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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:19 am 
Mr Benn
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Location: Omnipresent
Apologies I've posted this in Road as well as it is both really.
I wasn't sure whether this should go in the MTB section obviously, but the fact Valentino had the original first ever Quick Release in his hand in the photographs that's invention affects most bike genres now, I thought perhaps it could be either Road or MTB. Mods please ammend if ness.

Anyway, I did post a few images before on this but here are the full set of that interview and the actual interview itself.

I had gone for the day to see friends there and photograph the factory after visiting their 80th birthday party the day before, but Valentino and I talked about design classics and the importance of design in products which strayed all the way from architecture to Lancia Delta Integrales and Fiat Multiplas and he suddenly jumped up and ushered me into his office where he rummaged in the safe and produced this box, the original prototypes his father Tullio had designed and had made for the original quick release he effectively invented.

And so, naturally out came my camera again. And naturally, uploaded here they are, being basically about as much of an old school privilege as I have been invited to witness.

As I walked up the stairs i was told he was ready for his interview now, and I hadn't prepared one! So I quickly thought up some questions, and then off went the design conversation and all was rescued as the awkward silence i feared didn't happen in the end!

Here's the interview we made on the spur of the moment...




Valentino Campagnolo Interview.



1) We know the importance of the past to Campagnolo, but what part does the future play now?

VC - There is a mandatory loyalty to heritage here. A kind of self respect of our history. But an understanding that performance is priority so cutting edge technology is also deeply regarded.

2) Of all the champions that have sat in these rooms, is there a particular one you regard personally as a champion of champions?

VC - Eddy Merckx and Miguel Indurain. They are both down true champions, and yet down to earth. They are both nice with a capital N. Super champions that were always ready to talk to people.

3) Of all of your achievements, which are you most proud?

VC - When somebody recognises the uniqueness of Campagnolo. When they make the connection, share the same pride and passion and feeling about a component we do. When they share the same ideal.

4) To be cutting edge but in balance with tradition without compromising performance is quite an achievement. How on earth do you make it look so easy?

VC - For Campagnolo the priority is performance. Not innovation in design or complexity for the sake of it, but how can we improve the performance of a product? Small or large improvement, but no rules of having to be modern or traditional, simply the least complex route to improvement, that is often utilising modern technology, sometimes looking to the past.

5) How important is working with the pros on development of your components?

VC - It doesn't matter if it is a high level Super Record product or a more affordable one like Athena, we give the prototypes to racers to test, they are the best resource for true feedback. Any component may be raced and this is the best way to make it as good as it can be.

6) Do you have a component or group of which you are most proud?

VC - What I am most proud of component wise is that we try to make every component servicable. So we design a product to last a long time and be repairable not throwaway. I am proud of that.

7) What would you like to see people feel about Campagnolo in the future?

VC - I would like Campagnolo to be respected for the passion we put into the company. The way it has been and the way it will be.



©Augustus Farmer 2013


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:14 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:21 pm
Posts: 287
Location: The Netherlands
Thanks for posting this. Much appreciated.

I witnessed mr Campagnolo being grilled by a Belgian interviewer in 2014. On why Campagnolo did not offer a competitor for "the truly excellent 105 group" he answered that Campagnolo just didn't have the budget to compete on every level. To the interviewer's "I've got some more critical questions" he said that there were no critical questions, "just questions that need an intelligent answer".

I liked how he handled that interview.


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