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ANyone else having issues getting perfect shifting with 2009 Centaur?

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ANyone else having issues getting perfect shifting with 2009 Centaur?

Old 09-08-09, 10:52 AM
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ANyone else having issues getting perfect shifting with 2009 Centaur?

Ok so this spring I got a Neo Exile form Patrick's group buy and put it together with the new 2009 Centaur Carbon Ultrashift. My Merckx has 2006 Record, my Bottecchia had 2006 Centaur and probably more relevantly my wife's Serotta has 2009 Veloce Ultrashift. I run KMC chains and Centaur cassettes on all of these bikes and the only one I have issues with the shifting is the Neo with the Carbon Centaur.

The issue is that through the middle of the cassette I can't get shifts in both directions to be correct. At the high end they are fine and at the low end they are fine but in the middle 3 gears...maybe 4 I can either get them to go up properly or down properly. I have checked the limits, the RD hanger straightness and just changed the routing of the RD cable at the bars from the new routing which turns pretty tight to a wider turn around the back of the bars...I also just swapped out the RD cable (yes with a Campy cable) because I thought there might be a slight kink that could be causing binding. It still isn't right...all the other bikes shift perfectly. The only big difference I can see is that all the other bikes run medium length RDs while I have a short cage on the Neo. With a CT crank and a 13-26 I shouldn't need a med cage though.

Any thoughts?
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Old 09-08-09, 12:29 PM
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my first thought is to wonder if the rear dr housing at the back is too short. I find it's best to install it uncut, at the length that comes in the box.
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Old 09-08-09, 01:57 PM
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use a Campagnolo chain and set it up per the instructions
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Old 09-08-09, 02:17 PM
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No issues for me. On my franken-bike I have '09 centaur shifters, mystery no-model short Campy RD, centaur cassette 12-25, KMC chain. I like it better than my '06 Chorus.
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Old 09-08-09, 02:53 PM
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Are you centering the centerline of the rollers on the 4th sproket?
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Old 09-08-09, 02:59 PM
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Have you tried different wheels? Did you take the cassette apart and unintentionally shuffle the spacers?
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Old 09-08-09, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by clausen View Post
Are you centering the centerline of the rollers on the 4th sproket?
4th biggest or 4th smallest?

make sure the cable is run right around the RD binder bolt?
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Old 09-08-09, 06:35 PM
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I have the same issue. I've switched everything but the shifters at this point:

First the chain, then the cassette, then the derailleur hanger, then the cable housing, then the derailleur. Switching to a medium cage derailleur seemed to have smoothed things out a bit with one of my cassettes. I've now gone to one of my older cassettes since I mounted a compact crank and my bike began to manifest problems with shifting again after a few rides (not immediately after mounting the cassette).

Based on my personal experience alone (this is me admitting that I am expressing an opinion), I think that something is up with 2009 Centaur levers in combination with older parts (both of the derailleurs I've used are pre-2009). I won't say that you can't get it shifting correctly because I had good (but not flawless -- a slight delay in one part of the cassette when shifting was at its best) results for awhile, but in my experience it is touchy. I'm fairly confident that it has to do with the shifting mechanism in the lever because it is mostly exhibited when I shift to bigger cogs, and in Centaur the lever throw seems quite flimsy, and a tad too long.

If I had known that I would have these problems, I'd have bitten the bullet and upgraded to 11 speed for the better shifting mechanism. Such is life with comparatively flashy Euro stuff....
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Old 09-08-09, 06:57 PM
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I installed the cable wrong at the rear derailleur clamp on my 2006 Veloce and had similar symptoms--either the high cogs or the low would be aligned, but not both.

The clamp plate has two prongs, and the cable goes to the outside of the left one, not in between. There's a groove in the plate at the correct spot.

But I don't think the newer derailleurs have the same two prong plates. And you are off in the middle, not one end.
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Old 09-08-09, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Surferbruce View Post
my first thought is to wonder if the rear dr housing at the back is too short. I find it's best to install it uncut, at the length that comes in the box.
Hmm Now there is something I thought of but can't change as I don't have another Ultra low friction housing...I will have to buy a new set. I did in fact shorten this housing.

Originally Posted by RichinPeoria View Post
use a Campagnolo chain and set it up per the instructions
Yea sure...but read my post...I have 3 other bikes set up the same way that sift perfectly. All the same KMC chains...and 3 of the 4 have new chains and new cassettes this year (the 4th was sold).

Originally Posted by clausen View Post
Are you centering the centerline of the rollers on the 4th sproket?
Yes...again I have done this many times and though anyway that I knew what the heck I was doing...this is the 6th bike I have built up myself with Campy and the first I have had any such shifting issues with.

Originally Posted by mmmdonuts View Post
Have you tried different wheels? Did you take the cassette apart and unintentionally shuffle the spacers?
Hmm I have not tried different wheels but I have checked, checked and checked again the spacers as that was my first thought. I even replaced a cassette that was probably fine with a new one just to make sure the cassette wasn't worn.

Originally Posted by fatallightning View Post
4th biggest or 4th smallest?

make sure the cable is run right around the RD binder bolt?
The cable is routed properly.

Thanks for all of the feedback guys...really gives me some things to think about...I am going to order a new cable set and try replacing the rear housing next.

EDIT: Ok an update. The rear housing is 1" shorter than the one on my Merckx and 1.5" shorter than the one on my wife's Serotta. I have a bunch of Campy housings here but they are NOT the new Ultra Low Friction housings, they are from old cable sets. I also noticed that the housing on the rear of the Neo doesn't say Ultra Low Friction on it...I am not sure if I cut it off...or if I used a pc of old housing thinking I wouldn't make a difference...I am going to take it to work tomorrow to determine if it is the new smaller OD or the old larger OD housing (don't have calipers at home). If in fact it is the old housing I think that combined with the short length may be the issue here so I am going to order a new cable set for sure...unless someone has an uncut rear housing they wouldn't mind parting with.
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Old 09-09-09, 06:28 PM
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Ok I fail at reading aparently...the housing is the new type and does have Ultra Low Friction on it, but still it is shorter than the other bikes by the amounts posted previously. Tomorrow I am getting a new cable set and will put a longer rear housing on to see if ti helps.

If it doesn't I have to say I am totally lost.
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Old 09-09-09, 07:10 PM
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I have the same setup (2009 Centaur with a compact crank and the 13-26 cassette) aside from mine being the alloy version, and I had a hell of a time getting it to shift acceptably. Same problem, too, middle gears not quite shifting right. Spent the better part of a day fiddling with it until I got to a "good enough for now"/"I give up" point.

Rode it for a while, and nowadays, with no further fiddling, I barely notice any issues. I guess it just had to stretch into place or break in.

It's still a bit... Italian, but it's functional.
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Old 09-10-09, 05:03 AM
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I wish it would break in...I have 1400 miles on it...I would think it should be broken in now.
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Old 09-10-09, 07:03 AM
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I disagree with RiP - I ditched Campy chains long ago for KMC's (I doubt that's it)

I just bought an 11-25 Centaur cassette to run as a back-up on my Record eqip'd bike. I have the same thing - top and bottom end are dead on, but the 5-6-7 seem to jump intermittently or require an extra little tweak of the lever to shut it up. If I figure it out, I'll let you know.
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Old 09-10-09, 07:16 AM
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Shortening the loop at the RD wasn't wise. Shimano housing may work OK, but all you can do is try it. I was forced to try alternatives when I was sent a pre-2009 speed cable set. Jagwire did not work well.

When trying to sort out a shifting problem like this, there are only two concerns; proper cable tension and cable friction. Always concentrate on the shifts to larger cogs first. Apply just enough cable tension to get all shifts to larger cogs working properly, then try the shifts to smaller cogs. If the shifts to smaller cogs hesitate, then you may have a cable friction problem and/or a RD spring that has inadequate tension.

I always assume that the RD hanger has been checked for alignment. If not, do that first.

There is always the possibility of a defective index disc pulling the wrong amount of cable, but checking that is a bit more difficult. I do it with a precision machinist's scale and a piece of masking tape folded over the shift cable, just ahead of the cable stop at the RD loop. With cable in the first cog position, the tape should be moved to an even numbered starting point, measuring from the cable stop. You should see pulls of 2.5mm five times, 3mm two times and 3.5mm two times.

I've also checked the jockey pulley alignment with the largest cog (with the chain off) to ensure adequate travel of the RD. I've never seen any overtravel, even if the limit screw is backed all the way out. If the travel seems to come up a bit short, you can always try my simple method to increase the travel a bit. It works to use a 10 speed RD with 11 speed. I've also used an 11 speed RD with 10 speed and found that the slight amount of over travel caused no problem.

https://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=160601

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Old 09-10-09, 08:42 AM
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I'm going to have to try the index measurement.

Two questions:
- Would a worn cassette cause hesitation in shifting?

- What does cassette/chain noise when using the 13 and 14 cogs (10-speed 12-25) suggest about my drivetrain?
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Old 09-10-09, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by lukasz View Post
I'm going to have to try the index measurement.

Two questions:
- Would a worn cassette cause hesitation in shifting?

- What does cassette/chain noise when using the 13 and 14 cogs (10-speed 12-25) suggest about my drivetrain?
Mine shifts well for all cogs but is also noisier in a few of the smaller ones. I think its a sync/resonance thing where distance between jockey wheel and the cogs is just right for the chain links to hit those two in sync. I'm trying to get the jockey wheel closer to the cogs to see if it makes a difference. My new aluminum frame is louder than my old steel.
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Old 09-10-09, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by lukasz View Post
I'm going to have to try the index measurement.

Two questions:
- Would a worn cassette cause hesitation in shifting?

- What does cassette/chain noise when using the 13 and 14 cogs (10-speed 12-25) suggest about my drivetrain?
1) It shouldn't.

2) Can't say it means anything.
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Old 09-10-09, 04:14 PM
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I've got '09 Centaur shifters on my bike. They work fine with the '08 Record cassette and RD. I had a near new Record set up and wanted the new shape of shifters, since the Centaurs are 10 speed I thought I give them a go before shelling out the serious cash for '09 11 speed Record. After riding with the Centaurs for most of this season I don't think I'll change anything in 2010. The set up is fine. For the few grams I would save with the Record and the one extra gear, changing over to 11 speed doesn't make any sense at this point.
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Old 09-10-09, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by mmmdonuts View Post
Mine shifts well for all cogs but is also noisier in a few of the smaller ones. I think its a sync/resonance thing where distance between jockey wheel and the cogs is just right for the chain links to hit those two in sync. I'm trying to get the jockey wheel closer to the cogs to see if it makes a difference. My new aluminum frame is louder than my old steel.
Have been keep an eye on this thread, since I think I may have experienced similar issues with my centaur 2009 setup. Since this is my first campy road bike, I'm not sure what's "normal". I've had my LBS take a look at the setup after I initially felt an annoying vibration when I pedalled with some force in the smaller rear cogs, but they didn't seem to find anything/notice the problem. I have tried to tweak the rear derailleur cable tension a number of times to minimize vibration/rubbing, but it still doesn't seem perfect. Will have to see if playing around with the B-screw helps at all.
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Old 09-11-09, 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
I always assume that the RD hanger has been checked for alignment. If not, do that first.
Yup, no. 1 to check when you get the "can adjust it so it shifts up perfectly but not down or vice versa" syndrome.
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Old 09-11-09, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
I always assume that the RD hanger has been checked for alingment. If not, do that first.
Originally Posted by scirocco View Post
Yup, no. 1 to check when you get the "can adjust it so it shifts up perfectly but not down or vice versa" syndrome.
Right and yes it has been done...actually it was the first thing checked when I built the bike and had these issues...and it wasn't straight but they corrected it and the bike hasn't been laid down or hit so it should still be fine. Correcting it didn't completely fix the issue but it did make it better...this problem had been worse.

So I didn't get a chance to get to the LBS yesterday to pick up the cables (or my new Thompson post and Specialized Romin saddle that just came in) but I will be doing that today.
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Old 09-11-09, 10:04 AM
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I've got that exact same issue with my 2009 Centaur too. I posted in Bicycle Mechanics and got no replies. I have it tuned so that the upshift from the 16 to the 15 is pretty clunky, but every other up and downshift is spot-on perfect. If I mess with the adjustment, I can get a nice 16-->15 shift, but all the other shifts are a bit clunky.

75% of the time I have to overshift from 16 to 14 and then downshift to the 15 to get it there.
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Old 09-11-09, 10:53 AM
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I have 07 centaur brifters, and they shift like crap. I always had a hard time getting things to work well, and hoped that they would 'break in.' Set-up was compact with the 13-29 cassette and triple deraileur. Had campy chain, but have switched to kmc. Neither me nor four bike mechanics have gotten this thing to shift as well as a sora bike. The last trip in got me a new cassette 11-25, and they switched a spring in the derailleur (b-screw type setting without the screw). Also, had the brifter taken apart, and a piece replaced. Overall, out about $350, and it still doesn't shift quite right. The latest mechanic is all about how great campy is, but I'm done with it. At this point, I figure that I got unlucky and got a brifter that has some bad or wrong piece in it, but I'm not going to pour more money on this fire.
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Old 09-11-09, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by yes View Post
I have 07 centaur brifters, and they shift like crap. I always had a hard time getting things to work well, and hoped that they would 'break in.' Set-up was compact with the 13-29 cassette and triple deraileur. Had campy chain, but have switched to kmc. Neither me nor four bike mechanics have gotten this thing to shift as well as a sora bike. The last trip in got me a new cassette 11-25, and they switched a spring in the derailleur (b-screw type setting without the screw). Also, had the brifter taken apart, and a piece replaced. Overall, out about $350, and it still doesn't shift quite right. The latest mechanic is all about how great campy is, but I'm done with it. At this point, I figure that I got unlucky and got a brifter that has some bad or wrong piece in it, but I'm not going to pour more money on this fire.
You've got the crappy escape shifters (that I've always warned people not to buy), not the 2009 ultrashift model. For $350, I could buy 2009 shifters, cassette, chain and a RD to completely change out the drivetrain. There would probably be money left over. It pays to learn simple bike mechanics.

Those using Centaur or Veloce cassettes should check that your mechanic didn't mix up the spacers. There are three different thicknesses that must go in the correct order.
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