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  1. #1
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    Campagnolo / Shimano 10 Speed Compatibility

    Hi all, I've searched all over the internet and have not found an answer to the question I will pose. I thank all in advance for any assistance.

    I'm thinking of building up a road bike this winter, up till now I've been doing all my road riding on my cross bike with 23mm tires. I'm thinking the bike (2005 Kona Jake the Snake) is a bit of a limiting factor on some of my road rides, especially climbing as it's not a light bike. Anyways I'm toying with a couple of options for a road bike. Option one is the bank breaker of getting a nice Euro carbon frame (Look 565, or Time Edge type frame) and build it up with Campy Centaur and some nice Campy hoops, perhaps Zonda's. Option two is buying a cheaper frame (Rocky Mountain AC, could get it cheap at around 800cdn for frame, fork, headset and custom paint), throwing some Veloce on it and using my current FSA RD200 wheels which have a Shimano cassette body.

    If I go with option two what are my options? I know I can get a conversion cassette from American Classic that will make it work. What about the spacing of a Shimano cassette? Is it actually any different than Campy? The only reason I'm hesitant with the AC conversion cassette is cost, I could get a 105 cassette for about 1/3 the cost.

    Again, many thanks,
    Kris

  2. #2
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Y'know, it's kinda humorous that you'd consider option 1, then start worrying about $30 with the AC unit.

    How about option 3, spend $1000 Cdn and get an equipped road bike.
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  3. #3
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrisA View Post
    What about the spacing of a Shimano cassette? Is it actually any different than Campy?
    It's not exactly the same, but close enough to work fine in most cases, either 9-speed or 10-speed.

    Back in the 8-speed days it was a different story though.

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    My experience with a Shimano 9 speed, then a 10 speed, cassette with Campy Chorus is that while it does mostly work, you will always have 1 gear that is in-between clicks no matter how much you try to adjust it. They just have different spacing.

    I rode this way for a few months before I decided it wasn't worth it even though the Velomax Tempest wheel with the Shimano was far lighter than the Campy Vento it replaced. And much quieter. These Campy freehub wheels are really noisy.

    I've never tried the AC cassette as Velomax and then Easton said they don't work on their wheels as there just isn't quite enough dish, nor the other gizmo that you put the cable through. I can't remember what it was called. That thing supposedly works pretty well.

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    Senior Member Steev's Avatar
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    You can make almost any combination work with the appropriate JTEK shiftmate, but why do that when the amount of money you're considering spending will get you a fully built bike with everything compatible.

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    That's the thingy. It isn't terribly expensive either, I just never tried it.

  7. #7
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrisA View Post
    If I go with option two what are my options? I know I can get a conversion cassette from American Classic that will make it work. What about the spacing of a Shimano cassette? Is it actually any different than Campy? The only reason I'm hesitant with the AC conversion cassette is cost, I could get a 105 cassette for about 1/3 the cost.

    Again, many thanks,
    Kris
    Kris, you're making this way harder than it needs to be. FSA makes all their wheels with Campy and Shimano Cassette hubs. Just go the the LBS and order a Campy cassette hub body for your current wheels. Then go all Veloce including the cassette. It will run great. Good luck

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Deanster04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cs1 View Post
    Kris, you're making this way harder than it needs to be. FSA makes all their wheels with Campy and Shimano Cassette hubs. Just go the the LBS and order a Campy cassette hub body for your current wheels. Then go all Veloce including the cassette. It will run great. Good luck

    Tim
    Way to go Tim. Always best to truly explore ALL the options. I have known someone who put the AC campy conversion on a set of nonchangeable Cosmos and was never happy especially with the replacement cassettes $$$$! Centaur would be my choice for the best bang for the buck for gruppos but the Veloce works extremely well. I replaced a friends hollow pin record ultra thin chain with a Veloce 10 speed ultra chain and it works extremely well...especially when you want to repair a chain on the road with a conventional chain tool and don't have a pin.

  9. #9
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    shimano 10 speed cassettes and shimano 10 speed chains used with campy 10 speed shifters and derailleurs work just fine. two of my co-workers are using shimano cassettes with campy shifters and while it's not 100% perfect, it shifts through all the gears just fine. the chain rubs just slightly on a couple cogs. it's good enough for them to race and ride brevets on.

  10. #10
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deanster04 View Post
    Way to go Tim. Always best to truly explore ALL the options. I have known someone who put the AC campy conversion on a set of nonchangeable Cosmos and was never happy especially with the replacement cassettes $$$$! Centaur would be my choice for the best bang for the buck for gruppos but the Veloce works extremely well. I replaced a friends hollow pin record ultra thin chain with a Veloce 10 speed ultra chain and it works extremely well...especially when you want to repair a chain on the road with a conventional chain tool and don't have a pin.
    I'm using a Daytona/Centaur 10 sp mix on my bike. Actually all Daytona except the brakes. I tried one of the new KMC Campy chains. So far it is flawless. The benefit is it cost way less than Campy.

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacster View Post
    That's the thingy. It isn't terribly expensive either, I just never tried it.
    The Jteks cost about $35 and work very well. I have one on a bike with Campy 10-speed Ergos and a Shimano 9-speed cassette and Shimano rear derailleur. Shift perfectly and is quiet in all of the cogs.

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    I'll bet that when 11 speed comes out it will all be completely compatible. The tolerance will be so small that neither brand will have any wiggle room. There's only so much space back there.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacster View Post
    I'll bet that when 11 speed comes out it will all be completely compatible. The tolerance will be so small that neither brand will have any wiggle room. There's only so much space back there.
    You're probably right but I'm not sure 11-speed will ever be introduced. If more than 10 cogs could be fit into the current 130 mm dropout width, Shimano would certainly have leap-frogged Campy when they finally introduced their 10-speed components a couple of years after Campy did. Also note that the latest and greatest road groups from SRAM are still "only" 10-speed. I'm sure SRAM would have loved to one-up both Campy and Shimano if they could.

    The real problem is probably the chain which is (sorry ) the weak link in the system. I think 10-speed chains are as thin as mechanically and structurally practical and any thinner would be intolerably weak. Note that neither Shimano or SRAM has 10-speed MTB components so 10-speed seems to be the limit even for road use.

    Any more cogs will require wider dropout spacing which will cause heel strike problems with short chainstay road bikes. We'll see.

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    This is Spinal Tap.

    I never saw the reason for 10 speed actually, I rode for years with 6 without any problem.

  15. #15
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    These mix and match threads seem to come up all the time here. There are plenty of combinations that will work "just fine". But my question is what is "just fine"?

    If I am spending the money to buy a new group and wheels, I don't want a bike that works "just fine', I want my bike to work "BEAUTIFULLY", "LIKE A DREAM"... I want it to be smooth and quiet and shift so well that I sometimes have to glance down to make sure it even shifted. I don't want to have to fiddle with it or listen to annoying chain rubbing or chain wanting to shift noises in some gears and then have to over shift in others. I also don't want to ride behind someone who is satified with "just fine" and listen to their crappy shifting, noisy, clattering drivetrain. If that is what "just fine" means then I want none of it.

    If you're in an emergency situation where you have to replace somethig and are, for some reason, limited in your options, then do what you have to do to get by. BUT...If you are starting from scratch, make a decision. Campy, Shimano or Sram. All three work very well and will give you what you pay for. I have my preference and everyone else has theirs. Either way-choose one- and stick with it on that bike. If you're going to lay down your cash, don't settle for "just fine". Expect nothing less that "damn fine".

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    These mix and match threads seem to come up all the time here. There are plenty of combinations that will work "just fine". But my question is what is "just fine"?

    If I am spending the money to buy a new group and wheels, I don't want a bike that works "just fine', I want my bike to work "BEAUTIFULLY", "LIKE A DREAM"... I want it to be smooth and quiet and shift so well that I sometimes have to glance down to make sure it even shifted. I don't want to have to fiddle with it or listen to annoying chain rubbing or chain wanting to shift noises in some gears and then have to over shift in others. I also don't want to ride behind someone who is satified with "just fine" and listen to their crappy shifting, noisy, clattering drivetrain. If that is what "just fine" means then I want none of it..
    Well, my mix-and-match bike with 10-speed Ergo brifters/Shimano 9-speed cassette and rd/Shiftmate does work "damn fine" and is every bit as quiet and precise shifting as my other bike which is 100% 10-speed Chorus. So, other than additional cost I see no reason to go all Campy on it.

    Sure, if you are starting from scratch and building a dream bike with little concern for cost buy a completely consistant set of components but don't tell me the expedients don't work. Properly adjusted they work damn fine and a poorly adjusted all-Campy Record set-up can be noisy and poor shifting.

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    Friction shifters. Then pretty much everything works with everything else.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ettsn View Post


    Friction shifters. Then pretty much everything works with everything else.
    Been there, done that for several years. I would never go back to it voluntarily.

  19. #19
    Senior Member capwater's Avatar
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    I've seen Campy 10 guys grab a Shimano 10 speed wheel off neutral support and finish the race with no issues.

  20. #20
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Well, my mix-and-match bike with 10-speed Ergo brifters/Shimano 9-speed cassette and rd/Shiftmate does work "damn fine" and is every bit as quiet and precise shifting as my other bike which is 100% 10-speed Chorus. So, other than additional cost I see no reason to go all Campy on it.

    Sure, if you are starting from scratch and building a dream bike with little concern for cost buy a completely consistent set of components but don't tell me the expedients don't work. Properly adjusted they work damn fine and a poorly adjusted all-Campy Record set-up can be noisy and poor shifting.
    I'm not saying these mix and match set-ups can't work in some combinations. But, like I said in my post (the part that you chose not to quote) that if you are starting from scratch, you've already committed the money, so why mix and match? It doesn't make any sense. (Unless you have a few bikes/wheels and you want to be able to swap freely, but then again if that is the case why not stay with what you already have?)

    And as for "works fine". In my experience, I have heard this so many times from so many people... and then I ride with them...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    But, like I said in my post (the part that you chose not to quote) that if you are starting from scratch, ...
    Read my post again. The first words of the second paragraph were; "Sure, if you are starting from scratch and building a dream bike....." Seems to me I did quote and address exactly what you said.

  22. #22
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    Actually what you said was "building a dream bike with little concern for cost". Who's talking about a dream bike? (Unless your dream bike is a Veloce equipped bike with Campy compatible wheels). And why do you assume that a bike that has a drivetrain from a single manufacturer must, inevitably, break the bank?

    Perhaps I was just *****ing based on how many times I had to deal with customer's bikes that had mismatched components that, in the end, were the root of the problem. (The OEs are equally to blame for this, esp when it comes to cranksets!) Perhaps a concrete example of what I am getting at is in order.

    As an example: I have a 6 month old son. I can't wait to strap the little guy into a baby seat and take him for his first ride (much to my wife's shagrin, I might add). I don't think, for most people, that this will be their dream bike.

    I have an old 9-spd DA group in a box, so I dragged it out, cleaned it up, and lashed it onto a frame I happen to have lying around. Small problem...no shifters. I went to my LBS and asked him to search out some shifters for me. No luck. He even contacted the distributor, who then contacted their customers (other shops nation wide) to see if they had any 9-spd DA shifters. Nada.

    Now I am faced with a choice. I could snag some Veloce 9-spd shifter and order a shiftamajig and run a cable the wrong way here and tweak something else a special, secret way there and make it work "just fine", most of the time. But you know what? Inevitably, something is going to get funky with this set-up and I am going to have to spend the little time I have to ride with my son, fixing this bike - replacing something, re-tweaking something, changing a cable because my shiftamajig chews through them like candy or who knows what else.

    My solution? For a bike that I'm going to use once a week, and NEVER want to have to waste my time adjusting, I am going to buy some Tiagra shifters and slap them on my bike. They will work flawlessly and for as long as I need them to until my son graduates to his own bike. I will probably never have to sacrifice a second to the shifter Gods and can enjoy the sweat sound of chain through gears punctuated by peels of my son's laughter.

    My next problem is convincing our jersey maker to make one of our team jerseys small enough to fit him.

    Maybe you are right. Maybe this is my dream bike.
    Last edited by Bob Dopolina; 07-30-07 at 08:05 PM.

  23. #23
    Queen of France Indolent58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    Actually what you said was "building a dream bike with little concern for cost". Who's talking about a dream bike? (Unless your dream bike is a Veloce equipped bike with Campy compatible wheels). And why do you assume that a bike that has a drivetrain from a single manufacturer must, inevitably, break the bank?

    Perhaps I was just *****ing based on how many times I had to deal with customer's bikes that had mismatched components that, in the end, were the root of the problem. (The OEs are equally to blame for this, esp when it comes to cranksets!) Perhaps a concrete example of what I am getting at is in order.

    As an example: I have a 6 month old son. I can't wait to strap the little guy into a baby seat and take him for his first ride (much to my wife's shagrin, I might add). I don't think, for most people, that this will be their dream bike.

    I have an old 9-spd DA group in a box, so I dragged it out, cleaned it up, and lashed it onto a frame I happen to have lying around. Small problem...no shifters. I went to my LBS and asked him to search out some shifters for me. No luck. He even contacted the distributor, who then contacted their customers (other shops nation wide) to see if they had any 9-spd DA shifters. Nada.

    Now I am faced with a choice. I could snag some Veloce 9-spd shifter and order a shiftamajig and run a cable the wrong way here and tweak something else a special, secret way there and make it work "just fine", most of the time. But you know what? Inevitably, something is going to get funky with this set-up and I am going to have to spend the little time I have to ride with my son, fixing this bike - replacing something, re-tweaking something, changing a cable because my shiftamajig chews through them like candy or who knows what else.

    My solution? For a bike that I'm going to use once a week, and NEVER want to have to waste my time adjusting, I am going to buy some Tiagra shifters and slap them on my bike. They will work flawlessly and for as long as I need them to until my son graduates to his own bike. I will probably never have to sacrifice a second to the shifter Gods and can enjoy the sweat sound of chain through gears punctuated by peels of my son's laughter.

    My next problem is convincing our jersey maker to make one of our team jerseys small enough to fit him.

    Maybe you are right. Maybe this is my dream bike.
    I assume that you have never actually used a JTEK Shiftmate. It works flawlessly and doesn't "get funky" or otherwise require any more adjustment than a drivetrain without it..

    As for why you would mix components if you were buying a new bike - here is one real life scenario:

    It is almost always cheaper to buy a complete bike than build one from parts and hardly any mass produced bikes come Campy equipped. There are some, but the choices are limited at best. If you prefer Campy Ergo brifters for functional or ergonomic reasons you can - a) Buy a frame and spec Campy components; b) Buy a Shimano equipped stock bike and swap out the drivetrain and wheels; or c) Buy the stock bike you want and swap out just the brifters and use a Shiftmate. All three options will work flawlessly, but "c" will be much cheaper.

  24. #24
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    I agree, in the scenario you present the "c" option is certainly worth considering.

    I haven't used the JTEK and won't attempt to offer an opinion on how well it does or doesn't work. All I have to go on here, is personal experience with similar devices. I am not picking on just this product either. I am also talking about OEs who spec cranksets that set up a chain line that is less than optimal for the rest of the group, cheaping out on parts (like chains) that only a very experienced end user will notice, using a Shimano FD clamp for a Campagnolo FD and a thousand other things I have seen, or had to deal with over the years.

    Regarding the JTEK: In the 90's there were other such devices that did not do so well in wet environments. I lived on the west Coast then, and rain was certainly an issue. I live in a tropical climate now and face the same problems. They would seize up and add extra drag to the system. They also exposed the end of the cable housing to the elements to a greater degree (this is based on the greatly increased rate of deterioration of the DER housing that many riders using these kinds of things experienced). I tweaked and lubed PLENTY of these things and so developed a bias against them, their friends and the horse they rode in on.

    Originally, I was trying to open up the discussion as to what "just fine" meant. It is a pretty subjective description - one that I have seen used to justify inferior quality or performance. I think it also has to do with expectations and the demands each rider places on their equipment. What may be just fine for a twice a week commuter may not suffice for a DH racer. The level of performance that a Cat 1 racer demands from their equipment is far greater than the bike that works "just fine" that you use to ride around the block with your 4-year old.

    Personally, I would be much happier to see less use of that phrase and more of the honest description posted by zacster that, in my experience, EXACTLY describes the results of mix and match frankenbiking.

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    I have the Jtek on 2 of my bikes. Use it to mate Chorus shifter to a 10 spd all Shimano drivetrain. Had it on one bike for almost 1.5 years now ... and never missed a shift.

    Its a relatively cheap and simple device to install for trouble free maintenance free shifting.

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