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  1. #1
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    10 speed cassette and chain with 8 speed crankset?

    If my derailleurs are for 9 or 10 speed (so narrower cage) and my cassette and chain (and shifters obviously) are 10 speed, can I get away with using an 8 speed crankset, or will that need to be changed out too?

    Basically, I wanted to try out integrated brake/shift levers after only ever using thumbies, stem and downtube shifters, and the cheapest option looked to be a Shimergo setup marrying Campy 10 speed shifters (and potentially FD) with shimano (or compatible) everything else because the pull ratios were the same. So I got the derailleurs (Campy Comp Triple FD, Microshift Long Cage RD), shifters (10 speed Centaur), and an 8 speed triple cassette (lightly used RSX) and bottom bracket (Shimano UN-55 of appropriate spindle length). Then someone explained to me about a j-tek shiftmate that would allow 10 speed campy shifters to work with 10 speed shimano RD/cassette happily, so I thought I might try that instead of the shimergo setup because I could source the parts for an extra $50-60 and make use of all 9 clicks in my rear shifter instead of just 7, but only if I didn't have to replace the crankset (I'm tall and pretty strongly set on a triple and 175 road triples are expensive and rare-ish even used).

    So basically, the question becomes whether to buy an 8 speed cassette and 8- (or 9-, I've heard that might work better with the 9/10 speed derailleurs)speed chain for maybe $40-50 or a shift mate, 10 speed cassette (tiagra is all I'd be able to afford or would need), and a 10-speed chain for more like $100 or so (with very careful shopping). If the 8 speed crankset and associated bottom bracket won't work with 10 speed, that makes the decision easy.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  2. #2
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    I would match the shifter's gear count to the cassette's cog count. I've done some of what you were going for but found that I could get enough stretch/flex in the system to have the shifter go into the last (and not intended to be used) click point. This usually jams the shifter and makes shifting out of the low gear a challenge.

    I currently use three Shift-Mates on my frequently used bikes and will say they are pretty cool. I run pre 1998 Ergo levers (with 9 speed index gears in them, some are Sachs branded), Campy rear ders, Shimano 9 speed cassettes and Sachs 9 speed chains. All works well although the rear shifting is a touch slower then a perfectly matched system (and therfore with out a Shift-Mate).


    The Campy Ft Ergo lever is compatible with all ft ders. This is one of the reasons I like Ergo so much. It allows you to mix and match the ft der and crank set. As long as the chain fits the ring's widths the Ergo lever will let you use that crank set. Now the ring spacing and chain width might come into play. The narrower chain might not drop down onto the rings teeth if your shifting is not full. The chain might ride up on the teeth tops if the ring to ring spacing is too large and if you didn't move the der enough. Andy.

  3. #3
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
    The Campy Ft Ergo lever is compatible with all ft ders. This is one of the reasons I like Ergo so much. It allows you to mix and match the ft der and crank set. As long as the chain fits the ring's widths the Ergo lever will let you use that crank set. Now the ring spacing and chain width might come into play. The narrower chain might not drop down onto the rings teeth if your shifting is not full. The chain might ride up on the teeth tops if the ring to ring spacing is too large and if you didn't move the der enough. Andy.
    Yeah, that was my concern.

    I ended up going with the Campy FD rather than a shimano FD because the Campy FD has a longer cage and I'd heard that the shorter cage of modern shimano FD's causes there to be a lot of added pressure on the levers and makes it harder to shift - some sort of leverage issue, but apparently doesn't have a problem shifting on Shimano cranksets with campy shifters).
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  4. #4
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Hmm, I would have thought someone would have tried it. Maybe that in and of itself means it's not going to work.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  5. #5
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    I never thought the length of the ft der cage had anything to do with lever effort. The der's links (the parallelagram), the cable attachment arm's length and the return spring's tension control the shift lever effort far more then whether the cage can handle a 24T ring VS a 39T ring (as the smallest). But different ders do have differing movement effort levels. The trend has been to have less cable attachment arm length and higher return spring tension in modern ft ders. These make for a stiffer/less sloppy parallelgram and quicker down shifting. Both increase the lever effort though. The Shimano shifter designs use pawls that are spring loaded to hold the cable spool from rotating and then a device to push the pawl up and out of the notch to release the spool. This design is very good at resisting the tension the cable exerts. The Campy guts have the index wheel (the cable spool) held by two springs pressing into spline like notches. their shape make rotating the index wheel in one direction easier then the other. But there is no pawl in notch so if the cable tension is high enough the springs will clib up and out of the notches, this is what happens when you hit the thump release button. So Ergo is more likely to have the chance of the cable spool/index wheel slipping/skipping when used with a very high tension ft der. This is the only draw back to Ergo, IMO. Andy.

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