Campy advice please

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Quick Shifter, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. Quick Shifter

    Quick Shifter New Member

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    I'm looking at building up a new road bike with Campag groupset. My current bike has Centaur equipment, which I'm very happy with, so I am looking at either Athena 11, or Veloce 10; I don't need 11 speed and would like to go with the 10 speed Veloce, but how does it compare to the Centaur and Athena?

    Thanks,

    Colin
     
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  2. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    I'm 'meh!' on Veloce and would rather see you on Athena. It's more functional for racing with more gears per shift option. Price wise, there's some good deals on the 'old' Athena stuff out there (5-arm carbon crank or the alloy crank).

    Frankly, even with the risk of trashing the levers and rear derailleur in a crash I would recommend going to Chorus 11. Same shift option as the mechanical Record/Super Record setup. And yeah. my Chorus rear wears a nice scrape and a gouge or two just to show the world I still at least try to go fast. Heheh!

    I like the close ratio 11-speeds yields' and again, with EPS starting to sell the mechanical group has come down in price. You do some decent climbs, so it allows the option of hauling an 11 and a 28 around with not much missing in between.

    Brakes is brakes (as long as you have dual pivots front and rear) and the crankset isn't much of an issue, so maybe look at the conversion Chorus group with just the shifters and derailleurs? I see blow outs and discontinued sales on cranks and brake calipers so putting a miss-matched group together and going up market with the shifting is always an option (says the guy with a Record crankset and Chorus derailleurs on one of his bikes! Backwards!).

    I haven't heard anything about the new Potenza group other that what is published on the web.

    Lastly, a few places are offing the early Athena EPS stuff (external battery V1 groups) pretty cheap if electric shifting interests you.

    As usual, shop Chain Reaction, Planet Cyclery, Wiggle, Merlin Cycles, Texas Cyclesports, etc. for the best deals.
     
  3. Quick Shifter

    Quick Shifter New Member

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    Thank you. It is mainly the gearshift that bothers me - is the Veloce inferior to the Athena in gear shifting and smoothness? The Veloce is much cheaper, which is a bonus, but I don't want to go for cheap then regret it for miles!
     
  4. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    I should have looked before commenting...

    For 2016 Veloce gets the same 3-up / 1-down shifting as Athena. They upgraded the shifters.

    Athena is 11-speed while Veloce remains 10-speed. Not an issue for criteriums and flat land racing, but I do enjoy all 11 of my gears! I like having close ratio changes and can't wit for 12-speed groups (I think it's SRAM that already has a 1X 12-speed group out and Miche has had a 12-speed 2X group out for awhile now that uses modified Campagnolo shifters/derailleurs).

    Athena has more durability built into every component...a function of Campy's trickle down technology. Athena might be marginally smoother than Veloce, but as with all Campy stuff, smoothness takes a back seat to other design parameters. Reviewers have commented on the new Potenza group as lacking a bit of smoothness when compared to something like Chorus or Record level components, so I would guess Veloce is also going to be considered 'less refined' also in that department.

    The new Athena is the 'old' Chorus (and I own and have ridden the old 10-speed Chorus for years) so can say that it is pretty slick. I have around 30,000 miles on my Chorus 10-speed group (on my 2007 Douglas) and I am well pleased by the service life and the function of the group.

    After owning an 11-speed shimaNO 105 group for a year and a half, even it is 'smoother' in some aspects than my Chorus 11-speed.

    shimaNO shifting may be very light, but I prefer the heavier Campy shifting action and I MUCH prefer the three and four gears I can change in a single sweep of the lever or push of a button. Our terrain presents steep walls that come at you in a hurry and quick changes or wide ratio changes are appreciated. The same holds true when bombing off hills trying to chase down a pack that's on the gas.

    Again, for 2-gear crits...not so much of a bonus.

    The new Chorus allows up to FOUR downshifts and FIVE upshifts per shift and is why I recommend going with Chorus on the low end...even for those on a budget build. It's worth the significant jump in price IMO, of course. Your wallet may vary!
     
  5. Gnufrau

    Gnufrau Active Member

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    I have to recommend the Athena set, myself. I'm running Athena tripple 11 speed sets on both of my touring bikes, and I have nothing bad to say about them. Pulling 11-29 on the rear with 30-39-52 on the front gives me a lot of range to choose from. As you are looking at a road bike build, I'm guessing you intend on a 2x11 setup? In that case I recommend an 11-27 rear and compact front (chaiset).

    Campybob, I do not agree that brakes are brakes. Campag makes the best on the road, IMO. You jam on the levers with Campag brakes attached, and the wheels will stop. Whether the bike does is down to inertia. . .
     
  6. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FYI ...

    For all intents & purposes, the current mechanism from Athena-and-downstream-groups is the updated XENON mechanism which was re-labeled as the QS mechanism about 10 years ago ...

    Nothing wrong with the XENON-design, per se.

    I think that if you get the latest iteration of the Xenon-mechanism shifters, you will see that the thumb lever is now similarly shaped to the ones found on the EPS shifters ... so, there will be little confusion in the capability as the thumb lever is already positioned near what would be the bottom of the down stroke.​

    So, the difference between a current Athena shifter & a current Veloce shifter is the indexing + cosmetics -- that is, a carbon fiber brake lever vs. black/painted brake levers OR both brake lever & shift paddle being "silver" alloy on a pair of Athena shifters vs. a "silver" alloy brake lever + black composite shift lever on the lesser variants ...

    The first iteration of all of the V3 shifters shared the same shift mechanism design which is still found on the Record/Chorus shifters​
    If your current CENTAUR shifters have the older ErgoShift (pre-QS) mechanism AND if you know that you prefer being able to move the chain across more than one Cog at a time with the thumb lever, then you will need to pony up for a pair of Chorus or Super-./Record shifters ... OR, find a pair of first iteration V3 shifters.

    If your current CENTAUR shifters are QS, then you just need to decide on how much you want to pony up at the moment and in the future ...

    BTW. The 11-speed Campagnolo shifters can be used with an 11-speed Campagnolo drivetrain (of course), a 10-speed Campagnolo if you either fiddle with the rear derailleur cable's attachment OR if you use a Shimano rear derailleur ... OR, you can use a wheel with an 10-or-11-speed Shimano/SRAM Cassette (when using a Campagnolo rear derailleur).

    With an 11-speed Campagnolo (Chorus mechanism) shifter + a 1998-to-2007 medium cage Campagnolo rear derailleur (either knuckle style; but, the earlier versions have a B-screw which mimics Shimano's -- a good thing), I have been able to use a wheel with a wussy, 11-36, 10-speed Shimano Cassette.

    The more recent Campagnolo rear derailleurs whose outer parallelogram plate shrouds the knuckles are MORE LIMITED in the size of the largest Cog which can be on the rear Cassette.​
    BTW2. If you want "silver" alloy brake levers, then your choices are limited.
     
  7. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Colin is a racer. There are about a hundred makes and models of caliper brakes that work perfectly for road racing. FSA...shimaNO...SRAM...Universal...Tektro...TRP...Feather...AX Lightness...Ciamillo Gravitas...Zero Gravity...Bontrager Speed Limit...Token...Negative G...BC2A...Mavic SSC...Cane Creek SL...MicroShift...and many others all manufacture quality brakes. Which may possibly be one of the least critical components on a racing bicycle.

    As long as they slow you down when needed and don't weigh a ton...brakes is brakes.

    Down the alpine passes or in the local Saturday crit every brand offers multiple models that are capable of taking a rider to a Tour de France podium or winning him the bragging rights $5 gold medal.

    I could show up to the local training race with an old pair of Weinmann centerpulls mounted and be at no disadvantage to anyone because of my choice in brakes.

    I do recommend dual-pivot Campy rears over the discontinued yet still available rear caliper single-pivot option, but both Veloce and Athena groups only offer front and rear dual pivots now. Campagnolo dual pivots fall in the mid-spectrum for both weight and stiffness in the results sheets of most reviewers and testers...plenty good enough to go racing on.


    Silver Brake/shifter levers are available in the Veloce, Athena and Potenza groups.

    Veloce is sold with a choice of either silver or black anodized alloy levers. Veloce is offer with three hood colors, white, red and black.

    Athena is sold with either silver alloy, black alloy or black carbon fiber levers.

    Potenza is sold with either silver or black anodized alloy levers.
     
  8. Quick Shifter

    Quick Shifter New Member

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    Thank you all..... I'm no more able to decide though! Yes, I'm looking at 2 x 11 speed Athena or 2 x 10 Veloce and the Athena is about £150 dearer, which is a lot of extra to spend to achieve one extra cog basically! I have no real way of knowing if the 11 speed will be worth it without trying I suppose. What I do know is that it is a mistake to go for cheaper if one regrets it a year down the line.

    I have heard that the 11 speed does not stay in adjustment; is there any truth in this?
     
  9. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    My Campy 10-speed an 11-speed derailleurs stay in perfect adjustment. The 11-speed rear derailleur started to shift all crazy one day and would not adjust to shift correctly at all...the cable snapped at the shifter from wear a day later. That was after about 4 years of hard use.

    Campy inner cables last about twice as long as shimaNO if what I read on the internet is correct and using my training partners' experience as a guide. I live in rolling hills and we shift gears a lot when compared to flat landers or those folks that get on a long mountain climb for miles at a stretch.

    Remember the saying, "Buy once, cry once.". You will be in the saddle of this machine for many, many hours over several years.

    Go with the Athena, my son and go in speed and peace. And if you got a few spare quid or bob or pence or whatever the new Engrish money is after getting out of the EU, there are some very good deal on the first gen Athena EPS groups out there. I'm very tempted to try EPS by getting one of those.
     
  10. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    BEFORE you pony up for a new rear derailleur, why don't you confirm-or-refute my observation that you can use your current Campagnolo rear derailleur (that is, any post-1998 9-/10-speed rear derailleur) with a pair of 11-speed Camapgnolo shifters to achieve 11-speed Campagnolo indexing?

    BTW. As far as CAMPYBOB's derailleur cable problem (which occurs with Shimano derailleur installations, too), I will continue to contend that the problem is exacerbated by using the parallel stranded cable housing ...
     
  11. Quick Shifter

    Quick Shifter New Member

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    I am keeping my current Centaur equipped bike, so don't want to change anything on it.
     
  12. maanderx

    maanderx New Member

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    Mate, you can still get Campag Record 10s QS levers from Wiggle, or Chain Reaction.
    They cost less than £190. I also have 2008 Campag Centaur on a 3rd bike; and although
    the gear changes (ie. the clicks in the lever) aren't as 'cushioned' (in my opinion) as the Record and Chorus
    (both 10s) it's still pretty good.

    All of my bikes have similar rear mechs, it's the levers that make the difference (in my opinion).
     
  13. sharkantropo

    sharkantropo Member

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    Campagnolo groupset? The veloce design has a beautifully constructed frame,Very impressive operation for its pricing, thus It has an Excellent value for money while preserving the Campagnolo quality. Although It hasn't skeletal brakes or carbon highlights and the chainset is very compact to my liking.
     
  14. Quick Shifter

    Quick Shifter New Member

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    I can live without the skeletal brakes and the carbon highlights. The Veloce seems pretty close to my 10 year old Centaur in appearance.
     
  15. Gnufrau

    Gnufrau Active Member

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    I also vote for Athena. What the extra cog gives you is a bit closer ratios with a bit more range of gearing. Just that little bit will make the bike a lot more enjoyable to ride.
     
  16. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW ....

    Since your current 10-speed set up undoubtedly has the more robust ErgoPower mechanism rather than the QS mechanism, unless you are going to move to a set of 11-speed shifters then your best bet is probably to find a pair of NOS 10-speeds similar to the ones which you have ...

    If you are making the change because you like the appearance of the V3 shifters, then I think you should opt for the 11-speed shifters because they weill provide you with the most immediate-and-future options OR wait two more years because a V4 style shifter is probably an inevitability in 2018+ .....

    If you want a Cassette with a larger than 32t Cog, you can use a 10-speed Shimano Cassetted wheel with an 11-speed Campagnolo drivetrain AFTER you adjust the stops, accordingly.

    Shimano/-compatible 8-/9-/10-speed wheels & 10-speed Cassettes generally are less expensive than Campagnolo wheels.
    YOU can use your current Campagnolo rear derailleur-or-equivalent with the 11-speed shifters ...
     
  17. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    http://www.wiggle.com/campagnolo-potenza/

    Potenza at Wiggle. You can even buy an 11-32 cassette...if you're inclined to spend $180 for it. An astonishing price when Wiggle is selling the 11-32 Ultegra cassette for $52. And no...I know of no one that's weird enough to run a shitmaNO cassette with a Campy bike even if it shifted like it was assembled in Vicenza by the Pope, himself.

    Note the options for silver and black colors.

    I can not justify Campagnolo's pricing for low gears. It has been an insane policy for over a decade and it is no damned wonder Campy is down to less than 2% of the bicycle component market. Their bean counters should be made to climb the Mortirolo on a 25.
     
    #17 CAMPYBOB, Jul 11, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
  18. Quick Shifter

    Quick Shifter New Member

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    To resurrect this thread: I've gone with the latest Campy Veloce and pretty good it is too! It is not quite as beautifully finished as my 10 year old Centaur kit, lacking the 'artisan' polished appearance, and the paddles are plastic instead of polished aluminium, but it's still pretty damn good. The gearchange seems superior to the old Centaur and it shifts gears beautifully. In deference to my ageing legs, I've gone for 13-29 on the rear and stuck with 39-53 on the front, so we'll see how that suits me over time. It should make the climbs a little easier.

    A large part of the attraction of Campy stuff is just looking and admiring the beauty of it, as bicycles are things of beauty as well as functional forms of transport.
     
  19. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    A good choice of gearing. I also like their 27-cog cassette options. They're finally learning they have to offer the same choices as shimaNO.

    True that! I mainly buy it for the superior function and durability. I will admit that with the pace of change in cycling technology the durability factor is not something I valued as I once did. Back in the day a group would not change much, if anything more significant than a logo change, over five years or more. Today...obsolete before the season is over seems to be the norm.

    Good luck with the Veloce!
     
  20. Quick Shifter

    Quick Shifter New Member

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    After a decent ride on Monday, I'm over the moon with the Veloce! For all it's 'entry level' status, it is far superior to the Tiagra that I have on another bike IMHO!! The 13-29 cassette is just great and I was surprised at how often I used the lowest gear, especially into a headwind. The downside is that I will have to change the gearing on my Centaur bike now because I don't know how I've managed using 13-26 all these years. Ah well, we live and learn.
     
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