends are flared.  The pin pushes very easily into links, and then you use a special piece on the chain tool to flare out the end.  In practice, it was very easy to install, and I can imagine how this would make a stronger connection.  Instead of deforming the outer link by pressing a pin through, the pin is flared and the outer link is not deformed at all.  This probably also keeps the chain narrow because the pin does not stick out past the outside link at all.  This process also takes all of the guesswork out of the installation.  No more wondering if you pushed the pin in far enough, or to far.  Finally, this method appears to not create any binding that has to be removed.

In summary, I was pleasantly surprised by the design and installation of the Campagnolo 11-speed chain.Pedros chain tool

Campagnolo 11 speed chain