HELP with hills!!



jeff224

New Member
Jul 23, 2011
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Howdy everyone - just joined and this is my first thread. OK, a little background, I used to race back in my 20's and picked the bike back up after a 20 year hiatus. I still have my 1988 Campy C-Record equipped Paramount that I luckily always took care of and it still rides great - after a thorough going thru. The problem I am faced with is the gearing on the bike is / was a 52/42 up front and a 12-24 cluster. I was able to do stupid climbs with this gearing when I was younger - not so much today (LOL). I was able to make a small concession by finding a new-old stock Campy 39 chain ring up front but only helps so much on the really steep stuff around where I live (Fresno, CA). I know what some of you folks are thinking, "Just get a cluster with 12-28 or 12-32". I would except the C-Record rear derailer I run was mostly designed for racing and it won't accomadate anything lower than a 24. I would like to keep the bike all Campy of the same era (1980's) but my budget is limited and I have a century coming up in Sept. (Tour de Fresno) that has some brutal climbs including a few hills with 15 to 17% gradient!
Can anyone recommend how I can get some hill gearing on a budget? Can you recommend a rear Campy derailer that would let me put a 12-28/30 on the rim? I don't want to change to the small cranks and certainly don't want to set up this old race bike with triple rings up front. Anyone have an old Campy derailer that would mix with these old components they want to sell? Any help would be appreciated - I am loving riding again and look forward to many more miles in the future.

Jeff.S.
 

daveryanwyoming

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2006
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Originally Posted by jeff224 .
Can anyone recommend how I can get some hill gearing on a budget? Can you recommend a rear Campy derailer that would let me put a 12-28/30 on the rim? ...
Keeping it vintage Campy and on a budget is gonna be tough.

You could probably go with the advice above and get a lower end long cage derailleur along with a wide range freewheel. I'm assuming you're running friction shifters for a vintage equipped mid '80s bike in which case you can run pretty much any modern derailleurs after adjusting the stops appropriately along with what I expect is a seven speed freewheel. You'll also need a longer chain for that setup but you could probably pull all that together for eighty bucks or so if you shop around. If you want to keep everything Campy then it's gonna cost several times more and more yet if you want to keep everything both Campy and vintage.

I know you don't love the idea of a compact crankset, but I'd definitely consider it. You could pick up something like this: http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-Road-Bike-Campagnolo-Mirage-50-34-Compact-Crankset-/120742211016?pt=Cycling_Parts_Accessories&hash=item1c1ccbedc8

You'd get a lot more low end at very little cost to your high end gearing can run the same rear derailleur, freewheel and chain and it's Campy square taper so you pretty much just have to bolt it on, lower your front derailleur a bit and readjust the cable tension and you're ready to go for bigger hills like Tollhouse or Watts Valley or other big Fresno climbs.

From a high and low gearing standpoint it works out to:

52/12 = 117 gear inches
50/12 = 112.5 gear inches

So a bit of a hit on the high end but that works out the difference between spinning 115 rpm to hit 40 mph on a fast descent vs. having to spin 120 rpm with the compact crank and the 12 to hold the same top speed.

39/28 = 37.6 gear inches
34/24 = 38.25 gear inches

So with your existing freewheel and the compact you get within a gear inch of running a 39/28 which is a very low climbing gear compared to:

42/24 = 47.2 gear inches
39/24 = 43.9 gear inches

Definitely worth considering and even pretty easy to keep the bike set up full Campy.

-Dave
 

jeff224

New Member
Jul 23, 2011
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Great info / advice Dave, Thanks a lot. I think I may just go this route if I can find the same crank in bare aluminum instead of the black. And if the 50 tooth top sprocket isn't enough for the down hills I assume I could fit a 52 on it? Thanks again, Jeff.S.
 

swampy1970

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2008
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Dave probably has the best bang for the Campag buck there...

Had to dig back through the aeons for this one but Campagnolo produced a nice looking mountain bike group back in the day - Centaur MTB and the styling of the crank would fit well with the rest of the C-Record group:

http://www.campyonly.com/images/catalogs/1991/91centaur.jpg

... of course you'd need the rest of the bits to go with it - front and rear mech and bottom bracket. eBay or Craiglist (using a search tool like CraigsPro+) might dig up some surprises at a reasonable cost.

There was also the uber-priced Euclid MTB groupset but that might cost a pretty penny.

There's also a tandem road triple version of the Croce D'Aune. That groupset came with the delta style brakes and because of this I really don't expect too many of those cranks to be around and of those that are probably most of them are bent... :p

The Athena groupset of the late 80's and early 90's had a triple too.

http://www.campyonly.com/images/catalogs/1991/91athena.jpg

As for the compact crank question - if the Mirage uses standard 110bcd then yes, you can put a 52 on there. The difference isn't that big and unless it's a race you're doing it probably isn't worth the extra $'s.
 

jeff224

New Member
Jul 23, 2011
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More great advice, thanks guys. I know said I didn't want to do the triple but I'm starting to lean that way. Do you guys think I would have chain slop problems when I down-shifted to a 30 or 32 chain ring? I have seen some cheap used Campy 3-ring crank sets and was hoping I can just bolt it on with out changing anything else, besides adjusting the front derailer of course. What you fellas think? Then when I'm done this ride I can just slap my C-Record crank back on.
 

daveryanwyoming

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2006
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If you go with a triple crank you'll also need to replace the existing short cage rear derailleur with a long cage and you'll need a longer chain. Your existing rear derailleur won't have enough range to take up the extra chain slack necessary to handle all three front chainrings with the triple crankset.
 

jeff224

New Member
Jul 23, 2011
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Lol, ok so I should of just took your first advice and go with the compact crank - again thanks for the great advice.
 

cloudhead

New Member
Jul 8, 2010
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The 2010 Campy Centaur alloy crankset has a very classic appearance to it.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160624322770+&clk_rvr_id=251043277690#ht_956wt_1165
 

quenya

Member
Jan 14, 2010
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Hey Jeff, honestly I'd probably just run what you have. The 2 climbs of note at the Tour de Fresno are pretty short. Wildcat and Maxon, have you tried riding either of these recently? Your setup may be fine. Not ideal, but workable. Now if you wanted to talk Old Tollhouse, Big Creek, Kaiser, those long steep climbs... I would say keep your paramount as is and save up to get a new bike.
 

AlanG

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
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OK, I know exactly what you can do because I did it on my all Campy equipped vintage frame ALAN bike. I bought an older Campy Chorus rear derailleur for $45. This is newer than C-Record but won't be out of place on your bike. (And you can always put the old one back on it later.) When I looked up the specs it said it was good for a 26 tooth gear max. Well I unscrewed the freewheel and put on a 7 speed 28 tooth freewheel that I had and it shifted fine. So I tried it with a 32 tooth freewheel from another bike and was really surprised that it worked perfectly too. I control it with Campy 8 speed Ergo brifters and also have another wheel set that has an 8 speed 32 tooth cassette that works fine. It is definitely not a long cage model but seems to rotate quite far.

With the 39 ring on front and 28 or 32 in back, I can go up hills pretty easily.

Here is my bike. An older frame with some old and some not so old Campy parts. I wanted a vintage look but was not particular about having all the parts from the same era as the frame and I wanted a really usable "fairly modern" bike. Since these photos were taken, I've gotten some Campy pedals and a chrome frame mounted pump. I could shoot a closeup of the specific derailleur if it helps you but it might be a few days before I could do it.

http://alangoldstein.photoshelter.com/gallery/ALAN-bike/G00002La.cnP3IaQ/
 

jeff224

New Member
Jul 23, 2011
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Great looking bike and thanks for the info. Do you happen to know the approx. year of that Chorus derailer? I have also been looking for a chrome pump for my bike, it originally came with one mounted horizontially underneath the top tube. The frame has a small nipple welded on the headset tube that the pump stuck to - mind if I ask where you got yours? I believe the pump was a "Silca" but can't remember the size. Again thanks,,,,,pretty cool you have a classic bike with the same name as yours!
 

AlanG

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
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Originally Posted by jeff224 .

Great looking bike and thanks for the info. Do you happen to know the approx. year of that Chorus derailer? I have also been looking for a chrome pump for my bike, it originally came with one mounted horizontially underneath the top tube. The frame has a small nipple welded on the headset tube that the pump stuck to - mind if I ask where you got yours? I believe the pump was a "Silca" but can't remember the size. Again thanks,,,,,pretty cool you have a classic bike with the same name as yours!
Yeah getting a bike with my name on it was key as long as it was also a good bike.

I bought my Silca pump from Velo Classique. This is owned by Wayne Bingham is a very interesting store if you are into classic road bikes. You have to go in person to see what he has because there isn't really an on-line catalog that shows everything. Wayne knows everything about these bikes and has a wide selection of Silca pumps in a variety of sizes and colors. There are various interchangeable end pieces so they can fit into frames or into lugs. You can also find these pumps for less on Ebay, but I was at his store and could be sure I could get one that fit my frame. I had a Peugot that had lugs for a frame pump and found a used Zefal that fit it.

http://www.veloclassique.com/

http://www.yellowjersey.org/hpx.html

I don't know how old the Chorus derailleur is but it is not the first model which had an inclination adjustment control for the maximum gear size. In the article below the author thinks the Chorus is better than the C-Record derailleur. Note: the Chorus pictured in this article is older than mine and has the inclination mechanism that mine does not have. Perhaps it has a medium size cage. I'll try to remember to take a close up photo of it tomorrow, measure it, and post. And I think I have some info about it in my office computer.

http://campagnolodelta.blogspot.com/2011/01/1988-campagnolo-chorus-rear-derailleur.html
 

AlanG

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
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Here are some images of the derailleur. The cage is a little less than 2 inches long but it seems to rotate pretty far. Also included is a photo of my Silca pump.