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Campagnolo Athena vs. Potenza

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Campagnolo Athena vs. Potenza

Old 06-10-17, 04:40 PM
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AthensBikr
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Campagnolo Athena vs. Potenza

Hi all - I'm currently preparing to build up a new steel road bike (Columbus tubes) and was hoping to get some opinions to help me choose a groupset. I am debating between Athena and Potenza. I really do prefer the aesthetics (shape, material, silver color) of the Athena RD and feel it would be a better fit with the vintage look I'm aiming for. However, I don't want to invest in the Athena if the performance of the Potenza is significantly better. I haven't found much information out there and plan to start acquiring parts in the next couple of days. I'd greatly appreciate any input! Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-10-17, 04:50 PM
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IME, the performance is the same across the board. The feel is different as the materials are different. That's about it.
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Old 06-10-17, 05:09 PM
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I have a couple of Athena 11 bikes, bit have not ridden Potenza. From what I've read, though, there does not seem to be a significant, or even notable, difference in performance.

I'm looking to build up a bike soon myself, and was hoping to get an Athena carbon groupset at a disco'd/clearance price, ut no such luck. In fact, the Athena groupsets I've seen still available are all more expensive than Potenza, and about the same as new Chorus, so if I were inclined to pay that much, I'd obviously go Chorus, but I'm not, so it'll probably be Potenza for me.

The stiffer, easier to service crankset is a welcome piece of Potenza, but I dislike the mixed metal/composite derailleur, and really dislike that it's not upgradeable with new, higher-line bits as from Chorus or Record. That's particularly of interest to me for the shifters, because I do like the multiple downshift feature of those groups, which neither Athena nor Potenza have, but I was able to add to Athena with a relatively inexpensive Chorus brifter swap.

Anyway, if you run across a good deal on Athena carbon, lemme know!
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Old 06-10-17, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by AthensBikr View Post
Hi all - I'm currently preparing to build up a new steel road bike (Columbus tubes) and was hoping to get some opinions to help me choose a groupset. I am debating between Athena and Potenza. I really do prefer the aesthetics (shape, material, silver color) of the Athena RD and feel it would be a better fit with the vintage look I'm aiming for. However, I don't want to invest in the Athena if the performance of the Potenza is significantly better. I haven't found much information out there and plan to start acquiring parts in the next couple of days. I'd greatly appreciate any input! Thanks in advance.
Potenza is the replacement for Athena.

Key differences are:
- Potenza has a different style of Power Torque crank which is easily removed. The Athena crank is the much maligned older Power Torque style which, once it goes in, is very, very difficult to remove if you are a DIY mechanic. The Potenza crank is also about to be replaced with an Ultra Torque version and Power Torque will be phased out forever (to everyone's great delight).

- Potenza introduced the 11-32 cassette (although this still works if you use the Athena triple rear derailleur).

- Potenza moved from 5-bolt cranks to 4-bolts. Depends on what style you prefer, but much of a muchness and replacements are plentiful for both (although there's not many silver 4-bolt options yet).

- Potenza does not have a triple option, Athena does.

Depending on how soon the build is, it could be worth keeping an eye out for the polished silver Campagnolo Centaur group being released in September.

Last edited by raisinberry777; 06-10-17 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 06-10-17, 06:22 PM
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I just built up/renewed my 1987 Bianchi with Athena 11 a few months ago, and I don't think you will be disappointed. I think the quality compares favorably to Ultegra, if that helps. (That is the closest comparison I have.) Crank installation is easy. Crank extraction is definitely by far the low point.

I managed to find an Athena triple crank, which for me was a big plus. (Most people probably wouldn't want one.)

Last edited by wgscott; 06-10-17 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 06-10-17, 06:35 PM
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You can't go wrong with either group; but if you prefer the aesthetics of the Athena, then go for it.
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Old 06-10-17, 09:30 PM
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i'll check again, i thought i heard (or read) Centaur is being re-released???

edit:
https://www.campagnolo.com/US/en/Cam...ntaur_groupset

re-edit: such a deal on Chorus.
https://www.merlincycles.com/campagn...017-71985.html

Last edited by Wildwood; 06-10-17 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 06-11-17, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post

The stiffer, easier to service crankset is a welcome piece of Potenza, but I dislike the mixed metal/composite derailleur, and really dislike that it's not upgradeable with new, higher-line bits as from Chorus or Record. That's particularly of interest to me for the shifters, because I do like the multiple downshift feature of those groups, which neither Athena nor Potenza have, but I was able to add to Athena with a relatively inexpensive Chorus brifter swap.
2 errors / misconceptions in here.
The Potenza was never designed to work the with the Chorus shifters, or vice versa. In come cases the RD will work with the shifters but it is much more "picky" to set up and if there is any complication in the cable runs (through the bars, through the frame, etc) it can be very, very temperamental. Once wear and tear / dirt / corrosion sets in (especially in the cable system) indexing becomes still more temperamental and can become impossible to correctly set - the rear derailleur return spring in Athena only generates 900g (max) of force where The Chorus / Record / Super Record spring is rated at 1.25 kg ... this is so that there is enough return tension on the cable to correctly operate the UltraShift lever. The Athena RD, apart from early versisns made in 2009/10, was designed for the PowerShift lever introduced in Athena in MY 2011.

Conversely, if the CH / RE / SR RD is used with the Potenza lever, reduced service life in the lever results because the escapement mechanism in PowerShift was not specc'd to work with the higher return spring tensions of the high-range derailleurs.

If users want to disregard the above advice and mix-and-match, it will *work* in most cases - the question is always how well, and for how long ...

Older pattern CH / RE / SR rear gears with the same cable pull ratio as Athena are still available, they are now sold as spare parts rather than as groupset items and have been since 2015.
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Old 06-11-17, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by gfk_velo View Post
2 errors / misconceptions in here.
The Potenza was never designed to work the with the Chorus shifters, or vice versa. In come cases the RD will work with the shifters but it is much more "picky" to set up and if there is any complication in the cable runs (through the bars, through the frame, etc) it can be very, very temperamental. Once wear and tear / dirt / corrosion sets in (especially in the cable system) indexing becomes still more temperamental and can become impossible to correctly set - the rear derailleur return spring in Athena only generates 900g (max) of force where The Chorus / Record / Super Record spring is rated at 1.25 kg ... this is so that there is enough return tension on the cable to correctly operate the UltraShift lever. The Athena RD, apart from early versisns made in 2009/10, was designed for the PowerShift lever introduced in Athena in MY 2011.

Conversely, if the CH / RE / SR RD is used with the Potenza lever, reduced service life in the lever results because the escapement mechanism in PowerShift was not specc'd to work with the higher return spring tensions of the high-range derailleurs.

If users want to disregard the above advice and mix-and-match, it will *work* in most cases - the question is always how well, and for how long ...

Older pattern CH / RE / SR rear gears with the same cable pull ratio as Athena are still available, they are now sold as spare parts rather than as groupset items and have been since 2015.
This is good info. I (mistakenly) thought there was more compatibility with campy stuff than this. Is there a good source for figuring out compatibility online? Does campy's website have this kind of info even for older parts?
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Old 06-11-17, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
This is good info. I (mistakenly) thought there was more compatibility with campy stuff than this. Is there a good source for figuring out compatibility online? Does campy's website have this kind of info even for older parts?
+1

Yeah--I was going to say the same thing. Good to know all of this.
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Old 06-11-17, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by raisinberry777 View Post
- Potenza has a different style of Power Torque crank which is easily removed. The Athena crank is the much maligned older Power Torque style which, once it goes in, is very, very difficult to remove if you are a DIY mechanic. The Potenza crank is also about to be replaced with an Ultra Torque version and Power Torque will be phased out forever (to everyone's great delight).

- Potenza introduced the 11-32 cassette (although this still works if you use the Athena triple rear derailleur).
Couple of errors / misconceptions in here.

Potenza HO will have a modified version of UltraTorque but Potenza PT will persist in the "normal" version of the groupset through 2018 and possibly beyond (although the HO version of the crankset is designed for compatibility with non-hydraulic brake groupsets going forwards).

PT is no harder to remove than UT if you have the right tools, which are not expensive. Many consumers hit problems because they didn't use the right type of puller, failed to remove the washer under the fixing bolt or the original assembly was incorrectly carried out. We have removed literally 100s of PT cranks and never had an issue. There are good third party tools available for this job from VAR and Cyclus. The Park Tool puller, is however, not very good and had never been recommended by Campagnolo. In use there is no difference in durability between UT and PT.

Whether a RD will handle a specific max size of sprocket is only partly related to chain wrap, which is what you are increasing by using a medium cage RD. Another important factor and in this case the decider, is the path taken by the top jocket wheel and how close it can stay to the cassette as it moves across the cassette towards the harder gears, specifically in the mid-range where precison of shift has to be at it's greatest.

The Potenza RD movement is designed so that it more closely tracks the "shape" of the cassette, so maintaining a closer relationship of the top jockey and the sprockets. You can set an Athena mid-cage RD to work with the wide cassette, it's true - in some cases it works tolerably well but with wear and tear, especially in the chain but also with an inaccurately set rear hanger, it can become rather more hit-and-miss, especially under load. The Potenza RD will track more accurately and shift better under all circumstances, provide it is correctly set up.

It's been pointed our before it in this forum but it probably bears repeating ... if you mix-and-match Campagnolo components in combinations that Campagnolo don't recommend, you may find yourself voiding your warranty, in exactly the same way as you would with Shimano, SRAM etc ... and whilst many work-arounds can work for some users, they don't always work predictably and getting them to work often relies on the accuracy / skill / experience level of the mechanic. They nearly always exact a price in accuracy of function and tend to be more maintenance heavy.
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Old 06-11-17, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by gfk_velo View Post

It's been pointed our before it in this forum but it probably bears repeating ... if you mix-and-match Campagnolo components in combinations that Campagnolo don't recommend, you may find yourself voiding your warranty, in exactly the same way as you would with Shimano, SRAM etc ... and whilst many work-arounds can work for some users, they don't always work predictably and getting them to work often relies on the accuracy / skill / experience level of the mechanic. They nearly always exact a price in accuracy of function and tend to be more maintenance heavy.
Perhaps you would be so kind as to provide a rundown of what potential mix n'match pitfalls are? Is it safe to say that mostly all Ch/Record/SR mech components are all interchangeable?
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Old 06-11-17, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by gfk_velo View Post
Couple of errors / misconceptions in here.

Potenza HO will have a modified version of UltraTorque but Potenza PT will persist in the "normal" version of the groupset through 2018 and possibly beyond (although the HO version of the crankset is designed for compatibility with non-hydraulic brake groupsets going forwards).

PT is no harder to remove than UT if you have the right tools, which are not expensive. Many consumers hit problems because they didn't use the right type of puller, failed to remove the washer under the fixing bolt or the original assembly was incorrectly carried out. We have removed literally 100s of PT cranks and never had an issue. There are good third party tools available for this job from VAR and Cyclus. The Park Tool puller, is however, not very good and had never been recommended by Campagnolo. In use there is no difference in durability between UT and PT.

Whether a RD will handle a specific max size of sprocket is only partly related to chain wrap, which is what you are increasing by using a medium cage RD. Another important factor and in this case the decider, is the path taken by the top jocket wheel and how close it can stay to the cassette as it moves across the cassette towards the harder gears, specifically in the mid-range where precison of shift has to be at it's greatest.

The Potenza RD movement is designed so that it more closely tracks the "shape" of the cassette, so maintaining a closer relationship of the top jockey and the sprockets. You can set an Athena mid-cage RD to work with the wide cassette, it's true - in some cases it works tolerably well but with wear and tear, especially in the chain but also with an inaccurately set rear hanger, it can become rather more hit-and-miss, especially under load. The Potenza RD will track more accurately and shift better under all circumstances, provide it is correctly set up.

It's been pointed our before it in this forum but it probably bears repeating ... if you mix-and-match Campagnolo components in combinations that Campagnolo don't recommend, you may find yourself voiding your warranty, in exactly the same way as you would with Shimano, SRAM etc ... and whilst many work-arounds can work for some users, they don't always work predictably and getting them to work often relies on the accuracy / skill / experience level of the mechanic. They nearly always exact a price in accuracy of function and tend to be more maintenance heavy.
Would depend on where you live, and who you buy from.

I don't know what the right tools cost in the UK....but the Park Tool CBP-3 is $60USD online, and the CBP-5 is $65USD online....Which exceeds the US street value of the Veloce crankset, and the Athena crankset, and if you owe tax or S&H probably exceeds the value of the Potenza PT crank. BTW the Cyclus extractor you mention costs 3X what the Park does plus shipping and import duties, and the VAR costs just as much as the Park plus shipping and import duties....AFAIK both must be imported from the EU, as niether is sold domestically this side of the pond.


When the tools cost as much or more than their specific parts....is when the "expensive" line gets tripped IMHO, which is where lots of the negative attitude towards PowerTorque parts comes from in the USA specifically.

Last edited by Marcus_Ti; 06-11-17 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 06-11-17, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
This is good info. I (mistakenly) thought there was more compatibility with campy stuff than this. Is there a good source for figuring out compatibility online? Does campy's website have this kind of info even for older parts?
The best thing to do is contact either the Service Centre in your market, or contact Campagnolo directly via the www.campagnolo.com website - they either answer directly or forward the query on to the relevant SC.

You can also make a note of Frequently Asked Questions - Campagnolo - Velotech Cycling Ltd - Velotech Modular Industry standard cycle mechanics training and Campagnolo Approved Service Centre (UK) where you will find some info on compatibility posted by my colleagues (all of whom are, like me, Campagnolo-factory trained and experienced in working with all the main brands of equipment) or myself. There is other information with regard to Campagnolo technical matters posted there too, and Campagnolo themselves check the accuracy of our posts from time to time ...

I will openly admit that we tend towards the conservative insofar as we are offering advice for which we know we could be held accountable - so as a user, if you spend money on the basis of advice we give you, we have to be 100% sure that provided elements like frame specification are correctly adhered to, the equipment will work in a way that Campagnolo would regard as acceptable. They test and test and test - and it's on the basis of that wide range of test results that we offer our advice - not on the basis of "well, I tried this once and it worked for me" ...
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Old 06-11-17, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by gfk_velo View Post
2 errors / misconceptions in here.
The Potenza was never designed to work the with the Chorus shifters, or vice versa. In come cases the RD will work with the shifters but it is much more "picky" to set up and if there is any complication in the cable runs (through the bars, through the frame, etc) it can be very, very temperamental. Once wear and tear / dirt / corrosion sets in (especially in the cable system) indexing becomes still more temperamental and can become impossible to correctly set - the rear derailleur return spring in Athena only generates 900g (max) of force where The Chorus / Record / Super Record spring is rated at 1.25 kg ... this is so that there is enough return tension on the cable to correctly operate the UltraShift lever. The Athena RD, apart from early versisns made in 2009/10, was designed for the PowerShift lever introduced in Athena in MY 2011.

Conversely, if the CH / RE / SR RD is used with the Potenza lever, reduced service life in the lever results because the escapement mechanism in PowerShift was not specc'd to work with the higher return spring tensions of the high-range derailleurs.

If users want to disregard the above advice and mix-and-match, it will *work* in most cases - the question is always how well, and for how long ...

Older pattern CH / RE / SR rear gears with the same cable pull ratio as Athena are still available, they are now sold as spare parts rather than as groupset items and have been since 2015.
Thanks for offering to clarify my misconceptions, @gfk_velo; I know you're a pro Campagnolo service person, so you're info is as good as gold to me.

I hear what you're saying regarding spring rate compatibility, and note it. I've been lucky, I suppose, although I admit that I was seeing some downgraded shift performance at the end of last season, but I'd just chalked it up to old cables, and have a set waiting to go on. That's probably manifestation of the issue you describe.

I'm not sure what the second misconception was, because you are affirming that the Potenza RD is non-compat with up-line shifters, which is what I had said. Or did you mean to comment on the crank stiffness and serviceability comment, or mixed material derailleur comment and forgot? Your corrections are always welcomed.
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Old 06-11-17, 10:12 AM
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It's great to have a Campy resource on the forum!
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Old 06-11-17, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Perhaps you would be so kind as to provide a rundown of what potential mix n'match pitfalls are? Is it safe to say that mostly all Ch/Record/SR mech components are all interchangeable?
Broadly it breaks down like this:

Shifters and derialleurs

  • Pre 2015 11s components - All CH / RE / SR cross-compatible.
  • Athena is effectively stand-alone after MY2011.
  • Post 2015 11s components - All CH / re / SR cross-compatible (some special conditions will apply with Hydraulic (H11) FD / crankset compatibility).
  • Potenza is effectively stand-alone (some special conditions will apply with Hydraulic (HO) FD / crankset compatibility).
  • New Centaur 11s will be effectively stand-alone.
Cranksets, cables, brakes and chains.
All 11s is interchangeable, pre 2015 cranksets do not shift as well as post 2015 cranksets with 2015 and later lever / FDs systems. There will be some caveats with HO and H11 cranksets.

Cassettes

11s cassettes are all cross compatible *but* attention needs to be paid to some range restrictions -
  • 11-29 not suitable for pre 2015 RDs
  • 11-32 not suitable for pre 2015 RDs or post 2015 RDs without medium cage (will be available later in 2017 on CH / RE / SR H11-type RDs)
So it's not too intricate, really.

The differences in HO and H11 are that the chainring spacing is changed slightly as is the chainline, to accommodate the different placement of the cassette relative to the frame in a 135 / 142 mm back end. Hence a different throw on the FD and different cable recovery in the levers are required. Post 2015 FDs already have the extra throw engineered in, the cable recovery is dealt with automatically in the HO and H11 levers - at this stage we do not recommend use of HO or H11 cranksets with non-hydraulic shifters.
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Old 06-11-17, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by gfk_velo View Post
Broadly it breaks down like this:

Shifters and derialleurs

  • Pre 2015 11s components - All CH / RE / SR cross-compatible.
  • Athena is effectively stand-alone after MY2011.
  • Post 2015 11s components - All CH / re / SR cross-compatible (some special conditions will apply with Hydraulic (H11) FD / crankset compatibility).
  • Potenza is effectively stand-alone (some special conditions will apply with Hydraulic (HO) FD / crankset compatibility).
  • New Centaur 11s will be effectively stand-alone.
Cranksets, cables, brakes and chains.
All 11s is interchangeable, pre 2015 cranksets do not shift as well as post 2015 cranksets with 2015 and later lever / FDs systems. There will be some caveats with HO and H11 cranksets.

Cassettes

11s cassettes are all cross compatible *but* attention needs to be paid to some range restrictions -
  • 11-29 not suitable for pre 2015 RDs
  • 11-32 not suitable for pre 2015 RDs or post 2015 RDs without medium cage (will be available later in 2017 on CH / RE / SR H11-type RDs)
So it's not too intricate, really.

The differences in HO and H11 are that the chainring spacing is changed slightly as is the chainline, to accommodate the different placement of the cassette relative to the frame in a 135 / 142 mm back end. Hence a different throw on the FD and different cable recovery in the levers are required. Post 2015 FDs already have the extra throw engineered in, the cable recovery is dealt with automatically in the HO and H11 levers - at this stage we do not recommend use of HO or H11 cranksets with non-hydraulic shifters.
Awesome, Thanks!
Good to see confirmation. As my 2015 Chorus parts (if it happens) come to wear out, or I just feel like replacing, I've considered subbing in Record parts. That said, aside from weight benefits, is there ANY performance benefit for any Record part vs. its Chorus counterpart?
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Old 06-11-17, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Thanks for offering to clarify my misconceptions, @gfk_velo; I know you're a pro Campagnolo service person, so you're info is as good as gold to me.

I hear what you're saying regarding spring rate compatibility, and note it. I've been lucky, I suppose, although I admit that I was seeing some downgraded shift performance at the end of last season, but I'd just chalked it up to old cables, and have a set waiting to go on. That's probably manifestation of the issue you describe.

I'm not sure what the second misconception was, because you are affirming that the Potenza RD is non-compat with up-line shifters, which is what I had said. Or did you mean to comment on the crank stiffness and serviceability comment, or mixed material derailleur comment and forgot? Your corrections are always welcomed.
Sorry - just clumsy phrasing on my part - it's the Potenza RD -> Chorus EP combo in one direction and connected to that, the implied reverse compatibility of CH / RE / SR RD -> Potenza EP in the other.

Although I recommend new inners and outers every year anyway, so in that sense the degradation you are seeing would be in your case countered by that - we also get issues with gear tunnels, guides inside frames etc ... it's all about how much needs to be 100% right before acceptable performance is achieved.

It's maybe also worth mentioning that "crankset rigidity" in the sense of the 5-arm vs the 4-arm design is not about rigidity in power transfer so much as it is about the rigidity of specific areas of the outer chainring, critical when shifting - the five arm designs could have been made stiffer - in fact were, in 2012, in this respect, as EPS necessitated the outer ring being less of a "moving target" for the chain, by the changes made to the chainrings. However, without an unacceptable weight penalty, Campagnolo felt that they had gone as far in that direction as they could go so developed their variation on the four arm-system to lend support to the outside of the big chainring. There is still a weight penalty but it is a comparatively small one (around 30g). It also allowed the use of the same spider for compact, Compact Evo and Standard ring sizes. Two different ring PCDs were used to help make the outer ring stiffer in the reverse direction, too, for cleaner big-to-small ring shifts.
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Old 06-11-17, 11:20 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Awesome, Thanks!
Good to see confirmation. As my 2015 Chorus parts (if it happens) come to wear out, or I just feel like replacing, I've considered subbing in Record parts. That said, aside from weight benefits, is there ANY performance benefit for any Record part vs. its Chorus counterpart?
In terms of shifting performance, no - Campagnolo have always been very clear that the actual shift "experience" should always be as close to being the same, whether it's Centaur 10s or SR 11s, as possible - there are differences in weight, sometimes durability and so on but as a generality, function in terms of speed of shift, the applied torque values at which shifting should be possible and accuracy of shift don't vary much, other than in cases where a real leap in performance is achieved at one point in the range, that isn't then transferred to another because it is being discontinued, or because by virtue of some very basic element of the technology, it's simply not possible.

An example might be the front shift on 10s - not updated with the 4-arm crankset because Campagnolo were preparing to launch Centaur 11s ... but if you ride a Potenza group, for example, the shifting performance is basically the same as SR - there are other differences of course but speed and accuracy of shift are similar :-)
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Old 06-11-17, 11:31 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by gfk_velo View Post
In terms of shifting performance, no - Campagnolo have always been very clear that the actual shift "experience" should always be as close to being the same, whether it's Centaur 10s or SR 11s, as possible - there are differences in weight, sometimes durability and so on but as a generality, function in terms of speed of shift, the applied torque values at which shifting should be possible and accuracy of shift don't vary much, other than in cases where a real leap in performance is achieved at one point in the range, that isn't then transferred to another because it is being discontinued, or because by virtue of some very basic element of the technology, it's simply not possible.
Thanks again.. one reason for asking was I had stumbled across this video which came on after going thru a FD adjustment tutorial.
At about 1:50 in, there is a suggestion that a SR FD cage will perform better than Chorus (and RE?). Have a feeling this is not true as I haven't found any corroborating evidence this is the case.
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Old 06-11-17, 04:05 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Thanks again.. one reason for asking was I had stumbled across this video which came on after going thru a FD adjustment tutorial.
At about 1:50 in, there is a suggestion that a SR FD cage will perform better than Chorus (and RE?). Have a feeling this is not true as I haven't found any corroborating evidence this is the case.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AQKbat3ZfE&t=137s
I'd disagree - the shift works pretty much identically.

All I would say is that the Chorus FD uses a plastic insert on the outer cage plates so that the chain, coming up from the small to the big ring is nudged back into proper engagement with the chainring - this system has been in use since the first days of 10s.

In recent years, we've seen more derailleurs shedding this plate. The advent of more users opting for chains such as those from YBN and KMC has probably been a factor - the very square leading edges of the links on these chains appear to "snag" these plates more readily, especially when shifting at higher torque values which are in any case inherent with lower-ratio gears / compact cranksets.

The 2015 and later FDs RE and SR have a moulded carbon outer and don't use this bumper plate - so there is no plate to be stripped away - they are still potentially damaged by third party chains, though, which is part of the reason that we can't warranty for durability or performance with other maker's chains.
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Old 06-11-17, 04:31 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Would depend on where you live, and who you buy from.

I don't know what the right tools cost in the UK....but the Park Tool CBP-3 is $60USD online, and the CBP-5 is $65USD online....Which exceeds the US street value of the Veloce crankset, and the Athena crankset, and if you owe tax or S&H probably exceeds the value of the Potenza PT crank. BTW the Cyclus extractor you mention costs 3X what the Park does plus shipping and import duties, and the VAR costs just as much as the Park plus shipping and import duties....AFAIK both must be imported from the EU, as niether is sold domestically this side of the pond.


When the tools cost as much or more than their specific parts....is when the "expensive" line gets tripped IMHO, which is where lots of the negative attitude towards PowerTorque parts comes from in the USA specifically.
A Veloce or Athena crankset is less than USD60? I find that hard to believe ... send me a link? That'd be the equivalent of Sterling £45.00 or so, The cranks are subject in any case to the same duty rates as the European-made tooling, so there should be almost direct comparability in price differential.

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Old 06-11-17, 04:42 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by gfk_velo View Post
In terms of shifting performance, no - Campagnolo have always been very clear that the actual shift "experience" should always be as close to being the same, whether it's Centaur 10s or SR 11s, as possible - there are differences in weight, sometimes durability and so on but as a generality, function in terms of speed of shift, the applied torque values at which shifting should be possible and accuracy of shift don't vary much, other than in cases where a real leap in performance is achieved at one point in the range, that isn't then transferred to another because it is being discontinued, or because by virtue of some very basic element of the technology, it's simply not possible.

An example might be the front shift on 10s - not updated with the 4-arm crankset because Campagnolo were preparing to launch Centaur 11s ... but if you ride a Potenza group, for example, the shifting performance is basically the same as SR - there are other differences of course but speed and accuracy of shift are similar :-)
Which isn't to say that the same group performs the same year to year. I had silver Athena installed on my steel bike, put together 2 1/2 years ago, then got an updated version of Athena (in black) installed last year on another bike. I love the look of the silver, and actually prefer the old-form buttons, but they shortened the sweep distance for the FD shifter on the newer version (the old version feels quite long by comparison) so overall I say it's an improvement. But other than that, I notice no difference.
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Old 06-11-17, 05:08 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by kbarch View Post
Which isn't to say that the same group performs the same year to year. I had silver Athena installed on my steel bike, put together 2 1/2 years ago, then got an updated version of Athena (in black) installed last year on another bike. I love the look of the silver, and actually prefer the old-form buttons, but they shortened the sweep distance for the FD shifter on the newer version (the old version feels quite long by comparison) so overall I say it's an improvement. But other than that, I notice no difference.
Yes, changes can be made year on year with the aim of improving performance within any given group, it's true - however the function stays the same across the groups other than in cases where they fall "out of step" with each other - so in 2015, because Athena was to be replaced, it never gained the 4-arm crankset or the slightly closer chainring spacings that CH, RE and SR gained - but balance was restored with the launch of Potenza.

The difference you experienced may have been the change in the Athena chainrings year-on-year from the original 2009 units to the RC type in 2012 /13, a change that happened simultaneously on CH / RE / SR.

You can spot from Campagnolo's consumer codes for complete components when a change likely to affect performance-in-use has been made ... so a FD carrying the code, say, FD9-ATB2B is a 2009 model year part. FD11-AT2B2B is a 2011 model year replacement. As a rule, Campagnolo will only allocate a new consumer code if there is a significant change (they make small tweaks in production, called "running changes" all the time) and significant change usually implies an improvement in function.
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