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Old 09-16-09, 02:46 PM   #1
ottothecow
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Why are brifters so expensive?

I can get functional (maybe not the greatest or lightest but they work fine) shimano brake/shifter pods for a mountain bike for around $30 a pair. Higher quality pieces ramp up from there (and there are probably nashbar-type units for less.

Why can't I get anywhere near that for similar road shifters? Nashbar brand brifters are still $200 a set and I can't even get good used prices.

My situation is this, I have a bike with a dying 600 2spd left brifter and a perfectly good ultegra 9spd rear (upgraded from 8 to 9). I also am trying to put together a cross bike with something like a 1x9. I have many options...I could simply buy a used left brifter to fix my current problem (assuming that almost any 2spd ultegra/600/105/whatever will work). I could buy a used set and use the left one to replace the broken part and the right one to go on the cross bike (I could go 8/9/10...doesn't matter). Finally, I could buy a new set, put both on the road bike, and move the still working ultegra right shifter to the cross bike.

Why are these parts so much more expensive that even used it would cost me many multiples of what a brand new mountain brake/shifter pod would cost.
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Old 09-16-09, 02:53 PM   #2
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This has been covered many times here, just the other day actually. I suggest that you search the threads. They're complex and only a few Co.s make them. Used are pricey too.
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Old 09-16-09, 03:57 PM   #3
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2009 Campy Veloce ultrashift levers can be had for around $140 with a cable set worth about $50, from Ribble. Campy has the lowest priced shifters across the board, but if you know what you're buying, you know that Chorus 11 shifters are identical to higher priced Record and even the SR shifters only have one Ti part and some cutouts in the brake lever to distinguish them from Record/Chorus.

The price is based on what the market will bear.

Your comparison with MTB shifters if off base though. There's a lot more to a road bike brake/shift lever.
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Old 09-16-09, 03:59 PM   #4
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Really really really really really tired of this "brifter" stuff.
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Old 09-16-09, 04:26 PM   #5
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I'll look into some campy shifters (though I have never used ergo or double tap...only sti)

Do I need a campy derailleur to make it all work or can I pull it off with shimano? If I need campy...does any recent ebay special work or are there only certain ones that work...if so, I am assuming campy cassette and thus campy compatible hub or is there some point at which the parts can go either way (like campy cassettes that fit shimano hubs)

what about this xenon or mirage stuff? They do actually seem dirt cheap...what do I lose over the veloces?
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Old 09-16-09, 04:38 PM   #6
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Don't start mixing Campy with Shimano unless you have to, that can be a can of worms. Either stay one way or the other if at all possible.
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Old 09-16-09, 04:46 PM   #7
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Don't start mixing Campy with Shimano unless you have to, that can be a can of worms. Either stay one way or the other if at all possible.
Does it matter in front? If I want to replace the 600 front shifter on the road bike with the campy left, there should be no problem with the FD right? (and certainly no problem with the existing cranks/chainring since the rear is full shimano). If I then use the right shifter on the cross bike...it shouldnt matter what the setup is in front since I am going 1x9 (it probably won't be either shimano or campy)
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Old 09-16-09, 05:16 PM   #8
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Since you have a double crankset, I think it would probably work OK mechanically but since I haven't tried it I can't say for sure.
The differences in the shapes of the brifters and the differences in brake reach would drive me nuts. Plus the cables and cable housings would have to match the brifters.
I alternate between bikes with Record 10 and D-A 9 and they feel very different. I would not mix them, but that's just me.
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Old 09-16-09, 05:27 PM   #9
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Since you have a double crankset, I think it would probably work OK mechanically but since I haven't tried it I can't say for sure.
The differences in the shapes of the brifters and the differences in brake reach would drive me nuts. Plus the cables and cable housings would have to match the brifters.
I alternate between bikes with Record 10 and D-A 9 and they feel very different. I would not mix them, but that's just me.
Well, they are already different shapes a bit due to the rear being upgraded to ultegra 9s and the front being 600...but yeah the different mechanisms might be annoying...if I can find a cheap front DT lever, I might just fix it with that (rarely shift up front).

As for the cross bike though...this campy stuff is starting to look interesting if I can make it work OK with a jtek shiftmate. I can go either way on the derailleur but the wheels have got to be shimano so either a #1 or a #3 would work (although that requires buying a front and rear veloce shifter when I only really need rear)
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Old 09-16-09, 05:58 PM   #10
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It sounds like you know what you are doing and can probably make it work your way.
Keep in mind that in the future if you want to switch stuff from one bike to the other things get more complicated when you mix brands.

Al
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Old 09-16-09, 06:12 PM   #11
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That is why I am trying to keep the wheel/cassette shimano. I don't have a lot of money to do this with right now so I would like to keep things like wheels compatible

If campy is the cheapest way to get shifters though...I've always wanted to experiment
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Old 09-16-09, 08:16 PM   #12
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Avoid 2007-2008 Centaur, Veloce Mirage or Xenon. All crappy escape shifters that are no longer made.
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Old 09-16-09, 09:39 PM   #13
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I made it work. you can use a 10speed campy ergos with 9speed shimano cass/derailleur. You dont even need to buy a jtek. Do a search on hubub or shimergo or something and i'm sure you'll see it. All it is is a rerouting of the cable fastener mount so that it "appears" to pull less cable? or something like that???
If you are looking for a set of used 105 9speed stis, pm me.
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Old 09-16-09, 10:21 PM   #14
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I just checked out Ribble's. I am going to stop trolling ebay for shifters. Just how much do they charge for shipping on a usual order?
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Old 09-16-09, 11:12 PM   #15
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Why are they so expensive? Because it always is expensive when someone else has some *bling* you don't need - but you can't help yourself. None for me, thanks.
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Old 09-16-09, 11:31 PM   #16
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Don't start mixing Campy with Shimano unless you have to, that can be a can of worms. Either stay one way or the other if at all possible.
Oh please.

Jtek makes a product called the shiftmate which lets you mix and match shimano and campy with ease. They even have a table that tells you what you can mix with what.

http://jtekengineering.com/shiftmate.htm

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Old 09-17-09, 05:02 AM   #17
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While I never tried the shiftmate, I did try using Shimano 10sp and 9sp cassettes with a Chorus 10 setup. You can shift, you can ride it all day, but that one time you really need a crisp shift when going up a hill it won't quite engage. That was the problem. On the flats where it isn't critical you'll be ok, downhill wasn't a problem. If you have the presence of mind to get into just the right gear before you start up the hill its ok. But if you are already struggling, and think "OH, I still have a gear left!!!" and you try to get into it, fuggedaboudit. The chain will slip, you'll stall with your feet clipped in and fall over.

Of course that's an exaggeration, but that will be where you'll see the problem, going uphill when you need it most.
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Old 09-17-09, 06:59 AM   #18
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No one should expect good results mixing Campy and Shimano cassettes and drivetrains. Campy's spacing has always been wider 4.55mm for 9 speed and 4.12mm for 10 speed. Shimano is 4.32 and 3.95mm. The small difference accumulates to a larger amount after every shift.

The cable pulls and RD actuation ratios are also entirely different. That's where a shiftmate comes into play - to change the cable pull so the RD produces the correct movement.
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Old 09-17-09, 11:23 AM   #19
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There are some really good reviews of the shiftmate out there...I was worried about it adding extra friction to the cable path but it sounds like that is counteracted by the fact that you get to run a shorter housing and a more ideal angle.
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Old 09-17-09, 01:53 PM   #20
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I use a pair of 06' (pre-escape) 10s Veloce shifters with an otherwise 9s Shimano drivetrain. I use the alternate cable routing that others have mentioned already. It works well enough for my needs, although I wouldn't race with them. I have heard VERY good things about setups with Shiftmates. Do a little price-checking and see if it'd be cheaper to get Campy shifter+ Shiftmate for less than Shimano shifters.
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Old 09-18-09, 03:30 AM   #21
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Can you swap wheels back and forth with the shiftmate? With my Chorus 10 setup, can I use my Campy wheels, then swap to my Shimano/Velomax, and then go back to Campy without having to remove or readjust the cable? I'm going to look at the website for the answer.

The question isn't really addressed, so I'm assuming no.

Last edited by zacster; 09-18-09 at 04:02 AM.
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Old 09-18-09, 05:35 AM   #22
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Can you swap wheels back and forth with the shiftmate? With my Chorus 10 setup, can I use my Campy wheels, then swap to my Shimano/Velomax, and then go back to Campy without having to remove or readjust the cable? I'm going to look at the website for the answer.

The question isn't really addressed, so I'm assuming no.
Correct. If you change from a Campy spaced cassette to Shimano spaced, you will have to add the Shiftmate, remove it to go back to Campy spacing.
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