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Campagnolo Valentino Extra or plain old Shimano?

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Campagnolo Valentino Extra or plain old Shimano?

Old 01-17-12, 10:05 AM
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Campagnolo Valentino Extra or plain old Shimano?

Opinions wanted!!! I'm getting to the end of a complete restoration of a 70's something Torpado luxe and trying to decide whether to use Valentino front and rear derailleurs (the front is pretty cool with the pushrod action) or.... to use pretty much bombproof Shimanos. The bike will never be rare or very collectible but has a nice vintage look to it which would be increased more with the Valentino's. This is going to be a "riding" bike though and probably by other family members so i don't want to end up with something finicky and hard to shift so i'm wondering, from those who have ridden them, how good (or bad) the Valentino extra's actually are on the road.
The Shimano derailleurs i have on hand are Altus and Lark.
I apologize for offending anyone's Japanese on Italian sensibilities.
Thanks Guys.
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Old 01-17-12, 10:14 AM
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The problem I had with Valentino's was that they shift differently on the road than on the stand. If you are actually going to ride the bike, I suggest you use something else. Anything else, really; it's hard to find a worse derailleur than a Valentino.
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Old 01-17-12, 10:19 AM
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Go with the Campy stuff, for sure and do not be too sure when attempting to guess what the value, might or might one day be. I have owned several Luxe models and many of them were valued highly by the people who bought them from me. You would be surprised at how much those lovely ornate old bikes will fetch.

As for user friendliness - Shimano will be the more positive, but anyone can get used to the Old School Campy. Were I you, I would definitely install the Campy transmission and try it out. If you can't accept the performance, it is not much work to swap transmissions.

I know of at least one other person, who is building up a pretty nice Torpado in Manitoba at the moment. Best of luck with the bicycle and your decision.
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Old 01-17-12, 10:47 AM
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But Randy, he's talking about a Valentino! Campy made many great derailleurs, and I have no problem with the ones I've tried (I've ridden countless miles on Nuovo Record equipped bikes) and I do not impugn the many others I have not tried. As for Valentino, yes, I made that mistake, it ended badly, and I won't make it again.
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Old 01-17-12, 10:53 AM
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Agree with Rudi - go Shimano for function. There is NO bling value to Valentino IMO.
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Old 01-17-12, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
The problem I had with Valentino's was that they shift differently on the road than on the stand. If you are actually going to ride the bike, I suggest you use something else. Anything else, really; it's hard to find a worse derailleur than a Valentino.
except maybe the Gran Turismo.
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Old 01-17-12, 11:10 AM
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If you want good, reliable performance, then Shimano is absolutely the way to go. For that final boost to the shifting performance, add a HyperGlide compatible freewheel and chain.
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Old 01-17-12, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
The problem I had with Valentino's was that they shift differently on the road than on the stand. If you are actually going to ride the bike, I suggest you use something else. Anything else, really; it's hard to find a worse derailleur than a Valentino.
Actually, there are a few: Huret Allvit (why do you think Schwinn made those levers so long?), the Campagnolo Grand Tourismo (that long cage touring mechanism that's nothing more than a Valentino scaled up in size), any first generation SunTour indexed, especially the Lambert rear.

While a Shimano Lark is period correct, price range correct, and works way better, putting a European derailleur on a European bike that is pre- or early-bike boom is always classier. And while the Valentino is a bit on the stiff side, they hold up, work decently, and . . . . . . . . . . . no matter how much I hate it, the very existence of the name "Campagnolo" on the body adds to the class. And, you'll certainly get used to it in a few rides. By the way, the front derailleur actually works rather well. Any complaints about a Valentino have always been aimed at the rear.
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Old 01-17-12, 11:12 AM
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But Randy, he's talking about a Valentino! Campy made many great derailleurs, and I have no problem with the ones I've tried (I've ridden countless miles on Nuovo Record equipped bikes) and I do not impugn the many others I have not tried. As for Valentino, yes, I made that mistake, it ended badly, and I won't make it again.
I would never challenge someone's personal experience and sorry to hear that the test ended badly. That said, I have ridden Bottecchia, Bianchi, Torpado and Legnano, all fitted with Valentino, Velox or Extra derailleurs...




...If I were to ride any of those bikes, the way I ride a racing bike, fitted with high end stuff, I would be miserably disappointed. However, I do not expect the entry level offerings to match performance of the higher end stuff.

With that in mind, I learned to appreciate and properly use the entry level vintage stuff. My dump found Legnano was the teacher and I have since been grateful to have learned the lesson. And the lesson was to enjoy a bicycle for its intended purpose.

The Torpado Luxe was a recreational ride, at best. It could be ridden all day long for utilitarian purposes (commuting, errand running or recreational jaunts). But it would not stand up well to hard use. It would not shift as precisely as its better brothers. It did not stop as well as better bikes and tended to be a bit too flexible for me. But it was fun to ride as long as I rode it the way it was supposed to be ridden.

However, I have an advantage over others, perhaps...

I have owned and ridden Torpado bicycles fitted with Gian Robert transmissions. Those chain jumpers helped me to appreciate the entry level Campy offerings...


So, my advice to anyone restoring a bicycle, is to set it up the way it was intended to be set up and give it a try. You can always upgrade, at a later time, if the ride quality offered is less than is acceptable.

Of course, that is all just an old man's opinion.
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Old 01-17-12, 11:45 AM
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Valentino was a silent movie star but did not fare well with the advent of talking pictures! Valentino deraileurs may look okay but are not comparable to shimano love.
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Old 01-17-12, 11:52 AM
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There's a third option: Go Campy but upgrade the derailleurs. Nuovo Record, maybe? If it's a 70's bike it wouldn't be inappropriate.
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Old 01-17-12, 11:54 AM
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Thanks for the opinions guys. My experience has been mainly with Shimano and Simplex so i think out of interests sake alone i'm going to give the Valentino's a shot. This bike will be for recreational use only (as opposed to busting my butt trying to improve my average speed).
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Old 01-17-12, 11:56 AM
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Erm - any particular reason you're only considering these two? They seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum, both aesthetically and functionally. Maybe something in between, like a NR? Or even an older Shimano 600? Decent performance, plenty of vintage looks.

BTW, IMHO a modern ramped-cog freewheel will make any derailleur, especially a vintage one, shift vastly better, which nearly eliminates functionality considerations.
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Old 01-17-12, 11:59 AM
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[QUOTE]
Originally Posted by ctmullins View Post
Erm - any particular reason you're only considering these two? They seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum, both aesthetically and functionally. Maybe something in between, like a NR? Or even an older Shimano 600? Decent performance, plenty of vintage looks.
Simply because those are what i have on hand at the moment ct, if i come across something thats appropriate thats definitely an option.
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Old 01-17-12, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by peter_d View Post
Thanks for the opinions guys. My experience has been mainly with Shimano and Simplex so i think out of interests sake alone i'm going to give the Valentino's a shot. This bike will be for recreational use only (as opposed to busting my butt trying to improve my average speed).
I rode a bike with Valentino front a rear throughout my teen years. I put that bike through hell, going over jumps, along trails in the woods, through deep puddles and never had a problem. I always thought they worked great and considered myself lucky to have them.
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Old 01-17-12, 12:11 PM
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The Valentino's look nice. And I really wanted to get it to work, but they never worked well. I don't think I"ll go lower than the Grand Comp.
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Old 01-17-12, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by lee kenney View Post
Valentino was a silent movie star but did not fare well with the advent of talking pictures!...
Rudolph Valentino never appeared in a talking picture. He died August 23, 1926, well over a year before the debut of the Jazz Singer, which was the film that started the conversion to talking pictures, that set cinema back several years.
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Old 01-17-12, 02:12 PM
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By the way, on the subject of terrible derailleurs, I hope no one considers me a derailleur snob. I have a Resilion derailleur on one of my bikes, and a Cyclo Benelux on another (though it is still in the stand; haven't ridden it yet). Many would consider either of these worse than a Valentino. They don't have a wide range, they make it wheel removal/re-installation a challenge to say the least, and they are especially difficult to adjust. But once set up and adjusted they shift fine. And this is the key point: they stay in adjustment.
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Old 01-17-12, 04:53 PM
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Question - could someone fill me in as to how much worse Valentino is in comparison to Nuovo Record?

I have yet to experience the former, but I note that the two RD's share the same geometry. Is Valentino "terrible" in comparison to Nuovo Record, or has it achieved its status by virtue of shifting no better or worse than its aluminum cousin?

-Kurt
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Old 01-17-12, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
except maybe the Gran Turismo.
+1 due to Gran Turismo experience.
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Old 01-17-12, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Question - could someone fill me in as to how much worse Valentino is in comparison to Nuovo Record?

I have yet to experience the former, but I note that the two RD's share the same geometry. Is Valentino "terrible" in comparison to Nuovo Record, or has it achieved its status by virtue of shifting no better or worse than its aluminum cousin?
These are actually the only two Campag derailleurs I have experience with. In that very limited experience the Valentino shifted pretty poorly in comparison. BUT (and this is a big but) the Valentino was really poorly taken care of and was a mess. I have since cleaned it up but never put it on a bike in a cleaned up state, so I don't know how it would really perform. That said, just due to the way it's constructed I can't imagine it shifting as well as NR.
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Old 01-17-12, 05:08 PM
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Question - could someone fill me in as to how much worse Valentino is in comparison to Nuovo Record?

I have yet to experience the former, but I note that the two RD's share the same geometry. Is Valentino "terrible" in comparison to Nuovo Record, or has it achieved its status by virtue of shifting no better or worse than its aluminum cousin?

-Kurt
Performance, for me, is not just how the derailleur shifts. Ease of installation and tuning is a performance factor, as is the component's propensity to stay in tune.

As for shifting comparison, it is difficult to compare. Both the NR and the Valentino shifted good enough, but the NR tended to feel more positive, delivering shifts faster and with more precision. But that is just a feeling. In truth, I have no yard stick to measure the actual difference. I only know that I would not put too much faith in the Valentino for purposes of competition.

As for someone's comment on the Benelux. Pretty much the same feel as the Valentino, as I recall, but it has been a long time since I rode the bicycle the Benelux was fitted to.


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Old 01-17-12, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Question - could someone fill me in as to how much worse Valentino is in comparison to Nuovo Record?

I have yet to experience the former, but I note that the two RD's share the same geometry. Is Valentino "terrible" in comparison to Nuovo Record, or has it achieved its status by virtue of shifting no better or worse than its aluminum cousin?

-Kurt
Kurt:

My experience is with the NR versus the Gran Turismo, but I honestly had no issues with the GT until the derailleur took a hit, then it never lined up and shifted correctly again requiring replacement with a then-new Shimano Crane GS rear derailleur. Furthermore, the GT was heavy and seemed to require more energy to shift. (Schwinn shift levers resembling beer draught handles as compared to the NR's down tube shifters.). My experience with the Nuovo Record and the first-generation Campy Rally have been excellent with flawless operation, keeping in mind this is 1970s equipment. I'm sure that compared to any new equipment, even the Nuovo Record will seem clunky and crude.

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Old 01-17-12, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Question - could someone fill me in as to how much worse Valentino is in comparison to Nuovo Record?

I have yet to experience the former, but I note that the two RD's share the same geometry. Is Valentino "terrible" in comparison to Nuovo Record, or has it achieved its status by virtue of shifting no better or worse than its aluminum cousin?

-Kurt
BTDT.

The difference between NR and Valentino is like the difference between a Huffy and a PX10.
The Valentino's performance is that bad - clunky, heavy and uncertain.
Conversely, I would class the NR (in terms of performance) with a Simplex Criterium - It WORKS!



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Old 01-17-12, 05:55 PM
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I've ridden more than a few Valentino's in my lifetime (there's one set currently sitting in the parts department, waiting for the proper frame to put it on), and can best describe the action as a somewhat stiff Simplex Prestige. It shifts, and once you've ridden it a few days, shifting IS predictable. It has the classic old derailleur action of forcing you to slightly over-shift on the lever to get it to change cogs, then adjust the lever back slightly to get the cage in line with the sprocket currently in use. Which is another way of saying, it acts like just about every derailleur did back then (the Simplex Criterium is the only exception I can think of right now) until the appearance of SunTour V's and Luxe-V's which introduced the cycling world to the concept of virtual-indexing without the clicks.

There is nothing wrong with the Valentino as a cheap derailleur - as long as you keep in mind when it was developed, and what the competition was at the time. Derailleur's in general back then were somewhat sloppy mechanisms compared to what we got used to from the Japanese. Having been well used to late sixties European derailleurs, I have to admit I was absolutely astounded the first time I took out my Lenton with the Cyclo Benelux Mk. 7 on the rear and discovered that I was doing less fiddling with the lever after shifts than I'd normally do with some cheap European derailleurs. Admittedly, it was helped by being limited to the four speed corncob I'm running, but still I didn't expect anything near that good.

And yes, a Grand Sport (mid-60's vintage) is a much nicer shifting derailleur than the Valentino, but no better in accuracy between shifts. And it definitely doesn't have any more feel.

That much loved 'snap' between shifts seems to be a SunTour invention.
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