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Campagnolo drive trains in cyclocross

deejay.deejay. Posts: 665
edited August 2014 in Cyclocross
Hi all,

I'm planning to ride a couple of races in the Wessex league this year (read: planning - family commitments and coaching commitments to mini-rugby may prove an insurmountable challenge, though I hope not) on my hard tail mtg, after which time, if I stick at it, the current Mrs deejay may permit me to invest in a 'cross racer. I am Campag through and through, at least on my own bicycles, though I know I will not be able to insist on this so easily on other family steeds (nothing against Shimano - I just like Campagnolo...). I discussed this (briefly...'cos the bloke in the bike shop didn't seem to want much of a discussion) and was told that Shimano's experience with mtb drivetrains is what established them as the drivetrain manufacturer of choice for 'cross.

I wondered whether we on the forum agree with this statement, or whether there are plenty of people out there racing 'cross with Campagnolo drivetrains. And to be clear, I'm not talking about multi-use commuting, I mean proper racing, albeit when I get started I will be setting out to prove that in cyclocross, as in Kung Fu, "there is now a level zero..."

Would be grateful for your thoughts/input/anecdotes etc.

He's more machine now than man. Twisted and evil...


  • andypandyp Posts: 8,851
    I've raced Campag for years without any major issues. There are some incompatibilities with certain brakes, like the TRP CX9, due to the amount of cable pull Ergo levers have, and Campag enabled rear disc hubs are rarer than hens' teeth, but those are the only minor issues I've come across.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,777
    My CX bike has ergo levers 9 speed, RD also is Campagnolo, the rest is Shimano. A Shiftmae JTek keeps everything working smoothly. Disc Brakes and Campagnolo work OK, as long as you steer clear of the TRP options (Spyre and HyRd)... both BB7 road and Hayes CX Expert work well.
    If you need a top pull FD Campagnolo doesn't make one.
  • deejay.deejay. Posts: 665
    Thanks guys. I was wondering about running 1x11 on the CX bike anyway, to keep things simple, as I should be able to get a decent spread of gears on an 11 tooth cassette, and I've noticed a couple of manufacturers, including Giant, opting for the same with Shimano on their 2105 bikes.
    He's more machine now than man. Twisted and evil...
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    I put together a 9 speed Campag CX bike for my ex. The Campag groupset (and especially mechs and shifters) seemed more robust than Shimano/SRAM. Real shame I could never get on with Campag levers :-(
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • No reason it shouldn't work just as well as road Shimano/Sram. Either way it will get clogged up and beaten, its what you are willing to pay to replace/maintain the kit. I suppose if you opted for some CX/MTB specific kit it would be stronger?

    If running cross bikes and road bikes, I find it handy to keep to the same brand (Shimano in my case) as it makes swaping out wheels, casettes etc easier and can be quite handy at times.
  • deejay.deejay. Posts: 665
    My thoughts exactly. Thanks guys. Was going to go low end kit anyway, and spend the money on the frame and wheels...that is, when I'm allowed!
    He's more machine now than man. Twisted and evil...
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Always ridden Campagnolo for CX - have too many wheels and parts to want to change. FWIW older style 'ratchet' Ergos work fine with Shimano top-pull CX front mechs. IME one brand or another isn't any better at coping with really muddy conditions - in fact Shimano are the least durable because of the construction/complexity of the shifters where the lever body simply breaks in half, whilst SRAM and Campag are rebuildable. If you take your racing seriously and you are pushing-it then do expect the inevitable crashes. My first season of racing resulted in trashed shifters, mech hanger and rear mech, so best to leave the Super Record on the summer bike. I have Shimano on my MTB but apart from hub seals, isn't any more durable - I'm switching to 1x10 because of terrible chainsuck at a couple of MTB Enduros last winter.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • majormantramajormantra Posts: 2,094
    If you're running 11 speed Campag you have the option of using Shimano freehubbed wheels, since they are compatible.
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