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Thread: Rode Campy for the First Time Today

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    Default Rode Campy for the First Time Today

    So the bike I rented in San Fran was a Campy demo bike - Athena 11 on an Orbea something or other. I had never ridden a Campagnolo equiped bike more than just a couple of laps around a parking lot and so I was excited to have the opportunity to do a full test. I rode the bike for 7 hours straight, long enough for the hoods to give me sore spots due to my Shimano callouses not lining up with the Campy hoods.

    A few impressions:

    1. Huh, maybe the angels don't sing Italian lullabies when you shift the demo groups....or maybe only for Super Record.
    2. That little thumb lever shifter is impeccable. The crispness - like breaking glass! Not quite like a well-tuned trigger on a gun, but very close. Maybe I can get one of those angels to take that last bit of slack up....
    3. The hoods are very nice. I like the horns, very shimano-esq, but done with some style. I also like how they are wider than my Shimano hoods.
    4. I do like the front derailleur trim feature - useful and works more broadly than the 1-click down option on the Shimano.
    5. Not a big fun of the brake-lever shifter, I do like how it is shaped so you can pull it back with your fingertip, but it just was sort of a let down after the crispness of the thumb shifter. I actually dreaded having to use it.
    6. The thumbshifter is kind of awkward in the drops.
    7. I loved the fact that you can ratched up or down multiple gears in one swipe. Very useful going up and down steep little hills where you go from low gears to high gears all in one moment, hill after hill after hill.
    8. Didn't notice the extra cog, but I was using a compact setup, and I usually use a traditional, so it was all a little new....
    9. I did notice that the rear derailleur wasn't quite "on." Shop fault, maybe, but there was one gear that was just a little off and would make noise.

    I really like my Shimano group (old style with the exposed shift cables) - I like being able to brake and shift at the same time and I like the smoothness of the upshifts. Probably due to the increased leverage that comes from the long brake lever. However, since the new Shimano groups have the smaller horns (I like to rest my palms on the horns on flat roads) I'll probably try Campy on a new bike. The tie breaker for me is the ability to shift multiple gears at a time. The Texas Hill Country is characterized by tons of short, steep hills where you are constantly going from one end of the cassette to the other and I like being up to get to one side from the other without click-clacking my way down.

    Just my two cents.....

    P.S. - Oh yeah - the bike had ergo bars! What is the point of them? When I got down in the drops my reach got shorter and I was all hunched up?!? I did like the flat ramp though....

    P.S.S. - That Orbea...kinda squirrely, I had no confidence on the descents....it just seemed to turn funny.

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    Default Re: Rode Campy for the First Time Today

    Orbea geo is strange, plus you get to pick from a total of 4 sizes in their carbon bikes, which is awesome.

    As someone (shortly) making the jump to Campy, I'm glad to hear your initial impression is favorable.

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    Default Re: Rode Campy for the First Time Today

    Descriptive review...I used to ride DA 7800, then to Chorus 11. Everything you said is pretty much right on, except the bike seems to have room for better tune/shift improvement.

    I think one thing everyone can agree on is Campagnolo has much more feedback on shifts, up/down, the thumb shifter does give much more feedback with the pronounced "click." DA is very smooth and sometimes I'd look down and see if it really shifted.

    From what I've heard there are no mechanical differences among SR/Record/Chorus, just the weight difference, so I'd imagine most, if not all of the mechanical feedback I get from Chorus is very similar if not identical to SR, and after 6/7 K miles so far I have not had any problems with it.

    There is one thing about the up-shift lever behind the brake lever is in certain shift conditions (all the way near the 25 cog on a 12-25) I seem to have to push the lever all the way out to get the full engagement in order to shift 2-3 at once, the shift lever does not "spring back" like DA lever, I'd have to push it all the way in to shift up one cog. You have to play with it and get used to it to be able to shift 2-3 cogs at once when in that position. That was the very first thing I really had to get used to coming from DA (and the thumb shifter but I like that)

    I like DA and its smoothness, although right now I must say I'm a Campagnolo convert...until someday I change my mind and give 7900/Di2 a try...now that would be a different story
    .

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    Default Re: Rode Campy for the First Time Today

    Quote Originally Posted by jsrieck View Post
    5. Not a big fun of the brake-lever shifter, I do like how it is shaped so you can pull it back with your fingertip, but it just was sort of a let down after the crispness of the thumb shifter. I actually dreaded having to use it.
    I've seen this same thing on my Campy Chorus 11 groupset. The reason is that the upshift lever (thumb) just has to release cable tension in preset increments since it's always under tension, while the downshift lever has to add cable tension and get to the next detent.

    Plus you don't need as much feedback with the downshift lever since using it is admitting defeat.

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    Default Re: Rode Campy for the First Time Today

    6. The thumbshifter is kind of awkward in the drops.

    Pick up a guitar, get some transcripts of Blind Blake's recordings and practice like hell. Your thumb will run faster and jump higher. Verdad. I also find it an easier reach from the drops with traditional bend bars. Tried it on a set of ergos, made the angle weird.

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    Default Re: Rode Campy for the First Time Today

    Quote Originally Posted by critpix View Post
    Orbea geo is strange, plus you get to pick from a total of 4 sizes in their carbon bikes, which is awesome.
    There's an inappropriate joke somewhere in there about gene pools and Basque separatists, but I'm not going to touch that one.

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    Default Re: Rode Campy for the First Time Today

    Quote Originally Posted by jsrieck View Post
    P.S. - Oh yeah - the bike had ergo bars! What is the point of them? When I got down in the drops my reach got shorter and I was all hunched up?!? I did like the flat ramp though....
    For long technical descents, a flat section to rest your palms on while feathering the brakes is the way I roll. I tried trad round bars and HATED descents on them. Tossed them asap.

    As for being hunched up, on descents i tend to slide my butt a little bit back so the reach is still good. Also tend to extend the inside arm. Just riding along on flats you would grab the bottom part of the bar, which should help the hunchiness.

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    Default Re: Rode Campy for the First Time Today

    Quote Originally Posted by MadRocketSci View Post
    For long technical descents, a flat section to rest your palms on while feathering the brakes is the way I roll. I tried trad round bars and HATED descents on them. Tossed them asap.
    Everything else being equal, I'd prefer others around me to be in their drops for a technical descent.

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    Default Re: Rode Campy for the First Time Today

    you guys think about shifters too much. shimano, campy, sram, all the shit works.

    still rocking a air of 2001 Chorus 10 groups here -- but just scored some 2005 record shifters, front and rear mech from a young broke racer who went to red almost two years ago. hey, that shit is almost new by my standards.

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    Default Re: Rode Campy for the First Time Today

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathanrtaylor View Post
    Plus you don't need as much feedback with the downshift lever since using it is admitting defeat.
    I thought exactly that while riding! It's like the shifter is saying to you: "No trigger shifts for wimps! But if you want to stand up and power up a climb, then you'll get great click when you pull the trigger to drop a gear."

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    Default Re: Rode Campy for the First Time Today

    Quote Originally Posted by DOOFUS View Post
    you guys think about shifters too much. shimano, campy, sram, all the shit works.

    still rocking a air of 2001 Chorus 10 groups here -- but just scored some 2005 record shifters, front and rear mech from a young broke racer who went to red almost two years ago. hey, that shit is almost new by my standards.
    2005 Record shifters are almost new -- should be fine for quite some time.

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    Default Re: Rode Campy for the First Time Today

    Quote Originally Posted by critpix View Post
    Everything else being equal, I'd prefer others around me to be in their drops for a technical descent.
    To clarify, i was referring to the flat part of the drops in a typically ergo bar...

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    Default Re: Rode Campy for the First Time Today

    Quote Originally Posted by MadRocketSci View Post
    To clarify, i was referring to the flat part of the drops in a typically ergo bar...
    Ah, gotcha. Somehow I mistook "flat section" as referring to the ramp section on the bars behind the hoods.

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    Default Re: Rode Campy for the First Time Today

    Did you smoke a cigarette afterward?

    Mom: He was very sickly until he started riding around on that bicycle.


    Dad: Yeah... well... now his body's fine, but his mind is gone.

    -Breaking Away

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    Default Re: Rode Campy for the First Time Today

    Quote Originally Posted by jsrieck View Post
    7. I loved the fact that you can ratched up or down multiple gears in one swipe. Very useful going up and down steep little hills where you go from low gears to high gears all in one moment, hill after hill after hill.
    I'm glad you said this as this is the main reason I love my Chorus 11sp... Do I really HAVE to be able to shift multiple gears? of course not, but it does make it more fun sometimes... :)

    BTW- you'll get used to the paddle shifter after a few rides....
    Life is too short to grow up, go ride a bicycle!

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    Default Re: Rode Campy for the First Time Today

    I just like the solid feel when shifting and like the thumb shifter compared to the dual paddle of shimano.

    They all work well.

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    Default Re: Rode Campy for the First Time Today

    Part of what get's left out, in the discussion of Campy, is its intuitive nature. Said nature is harder to describe than use, and it took me a while with Campy to realize even what was going on. But for the uninitiated, let me try to describe it thusly:

    Imagine that the Chainrings are under your left hand and the Cogs are under your right hand. Imagine also that you use your thumb on finger on each hand to move the chain back and forth on the respective gears. Those are the motions you use to shift. Pushing the right hand thumb shifter down and to the right moves the chain to the right and onto smaller cogs. Pushing the lever shifter to the left moves the chain to the left and up to the bigger cogs.

    Similarly on the left shifter, push the lever to the right and the chain moves right to the big ring. Push the thumb shifter down and to the down and to the left, and the chain moves to the left to the smaller ring.

    A better writer could probably explain this all more clearly, but its not something that needs thinking about. Instead you should try shifting Campy. Working the gears is intuitive - one almost instantly knows the right motions to get the proper results - which is not something that I think is true of Shimano or SRAM. The S's both offer great shifters (I'm mostly riding SRAM right now), but they just aren't as intuitive and take more miles for shifting to become reflexive rather than thoughtful.
    Last edited by CyclesNoir; 08-13-2010 at 02:47 PM.

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    Default Re: Rode Campy for the First Time Today

    Quote Originally Posted by CyclesNoir View Post
    Part of what get's left out, in the discussion of Campy, is its intuitive nature. Said nature is harder to describe than use, and it took me a while with Campy to realize even what was going on. But for the uninitiated, let me try to describe it thusly:

    Imagine that the Chainrings are under your left hand and the Cogs are under your right hand. Imagine also that you use your thumb on finger on each hand to move the chain back and forth on the respective gears. Those are the motions you use to shift. Pushing the right hand thumb shifter down and to the right moves the chain to the right and onto smaller cogs. Pushing the lever shifter to the left moves the chain to the left and up to the bigger cogs.

    Similarly on the left shifter, push the lever to the right and the chain moves right to the big ring. Push the thumb shifter down and to the down and to the left, and the chain moves to the left to the smaller ring.

    A better writer could probably explain this all more clearly, but its not something that needs thinking about. Instead you should try shifting Campy. Working the gears is intuitive - one almost instantly knows the right motions to get the proper results - which is not something that I think is true of Shimano or SRAM. The S's both offer great shifters (I'm mostly riding SRAM right now), but they just aren't as intuitive and take more miles for shifting to become reflexive rather than thoughtful.

    This is a good way to think of it. I've always thought of it as ... The quickest actions should be handled with the thumb shifters. You just hit your limit on a climb, you dump the chain into the small ring. A rider just broke away and you need to step on the gas, drop down a cog. .... The nice thing is that I can do both movements simultaneously without thinking and without dropping the chain. Also, the reverse works just as well. You want big ring while moving up a few cogs, go for it and sweep the levers inward.

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    Default Re: Rode Campy for the First Time Today

    I'm currently on 7900 and I really like it. Honestly, aside from aesthetics and a cool Italian and strong road racing heritage I can't see any reason to switch. Eventhough I'm quite interested in trying the 11 speed stuff on my next bike (God knows when that'll be). The thing that actually concerns me about Campy is actually the highly praised thumb shifter. I really enjoy shifting with just my finger tips. Add to this the placement of the thumb lever and I'm afraid that it won't appeal to me. The thumb lever seems to be placed really far back. I have pretty large hands and it seems like when being draped over the hoods that it would require some contortion to hit the thumb lever. Then there is the matter of upshifting in the drops which I cannot imagine how that works. Are these concerns valid, or just ignorance?

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    Default Re: Rode Campy for the First Time Today

    Quote Originally Posted by TRuss View Post
    Are these concerns valid, or just ignorance?
    I think if you spent a few days on it, you'd see it really isn't a concern. Everyone likes different ergonomics though and sometimes people like to keep their muscle memory unchanged.

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