Classic Lightweights UK
Classic Components  

Campagnolo front changers 

Peter Underwood and Kevin Sayles

This very early Campagnolo front 'lever'changer was designated as the Sport, it does not seem to be mentioned in Campag timelines but was illustrated in a 1948/9 catalogue. We would welcome more information.

Campag Sport 1
Campag Sport 2
Two images of the Campagnolo Sport 'lever' changer
Paul Gittins

Early Campagnolo front gear changers went through many subtle changes and we have tried to evaluate these starting with the Gran Sport and Valentino 'matchbox' front changers:

Peter Lowry has kindly done an image of the Campagnolo Gran Sport front changer showing the rod emerging straight from the 'box'. The later and cheaper Valentino changer had a shoulder here to give the rod more support.

Gran Sport 1

John Crump provided an image of a Valentino front changer for comparison (Peter wouldn't have anything so common!). The shoulder supporting the rod can clearly be seen.

Gran Sport 2

Amir Avitzur provides us with the following two images. The first shows the Gran Sport and the Valentino side-by-side - you should know which is which by now. Note the set screw angle relative to the cage.

Gran Sport 3

And this one shows you the component parts of a Gran Sport. A year's free subscription to 'Classic Lightweights' for the first to work out how it goes together!
Gran Sport 4

Peter Brueggeman points out that the set screw which holds the cage to the operating rod is at the top on the Gran Sport but at right angles on the Valentino
(Image from Bryan Clarke)
Gran Sport 5

In 1960 the parallelogram Record front changer (image below) was added to the Gran Sport Group in place of the above gear often referred to as the 'matchbox' changer. This early Record had the long arm with cable stop which can be seen below. This enabled a short length of outer cable to be used between it and a cable eye clamped to, or brazed onto, the frame down tube (see bottom of page). It would also be possible to use outer cable from the lever to the changer but I have never seen this done. 

Gran Sport 6

The cable stop was removed in 1967 when Campagnolo introduced the clamp-on bottom bracket cable guide which allowed an open cable run without use of the outer cable. The modified Gran Sport  was re-introduced in 1963 as a Campagnolo (budget) changer in black and in 1964 as the Valentino, another budget front changer.

General overview of Campagnolo model production of this era as a guide:

1946 Corsa and Super introduced
1949 Gran Sport introduced
1951 Cambio Corsa, Tipo Paris-Roubaix, Gran Sport produced
1952 Gran Sport Extra, Sport produced
1961 Sportman introduced
1963 Record introduced
1964 Valentino introduced
1967 Valentino Super, Nuovo Sport, Nuovo Record introduced
1968 Valentino Extra, Sport Extra introduced
1970 Gran Turismo introduced
1971 Velox introduced
1973 Production of Record dropped
1974 Rally, Super Record, Nuovo Gran Sport introduced
1982 Gran Sport Rally introduced
1985 C (Corsa) Record
1987 Production of Super Record ceased


Kevin Sayles has a definite preference for obtaining old Campag stuff.........and in particular Record front mechs!

"My collection of Record front mechs is almost complete. I need one of the very first type [the one with the screws holding the bronze arms]. I used to have one of these, it was on a Winter bike back in the late '70s and had seized a little so that when I needed to go back on the small ring I had to take my foot out of the clip and whack the gear with my foot! I also need an example of the 11th Generation as listed below.   Here is my list of front mechs, which I believe to be in order of  production." With images from Kevin below the table.
 1st Generation chromed bronze arms, retaining screws. larger triangular body, flat cage. cable stop without slot. [still looking for one of these]
 2nd Generation as above, but no retaining screws, still with larger body. (c1959/60)
 2A Generation (A later addition to the sequence) The same as 2nd generation but with a slotted cable stop
 3rd Generation (A later addition to the sequence) The same as 3rd generation but with chromed bronze arms
 3A Generation alloy arms, smaller triangular body, cable stop with slot, flat cage. (c1963)
 4th Generation as above but no cable stop, flat cage. (c1967)
 5th Generation newer body with protrusion on corner of triangle, alloy arms NO CIRCLIP
[my latest find] (c1971)
 6th Generation as above but with the circlip. Still flat cage. [same period as 1st gen Super Record] (c1972)
The following all have a 'lip' on the cage
 7th Generation as above but now with cage with lip. [circa 1978]
 8th Generation 4-slotted cage, narrow banded, chrome adjusting screws & springs [circa 1979]
 9th Generation as above but now 3 slotted cage, narrow banded. (c1979)
10th Generation 3-slotted cage, band returned to diamond shape, but smaller than earlier versions. (c1980)
11th Generation brazed-on version of above. [I need one of these too] (c1982/83)
12th Generation Super Record with black arms, both braze on and banded. (c1983/84)
13th Generation Super Record, braze on, with SHIELD LOGO as later Campagnolo Record

Campagnolo generation 1
First generation changer with chrome bronze arms retained by screws
(on Kevin's wish list!)

Campag Generation 2/3 59-60
Gen 2: 1959/60 -  Bronze arms, cable stop, larger body. Gen 3: 1963 - Alloy arms, slotted cable stop, smaller body.

Later insertion - Generation 2A as second generation but with slotted cable stop (Bill Kloos)

Campag generation 2/3
Generation 2 and 3 - rear view

Later insertion - Generation 3A with chromed bronze arms (Bill Kloos)

Campagnolo Generation 4 and 5
Gen 4: 1967 - no cable stop. Gen 5: 1971 - later body, but no circlip.

Campagnolo generation 4 & 5 rear view
Generation 4 and 5 - rear view

Campagnolo generation 4 and 5 side view
Generation 4 and 5 side view

Generation 5/6
Gen 5: 1971 - later body, but no circlip.  Gen 6: 1972 - later body with circlip.   

Campagnolo generation 7
Generation 7 (1978) with lip on front of cage

Campagnolo 3 and 4 hole narrow band
Generation 8 (right) and 9 (left) (1978/9) - narrow bands with 3-hole and 4-hole cages

Campagnolo 3-hole Nuovo Record
Campagnolo 3-hole Nuovo Record

Campagnolo Super Record with Shield logo
Campagnolo Super Record with shield logo
Generation 13 - 1986/87

Campag front cable
Image showing early front changer cable routing ('matchbox' and early Record)
Some frames have a braze-on boss on the down tube for this