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Old 12-22-08, 12:40 AM   #1
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campy vs. shimano question

I just picked up a Bianchi Stelvio... I believe an '85. Looks to be a campy drivetrain originally. It has cranks marked Bianchi, but the chainring bolts read Ofmega. I have a nice old dura-ace freewheel I would like to put on, but I'm not sure of its compatibility with the chainrings. Do I need campy or campy knockoff stuff (i.e. chain and freewheel) to run with this crankset? Thanks.
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Old 12-22-08, 01:06 AM   #2
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You don't need Campy specific.. The shifting is going to be friction, it will work with anything.
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Old 12-22-08, 01:09 AM   #3
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There is no such thing as compatibility between chainrings and freewheels. Because they don't contact each other.

There is compatibility between chains and chainrings, and between chains and freewheels.

But your crankset will almost 100% certainly work with any typical (3/32" interior width) chain.
And such a chain will work with basically any freewheel you buy.
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Old 12-22-08, 01:38 AM   #4
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cranks continued

thanks for the good info. To my next question... will a crank that was originally 10 spd (5spd freewheel) still work for a 8 or 9 speed if I want to upgrade? (which I do want to upgrade). I see a lot of cranks saying they're specifically for 8 or 9 or 10 speed or is that just marketing? Thanks again.
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Old 12-22-08, 01:55 AM   #5
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The crank should work fine with an 8- or 9-speed chain. 3/32" width is the same. shifting may not be exactly optimized, but will work fine assume you've got friction front shifting.
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Old 12-22-08, 02:47 AM   #6
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campy cont.

I also hoped to upgrade to an 8 spd STI triple shifter setup and jettison the friction DT shifters. I intend to replace everything, but mostly want to know if the current crankset/chainrings will function with a newish 8 spd shimano drivetrain. I guess I could have asked that to begin with... thanks for being out there you guys.
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Old 12-22-08, 03:27 AM   #7
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I also hoped to upgrade to an 8 spd STI triple shifter setup and jettison the friction DT shifters. I intend to replace everything, but mostly want to know if the current crankset/chainrings will function with a newish 8 spd shimano drivetrain. I guess I could have asked that to begin with... thanks for being out there you guys.
I guess you should have said that from the beginning too. So, you have a vintage Bianchi and want to upgrade to 8/9/10 sp. It's easier to just buy a donor bike and strip off it's group & wheels. It will cost less than buying the pieces off of CL or ebay IMO.

A few things to remember:
1. The Bianchi may have Italian threading, at least the BB. The Ofmega crank seems a dead give away to that fact.
2. Your current wheels may not be English threaded either. You don't want to screw up the threads on the hub by trying to thread an English threaded freewheel on it. There are 8 sp freewheels available. IMO, anything bigger than 7 sp needs to be a cassette. That means a new rear hub.
3. Your bike is probably spaced 126mm. It isn't hard to cold set if you've done it before.

If you've never done a complete build before, a vintage Bianchi isn't the kind of bike I'd experiment on. Better to A. keep it as is and enjoy it. They were great bikes out of the box. Or B. sell it to a collector and put the funds toward a new bike you don't have to mess with. Good luck on whatever you do.
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Old 12-22-08, 09:37 AM   #8
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2. Your current wheels may not be English threaded either. You don't want to screw up the threads on the hub by trying to thread an English threaded freewheel on it. There are 8 sp freewheels available. IMO, anything bigger than 7 sp needs to be a cassette. That means a new rear hub.
3. Your bike is probably spaced 126mm. It isn't hard to cold set if you've done it before.
English and Italian freewheel threads (NOT bottom brackets) are reasonably compatible having the same thread diameter and pitch. The difference is the thread apex angle with English threads having a 60 angle and Italian threads a 55 angle. You can install an English threaded freewheel on an Italian threaded hub with no problems but don't go back and forth between the threadings. Once you've used an English threaded freewheel, keep using them.

I certainly agree that a 7-speed freewheel is the widest you should use and anything above that should be on a cassette hub. Yes, there are 8-speed freewheels available but they are an open invitation to broken axles.

Cold setting the frame from 126 mm to 130 mm so it will easily accept an 8/9/10-speed hub is relatively straight forward but some riders just force a 130 mm hub into 126 mm spacing and it usually isn't that difficult.
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Old 12-22-08, 11:47 AM   #9
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English and Italian freewheel threads (NOT bottom brackets) are reasonably compatible having the same thread diameter and pitch. The difference is the thread apex angle with English threads having a 60 angle and Italian threads a 55 angle. You can install an English threaded freewheel on an Italian threaded hub with no problems but don't go back and forth between the threadings. Once you've used an English threaded freewheel, keep using them.

I certainly agree that a 7-speed freewheel is the widest you should use and anything above that should be on a cassette hub. Yes, there are 8-speed freewheels available but they are an open invitation to broken axles.

Cold setting the frame from 126 mm to 130 mm so it will easily accept an 8/9/10-speed hub is relatively straight forward but some riders just force a 130 mm hub into 126 mm spacing and it usually isn't that difficult.
Personally, I wouldn't use English threaded freewheels on an Italian hub. I know they're close but it bothers me. I am in agreement, 100% with everything else you mentioned.
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