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Old 12-23-08, 06:15 AM   #1
cs1
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Campy brifter help

With the prices of Campy Escape brifters at an all time low, they're looking very appealing. Has anyone downgraded them to 9 sp? I've got a 9 sp cross bike I'm thinking about building that could use a set.
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Old 12-23-08, 06:44 AM   #2
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Not 100% sure on this, but the mechanism does not use the same indexing barrel so you can't rebuild to different numbers of gears.
If you look in the 2007 spares catalog, they do not specifically say the escape mechanism cannot be changed to 9 speed, but in the table of indexing barrel parts to do the changes, only 2007 Record and Chorus shifters are noted.

Last edited by Steev; 12-23-08 at 06:51 AM.
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Old 12-23-08, 08:55 AM   #3
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The escape shifters suck and were only made for two years ('07-'08), when all Campy drivetrains were 10 speed. Technically, they still make a Veloce escape model for '09, but they also make the new Ultra shift model, so the escape must be intended for cheap OEM applications. Neither the escape shifters or the new Ultrashift models can be converted to 9 speed. A J-tek shiftmate could always be used to correct the cable pull for 9 speed. The smarter approach is to move on to 10 speed. Veloce or Centaur 10 cassettes are also cheap. The new Ultrashift ergopower is dirt cheap at the Veloce level. Buy that and have a good quality shifter.



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Old 12-23-08, 12:29 PM   #4
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With the prices of Campy Escape brifters at an all time low, they're looking very appealing. Has anyone downgraded them to 9 sp? I've got a 9 sp cross bike I'm thinking about building that could use a set.
There is a good reason they are now so cheap. I fully concur with DaveSS's opinion of them.

As he mentioned, if the price is so good you are willing to get them, a Jtek Shiftmate (~$35) will allow 10-speed Ergo brifters to work properly with a 9-speed cassette. In fact, by choosing the correct model Shiftmate, they can be made to work with either Campy or Shimano 9-speed cassettes.

You will need a Campy "QS" front derailleur to make them work properly for front shifting.
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Old 12-23-08, 02:06 PM   #5
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I'm thinking that maybe I should get a Chorus or wait for the new 2009 to go on sale. Pre Escape brifters are getting expensive on ebay or I'd buy a set.
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Old 12-23-08, 02:47 PM   #6
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I'd wait and get a set of 2009 Centaur or Veloce (the non-Escapement version).
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Old 12-23-08, 02:52 PM   #7
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I have a 9 speed cross bike with shimano der. and veloce shifters and I just route the cable on the outside of the fixing bolt and it works fine. You can also look up alternate routing on Sheldon's website
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Old 12-23-08, 07:35 PM   #8
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Thats exactly what i was going to suggest.
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Old 12-23-08, 08:14 PM   #9
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I have a 9 speed cross bike with shimano der. and veloce shifters and I just route the cable on the outside of the fixing bolt and it works fine. You can also look up alternate routing on Sheldon's website
Honestly, I'd rather use all Shimano or all Campy. I've never subscribed to the mix & match theory.
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Old 12-24-08, 03:05 AM   #10
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Honestly, I'd rather use all Shimano or all Campy. I've never subscribed to the mix & match theory.
I just completed a bike using this setup (campy 10s shifter-shimano 9s parts elsewhere) and it works pretty well. You have to compromise and have it slightly misadjusted on either the low end or high end of the cassette, but it'll shift flawlessly in most gears. Just choose the end you don't ever use anyway because of the gear ratio overlap and it hardly matters.

(By the way thanks for the advice in my MTB thread)
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Old 12-24-08, 07:49 AM   #11
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I just completed a bike using this setup (campy 10s shifter-shimano 9s parts elsewhere) and it works pretty well. You have to compromise and have it slightly misadjusted on either the low end or high end of the cassette, but it'll shift flawlessly in most gears. Just choose the end you don't ever use anyway because of the gear ratio overlap and it hardly matters.
I have exactly the same set up on one bike; Campy 10-speed (pre QS) Ergo brifters on an otherwise all Shimano 9-speed drivetrain.

However, I also installed the appropriate Jtek Shiftmate and it shifts perfectly all the way across the cassette. Using the Shiftmate means there are no shifting compromises anywhere and I think it's $35 very well spent.

BTW, if I ever change the configuration, say keeping the Ergos and going to a 10-speed Shimano cassette and chain, the required different Shiftmate pulley is only $15.
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Old 12-24-08, 03:26 PM   #12
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Yeah, I should have mentioned that I'm using pre-QS shifters too. The cassette dump has to be the funnest way to shifter ever. I'm in lowest gea- oh wait I'm in highest gear, in one move.

If I ever upgrade to 10s shimano, I'll grab that shiftmate and keep my current setup, though it'll be awhile because the bike is practically new.
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Old 12-24-08, 10:40 PM   #13
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Mirage 9speed used the escape mechanism. So parts are technically available but good luck finding them.
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Old 12-25-08, 03:12 AM   #14
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I just completed a bike using this setup (campy 10s shifter-shimano 9s parts elsewhere) and it works pretty well. You have to compromise and have it slightly misadjusted on either the low end or high end of the cassette, but it'll shift flawlessly in most gears. Just choose the end you don't ever use anyway because of the gear ratio overlap and it hardly matters.
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I have exactly the same set up on one bike; Campy 10-speed (pre QS) Ergo brifters on an otherwise all Shimano 9-speed drivetrain.

However, I also installed the appropriate Jtek Shiftmate and it shifts perfectly all the way across the cassette. Using the Shiftmate means there are no shifting compromises anywhere and I think it's $35 very well spent.
Does JakcB have the wrong Jtek Shiftmate? And do either of you have to use those American Classics conversion cassettes?

I'm interested because I've always wanted to do something like that, but never got around to it since it seemed to not work perfectly from what some have said.
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Old 12-25-08, 05:33 AM   #15
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Mirage 9speed used the escape mechanism. So parts are technically available but good luck finding them.
When I didn't need them, Mirage were dirt cheap on sale everywhere. Now, they're nowhere to be found. And when they come up for sale, the sellers are asking Chorus money for them.
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Old 12-25-08, 07:29 AM   #16
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Does JakcB have the wrong Jtek Shiftmate? And do either of you have to use those American Classics conversion cassettes?

I'm interested because I've always wanted to do something like that, but never got around to it since it seemed to not work perfectly from what some have said.
I don't think JackcB has a Shiftmate at all, he just uses the 10-speed brifters on a 9-speed cassette and puts up with the imperfect shifting. I use the correct Shiftmate which eliminates all the shifting compromises.

I have no experience with the AC (or other) conversion cassettes. From strictly second-hand info, I gather they don't work all that well and I do know they are expensive. The Shiftmate assures I can use any Shimano or SRAM cassette so why use a second-rate substitute.
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Old 12-25-08, 08:50 AM   #17
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^Thanks for making me want to go out and buy Campy brifters and the Shiftmate.

My set up will eventually be like yours - do you use the Shiftmate model #2?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone.
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Old 12-25-08, 09:20 AM   #18
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^Thanks for making me want to go out and buy Campy brifters and the Shiftmate.

My set up will eventually be like yours - do you use the Shiftmate model #2?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone.
Yes, that's the one I use for Campy 10-speed brifters with a Shimano rd and a Shimano 9-speed cassette. BTW, if you get a Shiftmate, read the directions carefully as there are two ways the double pulley can be installed and only one way is correct.
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Old 12-25-08, 02:58 PM   #19
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I don't think JackcB has a Shiftmate at all, he just uses the 10-speed brifters on a 9-speed cassette and puts up with the imperfect shifting.
This is correct. I've got an '05 or '06 pair of Veloce shifters, and everything else in the drivetrain is Shimano 9s stuff (chain and cassette). There is no Shiftmate at all. The only problem I encounter is that I have to keep the derailleur extremely well adjust to keep it from autoshifting in certain gears. I just set it up so that its worse in the gears that I use least. Otherwise, it works amazingly well. I did have to route the derailleur cable a little differently, as per Sheldon Brown's instructions.

I'm a big fan of the ergonomics and multi-shifting capacity of Campy brifters, and the availability of Shimano parts, so this is a good compromise. Maybe one of these days I'll get around to buying that Shiftmate and enjoying perfect shifting all the time.
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Old 12-25-08, 09:06 PM   #20
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Yes, that's the one I use for Campy 10-speed brifters with a Shimano rd and a Shimano 9-speed cassette. BTW, if you get a Shiftmate, read the directions carefully as there are two ways the double pulley can be installed and only one way is correct.
Thanks for the tip.
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Old 12-25-08, 09:13 PM   #21
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I'm a big fan of the ergonomics and multi-shifting capacity of Campy brifters, and the availability of Shimano parts, so this is a good compromise. Maybe one of these days I'll get around to buying that Shiftmate and enjoying perfect shifting all the time.
My reasons for originally wanting Campy shifters are the fact I don't like the feel of a brake lever also being a shifting pawl, I like black instead of "metal" colors, the multishifting capacity both ways, and the ability to tear down the left/front brifter apart to remove shifting components to run 1X9/10. Plus the backwards bend in the Campy seems to make braking a little easier to brake/shift for the way I ride in the drops. I also love the thumb shifter and it seems more intuitive to me (using the right thumb "pushes" the shift lever to the right and the chain to the right, pushing the left finger shift lever to the left pushe the chain to the left on the rings, etc. and vice-versa).
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Old 12-25-08, 10:49 PM   #22
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I have been trying a setup for touring on my road bike that uses the most extreme range of gearing. I have a set of 10s bar end shifters with the campy triple FD and long cage RD. I have a campy 10s triple CR 30/40/50 where I replaced the campy small 30t 74 BCD ring with a 26t from T/A Specialities. I found a Centur hub on eBay with a Shimano Splined freehub body (not sure if it was built by campy or some other after market supplier like Miche?). Anyhow, I am using an 11-34 SRAM MTB cassette and an good 9s chain. No other helpers are used and the setup works perfectly. I have had it for a year on the road bike and have put 2200 miles on the setup. It works as well as my regular campy Record setup from a shifting point of view. If you look at the pitch of the campy 10s and Shimano 9s on Sheldon's site they are close.
I know for the 11-34 cassette that Shimano recommends the LX RD for the appropriate range. It is 90mm in the rear cage just like the Campy Long Cage RD. I have a friend with a 105 triple RD that is Long Cage. There are still some out there.
I am not sure whether I will using the Campy Barends or a set of Campy Ergos but both will work fine. If I use the Ergo levers I will carry along the barends, a short length of cable housing, a 2 ended Ferrule, and a spare gear cable when I travel.
I just purchased a Ritchey Breakaway Cross bike and will be setting up the bike as a double with the 11-34t cassette on either a 105 rear wheel or purchasing an after market hub body for the Centur hub. I like the setup I have been experimenting with. I think campy shifters need to work with campy RDs due to the the design of the parallelogram arms on the RD. With a triple the campy FD is necessary to use the ratchet shifting. Mix and match is a tricky game...not like the early days.

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Old 12-26-08, 07:56 PM   #23
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I also love the thumb shifter and it seems more intuitive to me (using the right thumb "pushes" the shift lever to the right and the chain to the right, pushing the left finger shift lever to the left pushe the chain to the left on the rings, etc. and vice-versa).
You're one of the few that caught on to that. Which ever way your hand moves so does the chain. Once you get used to it you'll never go back to Shimano. I really believe you can shift a Campy brifter faster than Shimano.
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Old 12-26-08, 08:06 PM   #24
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I have been trying a setup for touring on my road bike that uses the most extreme range of gearing. I have a set of 10s bar end shifters with the campy triple FD and long cage RD. I have a campy 10s triple CR 30/40/50 where I replaced the campy small 30t 74 BCD ring with a 26t from T/A Specialities. I found a Centur hub on eBay with a Shimano Splined freehub body (not sure if it was built by campy or some other after market supplier like Miche?).......... If you look at the pitch of the campy 10s and Shimano 9s on Sheldon's site they are close.
This set up works better than mine would without the Shiftmate because you are using a Campy rd. I'm using a Shimano rd and the Shifftmate is needed to make it work well.

Campy "experts" were adament that their cranks must stay with the 30/42/52 chainrings. They were wrong as both you and I have discovered. BTW, I don't think it matters what make of granny ring you use since none of them, including the factory rings, have any ramps or pins. I'm using a Suguino 26T ring and it works just fine.
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Old 12-27-08, 07:03 AM   #25
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You're one of the few that caught on to that. Which ever way your hand moves so does the chain. Once you get used to it you'll never go back to Shimano. I really believe you can shift a Campy brifter faster than Shimano.
I figured that out when trying to explain shifting to someone with Soras. Then I realized I want that too. I mtb a lot more and I just like the idea of thumb=harder and finger=easier.
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