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Product Review: Campagnolo Athena Black 11 Speed Double Groupset

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Cutting edge technology accessible to all. Athena is Campagnolo’s first ’11-speed’ groupset in their tiers, an upgrade from the Veloce groupset that sits below it.

Athena can be chosen with carbon look finish or with black or silver aluminium finish. Whatever version you choose, Athena is the only entry-level 11-speed drivetrain delivering class beating performance, weight reductions and improved shifting and braking. Supplied with all cables required to fit to your bicycle, Athena is a great option for performance on a budget.

Campagnolo Athena Black 11 Speed Double Groupset Review:

My first outing onto the road for Athena was this weekend. Out with a bunch of guys for a Sunday thirty, nice and quick, and very easy on the legs. To me, Campagnolo is just class-leading stuff. I have a few Campy bits on my bike from using it in past years but just haven’t found a use for it in the recent past. That was, until I tried that out. Definitely loving the intergrated brake lever/shifter. Loving the brakes too.

I’ve gone 11-23 with a rear 11-32 and a 10-speed cassette, light, fast and smooth. I have to say the brakes are also top notch- I really enjoy having both light and firm braking options at hand. The shifting is just the same and that really helps keep you in the right gear.

The bar end shifters are dead simple to use, a bit harder to fit than a normal integrated set though, and there does seem to be some play in the 31.8 diameter Quill of the cap. The bar end shifters are also very hard to adjust with the barrel orientation being different from a normal integrated set. However, once you have it set, it’s brilliant – fast, accurate shifting with a great deal of lever stroke.

I’ve always been a fan of campagnolo, i’ve got their hubs, brakes and a carbon version of the same groupset on a fat bike and their always bang on where precision and reliability is concerned- this is no different. The whole groupset is great! Buttery smooth and seamless shifting, light, with the ability to make the brakes firmer/softer to suit those more critical of your ride technique.

Athena is a very nice groupset, if you like to ride fast but not faster, and want some of that campy feel with your brakes but not the outrageous price. It would also make a nice upgrade to a budget or heavier bike that needs more stopping power.

Athena has quickly become my groupset of choice, even over the likes of a few top end Shimano and SRAM too. It looks great, its buttery smooth and feels lighter than the chunky xtr shifters that they replaced.

The brakes are great, simple and easy to use and make a huge difference to any bike. The shifting is rapid and slick, the clutch mech works silently and smoothly and the front mech is pretty whisper quiet and easy to adjust.

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Good solid package that is well suited to people competing in cyclocross and time trial events with a fast light feel but without the cost.

I’ve been using shifters and brake set for about a month now. The brakes are exactly what you’d expect from Campag – like stopping quickly when you need too. The shifting is great, fast and did I mention it shift well? The set is sturdy. I like the intergration of shifter and brake levers. The levers are very comfortable, the braking is natural and strong. The only downside, the plastic clamp to mount the shifters to the bar requires careful adjustment.

People have been raving about the Athena 11-Speed groupset for over a couple of years now & although everyone who has used one thinks its the bees knees, many of us on a tighter budget have been in two minds about pulling the trigger. This is unsurprising as there were hardly any of us who’d pay out over a grand for a little black billet stem & pair of brake levers! There is however a light at the end of the tunnel, 1 litre of that light comes in the form of Athena 11-Speed Groupsets which are a quarter of the price of popular competition.

We have yet to see what Athena can do but many of us are intrigued and even if it isn’t at the top of your wishlist it’s certainly a good reason to go on the hunt for a cheapo 10-speed cassette as the 11-speed groupset will most likely be compatible with your existing cassette & chain.

Campagnolo Athena Group Sets Comparison:

It will be very easy to upgrade your Campagnolo groupset to the latest Athena 11-Speed, many of us are actually using Athena as the upgrade path to Campagnolo 11-Speed groupsets or 11-Speed groupsets we saw from other brands that Campagnolo doesn’t have.

And lets be honest here, there is no coincidence that Campagnolo has been one of the last brands to jump on the 11-Speed band wagon, this move is the first step in the direction of Campagnolo die hard fans parting with their hard earned money for an 11-Speed Campagnolo groupset.

  • Athena 11-Speed will appear in the pro peloton for the coming season.
  • Athena Group Set Components
  • Athena groupset is a four-piston with stainless steel brake calipers
  • Double 11-speed chain
  • 9-speed or 11-speed cassette
  • 11-speed shifters.

The Athena groupset is available in a black coating or a high gloss brushed aluminum finish. Athena offers a mechanical shifting system with a wide range 11-speed cassette and a double front derailleur, Campagnolo rear derailleur, pulley wheels and micro-ratio crankset

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Written by Mark Adams

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