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Modern Campagnolo 101

Old 07-22-12, 08:17 AM
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Mike_Kelly
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Modern Campagnolo 101

After playing with vintage bikes (ah 5 speed friction)a for a while I came up for air and realized all my "modern" bikes were now vintage too. My 8 speed campy stuff was no longer supported with spare parts from Campagnolo and indeed 9 speed is almost off the back. So in doing research to figure out what I can buy on Ebay to act as spares I can't figure out the difference in the modern groupos so I need some education.

I know that around 2000 campy changed the pull in the 8,9 and maybe 10 or at the intro at 10. This can be ID'ed by the rounded brifters and the change in the position of the B screw on the rear deraileur. So no problem. Now as time goes on we get a bunch of stuff I can't find anything but little snippets.

So it appears that within the range of a year everything (the guts parts) is compatible between Record, Chorus, Centaur, Veloce and Mirage EXCEPT Xenon?

Then there are a bunch of labels like Ultrashift, Powershift, QS, Escape and BB. What do these labels mean and how do they affect compatibility? Can I use a QS brifter as spare parts (index gear, carriers, Springs, levers, body etc) with a non-QS. Can I use a non-QS deraileur with a QS brifter. Same questions for the rest BB, Escape?

I gather that there is something different with Escape that make it sound incompatibly with anything else?

I gather that the 11 speed stuff is not backward compatible with anything.

Thanks for your assistance.
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Old 07-22-12, 10:27 AM
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Your question is really too broad. If you have some specific issue, post that.

One easy answer about BB; it means ball bearings on the main pivot shaft.

QS has little effect on the shifters - it's merely a change to the front rachet on the left shifter to eliminate most of the dead travel from the finger lever. The finger lever begins to pull cable sooner. QS front derailleurs were made to work best with QS shifters, but they wil work with any Campy shifter.

Ultrashift came out in late '08 as '09 product. Those shifters are entirely different than any previous model. Powershift is much the same as the old escape shifter, which was originally made at the lowest (Xenon) level. Now it goes up to Athena. Escape shifters also have a unique shifting mechanism.
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Old 07-22-12, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
Powershift is much the same as the old escape shifter, which was originally made at the lowest (Xenon) level. Now it goes up to Athena. Escape shifters also have a unique shifting mechanism.
IIRC, "Escape" was used on '07 and '08 Centaur and Veloce brifters too. Not one of Campy's better ideas.
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Old 07-22-12, 12:57 PM
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Well that is a start, thanks. So Quick shift may be better with a matching front derailleur but it will work with a non. The real question then says that the guts of a QS left shift will not replace index gears etc in a non. They must be different. (probably no index gears in a left but the guts anyway)

BB seems like it does not effect anything and the shifters should act as a spare for newer (round brifters)?

How do I ID escape brifters to avoid them?
How to I OD ultrashift, the word "Ultra" on the right brifter handle?

I have read about avoiding 2009 Centaur for some reason? How would you tell the difference between say 2007 center and 2009?


Cheers
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Old 07-22-12, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike_Kelly View Post
Well that is a start, thanks. So Quick shift may be better with a matching front derailleur but it will work with a non. The real question then says that the guts of a QS left shift will not replace index gears etc in a non. They must be different. (probably no index gears in a left but the guts anyway)

BB seems like it does not effect anything and the shifters should act as a spare for newer (round brifters)?

How do I ID escape brifters to avoid them?
How to I OD ultrashift, the word "Ultra" on the right brifter handle?

I have read about avoiding 2009 Centaur for some reason? How would you tell the difference between say 2007 center and 2009?


Cheers
Not quite. There is only one small part, the front rachet, that is different with QS and it's in the front section of a left shifter, that virtually never wear out. It can replace the same part on a non-QS shifter.

The word Ultra was printed on some pre-2009 shifters, but that's just a Record level shifter with a friction reducing coating on the index gear. Ultrashift is a 2009+ shifter with an entirely different everything.

2009 Centuar or Veloce is an ultrashift model with very light clicks. It was changed in late 2009 to include an new indexing disc that feels the same as 11 speed. It was only made for a year before being downgraded to powershift.
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Old 07-22-12, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike_Kelly View Post
I have read about avoiding 2009 Centaur for some reason?
As already mentioned, 2009 Centaur (Ultrashift) has a lighter, less distinct feel when shifting to lower gears with the rear shifter. I've used '09 Centaur for four years (it was introduced in summer '08 and I got one of the early sets) and I enjoy it every time I ride it. My opinion is that any negative issue relating to it is overblown. On the other hand, Campy apparently had enough negative feedback on the subject to change the design soon after, as DaveSSS mentioned. The nice thing is that it is an Ultrashift group.
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Old 07-22-12, 03:43 PM
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That's depressing. I liked the old days when Campy and their competitors had interchangeable stuff for 20+ years. I have an easier time finding parts for my Nuovo and Super Record stuff.

Now that Campy makes no parts for any of my Brifters I am trying to find something on Ebay for spares.

So I have two Centaur Grey 10 that I think was only produced in 2006.
Find something pre-2008 to spare for these?

Two Mirage plastic that say 9 Speed
Don't know what years these were introduced.

One Mirage 8 sp plastic like above with no lettering on either lever.
Somewhere between 2000-2004

One 8 speed Athena pointed top.
This must be pre-2001?

Sounds like the Athena is a lost cause.

The Rest are not QS, Escape or Powershilft so if I find something labeled without those names?

The cassettes seem easy not sure about the pulleys but I think 8, 9 and 10 have a different thickness but I assume other than that they could not have done much to make them incompatible between models of the same speed.?

Chainrings seem pretty straightforward.


Thanks for your help.
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Old 07-22-12, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike_Kelly View Post
So I have two Centaur Grey 10 that I think was only produced in 2006.
Find something pre-2008 to spare for these?
No, find something 2006 or before. In 2007 Campy went to "Escapement" for Centaur.

Originally Posted by Mike_Kelly View Post
Sounds like the Athena is a lost cause.
For what you want, yes it is. Campy just brought back the Athena name a year ago as the lowest 11-speed group but that's certainly no what you are looking for.
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Old 07-22-12, 04:01 PM
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Check on the Athena.
How do I tell the difference between Centaur Groups before 2006? No other names like QS, Escape etc and no pointy top?
I guess I will have to sit down and dig into all the parts catalogs and compare part numbers. Doesn't seem like any other way without risking getting stuff that is incompatible.

Thanks guys.
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Old 07-22-12, 04:08 PM
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You have a lot going on...

Campy kinda changed and re engeneered stuff like 2 times in those 10 speed brifters basically to get rid off of the ability of the low end stuff to dump 4 cogs in 1 click. If you are not actually racing I wouldnt care that much if its power shift, ultra shift, quick shift and who knows else is moving around. If you are racing then is always good to be able to dumb several cogs in one click, I have record 10 speed stuff and im not racing so i really dont use the feature at all. Just being practical in here.

As for compatibility, the spacing of the cassettes is the same all the way from record 10 to mirage 10, even with different years of manufacturing you wont have problem at all. As long the RD is 10 speed and the Shifters are 10 speed you shouldnt have problem.

As for FDs, you can even put a shimano FD and will work just fine. This is when i want to highlight something, escape mechanism in the FD has 3 positions, record, chorus, athena 10 and centaur (the last one i have at least) work like if you had a friction shifter, so the adjustment of the chain is better. With Escape (veloce and mirage) you are stuck with 3 clicks for adjustments, if you have the bad custom of crossing the chain a lot with escape you might have an issue if you need micro adjust, the lever wont do it.

If you run triple, I believe any of the high end 10 speed levers will work fine with triple, at least the veloce escape my friend had worked fine with double and triple.

FDs... campy Fds work with compact and regular chainrings, even the few compact ones that they produced work just fine with regular chainrings aswell (i have one of those).

Rds, you can use any 10 speed rd, no matter the group it will work just fine.

Well probably some details escape but pretty much this is how it is with campagnolo (to my knowledge).

Oh cables, you dont need the campy cables to run campagnolo, the only big difference with any shimano cable in the market is the head, the campanolo head has a smaller diameter, just dremel the head to fit and ready to go. THat will save you trips to the internet and trying to find cables in stores where they look you weird when you mention the word campagnolo.

Good luck.
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Old 07-22-12, 04:35 PM
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Ya I was thinking in terms of getting a spare or two and robbing the parts to fix what ever needed fixing but it may be simpler, tho more expensive, to buy spares that are swapped out with the failed component and not try and take them apart. That way I really don't have to worry about the models. I am not picky enough to care about the subtle differences between things like QS and non QS. I have fixed my ergos in the past by getting the parts from Branford but they are just not available anymore, which is a drag.

Thanks again to all for the info and advise.
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Old 07-22-12, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ultraman6970 View Post
With Escape (veloce and mirage) you are stuck with 3 clicks for adjustments.
One more time. For '07 and '08 Centaur also used the 3-position Escape mechanism for front shifting.
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Old 07-22-12, 06:59 PM
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Do you see... always somebody knows more hahaha my main problem with campagnolo is that I never cared for years and stuff... I lost track of changes in parts too long ago. Well doesnt matter if the OP decides that whatever 10 speed suit him then the year and model is not important either
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Old 07-22-12, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike_Kelly View Post
Then there are a bunch of labels like Ultrashift,
Third generation hood shape. Traditional three cog larger, five cog smaller behavior. The G-springs have been eliminated in favor of a ball bearing which engages index detents with a coil spring providing tension. Introduced in 2009. 2009 10 speed levers had weak detents which were fixed as a running change. 2010 was the last year of 10 speed levers although you can still get NOS Veloce levers with a cable set for about $130.

Powershift,
Powershift is the current incarnation of Escape (one cog smaller) but with the new shape. All new-shaped 10 speed lever sets solid in 2011 and beyond are Powershift. You don't want them.

QS,
Quick Shift is a front derailleur ratio change that people confuse with Escape because they both showed up on Centaur/Veloce levers for the 2007 and 2008 model years. You can still get new Record and Chorus 10 speed QS levers (they shift five cogs smaller just like all other Record/Chorus levers, use the second generation rounded hood shape, and have G-spring internals with small parts still sold) from Ribble and other UK sources. Pairing a QS derailleur with an Ultrashift lever may yield an extra index notch between big and small rings and might be a problem with triple QS front derailleurs paired with Ultrashift levers since all 6 clicks are used for a triple.

Escape
Escape is an abomination like Shimano and SRAM levers that only allows you to shift one cog smaller per lever push versus five cogs for second generation/Ultrashift and all the way across the cassette for first generation (pointed hoods, 8 speed and 1997 9 speed + 1998 Athena) ergo levers (but your thumb might not reach that far and you don't need it because even on a compact double with a tight cassette the next gear is just five cogs away when changing rings). It was applied to the Veloce and Centaur groups in 2007-2008 but started a few years before that in the low-end Xenon group.

and BB.
Ball Bearings on the main pivot (ex: Carbon BB System on my 1996 levers). In 2009 all Ultrashift levers got bearings as a running change.
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Old 07-22-12, 07:58 PM
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Something of interest to any Campy fan:https://campybike.com/

This is a DVD with Campy catalogs *and* technical manuals, from the current year, as well as previous years going back decades.
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Old 07-22-12, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
Powershift is the current incarnation of Escape (one cog smaller) but with the new shape. All new-shaped 10 speed lever sets solid in 2011 and beyond are Powershift. You don't want them.

Escape is an abomination like Shimano and SRAM levers that only allows you to shift one cog smaller per lever push versus five cogs for second generation/Ultrashift and all the way across the cassette for first generation (pointed hoods, 8 speed and 1997 9 speed + 1998 Athena) ergo levers (but your thumb might not reach that far and you don't need it because even on a compact double with a tight cassette the next gear is just five cogs away when changing rings). It was applied to the Veloce and Centaur groups in 2007-2008 but started a few years before that in the low-end Xenon group.
The one smaller cog per push rear shifting doesn't bother me too much but the big negative to the first "Escape" Ergos was the loss of the "micro" front shifting which made Ergo brifters pretty much agnostic as to crank and front derailleur model. Do the current 10-speed Powershift levers offer that multi-click front shifting or is that gone too? If so, which levers still have it?
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Old 07-22-12, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike_Kelly View Post
The cassettes seem easy not sure about the pulleys but I think 8, 9 and 10 have a different thickness
Campagnolo moved to deeper splines (a smaller inside diameter) when they introduced Record Titanium 8 speed so that they could use light alloy freehubs without the indentation problem that plagues Shimano.

9 speed made a subtle change to the Titanium 8 shape which is shared by 10 and 11 speed along with the 1mm width increase from 8 speeds. 10 and 11 speed hang progressively farther off the spoke end of the freehub body to get even more width.

You can't run any of them on an 8 speed hub or vise-versa.

You can graft a new freehub onto your 8 speed hubs. 1997-1998 parts definitely work - I upgraded two hubs after Campagnolo discontinued my favorite 8 speed cassette and I changed to 9 cogs. Over-sized 1999-2006 definitely do not. The axle setup for cartridge bearing hubs is different and I couldn't speak to compatibility.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 07-22-12 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 07-23-12, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
Campagnolo moved to deeper splines (a smaller inside diameter) when they introduced Record Titanium 8 speed so that they could use light alloy freehubs without the indentation problem that plagues Shimano.
I'll rise to Shimano's defense here. Shimano never made aluminum freehub bodies until their short lived 10-speed only Dura Ace hubs and wheels and these had deep splines to avoid the indentation problem. All Shimano 8/9/10-speed freehub bodies are either steel or Ti and have no problems.

The "indentation problem that plagues Shimano" was with aftermarket hubs that did indeed use short spline aluminum freehub bodies and suffered for it but that wasn't Shimano's fault.
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