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Campagnolo 10 speed gearing options

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Campagnolo 10 speed gearing options

Old 04-19-19, 12:57 PM
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Oldguyonoldbike
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Campagnolo 10 speed gearing options

I have a 1984 Batavus Professional frameset that is currently set up with a Campy Veloce 10 speed groupset: 50/34 with an 11-25 cassette. The frame had rear spacing of 122 when I got it, but it has been reset to 130. Given the short wheelbase and the angle of the short chainstays, the smallest cog has to be an 11t. I would like more gears at the low end though. So, my questions are:

  • Is there any reason I can't mix cogs from two Campy 10 speed cassettes to make, say, an 11-29 or 11-30 cassette?
  • I imagine my short cage RD wouldn't be able to handle such a spread, but would it make any difference if I used a medium cage Veloce RD or a long cage Centaur 10 speed RD?
  • Both are available on Ebay, but the Centaur costs a little less. I believe the Centaur long cage was made to run with a triple - is there any reason it wouldn't also work with a compact double?
Thanks for the input.

Last edited by Oldguyonoldbike; 04-19-19 at 12:58 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 04-19-19, 01:44 PM
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Pretty sure your short cage RD wont have the chain wrap capacity for 50/34+11/30 (35 tooth total difference). Campagnolo recommended the medium cage for use with the 53/39+13/29 (30 tooth diff.). I’d be inclined to go with the long cage. Any RD cage length will work as long you don’t exceed the chain wrap cap. Theoretically, the med and long cage RDs will have slightly slower shifting than the short cage - something to do with the distance of the upper jockey wheel from the cassette. However, I’ve been using a med cage Chorus RD with a 12/23 10 sp cassette for years and I don’t notice any shifting deficit. Don’t know about mixing sprockets, but they’re all indexed, so I suspect that your hybrid cassette will work fine. Well worth doing the experiment in any case.
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Old 04-19-19, 01:48 PM
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To answer the questions:

1. There are various versions of a given tooth cog in the Campagnolo 10-speed cassette, to deal with different shift ramp timing progressions. My guess is that you would have a slow/noisy shift or two if you mixed cogs, due to badly placed pick-up ramps. Also note that the biggest cog is dished a bit and uses a thinner spacer, so that position requires a dedicated cog. I would try it though, if I had the cogs at hand. Except for that biggest cog thing, it might be fine. Or, switch to Miche cassettes, they are meant to be user configured.

2. The mid-cage Veloce RD would be perfect for your 11-29 cassette if you can swing it. You may have to put on a longer chain. Lengthening a chain safely isn't as trivial as it was in the five-speed freewheel days.

Here's the thing though: If you don't need/want that 11T high-end, you are loosing a gear or two at the low end for no reason. If you can solve the chain angle thing, you could use the stock 13-29 Veloce 10-speed cassette. I don't fully understand your particular issue, but in my case I just had to create a bit more room for the 13T cog as it went by the inside rear of the right chainstay. Do you have horizontal dropouts? Can you slide the rear wheel back a few mm? Or could you sneak a 1 mm spacer onto the drive side of your rear wheel to get some clearance? Or are your dropouts not exactly parallel after the re-space?

Good luck, and don't let Campy push you around. We have the right to the gearing we want.
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Old 04-19-19, 02:21 PM
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Here's the parts drawing for Veloce 10-speed cassettes. Note as many as three different flavours of cog for a given size/position. I believe these would be different positions of the shifting ramps with respect to the second cog index. They are also quite pricey to buy individually, it makes mores sense to "bash" two cassettes.

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Old 04-19-19, 02:41 PM
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Yes, I was going to mention the lettering system as Oldschoolbike did. Looks like your "G" sprockets in the 11-15 cassette are pretty unique, but maybe someone smarter than us can figure out a way to make it work.

Your cassette (assuming it is as pictured above) has a 15A, which seems common to all of the other combinations. However all the others, aside from yours, follow the 15A with a 16A. The only jump from 15 to 17 is on your cassette, and that is calling for a 17G. I don't really see how you could make it work. Even doing 15A to 17A (which might shift rough) you would have one too many cogs...

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Old 04-19-19, 02:59 PM
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Another challenge: I can't find part numbers for Veloce 10-speed cogs anywhere. The table I posted is from instructions, not a spare parts catalogue, and just lists cogs by tooth and timing. Note that the biggest cog is not called out separately, and yet it is clearly dished, as seem by the special spacer required there. I am guessing Campy does not sell parts for Veloce cassettes.

I went through this myself and ended up just buying a new 13-29 cassette and putting the 13-26 in the cupboard, to come out when I bite the bullet and buy a subcompact 46/30 chainset. That will be the real solution for me.
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Old 04-19-19, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by oldschoolbike View Post
Another challenge: I can't find part numbers for Veloce 10-speed cogs anywhere. The table I posted is from instructions, not a spare parts catalogue, and just lists cogs by tooth and timing. Note that the biggest cog is not called out separately, and yet it is clearly dished, as seem by the special spacer required there. I am guessing Campy does not sell parts for Veloce cassettes.
That's funny, because I was actually going to ask you where you can purchase individual cogs (which you mentioned before), because I have never seen them for sale. So yes, I don't think it's possible to source them individually.

As for the last cog being dished, I agree that it looks that way in the picture, but I'm not sure it's that way in real life (might just be an optical effect). I'm running either a Veloce or Centaur 10sp on one of my bikes, so I'll check it out when I get home, but I seem to remember the biggest cog being flat.
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Old 04-19-19, 05:36 PM
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I have my 13-26 at my desk now. The 26C is dished about 1 mm. by way of a slight crank at the outer end of each spoke. All the other cogs are flat. This is consistent with the unique P type spacer in the table. The 26C from a 13-26 cannot be shifted down the cassette without some spacer shuffling, and the biggest cog must always be dished.

This is a Veloce, with 10 separate cogs. It is quite likely that the Centaur has the last two or three as a unit, with the offset built into the spider. My pricing comment was based on an effort to co-opt some new Centaur cogs to meet my needs, a project that was shelved when I found that an entire Veloce cassette was cheaper than the Centaur parts I needed.

Although it would be nice if we could get individual cogs, the timing issue would make for a highly complicated "cog board", to use the freewheel analogy from the '70s. I can grudgingly understand Campagnolo's reluctance to go there. IMHO, Veloce 10-speed cassettes are very well priced for the quality, even if you do have to buy the whole thing. I hope they continue to offer them.
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Old 04-19-19, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldguyonoldbike View Post
I have a 1984 Batavus Professional frameset that is currently set up with a Campy Veloce 10 speed groupset: 50/34 with an 11-25 cassette. The frame had rear spacing of 122 when I got it, but it has been reset to 130. Given the short wheelbase and the angle of the short chainstays, the smallest cog has to be an 11t. I would like more gears at the low end though.
Straight away, quite a lot going on here.

You have a short wheelbase frame - but are the chanistays less than 405mm? If so, you may struggle with some aspects of gear function and range because of chainline related issues and the compound angle that the chain comes into the idler jockey at and the angle that it runs along the tension run (from the cassette towards the chainrings).

405mm plus and you shouldn't have any chainline-related problems.

If the frame has been spread from a (nominal) 120 to a (nominal) 130 mm, you may be needing to use the 11 top because the chain contacts the seatstay as you shift from the smallest sprocket to the next - quite common in this scenario. A 1mm spacer added to the gear side of the rear hub (it could be epoxied to the locknut on the gearside) will usually fix that.

Your next problem is likely to be hanger length. Steel frames with integrated dropouts / hangers, especially in the case of horizontal dropouts (which from the vintage of the frame I am guessing you most likely have) typically had rather short hangers, by modern standards. This means that the whole RD sits closer to the cassette than it would on a more modern frame and so limits the maximum size of your biggest sprocket. Campagnolo's hanger specification for 8, 9 and 10s is a centre wheel to centre top pivot bolt distance of 24-28mm. Less than 24mm and you may struggle to run any bigger than maybe a 27T biggest sprocket - so worth checking before you spend money! There are ways around this (Wolftooth hanger extension for example) but these devices add complication.


So, my questions are:


  • Is there any reason I can't mix cogs from two Campy 10 speed cassettes to make, say, an 11-29 or 11-30 cassette?
There are ways it can be done but you have to be very careful about overall width - not all Campagnolo cassettes are exactly the same width overall and the intermediate spacings are varied both by changing spacer widths but also by changing where on the gauge of the sprocket material the teeth are milled - there is a very slight offset in some sprockets. You can end up with a cassette that is maybe 0.5mm wider than the frame can accommodate - and you are width-limited, from the sounds of things, already.


  • I imagine my short cage RD wouldn't be able to handle such a spread, but would it make any difference if I used a medium cage Veloce RD or a long cage Centaur 10 speed RD?
  • Both are available on Ebay, but the Centaur costs a little less. I believe the Centaur long cage was made to run with a triple - is there any reason it wouldn't also work with a compact double?
Thanks for the input.
These two points go to the root of a frequent misunderstanding about rear derailleur design.
There is a difference between maximum sprocket capacity and maximum chain capacity. They have almost nothing to do with each other.

The maximum sprocket size a rear derailleur can handle is defined by the length of the hanger that it is set upon, the relative position of the top pivot bolt to the rear wheel axle, the design of the upper part of the derailleur (down as far as the jockey cage pivot) and lastly, the design of the upper jockey mounting, the bridge that runs between the two "halves" of the jockey cage and the relative positions of the jockey wheel centre and the jockey cage pivot.

The chain capacity is an expression of how much chain the rear derailleur can correctly tension - it has little or nothing to do with maximum sprocket size, unless the design of the upper part of the derailleur cage is different in the long cage variations of any given RD, than the short. This is not the case in Campagnolo 10s rear derailleurs from 2000 through to 2013. Even post 2013, short cage and long cage RDs had the same design in this area it's just that the design changed across all versions allowing the use of a 30T maximum sprocket, rather than a 29 in the case of earlier 9 & 10s designs.

Finally, we have the maximum difference between the biggest and the smallest sprocket - this is set by the tracking angle of the upper jockey wheel and the extent (if any) to which this can be varied or is varied by the combination of the chain length / tension and the exact design of the dropout and the parallelogram f the derailleur. A relitavely shallow tracking angle will not allow good shifting, even if the deraillrur can be spaced away from the cassette sufficiently for a big "bottom" sprocket, because the upper jockey will be too far away from the smaller sprockets by the time the derailleur has shifted laterally enough to put the upper jockey under the small sprockets. There will be too much "loose" chain between the exit from the guide pulley and the entry into the sprocket - shifts can be dialled in well in one dirsction or the other, but not both - a similar problem to that seen with too much friction in the gear cable or a mis-match between derailleur return spring tension and shift lever.

So, all that having been said, what to do?

It depends what you want to spend and the measurements of the chainstay length and rear hanger design / length.

One solution would be to have a framebuilder swap the rear dropouts for verticals and to scallop away the base of the seatstay at the same time - that way, you'd win a longer hanger if you needed it and more cleraance for the chain when shifting off the smallest, to the next-to-smallest sprocket. If you did that you could run the stock 13-29 cassette and that'd be fine (unless you are wedded to your 11T top). The cost would be the brazing work and at least a local respray around the rear dropouts - also on frames of this age, IME, you can run into problems with the condition of the steel - it's not uncommon to see corrosion from the inside-out and that can compromise your chances of doing any brazing work successfully, at all.

In this case, you could run the 13-29 with a stock Campag 10s medium cage RD - just take care to match RD to lever system - so if you are using Escape levers, any 10s RD will be OK but those with a stronger return spring (and RE or CH, CE and VE before 2007, MI and XE before 2002) will tend to shorten the service life of the levers. If you have levers with "full ErgoPower function, 3 gaer shift "down" and 5 gear shift "up" at a time, you need that stronger rear derailleur spring as part of the RD springing is used to operate the shift lever internal.

If you want to run a wider range cassette, say 12-30, which is a stock option (Centaur and Veloce 2013 onwards) then you'd likely have to look at new dropouts and a more recent (2013 or later) medium cage VE or CE RD and PowerShift levers.

You "might" get away with a hanger extension and no frame modification in the two examples above, the shifting would probably be OK in both cases.

Really, you are pushing beyond the design limits of all the kit, so you need to expect shifting to be just a little flaky and possibly to require more frequent "tweaking" after installation, as assumptopns are made about how wear and tear will affect an "in spec" system. Once you are out of spec, then those assumptions fall away to some extent and the further you go away from the original design parameters, the sketchier things get.

A lot of this depends on your expectations. If you are hoping for razor-sharp, fast, accurate shifting, with low maintenence, you may be disappointed. If you are content with slower shifting that needs a bit of attention to keep it in the pink, then you have some options.

By far and away the easiest to make work and the way that would work best is a modified frame (assuming the hanger length to be less than 24mm) plus a medium cage gear, your existing levers and a 13-29 cassette - but it's the most expensive and you lose 50 x 12 and 50 x 11.

The one that would be probably give the best cost / performance ratio would be the Wolftooth hanger extension (if hanger length <24mm) + the washer-on-the-axle route, with a 12-30 cassette and the newer VE or CE RD and PowerShift levers.

Lowest cost would be to slam two cassettes together (and virtually all the loose sprockets are still available for Veloce / Centaur from the factory, BTW, so any Campag ProShop can access them through the supply chain) taking care around spacing, with a Wolftooth hanger extension if needed and a medium cage RD or just a medium cage grafted onto your existing RD. This one would possibly be the one that'd need the most care in set up and give you the least-good shifting.

A Miche custom cassette, I would probably avoid unless you are building a 12-up. The 11-ups and the 13-ups are slightly "off" for top 3 sprocket spacing and make set up, even in an otherwise compliant system, trickier than it should be. Likewise 3rd party "compatible" chains like KMC.

Sorry - a bit long but it's a complicated and as I mentioned, frequently misunderstood area.

Last edited by gfk_velo; 04-19-19 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 04-20-19, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by gfk_velo View Post
Sorry - a bit long but it's a complicated and as I mentioned, frequently misunderstood area.
Thanks to everyone for the replies, and especially to gfk_velo for pointing out a number of things that I wasn’t taking into consideration. Your post is very clear and informative.

The seatstays on the frame are indeed 405 mm from the center of the BB to the horizontal dropout. I haven’t measured how far the RD hanger is from the axle, but it is very close. Following your explanation I doubt I could get a bigger sprocket to work without a Wolftooth extention, and I don’t think I’ll follow that route.

Mashing two cassettes into one also sounds more complicated than necessary.

The groupset is the Veloce Power Shift version, from 2014 IIRC. I picked up the frame for next to nothing a few years ago and I really like the feel of the bike, but it also has some issues. A previous owner had forced an English threaded headset onto its French threads, with the result that the headset creaks and works itself loose. There is also some surface rust and I'd be afraid to open it up to braze on new dropouts. I think I may just cut my losses, find another frame to move the parts onto and fit a stock 13-29 or 12-30 cassette on, swapping out the RD for a medium cage version if necessary to handle more chain.
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