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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 12-31-13, 11:21 PM   #1
jnbrown
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need advise on my shifting system

When I built up our Calfee some years ago I decided to go with Campy Centaur shifters and Shimano drive train.
I used a J-TEK shiftmate to make them work together which they did very well for a few years.
I made that decision based on the following:

Campy shifters were cheaper and lighter then Shimano.

Campy shifters are rebuildable, Shimano are not.

I much prefer the ergonomics and shifting action of Campagnolo.

I went with a Shimano drivetrain because of familiarity, lower cost and better selection of cassettes.

In the past few months my shifting went to hell. I think the major cause was the campy rear shifter lever was malfunctioning.
Since I had a spare one, I swapped it out and that helped. In the mean time I put on a new chain, cassette and cable housings. Right now it is working but not as good as when the bike was new. I feel I have adjusted it as best I can, but on occasion there is a slight skip when shifting up to a larger rear cog. I am contemplating changing to an all Campy system. It would require a new rear derailleur, cassette and freehub for my White Industries Mi6 hub. I don't know the exact cost but I think it would be around $350, I could maybe recoup some money selling the old parts on Ebay. Now that Campy has the same 12-30 cassette that matches my current Shimano it makes it feasible. I think it is worth doing if it improves the shifting. Would be interested in hearing what other Campy users have experienced. Of course another option would be change the shifters and have an all Shimano system but I really dislike the shape and feel of Shimano. Maybe I am overlooking something and there is a simple fix.
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Old 01-01-14, 04:42 AM   #2
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You didn't mention replacing the cable inners or checking the functioning of the shift mate. I worked on a tandem recently where the travel agent (same idea different cable) was gummed up and not working properly. I am assuming that your new cable housings are finished nicely as per Sheldon.

The other idea I have is if this is a 10spd setup, have you used a road cassette? Shimano (the people who brought you Positron, Biopace and 10mm pitch chains) have made their MTB cassettes to be slightly different to their road cassettes, just to be difficult.


A SRAM rear derailler will do the job.
SRAM levers pull the same cable amount as Campag ones. SRAM cassettes are the same as Shimano.
Zinn wrote an article about it some time ago.

Cheers,

Cameron
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Old 01-01-14, 08:42 AM   #3
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Also check the shiftmate cam orientation per the instructions. If is not properly located the system will shift badly on one shift in the cassette. Other shifts will tend to work ok.
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Old 01-01-14, 10:27 AM   #4
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On my single bikes I am running Campy 11 speed Ultrashift Ergos with a Shimano rear 9 speed derailleur and a 9 speed Shimano cassette. Its the best rear shifting I've ever had. I am also running a triple front and the Ergos BARELY pull enough cable to shift the various front derailleurs, but they pull enough. Nine is fine and cheap cassettes/chains.
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Old 01-01-14, 11:14 AM   #5
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If you follow through with the recommendations posted above regarding cable housing, new cable, checking cam position on the shiftmate, and still don't obtain better shifting consider replacing the g spring in the shifter. Also consider checking der. hanger alignment.

I had no luck getting SRAM rear derailleur to work with Campy shifters whether I used SRAM or Shimano cassettes or the appropriate Shiftmate. Current setup is XTR 9 speed derailleur, Shiftmate, Record 10 speed brifters and XT 12-34 cassette.
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Old 01-01-14, 11:20 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the suggestions.
I also was suspecting the Shiftmate. I did reinstall the cable through it a while ago but will look at it again.
I also wonder if those things can wear out.
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Old 01-01-14, 11:20 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Krenovian View Post
If you follow through with the recommendations posted above regarding cable housing, new cable, checking cam position on the shiftmate, and still don't obtain better shifting consider replacing the g spring in the shifter. Also consider checking der. hanger alignment.

I had no luck getting SRAM rear derailleur to work with Campy shifters whether I used SRAM or Shimano cassettes or the appropriate Shiftmate. Current setup is XTR 9 speed derailleur, Shiftmate, Record 10 speed brifters and XT 12-34 cassette.
I have had good luck switching to SRAM Apex RD from shiftmate. On tandem had trouble with shiftmate cable moving cam position and having to adjust the cam from time to time.
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Old 01-01-14, 05:50 PM   #8
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I have had good luck switching to SRAM Apex RD from shiftmate. On tandem had trouble with shiftmate cable moving cam position and having to adjust the cam from time to time.
what size cassette do you have? Apex only comes in a short cage. There is a mid cage version of the Rival RD that handles up to 32T cogs. It would be nice to simplify things and not have to use the J-Tek. Since the Rival RD is only $50 I might give it a try.

Went for a hilly 40 miles ride today. Shifting wasn't too bad. I think part of the problem is switching back and forth between Di2 on my single and Campy on the the tandem. It takes a little more finesse to shift rather than just pushing a button.
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Old 01-01-14, 06:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jnbrown View Post
what size cassette do you have? Apex only comes in a short cage. There is a mid cage version of the Rival RD that handles up to 32T cogs. It would be nice to simplify things and not have to use the J-Tek. Since the Rival RD is only $50 I might give it a try.

Went for a hilly 40 miles ride today. Shifting wasn't too bad. I think part of the problem is switching back and forth between Di2 on my single and Campy on the the tandem. It takes a little more finesse to shift rather than just pushing a button.
My Apex is about a year old and mid cage and is rated to 32. I think it is the same as the Rival mid cage.
http://www.sram.com/sram/road/produc...ear-derailleur

any WiFli exact actuation RD should work if it can handle the largest cog.
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Old 01-01-14, 06:31 PM   #10
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I have been using Campag 10sp shifters with Sram Exact Actuation 10sp Mtb derailleur and Shimano XT M771 cassettes. These come in 11-32, 11-34 and 11-36. There is no shiftmate required and I am very pleased with the way it shifts.
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Old 01-01-14, 09:58 PM   #11
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I was thinking this:

http://www.amazon.com/SRAM-Force-Med.../dp/B008JHQMF8
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Old 01-01-14, 11:02 PM   #12
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My used Speedster never shifted perfectly. There was always a little hesitation on the downshifts in back no matter what I did. I finally took it to my LBS. I like the manager there. He did some good work on the bike for us previously. I said, "Alligator shift housing up front, otherwise all Jagwire." They have a fixed labor charge for recabling. I picked the bike up, and it shifts like a single, smooth as silk. The manager said his best wrench had the bike on the stand all day! So that was my solution: the best parts and professional labor. 1000 miles later, mostly in the rain, and it still shifts perfectly.
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Old 01-02-14, 11:34 AM   #13
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Hope you guys are right about SRAM, I ordered the Force WiFli.
Will report back after I get it installed.
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Old 01-02-14, 12:24 PM   #14
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One thing that I have changed over the years from the standard set up is that I now use cable liner from the head tube cable stops under the BBs to the rear cable stops. Dirt and grime under the BBs no longer can cause a problem. I also use it for the rear brake run along the top tube. No rubber donuts and no scratches on top tube from grabbing the top tube around the cable. The only exposed cable is a mm or two next to the cable stop.

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...s.php?id=41902
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Old 01-02-14, 05:45 PM   #15
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I've had shifting problems with my Calfee/Shimano setup for quite awhile. Neither I nor a couple of mechanics were able to solve it. I recently found out the Shimano is making directional chains and wouldn't you know it, mine was installed backwards. I flipped the chain and so far (only 2 rides) the problem has disappeared.
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Old 01-02-14, 06:40 PM   #16
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I've had shifting problems with my Calfee/Shimano setup for quite awhile. Neither I nor a couple of mechanics were able to solve it. I recently found out the Shimano is making directional chains and wouldn't you know it, mine was installed backwards. I flipped the chain and so far (only 2 rides) the problem has disappeared.
Bummer it took so long to get a simple problem corrected, new Shimano 9000 chains have corrected that problem with being able to install any way you can get it on!

Last edited by Bad1; 01-02-14 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 01-02-14, 06:57 PM   #17
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Bummer it to so long to get a simple problem corrected, new Shimano 9000 chains have corrected that problem with being able to install any way you can get it on!
Directional chains...a short lived technological "improvement".
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Old 01-02-14, 11:22 PM   #18
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Also shows that bike mechanics are quite often "not the sharpest tools in the shed".
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Old 01-04-14, 07:28 PM   #19
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Received the Force WiFli RD today. Mounted it on the bike and was shifting pretty well on the stand. Did a test ride by myself and the shifting does seem crisper and faster. I tried to shift while putting a lot of power to the pedals and nothing bad happened. Wife is sick with a cold so probably won't be able to ride it until next weekend. It does look cleaner without the JTek and I feel less likely to have problems. The Force RD looks very nice and quality seems excellent, I think it's an upgrade from the ugly looking Ultegra 6700.
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Old 01-04-14, 08:27 PM   #20
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Received the Force WiFli RD today. Mounted it on the bike and was shifting pretty well on the stand. Did a test ride by myself and the shifting does seem crisper and faster. I tried to shift while putting a lot of power to the pedals and nothing bad happened. Wife is sick with a cold so probably won't be able to ride it until next weekend. It does look cleaner without the JTek and I feel less likely to have problems. The Force RD looks very nice and quality seems excellent, I think it's an upgrade from the ugly looking Ultegra 6700.
Just my two cents I've always been advises that on RD to match the chain to make & model of rear derailleur for the cleanest shifting, good luck!

Last edited by Bad1; 01-04-14 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 01-19-14, 11:54 PM   #21
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my wife has been sick so have not a chance to ride much, but yesterday we did a 40 mile flatfish ride.
the shifting did pretty well, definitely better than the Shimano Ultegra RD with Shiftmate. Seems faster and crisper without any jumping.
one thing i noticed after playing with it on the stand and numerous test rides is the shifting does not completely span the cassette.
the result is a compromise where the middle is perfect but the top and bottom is a bit off. This does not seem to be a problem, but the shifting on the three lowest cogs seems to be a bit hesitant on down shifts. We don't use those gears too often so its too soon to make a judgement.
I plan to stay with setup and see how it goes. I am optimistic but If I am not happy with it I will bite the bullet and go all Campy or perhaps use a SRAM shifter for the rear.
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