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campag vs shimano

3leggeddog3leggeddog Posts: 150
edited January 2008 in Workshop
Not wishing to start a big row here. I am building/buying a new bike soon, probably at ultegra/chorus level. I have only ever ridden shimano. Could anyone give me pros and cons of each please. I am totally disinterested in which is the most fashionable or best looking. Interested in performance, maintenance issues, reliability etc

Thanks
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  • giant_mangiant_man Posts: 6,890
    You will start a row. Really no point in asking this 3leggeddog. Having said that my tuppence worth is CAMPAGNOLO IS BETTER!!!

    See what you've done now mate? :D
  • azzerbazzerb Posts: 208
    Well first off, Ultegra is Equivalent ish to Centaur, which is just below Chorus.

    However, Shimano and Campag are both huge companies, and at the level you're looking, you won't get anything naff.

    Personally, I prefer Campag for the aesthetics of it as i assume that they're equally functional, so why bother getting the worse looking?
  • Calm down dear,

    Tell me WHY campy is so much better, I am open to persuasion in either direction (oo-err)
  • Mog UkMog Uk Posts: 964
    * sits back and waits for the show to begin
  • azzerbazzerb Posts: 208
    3leggeddog wrote:
    Calm down dear,

    Tell me WHY campy is so much better, I am open to persuasion in either direction (oo-err)

    It looks sexy.

    Nothing else is going to differentiate them i doubt.
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    3leggeddog wrote:
    probably at ultegra/chorus level.

    Ultegra is nowhere near Chorus level. Ultegra is below Centaur (with all the carbon goodies).

    Shimano works, but Campagnolo works and looks good.
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  • meagainmeagain Posts: 2,774
    Probably easiest if you have any simple old fashioned national prejudices to guide you, I suspect. Any relatives imprisoned either by the Axis powers or the Japanese?

    Suntour is pretty good!
    d.j.
    "Cancel my subscription to the resurrection."
  • meagain wrote:
    Probably easiest if you have any simple old fashioned national prejudices to guide you, I suspect. Any relatives imprisoned either by the Axis powers or the Japanese?

    No but my grandfather had a particularly good italian rifle, slight damage only dropped once! He collected many pairs of italian designer shoes too
  • I've not dared ask this question either - so well done!

    I have no experience of Campag at all. I run an Ultegra groupset (which incidently I really like: very smooth and quiet with a satisfyingly solid shift that goes 'clunk' (in a good way)) but only because it was part of the bike deal I got and have always wondered what the difference is.

    Does Campag actually ride better? Or is it just a looks/style thing? Just looking from the outside, the fact that the cables are tucked away is great (why can't shimano do this? surely it can't be all that difficult technically can it?). But the button on the hood - 3 seperate controls to change gear and break - looks a bit fiddly.

    Not saying any of this to wind anybody up. I genuinely don't know and would be interested to hear from those who do..
  • acorn_useracorn_user Posts: 1,137
    Here are some set piece Campag arguments:
    Parts are rebuildable
    Cables under bar tape looks good and is helpful if you use a handle bar bag
    Groupsets are good value
    Ergo levers are cheaper than STI
    Multiple shifts
    Heritage blah
    Chains last well

    Downsides
    Parts rebuildable, but spares very expensive!
    Ergos may be cheap, but derailleurs and cassettes expensive
    Pain in the rear to buy new hubs and cassettes
    Some parts in compatible
    Campag wants you to buy their stuff, so some bold patterns unusual (eg CT chainrings)

    Really, it's a matter of preference. I prefer the feel of ergo levers, ergo, I ergo! Otherwise, the functionatlity of the groups is similar. You might also consider Sram. If this bike is a special one to you, I would either consider Chorus or Ultegra SL or Dura Ace. Dura Ace costs a similar amount to Chorus.

    Suntour rocks too, but just try finding Superbe Pro parts :(
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Just looking from the outside, the fact that the cables are tucked away is great (why can't shimano do this? surely it can't be all that difficult technically can it?)

    Shimano have finally cottoned onto the fact people like concealed cables, I think the ProTour Professionals are getting shimano with concealed cables this year.
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  • azzerbazzerb Posts: 208
    I've not dared ask this question either - so well done!

    I have no experience of Campag at all. I run an Ultegra groupset (which incidently I really like: very smooth and quiet with a satisfyingly solid shift that goes 'clunk' (in a good way)) but only because it was part of the bike deal I got and have always wondered what the difference is.

    Does Campag actually ride better? Or is it just a looks/style thing? Just looking from the outside, the fact that the cables are tucked away is great (why can't shimano do this? surely it can't be all that difficult technically can it?). But the button on the hood - 3 seperate controls to change gear and break - looks a bit fiddly.

    Not saying any of this to wind anybody up. I genuinely don't know and would be interested to hear from those who do..

    I'd never ridden Campag untill this weekend, and only had used a low end Shimano and a decent MTB Shimano.

    The gears are silky smooth, the transition is quick and responsive, the trim is effective and you can feel the gear changes in your fingers really well.

    Centaur is really a bargain at the moment, you get all the carbon fibery goodness. So no it's not just good looks, its very functional. Oh and the three mechanisms are fine, i think i prefer it, no way to stumble when you're absolutely cream crackered.
  • Mog UkMog Uk Posts: 964
    If you do go the Campag route, you'll be needing these.....

    23281737.jpg

    Them cassettes are bloody noisy...
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Mog Uk wrote:
    If you do go the Campag route, you'll be needing these.....

    23281737.jpg

    Them cassettes are bloody noisy...

    You mean the freehubs?
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  • Mog UkMog Uk Posts: 964
    Freehub/cassette..... Either way they're noisy ( or noisier than Shimano )

    Can always tell the Campag user when out on a ride, usually hear them coming a mile away :lol:
  • giant_mangiant_man Posts: 6,890
    Noisy me bum! Campag Record and Chorus are sooooooooo lovely and smooth.

    Elegant, smooth, built to last and yes more expensive than ShimaNO. Thanks heavens!
  • aarwaarw Posts: 448
    someone once said, on the cycling + board i believe, "no-one ever got laid for using shimano". classic!

    The centaur group is fantastic value for what you get in comarison to the equivalent ultegra. i prefer the feel of the campag gear changes, they are a lot smoother than they used to be, but i preferred the sold change of old. i guess that'd why they brought in the 'pro' version with the red text on record levers...?

    The freewheels are louder than shimano but then italian cars were always noisier than japanese....but don't they sound great?!?!?!

    isn't it lighter too?
  • mab beemab bee Posts: 196
    Before you make a decision, read the instructions for Campy ultra-torque chainsets. You'll see that they are so ridiculously over-complicated compared to Shimano hollowtech II.Essentially, you can't replace the bearings yourselfthe cranks have to be sent off too havthe bearings pulled and then re-pressed into position). Furthermore, the instructions tell you not to change the chainrings youslef (or risk, and I quote 'Death or serious injury').

    Secondly, consider not only the initial oulay, but also the running costs. Ultegra cassettes can be had for around GBP25; chorus are 2 to 3 times this price.

    Record, Chorus and much of the rest of campy is built for people who like to store their bike in the hallway as an art exhibit. Shimano is for people who actually use their bikes and need to consider the cost of replacing cassettes and chainrings together with the practicality of being able to do it oneself. For me, thesolute clincher in teh argument is the inability to change the bearings in ultra-torque cranksets -- this means they are just not suitable for British style road riding (that is, wet and filthy)

    Personally, I would try to hold-on until later this year when the new Dura-Ace will be available c/w concealed cables -- and then purchase the current DA at massivley knocked-down prices ;)
  • dcjdcj Posts: 395
    I have bought 3 bikes since 2000. The first off the peg machine came with ultegra, the second bought at the end of 2004 was the dream self-specced machine with campag record, and the third machine - cheaper and off the peg - had dura ace.

    I have always been a campag user before 2000 but the ultegra kit is superb. . Even 105 is excellent these days. Record is great too but with all the carbon bits it seems very over fussy. The hidden cables are good but the path taken by the cables is smoother on shimano. One thing I much prefer is the shimano hand grip shape. Also the campag brake levers sit further away from the bars and you have to stretch further.

    If I was buying a groupset now it would be ultegra or dura-ace. I love its quality and simplicity of finish. With the money saved from record I would get better wheels. If only shimano would do a compact alloy dura-ace crankset it would be perfect.
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    dcj wrote:
    Also the campag brake levers sit further away from the bars and you have to stretch further.

    Not on my bikes, my Campag brakes are easier to reach than the shimano from the drops.
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  • What I never liked about Shimano / Ultegra:

    * The alloy brake levers corrode within a few months of inital sweat contact.
    * Both gear and brake cables are much more difficult to install than they should be.
    * The chain comes pre-coated in the most tacky protective grease imaginable which can't be removed by any known chemical method.
    * The gear housing doesn't go under the bar tape.
    * The shimano logo wears off the cranks too quickly... probably not a bad thing! :P
    * Not many compact cranks to choose from I see...
    * Nonexistent spare parts - hence shifters etc are not rebuildable.
    * FD can't be 'trimmed' like the campy equivalents.
    * Not really possible to brake to a stop & shift up at the same time!

    My rental bikes are shimano as it is more... uhh... practical (read cheaper, and no campy dealers in the North of Tenerife).
    My personal bikes are all campy, as it works & looks better... but is more expensive to buy & maintain.
  • I'd never tried Campag or decent Shimano until I came to ordering my new bike - I spent quite a bit of time trying 105 vs Veloce and weighing the pros and cons, I ended up with Veloce. The look, the feel, it was just better. Not that the Shimano was bad...

    As for three controls being complicated, one of the things I didn't like about 105 was doing two things with one lever - asking for trouble!
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  • neebneeb Posts: 4,412
    One thing I much prefer is the shimano hand grip shape.

    This is by far the biggest difference you'll notice when riding them (that and the gear changing methods). Personally I like the campag shape and feel better. It's a big deal really, they do feel quite different and you're in contact with them all of the time. Think of it like choosing a saddle?

    P.S. I changed the chainrings on my chorus chainset and I'm not dead yet. You do need to find a screwdriver of just the right size to fit the slots at the back of the bolts though (assuming you haven't got the special tool, who does?), otherwise you'll ruin them. And the front ones take a torx fitting.
  • One thing I much prefer is the shimano hand grip shape.

    Hi there.

    Yup - this is the one thing that made me change from Daytona (forerunner to Centaur) to Ultegra. I've subsequently upgraded to Dura Ace whenever I need to replace bits.

    People who like Campag stuff will shout a lot about how great it is. Very passionate people.

    The truth is, both companies make really good components at the top end of the range. You will not be disappointed with Centaur, Chorus, Record, Ultegra or Dura Ace. Equally so with 105 if your budget is tighter.

    Campag stuff is better aesthetically, I think Shimano stuff is better value for money.

    Cheers, Andy
  • One thing I much prefer is the shimano hand grip shape.

    Hi there.

    Yup - this is the one thing that made me change from Daytona (forerunner to Centaur) to Ultegra. I've subsequently upgraded to Dura Ace whenever I need to replace bits.

    People who like Campag stuff will shout a lot about how great it is. Very passionate people.

    The truth is, both companies make really good components at the top end of the range. You will not be disappointed with Centaur, Chorus, Record, Ultegra or Dura Ace. Equally so with 105 if your budget is tighter.

    Campag stuff is better aesthetically, I think Shimano stuff is better value for money.

    Cheers, Andy
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    Personally I prefer campag - I've just found it's more reliable and stays set up better and I get on with the ergos shape and the way they shift better than with stis. I've owned DuraAce and to be honest prefer Centaur - but a lot of it is personal preference.

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  • robbarkerrobbarker Posts: 1,367
    The problem with asking that question in a forum like is is that people go into "big purchase justification" mode. Who wouldn't?

    Having had experience with both, my view is that both are fine, Campag is fantastic eye candy but Shimano works better.

    Campag score big points with hubs - replaceable bearing cups and 25 grade ball bearings mean better quality, longer life and smoother running. On the other hand the Ultra Torque bottom bracket system seems to be problematic and, perhaps, not that well thought out.

    Shimano kit tends to be silky smooth in operation- Campag is clunkier, noisier and more positive. A matter of preference.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,523
    I don't really care but thought I would pose this question. How in the world could any man win seven TDF's using just plain junk, "Dura-Ace", 9 speed censored garbage when, clearly,
    Campy record 10 speed is the vastly superior component group? Oh, of course, he was on drugs and it's a known fact that no Campy rider ever would disgrace the brand that
    way. Sorry, just couldn't resist.

    Dennis Noward
  • orvorv Posts: 92
    Best option... try both. see what you like. and then just ignore everyone.
    I tried both and chose the Shimano. I just liked the feel of the levers and the changing felt right/natural.
    Do I care if other roadies look down their nose at it? Not particularly.
    Both are superbly engineered bits of kit. (even the lower 'grade' items in the ranges)
  • aarwaarw Posts: 448
    dennisn wrote:
    I don't really care but thought I would pose this question. How in the world could any man win seven TDF's using just plain junk, "Dura-Ace", 9 speed censored garbage when, clearly,
    Campy record 10 speed is the vastly superior component group? Oh, of course, he was on drugs and it's a known fact that no Campy rider ever would disgrace the brand that
    way. Sorry, just couldn't resist.

    Dennis Noward

    Because he was paid to?
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