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Can Campy Vintage Record Derailleurs Support Gearing Changes for Eroica?

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Can Campy Vintage Record Derailleurs Support Gearing Changes for Eroica?

Old 11-12-18, 11:17 AM
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Flying G
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Can Campy Vintage Record Derailleurs Support Gearing Changes for Eroica?

I recently purchased a 1972 Gitane Super Corsa as my fall/winter project with the intent of riding it in the 2019 CA Eroica. It has all of the original Campy components and I want to modify the bike for those insane climbs that we all love on the Eroica courses. Ideally, I would like to install a triple chainring upfront (53/42/32) and possibly move to a 14x28 in back. It currently has a double chainring (53/42) and a 14x26 in the rear.
I'm quite familiar with Simplex derailleurs but am new to Campy Record gear. Should I attempt to go forward with the existing Record derailleurs or just plan on swapping out both front and rear derailleurs with a triple FD upfront and a long cage RD?
Call me a sucker for these old French bikes and all of their idio(t)synchronies!
Thanks,
Brian
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Old 11-12-18, 11:29 AM
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NR or SR?
I've found the SR will shift up to a 28 on most bikes, but...probably will not have enough wrap to deal with a triple.
On one bike, I used a 48/34 with a 14-28, so 28 teeth of wrap.
But you're talking about, what, 35 teeth of wrap? Probably too much.
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Old 11-12-18, 11:33 AM
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Sorry, should have mentioned NR.
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Old 11-12-18, 11:37 AM
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Aha. I seem to remember that NR has less wrap capability than SR.
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Old 11-12-18, 11:58 AM
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I have a Motobecane with a TA 50/36, a 14-28 and a NR is shifting it fine. Not sure if it is low enough for you @ l'Eroica, but it works for me on hilly rides.
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Old 11-12-18, 12:06 PM
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Take a look at this - might be just what you need - https://store.somafab.com/sonuredecapl.html
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Old 11-12-18, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
NR or SR?
I've found the SR will shift up to a 28 on most bikes, but...probably will not have enough wrap to deal with a triple.
On one bike, I used a 48/34 with a 14-28, so 28 teeth of wrap.
But you're talking about, what, 35 teeth of wrap? Probably too much.
My experience too! I could get the SR rear to clear a 28 tooth cog, but it does not have sufficient chain wrap for your proposed triple crankset. FWIW, I rode Eroica California 2017 with a 41 x 28 low combination.....my knees were "talking" to me for a long time afterward.

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Old 11-12-18, 12:20 PM
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I also would look into the Soma Fabrications cage. I put one on a 980 derailleur (same basic parallelogram as the NR) and it works well enough.

The NR front derailleurs work really well with triples. I have them on almost all of the old friction bikes I have.
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Old 11-12-18, 12:23 PM
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I have a '73 Tour de France kitted with a triple and a 13-28 Dura-Ace 7-speed freewheel. The crankset is a Sugino PX.

The rear derailleur is a Simplex SX630 long cage. It barely handles the 28 tooth cog.

I suggest a front derailluer designed for a triple. I am using an 80s vintage Shimano Deore unit. I tried old Campy and Simplex fronts, but the shifting was slow and unreliable.

Recommendation: in terms of pure functionality, an inexpensive set of Shimano Deore derailleurs, matched with a modern Hyperglide chain and freewheel will outperform anything vintage, particularly the Campy drop-parallelogram rear derailluer.

That is, as long as you don't have a Simplex dropout/derailleur hanger on your frame. Then some mods would be required.
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Old 11-12-18, 12:36 PM
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FWIW: Campagnolo derailleurs (and all other vintage numbers) handled all the gears needed to sufficiently master the toughest climbs that ever were dished out, long before Eroica events came onto the scene. Perhaps the proper question to ask is whether or not your current gear ratio on your non-Eroica bike can translate over to your vintage set up.
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Old 11-12-18, 01:33 PM
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I had a Campagnolo NR derailleur on my touring bike when I built it. But I think back then that I thought 36 front-24 rear was low enough for touring.

I recall that NR was rated for 28 teeth. I don't see any differences between my SR and NR derailleurs other than cosmetic.
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Old 11-12-18, 01:50 PM
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Soma cage AND a triple:




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Old 11-12-18, 02:00 PM
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I had no idea Soma sold cage parts. How is the shifting?
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Old 11-12-18, 02:35 PM
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I rode Eroica last year with this setup:



Nuovo Record front and rear derailleurs, Soma Nuovo Retro cage swapped in on the rear.
Nuovo Record crankset with Red Clover triplizer, 52-42-26
14-30 SunTour Perfect freewheel

The chain wrap was no problem. The rear shifting was great. The front shifting.... Well, what's more Eroica-appropriate than having to dismount and manually change gears? Actually it wasn't quite that bad. I could shift down to smaller rings with no trouble. I could shift from the middle ring to the big ring with no trouble. To get from the small ring to the middle ring I had to shift to the big ring first and then drop it back down to the middle. Honestly, that was the least of my worries. The toe clips gave me a lot more trouble. I've been told that if you use a small big ring (48T, for instance) and lower the front derailleur you can get the NR front derailleur to shift small-to-middle reliably.

The thing I would note about this though is that even with my 26-front x 30-rear low gear I still ended up walking a substantial portion of all three main climbs. They're just brutal that way.
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Old 11-12-18, 03:22 PM
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I ran a 14-28 with an unmodified NR derailleur with no issues.
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Old 11-12-18, 03:32 PM
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The Nuovo Record rear was rated for 26. But many here, including me, have used it for 28. It requires a little bit of special setup,
like moving the wheel further forward in the dropouts so the derailleur cage can clear the big cog.
On the first Super Record rears the cages were the same as on Nuovo Record. But on the later versions they redesigned the cage a bit, and the geometry
of the lower pivot itself. Those models will run 28 a little better than NR derailleurs.

Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I recall that NR was rated for 28 teeth. I don't see any differences between my SR and NR derailleurs other than cosmetic.

Last edited by rootboy; 11-12-18 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 11-12-18, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Ungaro View Post
FWIW: Campagnolo derailleurs (and all other vintage numbers) handled all the gears needed to sufficiently master the toughest climbs that ever were dished out, long before Eroica events came onto the scene. .
Heh., Yes, if you are in very good condition, like most of us were in our 20's. But I'm not sure that statement applies to old geezers, riding old bikes, on gravel roads up in the mountains of California.
Maybe the OP is built like Eddy...dunno.
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Old 11-12-18, 03:41 PM
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I've gone as high as a 14-30 cog set out back with an unmodified NR rear derailleur. That was with 52/42 up front. Big/big combo was a little tighter than I like, but sometimes I push them all the way, to see how far they will go
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Old 11-12-18, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
Heh., Yes, if you are in very good condition, like most of us were in our 20's. But I'm not sure that statement applies to old geezers, riding old bikes, on gravel roads up in the mountains of California.
Maybe the OP is built like Eddy...dunno.
Indeed. My point is that it's not about gearing a bike to handle Eroica - any bike can handle Eroica. It's about gearing a bike for the rider. Myself, I've never had a bike with a decent motor....
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Old 11-12-18, 04:03 PM
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I rode the last two Eroica Californias and Eroica Gaiole using Nuovo Record, a triple (Red Clover triplizer on my Campy Record cranks) with the Soma cage and it worked fine. It shifts just as badly as the Nuovo Record ever shifted a wide range freewheel, which is to say not nearly as precisely as a Suntour Cyclone especially on the small cogs, but well enough for me. My setup has a 52-42-30 and 13-28. I even switched to a 13-32 to ride the Markleeville Deathride and it still worked fine. That is definitely plumbing the limits of both the front and rear derailleurs and in a few gears the chain drags on the lowest part of the front derailleur cage. I'm running way beyond the published capacity of the front derailleur.
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Old 11-12-18, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
Maybe the OP is built like Eddy...dunno.
I'm built a bit like Eddy...



I'm pretty sure he could still ride circles around me though.
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Old 11-12-18, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I had no idea Soma sold cage parts. How is the shifting?
Friction.. your skill is the difference ..
SoMa is Merry sales Online Retailer and brand name. ..
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Old 11-12-18, 04:58 PM
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I forget what bike it was on, but the last time I swapped from a suntour gt to a campagnolo NR, the NR shifted a lot better than I remember. But Suntours wore out and a NR didn't wear out nearly as quickly, so maybe that is an unfair comparison.

When I went to 9 speed on that bike, I went to a modern rear derailleur. Until last summer, I was shifting 9 speed with friction bar end shifters, so I'm not afraid of that part. Although with a 9 speed chain, if it's not totally in gear it's a good idea to fix that fairly quickly.
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Old 11-12-18, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
It shifts just as badly as the Nuovo Record ever shifted a wide range freewheel
Well said, and I concur.

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Old 11-12-18, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Ungaro View Post
Indeed. My point is that it's not about gearing a bike to handle Eroica - any bike can handle Eroica. It's about gearing a bike for the rider. Myself, I've never had a bike with a decent motor....
So true. I haven't had a good motor since I was 28.
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