What does it mean when people say that a bike part is "campy"?

I've heard people say "campy hub" and "campy chain", for example.

  • 8
    The one exception would be a campy rider... that's something completely different. – Criggie Nov 28 '15 at 20:52
  • 1
    @Criggie Indeed! – zxq9 Nov 29 '15 at 6:13
  • Aussies might also say "campag" meaning the same company. – Criggie Nov 29 '15 at 8:03
  • BTW en.wiktionary.org/wiki/campy – Nemo Nov 29 '15 at 20:40

It's an abbreviation for Campagnolo.

  • I believe that it may be the US abbreviation for Campagnolo. I believe the UK may say Campag, e.g. in this video. youtube.com/watch?v=5Fx45RBgY4U I'm not certain about Commonwealth countries. – Weiwen Ng Feb 17 '20 at 14:31
  • In that case, the question is irrelevant for UK readers. – ojs Feb 17 '20 at 14:49

"Campy" is an affectionate name for Campagnolo, an Italian bicycle parts manufacturer. The reason why you see it specifically mentioned in many cases (whereas you don't see Shimano/SRAM mentioned) is that the parts are rarer (and more expensive) and often incompatible with Shimano/SRAM (though Zinn notes it may be accidentally getting better). Shimano/SRAM have some compatibility with each other (e.g. chains, cassettes, freehubs) and some incompatibility (e.g. shifters), but they're far more incompatible with Campagnolo.

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    Besides which, no one can remember how to spell (or even pronounce) "Campagnolo", whereas Shimano and SRAM are easy. – Daniel R Hicks Nov 29 '15 at 3:41
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    Campagnolo isn't hard to pronounce if you look at the word and actually say it – ebrohman Nov 29 '15 at 5:18
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    @DanielRHicks "Campagnolo" is no harder to spell or pronounce than "lasagne". – David Richerby Nov 29 '15 at 10:58
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    @DavidRicherby - Like I said no one (who doesn't deal with the stuff regularly) can remember how to pronounce "Campagnolo". It's generally pronounced as a mumble. – Daniel R Hicks Nov 29 '15 at 15:14
  • 3
    This is how it sounds: youtu.be/AVnZ7cWEIcc?t=10s. My friend uses Campa-YOLO and gives 0 f's :) – Jerryno Nov 30 '15 at 9:32

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