Campag/Shimano compatability


Well-Known Member
Feb 20, 2013
Cape Cod, MA, USA
You may have another issue besides that one. I've never owned Campy, but my understanding is that a Shimano or SRAM cassette also won't fit on a wheel with a Campy hub. Shimano and SRAM use the same hub. Campy, I believe, is different. But I'm not sure.

You can use Shimano and SRAM cassettes interchangeably with either group. However, the same isn't true with the shifters. Shimano shifters won't work with a SRAM RD, and vice-versa.
As mentioned above, the bigger issue is the Shimano cassette not even fitting onto a Campy hub. Even if the shifters/rear mech would work with the spacing on the Shimano cassette, you'd have to install a Shimano compatible freehub (which would certainly be cheaper than new shifters).

As you can see in the picture, the Campy hub (right) has much larger splines.

Is there a limit to the maximum teeth capacity that one can put on a bike with campy xenon 9 shifters?
Originally Posted by Pritesh Patel
Hi all.
Thanks for reading first of all - I'm very new into cycling and have just started to shed a few pounds. I just wanted to clarify something as i feel i may have been ripped off from a local bike shop!

I have a claud butler milano with campag shifters and a 9 speed.
It had a 53/39 at the front and a 11-25 at the back.

I was finding i was having trouble climbing hills so i thought that i could change the back cassette to a 11-34 or similar at the back and so purchased a shimano 11-34 cs-hg-50-9.
(I undertand that i may have needed to buy a long cage rear mech)

When i went to my local bike shop, one of the staff told me that it wasn't possible to change my cassette to a shimano as only campag cassette will work with campag shifters and that if i did want to use that shimano cassette, i would need to buy new shifters as well.

So i spent a few £'s changing to a compact 50/34 and a 11-28.

Was i fed a lie or was the staff member correct?

I understand that it can be difficult to say for sure, and will gladly answer any further questions that may be needed for clarity!

Thanks all for your help!!
In theory, the Cog spacing is different between a 9-speed Shimano & a 9-speed Campagnolo Cassette ...

And, in theory, for indexed shifting to work properly, the rear derailleur's cage needs to move a specific lateral distance per shift ...

AND so, in theory a 9-speed Campagnolo shifter will not work with a 9-speed Shimano/-compatible Cassette ...

BUT, due to the RAMPING on the Cogs a 9-speed (and, later) Shimano compatible Cassette, it can in fact be used [presuming the rear derailleur's stops are set, appropriately] with a 9-speed Campagnolo shifter with the caveat that the shifter will probably NOT find all the Cogs ...

So, the people in the shop were mis-informed.

Originally Posted by Pritesh Patel
Is there a limit to the maximum teeth capacity that one can put on a bike with campy xenon 9 shifters?
The shifters are NOT affected by the number of teeth on the Cogs which the Cassette has ...

  • While the largest Cog which Campagnolo currently has on their Cassettes is a 29t, it seems that one can theoretically use a Cassette with a 34t with a Campagnolo rear derailleur, BUT the chain wrap seems to be come less-and-less as the Cog becomes larger so that the chain may wrap around only about 1/3rd (?) of the teeth on the Cog instead of about 1/2 the teeth [I have NOT confirmed this, yet] ...

  • As you suspect, the problem (?) which you will probably face is with the amount of chain which your current rear derailleurs cage will-or-can handle ...

  • Again, due to the benefits of ramping, you do NOT need to substitute a Campagnolo rear derailleur with a longer cage for the one which you are currently using ...

  • And, you can use a Shimano MTB rear derailleur which will find 8-out-9 of the Cogs on a Shimano Cassette when mated to a 9-speed Campagnolo shifter ...

As you can see in the following matrix (and, as you may know) there are two generations of 9-speed Campagnolo shifters (the "early" version with the pointed "horns" & the more common, "new" version which had the rounded "horns") ...
This opens up a whole can of worms ...

As AyeYo says, you can't fit a Shimano cassette onto a Campagnolo cassette body - the spline pattern is totally different.
SRAM will fit to Shimano - that's it, in terms of cassette / cassette body compatibility.

Campagnolo 9s systems will index tolerably well on 9s Shimano cassettes but it's not perfect and it needs to carefully set up - it has limitations and we would not recommend it and it should not be recommended by retailers or anyone else who may have to carry liability if it all goes horribly wrong..

Shift levers are not affected by max and min sprocket size.

Rear and front derailleurs are affected by sprocket size.

Campagnolo do make a 10s long cage rear gear that will work with the 9s levers (the geometry is the same if the levers / existing rear gear are post 2001) but it's maximum rear sprocket size is 30T (see Campagnolo tech docs at

The shop were not misinformed, within the limits of the info they gave to the OP they were correct - in addition, what has to be taken into account from any commercial organisation is this - once advice is given that falls outside of the manufacturer's specification, the liability, should there be a problem, rests with the individual or organisation giving the advice - so unless a specific caveat is quoted (as I have done above), a retailer or other commercial party is potentially laying themselves open to all sorts of problems by adopting a gung-ho "yeah, it'll be fine" attitude.

Commercial's shouldn't assume knowledge on the part of the customer in these situations ...

To give an admittedly slightly unrealistic example -

Customer Q: Can I fit wheel "x" with carbon rims into my road bike?
Retailer answer A: If they are 700c and the cassette is compatible, yes.

Time passes

Customer (returning some hours / days / week later): You said I could put these carbon wheels into my bike - but when I hit the brakes in the wet the other day, I couldn't stop and ran into a brick wall and scrapped my frame forks and wheels - I could have been killed ...!
Retailer: Did you have carbon-compatible brake blocks made for those wheels fitted?
Customer: No, you told me I could fit the wheels - you never said anything about the brake blocks!
Retailer: Hmmmmm

OK, so any retailer would have spent time making sure that they had all of the info (unless they were mad) ... but you can see how slippery the slope can be - we do see answers like that on fora all the time from respondents to posts like the one from the OP.

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