Need some groupset buying advice

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Motosonic, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    Greetings folks,

    I've got a 2012 Wilier GranTurismo with the Shimano Ultegra 10 speed option on it and my groupset is worn.. and it needs replacement. I asked for some advice a while back, and I've decided to give Campagnolo a Try after I did some research and read some initial reviews on the Potenza Groupset.

    I'm pretty much the furthest thing from a bicycle mechanic, so I need help picking out which 'combination' I need. Right now, Merlin Cycles is having a pretty awesome sale on this group, so I want to move fast. With that said, my local bike shop has been no help (I guess because they want me to buy from them and let them do the ordering, I guess? but they're double the cost for the group alone, I just can't swing that.) So, here's what I found out about my current bike:

    The current Crank is a FSA SLK Carbon.. says 110mm BCD, 50/34T, from my research, that means it's a compact crank? I currently ride endurance rides with fellow injured veterans called Ride 2 Recovery. Usually between 20 & 100 miles at a time..

    I don't race, at least not 'yet'. So, with this said, is my style of riding best with compact or standard crank? and am i locked into compact because that's what the bike came with? I just want to get the best setup for my riding style. There are a LOT of hills around me, so, climbing is always a challenge.

    The bottom bracket is also FSA and Wilier tells me it's an english threaded bottom bracket for the 68mm bottom bracket shell.

    If you go to the Merlin site and search Campagnolo potenza groupset, they have a good 10 pre-set options. Basically, I want to know which of these is best for me and my style of riding AND will be compatible with my bike.
    I figured since many of you on here are so knowledgeable, I'd reach out and see if you can help. I have no clue which one to pick. I just don't want to go through the hassles of returns/exchanges because I picked the wrong one.

    I'll add that my wheels are the HED Ardennes FR. The Hub is a 10 speed Hub and my LBS had already told me I'll need to upgrade that to an 11 speed hub. I also have a set of Mavic Ksyerium Equipe S which is a 10/11 speed hub and I believe it's also campy compatible.
    Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    Hopefully this pic works
     

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  3. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    wow, lol, Maybe I just need to take a stab in the dark and try one.. perhaps this one?
     

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    #3 Motosonic, Dec 2, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2016
  4. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    39-53 or maybe the 'new' 36-50 chainrings. Even in hilly terrain a 39 x 28 or 29 will get a fit rider over all but the steepest stuff.

    Campy's new 4-arm cranks will accept all rings from the 34 to the time trial 56. 8 bolts and you have another chainring setup.

    a 34-50 compact will not cut it for racing above Cat. 4 and even then there would be no way I would race a compact.

    And check out Ribble. They still have a decent Black Friday sale going on.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
     
  5. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    Thanks Bob. So, I take it by your reply that just because my bike came with a compact, I don't have to replace it with a compact. With that said, I can choose any of the options listed in the pic I attached as long as it says English BSA? I don't know that I'll ever 'race'. I mostly ride endurance.. you know.. 15-20mph max (except downhills).. and I'm not sure I'd call myself 'fit'. Sure, I'm an ex-marine.. but I can't quite keep up with the A and B ride groups sometimes in my rides. So, I mainly ride with a c group at the moment. So Whatever I get needs to be versatile.
    I did check out that bike you linked on the Ribble site and some reviews for it.. and I think because it's race geometry, it really wouldn't suit me on my long, intense rides.. I need a more relaxed geometry (which is why I have this Wilier GTR). I'd like.. to get a new bike.. I've looked at the New GTR 2015/2016.. but even with my discount, it's just too much.. so, I figure, since my frame looks new.. might as well replace the abused drivetrain.. But the problem is, LBS just charge too much. I just can't justify spending 2x the price for the same parts, and then paying them a premium to install them. But, since I won't, they won't tell me which parts exactly I need to order.. and I'm by no means a cycling expert.. so, I'm worried I'll buy the wrong stuff.
     
  6. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the Ribble R872 is a stiff, low front end frame that is designed with one thing in mind: speed. We'll see how it goes. I ordered one and will get it built up and dialed in over December and ready to use as a training and race bike.

    You certainly can ditch your compact FSA and go with the English external cup Campy mid-compact (I think that's what they are calling the 36-52 rigs, although the 52 ring was considered a standard race ratio for several decades) or 39-53...and use those sizes in any manufacturer from FSA to shimaNO to SRAM as long as they make a BB to fit or at least an available Praxxis BB adapter to make a certain crankset and BB combination work with a good old standard 86 MM wide English threaded BB Wilier.

    No import duties on bike parts + shipping under $800 per order. Merlin, Ribble, Evans, Chain Reaction, Planet Cyclery, Wiggle...shop them all.

    As far as buying the wrong components, some of the above websites have online real-time chat forums. Some have blogs. All have email. You can ask questions, get advice. I think I told you before that you will probably need to buy a few specialty tool as you go. Like your M16, they will be your best friends in life. You can detail strip an M16 in the dark...you can build a bicycle. Again, YouTube and Park Tool's websites are full of information. I'll gladly try and answer your specific questions as you go through your build. It's probably a new challenge for you, but you've already made it in and out of the USMC...how tough can building a bike be in comparison to that?

    No such thing as an ex-Marine. Just those currently not killing our nation's enemies. As far as fitness goes, I don't know what injuries and disabilities you have (even REMF's and pogues get hurt. life in the armed forces is hard on a body!), but it may take another year or two to achieve your goals. Don't give up and you'll soon be closing the gap on riders that are currently faster than you.
     
  7. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW ...

    First. That seems like a pretty good price for a Potenza group ...

    And, I am very much in favor of people using CAMPAGNOLO shifters instead of Shimano-or-SRAM shifters ...
    BUT, because I don't know what you mean when you say your Ultegra group is "worn" ... let me suggest that before you pony up for new components, IF your shifters are not working the way they were when the bike was new-and-properly adjusted, it could simply be a matter of needing NEW derailleur cables and/or (especially) new cable housing ...

    As long as you don't have arthritis in your hands or some other limitation then YOU don't need to be a bike mechanic to install and adjust the components which you will find in any groupset ... so, that's true for piecemeal exchange-and/or-replacement of components, too ...

    I've said it before -- I thought that the parallel stranded cable housing was abandoned in the late-70s/early-80s ... if that type of cable housing is not replaced on a regular basis then it becomes unstable as its integrity is maintained by the plastic sheath which can degrade ...

    And, the plastic ferrules which are at each end probably introduce more friction than whatever super-duper pre-lubed lining reduces.

    I use coiled-core brake cable housing for my derailleur cables ...

    It is important to deburr the ends of the coiled core cable housing. A standard FLAT file can be used.
    IMO, all cables benefit from being lubed with a small dab of a LIGHT GREASE smeared in a thin layer where the cable contacts the housing even if they-or-the-housing is theoretically pre-lubed..​

    Unless aesthetics are an immediate concern, you can use almost ANY crankset with most Campagnolo shifters ... THAT means that you don't need to replace your current crankset unless you want to change the crankarm length ...

    IMO, the 4-arm cranks which are the new trend are probably a dubious choice for the average rider UNTIL they reach a "critical mass" in the marketplace BECAUSE chainrings need to be replaced from-time-to-time ... and, the non-104BCD 4-arm rings are-and-will-undoubtedly-remain rather expensive for the foreseeable future ...

    Heck, Campagnolo's former "standard" 135BCD chainrings are typically much more expensive than Shimano/-compatible 130BCD chainrings due to the limited choices.​

    Despite what many would like those of us who buy out own components to know, Campagnolo shifters are compatible with Shimano deraileurs with little-or-no modification ...

    The Potenza shifters are certainly fine ... the Chorus-and-Record shifters which have a different mechanism are slightly better because they mimic the shifting capabilities of the older Ergo shifters while the Potenza-and-current-Athena/Mirage/whatever shifters mimic the old Xenon-and-(later)-QS shifters whose "release" is similar to Shimano's one-Cog-at-a-time release.​

    Regardless, 10-speed Cog spacing and 11-speed Cog spacing are essentially the same. If you can live with a Cassette which only has 10 Cogs (who can't?) then you may want to continue to use your Shimano-compatible wheelset for the time being because you will be able to use a wider range of Cassettes ...

    In the past, I typically used an 11-34 or 12-34 Cassette with my Campagnolo shifters ...

    A couple of years ago, I set up one of my bikes with an 11-speed Chorus rear shifter + a 2000-vintage mid-length cage Campagnolo rear derailleur + a 10 speed 11-36 Shimano Cassette ....

    The particular bike's current crank has 52/39 chainrings ...

    In a few years, I may eventually resort to an XT crank with wussier 48/32 chainrings!
    BTW. Any pre-2009 middle-length cage Camapgnolo rear derailleur can handle a 34t Cog on most frames, and a 36t Cog on some frames. ​

    Many 10-speed Shimano-compatible wheels can be updated with an 11-speed Freehub body ...

    You should be able to buy a set of NEW Campagnolo shifters off of eBay for between $120-to-$400 ... the model will dictate the price.

    The current (V3) shifters require a T25 driver (4" or longer shaft) for installation ... V2-and-older shifters use a long-shaft 5mm Allen Wrench for installation.

    The diecast ends on Campagnolo cables are smaller than the "standard" diecast end size used by Shimano ...​

    A minor nuisance (IMO) is that you will need a T27 driver to tighten the recessed nuts on post-2009 Campanolo brake calipers. You should be able to continue to use your current brake calipers with any Campagnolo shifters.

    THAT's a long way of saying you may want to check-and-change your current cable housing before you pony up for a new groupset ....

    And, while you will probably be very happy with the Potenza groupset, you may want to simply swap your Ultegra shifters for a set of 11-speed Campagnolo shifters-and-cables/housing.
     
  8. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    Thanks for the advice, Alf. This bike and it's components have been through a lot. I've taken it to a few bike shops and they've all said the same thing.. this drivetrain has a TON of miles on it and is on it's last legs. I bought the bike used and the previous owner put tens of thousands of miles on it. heck, I've put a lot of miles on it since I bought it, too.It's not shifting well anymore.. The shifters I actually replaced recently with 105 shifters.. and prior to that I had all the cables replaced.. But, the deraileurs are all worn.. the chainring is worn.. and the carbon cranks are starting to flake and peel. So it needs an entire overhaul, minus the shifters.. and I figured I have 2 options.. I can upgrade to 11 speed or replace piecemeal.. but, with the cost of this particular group, the prices are comparable. I am also considering a new ride. I can get a brand new Wilier GTS for $1300 with a brand new Ultegra group. So, I'm considering that.. and just selling my current bike. Just a hard decision to make.
     
  9. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW ...

    That Wilier GTS sounds like a pretty good deal ...

    AND, other than their Road shifters, I love Shimano components ...

    Heck, if I had not seen one of their casting reels in the early 70s I probably would have been reluctant to buy any Shimano cycling component!​

    But, if I opted for that Wilier, then I would want to know the largest tire size which both the frame and fork can accommodate ...

    The fact that there is apparently a disc brake version of the bike suggests that 700x32 tires will be okay ...

    Even if you never plan to install-and-use 700x32 tires, the ability to accommodate fenders (which you may feel will never be the case at this point in time) will be more readibly feasible if there is the amount of tire clearance which a frame which can accommodate 700x32 tires will afford when using 700x28 or smaller tires..​

    If the bike can handle 700x32 tires then if I bought it then I would pull those shifters off the bike and re-sell them on eBay and install a pair of 11-speed Campagnolo (Chorus is slightly preferable) shifters on the bike.​
    BTW. Short of 80,000+ miles of usage OR abuse in gritty-and-grimy conditions without any maintenance (i.e., cleaning), I'm having a hard time believing that you Ultegra derailleurs are actually kaput ...

    I've seen rear derailleurs which were gummed up with waxy dry lubes which can be restored to full functionality by simply cleaning them & re-lubing them properly ...

    And, unless a front derailleur's cage has been minimized at the shift point by continuous chain rub it should be okay, too, with proper cleaning and lubrication ...

    As far as having had the cables replaced, I guess that I am suspicious of the installation performed by most LBS Wrenches ... and (as stated), the parallel stranded housing which both Shimano and Campagnolo supply with their cable "kits" should probably be replaced at the end of EACH season ... more often for some riders ... if anyone feels that using brake cable housing offends your sensibilities (AND, that is clearly the case for some people), then they can pony up for some super-duper NOKON or AZTEC cable housing.

     
  10. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

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    Thanks for the honest advice, Alf. You know.. I've often wondered about some of the same things, myself. But, I've taken the bike to a few shops and they've all said the same thing. I've tried doing a lot of the work myself.. but, I have little technical ability when it comes to bicycles. I find I make things worse when I tinker with them. Bikes, cars.. stuff like that.. Just don't have that skill set. I have seen what they're talking about.. lots of play in the deraileurs, the cranks are clearly worn, and the shifters just stopped working (which is why I replaced those). I had a shop fix them as best they could, but a few weeks later, they just refused to do anything at all. I don't know what the prior owner did to the bike.. he did tell me that he put a ton of miles on the bike in the 3+ years he had it.. and by the looks of the frame.. he took very good care of it. But, it's not shifting well anymore.. and nobody seems to be able to fix that.. I'm getting chain rub on the front deraileur that I can't get to go away.. I love the bike, but at this point it's time to move to a new bike or replace that group since multiple folks have told me it's beat. Plus, I'll be honest, I'd like to move to a 11 speed group.
     
  11. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW ...

    If you are still weighing your options ...

    Then, I want to suggest that IF you are going to keep your current frame (as a second bike) then you may want to simply replace the shifters with some Campagnolo shifters & new cables & housing AND clean the rear derailleur pulleys & lube the pivots on the front and rear derailleurs ...

    If the derailleurs are de-gunked & properly lubed and the drivetrain is set up properly, then it should provide you with a very pleasant experience.
    Although I don't recommend Shimano shifters, riding your old bike with the Campagnolo shifters should confirm or refute EITHER the choice of the Athena groupset OR a bike with Shimano shifters OR (possibly) purchasing a Shimano equipped bike whose shifters you will immediately replace with a pair of Campagnolo shifters (while re-selling the NEW, removed Shimano shifters on eBay).​
     
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