do you have a 1st gen c-record front derailleur?

As an enormous purist, one thing I can’t stand is when people present their “extremely rare Colnago with full first generation Campagnolo corsa record groupset” and everything is a mix of all the c-record era parts except the rear derailleur as everyone knows that one by now (and even there are several versions in existence but that one is a blog post for in a couple of months…)


So here is a small list of the “c-record” era front derailleurs that can help your build just a bit closer to  “100% period correct”

1st gen 1983-85

Note that the clamp-on version was available up until 88 in most bicycle shops, it took a long time for Campagnolo to adjust them to the second gen, why? No idea, we assume that it has to do with the the mounting bolt placed so low and frame builders not being able to put the derailleur hanger in a position where you can mount a super record, c-record or victory all at the ideal position and still being able to change gears on a large variety of chainrings. Where you wouldn’t have a problem with this as you use a clamp on derailleur of course.

  • extra big notch at the top
  • 2 horizontal pivot points at the back (little plate after those points gets lost often, be careful with that
  • fixing bolt is lower than other models, where it is mounted in the middle
  • chainguard is chrome plated, pivot plate is anodised, body is polished but not anodised
  • can be found on bikes with first gen deltas or super record brakes (cobalto brakes on rare occasions)

fun fact, those are the derailleurs you can find on the 100th anniversary bianchi centranio from 1985 and the 35th anniversary gold plated Colnago groupsets (good to know as there are more and more replicas of these groupsets made without mentioning that they did not came from the Colnago factory like that)

Second gen: (late 84?)-91

Note that there are slight variations between 85-91 in the “glossiness” of the anodising, if you hold a couple of them next to eachother you might notice that but that is some next level determination, we might get into that later on

  • compacter design
  • mounting bolt in the middle
  • diagonal pivot points, no plate
  • harder to dismantle
  • can be found on bikes with cobalto brakes or 2nd, 3rd and 4th gen delta brakes



left, first gen, right is the second gen, you can clearly see the little notch on the top


3rd gen 1992-94

This one was designed for the 8 speed ergopowers, Shimano had introduced the dura ace 7403 8 speed STI groupset in 91 which shifted lighter and quicker than campagnolo so they had to catch up a bit, this little bend in the chainguide helps shifting more precise with the front derailleur

Note that in this period some people still preferred downtube shifting so it can be found on an 8speed setup with DT shifters

  • almost equal to the second gen
  • small bend in the chainguide for improved shifting performance
  • can be found on bikes with 5th gen delta brakes or the improved dual pivot brakes

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