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Vintage Campagnolo brake lever

Campagnolo bicycle components have probably the deepest history, and the most devoted of followers. The Italian company, founded in 1933 by Tulio Campagnolo has a storied past of great riders, victories and folklore. This lever is among the last non ergo brake levers made. Around the time this particular version came out, all high end bikes were getting fitted with ‘ergo’ levers that incorporated the shifting into the mechanism. The only place for a lever like this these days would be on a vintage re-build or a hip urban single speed or fixie.


The Belgian great, Eddy Merckx won all his Tour de France victories on Campagnolo. And, in fact, it was not until 1999 that modern rival, Shimano, managed a win in the Tour with Lance Armstrong.


Here are the words spoken by Merckx at the funeral of Tulio Campagnolo :

Dear Commendatore Campagnolo:


On behalf of the cyclists all over the world, of those known or unknown, I address to you from this square of this church a touched good-bye. You deserve to belong to our life's memories because, rider like us, you have known before us our fatigue, and you have helped us.


You have done it with that generous intelligence that was the fruit of your goodness as man and as entrepreneur.


You have been the most faithful and precious of our helpers. You arrived first for seven times, with me, to the goal of the Milano-Sanremo; you were with me under the snow the day I was climbing victorious, the road of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. I shared with you every success.


In telling you good-bye in the name of all the presents and of those who regret not being here, I wish to repeat an act of faith heard in this church.


You will remain with us, riders of all ages and of all classes, as a dear and unforgettable road fellow. A good friend.


I tell it to you in a bad Italian, maybe, but with an Italian heart because, thanks to you, there is a piece of Italy with your name on all the bicycles of the world.


Your memory will remain always with us.



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Taken on March 16, 2008