Campagnolo Chorus Gearing Question

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by dalerb, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. dalerb

    dalerb New Member

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    I have a 9 speed Campy Chorus gear set with a 52/38 front. I am getting older and need lower gearing for the steep hill I live on. My questions are; 1. can I change out to a 'close ratio' crank set with newer Campy gear? If so, can I do so without changing shifters or derailers? 3. If this change is possible what specific components would be compatible? Thanks to anyone with this sort of knowledge.
     
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  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    If you are not a slave to fashion, then you can use ANY crankset whose BB is suitable for your frame's BB shell ...

    Just adjust the front derailleur, as necessary (or, not).

    OR, you can buy a 29t MICHE cog ($12+) & restack your Cassette after you decide which intermediate Cog you can live without (e.g., 14t) ...

    If you are running a 13-29 Cassette, then if you can track down a 32t 8-speed Cog from Campagnolo's MTB era, then you simply have to notch it to fit over the splines ...

    • or, simply buy a 13-29 Cassette ...

    OR, you can notch a 32t Shimano Cog (too!?!), but there won't be too much material on the Cog engaging the Freehub's splines
     
  3. dalerb

    dalerb New Member

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    My large cog now is either a 24 or 26. I've been told that maxes out the derailer. So, I guess I need to go the new crank route to get a meaningful change. Thanks so much for your assistance.
     
  4. dalerb

    dalerb New Member

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    BTW - could I go with a "close ratio" Mirage set without changing anything else?
     
  5. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    FYI, a general rule of thumb for the effects of a gearing change on the chain rings compared to a gearing change on the cassette is that a change of 3 teeth on a chain ring is roughly the same as change of 1 tooth on the cassette. So, if you put a compact crank on your bike with 50/34 chain rings, the 50T chain ring will make your cogs feel almost a tooth bigger each, while the 34T will make your cogs feel a bit more than 1 tooth bigger each. Of course, as a rule of thumb, it's not exact. With that said, a 13-29 will provide much lower gearing than a compact crank with 50/34T chain rings. You might be able to run such a cassette and compact crank with your current derailleur ( I assume from what you've written that you've got a short cage RD....?) by adjusting the spacing between the top jockey wheel and your biggest cog. It's also likely that you can find a suitable medium cage RD for sale at great price on eBay or summat.
     
  6. dalerb

    dalerb New Member

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    Thanks so much for your help, so many young cycle mechanics are clueless about Campy, so it's hard to get accurate information.
     
  7. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by dalerb .
    My large cog now is either a 24 or 26. I've been told that maxes out the derailer. So, I guess I need to go the new crank route to get a meaningful change. Thanks so much for your assistance.


    Campagnolo derailleurs are designed to handle a 29t Cog ... you may have to adjust the B-screw which is located near the FORWARD knuckle [it's in an awkward location because 'I' think it was an afterthought] ...

    The problem which you may encounter if the (new) chain is long enough to wrap around a larger large-large combination is with having a slack chain when you are in the small-small combination ... on a Road bike, THAT is a cosmetic issue unless you are riding over the Pave in Belgium or almost equally rough pavement ...

    BTW. I do NOT know how good-or-bad the ramping is on the 9-speed Campagnolo Mirage/Veloce/Centaur Cassettes ...

    But, I do know that on the 8-speed Mirage Cassettes that the Cogs where simply STAMPED metal (i.e., punched out of sheet metal) ... very crude.

    FWIW. Here is a 10-speed Cassette which I re-stacked with one of the previously mentioned 29t MICHE Cogs ...
    [​IMG]

    The available MICHE Cogs are spec'd as 9-speed ... the ramping appears to be similar to what you have on your 9-speed Chorus Cogs.

    A 6-to-8 tooth jump is doable ... so, if your current, largest cog is a 23t, I would think that you should be okay if you re-stack the Cassette with a 29t Cog.

    FYI. I had a 9-speed, 12-23 Chorus Cassette which I re-stacked to become an 11-26.

    • the 11t was an 8-speed Cog which I thinned ...
    • the 26t was cannibalized from a Shimano Cassette & re-notched because I did not know that the Miche cogs where available (they may not have been available separately at the time)
    • Miche also has a 27t Cog + most of the other sizes

    I found out that although the 9-speed Campagnolo indexing doesn't match ANYTHING, I could use 9-speed Campagnolo shifters with 9-speed Shimano Cassettes (on a Shimano/-compatible wheel, of course) with one of the intermediate Cogs simply passed over ...

    A 9-speed Campagnolo shifter with a 9-speed Shimano Cassette is NOT RECOMMENDED, but it is very usable as long as you realize that you will only have 8 available Cogs & can live with it.
    Now, the reason I am saying this is because if you can BORROW a Shimano wheel with an 11-32 LX/XT/XTR Cassette for a ride, then you can determine whether a 28t-or-29t Cog will provide a low enough gear for you with your current crankset before you go about making changes ...

    • just set the rear derailleur stops, accordingly, but, lock out the 32t Cog ...
    • you will have 7 usable gears for the test ...
    ------------​

    What crankset/BB does your bike currently have?

    If by "'close ratio' Mirage set" you are referring to the Crankset, then the answer depends on the BB spindle type & length which is currently on your bike ...

    You may be better off simply buying a new crankset with a matching BB rather than trying to mount the new crank on your current BB (if that was what you were hoping to do) rather than fretting over mixing-and-matching ...

    YES. 'I' actually said THAT!
     
  8. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    "Thanks so much for your help, so many young cycle mechanics are clueless about Campy, so it's hard to get accurate information."

    You got that right.

    A standard cage Chorus rear derailleur will handle a 13-26 tooth cog with a standard or compact crankset.

    Campy did manufacture a medium cage length Chorus model that handles a 13-29 cassette with a standard crankset or a smaller cassette combination with a compact or triple crankset. Then, there is the long cage Chorus model that handle 29 teeth and a compact crankset or triple crankset.

    Combinations specified on page 49: http://www.campagnolo.com/repository/documenti/en/2005_EN.pdf This is the early version of the 10-speed Chorus, but capacity will be equivalent with the older 9-speed stuff.

    Yes, the tooth count and chain wrap can be pushed a tooth or three. Why anyone would do that when they can buy another Campy component is beyond me! Heheh! 9-speed components can still be found (mainly from the internet suppliers based in England), but supply and support are both dwindling. Even some 10-speed Campy stuff is disappearing from the market.

    You're getting older? That's a perfect excuse to go out and buy a brand stinking new 11-speed EPS Super Record bike with a 11-28 cassette and 34-50 compact. Sure, it will set you back $7,000, but think of the orthopedic surgeon fees you'll be saving!
     
  9. dalerb

    dalerb New Member

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    It's not the orthopedic surgeons that worry me, its the cardiologists I'm concerned about when my HR spikes over redline cranking my skinny arse up the hill!

    I just remembered/noticed I have a shimano cassette (Rolf wheels)! My derailleur is the pre-2001 model. I've found info which suggests that changing a RD to a later model will require some tinkering with the early model shifters as well...damn this is complicated. Will the Miche 29T cogs also work with the Shimano cassette? Is there a better Shimano cassette that will get me a couple of teeth?

    Regarding the crank, there seem to be a lot of mirage close ratios available on Ebay for around $100, without a BB, so I was wondering if my pre-2001 Chorus BB is a match?
     
  10. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by dalerb .
    It's not the orthopedic surgeons that worry me, its the cardiologists I'm concerned about when my HR spikes over redline cranking my skinny arse up the hill!

    I just remembered/noticed I have a shimano cassette (Rolf wheels)! My derailleur is the pre-2001 model. I've found info which suggests that changing a RD to a later model will require some tinkering with the early model shifters as well...damn this is complicated. Will the Miche 29T cogs also work with the Shimano cassette? Is there a better Shimano cassette that will get me a couple of teeth?

    Regarding the crank, there seem to be a lot of mirage close ratios available on Ebay for around $100, without a BB, so I was wondering if my pre-2001 Chorus BB is a match?


    Ignoring the fact that I am not clear (¿confused?) about how your bike is configured, if your bike has a 102mm Chorus BB, then you can actually just get a relatively recent square taper Mirage/Veloce/Centaur 50/34 crankset & just substitute the driveside spider for the current, Chorus spider (does it really have 52/38 Chainrings?!?) ...

    Which is to say that if your Chorus BB is not a 102mm type then you will probably need a NEW, replacement BB ... but, it certainly won't hurt to try the newer, square taper crank with your current BB.

    If the REAR derailleur anchoring tab is in the middle of the parallelogram, then you may need a new rear derailleur ...

    If the anchoring tab is forward of center, then it is, AFAIK, compatible with existing stuff ...

    MICHE also makes 29t Cogs which fit onto Shimano hubs ..

    BTW. I think that ROLF wheels may have been available with Campagnolo compatible Freehubs ...

    So, if you could post a few pictures of your bike & its components, then it would be easier to know what you actually have.

    • try to include an unobstructed picture of the Cassette
     
  11. dalerb

    dalerb New Member

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    Sorry for the confusion, I continue to be amazed at the proliferation of Campy configurations -- is nothing a "standard" with those guys?? Don't know about Campy compatible ROLF, was told otherwise when the bike was built, has worked well with Shimano cassette for about 3,000 miles. Bike is a MASI 3V, I missed a chance to get a copy of the last Soviet team bike (same frame) when I bought mine, been kicking myself ever sense, would have been a hoot, "CCCP's" "hammer and sickles", "red stars", the works....oh well. I had a few "structural issues" with my body which kept me off the bike for a few years, but loving being back. Set the bike up with a less forward position solving many of my problems riding, now I just need to get the gearing down to something I can manage.

    Taking the wife over to Ashland OR for a long weekend, gotta love her! Will reply with photos (of bike, not wife), on my return mid-week or so. Cheers!
     
  12. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by dalerb .
    Sorry for the confusion, I continue to be amazed at the proliferation of Campy configurations -- is nothing a "standard" with those guys?? Don't know about Campy compatible ROLF, was told otherwise when the bike was built, has worked well with Shimano cassette for about 3,000 miles. Bike is a MASI 3V, I missed a chance to get a copy of the last Soviet team bike (same frame) when I bought mine, been kicking myself ever sense, would have been a hoot, "CCCP's" "hammer and sickles", "red stars", the works....oh well. I had a few "structural issues" with my body which kept me off the bike for a few years, but loving being back. Set the bike up with a less forward position solving many of my problems riding, now I just need to get the gearing down to something I can manage.

    Taking the wife over to Ashland OR for a long weekend, gotta love her! Will reply with photos (of bike, not wife), on my return mid-week or so. Cheers!


    The Cassette's lockring will tell the story 99% of the time ...

    • If your rear wheel's lockring looks like the one previously pictured with the rounded-over edge, then it is probably a Campy compatible wheel ...
    • If your rear wheel's lockring has a more angular edge, like a coin, then it is probably a Shimano compatible wheel.

    If your bike's wheel has a Shimano Cassette, then you simply have to count the number of Cogs & buy a Shimano or SRAM Cassette which as the same number of Cogs ... the available range is from 11-21 to 11-36 ...

    FWIW. Here is an 11-32 SHIMANO Cassette + a Shimano Road rear derailleur which has a GS (medium) cage & the 11t upper pulley wheel was replaced with a 10t pulley wheel ...

    [​IMG]

    The bike's rear derailleur hanger has the absolute minimum amount of drop ... with a closer-to-normal length rear derailleur hanger, the Shimano Road derailleur can be adjusted to accommodate a 34t Cog ...

    [​IMG]

    Again, the 11t upper pulley wheel was replaced with a 10t pulley wheel.

    A Shimano MTB rear derailleur can handle a 34t Cog without any fiddling ... probably, a 36t without fiddling?!?

    I suppose that with some fiddling, the Road rear derailleur might be able to handle a 36t cog if the rear derailleur hanger's drop is at least as much as the picture directly above if a 10t upper pulley wheel is used & the B-screw is also adjusted.
    On both bikes, the crankset is a "standard" 53/39 ...

    • the 39t Chainring + 32t Cog is roughly equivalent to a 34t Chainring + 28t Cog.

    The shifters on both bikes are 10-speed Campagnolo.

    BTW. There are a lot of things to lament about Campagnolo's components (cost being the biggest issue, IMO), but unlike other shifters, Campagnolo shifters can work with a variety of Shimano indexed Cassettes + Shimano derailleurs.


    [​IMG]

    Shimano & SRAM shifters are less forgiving.
     
  13. dalerb

    dalerb New Member

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    OK, thanks again guys.

    I've started the changeover by buying a Campy Mirage CT 50/34 9-speed front crank set. It was so cheap on Ebay I couldn't resist, and the possibilities I needed to consider were far fewer. It may or may not, be enough of a change, but considering I seem to always in my big rear cogs no matter which front I was in, it felt like a good idea. If it's insufficient I'll move to the rear later.

    My question is: how would I determine whether I need to remove a link or two in the chain after replacing the crank?
     
  14. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by dalerb .
    OK, thanks again guys.

    I've started the changeover by buying a Campy Mirage CT 50/34 9-speed front crank set. It was so cheap on Ebay I couldn't resist, and the possibilities I needed to consider were far fewer. It may or may not, be enough of a change, but considering I seem to always in my big rear cogs no matter which front I was in, it felt like a good idea. If it's insufficient I'll move to the rear later.

    My question is: how would I determine whether I need to remove a link or two in the chain after replacing the crank?


    You probably do NOT need to remove any links from the chain ...

    IMO, on a Road bike, it is more of a cosmetic issue if the chain is sagging a little when in the never-to-be-used Small-Small combination UNLESS you ride on really bumpy roads a lot.
     
  15. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    "My question is: how would I determine whether I need to remove a link or two in the chain after replacing the crank?"

    Your chain length is based on the large/large combination. Going from a 52T to a 50T would shorten the chain 1" or 2 links...all things being equal and assuming your current chain was set to length correctly.

    View this as a perfect opportunity for a new chain if you have a couple thousand miles or more on your current chain. At least gauge your chain for wear.

    See page 2 of 6 to set chain length per Campy instruction (Chain shown is 10-speed, but procedure is identical to 9-speed): http://www.campagnolo.com/repository/documenti/en/10s_Chain_EN_05_2013.pdf

    SRAM procedure is to wrap your new chain around the large chainring and large rear gear, then add two links. That seems to correlate with the Campy measurement of the chain-to-cage clearance.
     
  16. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by alfeng .
    You probably do NOT need to remove any links from the chain ...

    IMO, on a Road bike, it is more of a cosmetic issue if the chain is sagging a little when in the never-to-be-used Small-Small combination UNLESS you ride on really bumpy roads a lot.


    BTW. I found that the easiest solution is to simply opt for long(er) cage rear derailleurs when the option is mine to make ...

    A long time ago, I realized that the possibility of dragging around a few extra links is a small penalty to pay for the convenience of being able to swap to a Cassette-or-Freewheel which has larger Cogs OR to a crankset which as a smaller inner chainring ...

    And, the times that I have violated my own preference, I have generally regretted the choice dictated-by-fashion.
     
  17. litespeedguy

    litespeedguy New Member

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    Dalerb , I'm in a similar situation , older rider wanting more uphill assistance - I threw out some questions to the forum here & received many good ideas - I also ran it by the shop where I got the bike and components 10 years ago - also Chorus - here's a couple of options that I got from the owner/mechanic :

    Campy : 50/34 compact with a 12-30 cassette , powertorque BB ; 34/30 or 1.13 ratio for the granny combo .

    Shimano : 50/34 compact with a 11-36 cassette , the BB was the Shimano outboard I believe , 0.94 ratio ; this was the best option of the two for me since I'm not a fan of the "torques" .

    the cost for each option was >$1000 which included derailleurs , sti shifters ( for Shimano option) , new chain & Shimano compatible freehub body , and labor.

    I'm leaning towards increasing my leg lifts at the gym [​IMG]

    regards,

    Lite
     
  18. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by litespeedguy .
    Dalerb , I'm in a similar situation , older rider wanting more uphill assistance - I threw out some questions to the forum here & received many good ideas - I also ran it by the shop where I got the bike and components 10 years ago - also Chorus - here's a couple of options that I got from the owner/mechanic :

    Campy : 50/34 compact with a 12-30 cassette , powertorque BB ; 34/30 or 1.13 ratio for the granny combo .

    Shimano : 50/34 compact with a 11-36 cassette , the BB was the Shimano outboard I believe , 0.94 ratio ; this was the best option of the two for me since I'm not a fan of the "torques" .

    the cost for each option was >$1000 which included derailleurs , sti shifters ( for Shimano option) , new chain & Shimano compatible freehub body , and labor.

    I'm leaning towards increasing my leg lifts at the gym [​IMG]

    regards,

    Lite


    FWIW. YOU probably need to learn how to do your own wrenching + buy the components on-line OR to find a different LBS who isn't going to charge you quite so much ...

    While a wholesale conversion to a contemporary Shimano group might cost more than $1000, if you opt to stay with Campagnolo then YOU only need to put a Compact crankset on your bike + 29t Cog (+ a new chain) if you don't need a bailout Cog or if you are not going on loaded tours ...

    • if you are not a "fan of (the) 'torques' (cranksets)" then you can choose-and-use an FSA or Shimano or any other brand-and-model crankset with your otherwise Campagnolo equipped bike for which there is a BB that fits your bike's frame ...
    • for the most part, the same is true for either Shimano or SRAM or Microshift equipped bikes BUT you need to be aware that Shimano's Dura Ace & Ultegra Chainrings usually have better ramping & pinning.

    So, the sum of the parts to update your Campagnolo equipped bike is well below $1000 unless you are opting for (Super-)Record components

    An ATHENA group has an MSRP over $1000, its out-the-door-price is often much lower.
     
  19. dalerb

    dalerb New Member

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    Oh the heck with it....;). Once I figured out the cost of a retrofit, I lost my mind and bought a Giant Composite 0. I couldn't resist that electronic shifting! Man is that nice. Maybe I'll mount the Masi on a wall or something, it is a work of art.
     
  20. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    So what's the gearing on the new bike?
     
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