Campag vs Shimano vs SRAM

secretsam
secretsam Posts: 5,098
edited December 2012 in Road beginners
Seconds out...

So - am considering treating myself to a new dream machine, but don't really understand which groupsets stack up against each other and (deep breath) which is the best choice...

I've got Sora on my bike, actually on 2 of them, and perfectly happy as it fits my relatively undemanding needs. But I've always hankered after a Campag bike (I'm from the school that thinks calling them "Campy" is an aberration of vile proportions... :roll: ) so would also consider them...and SRAM get some good reviews, although their lower end kits looks...basic, but I hear their brakes for example are excellent.

So, come on then...

PS: thinking of around shimano 105 quality ish

It's just a hill. Get over it.
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Comments

  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    edited November 2012
    If you have always had Shimano I would suggest that the other brands will take time to get used to (if you can).

    e.g Sram use a 'double tap' system which is a love/hate system for me.
    Campag have a specific hood shape which I found I could not get on with etc.

    This has meant that my Basso has ended up being Ultegra rather that Campag (which is a shame as I always wanted campag in the 80's as a 13 year old with no money). Plus it would have been nice to keep it Italian. Hey Ho.

    You need to try em before spending out.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • napoleond
    napoleond Posts: 5,992
    Rival vs 105 vs Athena.

    Only thing to bear in mind is if you are switching to campagnolo you'll need some new tools and the freehub on your rear wheel will need to be changed.

    Get the one you like the feel of the hoods on. If you like them all, get the one that looks best to you. If you like the looking them all get the cheapest.
    They are all good.
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  • g00se
    g00se Posts: 2,221
    I would say Veloce is a smidge below 105 and Centaur is a smidge above.

    Athena is identical to Centaur but 11 speed rather than 10 and has the option of skeleton brakes.

    Centaur also has the option of red anodised trim, carbon cranks and has carbon levers.

    Price wise, at the usual discount place, Veloce is a few quid cheaper than 105 and Centaur a little more. Athena is a fair bit more.
  • Depends how much you are looking to spend and which manufacturers shifters you prefer.

    105 can be had for about £400.
    Campagnolo for £400 you are looking at Veloce or maybe Centaur for a few £'s more. However you will also need a new hub for the cassette as the hub on your current wheels is for Shimano/SRam.
    Sram would be bottom of the range (but still comparable with Shimano mid level 105) Apex.

    It really does depend on which you prefer the feel of, try a test ride on each of the systems if you can.
  • Sora uses the same sort of principle as Campagnolo shifters doesn't it? Moving to Campagnolo wouldn't be much of a change then.

    Veloce is a solid groupset and I use it on my everyday bike, but you can pick up Centaur for £420/432 at the moment from Shiny Bikes. I'd go for that.
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,388
    If you re buying a dream bike you can afford to spend some time trying out each and seeing what works best for you, This is more or less something that you CAN find out with a quick spin around the shop car park (although obviously a proper test ride is best)

    I find SRAM best for my small girl hands, but use Shimano on the MTB. In terms of quality they re all identical so all it comes down to is personal preference.
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • I prefer Campagnolo, unfortunately, I bought 105 in a big way a few years ago to keep both my road bike and CX bike as interchangeably with their parts as much as possible. I don't like their shifters or hoods. Also, a small grievance is that Campy gear seems to be a bit cheaper. On the other hand Shimano is easily maintained. I've never used SRAM on a road bike so can't comment on that system.

    But, it's a personal choice, and sometimes it can take a while to appreciate which is for you.
    CAAD9
    Kona Jake the Snake
    Merlin Malt 4
  • Had Campag Veloce until last year but really couldn't get on with it. I always wanted to swap my 105 when I was younger but never got my dad to part with his money!!

    Having come back to cycling I instantly bought a Veloce groupset (self funded this time). I found it a bit harsh & even thought my 10 year old 105 was better. It felt rough, I thought it was the set up, I eventually took it to 2 different shops within a matter of months to be set up & eventually a shifter broke. Maybe it was just me wanting Record quality for bargain prices but never got used to it. I swapped for Utlegra last year & there is miles of difference.

    In my experience if I was going back to campag I'd be looking at spending the bit extra & I'd imagine Athena/Centaur are far better.
    Ribble R872
    Specialized Langster Monaco
    Trek 6300
  • secretsam
    secretsam Posts: 5,098
    OK thanks, thought you might all say "try before you buy"

    As someone noted, I've got Sora STIs with the little paddle on the side, which I loathe with a huge passion - it's impossible to change up when on the drops (ickle hands, you see) - a real pain and almost dangerous. But I've heard Campag's shift paddle is much better?

    Challenge for me is in choosing which one to go for, as my LBS is Shimano central, think they'd freak if anyone suggested anything else...small town mentality and all that :lol:

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • napoleond
    napoleond Posts: 5,992
    Sora uses the same sort of principle as Campagnolo shifters doesn't it? Moving to Campagnolo wouldn't be much of a change then.

    Veloce is a solid groupset and I use it on my everyday bike, but you can pick up Centaur for £420/432 at the moment from Shiny Bikes. I'd go for that.

    I wouldn't touch shiny bikes with a barge pole.

    Ordered 4 times from them (the first 3 being relatively cheap items) and they've messed up 3.

    The last time, I ordered Super Record shifters. The box was open on arrival, no cables. They sent some cables out a few days later in a plastic bag when I complained. Tried to install and could not get the front shifter to work. After several hours and my mechanic mate to look neither could get it to work.
    Took it to a campag dealer shop i know with years of experience who confirmed a duff shifter.
    I returned said items special delivery, they got them weds morn. Rang up last night as they hadn't refunded me.
    Guy said he'd be on to it.
    Still no refund as yet...
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  • napoleond
    napoleond Posts: 5,992
    The campag shifter is much better placed than Dora, I have diddy hands and I'm able to shift from the drops with campag. I couldn't when I had sora, you need a foot long thumb to do that!
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    ABCC Cycling Coach
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,388
    For Ickle Hands you really should try a SRAM set before buying...(IMO obviously)
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • I've medium sized hands and have no problem with Campy triggers, but couldn't use Sora thumb triggers.
    CAAD9
    Kona Jake the Snake
    Merlin Malt 4
  • Not used anything other than Shimano & i don't really feel the need to go changing. I think the black 105 gruppo looks sweet & if i i bought a bike fitted with it i would not be disappointed at all. I run Dura Ace & Ultegra on my bikes & jave never had an issue with any of it. I just like the design & look of the cranksets & the finish is very sleek. Performance wise, i don't think you could find much better.

    Whichever you choose, make sure you maintain the components reguarly or they will fail. A clean machine is a happy machine!
  • Paul 8v
    Paul 8v Posts: 5,458
    I think in terms of quality and function they're all much of a muchness, I like Campag purely for aesthetic reasons, I can't stand the shape of the Shimano brake levers and the way the cables come out the side of them and SRAMs chainsets are always uninspiring to me. Whilst you're riding it you don't have to look at that though so it doesn't matter too much!
  • Nik Cube
    Nik Cube Posts: 311
    I use both 105 and veloce (not on the same bike). All through the winter I claim champag veloce is best and then during the spring I find 105 to be just right. :D
    Fcn 5
    Cube attempt 2010
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,388
    Nik Cube wrote:
    I use both 105 and veloce (not on the same bike). All through the winter I claim champag veloce is best and then during the spring I find 105 to be just right. :D

    There should be an automatic thing on the forum so that everytime someone asks a "what Gear" question this post is automatically posted below.

    Shame you don't have a 'cross bike with SRAM on it....
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • Just yesterday I took collection of my Dolan with Sram Apex for Winter.

    I'm coming form a Carbon Stealth running Force and wanted to stay in the groupset. I'm a bit gutted I paid so much for Force now as closer inspection of Apex (considering it's their entry level) shows it's a damn good GS for the money! The shifters for example are identical barring some graphics. I've peeled back the hood (ooh err!) and the same weight saving drillings are present. Also the rear cassette (12-25) has the same drillings in each tooth. It even shifts better than my Force but I think that's because the cable routing is different and Ribble have cocked up my install which I now have to pull apart and route cables properly. :roll:

    I also have large hands and prefer Sram over my old Shimano GS. Go with what you like the feel of, but bear in mind you get all the latest tech with Sram and pound for pound it is lighter and costs less than anything Shimano/Campy offer in the same GS level.
    Ribble Stealth/SRAM Force
    2007 Specialized Allez (Double) FCN - 3
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    Consider Shimano to be the everday cheap and cheerful groupset, Campag the very best of course, and Sram is just rubbish. Simple.
  • Campagnolo ........... just sounds right no other reason I can think of ....... I have Centaur and I have no complaints at all.
  • Wrath Rob
    Wrath Rob Posts: 2,918
    I was thinking about this today as I've been loaned a bike with SRAM on it (Boardman SLR 9.2, great bike, flies up hills but offers a very slightly harsh ride compared to my Fuji). I've tried the double-tap system before but not for a couple of years during which I've been on Shimano. The shifts were pretty crisp but I didn't like the feel of the hoods, too lumpy, and you can't change down a gear or 2 while braking. I hadn't thought about the last one before but now that I can't do it on this bike I really miss it. On the Shimano bikes it ensures that you're in the right gear to set off when you stop, rather than having to brake, change down, stop as you would on the SRAM. Not a convert.
    FCN3: Titanium Qoroz.
  • bigmat
    bigmat Posts: 5,134
    Wrath Rob wrote:
    I was thinking about this today as I've been loaned a bike with SRAM on it (Boardman SLR 9.2, great bike, flies up hills but offers a very slightly harsh ride compared to my Fuji). I've tried the double-tap system before but not for a couple of years during which I've been on Shimano. The shifts were pretty crisp but I didn't like the feel of the hoods, too lumpy, and you can't change down a gear or 2 while braking. I hadn't thought about the last one before but now that I can't do it on this bike I really miss it. On the Shimano bikes it ensures that you're in the right gear to set off when you stop, rather than having to brake, change down, stop as you would on the SRAM. Not a convert.

    That's because you've got your brakes the wrong way round - brake with your left hand, shift down with your right. The Europeans have got it the right way round!
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,388
    Europeans and everyone else in the world...

    We (well you) are the weirdo's
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • drlodge
    drlodge Posts: 4,826
    Campagnolo Super Record with European braking here. Just saying... :D
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
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  • secretsam
    secretsam Posts: 5,098
    drlodge wrote:
    Campagnolo Super Record with European braking here. Just saying... :D

    There's always one who just has to boast...

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • Campag, better hood shape, better ergonomics of the shifters, wears in - not out.

    I run Centaur on the Izoard and it's been very, very good indeed.
    Trail fun - Transition Bandit
    Road - Wilier Izoard Centaur/Cube Agree C62 Disc
    Allround - Cotic Solaris
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    Campag, better hood shape, better ergonomics of the shifters FOR ME

    FIFY
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • de_sisti
    de_sisti Posts: 1,283
    NapoleonD wrote:
    They are all good.

    I think Nap nailed it here.
  • NapoleonD wrote:
    Rival vs 105 vs Athena.

    Always thought it ran......... Apex vs 105 vs Veloce..... Rival vs Ultegra vs Athena/Centaur

    Could be wrong though.
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,388
    Force is more equivalent to 105, Apex was the beginning of the WiFli system (triple gears, but on a compact), but has now become the entry.level group sort of equivalent to Tiagra
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver