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Not my finest Campagnolo purchase

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Not my finest Campagnolo purchase

Old 09-05-18, 10:46 AM
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zastolj
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Not my finest Campagnolo purchase

I recently bought a perfect condition Chorus rear derailleur, thinking I was lucky as I got it cheap. I like nice components but don't want to spend too much money. I've got a nice frame just hanging around waiting for a proper groupset.


Turns out my derailleur is pre-2015 cable pull 11 speed so information I found online suggests it does not work with current systems since Campy messed around with cable pulls around year 2015! Can anyone confirm that none of the current shifters will work with this derailleur? Which shifters actually do work with my derailleur?


So it seems my options are:

1) Find older 11s Chorus shifters. They seem to be surprisingly rare and expensive in good condition. I guess I should find a front derailleur that's also pre-2015 (not sure of the compatibility issues there). I feel so stupid hunting obsolete parts from just a few years ago!

2) Try modern 2018 Centaur shifters and if they dont work with my derailleur, buy the new Centaur derailleurs and the rest and be done with it.

3) Just get a new groupset: Centaur, Potenza or Shimano 105? And save this derailleur for a bike with friction shifting...
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Old 09-05-18, 01:50 PM
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Any year of 11 speed shifters will work with a 2015 + RD. It's the front derailleur that's the issue. The newer FDs work differently and the left shifter is setup to match the FD. I just put a new RD on my bike with 2008 11 speed shifters and it works fine, but I have an older FD to go with the left shifter.

Last edited by DaveSSS; 09-05-18 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 09-05-18, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
Any year of 11 speed shifters will work with a 2015 + RD. It's the front derailleur that's the issue.
Well ok, but OP is saying he has a pre-2015 11S RD
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Old 09-05-18, 06:34 PM
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Well, if my 2008 shifters work with a new RD, then they also work with older RD. Any combo works. It's the FD that's different. The new FD shifts to the little ring with only 1 click. I also made a minor modification to a 10 speed RD so it shifts 11 speed. All I did was grind down the cable clamp bolt to the root of the threads in the area where the cable contacts the bolt. That shortens the lever arm length slightly and increases the total travel so it shifts 11 speed quite well.

Last edited by DaveSSS; 09-06-18 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 09-05-18, 09:59 PM
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AFAIK pre-2015 shifters and 2015+ derailleurs are not compatible nor are 2015+ shifters and pre-2015 derailleurs.
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Old 09-06-18, 08:00 AM
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Campy always likes to advertise anything less than perfection as not compatible. I've been using 11 speed since it was first available. I've torn apart several ultrashift levers and even converted 10 speed models to 11 speed with parts from wreck damaged shifters.

There is no reason for any 11 speed crank to not work with any shifter.

I just installed a new Potenza RD on my bike that has very early model 10 speed ultrashift levers, converted to 11 speed (rear shifter only). It shifts a Centaur 12-32 cassette perfectly. It also has a 10 speed Chorus FD and first-year ultrashift 10 speed left shifter. It shifts 11 speed just fine.

As I noted, the big change is the 2015+ FD. It is much different than any previous model and needs the new left shifter to work properly. I have 2018 Chorus on my newest bike, so I'm familiar with it.

If in doubt, just try the older RD with the new shifters. Don't rely on a chart to determine compatibility.

When 11 speed first came out, most users found that their 10 speed cranks and FDs worked just fine with 11 speed. I know that I never got rid of a 10 speed crank, when I converted my bikes over to 11 speed in '08-'09. I just bought the shifters, cassette and chain. Never had a problem.
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Old 09-06-18, 12:04 PM
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Thanks all. I think I will give it a try and get the 2018 Centaur shifters and the FD and use them with my old Chorus RD. I have an old Shimano crankset. With some luck it'll work, if not then no big deal
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Old 09-07-18, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
Any year of 11 speed shifters will work with a 2015 + RD. It's the front derailleur that's the issue. The newer FDs work differently and the left shifter is setup to match the FD. I just put a new RD on my bike with 2008 11 speed shifters and it works fine, but I have an older FD to go with the left shifter.
Actually not true.

You can get an "acceptable" shift but it's not spot on. If you take the time to measure the cable bushing inside the lever you'll find that the diameter is different, so the lever recovers a slightly different amount of cable - hence the OP is correct, for accurate and durable adjustment, you need all pre 2015 or all 2015 Rev+

Athena PowerShift levers are not recommended (same problem plus the lever internal isn't designed for the stronger return spring spec of Chorus, Record & Super Record) and Potenza would also not be the correct choice because although the cable pull is correct, here, you also have a problem with the internal design of the lever not being suited to the stronger return sprongs of CH, RE and SR derailleurs.

Pre 2015 levers are still available from the factory and can be ordered via your Campagnolo Prohop. I'd generally avoid used ones as you never know who has done what to them - we see some real horror stories here at the Service Centre ...

Last edited by gfk_velo; 09-07-18 at 01:47 PM. Reason: Grammar
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Old 09-08-18, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by gfk_velo View Post
Actually not true.

You can get an "acceptable" shift but it's not spot on. If you take the time to measure the cable bushing inside the lever you'll find that the diameter is different, so the lever recovers a slightly different amount of cable - hence the OP is correct, for accurate and durable adjustment, you need all pre 2015 or all 2015 Rev+

Athena PowerShift levers are not recommended (same problem plus the lever internal isn't designed for the stronger return spring spec of Chorus, Record & Super Record) and Potenza would also not be the correct choice because although the cable pull is correct, here, you also have a problem with the internal design of the lever not being suited to the stronger return sprongs of CH, RE and SR derailleurs.

Pre 2015 levers are still available from the factory and can be ordered via your Campagnolo Prohop. I'd generally avoid used ones as you never know who has done what to them - we see some real horror stories here at the Service Centre ...
very nicely put and my experience as well - the difference between "fine" and "excellent" is obvious, once you try it - you can not compete with professional R&D teams and expect the same results, do not modify the components. check their shop drawings - dimensions are shown down to 0.01mm - good luck achieving this accuracy if you modify the parts.
to OP:
i'd suggest you buy the most recent components and some extra as well that'll last you for many years - i did just that, to avoid situation i'm out of spares; Campagnolo is their worst enemy because they make their own products incompatible internally. so stupid. but then again, their stuff works so well....
you can sell your RD easily if you don't want to keep it.
cheers
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Old 09-09-18, 11:46 PM
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zastolj
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Originally Posted by ninja2 View Post
very nicely put and my experience as well - the difference between "fine" and "excellent" is obvious, once you try it - you can not compete with professional R&D teams and expect the same results, do not modify the components. check their shop drawings - dimensions are shown down to 0.01mm - good luck achieving this accuracy if you modify the parts.
to OP:
i'd suggest you buy the most recent components and some extra as well that'll last you for many years - i did just that, to avoid situation i'm out of spares; Campagnolo is their worst enemy because they make their own products incompatible internally. so stupid. but then again, their stuff works so well....
you can sell your RD easily if you don't want to keep it.
cheers
Thanks, the latests posts made me think again. I really have a love/hate relationship with Campagnolo! Their parts are amazing but the incompatibility issues are a bit of a pain.

I like the new Centaur group but a few of things put me off; the non-skeleton brakes, the limited cassette options (seems like the tightest cassette is 11-29) and the limited crank options (I would like a 53-39 please). I've survived fine with a 42-24 lowest gear over here so 36-29 is overkill. Potenza gives more options but the price jumps a bit.
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Old 09-10-18, 01:10 PM
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I've spent a little more time with my old 11 speed shifters and new Potenza RD and have found that there is a mismatch in cable pull between the 2015+ and older models. A highly experienced shop owner/mechanic that posts on the paceline forum claimed that it worked fine, so I took his word for it. The fact is, the newer shifters do pull a little more cable than the older models. I found that the difference was similar to the change between 10 speed and 11 speed. I've improved the shifting with my old shifters and new RD by employing the same mod that I did to my 10 speed RD, so it would work with 11 speed. That mod was to grind down the cable clamp bolt to the root of the threads, in the area where the cable touches the clamp bolt. With the Potenza RD, the cable is supposed to rest in a small groove in the clamp plate. I did a little filing on the clamp plate to remove some material where the cable first contacts the plate and along the groove, to allow the cable to move closer to the (now smaller diameter) clamp bolt. That change decreases the lever arm length on the RD and increases the total travel. With that change, the shifting is much better. Here's some more info on the subject.

https://www.velotech-cycling.ltd.uk/campagnolo_faq.shtml#comp-mec

Since this is my second bike that I'll mainly ride in the winter and early season, it will be good enough. If you want perfection though, you should match the 2015+ shifters and RD.

My other opinion is if you really want to run Campy, stick with the Chorus or higher level parts. Chorus is the best value, IMO. There's very little to gain with Record or SR. I never buy the higher level cassettes, because the Ti larger cogs don't last long.

Last edited by DaveSSS; 09-10-18 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 09-16-18, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
I've spent a little more time with my old 11 speed shifters and new Potenza RD and have found that there is a mismatch in cable pull between the 2015+ and older models. A highly experienced shop owner/mechanic that posts on the paceline forum claimed that it worked fine, so I took his word for it. The fact is, the newer shifters do pull a little more cable than the older models. I found that the difference was similar to the change between 10 speed and 11 speed. I've improved the shifting with my old shifters and new RD by employing the same mod that I did to my 10 speed RD, so it would work with 11 speed. That mod was to grind down the cable clamp bolt to the root of the threads, in the area where the cable touches the clamp bolt. With the Potenza RD, the cable is supposed to rest in a small groove in the clamp plate. I did a little filing on the clamp plate to remove some material where the cable first contacts the plate and along the groove, to allow the cable to move closer to the (now smaller diameter) clamp bolt. That change decreases the lever arm length on the RD and increases the total travel. With that change, the shifting is much better. Here's some more info on the subject.

Frequently Asked Questions - Campagnolo - Velotech Cycling Ltd - Velotech Modular Industry standard cycle mechanics training and Campagnolo Approved Service Centre (UK)

Since this is my second bike that I'll mainly ride in the winter and early season, it will be good enough. If you want perfection though, you should match the 2015+ shifters and RD.

My other opinion is if you really want to run Campy, stick with the Chorus or higher level parts. Chorus is the best value, IMO. There's very little to gain with Record or SR. I never buy the higher level cassettes, because the Ti larger cogs don't last long.
What users should recognise is that whilst a certain degree of cynicism is justified, a company that invests in the extremely high cost to re-tool, scrap or sell at a discount existing inventory, put in place a whole load of new SKUs for spares, put in place warranty support for a new legacy range, train service centre and retail mechanics, print new literature and then market a new system does tend to try to minimise those costs by building in reverse compatibility where it can. Campagnolo's record for this is generally pretty good, so when they say that there is a difference between "X" and "Y" or they make a compatibility recommendation, you can generally bet that they are being straight with you. Our experience with Shimano and SRAM is similar.

Component designers will also look at a range of possible issues that end users may not realise need to be considered.

At Velotech, as a training and service / warranty organisation, we always look for the "why" as well as the "how" and as a colleague at Campagnolo commented to me this week "you really check on this stuff, don't you?"
Damn' right we do.
If we give advice, we want it to be right and I want it to be fireproof - because if we are going to go into bat with some smart lawyer (a sad, occasional consequence of working in warranty), we need to know that we have all the facts and have them right.
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Old 09-16-18, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by zastolj View Post
Thanks, the latests posts made me think again. I really have a love/hate relationship with Campagnolo! Their parts are amazing but the incompatibility issues are a bit of a pain.

I like the new Centaur group but a few of things put me off; the non-skeleton brakes, the limited cassette options (seems like the tightest cassette is 11-29) and the limited crank options (I would like a 53-39 please). I've survived fine with a 42-24 lowest gear over here so 36-29 is overkill. Potenza gives more options but the price jumps a bit.
Unfortunately, we live in an age when all manufacturers of components have to respond to changes in the market at quite short notice, given that the usual concept-to-production cycle is around 6 years - so Campagnolo, Shimano and SRAM are looking two product ranges ahead, all the time.

Campagnolo launched 11s in 2009 (and kept it compatible with the 10s wheels and 10s BB assemblies), revised it in 2015 and are now, 3 years later is 2018/19 migrating the upper groups to 12s.

They introduced disc brake options in 2017 in 11s but did it in a way that with the introduction of 12s as a 2019 product range, those with Chorus 11s disc (since Chorus will remain 11s for the time being) will still be fully supported and the crankset is in fact a Record-level piece of kit. Hydraulic-optimised (HO) rear gears, cranksets, etc are all fully reverse compatible with their non HO counterparts - the FD is not changed and to update the LH lever to suit the HO crankset is both possible and relatively low cost.

Full spare parts support exists still for pre-2015 11s groups and there is spare parts support even for 10s, so a lot of the supposed compatibility / spares availability problems are in the minds of the retailers who often don't take the time to properly review the literature or to attend the training that is on offer.

For Centaur, we have to look at the most heavily specified groups and the most likely audience at the price point.
For sure, that means that we can't satisfy all the people, all the time.
For OE, though, which is where this groupset is mainly pitched, they want a 29T bottom minimum and see their customer for a group at this price point as a 50 x 34 or 52 x 36 kind of rider.

The RD tracking angle is optimised for 11 or 12-29/32 to give quick, accurate shifts under load and if you really want 53/39, the chainrings can be swapped out for current Potenza rings in those sizes - or a Potenza crankset can be used.
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