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Is Campagnolo still competitive at entry levels?

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Is Campagnolo still competitive at entry levels?

Old 02-13-15, 01:15 PM
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Is Campagnolo still competitive at entry levels?

At the risk of turning this into a Shimano vs Campy pissing match, I ride Campy. I enjoy Campy. But I recently bought a 105 groupset for a build for my dad and got it built up last night. I can't quite believe how slick the Shimano stuff is, and it's a bit frustrating that Campy can't offer an entry level product that's as well built as this 105 stuff. My older Veloce is great, but it dates back to when Veloce was still UltraTorque. After a bit of research I went with 105 explicitly because of how miserable PowerTorque seems, and frankly as ugly as the Shimano stuff is, it's dead easy to work on and damn if it isn't stiff. I vastly prefer the Campy style shifters but it seems like they've made some real design compromises that are hard to swallow, especially since while Veloce is entry level for Campy, it's not entry level in the grand scheme of things.
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Old 02-13-15, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by tekhna
and it's a bit frustrating that Campy can't offer an entry level product that's as well built as this 105 stuff.
Huh? Low level Campy is better built than any Shimano.



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Old 02-13-15, 01:57 PM
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I think it was a smart for them to dump Mirage and Xenon, and to position themselves exclusively as a luxury brand. Play to their strengths and all that.
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Old 02-13-15, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass
Huh? Low level Campy is better built than any Shimano.



The PowerTorque crank/bottom bracket is absolutely a dealbreaker, especially since they used to offer UltraTorque on Veloce. My 2008 (or 7?) Veloce has skeleton brakes, UltraTorque and the ability to sweep the rear cassette. Not mention my older Veloce shifting paddles are alloy, not plastic. Veloce has taken a step back in the last few years.

Last edited by tekhna; 02-13-15 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 02-13-15, 02:01 PM
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You started the pissing match.

I have the older Dura Ace 7700 on two French frames, 2000 Campy Record on one and 2015 Campy Super record on another Italian frame. Never been able to get the Campy to shift as smooth and precise as the Dura Ace. Not even close. The Campy looks great though in comparison.
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Old 02-13-15, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster
I think it was a smart for them to dump Mirage and Xenon, and to position themselves exclusively as a luxury brand. Play to their strengths and all that.
I think that's probably true, but the problem is what's now their entry level isn't what it was.
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Old 02-13-15, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by tekhna
. . . especially since while Veloce is entry level for Campy, it's not entry level in the grand scheme of things.
I seriously doubt Campy wants to play in the land of the $1k bikes. By their own admission they are a boutique manufacturer. It's entirely reasonable that with limited production, they focus on the portion of the market in which they feel most competitive. The same could be said of Porsche: ". . . while a Boxster is entry level for Porsche (or whatever their entry level model is), it's not entry level in the grand scheme of things."
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Old 02-13-15, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by KenshiBiker
I seriously doubt Campy wants to play in the land of the $1k bikes. By their own admission they are a boutique manufacturer. It's entirely reasonable that with limited production, they focus on the portion of the market in which they feel most competitive. The same could be said of Porsche: ". . . while a Boxster is entry level for Porsche (or whatever their entry level model is), it's not entry level in the grand scheme of things."
Right, but Campy's not competitive with their own older products now. I think it's reasonable too but I went with Shimano because Campy isn't as nice as it was just a few years ago.
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Old 02-13-15, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by tekhna
The PowerTorque crank/bottom bracket is absolutely a dealbreaker, especially since they used to offer UltraTorque on Veloce. My 2008 (or 7?) Veloce has skeleton brakes, UltraTorque and the ability to sweep the rear cassette. Not mention my older Veloce shifting paddles are alloy, not plastic. Veloce has taken a step back in the last few years.
OK, I know that as they guy that runs the Campag SC in the UK, you may feel I am biased but I can't get my head around why PowerTorque is such an issue.
  • As a system, in essence it works the same way as UT, the difference is the crank attachment method and the LH bearing being in the cup, not pressed to the axle.
  • If the RH bearing being pressed onto the axle and retained by a c-clip isn't an issue for you on UT, I can't see that it would be an issue on PT either.
  • The LH crank requires the right tooling to take it off, but if you use the right tools, it comes off no problem - most of the guys that complain about it appear to be trying to pull the crank off without the puller that Campagnolo have recommended from day one - a Facom U301. We have pulled hundreds, if not (in effect) thousands now, given that we look after, run and service all PT equipped demo bikes and service bikes for the events that we look after and had zero problem.
  • If that *is* the problem (and it's the "issue" we see referred to most often), how often are you guys taking cranks off, for goodness sakes? OK, it's convenient to need only a 5mm allen key to do the job, but is going to a bike shop once or twice a year to have a crank pulled (assuming you don't want to buy the tool) such a pain? If you are taking a crank off more often than that, something is seriously wrong somewhere, or you are using the wrong product for the job.

With regard to Campag shift issues, referred to by Colnago C40, 99/100 are about using incorrect cables & ferrules or the wrong method - we set up literally 100s of Campagnolo, Shimano and SRAM systems a year at all product levels - on a typical event abroad, I'll do at least 100 gear checks / set-ups *myself* per event, let alone what my colleagues do, especially with the number of guys and girls flying in with boxed bikes these days - everything from Rival to Red, 5500 to DA, Xenon to Super Record, Di2 and EPS and find that where we use the right parts and the correct technique and there is little or nothing to choose between the accuracy of any of them.

The problems come when short-cuts to good set-up are taken, poor choices are made with cables or cable routes, or where people try to use a Shimano or SRAM set-up method on a Campag mech (the Campag method actually works at least as well as the Shimano method on a Shimano gear as it averages cable tension errors up and down the cassette away from a correctly set middle sprocket).

This will sound strange coming from someone in my position, but of the "Big 3", in terms of functionality and durability, there is maybe a some justification for negativity about some SRAM parts but that aside, if they are set up correctly and the right kit is used for the right job, they *all* work very well indeed. Just because we look after Campagnolo technical matters in the UK, or probably *because* we do, doesn't mean that we are not aware of just how strong all the offerings from the "Big 3" are.

Mostly it's down to what individuals are used to and what they find suits their riding or their physique / ergonomy.

Last edited by gfk_velo; 02-13-15 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 02-13-15, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by gfk_velo
  • The LH crank requires the right tooling to take it off, but if you use the right tools, it comes off no problem - most of the guys that whinge about it are trying to pull the crank off without the puller that Campagnolo have recommended from day one - a Facom U301. We have pulled hundreds, if not (in effect) thousands now, given that we look after, run and service all PT equipped demo bikes and service bikes for the events that we look after and had zero problem.
  • How often are you guys taking cranks off, for goodness sakes? OK, it's convenient to need only a 5mm allen key to do the job, but is going to a bike shop once or twice a year to have a crank pulled (assuming you don't want to buy the tool) such a pain? If you are taking a crank off more often than that, something is seriously wrong somewhere, or you are using the wrong product for the job.
Just from the peanut gallery, I don't disagree with anything you say, and think the premise of this thread is flawed from the get go. However, in my limited experience in Central New York State, none of the five local bike shops have the tool to remove a PT crank. At all of the common bike sources that I have for parts, the correct puller and removal fixtures have yet to be in stock. So there is some basis for people in the US to feel the PT is a detractor.

That being said, I have Campagnolo Centaur components paired with Veloce shifters, and have never once felt that it was "bottom tier" or "uncompetitive" with Shimano.
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Old 02-13-15, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by tekhna
At the risk of turning this into a Shimano vs Campy pissing match, I ride Campy. I enjoy Campy. But I recently bought a 105 groupset for a build for my dad and got it built up last night. I can't quite believe how slick the Shimano stuff is, and it's a bit frustrating that Campy can't offer an entry level product that's as well built as this 105 stuff. My older Veloce is great, but it dates back to when Veloce was still UltraTorque. After a bit of research I went with 105 explicitly because of how miserable PowerTorque seems, and frankly as ugly as the Shimano stuff is, it's dead easy to work on and damn if it isn't stiff. I vastly prefer the Campy style shifters but it seems like they've made some real design compromises that are hard to swallow, especially since while Veloce is entry level for Campy, it's not entry level in the grand scheme of things.
Tiagra and Sora work perfectly as well. I don't notice any performance difference moving "up" from tiagra to 105. The only shifting issues I've noticed with shimano road groups is on sora 9 speed 11 - 34 with multiple 4 tooth jumps. Shifts on the 2 or 3 lowest gears are slow and noisy.

I've tried campy c record (went right to the top!), and it was a very odd experience. The freehub sound was very, ahem, "prominent," and none too pleasant to listen to. On top of that, the brifter action was so stiff I never managed to actually actuate a shift. The owner of the bike wasn't present: the shop just let me test ride the bike, so I didn't want to try to force the issue.

Yeah, shimano just works. Tiagra and 105 are fantastic values in road componentry.
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Old 02-13-15, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by RollCNY
Just from the peanut gallery, I don't disagree with anything you say, and think the premise of this thread is flawed from the get go. However, in my limited experience in Central New York State, none of the five local bike shops have the tool to remove a PT crank. At all of the common bike sources that I have for parts, the correct puller and removal fixtures have yet to be in stock. So there is some basis for people in the US to feel the PT is a detractor.

That being said, I have Campagnolo Centaur components paired with Veloce shifters, and have never once felt that it was "bottom tier" or "uncompetitive" with Shimano.
I don't think it's bottom tier, I enjoy my Campy. I just think it's a step back from what they used to offer and PowerTorque is a kludgy solution to improving margins. The Shimano pinch bolt is ugly as hell but it works. If you're trying to save money there's not a hell of a lot cheaper than a pair of bolts. There were three competing needs for Campagnolo--margins, aesthetics, and functionality. They took margins and aesthetics and came out with something less than spectacular.
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Old 02-13-15, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by tekhna
I don't think it's bottom tier, I enjoy my Campy. I just think it's a step back from what they used to offer and PowerTorque is a kludgy solution to improving margins. The Shimano pinch bolt is ugly as hell but it works. If you're trying to save money there's not a hell of a lot cheaper than a pair of bolts. There were three competing needs for Campagnolo--margins, aesthetics, and functionality. They took margins and aesthetics and came out with something less than spectacular.
You do have to compare like with like - UT and Hollowtech 2 are actually contemporary. PT came along later.

PT was designed to be a faster fit for the OEM and a lower cost item with fewer QC points having to be hit, as there is a simpler set of alignment criteria to be followed ... in terms of kludge, I'd beg to differ - any solution that involves stretching a spline around an axle so side loading the mechanism that is fundamentally designed to maintain alignment, that needs a retro-design of a "safety washer" to stop the crank falling off if the mechanic does the assembly in the wrong order (original HT2 did not have the wee black kidney-shaped washer-with-a-pin which we still regularly see fitted incorrectly) AND increases the stance width at the pedals - now, that is *a* solution, but in my view, not an elegant one.

Once you look at the *why* of PT and understand that it means that all Campagnolo cranksets since 1999 have had the same (narrower) stance width and ankle clearance whilst moving from an internal BB to an external, I'm not so sure I'd say it was a bad technical solution. Different, yes, but not *bad*.

I hear what RollCNY says about 5 bike shops local to him in NYC not being tooled up - but that is really them not doing their job properly, on the assumption that they have any interest in servicing Campagnolo-equipped bikes. Realistically, you'd need to pull about 5 cranks at a sensible labour charge to get your money back on a tool that is not going to wear out or break, that has a lifetime warranty if you do break it ... again I think this is as much as anything about the fact that Shimano and to a lesser extent SRAM (more so in the US than Europe, IME) have a strong hegemony not necessarily based around being better - and they are, as I have said, not worse, either - but they are more common. People fear and tend to denigrate difference, that is all.
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Old 02-13-15, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster
I think it was a smart for them to dump Mirage and Xenon, and to position themselves exclusively as a luxury brand. Play to their strengths and all that.
Did they dump Mirage and Xenon? Or did they just slap a "Veloce" sticker on them? Veloce and Centaur, at least, were downgraded when the other two went away. I think they were reacting to market perception of their bottom shelf products, rather than making themselves a luxury brand.
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Old 02-13-15, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by gfk_velo

Once you look at the *why* of PT and understand that it means that all Campagnolo cranksets since 1999 have had the same (narrower) stance width and ankle clearance whilst moving from an internal BB to an external, I'm not so sure I'd say it was a bad technical solution. Different, yes, but not *bad*.

I hear what RollCNY says about 5 bike shops local to him in NYC not being tooled up - but that is really them not doing their job properly, on the assumption that they have any interest in servicing Campagnolo-equipped bikes.
It comes down to volume... not enough Campy PT cranks around to be bothered; same goes with other specialty tools. Shimano rules the aftermarket by benefit of their sales volume and Campy goes out of their way to be incompatible. I recently decided AGAINST buying a CX PT crank for two reasons, the cups are already becoming scarce and there is no guarantee that I'd be able to find replacement chain rings down the road without modifying the bolt hole (and likely filing down the crank arm too, in order to fit rings of a different thickness).

The all-parts-need-to-be-Campy mentality just increases the expense of owning a Campy group. The bottom tier isn't supported, and the parts tend to be proprietary.

As far as understanding the PT hate... they released the cranks before an appropriate tool was even specified, plenty of threads from that period. Beyond that, even if PT is a sufficient design, it's cheaper than UT and leaves the consumer with the feeling of getting less for the same price. It's behavioral economics.

That said, I still prefer Campagnolo (just find them frustrating).
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Old 02-13-15, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by tekhna
Right, but Campy's not competitive with their own older products now.
Obviously, except at Chorus and above.

In the early 1990s they didn't bother putting group names on things. This year they put a part in a Chorus box; next year they ship it in the Athena box.

Then they put group names on things without much more than cosmetic differences . Chorus and Record derailleurs attached the cage with a bolt; lower levels used a C-clip which might bounce off into a corner. Chorus was Record quality because it _was_ Record with different ink on it and others about the same.

1999-2006 hubs were identical across the levels except for the QR skewers, grease port on Record, and titanium pawl carrier saving 10g for Record.

With the 2009-2010 move to Ultrashift they took that even farther. The seven levels from Veloce through Super Record levers were identical except

Veloce and Centaur had a 10 speed index cam and front ratchet versus 11 for chorus and above.

Centaur had a carbon brake blade option which was standard on Chorus and above which saved 21g.

Super Record had titanium rear ratchets saving 7g a pair.

Where customers didn't need 11 cogs, they could have Super Record performance and weight (within 7g) for a fraction of the price which is not a good marketing strategy.

Campagnolo wised up and introduced differences after that. Athena and below got Powershift which no longer worked like standard Campagnolo ergo levers made since 1992. The less expensive gruppos got carbon-wrapped aluminum brake levers which had the cosmetics but not the weight savings.

So, comparing new Veloce to old is like comparing new Veloce to same year Super Record - of course there are significant differences.

Things are different at the Chorus level and above.

Chorus and Record have usually been nearly identical mechanically. Record just gets you a few cosmetic flourishes plus more titanium and carbon fiber.

Some one in marketing realized a fraction of the Record buyers would spend even more, so they added Super Record which has more titanium and carbon fiber than Record.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 02-14-15 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 02-13-15, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by gfk_velo

With regard to Campag shift issues, referred to by Colnago C40, 99/100 are about using incorrect cables & ferrules or the wrong method -
I have just installed the complete Super Record 2015 group set on a new C60 frame, internal cable routing, no cross-overs, cables are the campy supplied with the group. Only done 80 miles with the bike so far. It shifts perfect on the bike stand, but on the road 6th cassette ring from the bottom, if the adjustment is such that I get a good fast downshift throughout the cassette, I have to over-shift to get onto this 6th ring shifting up towards the bigger cassettes. Front is OK. My record 200 group is the same, but I think 4th ring from the bottom. The old Dura Ace 7700 is much more forgiving in terms of adjustment and there is no chain lag, it shifts immediately and a lot quieter.

Just my opinion and experience for what it is worth.

Could be that I am comparing 9 speed with 10 and 11.?
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Old 02-14-15, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by ColnagoC40
I have just installed the complete Super Record 2015 group set on a new C60 frame, internal cable routing, no cross-overs, cables are the campy supplied with the group. Only done 80 miles with the bike so far. It shifts perfect on the bike stand, but on the road 6th cassette ring from the bottom, if the adjustment is such that I get a good fast downshift throughout the cassette, I have to over-shift to get onto this 6th ring shifting up towards the bigger cassettes. Front is OK. My record 200 group is the same, but I think 4th ring from the bottom. The old Dura Ace 7700 is much more forgiving in terms of adjustment and there is no chain lag, it shifts immediately and a lot quieter.

Just my opinion and experience for what it is worth.

Could be that I am comparing 9 speed with 10 and 11.?
A couple of things to check on the 2015 group - make sure that the lockring on the cassette body really is at 40 nm or so - the plastic cassette spacers that Campag use are slightly compressible and if they are not fully compacted it can occasionally give the symptom that you describe.

We have had reports of a small number of cassette spacers slightly out of tolerance which might also cause the overshift problem you refer to - if you have the box the cassette came in, send me a picture of the white label with the bar code etc on it so that I can read the serial number off it & I can query the factory with regard to whether that unit is affected - unfortunately Campag's serial numbers don't work in a way that lets me say from number "x" to number "y" there is a possible problem - we do the check on a case-by-case basis. If yours is an affected cassette, we can send you the required spacer, no problem.

Yes, 11s is a lot more accurate than 9s, certainly, and does require more careful set up - the same is true of a comparison between 9s and 11s Campag systems - the 9s is incredibly robust and very tolerant of abuse - just like a 1960s Mini, say. 11s needs more care and attention in set up and is at the pinnacle of materials engineering in cycle terms - more like an Aston Martin, to stretch the analogy.

It is a fact of life that we are buying dreams ... if we were to buy a F1 car we wouldn't drive it down to the paper shop and yet we use cycle technology that is at the same relative level and expect to be able to do so (regardless of maker) and therein lies the root of many of the problems that end-users face. A good IBD would tell a customer I had on the phone last week, that actually, no, Campagnolo Bora was not a great choice for his "bashing around the lanes on a Sunday" bike (his "best bike" has LEWs) but that was what the user had bought, he'd potholed one big-time and damaged the braking surface ... big bill!

So - yes, 11s is pickier, yes it needs better and more careful set up, it needs better and more careful maintenance, tooling costs more and the system needs to be used as a full system - cables and all - but follow the rules and bear that in mind and performance is superb ... whether its Campag SR, Shimano DA or SRAM Red 11.
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Old 02-14-15, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by tekhna
I don't think it's bottom tier, I enjoy my Campy. I just think it's a step back from what they used to offer and PowerTorque is a kludgy solution to improving margins. The Shimano pinch bolt is ugly as hell but it works. If you're trying to save money there's not a hell of a lot cheaper than a pair of bolts. There were three competing needs for Campagnolo--margins, aesthetics, and functionality. They took margins and aesthetics and came out with something less than spectacular.
From your opening post which I suppose was more a less a statement to elicit opinions, its funny that you have stated in this post what I believe is the best response to your question or statement. While I always appreciate Graeme's perspective when it comes to Campy, I have very strong thoughts about PowerTorque in particular and OverTorque as well. I wouldn't buy either. Ever. The Shimano pinch bolt design IS the best crank design out there. I have worked on all of them. There is no better. I have been riding UltraTorque since it came out and still am riding the same UltraTorque compact crank today which btw is Chorus carbon. It is probably the best crank I have ever ridden and requires the least maintenance. Campy UtraTorque is truly a great crank.

To me PowerTorque which I have coined the 'ghost of square taper' is crap because of the tapered spline press fit. I put OverTorque in the mix as well as requiring a puller to pull it apart. A press fit not only isn't necessary for the best joining of a crank on both sides of a BB, but isn't desirable when it comes to serviceability of course.

I don't want to say shame on Campy for either design because you have captured the reason for its existence precisely. Afterall Veloce used to be UltraTorque in the early days.

Per Graeme's response in another thread a while back, he responded there is no difference in Q-factor or ankle clearance between UT, PT or OT. If he has changed his view on this, I would sure like to hear which is different from the other and even if it matters and if so, why specific to a rider's given physiology or riding style it would matter in the least.

But tekhna in response to your original statement, 105 now 11s is indeed wonderful at its low price point.
But two things really stand out when it comes to the major difference between Shimano and Campy at any comparable level and I recently built and spend a lot of time on DA9000.

Shift method difference is quite different. Notice I didn't say one is dramatically better than the other. I much prefer a separate button and lever behind the brake handle of Campy however but this is largely a preference. To others this won't matter and btw I can certainly live with Shimano's method but in descending order I prefer...Campy, Sram and then Shimano.

Ergonomics. To me this is a neon sign. The elephant in the room. There is NO comparison. And no it doesn't have anything to do with the shape of one's hands...lol. The durometer...Campy uses a dual durometer, suspension hood design with much lower force/deflection throughout its entire surface area but the shape and radii and overall friendliness are vastly superior from Campy compared to Shimano...night and day to me, Sram is in the middle and Shimano at the bottom of this spectrum. I will go a step further and say IMO, Shimano's levers have disgraceful ergonomics. Horrible. Only to be eclipsed by their predecessors which shifted poorly as well. At least Shimano fixed their shifting with latest offerings and even mildly tweaked their ergos but not even in the same hemisphere as Campy. Sram is catching on but still lagging behind as well a bit but I believe they will catch up and perhaps even faster than Shimano.


Back to crank design. I believe Campy UT has been best in class or top 3 since it debuted almost 10 years ago now. How time flies. All said, I probably prefer DA because of the double pinch bolt you mention and the fantastic shift quality.

I will further say and what breathes more life into the 25mm spindle UtraTorque is Praxis who should win design of the year with their collet BB that allows Campy UT to be plug and play on BB/PF30 bikes. A brilliant design and if building a BB30 bike with a Campy groupset, what I would choose hands down...and go with UT and not ridiculous 30mm OverTorque crank with its press fit left crank arm. PowerTorque doesn't even deserve to be mentioned.

Praxis with their excellent chainrings has been a good engineering company for some time now and have just upped the ante with their excellent BB's including adapting DA cranks to BB30 plug and play with excellent reliability and low maintenance.
Honorable mention goes to Praxis for new crank as well. On a budget, it is one of the best designs out there and would certainly get my dollar before Campy PowerTorque or OverTorque which never would. Kudos to Praxis for entering the competitive value crank competition and with their R&D, they are obviously up to the challenge.

For those who like metrics or technical comparison, below is a great comparison between crank performance and I believe does a pretty good job of capturing some of the differences between cranks:

https://fairwheelbikes.com/c/reviews...crank-testing/

Last edited by Campag4life; 02-14-15 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 02-14-15, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Campag4life
For those who like metrics or technical comparison, below is a great comparison between crank performance and I believe does a pretty good job of capturing some of the differences between cranks:

https://fairwheelbikes.com/c/reviews...crank-testing/
Good overview, C4l as always. Though not a part of the original topic, I was impressed with the performance in the referenced tests of the FSA cranks. The brand tends to get very bad gossip-press on shifting, but the Fairwheel review was quite complimentary regarding that. They FSA cranks are also often available for reduced prices on ebay. I am a really big fan of the BB386EVO universal bottom bracket system. All in all I thought the review was very encouraging for FSA as an aftermarket choice. Who knows, if they really do bring out the predicted wireless electronic shift system and some decent brakes, we may have to start looking at FSA for complete groupsets.
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Old 02-14-15, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker
Good overview, C4l as always. Though not a part of the original topic, I was impressed with the performance in the referenced tests of the FSA cranks. The brand tends to get very bad gossip-press on shifting, but the Fairwheel review was quite complimentary regarding that. They FSA cranks are also often available for reduced prices on ebay. I am a really big fan of the BB386EVO universal bottom bracket system. All in all I thought the review was very encouraging for FSA as an aftermarket choice. Who knows, if they really do bring out the predicted wireless electronic shift system and some decent brakes, we may have to start looking at FSA for complete groupsets.
Unlike much of the unfounded gossip here you mention Robert about FSA, I like their company and am a fan and in fact ride their handlebars and seatposts. An excellent company with good R&D and with leading edge designs. I have worked on many FSA cranks as well and have no problem with them. They offer great value aka cost/benefit. I too am somewhat prisoner to aesthetics as many are and I always thought the 5 arm UtraTorque is and was the best looking crank ever conceived...and even was drawn to earlier Record square tapered cranks for their elegance whereas I never liked square taper....I am disappointed with the 'look' of the new 4 arm crank from FSA. No it isn't easy to make a 4 arm crank look as sexy as a 5 arm...aka 2015 Campy Record UT 4 arm. Since one can buy a new 5 arm UT Record crank off ebay for about one half the price of new Record Campy 4 arm UT crank...a no brainer for me. Look at the metric difference. Virtually negligible....weight to stiffness as the article pointed out.

But even though I don't like the look of the new FSA crank although it may not be as ugly as Ultegra cranks which functionally are hard to beat, I would instead simply score a new DA crank off ebay that is well discounted. A DA crank on any bike is very hard to beat and an argument can be made that the DA bottom bracket has just outstanding reliability. All about choices and we have a boat load..

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Old 02-14-15, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by gfk_velo
A couple of things to check on the 2015 group - make sure that the lockring on the cassette body really is at 40 nm or so - the plastic cassette spacers that Campag use are slightly compressible and if they are not fully compacted it can occasionally give the symptom that you describe.

We have had reports of a small number of cassette spacers slightly out of tolerance which might also cause the overshift problem you refer to - if you have the box the cassette came in, send me a picture of the white label with the bar code etc on it so that I can read the serial number off it & I can query the factory with regard to whether that unit is affected - unfortunately Campag's serial numbers don't work in a way that lets me say from number "x" to number "y" there is a possible problem - we do the check on a case-by-case basis. If yours is an affected cassette, we can send you the required spacer, no problem.

Yes, 11s is a lot more accurate than 9s, certainly, and does require more careful set up - the same is true of a comparison between 9s and 11s Campag systems - the 9s is incredibly robust and very tolerant of abuse - just like a 1960s Mini, say. 11s needs more care and attention in set up and is at the pinnacle of materials engineering in cycle terms - more like an Aston Martin, to stretch the analogy.

It is a fact of life that we are buying dreams ... if we were to buy a F1 car we wouldn't drive it down to the paper shop and yet we use cycle technology that is at the same relative level and expect to be able to do so (regardless of maker) and therein lies the root of many of the problems that end-users face. A good IBD would tell a customer I had on the phone last week, that actually, no, Campagnolo Bora was not a great choice for his "bashing around the lanes on a Sunday" bike (his "best bike" has LEWs) but that was what the user had bought, he'd potholed one big-time and damaged the braking surface ... big bill!

So - yes, 11s is pickier, yes it needs better and more careful set up, it needs better and more careful maintenance, tooling costs more and the system needs to be used as a full system - cables and all - but follow the rules and bear that in mind and performance is superb ... whether its Campag SR, Shimano DA or SRAM Red 11.
Thx, that was very kind of you to take the time to reply. I never torque my cassettes and keep them on the loose side. Did not think about the washers on the Campy cassette, you have a very good point. Checked the torque and I was about 10Nm short, so hopefully this improves my shifting. I did not keep the box with the serial number, but the crank is 0196, so it seems like it was beginning of the 2015 production run. Shifting with the bike in my stand seems a bit sharper, but it could be placebo. Long ride planned today so will do another click or two on the back derailleur if needed. Thanks again!!!

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Old 02-14-15, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by tekhna
... Campy can't offer an entry level product that's as well built as this 105 stuff.
...while Veloce is entry level for Campy, it's not entry level in the grand scheme of things.
Neither is 105. Shouldn't the comparison to Veloce be Tiagra (at best) instead?
Wouldn't the Campy product to compare to 105 be Athena?
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Old 02-14-15, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by kbarch
Neither is 105. Shouldn't the comparison to Veloce be Tiagra (at best) instead?
Wouldn't the Campy product to compare to 105 be Athena?
Two ways to do it. You can start with price being similar and then see how the performance compare or vice-versa, start with performance being similar and see how the price compares.
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Old 02-14-15, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by kbarch
Neither is 105. Shouldn't the comparison to Veloce be Tiagra (at best) instead?
Wouldn't the Campy product to compare to 105 be Athena?
Originally Posted by rpenmanparker
Two ways to do it. You can start with price being similar and then see how the performance compare or vice-versa, start with performance being similar and see how the price compares.
People try to compare by number of cogs, by price point, by weight, by # of steps difference from "top of the line" group. IMO, comparing the groups by any of these schemes is trying to apply objective measures to reinforce a subjective decision. I owned a Veloce/Centaur bike at the same time I owned a 105 5700 bike, and one was hands down superior to me. It had nothing to do with weight, cost, or distance to the top.
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