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  1. #1
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    SRAM, Campy, or Shimano

    I'm at a point where I need to make some decisions about the components for the Indy Fab Crown Jewel Ti that is currently being built for me. I've only ridden Shimano (Ultegra & Dura Ace) for the last 20 years. The LBS through which I placed the order is encouraging me to consider top end components from any of the three... Campy, SRAM or Shimano. I'm not trying to start a debate here on which is the "best". All three must have exceedingly good components or pro teams wouldn't be using them. Rather, I'm interested in hearing from those who may have switched from Dura Ace to SRAM and/or Campy. What is your experience? Was there much adjustment? What are the pros and cons. Any regret, and if so why? While I've been happy with Dura Ace it seems that now is a good time to consider other options if indeed they offer an advantage with which I'm not familiar.
    Last edited by NOS88; 06-27-10 at 03:24 PM.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  2. #2
    Senior Member NealH's Avatar
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    I too was very accustom to Shimano and, when I purchased a bike with SRAM Red it just never floated my boat. I went back to Shimano and it was like coming back home from a difficult journey. Like saddles or most everything else though, personal preference plays a mighty big role. BikeWNC (he often posts on this forum) has a Crown Jewel Ti with DA 7800. Refined, elegant and robust. You could send him a PM for his opinion. But if I was to buy one, and that CJ Ti is one heck of a nice bike, it would be Shimano all the way. Its operation and feel just suits me.

    The pro's and con's are well documented through the annuls of BF's, as well as other other biking forums like Weight Weenies. I think in the end it boils down to mostly preference. Having said this, I will probably try Sram again in the future. Maybe after their next update which should be 2011, from the rumors floating around. In particular, the new Apex group offers some very interesting combinations.

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I have only used Shimano on my bikes but that is because I have never bothered to consider anything else. Main reason is that My LBS carries all the Shimano spares across the range and in all sizes and types. I can walk into the shop and walk out with the Shimano part that I require. Can't do that locally with Campy of SRAM. No one shop carries all the various types and sizes in Campy or SRAM but most do carry the full range for Shimano. May not seem important but I know I will be able to get my Ultegra Triple front Derailler in 4 years time from a mutitude of shops.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  4. #4
    Crispy Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    I've used Campy since the days of friction shifters but only really got set on it when brifters and indexed shifting came available.

    Here's what I like about it.

    Even the low end of the range is rock solid once it's set-up properly. I like the clean look you get with concealed cables. I see where the upper range of Shimano is doing this now and I guess SRAM is too so this is moot, I guess.

    I have very little knowledge of SRAM but I understand that figuring out compatibility with Campy is a lot easier than Shimano as you go from year to year and range to range. If it's the same speed in the Campy line it's probably compatible.

    Shifting the RD through several gears at once is nice for hilly terrain. I don't think you can do this with Shimano or SRAM.

    I don't think I'm going to convince anyone to switch with my next point and you state you've got 20 years with Shimano so here it is: I am so used to the thumb buttons for shifting down the RD and dropping the FD off the big ring it's totally automatic for me. I've been shifting this way for 18 years and, frankly, I don't want to change. When I was looking to replace my last road bike I kind of thought about how easy it would be to just change to Shimano because it's almost ubiquitous in the LBSs in my area and the extra choices I would have in bikes. But then I thought of the great service I got from the Veloce group I had over the 16 years I used it and how solid it was I held out for another Campy equipped bike.

    I would have to tell you: if you've gotten used to Shimano and you like it stick with it. It is proven good stuff. However if I'm correct about the multiple gear leaps not being available to Shimano or SRAM it is the one big advantage Campy offers, IMHO.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

  5. #5
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    SRAM - It's American made, plus it comes stock with ceramic bearings.

  6. #6
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    If you are a long time Shimanoite, stay with it. Many who switch to SRAM never quite catch on to the double tap shifting and decide they don't like it before they know how to use it.

    I appreciate the smooth shifts of Shimano 6700 and Durace but always seem to be tweaking it to make it run well. The SRAM is clunkier shifting but quicker and more positive with few adjustments other than for cable stretch.

    Campy just isn't supported well in my location so I won't even look at it.

    Oh, I have bikes with Shimano 6700, 7800 and SRAM Red and Force. I like them all, just SRAM a little more.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    [H_R] sorry Mate , but bubble bursting .. SRAM is headquartered in the states, but everything comes off a boat from the far east , they invested in manufacturing in Taiwan and likely some of the contractors they used sub contract out to other facility on the mainland.

    there was a CNC boutique component era for US made derailleurs , But that didn't last long ..

  8. #8
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    I have Shimano Dura Ace on one bike; Shimano 105 on another; and new Campy Athena 11 on another bike. (The only reason I got the Campy group was because I was updating my old Tommasini, and, well, you just don't put Shimano on a classic Italian bike, do you?)

    Though I only have 200 miles or so on the Campy, I would say that if you are happy with Shimano, stick with Shimano.

    Two reasons:

    1. I have found getting used to the Campy style of shifter just a little bit troublesome. Not a lot, just a little. People can debate this forever, but if you're used to the Shimano style of shifting action, you will find the little thumb thingies on Campy a bit of an adjustment.

    2. An 11-speed rear cassette is fun, but I'm not looking forward to having to change my first chain -- you either buy the $300 Campagnolo chain tool designed for 11-speed chains, or take it into the shop.

    The Campy Athena group is great -- and emotionally, I'm still glad I put it on the Italian bike I have -- but if I were outfitting a new bike tomorrow I'd put Shimano Ultegra on it.
    Last edited by BengeBoy; 06-27-10 at 05:45 PM.

  9. #9
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I am partial to SRAM chains, although I generally do not use the PowerLink.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
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  10. #10
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    I have recent experience with Dura Ace 10 sp and Campy Super Record 11 sp. I've never used a SRAM gruppo but I've used some of their components. I have several friends who use SRAM and some like it more than others.

    I like my Campy on my my Pinarello because it's an Italian bike. However, I've had ongoing challenges getting it tuned correctly and having it stay tuned. I can get it shifting perfectly, and then when I try and change cassettes on the same wheels it requires a major adjustment. I'm guessing that is tied more to the tighter tolerances of an 11sp setup. I've had a shifter replaced under warranty. To me Campy is much louder than Dura Ace both in shifting and the drivetrain. It feels and sounds clunky but the action is generally very positive. It can take more force to move the chain on Campy than Shimano. I like the thumb button and it's an easy adjustment to earn to shift with Campy. I don't have enough mileage with the Campy to be able to compare durability.

    Dura Ace to me is just hard to beat. It is very easy to install and set up-and it stays in adjustment. It is silky smooth to shift and very quiet. It has a lot of compatibility with SRAM components and cassettes. I have both a pure road setup along with another setup with Dura Ace shifters, DA FD along with a XTR RD and SRAM XX cassette. Both work beautifully. I find I can shift several gears on the Dura Ace just like I can on the Campy.

    My Prince needs Campy and has Campy and I'm totally happy with it. However I'm partial to Dura Ace if given a choice of a non Italian bike build.
    Ride your Ride!!

  11. #11
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    I have campy chorus on my Simoncini and Shimano Ultegra on my Tarmac.
    IMHO Campy is smoother. I also learned recently that campy does not deform the rear free hub like Shimano does (for an aluminum Freehub).
    I have no problem going back and forth. I actually don't think it matters, get what you are most comfortable with.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  12. #12
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    SRAM is an international company that also includes Rockshox, Truvativ, Sachs, Avid and Zipp. As such, it has design, manufacturing and headquarters in Asia, Germany and the US including Chicago and Colorado.

    If there is any one thing that differentiates SRAM drivetrains it's that they move more cable than Shimano or Campy per shift. It's a carryover from their MTB upbringing as it reduces error in a dirty drivetrain.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    I have Shimano Dura Ace on one bike; Shimano 105 on another; and new Campy Athena 11 on another bike. (The only reason I got the Campy group was because I was updating my old Tommasini, and, well, you just don't put Shimano on a classic Italian bike, do you?)

    Though I only have 200 miles or so on the Campy, I would say that if you are happy with Shimano, stick with Shimano.

    Two reasons:

    1. I have found getting used to the Campy style of shifter just a little bit troublesome. Not a lot, just a little. People can debate this forever, but if you're used to the Shimano style of shifting action, you will find the little thumb thingies on Campy a bit of an adjustment.

    2. An 11-speed rear cassette is fun, but I'm not looking forward to having to change my first chain -- you either buy the $300 Campagnolo chain tool designed for 11-speed chains, or take it into the shop.

    The Campy Athena group is great -- and emotionally, I'm still glad I put it on the Italian bike I have -- but if I were outfitting a new bike tomorrow I'd put Shimano Ultegra on it.
    1. I switch back and forth between my Campy bike, and my Shimano bike without problems.
    Worst case it may take a block to adapt to the one I'm using.

    2. http://www.lickbike.com/productpage....=%270340-20%27

  14. #14
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    You also have several other choices. Performance has a 10 speed brifter in their latest catalog. Made by? Also Samson Sports has a complete groupset.

  15. #15
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    My main ride came with Shimano 105. After about 10 days of riding I had it switched out to Campy (I have an old school LBS that does things like that) because I wasn't happy with brake levers that were dual function and the paucity of micro adjustments on the front derailleur.

    That being said, I've rented bikes while traveling and so have experience switching out to Shimano and SRAM. Each time, it's taken say 5-10 miles to develop the new habits. No more.

    My suggestion to you is that with your 20 years of Shimano experience, just stick with Shimano.

    If you really want to consider switching, borrow, test ride, or rent a Campy bike and a SRAM bike and check out the differences yourself.
    Gunnar Roadie with Campagnolo Centaur
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  16. #16
    Senior Member kr32's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post



    Shifting the RD through several gears at once is nice for hilly terrain. I don't think you can do this with Shimano or SRAM.

    .
    I have Shimano 105 brifters and ultrega rd and I can do it.

    For the OP...I have never tried anything other than Shimano and agree with {backinthesaddle** in that I would try the other two before I bought it based on opinions others have. Nothing beats actual feel.
    I would really like to try Sram sometime just to see.

  17. #17
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    1. I switch back and forth between my Campy bike, and my Shimano bike without problems.
    Worst case it may take a block to adapt to the one I'm using.

    2. http://www.lickbike.com/productpage....=%270340-20%27
    thanks..

    Just to clarify --

    1. I don't really have trouble switching back and forth, it just seems to me that the optimal handlebar set-up with a Shimano set-up is slightly different than w/Campy. With Shimano, you can hold your hands in a way that you can flick either the big or the little shifter lever. With Campy, I'm still trying to get the set-up right so that my thumb can naturally reach the the thumb shifter button without having to shift my weight on the bars. It's not a big deal, and I'm sure I'll eventually get it tweaked just so, but (to me) it *is* just a slightly different set-up than on Shimano.

    My point was, if it wasn't important for me to have Campy on a bike, and I was happy w/Shimano, I wouldn't bother with the switch. In the whole scheme of things it's not a big deal, but it is something.

    2. Thanks for the link to the Campy connector. My LBS and I discussed this; apparently there were some early versions of this 11-speed connector that were not quite ready for prime time; the design has apparently now been changed. My LBS's advice was "wait and see" until I have to change a chain; they didn't advise putting one on now. YMMV. Would love to hear if anyone has used these and is happy w/them.

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