Older Campy Athena vs new Shimano Sora or Tiagra

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by teacherguy, May 22, 2006.

  1. teacherguy

    teacherguy New Member

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    I have an older bike (13 yrs old) with Campy Athena 8spd dual control componants. I was told by a local shop that even though this was a higher level group, it would be inferior to today's Shimano Sora or Tiagra which is a lower level. Does anyone agree or disagree? I need a new bike but can only afford a lower level bike which is not what I want. I want to do it a little at a time beginning with frame/fork but if the Sora pieces are better, I may as well get a new bike as these bikes are in my price range. Also, what would a shop charge to swap out compponants from one frame to another?
     
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  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry to say that the guy at your local bike shop is either ignorant or just wants to sell you something.

    Your Campagnolo Athena shifters are vastly superior to Sora and/or Tiagra.

    If your town/city has more than one bike shop (or, there is another bike shop within a dozen miles in a neighboring community), consider going there for future sales and/or service.

    Why do you feel as though you need a new bike?
     
  3. BikingBrian

    BikingBrian New Member

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    Agree with Alfeng. Athena is MUCH nicer than some new Sora or Tiagra garbage. Just get a new frame and transfer the parts over. The only difficulty I foresee is possibly getting spare 8 speed parts for the Athena in the future (ie, cassettes, chains). However....places like Branford Bike have a large inventory of Campy stuff, including 8 speed parts and shifter rebuilding kits going back to 1991, as well as kits for turning 8 speed to 9 and 9 to 10....if that's what you need.
     
  4. teacherguy

    teacherguy New Member

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    My frame geometry is old school and my old school back does not agree with it. I want something newer with aluminum instead of steel. Thanks for the info. I think I will upgrade the frame and take my time upgrading componants.
     
  5. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    An aluminum frame MAY be less comfortable than your old school, steel frame -- "comfort" does depend more on frame geometry than material; but, material does have an influence on how road shock is transmitted.

    FATTER tires (700x25, or 700x28 if they'll fit) will go a long way to softening a harsh ride.

    If your back is bothering you, then you may want to consider getting a high-rise gooseneck stem to replace your current stem (based on the age of your bike, I presume it has a standard threaded headset + quill stem).

    Unless you have a vertebral problem, your back will probably become re-acclimated to the riding position after a few weeks/rides.
     
  6. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    Alfeng is right. Going to Alu is not necessarily the best thing for your back. Usually, alu frames are more rigid and are probably not the most indicated for someone with back problems.

    You may want to consider a modern steel frame or move up to carbon fiber. Just remember that frame material is one part of the equation - the geometry of the frameset (and your position on the bike) will make it comfortable (or not!).

    And keep the Athena kit, it is better than Sora/Tiagra.
     
  7. teacherguy

    teacherguy New Member

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    My reason for swapping frames is strictly due to geometry. I test rode a Scott Speedster last week and was amazed as to how much more comfortable the ride was. This is due to a more upright position.
     
  8. hd reynolds

    hd reynolds New Member

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    let me put it this way... if the Athena is a 1986 Ferrari 308 Spider, the Sora/Tiagra are 2006 Toyota Tercels.
     
  9. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    You were probably deceived by the parking-lot test ride situation which I presume you found yourself in ...

    REGARDLESS, the Sora & Tiagra are ROAD levers similar to your Athena levers ... intended for ROAD bars (vs. "flat"/mtb bars).

    Last Summer, a friend was quoted $150 to convert his old, 8-speed Raleigh to a flat bar bike ... you can do it for less.

    Look at the attached photos (sorry to bore everyone, but the old adage about a picture being worth a thousand words is true) ... they are three different frames with the same rider postion (i.e., MY riding position).

    The first is a project bike that is waiting for cables/housing & a chain ... it began life as an extra HARDTAIL frame I have which I mated with a road fork ...

    The second is my "Winter" bike ...

    The third is just one of my other bikes ...

    The reason to show those is because the three frames are different -- the two road frames are a different size, 52cm & 53cm (c-c), respectively.

    As I mentioned, you can probably just replace your stem with a high-rise stem (about $20 + new cables & housing unless your current ones have enough extra slack) OR flat bars (if that is what the Scott had) ... OR, possibly a shorter stem.

    You can get a threadless stem adapter (~$20) which will allow you to use any of a multitude of contemporary 1 1/8" stems which will then allow you to have at least a dozen options with regard to locating your handlebars relative to where you are positioned on saddle.

    The bottom line is that if you like the way the Scott Speedster felt, then you can PROBABLY reconfigure the components on YOUR bike to give it the same relative rider position to mimic what you felt during your test ride.

    Now, if the desire for a new/different bike is due to bike lust, then go ahead if your wallet and signficant-other allow it!
     
  10. Wino Ryder

    Wino Ryder New Member

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    Thats about right too. I have early nineties Athena brakes on my Tommasini and they are bike jewelry, really good looking stuff. You cant tell them from that year "Chorus".
     
  11. FREDBLACK

    FREDBLACK New Member

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    Ahhhhh. Olmo. i'm in love with these bikes for some reason.



     
  12. danielhaden

    danielhaden New Member

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    It is most likely that a long Nitto Technomic stem can do this with your older bike just fine. Just use a longer length with a shorter forwards extension than the one you now have. Crank it up, up, up till you're comfy (At least 2 inches must remain inside the bike, but Nitto Technomic is very long).

    You could also just go ahead and buy the Scott Speedster and outfit it with Ruffy Tuffy tires to stop the jolts from the aluminum frame with no noticable loss of speed. A shorter (shorter forward extension) stem of about 90mm can also help the Scott Speester be kind to your back. I can't help but notice that the Scott Speedster comes with a stem that is extended inappropriately far towards the front. Who has arms that long? Anyway, the refit is very inexpensive. Just go ahead and do it if you enjoyed the bike. Be sure and get one large enough (this time) so that the handlebars are nice and high.
     
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