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From Campagnolo Xenon/Veloce 10sp to Centaur 11sp - worth it?

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From Campagnolo Xenon/Veloce 10sp to Centaur 11sp - worth it?

Old 10-14-22, 10:43 PM
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From Campagnolo Xenon/Veloce 10sp to Centaur 11sp - worth it?

Hi,

I had an 2018 Bianchi Via Nirone 7 bike with a 10sp Xenon/Veloce group set (front derailleur Veloce, rear derailleur Xenon, Xenon alloy Ergopower 10sp speed levers, FSA rim brakes, FSA 50-34 crankset) but the frame suffered an accident and I had to replace it with a carbon Bianchi Sempre Pro and because of the frame, I had to change also the crankset with a Campagnolo Veloce power torque 50-34.

The bike is just fine now, lighter and fast but suddenly with all these changes, I asked myself if I upgrading the groupset to a 11sp Centaur would be a good idea.
What's you advice? Is Centaur (even if it's the entry-level Campagnolo groupset nowadays) a good upgrade? Or I should keep the current setup until it has some issues...
I heard that the current Centaur had some issues with plastic parts .. is that true, should I be worried?

Thanks!
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Old 10-14-22, 11:27 PM
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I always considered it bad Karma to remove perfectly good components just for a slight upgrade.

I'd think about where I want to go, but back burner it until I were spending anyway.
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Old 10-15-22, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by liviuncl
The bike is just fine now, lighter and fast but suddenly with all these changes, I asked myself if I upgrading the groupset to a 11sp Centaur would be a good idea.
What's you advice?
Other than a larger credit card bill, what would you gain? Does one more cog improve anything? I agree with FB, why replace perfectly good properly functioning components until you have to?
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Old 10-15-22, 01:00 PM
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I see that people are just more rational than me, Iíll keep the current components since they serve me well and eventually Iíll consider changes when those will be closer to the end of their life.

thanks again for bringing my feet on the ground
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Old 10-15-22, 01:03 PM
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If memory serves, 11 speed Centaur can handle 32 or 34 T as the large cog while 10 speed Campagnolo of all flavors maxes out with a 29T rear cog (even if you go long cage). Do you need that extra bailout on the rear? How much is it worth to you?
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Old 10-15-22, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau
If memory serves, 11 speed Centaur can handle 32 or 34 T as the large cog while 10 speed Campagnolo of all flavors maxes out with a 29T rear cog (even if you go long cage). Do you need that extra bailout on the rear? How much is it worth to you?
Iím not that much into hills and even though 32/34 is better than 29, it wonít make that much of a difference objectively speaking for me.

It was more a whim than a real need, but that actually drives a lot of our purchasing (at least for geeks like me).
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Old 10-15-22, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by liviuncl
Iím not that much into hills and even though 32/34 is better than 29, it wonít make that much of a difference objectively speaking for me.

It was more a whim than a real need, but that actually drives a lot of our purchasing (at least for geeks like me).
I'm right there with you, but I love 10 speed Campagnolo triples. As long as I have the parts to keep making those, I'm staying 10 speed.
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Old 10-15-22, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by liviuncl
I see that people are just more rational than me, Iíll keep the current components since they serve me well and eventually Iíll consider changes when those will be closer to the end of their life.

thanks again for bringing my feet on the ground
Just to pile on: ride what you've got and wear it out. When things need replacing, upgrade as you wish. Whether performance will improve significantly is an open question.
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Old 10-15-22, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by KerryIrons
.....
Whether performance will improve significantly is an open question.
IME - the best way to improve bicycle performance is to upgrade or replace the engine. Anything else is tinkering at the margins.
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Old 10-15-22, 04:28 PM
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All kinds of opinions here, none of them wrong. The best thing about current Campagnolo gearing is the ability to run much bigger cassettes. Unless you need easier gears for climbing local difficult hills that you cannot address with your current setup, You might choose to just switch everything over to your new frame. This is a a pretty low cast option. If, later on you decide that the 11 speed upgrade is the way to go you will not have spent much money beforehand.
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Old 10-15-22, 09:19 PM
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I have the exact same dilemma, except that I am serious about hills and at 64 I was pretty much at my limit with my current 29T Veloce 10-speed cassette and a 48-34 crank. This year I switched to a 46-30 subcompact crank (a "doubleized" Centaur 10-speed triple). That was easy and exactly what I need for a few more years. The next step may well be to 11-speed Centaur with a 32T cassette. It won't be for the 11 vs. 10 ratios, it will be for the low gear. The dissuasion will be the cost of the cassette, ergo levers, chain, and derailleurs. Changing the chainrings to 44-28 (semi-geezer)or 42-26 (geezer gears) would be easy and a lot cheaper, but would adversely affect the top ratios I like so much for the downhills,.

To address the OP's question: I may do the Centaur 11 upgrade, but not for the increased number of ratios as much as for the lower bottom gear. Since lower gearing is not a requirement for you, I think you should ignore my reasoning and stick with 10-speed for now.

As a general comment: Every cyclist should be encouraged to make sure their bike is right for them. I suspect neither of us needs 11 speeds per se, but I need lower gears and the OP does not. On the other hand, new equipment is always a massive inspiration to ride more, for even the most dedicated rider. If the OP thinks they will look foward to each ride more if they go Centaur 11, then they should do it.

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Old 10-16-22, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by oldschoolbike
Changing the chainrings to 44-28 (semi-geezer)or 42-26 (geezer gears) would be easy and a lot cheaper, but would adversely affect the top ratios I like so much for the downhills,.
At that point, can't you just change back to a triple?
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Old 10-16-22, 07:37 AM
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Back to a triple? Maybe when I go Centaur 11, if they do triple and if I need/want it. The top gear cogs are also smaller than on Veloce 10 so maybe I won't, until my mid seventies or later. Also, something tells me that an unladen road bike should not need 33 ratios, and functional elegance is part of the goal. Twenty should be enough if it works.
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Old 10-16-22, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by oldschoolbike
Back to a triple? Maybe when I go Centaur 11, if they do triple and if I need/want it. The top gear cogs are also smaller than on Veloce 10 so maybe I won't, until my mid seventies or later. Also, something tells me that an unladen road bike should not need 33 ratios, and functional elegance is part of the goal. Twenty should be enough if it works.
Athena and Potenza were briefly the only 11 speed triples and Campagnolo doesn't look likely to go back to triple. I was just thinking that since you'd said that you'd doublized a triple crankset but wouldn't have high enough gears if you dropped down to a 42-28, it sure seems like you could just put a 50 (not sure a 48 big ring fits) one the outer position, the 42 on the middle, and the 28 on the small and get the range you want. I currently run 54-42-32 and 53-42-30 on my 10 speed triples successfully.
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Old 10-16-22, 10:17 AM
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The rule of thumb I’ve used to upgrade to newer/more speeds are:

Appreciably better shifting/drivetrain.

Needing an additional cog for gap or range.

If what you have works well and the gaps are good, you are only subjecting yourself to make an additional shift for no real reason. Too small a gap can be a nuisance, but not as much as too great a gap.

John
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Old 10-16-22, 12:14 PM
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I've installed and extensively ridden many types of Campy brifters, from Xenon to Record. From the earliest models that came out in the early 90's to current. Well, not 12-speed - yet.

The only ones I hated were 10-speed Xenon, on a bike with internally-routed cables. The Xenon shifters and matching rear derailleur have a 'softer' spring, consistent with the 'Escape' mechanism.

Since internally-routed cables usually have higher overall friction, the Xenon system performed intermittently on upshifts; the RD spring tension could not reliably overcome the system friction, despite several expert (me) attempts to remedy the situation.

When the bike was upgraded to 10-speed Ultrashift, all problems went away.

I've been riding a bike with 8-speed Record Ergopower from circa 1995. New cables/housing and new right G-springs and spring carrier. The shifting is flawless; precise and quick; I don't know how mechanical shifting could get any better. Just because something is 'old' doesn't mean it has deteriorated or is inferior. Campagnolo got brifters right almost from the start.
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Old 10-17-22, 03:00 AM
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I must admit that it was more getting an upgrade as an incentive to use the bike more (something like a motivation booster), but there is not other realistic need to do the change - the shifting of the current Xenon is fine by my taste and the 13-29 would satisfy my needs decently. Thanks for your sensible answers, I kept the Xenon/Veloce groupset with the new frame - it works fine for now and I don't think that I'll change something soon.
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Old 06-20-23, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
I've installed and extensively ridden many types of Campy brifters, from Xenon to Record. From the earliest models that came out in the early 90's to current. Well, not 12-speed - yet.
Given your previous experience with the xenon groupset, maybe you'll be able to help me with something. I recently aquired a 2008 Btwin sport 2 that came equipped with xenon groupset. Despite liking it overall, I'm struggling with the huge reach of the brake levers.

I've tried to find a way to adjust the lever reach but there doesn't seem to be any adjustment screws. Googling the problem turned out very scarce results, as well as asking in another forum.

AFAIK, there's simply no option to adjust the reach on this levers, right? Is there a workaround? I've read rumours of people successfully using shims but nothing concrete.
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Old 06-20-23, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Lucas B
Given your previous experience with the xenon groupset, maybe you'll be able to help me with something. I recently aquired a 2008 Btwin sport 2 that came equipped with xenon groupset. Despite liking it overall, I'm struggling with the huge reach of the brake levers.

I've tried to find a way to adjust the lever reach but there doesn't seem to be any adjustment screws. Googling the problem turned out very scarce results, as well as asking in another forum.

AFAIK, there's simply no option to adjust the reach on this levers, right? Is there a workaround? I've read rumours of people successfully using shims but nothing concrete.
Would changing the "brifters" location/orientation on the handlebars help? Is the handlebar ergo? Are the dowels for expanding the brake arms for wheel removal in the closed position?
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Old 06-20-23, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by cranky old road
Would changing the "brifters" location/orientation on the handlebars help? Is the handlebar ergo?

I've seen this suggested in many places. I'm new to dropbars, so maybe I'm missing something, but unless I move the brifters down a lot, I don't see how that would actually reduce the distance between the inside of the bar and the lever. Additionally, it seems to me like if I did that, I'd no longer be able to reach the levers when my hands are on the hoods. hood. Lastly, I didn't want to unwrap the bars the bars to reposition the brifters as I've never done it before.

Thanks for the suggestion. I might visit my LBS to see if they can help.
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Old 06-20-23, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Lucas B
Given your previous experience with the xenon groupset, maybe you'll be able to help me with something. I recently aquired a 2008 Btwin sport 2 that came equipped with xenon groupset. Despite liking it overall, I'm struggling with the huge reach of the brake levers.

I've tried to find a way to adjust the lever reach but there doesn't seem to be any adjustment screws. Googling the problem turned out very scarce results, as well as asking in another forum.

AFAIK, there's simply no option to adjust the reach on this levers, right? Is there a workaround? I've read rumours of people successfully using shims but nothing concrete.
There is no reach adjustment screw on any model of Ergopower shifters, as found on some Shimano or SRAM shifters.

You need to install shims. Or get another set of handlebars that brings the blades closer to the drops. Or adjust the position of the shifters to bring the blades closer to the drops.

Finally are you sure you have the quick releases on the levers closed? I had a pal who used Ergopower shifters for 2 years with the blades in the 'open' position, before I pointed this out. He was gobsmacked.
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Old 06-20-23, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer

You need to install shims.

Finally are you sure you have the quick releases on the levers closed? I had a pal who used Ergopower shifters for 2 years with the blades in the 'open' position, before I pointed this out. He was gobsmacked.
Thanks for the precious help. Regarding the quick release, it was the first thing I check. To put it bluntly, wit it in the open position, the already huge reach becomes gigantic.

Regarding shims, how would I go this route? Are there commercially available options? If I make one myself, would having the shim permanently installed impact the longevity of the lever or brakes?
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