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Athena CS issues?

Old 05-01-17, 10:59 PM
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Athena CS issues?

Hi folks,

Periodically, I see negative comments about Athens cranksets. Plus the prices seem low for Campagnolo parts. Are there problems or issues with this model? I have a mid-80s model in good condition that I'd like to use on a project, but would like to know if there are risks with using it.

Thanks and regards,

Van
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Old 05-01-17, 11:23 PM
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I don't think there's anything wrong with them. They just unfortunately been considered the poorer brother of the Chorus line and was the model line that received "hand me down" designs from the top models, so basically, you were getting older, carry over designs from Campy when you bought the gruppo. No really a good marketing strategy fron Campy, when component technology was progressing in leaps and bounds, led by their main competitor, Shimano). Although, some of the handed down stuff was excellent, most notably, the monoplanar brake calipers that started life in Chorus brakesets.
The finish on the chorus coponents were alos not too impressive and does not have the nice deep, silky, satin finish the top line models have, just a clear anodized finish on bright silver aluminum. So it's all just superficial, the Athena gruppo worked very well otherwise. being mostly already tested designs.
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Old 05-02-17, 02:21 AM
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I use the Athena groupset on my rain bike and it works just fine.

Not fancy, but it seems to be durable.
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Old 05-02-17, 07:20 AM
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Chombi1 nailed it. I have bought a couple from the auction site for family C&Vs and consider them a very good bargain. Same is true for the groupset although I am not crazy about the plastic shifter levers.
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Old 05-02-17, 07:33 AM
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I'm using the 11 speed version on two of my bikes. Without checking my logs I'd say I've easily got over 3500 miles on the two sets with no problems. I didn't even have to tweak adjustments after initial use from cable stretch. They just keep working fine.

Black version:



Silver version:



I find all controls shift lightly and precisely. None of the "clunkiness" I get with the Mirage 9 speed setup on my Campione. The hoods are very comfortable and I like them better than any of my Shimano setups. The thumb levers are canted and very easy to use from both the top of the hoods and while in the drops. I think they are a real bargain. Performance wise I'd say Athena is easily on par with my lastest Ultegra 11 speed groupset.

If I could easily find full sets in silver still I'd be seriously thinking about either using it again on the De Rosa build or to upgrade my old Maillot Jaune.
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Old 05-02-17, 04:00 PM
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I think the issue is not so much around installation or how well they work, it's more about removal of them and Campagnolo's much-despised Power Torque system.
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Old 05-02-17, 08:29 PM
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I've had some chain suck issues on my 11-speed athena group. This is where the crank would "suck" the chain. It caused paint damage on the chainstay of my newly painted bike
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Old 05-02-17, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ppg677 View Post
I've had some chain suck issues on my 11-speed athena group. This is where the crank would "suck" the chain. It caused paint damage on the chainstay of my newly painted bike
I think that could be more of a chain compatibility issue, did you try a different chain to fix the problem? Do you suspect it might be chainring ramp design if there are any on the model Athena you have?
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Old 05-02-17, 11:30 PM
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Hi folks,

Thanks for the feedback. As I suspected, the "purists" viewed the older Athena stuff as illegitimate because it wasn't leading edge.

Thanks again,

Van
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Old 06-15-17, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
I think that could be more of a chain compatibility issue, did you try a different chain to fix the problem? Do you suspect it might be chainring ramp design if there are any on the model Athena you have?
Campagnolo Chorus 11-speed chain.
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Old 06-16-17, 05:41 AM
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I think OP is more interested in feedback for the older Athena than 11 speed. Athena didn't come out until , I think, 1988. I have one bike with complete '89 Athena and a couple of others with similar vintage Athena bits. It works well, no problems. Aesthetically not quite as pleasing as the higher level C Record stuff, but still looks nice IMO.

The Athena rear derailleur from this era used an insert on the mounting bolt that tended to break, or more frequently, get lost when RD removed, so make sure it is present if you buy the derailleur as they are hard to come by.
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Old 06-16-17, 09:48 AM
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Where does this story line come from? I think this was discussed here or in Mechanics in the last few weeks. I have had two of my bikes w/ 8 spd Athena since new and just bought a used set with a Tommasini Techno for my son-in-law. He is all thumbs and I don't what him even adjusting brakes so would never give him a problematic group. They have been as functional and reliable as any groupset I have and other then the black plastic shift levers and one having plastic BB bolt caps they are from all I can tell the equal of my 8 spd Chorus. Further, I see their prices as a bargain.
I have never had a 9 spd Athena so can't speak to it.

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