I've never used Campy

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Anonymous's picture

"I tried the search function but it didn't yield the results I was looking for so if you could please answer my silly question I'd really appreciate it.

My new bike it in! YIPPEE! now I need to figure out what components to put on it so I'm asking the age old question Campy or Shimano.

But much more specifically; I am currently riding Shimano and I've never ridden Campy. I read the description of the differences between the two systems and it doesn't really make sense to me. In lay-mans terms what does this mean?

Campagnolo Ergo shifters use of different, opposite motions for upshifting and downshifting. This makes them more intuitive in use and reduces the risk of missing a shift.

so you push one way to shift up and the opposite to shift down oppossed to pushing a different lever on Shimano?

Will I have to double click like I do now?

The front (left) Ergo shifter is not indexed, so it works with any front derailer and any combination of chainring sizes.

does this mean it's a ""friction system""? how will I know I'm in gear? I rely on the click to tell me I'm in (actually it's more like a grating noise).

Sheldon Brown has an extensive glossary on terms but not being fluent in gearspeak some of the descriptions would make better sense to me if they were Latin so if anyone could dumb it down I'd appreciate it.

I'm a frequent shifter all the way up and all the way down - sometimes I even *GASP* crosschain! I'm just trying to make an educated decision on the best component set up for my new ride.

thanks in advance!"

Anonymous's picture
Steve (not verified)

Biggest difference is that on Campy only the smaller lever moves (i.e., the black one on Shimano). The other shifter is a thump shifter on the hood.

Just go to a bike shop and look at a bike with Campy, not that big a deal.

Anonymous's picture
An anonymous cow! (Christian Edstrom) (not verified)

"Short answer:

Ride a bike with Campy. Rest your hands on the hoods. Feel the hoods. Decide whether you like the hoods better or worse than Shimano. Make purchase decision based on which hoods you prefer.

Long answer:

No, Campy uses two levers, just like Shimano. The difference is that the lever used to move the derailleur in the same direction as the spring tension is a thumb button on Campy levers. In other words, to downshift in the front, you use a thumb button instead of a Shimano-like small lever. Same thing for upshifts in the rear.

Also, for the opposite shift, on Shimano, you move the whole brake lever, on Campy you move a smaller lever recessed behind the brake lever.

The Campy front lever is a ratchet system. There are 7 different positions within the lever which allow you to easily trim your front derailleur position. I am not sure what you mean when you say you rely on the noise to determine whether a shift has occurred. I have ridden Campy Ergo off and on since 1995, and I've never had a problem determining when a front shift has ""taken.""

But seriously, all this is not that important. Both Campy and Shimano shift just fine. It's the hood shape that matters.

- Christian


Anonymous's picture
Kate (not verified)
thanks! Moo...... (nm)
Anonymous's picture
rb (not verified)

"I prefer Campy for the following reasons:

1. if it breaks, you can easily get small reaplacement parts and not have to replace ""the whole thing"" as you do with Shimano
2. I like the cleaner look of the cabling (no cable sticking out the side of the lever)- personal preference
3. On the Shimano, I don't like the way the whole brake lever moves when shifting
4. I can skip gears when downshifting (you can't do that with Shimano)

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)

rb wrote:

> 3. On the Shimano, I don't like the way the whole brake
> lever moves when shifting

...this is one of the reasons i picked shimano - being able to shift/brake at the same time is incredibly handy.


Anonymous's picture
Carol (not verified)
Hood Comfort

"Christian is right, the major difference for most people is which hood style is more comfortable. I (a woman with small hands) find the Campy hoods much more comfortable than Shimano, and it's much easier to brake from the Campy hoods. However, there may be other factors to consider:

* Ability to trim to front derailleur (especially if you like to use all the cogs - crosschaining, as you say) Campy wins hands down.

* Smoothness of shift. The Shimano Ultegra system shifts like a dream, smoothe as silk. Campy feels a little stiffer and you have to ""click"" the front shifter several times to get the get the actual shift (which is also what allows you to trim the derailleur so you don't have chain rub in a large/large or small/small gear combo). On the other hand, with Campy you can get through those ""clicks"" in one hand motion and you can shift through several rear cogs in one motion. So for me these are small issues compared to hand comfort on the hoods and ability to trim the derailleur (thus my road bike has Campy).

* Access to a wider range of cogsets (in order to get lower gears) Shimano wins - you can get a 32 or 34 tooth rear cog to tame those mountains. The biggest you can get with Campy is 29. So it may depend on your climbing ability, where you're riding and what the hills or climbs are like. This was the deciding factor for my touring bike - I went with Shimano to get the wider gear range for touring."

Anonymous's picture
Alan (not verified)
Either or...

"I have two road bikes,one with Shimano Ultegra 9 and the other with Campy Centaur/Chorus 10. They both work well, and to me at least the hand position/feel is pretty much identical. If anything, I find the Campy upshift (that is, to a smaller cog) more natural because you do it with your thumb from a very natural hand position, but I think the difference is really very minimal. I like the ""thunk"" that the Campy makes -- it sounds solid. I think the rebuildability of Campy is a plus. As for cassettes sizes, my Campy bike has a triple chainring and a 13-29 cassette, which is fine for me. The Shimano rig (also a triple) has a 12-24, and that gets me up 10% climbs all day."

Anonymous's picture
zxcv (not verified)

What do you do on the other 90% of the climbs?
Just kidding.

Anonymous's picture
Alan (not verified)

Walk... (just kidding)

Anonymous's picture
campyman (not verified)

If you go Shimano, note that their hoods are longer, longer reach, which might necessitate a shorter stem.

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Downshifting/upshifting: let's agree on which is higher/lower.

"Definitions seems to be in order here. In a race car, or, for that matter, any car or truck, downshifting means shifting into a LOWER gear; in our parlance, a smaller chainring or a larger cog. Conversely, upshifting means shifting into a higher gear: a larger chainring or a smaller cog.

In this thread and maybe throughout cycling, the reverse seems to be implied: downshifting is to a gear with larger gear inches, i.e. a gear combination that is harder to turn but produces more speed for the same RPMs; upshifting, as used here, seems to be shifting to a more ""mountain-friendly,"" i.e. lower gear.

Right or wrong? And if bicycle nomenclature is the opposite of automotive parlance, does this make sense?"

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)

People can tell you what gear they're in and what gear they'll shift to next. Whether that's upshifting or downshifting they wouldn't have a clue.

Maybe that's why most people drive automatics.

Anonymous's picture
ted (not verified)
I vote wrong

On a bike, or in a car, you downshift to a lower gear when going up a steep hill.
I think people sometime incorrectly state that they are shifting down, because they are moving to a smaller cog, which is actually a bigger gear, or an upshift.

Anonymous's picture
Campy Fan (not verified)
My comparison

I have 2 road bikes. One has Campy Record 10 and one has Shimano Dura-Ace 10 (for those unaware, both are the top of the line of each company). Both bikes are carbon and I like the ride of each, but I much prefer and predominantly ride my Campy bike. I find the Campy hoods much more confortable and with small hands, the Campy levers are much more ergonomic (pun slightly intended). When riding the Shimano bike after a few months of riding the Campy, the rear shifting seems slow and hazy compared to the quick, crisp shifts of my Campy. The front shifting, however, is much quicker on my Shimano as it is a much shorter throw than the Campy. I also like the clean lines and the overall look of the Campy equipped bar.

Because of my clear preference, I always ride my Fondriest and am currently preparing to change over to Campy on my Look as well.

A few years ago, someone suggested to me that Campy was like driving a manual and Shimano like driving an automatic. I have driven a stick for 25 years (my last four cars) and hate driving automatics. I guess that's why I love my Campy.

Anonymous's picture
bill vojtech (not verified)

A few years ago, someone suggested to me that Campy was like driving a manual and Shimano like driving an automatic. I have driven a stick for 25 years (my last four cars) and hate driving automatics. I guess that's why I love my Campy.
So that's why I like Shimano– I hate driving a stickshift car.

Anonymous's picture
April (not verified)

I drive automatic and ride Campy.

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