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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 08-19-05, 10:38 AM   #1
ElRey
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105 gruppo durability

I just got a new Cdale tandem with a Shimano 105 sti 9sp triple gruppo (that's a new 2003 model, for those of you keeping score). The stuff seems fine to me, but I've been racing DuraAce for so long that I thought I'd ask about it. Is 105 reasonably durable? The cranks are hollowtech which is pretty good stuff, and the levers shift all right. Rear der. Is Deore XT. It works fine, definitely not as sooth as DA, but pretty nice. I don't want to spend a lot of money on an upgrade for nothing....
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Old 08-19-05, 10:58 AM   #2
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Like you ... I have a new (albeit 05') Cannondale Road tandem ... and was surprised to see a 105 front deraileur on it. Given that the front deraileur isn't nearly as important as the rear dearileur or other parts of the component system, I'm thinking I'll be alright. I'm used to Ultegra on my single for many years. I, too, have the XT rear der ... and I'm hoping it does good as well.

Anyone out there with any thoughts on 105 on a road tandem?
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Old 08-19-05, 11:09 AM   #3
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105 is not as light or as nicely finished as the DuraAce, but it's quite durable and will provide you with many thousands of miles of trouble-free operation given normal and prudent periodic maintenance. Same thing for XT vs XTR and so-on. Even Tiagra and Sora aren't "bad" despite their somewhat austere appearance and low price point. About the only higher-end Shimano component that has a distinctive performance difference on tandems is the XTR rear derailleurs in that they have a two-position spring setting and the stronger spring tension makes for crisper shifts on both road and off-road conditions.

Interestingly enough, Ultegra shifters seemed to have had a run of bad press after binding up on their owners. Shimano was purporetedly good about warranty replacement.

Me, I like Campy's components simply because the Ergo levers are a better fit for my somewhat smallish hands. Since switching to Campy I've come to use Record, Chorus, Daytona/Centaur, Veloce & Racing Triple components. They have all proven to be reliable, albeit the more expensive stuff is better looking and garners more ooh's and aaahs.
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Old 08-19-05, 11:11 AM   #4
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I am a Campy man...

However, my KHS Milano has a Shimano 105 STI 8-speed right shifter (left was replaced with Campy Ergo for easy trimming), and 105 derailures. I don't have that many miles on it yet, but it works just fine.
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Old 08-19-05, 11:14 AM   #5
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One week ago today, I went from 3x7 Sora brifters to 3x9 105 brifters on my tandem. (The right Sora broke after about 13 months of daily riding... and I shift a *lot*. 19 stop signs and a couple of stoplights in the 2.5 miles between home and my daughter's school, and I shift to the big cog & come to a full stop at every stop sign.)

With the 105 brifter kit on sale for $150 at Nashbar, I ordered a set. It amazes me how many grades of parts Shimano offers. Sora->Tiagra->105->Ultegra->DA. I figure I've upgraded two whole steps... I've gone from bottom-of-the-line to being just one small step below Ultegra.

I've only got about 100 miles on the 105s in the last week, but they seem fine. Check back in a year or two for a durability report!

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Old 08-19-05, 12:38 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input folks. Will run a few years into it and see what I see....
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Old 08-19-05, 01:48 PM   #7
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Dura Ace is not as durable as Ultegra or 105. If you don't believe contact Shimano or speak to your local mechanics and get their opinions.
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Old 08-19-05, 07:25 PM   #8
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The '04 Dura Ace triple FD is (was?) a different size than the 105. I found out the hard way... I have a new one I mounted once sitting in its box in a drawer that I would be willing to let go cheap. Just a warning. I agree the finish of the 105 is not the greatest, but it works.
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Old 08-20-05, 03:41 PM   #9
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Do not run any road spec parts on my Dale MT so cannot comment, but parts do wear out. That is the time to change them, and it will allow you upgrade to the parts that are of a better grade, and are possibly more suitable and durable. That is why most parts on my 4 year old Solo are now of XT grade, having started off as deore or worse. By the way, the front mech is still the original, does not cause me any problems, still works perfectly, and is one of the "or worse" parts that came with the bike. It is a very lowly Acera, and will not be changed until necessary because it does everything I ask of it. Mind you, after upgrading to an XTR rear mech on the Tandem, I have a nice shiny new one, still in its box for fitting to the solo, or possible the tandem if that is the first one to need replacing.
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Old 09-29-05, 02:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TandemGeek
105 is not as light or as nicely finished as the DuraAce, but it's quite durable and will provide you with many thousands of miles of trouble-free operation given normal and prudent periodic maintenance. Same thing for XT vs XTR and so-on. Even Tiagra and Sora aren't "bad" despite their somewhat austere appearance and low price point. About the only higher-end Shimano component that has a distinctive performance difference on tandems is the XTR rear derailleurs in that they have a two-position spring setting and the stronger spring tension makes for crisper shifts on both road and off-road conditions.

Interestingly enough, Ultegra shifters seemed to have had a run of bad press after binding up on their owners. Shimano was purporetedly good about warranty replacement.

Me, I like Campy's components simply because the Ergo levers are a better fit for my somewhat smallish hands. Since switching to Campy I've come to use Record, Chorus, Daytona/Centaur, Veloce & Racing Triple components. They have all proven to be reliable, albeit the more expensive stuff is better looking and garners more ooh's and aaahs.
Dear Tandem Geek,
Do Campy Ergo shifters work effectively with Shimano triple chainwheels? What about with Shimano front (Ultegra triple) and rear (XTR 10 speed) derailleurs? Or does one have to go Campy all the way. I, too, like the way Campy Chorus fits my hands and riding style on my solo bike and have a GREAT deal of difficulty adapting to Shimano levers when I transfer over.
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Old 09-29-05, 09:47 PM   #11
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Campy works great with triples and there are several different ways to integrate Campy shifters with various bits and pieces of a Shimano drive train. We run stock Campy 9 speed shifters and derailleurs with stock Shimano 9 speed cassettes on both of our road tandems (and one of my personal bikes) with very good results.

There is a little adapter on the market called a JTek Shiftmate that purportedly makes Campy/Shimano integration even better and also allows the combination of Campy 10 with Shimano 10 possible. You can read more about it here: http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/shiftmate.asp. As you can see from the various model options, you can elect to switch out only your shifters and keep the rest of your Shimano components to minimize conversion cost or you can opt to change out the derailleurs as well and retain only the cassette.

I have a Model 1 that I'm experimenting with on one of our tandems and thus far haven't see that it's a major improvement over the adapter-less hybrid combination on Campy 9 with Shimano 9. However, others seem to report very good results. Go figure. Before spending the money to make this conversion on the assumption that the Campy 10 / Shimano 10 works well I would definitely send an Email to Peter to ascertain if he has received any feedback from customers who have used the Jtek for that configuration.

Anyway, love my Campy stuff for the same erognomic reasons; a much better fit for my hands and quite intuitive to use.

Last edited by TandemGeek; 09-30-05 at 04:33 AM.
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Old 09-30-05, 04:40 AM   #12
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I must confess that I've grown partial to DuraAce. I got a Colnago C40HP a few years ago for a song and spent the cash to buy all Record 10sp gruppo. When it got here, I unwrapped it, tossed it around in my hands and sent it back- went with DA 10sp. Yes, that ugly crankset and all (boy does that work well). I had Campy stuff on some SLX racing frames a long time ago, but have been all shimano since. Of course, that may change tomorrow morning. Thanks for the tip: I don't know anyone from my racing days who's running the shimnao casettes and Campy derailleurs so am glad for that piece of data.
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Old 09-30-05, 08:12 AM   #13
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I ran a Shimano 10 cassette with my Campy 10 group for about a year on my Seven. It worked great and I did not have any problems. I recently upgraded wheels and switched to a Campy cassette without having to do any adjustments; the cog spacing does not seem to be an issue. A 9-speed might have a bit more ‘play’ but I bet you could get it pretty close.

I've also heard good things about the JTek, but I don't think I'd mix a Campy shifter and Shimano rear derailleur.
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Old 09-30-05, 02:51 PM   #14
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That Peter White link was interesting, if a bit difficult to fathom. All new to me. My normal solo has 10 speed / triple front Campy Chorus, also Columbus' Nivacrom frame so was interested to read you comments on the Niobium material. If I understand correctly with the Model 3 on the Peter White page, I could use all same Chorus shifters with everything else Shimano triple / ten speed. Though, of course, I would give up the Flite Deck "What gear am I in?" facility which is attractive with the full Shimano setup. Keep us posted on how you get on with your Campy / Shimano matching.
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Old 10-01-05, 12:53 PM   #15
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Jtek has worked OK this weekend. It's probably a slight improvement over stock Campy 9 speed shifters and rear derailleur with Shimano 9 speed cassette & Shimano 9 speed DuraAce chain (more narrow than SRAM), but hard to quantify. Of course, this particular tandem's Campy shifters have about 9k miles of heavy shifting so the right hand shift disc and spring are about ready for replacement and in that regard the Jtek is doing a nice job of dealing with the shifter slop.

Relative to your Flight Deck, don't forget that Campy offers the Ergo Brain which also provides you with visual gear indication. No virtual cadence, but I've never quite figured that one out... I never take my eyes off the road when decending which is where I often times hear folks find it of use as they get ready to start pedalling and try to optimize their gearing.
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Old 10-02-05, 08:54 AM   #16
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Useful info, Tandem Geek. Let's see how you like that Campy - Shimano setup with the Peter White thingy after a few months more!
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Old 10-03-05, 04:15 AM   #17
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Well... now the question is academic for me: got a new ride with ultegra; a bigger jump between the two, 105-Ultegra, than I remember. Can't say I liked the Campy equipped DaVince I rode before buying Co Mo.... chaque un a son gout (help with the French spelling!! it's been 30 years since my last French class).
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Old 10-04-05, 02:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TandemGeek
No virtual cadence, but I've never quite figured that one out... I never take my eyes off the road when decending which is where I often times hear folks find it of use as they get ready to start pedalling and try to optimize their gearing.
When I'm interested in cadence, I'll switch the flight deck to show cadence in the large numerals at the top of the screen, where road speed usually appears. This helps quite a bit if you want to glance only briefly at the 'puter. Also, even if you don't "read" the number, a quick glance can, for example, distinguish between two- and three-digit cadences (i.e., below or above 100rpm) if you need a coarse bracketing.

Actually, I find myself leaving the computer in this mode most of the time these days.

As to when to take the eyes off the road, that's a decision with many variables, of course...

-Greg
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