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  1. #1
    Senior Member Sir Lunch-a-lot's Avatar
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    What's the deal with Campy anyway?

    Okay, to add yet another of my infamously stupid sounding posts, what is the deal with Campy? (I ask because I do not wish to grow up to be an ignoramus in the world of cycling...) I imagine that it's higher priced and of better quality somehow than other brands. What I would like to know is

    Which Campy Components are better than what the average Joe Cyclist has?
    Why they are better?
    How much better are they?
    What kind of cost comes along with them?

    And are they worth their weight in gold?
    Pythagorean Theorum: 24 words. Lord's Prayer: 66 words. 10 Commandments: 179 words. Gettysburg Address: 286 words. Declaration of Independence: 1,300 words. U.S. Government Regulations on the Sale of Cabbage: 26,911 words.

  2. #2
    100% USDA certified the beef's Avatar
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    Campy Ergo shifters > Shimano STI

  3. #3
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Its like, why would anyone but a Ford when you can buy a Honda?

    Because its there.

    Regards, Anthony

  4. #4
    Keep on climbing
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    Campy is Italian; Shimano is Japanese. Now there's nothing wrong with Japanese products; they make excellent cars (Honda, Toyota, etc.). But the Italians make cars that people worship (Ferrari's, Lamborghini's, etc.). Same thing with Shimano vs. Campy. Shimano works just fine but Campy works while being beautiful. The Italians have cycling in their blood (Fausto Coppi, Gino Bartali, Marco Pantani, etc.). I can't think of any Japanese bike racers off-hand. Italy is cycling; Japan is not.

    Campy isn't necessarily any "better"; the main difference between the two (besides that they shift differently) is that the brake hoods are shaped differently so they'll feel different. Some hands like Campy, some hands like Shimano.

    From a practical standpoint, Campy components are far more rebuildable then most Shimano components are. Shimano's brake / shift levers are not fixable; if they break, toss it and get a new one. Campy's levers are; if they break, you can disassemble the whole thing, try to fix it, try to rebuild it, eventually give up, and buy a new one.
    "There is more to life than increasing its speed" -- Mahatma Gandhi

  5. #5
    Studs Terkel Johnny_Monkey's Avatar
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    If you have to ask......

  6. #6
    Senior Member Albany-12303's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinF
    Campy is Italian; Shimano is Japanese. Now there's nothing wrong with Japanese products; they make excellent cars (Honda, Toyota, etc.). But the Italians make cars that people worship (Ferrari's, Lamborghini's, etc.).
    FIAT = Fix It Again Tony
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  7. #7
    Recovering Retro-grouch CRUM's Avatar
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    Campy v. Shimano. I remember when there really was no one else to compare with Campy. Sachs, Modolo, Mavic, etc all made their rush at the throne. It took a company who cut their teeth making bike parts for low end bikes in the 70s to finally give Campy a run for their money. People can complain about Shimano's stranglehold on the parts end of the industry. But their stuff works and works well for the most part. Campy works well also but with a flair or nod, if you will, to style and cool. I am a function before form kinda guy, so Shimano fits into my idea of what a bike part should be first and foremost. Functional. But I do lust after Campy parts just because they are so beautiful. Especially the old Chorus and Record stuff from the 80's. Those Delta brakes were pretty spiffy. All this new carbon this and carbon that could disappear tomorrow and I wouldn't miss it.
    Keep it 'tween the ditches

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  8. #8
    Senior Member nick burns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRUM
    But I do lust after Campy parts just because they are so beautiful. Especially the old Chorus and Record stuff from the 80's. Those Delta brakes were pretty spiffy. All this new carbon this and carbon that could disappear tomorrow and I wouldn't miss it.

    You got that straight, CRUM. The Campagnolo stuff from the 80's through the early 90's was gorgeous, through all the model line. The new models are nice, but just don't to have the same attention to aesthetics as in the past. Of course, that's my opinion & I'm sure many would disagree. But I mean, how can you compare the new stuff to this:


  9. #9
    Studs Terkel Johnny_Monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany-12303
    FIAT = Fix It Again Tony

    Found On Road Dead.

    Ferrous Oxide Rust Deposit.

    Fix Or Repair Daily.


    You were saying?

  10. #10
    _________ rodny71's Avatar
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    [Italy is cycling; Japan is not.]

    Tell that to NJS Keirin bicycle builders and racers.

  11. #11
    Studs Terkel Johnny_Monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodny71
    [Italy is cycling; Japan is not.]

    Tell that to NJS Keirin bicycle builders and racers.

    What groupsets do Keirin bikes use?

  12. #12
    _________ rodny71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_Monkey
    What groupsets do Keirin bikes use?
    i'm so baffled by this, i don't know if you are being sarcastic or if thats a serious question.

  13. #13
    jack of one or two trades Aeroplane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_Monkey
    What groupsets do Keirin bikes use?
    Whatever they want. Some use Campy, some use Sugino, and some use Dura-Ace. There are others as well (Suntour comes to mind).
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Irwin Goldstein
    Men should never ride bicycles. Riding should be banned and outlawed. It is
    the most irrational form of exercise I could ever bring to discussion.

  14. #14
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinF
    Campy is Italian; Shimano is Japanese. Now there's nothing wrong with Japanese products; they make excellent cars (Honda, Toyota, etc.). But the Italians make cars that people worship (Ferrari's, Lamborghini's, etc.).
    ....and the majority of Ferraris & Lamborghinis end up in Japan.....
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
    .litespeed.classic.litespeed.firenze.bianchi.pista.dean.colonel.plus.more.

  15. #15
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Lunch-a-lot
    Okay, to add yet another of my infamously stupid sounding posts, what is the deal with Campy? (I ask because I do not wish to grow up to be an ignoramus in the world of cycling...) I imagine that it's higher priced and of better quality somehow than other brands. What I would like to know is

    Which Campy Components are better than what the average Joe Cyclist has?
    Why they are better?
    How much better are they?
    What kind of cost comes along with them?

    And are they worth their weight in gold?

    OK Campy is another brand of compoents..there are a few things to know about them:

    They have more "levels" of parts than Shimano
    They are pricy
    The brifters are easily rebuildable
    They have many part options...Centaur has almost more different parts in their lineup than shimano has in half their entire product range for road bikes!

    ...and they shift like silk...I can tell who rides campy in the grouprides, since the only sound I hear is from an aggressive shift, or the freehub ticking away.
    -------- __@
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  16. #16
    Studs Terkel Johnny_Monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodny71
    i'm so baffled by this, i don't know if you are being sarcastic or if thats a serious question.
    Have you been to Japan?

  17. #17
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Crum and Nick both hit the nail on the head... the beauty of the older Campy stuff was fantastic. I too think the current CF stuff could just fade away...

    But the older Campy, with all the filigree and the way it worked, and that it is quite repairable, that was the stuff of dreams.

    I loved my Neuvo Record Campy, it was just beautiful... and looked so good on a nice lugged steel frame bike with hand cut lugs... there was just something about the style that pure functionality of the Shimano doesn't quite touch.

    It is sort of like comparing a Rolex to a Casio... Technically the Casio digital watch will probably keep better time, but a Rolex analog will always look better.

    (BTW I realize Rolex is not Italian, and that Rolex does make xtal controlled watches now... but just to make a point... work with me here)

  18. #18
    Senior Member Sir Lunch-a-lot's Avatar
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    Nick... that has got to be the most beautiful rear deraileur I have ever seen... wow... I think I understand why Campy has so many diciples on these forums...
    Pythagorean Theorum: 24 words. Lord's Prayer: 66 words. 10 Commandments: 179 words. Gettysburg Address: 286 words. Declaration of Independence: 1,300 words. U.S. Government Regulations on the Sale of Cabbage: 26,911 words.

  19. #19
    Dances With Cars TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
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    When I was messing in the 80's Campy was the bomb, the ****, the whole nine yards. I remember when they presented the Pope with serial#1 of a new Groupo. I had Record hubs and they were bullet proof.

    Campy is the only brand where you can find a twenty year old RD at a junk sale, take it apart, clean it, change a bushing or two and will ride like it was brand new.

    Tour de France Winners with Campagnolo

    Year Name
    1968 Jan Janssen (NED)
    1969 Eddy Merckx (BEL)
    1971 Eddy Merckx (BEL)
    1972 Eddy Merckx (BEL)
    1973 Luis Ocana (ESP)
    1974 Eddy Merckx (BEL)
    1975 -----------
    1976 Lucien Van Impe (BEL)
    1977 -----------
    1978 Bernard Hinault (FRA)
    1979 Bernard Hinault (FRA)
    1980 Joop Zoetemelk (NED)
    1981 Bernard Hinault (FRA)
    1982 Bernard Hinault (FRA)
    1983 -----------
    1984 Laurent Fignon (FRA)
    1985 Bernard Hinault (FRA)
    1986 Greg LeMond (USA)
    1987 Stephen Roche (IRL)
    1988 Pedro Delgado (ESP)
    1989 -----------
    1990 -----------
    1991 Miguel Indur&#225;in (ESP)
    1992 Miguel Indur&#225;in (ESP)
    1993 Miguel Indur&#225;in (ESP)
    1994 Miguel Indur&#225;in (ESP)
    1995 Miguel Indur&#225;in (ESP)
    1996 Bjarne Riis (DEN)
    1997 Jan Ullrich (GER)
    1998 Marco Pantani (ITA)


    Campagnolo
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Campagnolo Ergopower lever
    Campagnolo is an Italian manufacturer of bicycle components with headquarters in Vicenza, Italy, historically regarded as the most prestigious brand name. These components are generally organized and sold as groupsets (gruppos) intended to be supplied as a near complete collection of a bicycle's mechanical parts. While Campagnolo's highest grade groups, Record (current production) and Super Record (made up to 1985), were universally regarded as being unbeatable, some of the lower priced grouppos such as Chorus were often considered to be somewhat overpriced in contrast to the less prestigious competition.
    Founded by Tullio Campagnolo, the company began manufacturing in 1933 in a small Vicenza workshop. The founder was an accomplished bicycle racer in Italy in the 1920s and he conceived of several innovative ideas while racing, which later turned into such revolutionary fundamental cycling products as the quick release mechanism for bicycle wheels, derailleurs, and the patented "rod" gear for gear changing. Gino Bartali made a strong impression as he won mountainous races while using this shifting system.


    A Cyfac Nerv racing bicycle, built with Campagnolo Chorus parts.
    Despite having lagged behind in the innovations following the US bicycle boom of the 1970s and the development of integrated shifters in the mid-1980s, Campagnolo took the time to redesign the Ergo shifters which are still used today. In contrast to Shimano's approach in miniaturizing parts and adding complexity to the design, Campagnolo instead invested in material engineering to differentiate their products. This results in a simpler design with discrete parts which are theoretically more easily serviced. Campagnolo products have always been valued for their rebuildability, and many very old parts are still in service.
    The late 1990s and early 2000s saw Campagnolo start using carbon fibre parts in their groupsets, and the development of complete wheelsets. In 2004 Campagnolo introduced a complete compact drivetrain system, to enable the use of lower gear ratios compared with the standard racing versions. Campagnolo is currently developing an electric shifting system.
    Campagnolo focuses exclusively on road cycling and track cycling. Its primary competitor, Shimano in Japan, produces both road and mountain bicycling components. Campagnolo sponsors many top racing teams in the UCI ProTour, such as Illes Ballears, Cofidis, Lampre-Caffita, Saunier Duval - Prodir and Liberty Seguros-W&#252;rth. Campagnolo is often associated with the victories of Eddy Merckx, who had a close personal relationship with Tullio Campagnolo himself and used Campagnolo almost exclusively throughout his professional career.
    Campagnolo is also known as the manufacturer of alloy automobile wheels for exotic cars, as well as what is probably the world's most prestigious wine bottle opener.



    I gotta try this ...it's over 200bucks!!!!!
    Last edited by TRaffic Jammer; 04-21-06 at 05:35 PM.

  20. #20
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    I still think the Chorus carbon RD is absolutely gorgeous. The Record RD I can live without...far too much carbon, and the way it was added was just tasteless. The Record Carbon FD is pretty darn sexy too.

    However I find carbon brifters to be butt-ugly....plus I won't allow plastic in a place that gets bashed up like brifters get.

    Oh, and last year's Scirocco wheelset....pure sex....I love those wheels....if only they could accept my riding style
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    ---- (*)/ (*)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Ring Ring, Ring Ring, the bell went Ring Ring Ring.

  21. #21
    Dances With Cars TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
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    I can't imagine wanting carbon on the shifters, I can't see carbon as a bar material either.
    Maybe I'm an old fuddy duddy.

  22. #22
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    It's a weight weenie thing.

    I do think it looks nice on some bikes, especially on frames that use both unpainted Carbon and Titanium....but I just don't trust using composites extensively...both my bikes are workhorses (one sporty commuter/daily rider, and a mountain bike w/ rack that's treated like a pickup truck), so I just use carbon where either unavoidable, or has minimal impact on durability.

    For my roadbike...I do trust the shifting the campy front brifter has far better than shimano. On a campy setup, the front deraileur is non-indexed....instead it has tons of tiny steps, which makes it far easier to get the trim right the first time, every time....also allows you to use whatever crank you desire, regardless of where the chainrings lie. This also allowed me to play chainline games...It may be hard on the chain and gears, but even so, it still shifts like silk...

    Back to carbon....yeah, I really do think it's overplayed....I'm a fan of companies like Thomson....actually I wish they made a handlebar (preferably rounded drop with flat tops), so I can buy it when I finally go out to buy the stem to match my seatpost. To me, Carbon is harder to inspect for failure warning signs, and is a far bigger theft magnet than aluminum, which is all bad.

    Anywho, a light enough (as in UCI legal weights) can be done with little problem at all with only a carbon fork...so to me there's no point to go for ultra-light parts like that unless they have a proven advantage. Last time I checked, one of the most rigid cranks was made by Ritchey...aluminum (and possibly on my shopping list if I can find an all-silver one that is NOT compact).
    -------- __@
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    ---- (*)/ (*)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Ring Ring, Ring Ring, the bell went Ring Ring Ring.

  23. #23
    Yet another vegan biker
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    I went with the Centaur Grey granks because they match the color of my frame and I got a good deal on them.

    After I put them on I fell in love with their flawless shifts. I ended up buying 2 more Campy cranks/BBs for my other road bikes.

    http://users.cis.net/coldfeet/LITAGESIDE.JPG

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