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Braze-on front mechs won’t fit with Campagnolo triple

bicebice Posts: 772
edited February 2019 in Workshop
I bought a beautiful, unused 53T, 42T, 30T Campagnolo Record triple chainring for my retro Italian steel frame, but cannot get a derailleur to fit.

I first tried an Ultegra triple, but that would not clear the 42T middle ring. So I bought a Centaur one, and that won’t fit either. It is better, but needs another 1-2mm to clear the 42T. It does actually ping through if you push it (no chain on yet)

I have no idea what I can do, if anything.

I could have the slot on the braze-on ground out a bit and hope that clears the 42T. Perhaps get another bolt thread drilled into the derailleur, so I can raise it higher. Or, I could grind off the braze-on off altogether, which I am not prepared to do.

It has been a frustrating experience, with a frame that was only ever meant for a standard double.

I am now seriously considering junking all this stuff: selling the Record triple, and brand new Centaur derailleur and the brand new (but now very well made) Centaur BB. £300 all in.

The Ultegra triple has a band-on adapter, so I will keep that for my commuter / tourer (and it only cost £30).

I am now seriously considering a JIS Spa Cycles 50/34, and keep my Centaur double derailleur, that works fine.

It won’t look as good, but to hell with this Campag authenticity. It is a pain, in censored and pocket.


  • sungodsungod Posts: 16,077
    there're a few manufacturers that make bits allowing an fd to be fitted higher/lower on a braze-on mount

    for instance... ... n-Kit/3HKY
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • bicebice Posts: 772
    A shim of some sort to heighten derailleur's position on the braze-on might work: probably make it too high, and possibly wobble.

    But I have just lost confidence that a Campagnolo triple, no matter how pretty, is the right way to go on this bike. I long for JIS, its ease and variety.

    I have now gone lukewarm on this triple, which with 53T is higher than I need. A compact would be simpler, and a step to stripping all the Campag off the bike.
  • ridgeriderridgerider Posts: 2,851
    Surely try it with a chain fitted before giving up... It might influence the movement.
    Half man, Half bike
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,431
    It's not Campag's fault. You would have the same issue with a JIS triple set-up. The problem is your braze-on limits your front mech options. It would appear the deeper inner plate of a triple front mech fouls your middle ring because the braze-on is optimized for a standard double.

    The first thing I would try is to open upwards the slot in your braze-on with a small round file. If as you say it only needs one or two mm, that should be achievable. I would not bother with the Ultegra front mech. I have tried a 105 front mech with my Campag triple but it doesn't work well because Shimano and Campag cable pull ratios are different.

    Another option would be to use your Centaur double front mech with your triple chainset. It should work OK although not as well as a proper triple FD. I used a Chorus double front mech for years on my triple with no problems. Sungod's link to a braze-on mount extender is another option. Or you could replace the 53 and 42 rings with 50 and 40 rings from say Stronglight or TA which would give you a bit more leeway.

    If you do decide to junk the triple and go for a compact double, it will still work with Campag so I can't see the point of stripping all the Campag from your bike. It would be a waste of money.
  • Funnily enough I’ve just been wrestling with the same problem with a 53/42/30 triple chorus over the 53 ring on my early 90s Colnago six.
    I tried a racing t and a mirage front derailleur with no luck. I changed to a 52 campag ring which was just enough for the derailleur to clear the chainring by a couple mm. The same would probably work for your 42 ring, try a 40.
    You could go 50/40/30 and with an 11 or 12 smallest ring at the back you will get a decent big gear.
    Just make sure the rings you get are for a triple and stamped 50/40 and 40/30 etc

    Hope this helps
    Worked for me

  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    Give me a bell. I can get is campag triple front derailleurs from back in the day when record triple was around. -wheel building and other stuff.
  • bicebice Posts: 772

    Here is an update ...

    To Mercia Man
    It's not Campag's fault.

    Well, it is a frustration that Campag does not have any faintly attractive retro compact cranks, which is why I ended up buying the triple in the first place.

    Not relevant to this particular frustration, but it isn’t very confidence-inspiring that the not-very-good-quality Centaur BB is a second attempt: Wiggle very decently replaced the first one (after a year of non-use), which was wrongly etched to say it was Italian thread when it was, in fact, English.

    That most certainly was Campag’s fault, and does not suggest current standards are brilliant (not too relevant to me, admittedly, as I am only interested in the older stuff).


    I now accept that I was a mug to persist with a Campag triple on a 10-speed, and contrary to friends’ advice, which was to get a JIS compact.

    So, this has been an expensive failure.

    I did, however, try Sungod’s suggestion that I try the Rotor adapters for braze-ons, but this has not worked.
    there're a few manufacturers that make bits allowing an FD to be fitted higher/lower on a braze-on mount

    for instance... ... n-Kit/3HKY

    I bought a set of these for £30, but they did not help.

    See pic below.

    The small shim, about 15mm, is too short to help (in any circumstances, I would have thought), and the large black block puts the FD further back, and away from the top of the chainring circles.

    This may not matter with the elliptical chainrings for which it is designed which can scoop up the chain from a non-central position, but it has not helped me with ordinary circular rings.

    It was worth a shot, but it has not worked. The FD just cannot shift down from this off-centre position: the weakest part of it is trying to push the chain.


    Options are:

    1/ Have a longer, curved shim made that can run along the inside of the braze-on and get me some extra height. It has got to be 3-4 cms long so I can clamp it below the FD.

    2/ Replace the 42T ring with 40T or 39T. I don’t want to do this. First, 42T is versatile on a triple. Worse, there is no point in buying some lovely Campag chainrings and then putting on a cheapie substitute.

    3/ File away at the braze-on slot and hope to gain height. Might not be enough, however. I reckon it needs 3mm.

    4/ Remove the braze-on from the frame and use a stem clamp FD. This would undoubtedly be the best solution, but I am not going to do it.

    After spending quite a sum on this triple, I am giving up.

    Even if I got the FD to shift the triple, I now have my doubts that it will shift very well with the 10-speed block on the back. I reckon there would be chain rub on the FD in many gears, having now tried this set-up with a chain.

    Also, Centaur double shifters are having to use every click on the ratchet to shift from granny to 53T. So there is no margin for error, and lots of potential for future grief.

    Of course, I could replace the Centaur shifters with down tube shifters. I actually quite like down tube shifters, but I don’t fancy them with 10-speed.

    It was suggested that I just keep on using my double front derailleur, but I cannot get the shifts from granny to 53T and back again reliably.

    At this point, it is beginning to seem an attractive idea just to go back to my old Record 53T-39T, even if I am missing a tooth on the 39T. The gearing is too high for me, but it has shifted without problems for 10 years.

    A JIS compact crankset, with 48T-34T is in the post … And a beautiful Campag triple is for sale.
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