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Campag Record RD shift quality sucks....

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Campag Record RD shift quality sucks....

Old 04-26-19, 10:41 AM
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Campag Record RD shift quality sucks....

At least for me. This is the derailleur in question


20190328_204157 by L Travers, on Flickr

The most generous thing I can say is that it is balky, particularly shifting to larger cogs. It's like the smaller cog doesn't want to release the chain to the larger cog. I have checked hanger alignment, replaced the jockey wheels (had to anyway), moved the wheel back and forth in the dropout, tried different chains and different freewheels. I put a Nuovo Record on it and butter.

Any ideas why this Record derailleur is shifting poorly? Surely they weren't all that way?
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Old 04-26-19, 11:32 AM
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These derailers worked as intended with the old, laterally-stiff chains that featured bushing construction that tied each pair of inner link plates rigidly together.

You might likely get better shifting using older chain, and even the narrower, bushingless Sedisport chain is surprisingly stiff so works well with older derailers like your Nuovo Record.

Simplex derailers featured two sprung pivots instead of just the cage pivot, so those usually work best with modern chain since the chain gap (between pulley and freewheel) can be held more consistent (and is also adjustable!).

How the B-tension or derailer angle is set for a particular size freewheel can make a world of difference, but the old Campagnolo Record derailers offered no such adjustments.

BTW, the Sedisport chain (new-old-stock, not modern successors) is still available if you look for it, and is very long-lasting.

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Old 04-26-19, 12:18 PM
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You're supposed to display that one on your desk or bookshelf and get a nuovo record one for your bike.

I don't do that, though. I just trade 'em to my friend Rick for a NR one. Not sure what Rick does with them, besides put 'em in one of his drawers with tons of other vintage campy stuff.
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Old 04-26-19, 12:45 PM
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I can safely say my one example of the bronze Record RD is not a shifting wizard, barely able to cross 10 teeth up front (50-40) and 10 in the rear (14-24). But mine does have weak springs, so I give it a pass. But it wouldn't handle a wider rear cog (tried a 13-26) without a whole lot of complaining..
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Old 04-26-19, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
These derailers worked as intended with the old, laterally-stiff chains that featured bushing construction that tied each pair of inner link plates rigidly together.
Finally, an explanation I understand. Thanks.
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Old 04-26-19, 12:53 PM
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It's pretty tough to diagnose these things over the internet. A well set up Campagnolo NR RD should shift quickly and reliably. They won't shift under torque as well as modern derailleurs, but that has more to do with the profiled cog teeth than the derailleur.


That said, I've never used one personally with a freewheel cog bigger than a 24t, and I don't think I've even ever set one up with anything bigger than a 26t. (excluding the Spence Wolfe alpine mod versions). I know a lot of folks now run them with bigger freewheels up to a 28 or even more, but that just wasn't done BITD. It isn't their forte. Other RD would have been used. Campy's were optimized for the typical racing gearing of the past, i.e., 14-21.


What chain are you using now? Chain length can make a big difference. Try the BIG/small vertical jockey cage method if you previously were using the BIG/big plus one link method. A too short chain will exacerbate those issues, because you'll have less chain wrap when shifting into the bigger cogs.


Sedisports did indeed work well with NR/SR RD and Regina freewheels. It's hard to imagine some modern chains wouldn't work just as well though, but I don't know. SRAM 850 perhaps? My all campy Masi still has a sedisport.
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Old 04-26-19, 02:46 PM
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The Record was only around for a few years before the Nuovo Record came out (and hung around for 15 years or so). I suspect there was a reason for that.

My limited experience with the Record is pretty much in line with yours - fun to look, fun to hold in your hand, not so fun to actually use. Actually, that's also my limited experience with the old Gran Sport, too. And the Nuovo Record. And the Rally.
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Old 04-26-19, 03:24 PM
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The Campy straight parallelogram RDs were just marginally good. Many stuck with them, I think because, of their toughness and maybe they just never got to try better shifting derailleurs with offset top pivots and slant parallelogram designs from Suntour, Shimano and Simplex on their bikes.
It was kinda weird that even during the later 80's Campy insisted on using their already "obsolete" straight parallelogram design on their top of the line C Record and CdA RDs, while their lower model Chorus and Athena RD's had the better shifting offset top pivot, slant parallelogram design....... I think , all in the name of traditional aesthetics......
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Old 04-26-19, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
The Campy straight parallelogram RDs were just marginally good. Many stuck with them, I think because, of their toughness and maybe they just never got to try better shifting derailleurs with offset top pivots and slant parallelogram designs from Suntour, Shimano and Simplex on their bikes.
It was kinda weird that even during the later 80's Campy insisted on using their already "obsolete" straight parallelogram design on their top of the line C Record and CdA RDs, while their lower model Chorus and Athena RD's had the better shifting offset top pivot, slant parallelogram design....... I think , all in the name of traditional aesthetics......

OK, I'll stick up for the Campy...

I thought they were quite good, and all you needed for racing gearing. The toughness was important. They never failed. You could crash them multiple times, ride them for 50,000+ miles, and they just kept on ticking. If you did manage to break one in a crash or something - replacement parts were available. The same could not be said for Shimano or Suntour. I killed a Dura Ace EX derailleur in like half a season, through normal use. Shimano at the time did not have a slant cage design, so that's kind of a non comparison. I did have a Suntour on my touring bike (which double a couple times as a 'cross bike). Suntour was awesome. They worked great and were a great value, but let's not sugarcoat it. They did have failures. The springs would break was the main thing I remember. Saw lots of that in my wrenching days. Superbe was great stuff, but it cost as much as the campy and replacement parts were not readily available, therefore it was never that popular.
@Bandera was going on the other day about how when Shimano 7400 came out it changed everything. It is true. It was a giant leap forward in quality. The expiration of Suntour's patent was a very helpful factor as well. The new levels of quality and function quickly trickled down to their midrange lines. At the same time Campagnolo took a huge fall backwards. (syncro did suck) And here we are today...

[/soapbox]
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Old 04-26-19, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
A well set up Campagnolo NR RD should shift quickly and reliably.
This ain't that.

Anybody running derailleur wheels like this on a post-1950s bike?

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Old 04-26-19, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
This ain't that.

Anybody running derailleur wheels like this on a post-1950s bike?

True that. That R not NR. May not be fair to ignore the difference.

I rode a 70s bike with smooth jockey wheel Huret Jubilee derailleurs for a while. It shifted OK - about like campy but maybe a touch more vague. I did wonder about that too when I saw the picture. It might be worth swapping in some toothed wheels. Vintage chains had sideplates that extended pretty high above the rollers. This gave the toothless wheels something to grab. By contrast, modern chains are pretty much flush with the rollers. I suspect they'll work better with teeth. Either that or run a vintage Oro or similar.
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Old 04-26-19, 05:04 PM
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Maybe it's not the derailleur at all. I'm looking at the cogs on the freewheel and it appears the beveled edges are facing outward, which will impact shifting negatively per Sheldon.
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Old 04-26-19, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by CV-6 View Post
At least for me. This is the derailleur in question
$5 and I'll take it off your hands.



Seriously, I've had better experience with Record than NR, for no reason I can discern.
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Old 04-26-19, 05:31 PM
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Anybody running derailleur wheels like this on a post-1950s bike?

Yes and I had problems on my 1968 Legnano. Personally, I think that putting improperly sealed bearings in the pulleys is not a good idea. I will go for the brass bushing every time. I even have a set of NOS Bullseye pullys and have no intention of installing them on anything.

I did switch to idler pulleys with teeth and brass bushings on the Legnano. That set-up worked a bit better but not with a 52/42 set of crank rings. You can see the droop of the chain. Will get it fixed when I get back, this summer...
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Old 04-26-19, 06:28 PM
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Good points about the toothless pulley and especially about the freewheel cogs.

I've worked on a couple of bikes over the years with horrible shifting/selection that turned out to have the "sharp" side of the Suntour cogs facing inward instead of outward.
Flipping the affected cogs pretty much restored my faith in derailers!

As I mentioned earlier, Sedisport (bushingless) chain is very different (read stiffer) from even it's earliest Sachs and SRAM/Sachs successors of the 1990's, which were deliberately made more flexible to work with Hyperglide cogs and modern derailers.

I have a Guerciotti/AlAn Record with C-record rear derailer which shifts like poop with the modern 8s chain I installed.
I will be replacing the chain with Sedisport in lieu of replacing the rear derailer.
As much as I appreciate the benefits of modern chain, such as reduced friction, smoother shifting (depending on the derailer) and reduced lubrication needs, the older Sedisport can be the best choice when using certain older derailers such as the old Record.
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Old 04-26-19, 06:48 PM
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I'm just guessing, but I think proper pulleys would make a world of difference.
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Old 04-26-19, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
The Campy straight parallelogram RDs were just marginally good. Many stuck with them, I think because, of their toughness and maybe they just never got to try better shifting derailleurs with offset top pivots and slant parallelogram designs from Suntour, Shimano and Simplex on their bikes.
It was kinda weird that even during the later 80's Campy insisted on using their already "obsolete" straight parallelogram design on their top of the line C Record and CdA RDs, while their lower model Chorus and Athena RD's had the better shifting offset top pivot, slant parallelogram design....... I think , all in the name of traditional aesthetics......
Campagnolo had the benefit that their products were of durable quality, they would perform the same for a very long time in service. Maybe mediocre, but dependable.

Campagnolo in the early 80's was trying desperately to conjure up a new derailleur design. My proof was a CD I bought of Campagnolo patent applications, some pretty wild stuff, handlebars with hydraulic pistons in them for brakes, and lots of derailleur designs. Very few saw the light of day. Call it hubris, as they were the ones that others wanted to copy for so long but had to wait due to their patents. It was even in their official Italian corporate name. Campagnolo Brevetti Internazionali SpA - Campagnolo international patents, inc.
Deep pride. Shimano was ready to launch the slant parallelogram as soon as the patent ended, adding indexing...
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Old 04-26-19, 08:03 PM
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You wouldn't think the stock smooth pulley wheels would make a difference. But mine shifts an old 5-speed, straight-tooth Regina freewheel just fine with toothed pulleys and a 6-speed chain.

Is that a fresh repaint? Note that after repaint, I had to remove paint where it bolted to hanger so that it could swing.

If you need freewheel or chain details, let me know.

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Old 04-26-19, 08:22 PM
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I find everything shifts better with a chain than without.

It has been a while since I've ridden the Campy Record/NR, and I think always with plastic pulleys. My Colnago ate the original NR derailleur back in the mid 80's, and it was replaced with Ultegra. I did ride another bike around Italy with a Record derailleur, but that bike has been off the the road for some time.

I do find that the new hyperglide shifts much nicer than the old freewheels. However in general with friction shifting, you need to over-shift slightly, then trim back.
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Old 04-27-19, 10:46 AM
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Rather than trying to quote everyone I need to....

Chain: Started with KMC 5-7 speed chain. Moved on to a Sedis and then an 8 speed SRAM. Minor improvement with the 8 speed but still balky

Jockey wheels: As mentioned in the OP, were replaced first thing when I noticed how worn they were. It sounded like the derailleur needed to be trimmed all the time. Replaced with some NOS Campagnolo type wheels. No change.

Freewheel: Tried several different types. If the cogs are wrong on the freewheel in the photo, then every Suntour freewheel I own is assembled wrong from the factory. I tried Maillard, Cyclo, and other Suntour. While a narrower range shifted better, it was still reluctant to engage the larger cogs smoothly.

So my conclusion is that I am asking too much of this old war horse. The goal of the bike was to replicate an early 60s Sauvage Lejeune, have it mostly period correct, and I want to be able to enjoy riding it. I did try a NR on it as part of my testing. I guess it will be the derailleur I use.

Thanks for the assist, all of you.
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Old 04-27-19, 11:28 AM
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All I've ever ridden or raced was Campy; Super Record mostly. That said, I never had any illusions about it's performance compared to Suntour and Shimano stuff; especially when indexed shifting came out. But, it's what I used and you get used to it; as stated it was durable. Back then a climbing freewheel was a 13-21. Most of us upgraded to Simplex retro-friction shifters and Bullseye pulley wheels. I have one bike with old SR on it and it's about to get a newer Campy Ergo group with a compact crank. The old components are going into a presentation/display case so I can remember where I came from. Riding that equipment today in masters racing or fast group rides is akin to bringing a black powder pistol to a shootout.

And that's from a guy with a Campy tattoo
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Old 04-27-19, 02:58 PM
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Funny. My Gran Sport, which predates your Record by a decade, shifts like a charm. Smooth. Quick. Maybe a hair of overshift is necessary.

50/47 front. Regina Gran Sport 16-22 freewheel. Regina Gran Sport chain.

Are you trying to do dumb things like big/big or small/small? If so, don't. With a 5-speed freewheel, you have 6 effective gears. Limited, but twice as much 3.


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Old 04-27-19, 03:22 PM
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Read Frank Berto's comments about the need to overshift-and-correct when downshifting older Campag. derailleurs. This matches my experience with my Bianchi (NR front and rear, 50-42/14-16-18-20-23-26), particularly on the smallest cogs. There is a reason slant parallelograms became nearly ubiquitous as soon as SunTour's patent expired..
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Old 04-27-19, 03:54 PM
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Could the derailleur in question possibly have a weak tension spring? Springs don't last forever.

To some of the other's experiences, before last year I'd never even seen a Campy derailleur in person. Out of curiosity, I put a Nuovo Record with Shimano pulleys on my Moto. Grand Sprint (patent '79) with a 14-24 6 speed Sunrace freewheel, KMC Z chain, and 52/40 up front. It shifts great. No overshifting. I don't cross chain, and the whole system works very smoothly. My only little complaint is that the shift lever bolt tends to work its way loose now and then. I like it as much as my Suntour Cyclone GT. Its gearing limitations are fine with me.
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Old 05-02-19, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by BFisher View Post
Could the derailleur in question possibly have a weak tension spring? Springs don't last forever.
Weak? No. Adjusted too tight? Bingo.

Even though I was resigned to using the NR on it, I couldn't accept the Record derailleur as a paper weight. So I "played with it". And I noticed that the jockey cage was really stiff in movement. Decided to take it apart. Noticed the cage tension was on the maximum hole. So reassembled with it on "medium" hole and tried it. Better, but still hanging up on upshifts a bit. Back off and set the spring in the "minimum" hole. Remount and voila. Reasonably smooth shifting up and down. This was even on the 26T freewheel I had planned on using. I have since decided to use something smaller. Who am I kidding. I won't be doing any climbing with this bike. I am debating on using the Record at all as I guess the bushings are worn as the cage does not hold a vertical plane. Kind of noticeable on the largest cog, not so much as you go down. But for riding about the mostly flat it should be fine. Yes the hanger is square.


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