Campagnolo prides itself on perfection and precision, and their first electronic groupset adheres to this ethos. The EPS (Electronic Power Shift) has been in the making since 1992, and went through six distinct design stages before reaching market. Some prototypes were seen publicly, such as on Niko Eeckhout's race-winning bike at the 2005 Dwars door Vlaanderen, and on the Saeco Team's bikes at the Giro D'Italia the same year. However, around this time Campagnolo found the groupset was not yet absolutely perfect (citing waterproofness issues), so it was placed on the back-burner so they could focus on bringing 11-speed components to market. Campagnolo's high-tech future direction is now available to provide the technological dream of every cyclist.
The EPS drivetrain is fully electronic, with all digital signals processed centrally (not located in the parts), and continuously processes feedback coming from the derailleurs to obtain maximum performance and precision. The EPS drivetrain integrates Super Record 11 mechanical components (crankset, cassette, chain, and brake calipers) with five new electronic components: ergopower control levers, the interface, the power unit, front derailleur and rear derailleur.
Ergopower controls: The ergonomics and operating philosophy remain largely unchanged, but with electronic capabilities. Each of the three levers serve a single purpose: 'Lever 1' for braking, 'Lever 2' for up-shifts, and 'Lever 3' for down-shifts. Levers 1 & 2 still have a positive tactile click when engaged, so you can really feel each shift movement. Lever 3's position and shape has actually been tweaked so it can more easily be engaged from the drops of your handlebars, has a more downward curve, and doesn't require as much 'throw' as its mechanical predecessors. In addition to the three classic levers, there is also a Mode button. By pressing on it briefly you can view the battery charge level, or by pressing on it longer you will enter an adjustment mode to fine-tune your shifting without ever taking your hands off the controls. The most talked-about feature of the EPS is its full multishifting capability. By keeping Lever 2 or 3 pressed down, it is possible to continuously change gears upward or downward, by up to 11 sprockets, with a single action of the levers.
Interface: The Interface represents the communications center of the EPS system. Its main functions are two-fold: show different coloured LED lights to communicate ride settings & battery life, and receive shifting signals from the ergopower controls and transfer them to the Power Unit. The battery charge level can be checked by briefly pressing one of the two Mode buttons on the controls to reveal five different LED lights: solid green (100% to 60% charged), flashing green (60% to 40% charged), solid yellow (40 % to 20 % charged), solid red (20 % to 6 % charged), and flashing red (6 % to 0 % charged). When the battery has 6% power remaining, a buzzer will also sound off.
Power Unit: This is where the magic happens. The Power Unit houses the EPS battery, as well as the DTI (Digital Tech Intelligence)- the firmware that processes all shifting. The housing itself is made from a self-extinguishing plastic, and is completely water-tight. The DTI accepts signals from the Interface and then powers the derailleurs to move accordingly. Campagnolo strategically chose to centrally house all electronics inside the Power Unit, making the other EPS components less vulnerable to external agents (such as oil, water, mud and dust), more stable when subjected to significant vibrations, and less compromised due to a crash. The Power Unit also acts as the diagnostic center of the groupset, signalling any anomalies in the system through an RGB LED light. On a full charge, the battery will last for approximately 2000km, or six months in Stand-By mode. It also has a Switch-Off Key, which needs to be inserted when installing / dismantling, servicing, or putting your bike in storage for the winter.
Front Derailleur: The EPS front derailleur is faster, more rigid, and more precise than any of its mechanical predecessors. It doesn't even have travel adjust screws- it's limitations of movement are controlled through the Mode button on the ergopower control levers. The front derailleur has multiple trim positions, depending on which gear the rear derailleur is in, so the front derailleur will always supply the most precise gear placement. Above the two derailleur plates is a motor box and gear actuator. It is completely waterproof, and based on lab-conducted tests it is capable of being immersed in water for 30 minutes at a depth of one meter without any water leaking inside.
Rear Derailleur: The rear derailleur represents the pride and joy of the EPS project. As with the front derailleur, it is faster, more rigid, and more precise than any of its mechanical predecessors, and has a motor box with electronic actuator that communicates with the DTI. Thanks to the evolution of multishifting, the derailleur can move up- or down through all 11 gears, with just one touch of the ergopower control lever, in just 1.5 seconds. The rear derailleur has settings built into it that are easy to adopt to, such as: if the derailleur overshifts into the frame/wheel, if you crash, or if you run out of battery life.
The whole groupset, including mechanical components, weighs 2100 grams.