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Old 12-25-08, 07:58 AM   #1
TallRider
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Will a 9-speed Campy triple FD shift on a 10-speed Shimano drivetrain?

I have a Campy Racing T front derailer, originally designed for use with 9-speed Campy systems.
Will this shift okay with Shimano STI (10-speed)? I don't know if the throw (or cable-pull ratio) of Campy road-triple FD is the same as for Shimano.

(I also don't know if 10-speed vs. 9-speed plays in here. The chain will be 10-speed, and the front shifter is "10-speed" in that it comes with a 10-speed system, although I don't know if Shimano changed the front shifter throw from 9-speed to 10-speed STI.)

The crank is a Campy Mirage triple with Campy Record chainrings that I got off of eBay. Not sure if the chainrings are originally from 9- or 10-speed gruppo, and I'm also not sure if it matters.
Here are picture #1 picture #2 picture #3.

Thanks for any help here. I don't know Shimano-Campy compatibility, nor am I sure about compatibility between aspects of 9- and 10-speed systems, in either Campy or Shimano.

I originally posted this question here, but got no responses and wondered if having "Racing T front derailer" in the subject line threw people off, compared to just "9-speed triple front derailer".
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Old 12-25-08, 08:24 AM   #2
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Neither will make any difference at all.

As you suspected, a front derailleur really doesn't care what it's installed on. True, cage width plays into it somewhat, but the difference between 9 and 10 is minuscule.

No problem with the cranks/rings, either.

BTW- the outer ring, at least, is 10 speed.
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Old 12-25-08, 08:33 AM   #3
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To tell if the rings are 10 speed, you have to look at the mounting bolt area of the big ring. 9 speed rings will be totally flat on the back side of the mounting bolt area, while the 10 speed big ring has been machined .4mm thinner to move the big ring closer to the little ring. Also check the thickness of the cog teeth, near the root of the tooth. It should be just under 2mm or about .076 inch thick.

Edit: I now see that the outer ring is stamped C10, so that one is a no brainer.

Campy and Shimano triple FDs are made much differently because the shifters operate differently. Shimano shifters are much more limited in what they can do. You tap the finger lever once and the shifter releases enough cable to shift from the big to middle ring or middle ring to small. A Campy FD uses 7 clicks of the thumb button to shift from the big ring all the way to the little ring. You only push on the button once, but you either push it through 2-3 clicks to shift from the big ring to the middle or all the way down to shift to the little ring. On the way back, you shift a full sweep of the finger lever (5 clicks) to shift from the little ring to the middle, then one click on the thumb button to center the cage and prevent chain rub. With Campy, all the clicks up and down feel the same, while Shimano uses partial or soft clicks to trim the FD.

I doubt that the shifting with this mismatched combo will be acceptable, but if you have time to waste, you can always try it. I would buy the proper FD. I tried the opposite once, putting DA 10 triple FD on a Campy drivetrain and it shifted horrible. I spent an hour fiddling with it an never got it to work well. I put the Campy FD back on an had it working in a matter of minutes.

The idea that any FD will work with any shifter, is usually true for a double crank, since the limit screws can restrict the travel, but with a triple, if the cable released by the Shimano shifter, for the shift from the big ring to the middle is too much or too little it's not going to work.

Last edited by DaveSSS; 12-25-08 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 12-25-08, 08:40 AM   #4
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To tell if the rings are 10 speed, you have to look at the mounting bolt area of the big ring. 9 speed rings will be totally flat on the back side of the mounting bolt area, while the 10 speed big ring has been machined .4mm thinner to move the big ring closer to the little ring. Also check the thickness of the cog teeth, near the root of the tooth. It should be just under 2mm or about .076 inch thick.

Campy and Shimano triple FDs are made much differently because the shifters operate differently. Shimano shifters are much more limited in what they can do. You tap the finger lever once and the shifter releases enough cable to shift from the big to middle ring or middle ring to small. A Campy FD uses 7 clicks of the thumb button to shift from the big ring all the way to the little ring. You only push on the button once, but you either push it through 2-3 clicks to shift from the big ring to the middle or all the way down to shift to the little ring. On the way back, you shift a full sweep of the finger lever (5 clicks) to shift from the little ring to the middle, then one click on the thumb button to center the cage and prevent chain rub. With Campy, all the clicks up and down feel the same, while Shimano uses partial or soft clicks to trim the FD.

I doubt that the shifting with this mismatched combo will be acceptable, but if you have time to waste, you can always try it. I would buy the proper FD.
I've used Campy FDs with Shimano shifters before and had no problems at all. The actuation ratio seems to be the same, and the Racing T front derailleur really isn't that different from a Shimano.

That said, I would suggest to the OP that he get some Campy Ergo shifters at some point; just because they really are "more betterer".
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Old 12-25-08, 09:44 AM   #5
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That said, I would suggest to the OP that he get some Campy Ergo shifters at some point; just because they really are "more betterer".
That's the best suggestion. A Campy shifter is a bit more manual in function, but you can put the cage anywhere you need it. Until 2009 there were 12 clicks available to operate the FD, but only 7 are needed for a triple FD. 2009 shifters only have 6 clicks on the left side, but they are supposed to be able to operate a triple FD.
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Old 12-25-08, 10:25 AM   #6
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Thanks for the responses guys. I'm aware of the difference between Campy Ergo and Shimano STI on front shifting (and I also prefer the traditional Campy design with all of its capacity for modulation).

I'm glad to know the Campy FD's seem to have the same actuation ratio as Shimano FD's. I'd heard that once before but wasn't confident about it.

I doubt my brother-in-law (whose bike it is) will be switching to Campy shifters, but maybe in the future if he gets way into things...
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Old 12-25-08, 03:31 PM   #7
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I don't know if you subscribe to the Road Bike Rider newsletter but there was a good article in the most recent edition dealing with compatibility between the big three in drivetrains http://www.roadbikerider.com/currentissue.htm.
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Old 12-25-08, 11:16 PM   #8
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If you want it to shift with Shmano shifters it will take a lot of fiddling to get the triple to work in the center position. The Shimano FDs are flat plates and it is designed to use the 3 position Shimano left shifter. The Campy is designed to be able to be fine tuned and smoother. All the little irregularities on the cage plates are purposeful. If you wanted to use Shimano Friction bar end shifters it would shift perfectly.
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