Shimano vs. Campag

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Jon Mayers, Sep 15, 2003.

  1. Jon Mayers

    Jon Mayers New Member

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    Now, I don't want to start a religious war, but I'm speccing out My First Decent Bike. For the group set, a good friend (who was born welded to a saddle, it seems) recommends Campag, but admits freely that's because it's what he's happy with and my mileage may vary.

    So far so good. Oh, by the way, my budget is about £1000 (that's about 1500 of your feeelthy american dollars by today's outrageous exchange rates). Hey, it's a birthday present to me, I deserve it.

    So I goes along to my local bike dealership, where I meet a helpful soul who explains that Shimano parts are easier to come by than campy parts, in case some minor component should fail. Well, OK, but I don't really expect to go through that many breakages, and I can probably stand to wait the (so I'm told) 4-week delay for repairs. Not sold on Shimano yet. He also recommended Mavic Cosmos wheels. Nice, but probably a shade higher spec than I'd intended. "Ring back tomorrow", says he "and speak to Matt who can help you s'more."

    Still with me? Great.

    So, I ring Matt. He's a senior player at the shop, apparently. I mention campy and there's a sharp intake of breath. "Hmm", says he, "I recommend shimano". I laughed and asked why, as one does, and he explained that although he used to ride campy exlusively he's shifted to shimano now 'cos (in comparison) campy is "clunky" and less comfy to use on longer distances. He also recommends handbuilt wheels (with standard spokes) to carry my 95Kg weight in case I break a spoke on the Mavics, in which case I'll clearly have to wait a number of weeks for some special Mavic part.

    So, my question for the panel is this: is this man offering good advice, or is it likely that he has something specific he want to sell me (bearing in mind that the budget won't change in any case).

    Cheers,

    JonGreat
     
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  2. Richard Allez

    Richard Allez New Member

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    Just my 2 cents here but from want I've heard Campy is more durable than Shimano in the long run and parts are more interchangeable with Campy. But I guess it all depends with the mileage than you will put on the bike as well as the groupo you'll select.

    Richard
     
  3. Dura_Ace

    Dura_Ace New Member

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    In Simple words

    Campagnolo has better brakes, levers and hubs

    Shimano has better a better gear change and is actually cheaper, especially when your countries currency is high to the YEN.

    I have never rode on Shimano components, but my next bike will be a Dura Ace/105 mixture, because I could not resist the low price of Shimano components.
    After all Armstrong has won the tour de France 4 times, and I dont think that could be possible with trash.
    The Difference between Campagnolo and Shimano is not that harsh. It's more a personal favor
     
  4. brianmw

    brianmw New Member

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    Between Shimano and Campy, component groups from both work so well these days, you should get what you really want. Try them both and see how they feel to you.

    If a Campy part fails, there are plenty of online suppliers that you can go to if the local bike shops don't stock it.

    Also, it's likely that by the time a Campy or Shimano part fails, the technology will have changed so much that finding relacement parts will be hard for both. For example, next year's Dura-ace will be 10-speed (I expect that Ultegra and 105 will eventually follow suit) - in a few years, it may be difficult to find a 9 speed replacement Dura-ace STI shifter.

    I have the first generation Ultegra STI shifters (8-speed), one of which is starting to fail. Unless I find a used shifter, I'll have to replace it with a low end Shimano model (Sora), since the Ultegra and 105 are only available in 9 speed.
     
  5. gregneedham

    gregneedham New Member

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    This may not be too helpful, but I have always looked at the Campy vs. Shimano debate as similar to the Microsoft vs. Apple debate.

    Regarding Apple, it has been said that if you have to have it explained to you, you'll never get it. I use Apple computers. I fully realize that Microsoft allows a wider choice of software, a broader user base, and because of this, some ease of use in certain circumstances. But there is something lost, something missing in a Windows product for me. For lack of a better word, there is no 'soul.'

    I see Shimano the same way. Campy products appeal to me in a way that Shimano never could. I still go on Ebay and seriously consider buying an old Nuevo Record derailleur just to put on my desk because it takes me back to when I was first able to afford one to put on my old Raleigh racing bike. I can't imagine ever feeling that way about a Shimano product.

    So, if they both function within an acceptable range of performance, I will always pay a little extra for the soul of Campy. It makes me feel good when I polish my bike.
     
  6. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    I agree with gregneedham - to a degree. If you're looking at Chorus or Record, the Campy gear is so beautifully finished.

    OTOH, my MTB has Shimano XT/XTR, and it is equally as good. Value for money - Shimano is probably a little better, though personally, I grant Campy a few extra style points.

    One area that I will disagree with the bike shop pro is wheels. While the components haven't changed that much in 20 years, the wheels have. The new aero wheels are a substantial improvment over what we used to ride, lighter, and much less wind resistance. It's hard for a custom wheel builder to outdo that, short of just buying the aero components and reassembling them, and you get that from the factory for less with a prebuilt wheel. Broken spokes? Buy a few spares up front, they aren't that hard to find.

    I have been riding a set of Rolf Vector Pros for over a year, bought them used, and they still don't need truing. Very tough, and extremely efficient, if you don't mind the bone jarring ride. Since have added Campy Zonda wheels, as they are fairly aero but ride a bit softer than the Rolfs for those all day rides.
     
  7. ohiojeff

    ohiojeff New Member

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    i ride campy because they were king when i started, but i know many old campyphiles have changed simply because so many things are designed to work with shimano now. mavic wheels for example, work easily with shimano, and the kit to make them work with campy is very troublesome. it doesnt really shift well. i finally switched to campy wheels to match my campy group, and now it works right. i think i would do shimano if i were shopping, simply because it has become more universal and interchangable.

    as far as the special wheels, i am a big man, and have only broken spokes a couple of times, usually through my own lack of maintaining them. the new wheels hold up very well, though they look like they should be more fragile. in my mind there is nothing that makes more of a difference in a bike than the wheels. i would splurge on good wheels above anything else. JMHO
     
  8. jacko791

    jacko791 New Member

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    I've just bought a past season bike really cheap but it is only kitted with sora groupset, I'm considering selling the sora gear on ebay and upgrading to campag veloce or shimano tiagra.
    I'm completely new to road riding and from the specs it appears to me that the veloce gear is slightly better than tiagra but the veloce groupset is a fair bit cheaper than the shimano.
    Is Veloce actually better than Tiagra and if not is Tiagra worth the extra £60 for the groupset?
     
  9. Mampara

    Mampara New Member

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    I rode with Campag Mirage for a while on a second hand bike and it felt better then my new 105. You must also know that Veloce is 10 speed now and you will be able to upgrade it bit by bit all the way to Record without hassles. Before you buy, check out the new 2004 Chorus group on the Campag website. Beautifull stuff.
     
  10. Jon Mayers

    Jon Mayers New Member

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    Yup, it's gorgeous. But the fact that the new stuff is coming out means that the older stuff - perfectly servicable thanks - is a good deal cheaper, which means I can afford a better overall setup.

    I'm currently looking at a 9spd chorus triple. Yes, I know next year's stuff is 10spd, but a 9spd triple will give me all the range I need, thanks, and as I say it means I can afford a better setup overall.

    (thinks) Hmm.. however, if I did go for a lower-spec 10spd setup it would be upgradable for longer. :( Nothing is ever simple.
     
  11. Aztec

    Aztec New Member

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    Chorus is - and has been - 10 speed already. I know because I have it.

    The trouble w/ Campy's 10sp stuff is that there just isn't enough room for 10 cogs in the rear. The chain is very skinny, but still rubs against the big ring when on the small ring with the smallest two cogs in the rear. It makes a tinking sound not unlike a poorly adjusted front deraileur. Nothing can fix that. I have never noticed this with 9sp Shimano.

    Want quiet, smooth, crisp shifting with a minimum of gear noise? Go Shimano. Want a more mechanical feeling, and a whole heck of a lot more noise? Go Campy.

    I am debating converting my Chorus over to Ultegra, myself.
     
  12. mark taylor

    mark taylor New Member

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    I have to put my $.02 in here. Many of the points raised here are good: Shimano IS cheaper, more universally available. But I have ridden bikes with each of them, from the cheapest to the top of the line (okay, I only have Chorus, not Record-but I have put a thousand miles or so on a Dura Ace!) Bottom line is, I replaced my Dura Ace with Campy Chorus, because it feels better to me. The way the shifters work seems more intuitive to me. Less subjectively, when I rode in the cold with heavy gloves, I often caught the wrong lever with my glove on the Dura Ace. At the bottom of the product line, the difference between the two is even more pronounced. I would put the Campy Mirage WAY above the two bottom steps in the Shimano line (Sora and Tiagra) Given all the debate, you gotta believe that both make quality equipment, so it gets down to what feels good to you-unfortunately, not a judgement one can make on a 15 minute ride from a LBS. Good Luck
     
  13. mark taylor

    mark taylor New Member

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    No comparison there in my opinion: Campy Veloce is way better than Tiagra!
    Mark
     
  14. njeitner

    njeitner New Member

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    Most often this debate is answered using emotion and passion, the only serious answer is to try each and compare them for yourself. Having said that I had found shimano less durable for my style of riding, I tend to grind a high gear at lower RPM's than those I ride and race with.

    Regards Nick

    PS with regards to the following:

    Aren't the extreme gear ratios (small ring to small cog and big ring to big cog) not recommend?
     
  15. king_matt87

    king_matt87 New Member

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    ok well this crap about ShimaNO being cheap is right cheap quality But realy Both Campagnolo Record and ShimaNO dura ace are $3000 IN $AUSD shimaNO levers are dear and once they break they and stuff dura ace $425 a side or $850 a set and Campagnolo record are only $600 the pair(and carbon fibre) u can rebuild them. I had a matw who ran Dura Ace and his lever broke only the click thingy but the bike shop said if they were Campagnolo $40.00 but ShimaNO $425, because u can't bye parts u need a new lever. so he through the ShimaNO groupset in the shed and got him self some Campagnolo Record like me. http://shops.bizarsoftware.com.au/sbr/catalogue/category2/category95 all price compares ShimaNO cranks and levers are dear and Campagnolo rear derrailleus(carbon fibre) are dear so the price evens out but Campagnolo are easy and chep to fix
     
  16. mark taylor

    mark taylor New Member

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    So, here is just another example that you get what you pay for, and that the "cheap" product is in the long run not less expensive.

    Mark
     
  17. Stellite

    Stellite New Member

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    That's why I go with Shimagnolo.
    It is cheap like shimano, but smooth like campagnolo.

    Seriously though, do we need 10 gears in back. I can hardly tell the difference in the 3 smallest numbered cogs in back as it is on my 9 speed. I think I could do just as well with an 8 speed system and the chain line wouldn't be so funky.
     
  18. mark taylor

    mark taylor New Member

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    Well, I've heard that doubt before, and one might think that is for the sake of obsolecense and selling the new "improved" product, but I think more gear selections allow me more often be in the right gear for the terrain I am in, and maintain my ideal cadence.

    Sorry if I am being obtuse, but when you mentioned shimagnolo, were you joking or suggesting a mix of the two?

    Mark
     
  19. Stellite

    Stellite New Member

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    I was joking, but I do remember somewhere someone suggesting a mix of the best parts of both, simano's compatibility with wheel hubs and campi's ease of replacement of small parts etc.

    The truth is that when you are talking equivalent levels, they are both very close.
     
  20. Stellite

    Stellite New Member

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    Also, how many people out there really have any problems with shimano 105 and Campi Centaur/Daytona. At this point you get enough durability to last.
     
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