Like their vintage and current bicycle components, Campagnolo cycling tools are unique, ingenious and highly functional. Among their most famous and sought-after product is their Campagnolo Complete Tool Case, which contains almost every tool needed to prepare a frameset to be built into a bicycle. They were remarkable and prized tool kits in their day, and even now, when so many superbikes are made of carbon, certain tools from Campy’s kit are invaluable and heavily used if you have one.
Rare even when new
Since these wonderful cases are becoming a little rare, this webpage is about mine, which is shown above (click to enlarge photo a lot). So that you can see how the cutters, chasers, facers and spanners inside were used to prepare that Masi, Cinelli or Hetchins for assembly, I’ve put illustrations from Campagnolo’s tool case instructional poster, and the tool pages from their Catalogue 17 of 1973 below (click to open complete images).
I believe my Campy tool kit is from 1969 to 1972, since it’s similar to the one shown in Campagnolo’s Catalogue 16, which appeared in 1969. By 1973 the kit had changed to a plastic interior instead of the full wooden interior with blocks supporting all the tools. If you can identify the exact year my kit was made and/or the catalog it appears in, please let me know.
Closed, my case is 30 1/4 inches long, 19 inches wide and a mere 2 1/2 inches thick. A continuous hinge and two latches keep it closed, there’s a quality carrying handle, and the tools remain in place when the case is lifted. But it’s not easy to walk with it by your side. It weighs 45.6 pounds. Note that my case’s original handle has been replaced with a more modern Campagnolo one.
The detail photo below shows the way seven tools nicely nest in one spot in the case. All the tools that I lined up laying across the other tools manage to fit from smallest to largest on the wood holders just above them. Compare the photo above with this one and you can see how it looks when the tools are all in their places.
Notice too, how the straight edge (can you find it?), crankarm bolt tool, derailleur-hanger alignment tool and saddle spanner have unique holders. You’ll see the special Campy brush used for cleaning the filings after chasing and facing sits loosely in the case.
The craftsmanship of the wood told holders isn’t very special. Some are crooked. They crack and break relatively easily. And they’re only glued on the case and can pop off. You can see some repairs to mine made over the years by some of the Bicycle Center’s mechanics (not me).
Still, there’s magic in this took kit and I love owning and using it.