Groupset advice

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Motosonic, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    Good Afternoon, folks. I'm located in the US and I currently ride a 2012 Wilier Granturismo with an Ultegra 10 speed drivetrain.. I do mainly recreational cycling.. a lot of group rides.. mostly for charity (i'm a disabled veteran).. so, I'm not quite professional level.

    Anyways, I recently had to replace my Ultegra shifters.. they had a lot of miles on them and the rear just stopped shifting.. and the front wasn't performing well either.. So, I went wit Shimano 105 shifters and they work great.. but, the rest of my drivetrain is just as old as those shifters. So, I started to think, maybe it's time to upgrade the drivetrain to 11 speed? Now, I don't want or need Dura Ace for SRAM Red.. nor do I have the cash to fork out for that... but, my bikes have always come with Shimano Drivetrains.. and I'm considering SRAM (Force 22?). I know the whole Shimano/SRAM/Campy thing is a big debate. But, due to the costs of a new groupo, is it even worth it? Everywhere I look, they're super pricey.. I can't seem to find a good deal.. and #2, I can't install it myself.. so, I have to factor in labor. So, I guess my question is, should I even bother? Would I notice a difference if I went to something like Force 22? And is there somewhere that'l cut a poor old vet like myself a deal on one?
    I'd love to hear opinions on this. The bike shops are always like "YEAH! UPGRADE!! DO IT! It'll only be $1000".. and I WANT to buy the parts local, but I just can;t justify spending 2x the amount for the same thing, that'd bring it out of my price range completely.

    One last thing. IF i did order online, I need to make sure I get the correct parts since there are different deraileurs (front and back), etc. And I don't know what to choose. To add to that, My understanding is that I could use the chain ring and cranks that's on my bike currently on the 10 speed.. is that true? It's a FSA SL-k Carbon/
    Thanks!
     
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  2. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    105 complete groups are just under $400. Ultegra is around...what?...$550? That's dirt cheap for either group.

    Yeah, you could use your old crankset with the 11-speed stuff, but why bother? You said you got a ton of miles on the Wilier so the whole shebang is probably due for replacement. And the new shimaNO will shift better as a matched group, so maybe a bit of false economy there anyway.

    Figure a couple hundred to strip the Wilier down and install the new stuff. Other than the bottom bracket, the rest of the stuff is just a few Allen wrenches, for the most part.

    SRAM...it's all right stuff. There's nothing wrong with it at all. Rival is good. Force is better. Much better IMO.

    When it comes to shimaNO, Ultegra is better than 105, but only just a bit. Again, just my 2 cents worth.

    FWIW, the Wilier is worthy of a Campy group and Athena is around $550.

    And one last bit of opinion...11 is better than 10. Period. Either closer ratios or adding a bail out gear for those steep climbs...whatever. It's just plain better. More is always better. School is now out.

    Good luck from another Wilier rider (Izoard XP).
     
  3. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW ...

    While buying a group can be a great advantage, if budget is truly a concern then you may want to consider an a la carte upgrade-or-update approach for your bike ...

    Because 10-speed Shimano & 11-speed Shimano/Campagnolo Cog spacing is essentially the same, you can begin with a pair of 11-speed CAMPAGNOLO shifters + either any post-1998 Campagnolo rear derailleur whose cage is long enough to accommodate your chainring/cassette combinations ...

    While you may not think that you can DIY, if you can actuate the shifters AND/OR hold a screwdriver, then you probably have the manual skill needed to swap the components ...

    You'll need a 5mm Allen Wrench with a longer-than-4" shaft to remove the Shimano shifters and a T-25 driver with a longer-than-4" shaft to install the Campagnolo shifters.

    You should be able to get a new set of 11-speed Campagnolo shifters + cables (the diecast ends are smaller than on generic, Shimano-compatible cables ... ) for under $180 ... possibly much less if you are a wise shopper ...

    BTW. Some people who are supposedly knowledgeable have indicated that they think that installing the derailleur cables is more difficult with the recent, V3 Campagnolo shifters, but it is actually easier if you know the "trick" ...
    And, you can certainly get an older generation Campagnolo rear derailleur for under $50 OR you can hubbub the rear derailleur connection on a Shimano rear derailleur by attaching the cable at 3 o'clock to make it respond like a Campagnolo rear derailleur. That would make the cost $Ø + either looking up "Shimano Campagnolo hubbub" through an internet search OR looking up hubbub.com through a Forum search OR just ask, here ....


    You will NOT need to buy a new front derailleur if you opt to use Campagnolo shifers ...

    While it is certainly NOT recommended by Shimano, SRAM, or Campagnolo, I have found that an 11-speed Campagnolo (Chorus ... because it's what I had available, but an 11-speed Athena is certainly "okay") shifter + 10-speed Shimano Cassette (a wussy 11-36) + a 9-speed Shimano chain (yes, 9-speed) seem to work well for me.
    If you decide you want-or-need the extra, 11th Cog, then it is simply a matter of buying the new 11-speed Shimano rear-hub-or-wheelset-and-11spd-Cassette. Of course, recent Campagnolo rear hubs can accommodate 9-speed, 10-speed, and 11-speed Campagnolo Cassettes.​
     
  4. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    This is great information, thank you, folks. And it's great to see another Wilier rider!! (There are seemingly so few of us!)

    I was doing some research after reading this and it looks like the Campy Potenza is just a few bucks more than the Athena and seems to be a much more robust group.. So, I may consider that. I'm considering the Ala-carte option, but I would really have to do my research on maintenance and buy a bunch of tools, etc. to get the job done. But, I will consider it.

    I've never seen a campy group in person, nor have I ridden a bike with one.. so, my hesitation there is getting a feel for it before I buy one and have it installed. I've been to many bike shops near and far and they mostly sell Specialized, Trek and Giant.. and those just don't come with Campy Groups. But it may be worth a drive of a couple hours to the Wilier shop to check out a campy group.

    My last reservation is.. as an example, I went to Merlin Bike and looked at the Potenza group.. There are literally like 25 options I could choose.. and not knowing that much about groups, I wouldn't know what to order. So, any help on that one?
     
  5. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    I should add, I have some pretty good FSA Brakes on my bike already, so, if I can get a better deal without brakes, I'll do that. I really like my carbon cranks though.. I don't know that I want to toss those for something 'lesser'.
     
  6. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    The new Potenza stuff is a good option. It will probably end up replacing Athena in the long run.

    You can buy partial Campy groups minus the brakes and also buy 'drivetrain only' groups that delete the crankset. FSA brakes are fine. Nothing bad about them or the SL-K level crankset.

    From what you are saying, it sounds like you only want to replace the derailleurs, shifters, cables, cassette, chain...all the stuff needed to go 11-speed. You can piece that stuff together when it's on sale. Bear in mind mid-range brake calipers are almost a give away when buying a complete group. Cranksets do add cost to the group price, definitely.

    You can email Merlin with the data on your Wilier...model name and year of production. You can get the specs online. If you are going to buy a new crankset and replace the bottom bracket, they will need to know your threading if you have external bearing cups (my Izoard is English threaded) or what type of press fit BB your frame might have.

    Other than that, you need to know if your bike uses conventional brake calipers and I believe it does.

    Your wheels...you need to find out if your current freehub will mount an 11-speed cassette.

    Now you can see that with the possible wheel change and buying tools why most folks just run out and plunk down $1500-$2000 for a shimaNO 105/Ultegra ready-to-ride bike. And never underestimate the cost of the little pieces and parts that crop up in a bike rebuild. New bar tape...cable ends...cable adjusters...shims and spacers...sometimes they add up to $10-$15 and sometimes it's more like $50.

    Campy stuff is, indeed, pretty rare almost everywhere these days. Parts are readily available, but almost always only online. If you plan your maintenance...no big deal. Campy is a bit more expensive than the other brands, but I prefer the way it functions. If economics and the possible ability to pick up more parts at local shops (and this DOES VARY by locale!) then shimaNO is the logical choice. They make good stuff and it works just fine for 90+% of riders.

    Want to be different? SRAM components are good and getting better. And FSA is not far from having a complete line of components ready for the market.
     
  7. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    ...and damned if I didn't just get a 25% off sale email from Western Bike Works as I hit 'post reply'. Fall deals on bikes and parts are just starting to hit!
     
    #7 CAMPYBOB, Aug 26, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2016
  8. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    Thank you so much! Working on all of that now! And thanks for the heads up from Performance Bike.. I didn't get the sale notification, but hopefully that won't matter.
     
  9. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Western Bike Works...not Performance. Sorry...too many emails hitting at once.
     
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  10. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FYI ...

    Ignoring for a moment that CAMPYBOB appears to be fond of helping other people spend their money -- sometimes the advice is very good ... sometimes it may not be -- you probably want to pause for a moment and decide what your budget for updating you bike actually is ...

    This is hubbub rear derailleur cable connection on a 9-/10-speed Shimano rear derailleur to make it respond like a Campagnolo rear derailleur:​

    [​IMG]

    A pair of pliers expedites tensioning the rear derailleur cable ... otherwise, implementing the alternate hubbub cable attachment is almost effortless.​

    Unlike Shimano & SRAM shifters, Campagnolo shifters can use almost any cable actuated front derailleur ... so, buying a replacement front derailleur is really a cosmetic issue if you swap your Shimano (or, SRAM for those who may find SRAM's front derailleur shifting sometimes disappointing) shifters for Campagnolo shifters.

    While ramped-and-pinned Chainrings are almost required with Shimano & SRAM shifters, they are not necessary for smooth shifting with Campagnolo shifters.

    That means that if you opt for a set of Campagnolo shifers then you won't need to pony up for a new crankset unless you want to because you want to change from a "standard" 53/39 crankset to a so-called "compact" 50/34-or-52/36 crankset OR you want a "lighter" crank than you may currently have ...

    I have not tried a pair of Microshift shifters, but IF their take-up spool does not share Shimano's eccentric design, then they may actually be capable of shifting the rear derailleur as well as Campagnolo & SRAM shifters can AND they may also they may be able to shift the front derailleur as well as the Campagnolo shifters can.

    I don't know ...

    And, I don't plan on buying a set of Microshift shifters because I like the ergonomics of Campagnolo's paddle-and-thumb-lever design more than the ergonomics of other brands of shifters (you can consider THAT as a very personal thing & some people love SRAM's elegant DoubleTap design & others like Shimano's double lever design).

    With Campagnolo shifters ...

    Essentially, you move your hand in the direction you want the chain to move ... push the right paddle inward, the chain moves the rear derailleur to the left onto a larger Cog ... push the right thumb lever down, the chain moves to a smaller Cog on the rear derailleur ... push the left paddle inward and the chain moves outward to the larger Chainring ... push the left thumb lever downward and the chain is moved inward to the smaller chainring.

    How great is that?!?​
    Not only are Campagnolo shifters potentially the least expensive option for people whose Shimano-or-SRAM shifters need replacing (for whatever reason), but their ability to shift with almost any front derailleur, alone, makes them better for people who are not already using Campagnolo shifters because the expense of a new frong AND rear derailleurs is often unnecessary..
    BTW. I am certainly among one of the few Campagnolo user who uses wussy Cassettes who is not impressed with the POTENZA group as many others are ...

    Nonetheless, I'm very glad that Campagnolo finally has a Cassette with a 32t Cog, again ...​

    But, unlike Shimano's specs for their derailleurs, Campagnolo's specs appear to be very conservative. And, my c2000 vintage Campagnolo rear derailleur which is currently mated with the fore mentioned 11-36 Shimano Cassette is only rated to a largest cog of 29t.

    I know that a 2001-2007 Campagnolo rear derailleur can easily accommodate a 34t Cog (I simply haven't tried one with a 36t Cog).

    The 2008-2014 Campagnolo rear derailleurs ARE HANDICAPPED with a shorter parallelogram which appears to preclude using them with a Cassette which has a 34t Cog ... 32t is probably the largest Cog.

    The new Potenza rear derailleur may-or-may-not have the capability of the pre-2001 Campagnolo rear derailleurs.

    The Potenza rear derailleur's non-alloy "body" may-or-may-not be the same composite material which was used previously on the Campagnolo XENON rear derailleur.​

    I believe that most "groups" do not come with hubs, now, as part of the pre-packaged ensemble ... in part to lower the price of the grupos AND UNDOUBTEDLY as an acknowledgement that many people choose to opt for fancy-schmancy wheelsets, now.

    THAT means, that if you opt for 11-speed shifters & want to maximize the experience, then you will need to budget accordingly for updating your rear wheel ...

    MANY Shimano/-compatible hubs can be retrofitted with 11-speed Freehub bodies ...

    Putting an 11-speed Freehub body on a 9-/10-speed hub will mean that the rear wheel will probably need to be re-dished.
    You can get ANY brand of the 11-speed shifters & continue to use your current wheels and a 10-speed Shimano/SRAM Cassette.

    Remember, with Campagnolo shifters you will only need you to replace the brake & derailleur cables ... if you opt for 11-speed Shimano or SRAM shifters, you WILL probably need to replace almost all the components.
    Let your budget & aesthetic sensibilities be your guide.





     
  11. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to come at this from a different direction than the others have, not saying their wrong, but I'm a tightwad so that's the direction I'll be coming from.

    Again, this is just an opinion. To save cost I would stay with Shimano and not try to switch stuff around. Going from a 10 speed to a 11 won't gain you anything you'll ever appreciate so I would stay with the 10 speed set up and save money doing so. And you don't have to worry about using hubbub which is just something else that could go wrong and add a tad of weight to the bike.

    I think you were real smart when you went with the 105 briftors, they work great, and depending on the cables you use can make them feel just like Ultegra or even Dura Ace, I use Dura Ace 9000 cables on my 105 set up and after riding Dura Ace and Ultegra it feels just as smooth as either. HOWEVER, for a lot of people they can't tell the difference between standard Shimano cables and DA 9000 cables, if you're one of those people there is no reason to spend a lot more money on DA9000 cables, they won't last any longer than the standard ones, so personally I would stay with the standard ones and save money.

    Brake calipers last a very long time, there should be nothing wrong with them other than buying a good set of brake pads like Kool Stop Salmon, the Salmon ones stop better in the rain then the others; and getting them lubed and properly adjusted, but if they are shot go with 105.

    I also wouldn't be replacing parts just because they're old, all they may need is a good overhaul especially the bottom bracket and cranks which can be quite expensive. You can have the bearings replaced and regreased and replace the worn out chainrings for a lot less money. A rebuild kit for the Ultegra BB is just under $20, and chainrings are about are about $20 each.

    Hubs also last a very long time, you should need nothing more than a cartridge replacement.

    Headsets also last a very long time, all that should be needed is bearing replacement and or just lube, and at the very worse replacing it, if you have to replace it go with Cane Creek 40, while the 110 model is better it's a bit of an overkill but it does come with a 110 year warranty but at a cost of triple the price of the 40 I can't see it being something that makes financial sense even in the long run.

    If the derailleurs are shot I would change to 105 for the front but go with Ultegra on the rear; otherwise if the old Ultegra front derailleur is still good, which I can't see why it wouldn't be since the front doesn't get used nearly as much as the rear I would just have it lubed and adjusted.

    This opinion of mine is simply a KISS principle and it keeps things at a low cost. You can have a complete overhaul done at your LBS and it probably won't cost you more than $400 with parts since I highly doubt all the parts you have are shot, because once they go through everything they'll determine if a part needs to be replaced or not.
     
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  12. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    Thank you, Froze.. I appreciate the honesty and information. The more I think about it, the more I think you're right. As much as I want to buy into the hype and jump on the 11-speed bandwagon, maybe it's not the best fit for me right now.
    The local mechanic did say that the headset is a little 'loose under load' and probably needs an overhaul.. and the rear deraileur has some serious wear on it. So, those are probably the next two things to go. The bike has FSA SL-K Carbon Crank and FSA BB and I haven't been told there are any issues with those yet. To be honest, it's one of the things I like most about the bike. It's also got FSA SL-K brakes. SO, really the only shimano parts are the front and rear deraileur, the cassette and the shifters. Speaking of which, since replacing the Ultegras with them, they've been great. I couldn't be happier. Shifts smooth and no real issues. There's some noise when I'm in the granny gears near the deraileur.. and it's not trimming enough.. but, my mechanical skills are limited.

    The hardest part for me has been trusting the LBS. I like my LBS, they're great guys.. but at the end of the day, it's a business.. you know? And they have to make money.. and with my mid-to-low level of knowledge and mechanical ability.. I sometimes feel taken advantage of.

    I had the handlebars replaced recently and the replacements were a bit too compact.. and I was having shoulder pain...so they swapped me out with a wider set.. and I've been having that pain still.. but it's a little better. I paid for a FSA Omega and wound up with some Felt-branded leftover handlebars.. Just not sure how I feel about that. They want to do one of those professional fits on me for like $200 and I'm VERY reluctant to do so because all the bikes I've had.. it's been a simple seat adjustment and I'm comfortable as ever.
     
  13. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    UMMMmm ...

    WHY did you replace your old handlebars?

    Did your shoulders hurt BEFORE you changed the handlebars?

    Or, only afterwards?
    Regardless, your shoulders probably hurt because you are REACHING too far for your current physical condition (i.e., weak neck muscles) ...

    That is, your shoulders may be lower than a level which allows your neck to NOT be strained ...

    And, either a shorter stem may be beneficial OR different handlebars which have less forward reach..

    The forward REACH on DROP handlebars varies from style-to-style ...

    Having WIDER handlebars is equivalent to having a LONGER stem.​
    IF your shoulders did NOT hurt before you changed the handlebars, then you need to use that "old" installation as a starting point to find a comfortable riding position for you ...

    SOME people never get used to using Drop handlbars ...

    There's no shame if you are one of them.​

    So, what size frame are you riding?

    What is the c-c length of the top tube?

    How long is the stem?

    What is the drop from the top of the stem to the top of your saddle?

    HOW TALL ARE YOU?

    If you can, post a picture of your bike as it is set up.​
     
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  14. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    So, to answer your question, they replaced my handlebars because the previous owner apparently didn't change the bar tape very often and they got pitted to the point there were holes in it and they(LBS) deemed it unsafe. So, they matched the bars with the closest thing they had which was an FSA Omega handlebar. They found this problem when they replaced the shifters for me with the 105's.

    The shoulder pain is in the top of my shoulder.. not really in the neck. more in the shoulderblade.

    I honestly don't know the stem length.. it's the stock FSA SL-K stem that came with the bike.

    I didn't have shoulder pain on this bike prior.. but, I haven't been riding this one for that long. Many of my biking miles were put on a 2011 Raleigh Revenio 3.0 (54cm).

    I'm 5'10 and the frame is a large (55cm according to Wilier). I've also ridden a Revenio 4.0 which was a 56cm for some great distances.

    The pic won't seem to add to this thread for some reason no matter what I try. But it shows up in the preview/while I'm editing.

    For what it's worth, the shoulder pain could be completely unrelated. But it started around the same time I started putting heavy weekly miles on the bike.. For me, heavy weekly is around 50-100 per week. That's not much for some folks.. but for a rehabilitating veteran like myself, it's a lot more than I thought I'd ever do.
    Thanks for the help, guys!

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    By the way MOTOSONIC, least we forget the price you vets, and you, paid for serving our country...THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY. There are people still left in this country that appreciate and understand the sacrifices you and others have made. I know I can't say thank you enough!
     
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  16. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    I suspect that the forward reach on the current handlebars is slightly longer than on your old bars and that may be the reason that you are experiencing your current discomfort ...

    But, even if it isn't, you may want to try EITHER a shorter stem OR one which has a HI-RISE ... the effective length is 90mm and they raise the handlebar by about (?) two inches.

    REI used to carry Hi-Rise stems ... they are typically used on MTBs & Hybrids ... but, unless you are a slave to fashion OR need a Carbon Fiber stem, it may be worth the modest investiment ($20 +7-).​

    BTW. One of the most valuable (?) tools which I have is a METRIC tape measure ... they are now readily available at any WalMart for under $4.00 (the last time I looked).

    That's my round-about way of saying that instead of ponying up for a "professional" fit (which is generally performed arbitrarily based on the whims of the tester based on presumptions which may-or-may-not be correct about the rider), you could consider buying one-or-two shorter stems and testing them.

    So, not that we have similar flexibility, but at 5'9", my combined seat tube + stem length has stayed pretty constant at 66cm (57cm top tube with a "standard" 9cm stem way-back-when). I would say that the bars (I reverted to vintage Cinelli 66 & 64 after being seduced into trying a multitude of more exotic shapes over the decades) which I use have a "neutral" forward reach since they are not the shortest nor longest. ​

    The "horns" on Shimano shifters are FURTHER AWAY than Campagnolo shifters ...

    If I were to retrofit one of my bikes with Shimano shifters then I would need a shorter stem than the particular bike might have to ensure MY proper fit.​

    BTW2. Simply moving your hands around from the Tops to the Hoods to the Drops of your bike's current configuration may eliminate the pain you are experiencing.
     
  17. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    Thank you, Froze. It's nice to know it's appreciated. It's a new and different feeling to have.. trust me. It wasn't always that we vets were 'appreciated' for serving.. so, it's a nice change. So, for that, thank you.
    Semper Fi
     
  18. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    It's been suggested to try a shorter stem. I'll look into that. I hesitate to buy something else, but then again.. it's better than a $200 fitting. I've been picking up tools as I need them, so I'll grab a metric tape measure. What drives me nuts about this process is that it's all somewhat of a guessing game. I kinda miss my Raleigh because it just fit and I didn't really have any issues.. But, to be fair, I love this Wilier. Never had a bike like this before. Sometimes I just stare at it. lol
    I do make an attempt to move my hands around as much as possible while I'm riding. Especially once I start to feel discomfort. But it lasts long after I ride.. Days, weeks. So, it may not even be related.
    I doubt I'll be replacing the Groupset any time soon.. After looking at costs/options. I don't want to go to a group that's lower than my current Ultegra setup.. so, until I can pick up a similar or better Campy group.. I'll be sticking with that I have.
     
  19. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Do you still have your Raleigh?

    If you do, then you should try to replicate the relative position of the saddle to the pedals, first ...

    And then, the shifters to the saddle ...

    Choose the handlebars & stem which will place the levers in the same position as you had on your Raleigh.
    THAT's (knowing ONE EXAMPLE of a fit which works for me) pretty much how I ensure that any other bike I want to set up for me can be done in just a few minutes.

     
  20. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FYI ...

    NO ONE needs to replace an entire groupset to use Campagnolo shifters ...

    No caption
    Campagnolo shifters can be mated with Shimano rear deraileurs to replicate various Shimano-indexing ...

    The FRONT Campagnolo shifter can function with most-if-not-all CABLE OPERATED front derailleurs.
    You can buy a set of NEW OLD STOCK ATHENA shifters (you'll still need the Campagnolo-compatible cables or be handy enough to make the diecast ends slightly smaller so they will nest properly ...) for UNDER $150 on eBay.
     
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