CENTAUR vs ULTEGRA

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by dm69, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. dm69

    dm69 New Member

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    Between the two what are the big differences? I am thinking of getting a cervelo soloist aluminium fitted with fsa gossamer cranks and BB so the advantage I think ultegra has over centaur in BB stiffness in now null. The other thing I like about centaur is the internal cabling with thebrake levers, investing in a very aero frame you do not want loose wire's going everywhere.

    As far as weight goes they are almost identical and as far as aero goes centaur wins by 2 cables :p...is there a usual hierachy in gear setups where ultegra is always viewed above centuar because it is shimano's 2nd in line versus campy's 3rd in line or is this just nonsense? I havent used the ergopower yet but i doubt i will have much trouble anyway getting used to it.

    The prices are the same either way I go. Personally I thought centuar would be a better set up than ultegra but ultegra is more expensive usually, not that it means anything :rolleyes: .

    Would a few people like to tell me how great or how crap these two setups are?

    By the way would the two cable's make much aero difference anyway. I have heard from sites like cervelo that aero has a huge impact compared to weight!
     
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  2. nitrous

    nitrous New Member

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    Here we go again. This has been done to death. You will get evangilists posting that one is better than the other. This thread will go for 1000 pages, just like all the others and there will be no answer to your question.

    I ride Centaur and love it. My mate rides Ultegra and loves it.

    Personal preference!

    Now get out there and ride!!
     
  3. dm69

    dm69 New Member

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    current tally : centaur 1/2 ultegra 1/2 :p

    unlike most i actually ride my bike, a LOT! so don't start that argument :D
     
  4. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    They're both great, but the shifting motion is a lot different between the two. Test ride both and go with the one your hands like better. [By the way, the 2nd in line vs. 3rd in line doesn't mean anything. Campy Chorus is more of a half level below Record]
     
  5. Eastway82

    Eastway82 New Member

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    The cables will make no appreciable aerodynamic difference. Neither will the aero frame unless your position and riding style work in harmony with it, come to that...
    You probably wouldn't ever notice the nominal difference in BB stiffness between the Centaur/Ultegra/FSA BBs either.

    I like Centaur (especially the century grey version), but that's because I'm a Campag fan and I think it lasts longer, is better finished, is more rebuildable (which is probably irrelevant unless you're planning on keeping it forever, but I just prefer stuff that can be fixed rather than thrown away), and it looks better. These are mostly subjective things. If you prefer the look of the completely hidden cables (I do), then go for Centaur - there will be no appreciable difference in performance.
     
  6. azdroptop

    azdroptop New Member

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    My last Lemond had a mix of centar and veloce and my first Lemond had 9speed ultegra. As someone mentioned the shifting is very different, but both are very good. I like the thumb shift and the hand surface of the campy stuff and the ability to shift 3 gears at a time. Having the choose between dura ace and record for my new soloist I choose record. 1/2 lb lighter, no biggie, but just a better feel for ME. I would try the campy before you buy it to see if you like the feel.
     
  7. PeterF

    PeterF New Member

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    It comes down to preference. Personally, I love the feel of the campy levers. I will say this, I used Ultegra on a bike for 3 years winter and summer and lots of miles and it always performed beautifully. Shimano stuff (wheelsets, cassettes etc), seem to be more readily available than Campy, at least in my area. I still prefer my Centaur, but the quality is good in both groups.
     
  8. Jono L

    Jono L Well-Known Member

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    In terms of replacement, shimano stuff is cheaper and more accessable (in m experience).
     
  9. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    It's largely a style issue and I suspect something the bandwith providers just love, as the debate certainly consumes enough of it without producing useable results.

    I've had Chorus since 2001, ridden the daylights out of it, and have had no failures of any sort. Doesn't even need much adjustment. A friend has had Ultegra since 2002, no failures either. Biggest difference is the shifters - try both and see what you like. Shimano parts are easier to come by, but if my experience holds true, you won't need much in the way of parts, so that is largely a moot point.

    Campy gear sure lasts. I have a 1970 vintage Falcon San Remo, with the original Nuovo Record equipment, in perfect working order. Of course, it's obsolete as all get out, but it still works.
     
  10. dm69

    dm69 New Member

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    thx for the reply's. In summary, Go with the one you like the look of (centaur)/ go with the one you like the feel of (unknown?)
     
  11. graf zeppelin

    graf zeppelin New Member

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    All good advice. Best thing is to get down to a shop and test ride any sort of bike you can that has Ultegra and Centaur, just so you can compare the shifting action. Then have a look at the aescetics of each and which one you prefer that way. Let the shifting action of course rule the day, but style certainly can play a role. Best not to take a shot in the dark at one vs the other.

    It really is going to come down to preference. I have two bikes, one with DA and one with Record. I was a long-time Shimano rider until I finally tried Campy. For me, Campy is easily my favorite, but trust me, there are those that feel just as strong about Shimano and there is no right or wrong here.

    I enjoy riding both. Shimano has an industrial sort of look and shifting action. Campy has sort of an elegant look and shifting action. In terms of how you actually shift with one vs the other, one is likely to feel more intuitive to you than the other, though both make perfect sense. Campy's thumb lever is a real joy for me. Some cant or dont use it from certain drop positions and this is yet another thing you are best off to test. The feel of the hoods is different between the two. Durability and performance are about equal. Dont worry about Campy availability given the internet. Its simply that your LBS may have to order a part vs having it in stock. Campy things will tend to be more expensive, all else being equal. I have never ridden Centaur but I think the comparison between these two gruppos would be about equal.

    Have fun whichever you choose. Maybe come back and tell us. I also hope this thread isnt going to go 1000 pages of Campy vs Shimano lol. :rolleyes:
     
  12. free_rideman

    free_rideman New Member

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    Or you could get a jtek shiftmate, and run centaur shifters with all other ultegra stuff. Maybe even go 9 speed while you are at it, and save even more money, while making something a bit more reliable. This way you will save the most money, since you won't be paying for the other really expensive campy parts, but get the cheaper shifters, that could fit you better.

    But you got to explore first.
     
  13. thomas_cho

    thomas_cho New Member

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    I have Chorus shifters on one bike, and Ultegra on another. Shifting feels different between the two, but they both do the job reliably and without problems.

    I like the braking action of the Chorus shifters compared with the Ultegra, I can only describe the feeling as more direct and firm.

    I am using the Jtek shiftmate device, and am using the Chorus shifter in an all ultegra group. So the difference is not down to the brake calipers itself.

    Just my opinion.
     
  14. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. I love Shimano components. I love Shimano's customer service in North America although I have read horror stories from other people; and, I recall reading that Campagnolo's customer service is hard to come by ...

    BUT, after being dissatisfied with Ultegra 6500 shifters (which are certainly good-enough!), I use Campagnolo ERGO shifters WITH Shimano derailleurs.

    To digress, a very recent issue of Velonews noted that the most recent, 10-speed Shimano 105 STI shifters were almost as good, now, as the DA shifters -- race worthy. Whereas, as is known by most current Campagnolo users, the difference in the ERGO shifters is mostly cosmetics & weight -- little, if any, performance degradation by using a Mirage/Xenon shifter instead of a pre-Ultra Record shifter.

    You may have read/heard some people say that the Campagnolo shifters were intuitve. Although I had probably been using ERGO shifters for a year when I first read that, I honestly did not know what they probably meant until I read someone else clarify it (for me) by observing that when you push the RIGHT shift lever blade toward the center of the bike, the chain moves in the same direction on the cogs ... push the RIGHT thumb lever down, and the chain moves down on the cogset. Push he LEFT shift lever blade toward the center of the bike, and the chain moves from a small(er) chainring to the larger one next to it ... push the LEFT thumb lever down, and the chain moves down to a smaller chainring. HOW GREAT IS THAT?!?

    But, more than the multiple cogs that can be shifted which many people laud as the reason they prefer Campagnolo shifters, what I personally like (which may not be a problem for the 10-speed STI shifters OR a concern to you) is that you can downshift to a larger cog (if you have one beyond where the chain is at that moment in time) when the drivetrain is under a load (i.e., going uphill). I know people who use the 9-speed Ultegra shifters who claim they have NEVER had a problem downshifting while under load -- your results may vary ... mind did!

    I thought the shifting was sufficiently balky that I had gone to a triple so I could have a granny to bail-out onto AND I had considered switching to a rapid-rise rear derailleur with the older, 9-speed Ultegra 6500 STI shifters just before the "experimental" switch to the ERGO shifters!

    If you are a Flatlander, then being able to downshift when the drivetrain is under load may not be a meaningful consideration AND/OR the new 10-speed STI shifters may be presumed (by the Velonews' article's praise of the 10-speed 105 shifters; so, the same has to be true of the 10-speed Ultegra shifters) to be sufficiently more efficient than the 9-speed shifters were that downshifting while under load is less of a factor than before.

    BTW. The weights aren't even close to being identical, IMO. The heaviest Campagnolo shifter is ~410g per pair, and the lightest is ~330g per pair. The weight differential is just a bonus, IMO, to using Campagnolo shifters.

    BTW2. The cables matter most for tourists who use a handlebar bag, in which case the STI's derailleur cables are a nuisance.

    Being able to REBUILD the Campagnolo shifters is a consideration for some ... in reality, the cost for parts is really high, and cannibalizing another shifter(i.e., a cosmetically damaged shifter) is the most economical source of parts. I think, but cannot confirm, that the problem of catastrophic failure with Shimano shifters (some 8-speeds could lock up) was eliminated with the 9-speed design. As with the Shimano shifters, by the time you need to rebuild a Campagnolo shifter (about 10,000-to-12,000 miles) you will probably want the newest & latest & greatest.

    So, FWIW, I think you'll be marginally happier in the long run with almost ANY Campagnolo shifter; BUT, Campagnolo ERGO shifters are probably NOT as well suited for bullhorn handlebars (if that is ever to be a future consideration instead of thumb shifters if you go aero) whereas I think that Shimano's STI shifters can be mounted on bullhorn handlebars without too many concerns.
     
  15. dm69

    dm69 New Member

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    no

    1 word: ugly
     
  16. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    What are you saying? Do you think the Shimano shifters are ugly? Or, are the Campagnolo shifters ugly? Is the JTEK ugly?
     
  17. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    Try 'em both and ride what you prefer. I am a Campagnolo man, rode a full Super Record group for about a decade, and then moved to a Chorus 2003 and love that also.
     
  18. free_rideman

    free_rideman New Member

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    I think he is saying that mixing them will look ugly. I don't see it. I think it actually looks cool. But whatever floats your boat.

    You do save a butt load of money mixing parts compared to just sticking to one company for everything.
     
  19. dm69

    dm69 New Member

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    I think the mix is ugly and totally unecessary...pretty obvious i would have thought.
     
  20. free_rideman

    free_rideman New Member

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    Well I guess you will have to think about that seemingly obvious thought. Better performance, and more money saved.
     
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