Why do you cycle?
It’s a question that’s motivated Campagnolo to find the answer for nearly 90 years.
“‘It’s by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.’”
So said Ernest Hemingway. The American novelist pinpointed one of the many joys of riding a bike, of learning more about the world around you through beads of perspiration or a refreshing wind.
This desire to discover is one reason behind cycling’s worldwide appeal, ever since John Kemp Starley invented the modern bicycle back in 1885.
Starley’s creation also epitomised another of cycling’s eternal attractions: the unification of man and machine.
Arguably, this unification is most beautifully represented by Tullio Campagnolo. When a young Tullio punctured over a snow-capped Croce d’Aune Pass in 1927’s Gran Premio della Vittoria race, his frozen hands simply couldn’t unscrew the wingnut that clamped his wheel to the frame.
There must be a better way, he thought.
Just three years later, Tullio had invented the quick-release skewer and changed the landscape of cycling forever.
With cutting-edge equipment like the 13-speed Ekar and Bora Ultra WTO wheels, Campagnolo continues to aspire and inspire in equal measure.
As do cyclists everywhere whose passion to be their best, in sunshine, rain, winter and fall, sees them challenge themselves – and their equipment – to ever-greater demands.
The wonderful thing about cycling is that these challenges, these demands, are self-determined. For one, the goal might be to conquer Haute Route Alps in a certain time.
For someone else, it might be to plan and finish their first overnight bikepacking adventure. No matter the goal, cycling enriches the lives of those who take to two wheels.
It also lengthens them. The world’s academics have consistently shown that cycling delivers myriad physical benefits.
One study out of King’s College London compared over 2,400 identical twins and discovered that those who cycled 45 minutes three times a week were biologically nine years younger than their siblings.
Another study from the US highlighted how regular cycling can cut your risk of heart disease by 50%.
Your body is emboldened on two wheels. As is your mind.
Cycling is without doubt the best medicine. You leave your home weighed down by the stresses of work and life. But with every pedal stroke, you become lighter and lighter as the pre-ride anxiety’s replaced by pure joy.
Campagnolo adds to these stress-free sojourns by creating durable, reliable equipment that works each and every time.
More than that, Campagnolo makes every ride special, ensuring you can dream bigger and reach ever-greater heights.
Cycling taps into the individualism we all crave. You can ride where you want, when you want and adjust your gear to how you want.
Guillaume Martin, who rides for Campagnolo-using Cofidis, studied philosophy at university and has authored two books on the subject.
Martin’s favourite philosopher is Friedrich Nietzsche.
Martin also espouses what Nietzsche calls the ‘intelligence of the body’. This, he says, is an intelligence not rewarded at school but is even more profound.
Your body learns the movement of cycling – from the ability to stay upright as a child to taking a tight corner at speed descending the Dolomites as an adult – and it becomes second nature.
‘This cleverness of the body is what we develop as we ride,’ says Martin.
This cleverness is why every cyclist and Campagnolo continue to push themselves, year after year, conscious goals building on a subconscious cranking up of physical intelligence. Yes, you can see an improvement of race weight or more sinewy exterior, but it’s this deeper understanding that enlightens your cycling journey.
Campagnolo’s the hub where art meets science, where the visceral meets the empirical.
Take the 13-speed Ekar groupset whose timeless beauty masks the years of research and development, the numerous prototypes, and thousands of hours of blood, sweat and tears.
Those who are serious about their cycling, for whom passion’s stimulated by long days in the saddle, have for years had one brand to turn to and will continue to do so for years to come.
That brand is Campagnolo.