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Old 08-18-11, 02:17 PM   #1
Anothercanuck
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Campy Mirage 8-speed suggestions

Hi,

My wife has a nice Campy Mirage 8-speed on a nice repainted steel frame. Bought from a friend who bought it from a second-hand shop.

I am setting myself up to spend money and time because the left crank arm is cracked and I should replace it. I would like to save her knees on the climbs and give her a compact crank.

I would also like to help her with the rear gearing. Suggestions for replacing the rear cassette? I don't know if a 9-speed cassette would fit; some limited reading suggests NO. Are my options limited for finding her some nicer gearing, maybe something like 12 - 27? Am I dreaming?

Thank you in advance all you Campy gurus.
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Old 08-18-11, 02:21 PM   #2
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Only a Campy 8-speed cassette will work. Changing to 9, 10, or 11 speed would require chainging shifters, rear derailleur, chain, rear hub or rear wheel, probably new cables and housings and bar tape.

You could install a compact crankset with a compatible bottom bracket.

Last edited by Al1943; 08-18-11 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 08-18-11, 03:30 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Anothercanuck View Post
Hi,
I am setting myself up to spend money and time because the left crank arm is cracked and I should replace it. I would like to save her knees on the climbs and give her a compact crank.S
Get a triple instead. Her left lever will shift it without issue and use 7 of the 12 available clicks. Find a used 9 speed (2000 and older or 2001 and newer, 2000 and older with the conventional B-tension screw will be ideal but they're close enough to be officially supported and the 2001 and newer shares the 10 speed geometry. Use a 9 speed chain) rear derailleur, triple front, triple crankset, and the appropriate bottom bracket. You'll probably spend less on the parts than a more popular compact crank, have lower gears for your wife (and can go much lower if you need to), limit her double shifting, and keep her spacing closer on the flats.

I've seen NOS Record triple cranks sell for $100 in change, and those are actually pretty with the hidden fifth arm bolt.

30x26 using a Campagnolo 13-26 will net low gears like 39x34 or 34x29 and even 30x21 (50-40-30 x 13-14-15-16-17-18-19-21 was my favorite living in the Colorado Rockies during the 8 speed era) is like 39x26.

She doesn't have the power to use a 12.

If you really need to (use a chain catcher and avoid small/small combinations) you can run a 24 granny ring for gearing like 39x36.

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I would also like to help her with the rear gearing. Suggestions for replacing the rear cassette?
Apart from 12-23, 13-23, and 13-26 Campagnolo discontinued all the 8 speed options shortly after the 9 speed introduction and Miche no longer lists Campagnolo compatible 8 speed cassettes on their web site.

You can graft a newer (97-98 Record/Chorus which might need the axle swapped, 98-99 Athena/Veloce/Mirage) cup-and-cone freehub on and re-space a 9-speed cassette or upgrade (just takes a new index cam for the right lever although those dried up from the spare parts channel long ago).

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I don't know if a 9-speed cassette would fit; some limited reading suggests NO.
It won't. The inside diameter of the splines is smaller so they can be deeper and not indent aluminum freehub bodies.

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Are my options limited for finding her some nicer gearing, maybe something like 12 - 27? Am I dreaming?
Get a triple. With the left lever trim options it's easier to setup than Shimano for noise free operation in all 24 combinations, you'll have even lower gears, and your wife will keep a 39-42 ring for flat-land cruising.

In theory you could find a NOS 13-28 but a replacement will be even harder when that wears out.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 08-18-11 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 08-18-11, 07:25 PM   #4
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Given Campy's micro-shifting (actually more of a ratchet than true indexing) for the front derailleur, you are not limited to a Campy crank. I'm running a Shimano Ultegra 9-speed (6500 series) triple crank on one bike with 10-speed Campy brifters and the front shifting is excellent. Shimano road triples are widely available and all come 52/42/30 or 50/39/30 and the 30T granny can be changed out easily for a 26T chainring.

As noted, Campy 8-speed is now an orphan and parts are getting hard to find and command collector's prices.
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Old 08-19-11, 02:34 AM   #5
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I ran a Shimano LX chainset with my campy Mirage 8-speed front mech and shifters. It worked but needed careful management. Road triples of any type work fine. I do have a Mirage triple kicking around but its got a 135mm bolt circle diameter so that limits your ring sizes. If you want a standard road triple, fit a Shimano one using 130mm BCD and a more common bottom bracket fitting.
I gave up on the Campy due to the difficulty of getting replacement parts and replaced it with Tiagra. I do miss the useful microshifting front mech and the clean cable routing.
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Old 08-19-11, 07:12 AM   #6
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+1 on the triple. It seems like the best option here.

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I gave up on the Campy due to the difficulty of getting replacement parts and replaced it with Tiagra. I do miss the useful microshifting front mech and the clean cable routing.
This is the best answer though. Next time, avoid outdated Campy. If this were an 8 speed Shimano system you could pick up any of the new parts you might need and get them at much cheaper prices than the new 9 and 10 speed stuff. Good luck finding 8S Campy parts...
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Old 08-19-11, 09:52 AM   #7
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Okay, thanks, but I am really hesitant to put her in a triple. I ran a triple 9-speed Mirage for years and had real difficulty shifting. I finally gave up and got a compact double and am loving it. I suppose if I'm going to change things around, maybe an upgrade to 9-speed would improve things. I suppose finding a 9-speed rear wheel wouldn't be too difficult? I really don't have the expertise to build up from a hub.
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Old 08-19-11, 02:02 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Anothercanuck View Post
Okay, thanks, but I am really hesitant to put her in a triple. I ran a triple 9-speed Mirage for years and had real difficulty shifting. I finally gave up and got a compact double and am loving it. I suppose if I'm going to change things around, maybe an upgrade to 9-speed would improve things. I suppose finding a 9-speed rear wheel wouldn't be too difficult? I really don't have the expertise to build up from a hub.
Could be whatever they did (or didn't do) to the pins and ramps at the Mirage level - the less expensive rings are stamped instead of machined like the nicer ones.

My 1996 Racing-T triple shifted better than the 2005/2006 FSA Carbon Pro compact I replaced it with (and the 52-42 full-size crank I ran before it, although that was on a 1980 something Univega).

Newer ones have even more tweaking to create upshift/down-shift zones and should do better.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 08-19-11 at 02:49 PM.
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