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Are there more people on Campy in CX than Road? Who's gonna run the new ergos? And other Campy stuff.

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]

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I run a single ring 42 with an IRD 12-32 in the rear with a Centaur med rear derailler and it works great! Campy is costly so most don't use it in the mud but hey you can rebuild and IRD gives you the spread of gears for cross!
That IRD cassette will only work with the old 10spd stuff where you can get a med. cage RD. And it'd not like those are cheap. TA does make rings in CX sizes for UT. But like I said, the US distributor wasn't carrying them for some reason. In fact when I called them, they said I was the only person who had ever called asking for those models (they are a newer model). I haven't got in contact with the Canadian distributor though (who is much closer to where I live). TA rings are not cheap, but they are much less expensive than the Campy ones. Now, standard size for CX is 38/46. If you can't tell I've spent a lot of time the past year dinging around on this subject. If you do the math the gear-inch ratio spread is not that different than a normal compact with a 13-26 cassette. However, the jump from one ring to the other is quite big the further down the cassette you get. You want the closer ratio chainring ratio. It seems, from all my digging around, that the 38/46 works quite well for the racing here in the US, but you may want to consider a 36/46. There are more chainring options for standard cranks (135mm bcd) however. But you are stuck with a 39 as your smallest ring. Miche, for example makes a 46 for the 135mm BCD. Hope that helps.
Based on what Rich said so far, I found the following from starbike.com

Specialites TA Nerius 11 chainring 11-speed 110 mm (only for Campagnolo CT) inner 36
Specialites TA Nerius 11 chainring 11-speed 110 mm (only for Campagnolo CT) inner 38
Specialites TA Nerius 11 chainring 11-speed 110 mm (only for Campagnolo CT) outer 48

Has anyone used starbike.com? Would a US distributor be able to get them since they do seem to exist?
The Nerius line is available here in the US, it's the Solano line that isn't. I'd just ask you LBS if they have EURO-ASIA IMPORTS as one of their distributors. Having gone back through all my e-mails. The new 11 speed is a bit of a mystery to me as far as cross compatibility. I suspect you can use 11 and 10spd rings interchangeably with out even noticing, but I'm not sure. At this moment in time the best recommendation I can make is to go with a Centaur standard crankset (staying with the Athena groupset of course) and getting a set of 39/46 TA 135mm BCD rings. That would be the easiest, and the 10spd crank works fine with 11spd drivetrains from all the reports I've read. But I'll report back in a week or less if I find a better solution.

This is seriously why I've been thinking about making a small batch of Campy compatible chainrings in CX sizes to sell. It's way too much a PITA. I just need some connections, of which I have none.
I have has some correspondence with TA, but they seem to have habit of not giving me all the info I need, and their website is less than stellar. I'm sorry for the wait.
Ok, they still didn't give me all the info I wanted, but here's what I have, some of which you already knew.

Athena Compact : Nerius11 38/48. Not perfect, but close. The only 10 speed 'ring in a 46t is the Solano, but I believe it is too thin to fit right. It's for Centaur and below UT cranksets. So that's your only option.

Athena Standard: No 46t in 11 speed, yet. However, as I believe you can get away with 10 speed 'rings on 11 speed drive trains, a single Vento 46t would give you a 39/46 crank.

The "perfect" option is to get a Centaur or below 10spd UT crankset (avoiding '07/'08 alloy Centaur) and a Solano 46t outer, and Nerius 38t inner.

Personally I'd probably go with a 135 bcd 39/46 and a 12-27 cassette. The nicer thing about that cassette is that it shares all the same cogs as the new 12-29, except for the first 3 gears (23-25-27 vs 23-26-29). So for $75 at Bikeman.com you buy that carrier and you effectively have 2 cassettes. Need easier gearing, take the cassette off and swap out the biggest cogs (top 3 are all attached to one carrier).

I hope that helps,
Rich
Hey guys,

I'd definately recommend going with a 3rd party crank, not only do Campy run odd bcd size rings as already mentioned but also the Ultra Torque cranks have the bearings fitted to the crank spindle as opposed to being in the bb cups. This means that replacing bearings will need to be done at the lbs. Practically all other crank designs these days have the bearings fitted in the bb cups which means replacing is simple.

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