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Campagnolo Athena 11-speed after 4 years: junk

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Campagnolo Athena 11-speed after 4 years: junk

Old 06-09-20, 04:43 AM
  #1  
ppg677
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Campagnolo Athena 11-speed after 4 years: junk

Just over 4 years ago I reported how thrilled I was about my 1981 Trek 957 outfitted with new paint, new decals, new wheels with pretty silver rims, new leather bar tape, and new gorgeous silver Campagnolo Athena 11-speed components. (Silver unavailable in Record...I don't recall if silver Chorus was an option).

Since then I perhaps have 2500 miles on the bike always ridden in good weather.

Well in the past 2 weeks-- the rear brake caliper stopped returning. I managed to repair that with a deep clean and disassembly. Never had that happen in any of my other dirty/grimy bikes.

But then my left STI shifter started flaking out. I started to investigate by removing the cable and poof, a plastic part just flew off.

The plastic part appears deformed.

What junk. No idea if I'll find a replacement part.

My commuter is equipped with the cheapest Shimano 7-speed STI shifters which are holding up great after years of abuse, rain, dirt, etc.
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Old 06-09-20, 05:07 AM
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Have a look at this link:

https://www.velocipedesalon.com/foru...ers-34788.html

Pay particular attention to the guy in the 2nd post. He's one of the most knowledgeable people on the planet about Campagnolo.
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Old 06-09-20, 06:26 AM
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Check this out:
https://www.campagnolo.com/US/en/Support/support
What kind of warranty does Campagnolo give for its products?
Campagnolo guarantees its products for three years from the date of purchase.
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Old 06-09-20, 06:51 AM
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That kinda fits the business model of designing the product to survive just past the warranty period.
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Old 06-09-20, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
Have a look at this link:

https://www.velocipedesalon.com/foru...ers-34788.html

Pay particular attention to the guy in the 2nd post. He's one of the most knowledgeable people on the planet about Campagnolo.
Another great expert in Ergopower and all else Campy is Peter Chisolm, known as "oldpotatoe" on The Paceline and at times on BF. You can probably find him listed in the Members section here.
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Old 06-09-20, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by ppg677 View Post
Just over 4 years ago I reported how thrilled I was about my 1981 Trek 957 outfitted with new paint, new decals, new wheels with pretty silver rims, new leather bar tape, and new gorgeous silver Campagnolo Athena 11-speed components. (Silver unavailable in Record...I don't recall if silver Chorus was an option).

Since then I perhaps have 2500 miles on the bike always ridden in good weather.

Well in the past 2 weeks-- the rear brake caliper stopped returning. I managed to repair that with a deep clean and disassembly. Never had that happen in any of my other dirty/grimy bikes.

But then my left STI shifter started flaking out. I started to investigate by removing the cable and poof, a plastic part just flew off.

The plastic part appears deformed.

What junk. No idea if I'll find a replacement part.

My commuter is equipped with the cheapest Shimano 7-speed STI shifters which are holding up great after years of abuse, rain, dirt, etc.
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Beautiful bike! My wife's 1997 Terry has Campagnolo Mirage 3x8 controlled by Ergopowers for drop bars, and it has worked flawlessly for 23 years without an overhaul, much tuning, or any replacements. That was Campagnolo's BOTTOM level and it has worked for 23 years. Campagnolo is not in general junk. But they're not perfect.

Her newer 2015 Terry has Athena 3x11, like yours, except that looks like a double compact CT crank in your picture. Mine is still actually a triple, and tuning it up has been an odyssey of several years. I've built a few other bikes with 3x10 systems, so I started to look at it. The shop that built the bike for us and collected the parts is now closed. We had balky shifting after a year, so I thought let's get our installation warrantee honored. It came back with the front mech not aligned properly and not shifting any better than it did before. I know from my previous triple and compact builds that the complex cages of the front derailleurs need to be positioned as Campy says, and it has taken a while to get it working correctly. Shifting down from big ring to middle was a problem, it would always jump to granny, and now it doesn't, it shifts well going down in sequence.

But I haven't had any failures like you showed, or any parts of an Ergo falling off. If you bought your components through a store in the Campagnolo channel, you might be eligible for some warranty coverage. I haven't seen any silver ones on Ebay, but occasionally there are black parts. If you're going to Shimano, I'd be interested in the derailleurs and possibly the compact chainset.
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Old 06-09-20, 08:27 AM
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I think I can still purchase 11-speed Potenza shifters that are compatible. I think I recall that UltraShift parts (Record, Chorus, etc) are not compatible in terms of cable pull?
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Old 06-09-20, 08:33 AM
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Sorry to hear the Athena components aren't holding up after such a short period. I purposely selected Campy Super Record components on my first racing bike in the early 80s since it was race proven. I've ridden the same bike now for 35 years now and never had a problem with any of the components. The only parts I've replaced due to wear are the derailleur cables and brake pads. It still shifts flawlessly and brakes well.

1984 custom frame with Campy Super Record gruppo
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Old 06-09-20, 09:02 AM
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shockingly good looking bike!

that sucks, I have some athena 11 on my Zunow - so far have not had any serious issues... seems very finicky with cable housing to get it super smooth.. but otherwise. But I am also nearing the 4 year mark...
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Old 06-09-20, 09:14 AM
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Combining a shifter with a brake lever in one lightweight package would require plastic parts and extremely intricate and precise adjustment....seems like a recipe for failure. I don't know anything about them since I have always used DT shifters and non-aero levers. Much easier to maintain and repair I suppose.
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Old 06-09-20, 11:18 AM
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Looks like the screw backed out is all. Shouldn't it have had some blue retaining coating on the threads?

Can't it just be screwed back together, this time with a drop of blue LocTite on the screw threads?
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Old 06-09-20, 12:09 PM
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Be like Lance and use a down tube shifter for the front.
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Old 06-09-20, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
Looks like the screw backed out is all. Shouldn't it have had some blue retaining coating on the threads?

Can't it just be screwed back together, this time with a drop of blue LocTite on the screw threads?
The white plastic piece has a slot to fit a metal piece that applies the cranking force. It is now somewhat deformed. It might still work if I can figure out how to put the spring back in it's place before rescrewing.
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Old 06-09-20, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ppg677 View Post
I think I recall that UltraShift parts (Record, Chorus, etc) are not compatible in terms of cable pull?
Don't know if it is cable pull but Branford.com says they are different internals.
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Old 06-09-20, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by branko_76 View Post
Combining a shifter with a brake lever in one lightweight package would require plastic parts and extremely intricate and precise adjustment....seems like a recipe for failure. I don't know anything about them since I have always used DT shifters and non-aero levers. Much easier to maintain and repair I suppose.

It can't be so impossible, it's been done by Campagnolo, Shimano, Sachs, SRAM, and Microshift, just for the ones I can easily think of.
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Old 06-09-20, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ppg677 View Post
I think I can still purchase 11-speed Potenza shifters that are compatible. I think I recall that UltraShift parts (Record, Chorus, etc) are not compatible in terms of cable pull?
You need to be more specific about which two parts, not just groups, are not compatible.
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Old 06-09-20, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Another great expert in Ergopower and all else Campy is Peter Chisolm, known as "oldpotatoe" on The Paceline and at times on BF. You can probably find him listed in the Members section here.
This whole thread is pearl clutching, a couple minutes with google would give him his part and list a more than a few people that can fix it for a couple of 20's.
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Old 06-09-20, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Germany_chris View Post
This whole thread is pearl clutching, a couple minutes with google would give him his part and list a more than a few people that can fix it for a couple of 20's.
I've found the Campagnolo parts catalog, and they only show the major assembly as the replacement part. Basically the entire shifter. Yeah dude, I know I can replace the entire shifter.

https://www.campagnolo.com/media/fil...5_part_A_1.pdf
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Old 06-09-20, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ppg677 View Post
I've found the Campagnolo parts catalog, and they only show the major assembly as the replacement part. Basically the entire shifter. Yeah dude, I know I can replace the entire shifter.

https://www.campagnolo.com/media/fil...5_part_A_1.pdf
Didn't look very hard a post number two did ya.

Replacing the entire lever is a Shimano thing, again there are plenty of people all over the world that would fix it for $40 or less to include some people mentioned in this thread.
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Old 06-09-20, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Germany_chris View Post
Didn't look very hard a post number two did ya.

Replacing the entire lever is a Shimano thing, again there are plenty of people all over the world that would fix it for $40 or less to include some people mentioned in this thread.
Replacing an entire lever is a Campagnolo thing now too.

I did look at the second post . And the Campagnolo parts catalog does indicate that for Record shifters there are parts kits available that contain 8 individual parts. The Campagnolo parts catalog for Athena lists the entire assembly. Moreover I've checked resellers of individual Campagnolo shifter parts like https://www.modernbike.com/campagnolo-shifter-parts

But hey, I do plan on taking the shifter to a Campagnolo expert in a few days (Yellow Jersey bike shop which is a Campagnolo dealer and one of the best vintage and Campagnolo guys in all of the United States). And I suspect he can probably reassemble using the existing deformed white part in a way that functions. And if he tells me that "yeah, I can get a replacement part for that individual piece", I'll be the first to come back and tell you that YOU WERE RIGHT.



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Old 06-09-20, 04:33 PM
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I think the problem is that you referred to them as STI in your original post, and they clearly got insulted in a made-in-Italy kind of way.

Fwiw, I’ve been running several sets of 10-speed and 11-speed Campy ergo grifters on various bikes, some for thousands of miles, and have never had a problem. I have 11-speed Potenza hydro on a new project, so I hope that holds true.
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Old 06-09-20, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Chubby715 View Post
Sorry to hear the Athena components aren't holding up after such a short period. I purposely selected Campy Super Record components on my first racing bike in the early 80s since it was race proven. I've ridden the same bike now for 35 years now and never had a problem with any of the components. The only parts I've replaced due to wear are the derailleur cables and brake pads. It still shifts flawlessly and brakes well.

1984 custom frame with Campy Super Record gruppo
WOW that looks a lot like my custom that got stolen somewhere around 1980. paint color is slightly different (lighter blue) but down to the painted Silca pump... uncanny! tell us more about her?
EDIT: Mine had vertical dropouts. components were a mixture of Zeus 2000 and SR (I liked the Zeus brakes and hubs).
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Old 06-09-20, 04:59 PM
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That shifter is Powershift and yes, it's a poor design internally. The powershift design was changed at some point because the early design had problems. You could rebuild it if you find the part.

The smart thing to do is to buy used Ultrashift Ergos and transfer your silver brake and shift blades over to it. It will work fine with your Athena derailleurs, I have a bike with Athena that I shift with Chorus Ergos.
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Old 06-10-20, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Another great expert in Ergopower and all else Campy is Peter Chisolm, known as "oldpotatoe" on The Paceline and at times on BF. You can probably find him listed in the Members section here.
You are right. I have two sets of wheels built by Peter and another on the way. He also rebuilds my all Ergo shifters as well.
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Old 06-10-20, 05:58 AM
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^^^^^ I had Peter rebuild my Chorus shifters that are now on my Masi build. Good guy to deal with and definitely knows his stuff. Turnaround was pretty quick too, faster than I expected and a very reasonable price too.
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