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anyone have experience with late 80's campy athena?

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anyone have experience with late 80's campy athena?

Old 10-02-09, 10:01 PM
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bitt3n
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anyone have experience with late 80's campy athena?

I've seen a couple of vintage bikes advertised with late 80's Athena that I would have to buy sight unseen, and I'm wondering whether anyone has a bike with it, and whether it's markedly worse than Record/Chorus. It certainly looks nice enough.
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Old 10-02-09, 10:46 PM
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Other than recurring nightmares of trying to get Synchro II to index properly, not really.
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Old 10-02-09, 11:39 PM
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I have no experience trying Athena. Shopping for a bike in 1992 the seller told be that a marked difference could be noticed between the Athena and Chorus moreso than between Record and Chorus. I went for DuraAce. for what that's worth.

If I came upon a bike that I liked, its having Athena would not disway me. The slightly less sharp performance as noted , more in the rear der. than any other single place could be addressed by an '88 or so Record which are easy to find and not high priced. Those I've used on other things. The cranks, brakes as far as wt. and stiffness were not viewed as being significantly inferior, regarding Athena back then. At the time, most had a fairly good impression of it, priced ever so slightly less than Ultegra and were often viewed to be more appealing on Italian bikes.
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Old 10-03-09, 06:22 AM
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I have two Athena cranksets with the specified Athena Pedals. Interestingly enough, Campy required the pedal threaded shaft be a minimum of 15mm. Longer than other Campy pedals.

They are top notch pieces. The cranksets are very beautiful and the pedals are incredibly SMOOTH!! I'd go with them any time I needed a crankset. Right up there with Record.

BTW, they take a 111mm bb. Veloce AC-H or others fit the bill. There are even servicable Campy BBs in the 111mm variety.

Steve

Last edited by steve-d; 10-03-09 at 06:30 AM.
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Old 10-03-09, 06:27 AM
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Here are some pics of my Athena crankset (53-39) on my Raleigh Comp GS. Also, a pic of the Athena pedals. I used the Veloce AC-H (alloy cups, hollow spindle) version of the 111mm bb.

Steve
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Old 10-03-09, 06:50 AM
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I never owned Athena but sold and service several bikes with it. as the other responders said other then the Synchro it was fabulous stuff. the brakes were pretty massive for sidepulls and stopped well. I always prefered the look and more moderate power of the Chorus brakes though. run the Synchro in friction or look for the retro friction shifters from simplex or Campi and you will be very happy with Athena
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Old 10-03-09, 10:08 AM
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cool thanks for the advice. just out of curiosity, where would Shimano 600 of that era fit into the mix (ie better or worse than Athena/Chorus)? I've heard it's reasonably good, but have never tried it.
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Old 10-03-09, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by bitt3n View Post
cool thanks for the advice. just out of curiosity, where would Shimano 600 of that era fit into the mix (ie better or worse than Athena/Chorus)? I've heard it's reasonably good, but have never tried it.
As I indicated earlier ... 600 = Ultegra, it "works" as good as Chorus, better than Athena by most accounts. Ultegra was the second most pricey Shimano, almost nothing "beats" Ultegra in that time frame .. almost. I reckon that you should have the idea by now.
Record, Croce d'une, Chorus, Athena in that oder, late 80's early 90's
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Old 10-03-09, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by monogodo View Post
Other than recurring nightmares of trying to get Synchro II to index properly, not really.
Synchro II is no problem at all on this end , works perfectly here .


Cheers
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Old 07-30-20, 03:41 PM
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How do you tell the difference between 41 date code (1988) Chorus and Athena cranks if the arms are 170mm (a size shared by the two groups)?

​​​​​​Not a joke. Really. I know it sounds like a setup to a dedicated, maybe horrible c&v joke, but I really don't know.
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Old 07-30-20, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by soderbiker View Post
Synchro II is no problem at all on this end , works perfectly here .


Cheers

My experience as well!

With Synchro, using modern chain (perhaps even 9s chain on the 7s freewheels) is one thing that can make everything work better than it ever could back in the day.

The shifter internals must have some lube in there that isn't dried out. A shot of oil always works for me.

The big thing is that the indexing ring in the shifter actually match the freewheel cog spacing!

Athena is actually my favorite Syncho-II 7s variant, seems to handle a 13-26t freewheel no problem.

Athena is I believe also the very first Campagnolo rear derailer to feature any degree of slanted parallelogram, and they made a beautiful derailer in the process.
A lower-tier Xenon gruppo utilized the indexing geometry and derailer slant of the Athena, but all of their other gruppos had a visibly different derailer geometry.
I've run both of these gruppos with Sunrace 13-25t freewheels and Shimano 9s chain with very good results.
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Old 07-30-20, 05:13 PM
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I had an ‘89 Bianchi Giro with 7 speed Athena. Shifting was great. I’m not sure about a weight difference but I think functionally comparable to C Record and IMO biggest different is aesthetics, where the C Record stands out. My experience with Syncro has generally been very good. On that bike I used a KMC 8 speed chain and a Sachs Aris freewheel.

I’ve seen some Athena Syncro shifters on eBay which have a black plastic part and they look cheap, up the ones on my bike were all metal and my guess is same for all groups in that era.
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Old 07-30-20, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
How do you tell the difference between 41 date code (1988) Chorus and Athena cranks if the arms are 170mm (a size shared by the two groups)?

​​​​​​Not a joke. Really. I know it sounds like a setup to a dedicated, maybe horrible c&v joke, but I really don't know.
I believe Athena had self extracting crank bolts, Chorus did not. Going by memory, so I could be wrong.
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Old 07-30-20, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jiangshi View Post
I believe Athena had self extracting crank bolts, Chorus did not. Going by memory, so I could be wrong.
Other way around - Chorus had the self extracting crank bolts, Athena did not. BUT, 1st gen Chorus cranks did not have self extracting crank bolts as far as I'm aware.

If that doesn't help, the finish on the Athena was dull compared with the nice silver of the Chorus. This is wrong, sorry.

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Old 07-30-20, 05:47 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

Originally Posted by P!N20 View Post
1st gen Chorus cranks did not have self extracting crank bolts.
Correct. I'm looking at 1988, so, first gen.

the finish on the Athena was dull compared with the nice silver of the Chorus.
Ahh. That's interesting. Velobase pics for Athena look the same as Chorus -- shiny and beautiful:

https://velobase.com/ViewComponent.as...8d23f&Enum=115

.

edit: I may have figured it out if the dust caps give an indication. Mine have a 5mm hole for an allen key like the Velobase pics for Chorus:

https://velobase.com/ViewComponent.as...0c73b&Enum=115

... not the two pin hole caps in the Velobase Athena pics.

Last edited by SurferRosa; 07-30-20 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 07-30-20, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Correct. I'm looking at 1988, so, first gen.
That's easy then, the Chorus cranks had a raised profile around the crank bolt hole.

Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Ahh. That's interesting. Velobase pics for Athena look the same as Chorus -- shiny and beautiful.

https://velobase.com/ViewComponent.as...8d23f&Enum=115
.
Actually that's not right, I'm thinking of Veloce, sorry.
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Old 07-30-20, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by P!N20 View Post
That's easy then, the Chorus cranks had a raised profile around the crank bolt hole.
Hmmm... Can you tell by these two pics of my crank?





.
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Old 07-30-20, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Hmmm... Can you tell by these two pics of my crank?
Yeah that's 1st gen Chorus, baby!
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Old 07-31-20, 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Hmmm... Can you tell by these two pics of my crank?





.
Very timely post as I have a pair of these cranks. They are to be fitted to a frame that has not arrived yet, so I don't know if the bottom bracket will be English or Italian threaded, but once I know that I'm trying to find what axle length I need.

Mine have the 51 code on the right side crank arm, so assume these are from a year later, 1989?. Out of interest what number is stamped in the box on your left side crank arm? Mine has 71, why the difference and does anyone know what that signifies?

Velobase says these cranks use a 111 mm BB axle instead of the 102mm for the later generation Chorus. I also note that in the comments on Velobase for these cranks someone says the earlier version had "distinctive curved arm with obvious flare at pedal end; other similar models do not seem to be as flared". I thought maybe this flare would explain the longer axle, but mine don't seem to be more flared than the later Chorus, so I'm still not 100% which axle length I need. SurferRosa have you fitted these to a bike yet? And if yes what BB did you need?

Here's a pic next to a later gen Chorus for comparison of the arms.

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Old 07-31-20, 02:58 AM
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I think my mum had used it
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Old 07-31-20, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by botty kayer View Post
I also note that in the comments on Velobase for these cranks someone says the earlier version had "distinctive curved arm with obvious flare at pedal end; other similar models do not seem to be as flared". I thought maybe this flare would explain the longer axle, but mine don't seem to be more flared than the later Chorus, so I'm still not 100% which axle length I need.
The ‘flare’ that the commenter was commenting on is seen from looking at the cranks directly at the face, not from the side, so it has no bearing on spindle length. Having said that, it’s a subtle difference, not really an identifier.
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Old 07-31-20, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by botty kayer View Post
Very timely post as I have a pair of these cranks. They are to be fitted to a frame that has not arrived yet, so I don't know if the bottom bracket will be English or Italian threaded, but once I know that I'm trying to find what axle length I need.

Mine have the 51 code on the right side crank arm, so assume these are from a year later, 1989?. Out of interest what number is stamped in the box on your left side crank arm? Mine has 71, why the difference and does anyone know what that signifies?

Velobase says these cranks use a 111 mm BB axle instead of the 102mm for the later generation Chorus. I also note that in the comments on Velobase for these cranks someone says the earlier version had "distinctive curved arm with obvious flare at pedal end; other similar models do not seem to be as flared". I thought maybe this flare would explain the longer axle, but mine don't seem to be more flared than the later Chorus, so I'm still not 100% which axle length I need. SurferRosa have you fitted these to a bike yet? And if yes what BB did you need?

Here's a pic next to a later gen Chorus for comparison of the arms.
Yes it is 111 or 112 symetrical. Chorus was huge departure from other CampI cranks with it's super low profile design. IMHO the Chorus group and Sheriff Star hubs were the most beautiful parts ever made by Campi
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Old 07-31-20, 07:39 AM
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[QUOTE=Bianchigirll;21616613 IMHO the Chorus group and Sheriff Star hubs were the most beautiful parts ever made by Campi[/QUOTE]

I think so too.
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Old 07-31-20, 07:41 AM
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I have an original Athena equipped bike that I bought new in 1988? That was a long time ago.
Athena is very well made, jewel quality finish and it has wonderful asthmatics.
lt was the entry level group so it is heavier than Chorus, C-record.
Athena functions as well as any Campy from that era. It would probably last forever but will never shift as well as Shimano 105 from that same period.
I personally would not trade it for 600 or 105 because I am just a fan of that era of Campy parts.
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Old 07-31-20, 10:42 AM
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When I first built up my Ciöcc in 1992 I used Athena, though with index DT shifters. Over time I replaced the derailleurs with Record and put Ergos on it, but that wasn't because the Athena didn't work well. I had zero complaints about the function of Athena and I felt that it looked good as well. I don't really think that the Record stuff worked any better but it had the cachet.

Originally Posted by botty kayer View Post
Very timely post as I have a pair of these cranks. They are to be fitted to a frame that has not arrived yet, so I don't know if the bottom bracket will be English or Italian threaded, but once I know that I'm trying to find what axle length I need.

Mine have the 51 code on the right side crank arm, so assume these are from a year later, 1989?. Out of interest what number is stamped in the box on your left side crank arm? Mine has 71, why the difference and does anyone know what that signifies?

Velobase says these cranks use a 111 mm BB axle instead of the 102mm for the later generation Chorus. I also note that in the comments on Velobase for these cranks someone says the earlier version had "distinctive curved arm with obvious flare at pedal end; other similar models do not seem to be as flared". I thought maybe this flare would explain the longer axle, but mine don't seem to be more flared than the later Chorus, so I'm still not 100% which axle length I need. SurferRosa have you fitted these to a bike yet? And if yes what BB did you need?
111mm is correct.
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