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  1. #1
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    Campy shifters/Shimano der woes

    Hi folks,

    Some time ago my girlfriend got a bike at the LBS, a Brodie Ronin, one of the steel models with disk brakes. She has small hands and doesn't care for brifters, so they set her up with some older Campy shifters/brake levers (integrated, yes, but each lever only does one thing). It's got one of the J-Tek adapters on the rear, a #2 if the single, stamped number is any indication.

    She's had endless woes with the rear shifting. Just never feels quite "right" even when tuned up, and seems quickly to go out of tune--obvious to my not-terribly-trained mechanic's senses with ticking and grinding and so on. At one time or another the LBS has seen the problem as the tight leather bar tape (cleaned up some leather dust that did seem to make a difference) or other factors.

    I double-checked, and with a 10-speed Campy shifter and 9-speed Shimano rear der., as is the case here, the #2 seems to be the correct adapter. Any other clues as to possible issues here? Is this just a lousy idea generally and we should try some compact Cane Creeks and barcons?

    Thanks for any assistance. Any requests for extra details/pics will be answered as quickly as I can manage.

    --JB
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  2. #2
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    How old and used-up are the shifter's? Pre-2009 require a certain amount of regular maintenance. The g-springs wear out and the g-spring carrier can also break. Most LBS guys have no clue how to rebuild an ergo lever. An old 9 speed RD could also be worn out. I've found Campy RDs that have developed a lot of axial play at the main pivot and benefit greatly from the addition of a shim washer to minimize the play. You RD hanger could also be out of alignment. It's amazing how often that is simple check is neglected.

    The latest ultrashift ergo levers are not without problems either. They are sensitive to cable friction or a RD without enough spring tension to make good shifts to smaller cogs.

    As for having small hands, I've got that problem too. I've used Campy since 1995. I make a special modification that brings the brake lever closer to the hooks. All it takes is a little epoxy putty behind the quick release pin to bring the lever closer to the hooks.

    My general thought is if you want a drivetrain that shifts perfectly, buy new and buy parts that match. A new Campy Centaur or Veloce group can be had at a reasonble cost from Shiny Bikes in the UK.
    Last edited by DaveSSS; 08-05-10 at 07:57 AM.

  3. #3
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J B Bell View Post
    Just never feels quite "right" even when tuned up, and seems quickly to go out of tune
    Seems you'd benefit from higher tension in the derailleur's return spring.

    It can make a huge difference. Bit of a hassle if it's a coil spring, though

  4. #4
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    There is nothing inherently defective in your set up if the various parts are in good repair.

    I had a bike with '06 Record Ergo brifters, a "9-speed" Shimano rear derailleur and a 9-speed Shimano cassette matched with a #2 Jtek Shiftmate. Shifting was accurate and reliable requiring very little adjustment for the 8,000 miles I ran it. I've since replace the cassette with a Shimano 10-speed using the same Ergo brifters and rear derailleur but had to substitute a #3 Shiftmate. Shifting is still solid with 2000 miles on the new installation.

  5. #5
    Senior Member canopus's Avatar
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    It could also be that the cam on the J-tek has gotten out of cable "phase" (its not in the correct clock position relative to the adapter) so it might not be moving the cable correctly. The correct position is listed on the directions that comes with them, I could scan it in later if needed. I've been running my Jtek #2 for almost 2000 miles so far without issues after the initial adjustment.
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  6. #6
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by J B Bell View Post
    Hi folks,

    Some time ago my girlfriend got a bike at the LBS, a Brodie Ronin, one of the steel models with disk brakes. She has small hands and doesn't care for brifters, so they set her up with some older Campy shifters/brake levers (integrated, yes, but each lever only does one thing). It's got one of the J-Tek adapters on the rear, a #2 if the single, stamped number is any indication.

    She's had endless woes with the rear shifting. Just never feels quite "right" even when tuned up, and seems quickly to go out of tune--obvious to my not-terribly-trained mechanic's senses with ticking and grinding and so on. At one time or another the LBS has seen the problem as the tight leather bar tape (cleaned up some leather dust that did seem to make a difference) or other factors.

    I double-checked, and with a 10-speed Campy shifter and 9-speed Shimano rear der., as is the case here, the #2 seems to be the correct adapter. Any other clues as to possible issues here? Is this just a lousy idea generally and we should try some compact Cane Creeks and barcons?

    Thanks for any assistance. Any requests for extra details/pics will be answered as quickly as I can manage.

    --JB
    The answer you're looking for is yes, that jtek shiftmate will work perfectly, given that

    a) everything else is in proper condition (e.g not worn)
    b) the mechanic knows how to setup a rear derailleur properly
    c) everything is 'compatible'
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bluenote157's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canopus View Post
    It could also be that the cam on the J-tek has gotten out of cable "phase" (its not in the correct clock position relative to the adapter) so it might not be moving the cable correctly. The correct position is listed on the directions that comes with them, I could scan it in later if needed. I've been running my Jtek #2 for almost 2000 miles so far without issues after the initial adjustment.
    I'm with canopus on this one. Have a closer look at the jtek pully. The cable wraps around this pully and crosses over a flat spot. If you are looking at the drivetrain, this flat spot should be in roughly the 1 to 2 o'clock position.

    Also, it doesnt hurt to make sure that all your cable housing butt up against the guides and properly inside your brake lever.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the tips! The equipment was all new or at least NOS--not second-hand, as far as I know, and it certainly also looked new when I saw it roll out of the shop.

    The "clock position" seems like a fruitful thing to check. Is that something that's visible without disassembly?

    --JB

    EDIT: got the directions online, I see that the flat should be visible. Directions say that the derailleur should be on the biggest cog, but shifters should be set to highest gear--I presume that's another way to say the cable slack should be maximized?
    Last edited by J B Bell; 08-06-10 at 04:31 PM. Reason: udpated info.
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  9. #9
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    One more thing with the Shiftmate. You are aware that it has two different diameter pulleys machined into the same disk so there are two ways for the pulley to be installed in the mounting bracket depending on the components to be matched.

    The instruction sheet will be very explicit as to which pulley diameter must face the incoming cable and which must be on the side where the cable goes to the rear derailleur. Be sure you have it oriented properly for your system.

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