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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 11-13-07, 02:18 AM   #1
MaxCady
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Campagnolo instead of Shimano...recommendation needed

I recognized that nearly each tandem is equipped with Shimano shifting parts. There must be a significant reason…not only the price advantage! Now we have an interesting offer for a 08 C’dale Road Tandem with changed shifting parts (Campagnolo instead of Shimano) according to my request. Are there any tandem experts with experiences in such a configuration? Maybe the tandem specific cable length could cause in case of Campagnolo usage bad shifting processes…
Maybe Shimano is more compatible to tandems…
Thanks...!!
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Old 11-13-07, 07:37 AM   #2
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When it comes to Shimano vs. Campagnolo vs. SRAM, the trends and preferences of tandem buyers and enthusiasts are shaped by the same forces that drive the single bike market: how many Trek models come with Campy? This has created a large consumer base in the single-bike community from whence most tandem buyers come that ride bikes with Shimano components. Therefore, given the realities of small volume production and the need for economies of scale, Shimano has been the defacto original equipment choice for most tandem manufacturers. Rodriguez (R&E Cycles) in Seattle, Washington, and daVinci Designs in Colorado arethe exception to the rule in this regard as they have always used Campy as their default factory specification / recommendation.

Now, as is the case for single bike buyers, tandem buyers who have a preference for Campagnolo have always had the ability to 'upgrade' to Ergo shifters (the heart & soul of what differentiates Campy from Shimano) without changing the rest of their drive train, upgrading all but the rear hub/cassette to Campy, or doing a full-Campy drive train. More recently, Co-Motion introduced an entire Campy upgrade package into its line to reflect a subtle shift in their buyer preferences.

It's unfortunate that these Campy upgrade packages don't include a cost-neutral Chorus or Centaur-level group for the lower-price point tandem lines and are, instead, high-end Record upgrades for the racing bikes. This only perpetuates the belief that Campy is more expensive than Shimano which is simply not true. However, from a manufacturer's standpoint, having 99% of your inventory invested in a single supplier (Shimano) is far more economical and easier to manage than 25% / 75% or any other 'mix' of components from different suppliers.

Anyway, all of that said, there are currently just two constraints that make Shimano's drive train components more conducive to use on a tandem vs. Campagnolo:

1. Campagnolo does not offer a tandem cross-over crankset, double or triple
2. Campagnolo's largest rear cassette offering is a 12x29t

The first one really isn't a constraint because there are 3rd party cross-over cranksets that cover the entire price / performance spectrum and most tandem manufacturers have been using those as the original equipment on their tandems for many years now, e.g., Ritchey, Sugino, RaceFace, Truvative, FSA, SpecialitesTA, daVinci, Middleburn, Thorn, Shimano, etc... Crank preferences are also somewhat amusing these days in that some of the most highly desired carbon cranks are significantly heavier than their less-expensive alloy siblings: go figure. Iwould note that Rodriguez has been modifying Campy cranks to support a cross-over configuration on its tandems and I suspect so long as square taper Campy cranks are available they will continue to do so.

The second one has become a bit more interesting of late. Over the past decade Shimano's mountain bike components were the stock and trade of road tandem buyers, given that the XT and XTR rear derailleurs were designed to work with Shimano's 'Mega-Range' 11x34t and 12x34t cassettes. Campagnolo's efforts to penetrate the off-road component market were a mere blip on the radar back in the early 90's -- noting that they also offered a Tandem group at one time. However, for the most part Campy has limited its product range to the road cyclist's needs and a single bike with a triple and 12x27t cassette (which is also Shimano's largest road cassette offering) had always been more than enough. Now, what's interesting is that with the advent of 10 speed, Shimano no longer offers a 'Mega-Range' 11x34t or 12x34t cassette in it's 10 speed product line so, in fact, Campy's 12x29t and the true long-cage rear derailleurs introduced with Campy's 10 speed offers tandem buyers a lot of range in a factory offering. Additionally, I've been able to 'cheat-up' to an 11x32t Shimano XT cassette with my Campy long-cage rear derailleurs. Shimano 10 speed users and tandem builders who offer Shimano 10 speed tandems are now using 3rd party 'Mega-Range' 11x34t and 12x34t cassettes made off-shore and marketed by IRD (or have Santana OEM models) which are similar to Shimano's cassettes, but aren't quite the same as Shimano's cassettes.

So, where does this leave someone buying a tandem who has a preference for Campagnolo? Right where they were back in the 90's: It's easy to do but you need to have an appreciation for the largest cassette you'll need before making a decision on which rear hub to specify: Campy (29t max) or Shimano (34t max). If you can live with a 24t - 32t granny / alpine front chainring and 29t rear cassette, you can go full-Campy. However, recognize that Campy's cassettes aren't cheap if you're compelled to buy the Chorus or Record line. However, you can also use any one of several different methods of 'adapting' Campy Ergo levers and/or rear derailleurs to work with Shimano cassette spacing and that's what most of us have been doing for years.

I've personally been using Campy Ergo shifters + rear derailleurs with Shimano cassettes since '98. Our current tandems have Campy 9 and Shimano 9 (11x27t & 11x32t cassettes) without any adapters: it just happens to work, although some careful derailleur adjustments are needed to dial out chatter and a Shimano 9 speed chain will also improve the performance of this configuration vs. Campy, SRAM, Wipperman or KMC models. You can also run Campy 10 with Shimano 9 or 10 speed using either a Campy or Shimano rear derailleur via alternative cable routing techniques (see this Web site) or through the use of a JTek shiftmate (see this Website). I've heard that Campy 10 and Shimano 10 are purportedly "close enough" to work without the adapter but haven't seen it, never mind tried it so I'll leave that for others to chew on.

Last edited by TandemGeek; 11-13-07 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 11-13-07, 08:11 AM   #3
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Thanks for the wealth of good information. I have a mix of campy 9/10 and shimano 9/10 bikes with my new tandem being shimano 10. I'm not that happy with STI, probably because I have mostly ridden ergo for many years. I'll probably stick with the STI on the tandem, but it's nice to know that there is a path to using the ergo levers.

Frank
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Old 11-13-07, 10:39 AM   #4
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Our new Rodriguez tandem has a Campagnolo Comp Triple rear derailleur with a 9-speed 11-32 cassette. The cassette is Shimano-compatible (SRAM, actually) and the shifters are Veloce 10-speed. For some reason, this works fine - although there is an extra click that doesn't do anything.
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Old 11-13-07, 01:12 PM   #5
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Campy / Shimano 10 is indeed interchangeable - I have both Shimano and Campy rear wheels and bikes and use both varieties without bother. Worst case is that you need to tune cable tension a little, but not a big issue at all. Best bet for tandem I think is to run Campy shifting and deraileurs, Shimano hubs and cassettes and whatever cranks you like.
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Old 11-13-07, 04:34 PM   #6
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You can use Campy Ergo shifters with Shim-stuff by utilizing a J-tech adapter for rear derailleur.
Mix 'n match is still possible but takes a bit more ingenuity than in the 'old days!'
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Old 11-13-07, 05:24 PM   #7
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To clarify - Campy's largest rear cogset is a 13x29 not a 12x29 but if you buy a Veloce cassette which is all individual cogs - you can make an 11 or 12x29 by combining two different clusters.

As of the Centaur vs Record - it's really about weight - most people who run Campy usually want their higher end stuff because it's light - but I agree - in terms of function - the lower level stuff works just as well - although the Record shifters have better and smoother action.
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Old 11-16-07, 11:51 AM   #8
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I've used a combination of Campy shifters (9 speed) & campy derailleurs (also 9sp) with shimano 9 sp. cassettes & chains, with no problems on a single bike. Didn't need adapters either, as long as the shifters & derailleurs are from the same manufacturer, and the number of cogs on cassette matched the #of gears the shifter is made for. I'm quite sure this same combination would work on a tandem.

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Old 11-16-07, 04:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
You can use Campy Ergo shifters with Shim-stuff by utilizing a J-tech adapter for rear derailleur.
Mix 'n match is still possible but takes a bit more ingenuity than in the 'old days!'
I run Campy Record 10 with Shimano Derailleurs (Dura-ace triple front and XTR rear) with no adapter. You can reroute the cable to pull from the front of the bolt rather than from the side and it works flawlessly. Check out page 8 of this document.

10_Speed_Conversion
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Old 11-16-07, 04:46 PM   #10
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I run Campy Record 10 with Shimano Derailleurs (Dura-ace triple front and XTR rear) with no adapter. You can reroute the cable to pull from the front of the bolt rather than from the side and it works flawlessly. Check out page 8 of this document.

10_Speed_Conversion
+1

We do too, and it's on a tandem so it's a little touchier than if it was a single bike.

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Old 11-16-07, 05:37 PM   #11
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+1

We do too, and it's on a tandem so it's a little touchier than if it was a single bike.

cdr
Well this is a tandem forum isn't it? I do on my Tandem - I run full campy 10 on my roadbikes.
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Old 11-17-07, 12:16 AM   #12
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If you tour with a single bike or tandem, Campy has the advantage of not having shifter cables interfere with a bar bags or front pannier. With that being said, I use Shimano and it does not get in the way too much.
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Old 06-12-09, 12:28 PM   #13
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Campy / Shimano 10 is indeed interchangeable - I have both Shimano and Campy rear wheels and bikes and use both varieties without bother. Worst case is that you need to tune cable tension a little, but not a big issue at all. Best bet for tandem I think is to run Campy shifting and deraileurs, Shimano hubs and cassettes and whatever cranks you like.
I have Campy record 10sp on my single. My topolino rear wheel developed a hub crack. I mounted my wife's single rear wheel which is Dura Ace 10sp and I could not get it to shift properly up and down the cluster.
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Old 06-12-09, 01:25 PM   #14
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There was beautiful titanium custom at TTR running Campy shifters, an 11-34 9-speed rear cassette, with a SRAM rear derailleur that sported a DaVinci modification on the rear D/R to make all the parts talk to each other.
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Old 06-12-09, 02:40 PM   #15
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There was beautiful titanium custom at TTR running Campy shifters, an 11-34 9-speed rear cassette, with a SRAM rear derailleur that sported a DaVinci modification on the rear D/R to make all the parts talk to each other.
I recently switched to the Davinci modified X9 rear derailleur with a new SRAM 11-32 in the back and a SRAM 9sp chain. I needed a new cluster and chain - and my old XTR was pretty much worn out as well - spring tension was pretty loose.

I've been VERY pleased with how it works - nice positive engagements.



That being said - i've been contemplating upgrading to a full Campy 10sp drivetrain because of the big jumps in gearing in the middle of the 11-32 cluster. With Campy only making a 13-29, I could opt to combine two Veloce clusters - to make an 11-29. To get almost the same low gear ratios we have now - I would have to switch the front chainrings to a 26-38(or 39)-53. With my Rolfs I could get a Campy cassette carrier and then would need a new Campy long cage rear derailleur. Just not sure that everything would work capacity wise. I'm running a Dura Ace triple front derailleur.
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Old 06-12-09, 04:09 PM   #16
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I have Campy brifters with a mostly Shimano drivetrain + a shiftmate.
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Old 06-12-09, 04:29 PM   #17
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Right now I run:
- Campy Chorus 10 brifters
- Davinci crankset with 53/42/30 chain rings
- Davinci modified Sram X-9 RD
- SRAM 11-32 cassette
- SRAM 9spd chain

It works pretty good.. As far as compatibility everything is spot on. The only thing I could ask for is tighter spacing on the cassette.

I think when the Calfee frame comes I might switch to the following
- Same brifters
- Same cranks but swap the 30 for a 28 or 26.. making a 53/42/ 28 or 26.
- SRAM Red 11-28 Cassette
- Campy Comp Triple RD
- Shiftmate
- SRAM Red chain
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Old 06-12-09, 05:06 PM   #18
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That being said - i've been contemplating upgrading to a full Campy 10sp drivetrain because of the big jumps in gearing in the middle of the 11-32 cluster. With Campy only making a 13-29, I could opt to combine two Veloce clusters - to make an 11-29. To get almost the same low gear ratios we have now - I would have to switch the front chainrings to a 26-38(or 39)-53. With my Rolfs I could get a Campy cassette carrier and then would need a new Campy long cage rear derailleur. Just not sure that everything would work capacity wise. I'm running a Dura Ace triple front derailleur.
We now have a 12-30 cassette, 26-38-48 chainrings, and a Campy long cage deraillleur. I think we could go with a 50 chainring but probably not any larger. Unless, we don't go into the small-small gears.
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Old 06-12-09, 05:32 PM   #19
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We now have a 12-30 cassette, 26-38-48 chainrings, and a Campy long cage deraillleur. I think we could go with a 50 chainring but probably not any larger. Unless, we don't go into the small-small gears.
Interesting. I'd be willing to give up the 11-12-13 when in the small ring - I'm still not sure how well the front derailleur will handle the 26-53 spread. It should since it handles my 28-54 spread fine right now.
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Old 06-12-09, 06:53 PM   #20
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I've got a daVinci with the Campy Ergo (chorous) shifters. RD works very well; I'm running a 12-27 Ultegra cassette which is a better range than the 11-32 that came with the tandem. Still getting used to the FD shifting which is a custom quad chainring arrangement that is not indexed. I really like the equivalent 14-60 range the quad provides, however.
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Old 06-12-09, 07:23 PM   #21
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Well, even though this is a Zombie thread that was raised from the dead by our newest friend, sarapaul... I'll play along.

We've been using Campy Ergo shifters and derailleurs with Shimano cassettes and no adapters since December 1998 and have never had any issues.

Our current set-up on the '98 Erickson is Campy 9 speed Ergo shifters with 9/10 Record long-cage rear derailleur and Shimano 12x27t or 11x32t and 54/44/32t chainrings + DuraAce 9 speed chain: works very well with just a little lever-English needed now and again to silence rear cassette chatter. The 32x32 combo also creates a little chatter between the index pulley and 32t sprocket.

Our '08 Calfee has Campy 10 speed Ergo shifters with 9/10 Record long-case rear derailleur and can be used with either Shimano 9 or 10 speed cassettes.. and, well, Campy 10 if we were so inclined. There are no adapters and it works just fine, notwithstanding the same minor lever-English techniques used on the '98 Erickson and 32x32t chatter.

FWIW, I use Campy because I have small hands and the Ergo shifting is simply fits my hands better than Shimano's STI system. As for bar-ends, been there done that and won't do that again.
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Old 06-12-09, 07:43 PM   #22
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Now, what's interesting is that with the advent of 10 speed, Shimano no longer offers a 'Mega-Range' 11x34t or 12x34t cassette in it's 10 speed product line so, in fact, Campy's 12x29t and the true long-cage rear derailleurs introduced with Campy's 10 speed offers tandem buyers a lot of range in a factory offering. Additionally, I've been able to 'cheat-up' to an 11x32t Shimano XT cassette with my Campy long-cage rear derailleurs. Shimano 10 speed users and tandem builders who offer Shimano 10 speed tandems are now using 3rd party 'Mega-Range' 11x34t and 12x34t cassettes made off-shore and marketed by IRD (or have Santana OEM models) which are similar to Shimano's cassettes, but aren't quite the same as Shimano's cassettes.

So, where does this leave someone buying a tandem who has a preference for Campagnolo? Right where they were back in the 90's: It's easy to do but you need to have an appreciation for the largest cassette you'll need before making a decision on which rear hub to specify: Campy (29t max) or Shimano (34t max). If you can live with a 24t - 32t granny / alpine front chainring and 29t rear cassette, you can go full-Campy. However, recognize that Campy's cassettes aren't cheap if you're compelled to buy the Chorus or Record line. However, you can also use any one of several different methods of 'adapting' Campy Ergo levers and/or rear derailleurs to work with Shimano cassette spacing and that's what most of us have been doing for years.
I am not seeing a campy 12/29, but I do see a 13/29. Can you get a 12/29?
I am also finding that Campy shifters are actually less expensive (ordered from the UK) and lighter than Shimano. They are also repairable. Shimano has really jacked up the price on their new models. Dura Ace used to be in the $200s now its $600s. For my next tandem which is the planning stages I am looking at using Campy shifters and Shimano 9 speed 12-30 Cassette with a shiftmate to make it all work. I have always used and liked the feeling of Shimano, but I am going to learn to like Campy.
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Old 06-12-09, 07:47 PM   #23
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I am not seeing a campy 12/29, but I do see a 13/29.
That was a typo in the original thread (I've got mild dyslexia, primarily with numbers).

You can 'make' a 12x29 but the juice ain't worth the squeeze... just spin if you're on the flats or tuck if you're descending.
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Old 06-12-09, 07:50 PM   #24
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Right now I run:

I think when the Calfee frame comes I might switch to the following
- Same brifters
- Same cranks but swap the 30 for a 28 or 26.. making a 53/42/ 28 or 26.
- SRAM Red 11-28 Cassette
- Campy Comp Triple RD
- Shiftmate
- SRAM Red chain
I had a similar thought, Campy shifters, SRAM 11-28 Cassette, Shimano derailleur, change out the 30T FSA chainring for a 28T. I little worried how it would all shift.
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Old 06-12-09, 07:52 PM   #25
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I had a similar thought, Campy shifters, SRAM 11-28 Cassette, Shimano derailleur, change out the 30T FSA chainring for a 28T. I little worried how it would all shift.
It's also going to be on a Calfee. Maybe with the lighter weight and greater efficiency we can get by with 30T chainring and 28T cassette.
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