Bicycle Mechanics - I need some tips on installing Campy Ergo Brifters/Ders
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Anything I should know? This is my first time installing indexed shifters/derailleurs, so it would be great to get an advance warning on any common pitfalls I should avoid. I don't want to spend another $50 on Campy cables!!
The brifters, or mine did, came with an excellent set of directions and cables and housing. The cable was very nice with a conical fused end that made it easy to thread. Campy web site should have downloads of the directions if you have takeoffs. They are a bit particular about placement on the bar. It was pretty straight forward. Good quality electrical tape is handy for taping the housing down as it exits the brifter as a slightly unhandy angle. Hope your bars are nicely grooved for the cables. Cutting the housing lengths at the front can be tedious also as a little short or long results in ungainly bulges or lack of slack in the housing as it negotiates the space between the bar and the frame stops or front brake. Be careful here and be a little generous at first in your cutting, that is where those cone head fused campy cables are nice, you can thread and re thread without worry about unraveling. Rotate the front wheel full R/L to check the housing clearance and behavior.
03-16-06, 09:41 PM
Can anyone post photo's of the process? That would really help... I am in the same boat.
Good quality electrical tape is handy for taping the housing down as it exits the brifter as a slightly unhandy angle.
I use strapping tape to secure housing when working with Ergolevers.
03-16-06, 10:26 PM
I use electrical tape, but I don't settle for a simple loop..I literally wrap the tape about 4-5 turns down the bar as I go. This assures a very secure hold.
When doing the brifters, set up the brake cables last, and then tape it all up. Reason for this is brakes are many times easier to run than shift cables.
Make sure that you use the right housings. Shift cable has many smaller wires inside of the housing. Brake housing has a flat metal coil instead. You can often tell brake housing from deraileur since brake housing is usually more flexible.
Pretty much it installs like any other brifter/der sertup. They are very picky as far as adjusting them....just be patient.
Front Der should be as close to the teeth of the big ring as possible. I run about 3mm clearance.
Also remember to check the jockey pulleys on the rear der for proper lube, re-lubing it if needed.
03-17-06, 05:37 PM
I use strapping tape to secure housing when working with Ergolevers.
The 3M stuff doesn't leave behind a bunch of nastiness when you change out your cables & housings.
03-17-06, 08:06 PM
Invest in a nice set of T-handle allen wrenches if you can. It'll make reaching in and tightening the ErgoLever mounting bolts under the hoods an easy task. If you don't want to buy the entire set, at least get the 5mm wrench to perform this installation.
03-17-06, 10:38 PM
Added to above:
1) Take some time and find the ideal location of the levers on the bars BEFORE you add the cables. Move the shifters around until your hands and arms "feel" right. Don't worry if the shifters are exactly the same.
2) Add the cable housings to the brakes without the cables to find the proper length. LEAVE THE CABLE HOUSINGS longer than you think you. need especially the front brake cable.
3) Remember double sided ferrules if you need to add length to your cables later.
Thanks for all the tips. I took a couple of photos a little late in the process, but thought they might help folks here.
Installing the cables was easy. Finding the two different holes for the different cables was easy, and threading them through was pretty easy, too. The first hard part came when you start deciding on cable length.... the trick is to get the handlebars/brifters 100% set up before doing any cutting. By 100%, I mean get those cables in position, and tape em down so they don't move. As said above, you're gonna need to rotate the handlebars to check length, and you can't do that if the cables are still flopping around.
I have double-grooved handlebars, and for the tape here I am using a strong, fiber-reinforced packing or duct tape type stuff -- I find electrical tape too prone to stretching, making it kinda useless.
Because I position my brifters a little higher than most, the curvature of the derailleur cable as it exits the brifter is a little tight. It wanted to kinda stick upwards, so when I taped it down, the first thing I did was wrap the tape in a loop around the cable once, allowing me to use the tape not just to hold the cable housing down, but to be able to pull it into a particular position:
Here you can see how I used the loop above to "pull" the part of the cable housing right as it exits the brifter downwards a little to pull it closer to the handlebar groove. I know this will eventually slip back up a little, but I want to do whatever I can to align it now.
The inner groove is for the brakes, and that was pretty easy. I used the same strip of tape to hold this one down, as it didn't require any adjustment to line it up with the handlebar groove.
Cutting the brake cable housing was easy, as it is a traditional spiral-type metal casing that clips nicely with a pair of normal wire cutters. The hard part is the derailleur cables
Instead of going ahead and chopping the derailleur cables, I went all the way to one end and dissected it to see what was inside. WOW! It's a bundle of some incredibly stiff wires, all running parallel to the cable itself.
How the hell do I cut this stuff? My wire cutters are just rolling over the whole bundle. Do I need to clip them one at a time or something?
03-18-06, 12:38 PM
[snipped] How the hell do I cut this stuff? My wire cutters are just rolling over the whole bundle. Do I need to clip them one at a time or something?
Dremel with a fibre-reinforced cutoff disk. Works like a charm.
Pulling the housing into place with a wrap of strapping tape like you did there is exactly the method I use. Nice work! :) Just be sure those bends aren't so tight that they cause undue cable friction.
03-18-06, 01:07 PM
They sell actual cable/housing cutters at bike shops for $10. I tried a wire cutters once. Bad idea. Then, I got a cable cutter from the LBS. Good idea.
Well, I was impatient so I just went ahead and cut the cable housing manually, one thread at a time. It's not pretty, but it worked. Thanks for all the tips! It really helped to be patient (with everything else besides the housing cutting! :)), to measure everything three separate times before cutting anything, to use tape to position things carefully and exactly, and to delay cutting the cable itself until the very very end (as sch said above, the conical tip was really helpful!).
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