Ok, so I've been diggin' through the forum and article archives and finding good stuff. but more importantly a lot of people who ride Campy! Here in the wilds of Maine if you tell someone you're building a CX bike with Campy they pretty much call you an idiot. So who many here ride Campy? Please sound off. But those with Campy shifters cabled to Shimano parts (eww) and giant red, hideous seats, need not. :D See, I have been catching up.
Some of you may know this already so please skip on:
Now Surly Bastard and others, may be glad to know that the Escape mechs are all but dead for '09. You can get escape as an optional set of Veloce ergos, but I think they are just trying to get rid of old stock. Now, the 'Ultra Shift Veloce (black levers) and Centaur (all shiny alloy, or carbon/black) are 10s. And the design seems really well thought out ergonomically. There may be much more leverage available, from the hood position, to apply to the brake lever. Which I would assume (I'm a noob) would be much better for CX racers. Can anyone comment on this? Also the new FD with the new US ergos seems to shift much better from what I read in a review (either Velo news or bike radar, can't remember). Although, the ramp system on the rings has been improved and I'm sure contributes. Will that be enough to get pros from using Shimano FDs with their Campy drive trains? :D And what about 11s? Will there really be issues? [ducking for cover] On a good note, it looks like Athena is coming back, and it's going to an 11s group under Chorus. It might me rather affordable in comparison to Record.
Ok, is there anyone out there using Ultra Torque cranks? If so STD or CT? And what size chainrings with what cassette. Where did you get it and what brand is it? Would you recommend them? I have seen a lot of people mention that 48s were too big, but what cassette were you using? Is it just me, or do most Campy riders use a 13-26 cassette? And where do I get a TA nerius (campy compact) 46T outer ring. Everyone is selling 48T, but not a 46T. Does TA even make one any more?
What if someone were to put together a Campy CX kit, with stuff like a 2m derailleur cable, extra derailleur housing, CX size chainrings, ect. What would you want in that kit? Other than a wipperman chain, Surly. :D
And, what are the downsides to riding Campy in cross?
For myself, I made a little gearing chart with different gearing options available either from or for Campy (as far as I could tell) to come up with the best/easiest/cheapest options for properly gearing a Campy powered CX bike. It is notepad and I am going to attach it to this thread. I've worked on it off and on over the past year as I built my Bianchi up. If you have the time or want, please go through it and critique it/rip it apart.
And lastly, wouldn't the new 5.5mm 11s chain cut through the mud faster? :D [ziiiip]
Glad to hear Escape has escaped. I sent back a set last year with a profane admonishment to the Campy rep that did the trick. They really listen to me and I'm very impressed with myself for sure. .
I hear the new hoods are a little better to hang on to than the old hooks. Some people find the classic Ergo hood a little small and tough to grab on rough ground, so maybe that's one negative - now addressed by the new design. I thinking about trying some but what am I going to do with the box full of alloy Centaur Ergos I've got rat-holed away?
As far as a downside to running Campy, I can't really think of any other than you can't get a standard cassette in a 10 that's 12-26. Rich, if you're looking to offer something that's really exclusive how about cobbling together some 12-26 10 speed Campy cassettes? That would be cool. And as far as Campy not recommending running their stuff off-road ... I don't get it and I don't care. I've been grinding Campy in the crud for years and it keeps working and working and working ... While Campy may sit on my every word they haven't sent me any free gear or a check for rocking their stuff, so I'll do what I like ... I did see one bike (a Moots) set up with Record 11 which really got the more money than sense nod ... I'm waiting for an even number like 12 or 14 before I move up ... at which point I'll be sandbagging the 75 plus category.
Well Campy fans everywhere owe you a debit of gratitude Surley. :D Personally, I have escapes on my Bianchi and as clumsy as I am I think they might be useful in CX conditions. No way am I putting them on my road bike though.
WHAT? You have a box full on alloy ergos?! I'm not big on them but I know plenty of old fuddy duddies on the campy-only forum that would like them. If you have a box full then you could probably fund you grand kids college education just by selling them on e-bay.
That's an awesome recommendation Surley, Thank you. I think I also saw a mention of how to make a 12-27 for Campy, somewhere out there in cyber space as well. But you could just get an Athena groupset this fall with a 12-27 11s cassette.
Did some thinking and looking, and the easiest and cheapest way, while maintaining quality and compatibility is to buy a Veloce (or Mirage if you can find one) 12-25T cassette and a 26T sprocket from Miche. When you got to put the cassette on just swap the Campy 25T for the Miche 26T and there you go. If you really want to get fancy but Miche 24T and 27T sprockets as well and swap them for the 23T and 26T and you have a Shimanoesque 12-27T cassette, when you need that little bit extra.
I'd like to take credit for personally killing that QS nonsense. I called Campy and told them the old man would be rolling around in his grave when he got the word on that junk. I guess that did it. The ability to dump gears, wholesale, while going into a barrier or run up that demands a lower gear on the exit: priceless. Also it takes the sand and mud better, IMO.
Funny story about Campy Super Record 11 from this past season: I was in Louisville, my race over, washing my muddy bikes at the wash rack near the pits, when a mechanic comes running up with a bike. "Are you racing right now?" he wanted to know. Since I wasn't I handed him the power washer wand and helped him clean up his rig. It was a Colnago with Super Record 11 everything. The rig was a mess and it was apparent the guy had planted it like a potato a couple of times. (This thing had deep section Zipps, Dugasts, etc., so you couldn't throw much more $$$$ at a bike if you tried). While I'm helping the dude he starts going off on the right shifter. It won't work, it's all plugged with mud - or maybe the mech was toast, or the cable choked or something, but he started hacking on the shifter like a mad man. I almost fainted/puked/keeled over ... he was shoving the power washer down inside the lever and blasting the guts while pulling so hard on the lever I thought it was gonna snap at the hinges. I was wondering, how $$$ for one Super Record Ergo? Wow! Some mechanic. And some budget. I'm guessing that the other bike on course, while we were destroying this one, was the same. I figure that was over $20 Gs in rigs? Whatcha think? While I lurve campy for cross I can't think of a more horrible idea than Super Record 11 for this game - especially on a peanut butter mud course like we had in Louisville this year. But maybe I'm just a cheap bastard and dont realize that one extra gear would make me one faster ...
Yeah, Super record is over kill. And Athena groupset with the Carbon cranks (VS alum cranks) is 2100 grams and like $1400, maybe a bit more, retail?.
The only thing in favor of the new 11 spd is the 12-27 cassette. However, the new shifters are available in 10 (Veloce and Centaur) or 11 (all other levels) and have the greater leverage from the redesigned brake levers, better ergonomics, and they are easier to rebuild (at least that's what people who have taken them apart are saying). There is also almost no chance of getting the shifters jammed when when accidentally nudging lever 2 with you gloved finger. Trust me, I've tried. And, all the rebuild kits cost the same. The SR internals only differ by a Ti part in there somewhere, that I'm sure can be salvaged. Other wise, you pay the same price for replacement internals as anyone else does. Now, the brake levers are a whole other story.
This may or may not be an advantage, but you can only dump 5 gears at a time (I have personally confirmed this), and not the whole cassette. That means if you crash or hit a bad bump, you may have avoided the 12T cog to start in when you get back on.
That's 6 to 1, and a 1/2 dozen to the other. I would lean full alloy Athena. The brake levers look carbon, but they are just wrapped alloy levers. Also all of the 11 speed stuff has been stiffened up to shift better (ie. derailleurs and cassette bodies). And the all alloy Athena groupset is cheaper than the all carbon Centuar, which is available with alloy cranks. But I have been told that the World cup guys were breaking the carbon body rear derailleurs on some of the grittier courses, which Centaur is. And why go with a 3rd party crank? Just go with the Athena compact cranks and some TA 10spd ring(s) in the size(s) you want. They do have them. If you need help asking for the right ring just drop me a note and I'll help you out. The only issue is the US distributor might not carry the model you'll be looking for. You'll probably have to order it(them) from England. Ultra Torque is awesome to work on and ride. Don't substitute. And as far as wheels, if you have a set and can't get a Campy compatible freehub for it, my Campy Khamsin Wheelset have proved almost bullet proof. I am 220 lbs and I have beat these pretty hard on rough roads, commuting with loads, and even Mt. bike trails. The only issue I had was when I came back from Alaska this fall somewhere along the way the anchor bolt for the axel had backed out, and I hadn't noticed. The aluminum around the pawls got chewed up, and the spring eventually broke. But a new freewheel and I'm back in business. This is very unCampy like, as the service interval is 3000 miles, and overhaul is 12,000 or 15,000 miles. They are heavy though (1900grams). But they only cost me $200 online and have never had to be trued. Not to mention they are a comfy ride without being flexy.
Thanks for all the great info...makes me feel more comfortable investing in Campy. I was thinking 3rd Party Crank because most of the posts mention not finding the correct chainrings sizes (46-48 Outer and 38-40 Inner) and needing to deal with odd Compact BCD size.
If I went with Athena 11s Compact and the 12-17, what would be the best Chainring sizes?