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Which gruppo to use for fixed gear?(3 posts)

Which gruppo to use for fixed gear?fixedgearnut
Apr 18, 2002 6:15 PM
I'm just beginning to shop for my dream bike; a fixed gear road bike. Shimano & Campy both make track components. Which would hold up better to the elements & why? TIA
re: Which gruppo to use for fixed gear?Tommy B
Apr 19, 2002 10:31 AM
You might want to be more selective than going with either companies full track gruppo if your building a fixie for road use in the elements.

Well I don't own or have experience with the Campy Pista components but I looked at both the Shimano and Campy (and Sugino) designs when I built my own fixed gear dream bike. As far as holding up to the elements I'd say they are both about equal in terms of finish quality and durability. I went with the Dura Ace 7710 crankset for a few reasons:
1. It has the advantage of using a splined BB which gives a stiffer, more solid connection to the BB and since all my other bikes use Ultegra or DA splined BB's this was a plus in the tools department when it comes time to fiddle with it.

2. The Dura Ace crank was just recently redesigned to be stiffer than the model it replaced and has hollow crank arms. I don't know the numbers off hand but I recall it was a bit lighter than Campy's and lightness was important to me. Aesthetically, the Campy design is more elegant perhaps in a more traditional way and because that is one of the reasons it is loved, it has not changed much over the years (not that it needs to).

3. I liked that you could get the DA crank with a black chainring for no extra $$$ and it worked with the look I was going for.

4. It's interesting to note that the Dura Ace 7710 Track BB is actually sealed while their 7700 Road BB isn't. I saw a good deal on an Ultegra BB so I didn't spend the extra green on the DA 7710 even though it's lighter.

In terms of "holding up to the elements" the thing to realize about both Campy and Shimano's track hubs is that they are designed specifically for track use...not road use. As a result, neither has sealed bearings and both companies say that they are not warrantied for road use. That being said, I know many couriers that use both on their bikes but I've never asked them how often they clean/service their bearings (maybe they don't bother and go thru hubs/bearings quickly).

My friend who worked at a bike shop and dealt with courier bikes often convinced me that Phil Wood hubs are the way to go. They have sealed bearings that are famous for being smooth and hub shells that are always described as bombproof. At first I was hesitant because I had lightness on the brain and Phil's hubs are no feather-weights. Seeing that Shimano now has both high and low-flange designs gave me the idea to ask Phil Wood make a custom low-flange hub body to save weight. (The people over there are great and since they are a relatively small company they will do things like that). They charged me $50 extra for each hub last year. Today I went back to their site and wouldn't you know it...they now offer low flange track hubs along with their regular ones. I'm still waiting for them to thank me!

The other nice things about their hubs are that the bolts are tightened with S.S. 8mm socket heat bolts. These look much cleaner on the bike and an 8mm allen wrench is much more convienient to carry along with you than the regular wrenches needed for other track hubs! The super shiny polished finish of the hubs is georgeous but you have to be careful not to stare at them while riding or you'll surely crash! ;)

For some the choice of wether to go with Shimano or Campy would be based on the frame they were to use. If you'll be buying a track frame from any Italian manufacturer I'd say go with the Campy crank, Phil Wood S.S. BB (because it's sealed and super durable) and a Chorus or Record road headset and front brake caliper. The Campy hubs are beautiful but unless you know you'll maintain them on a bike you'll be using alot in messy weather, you might want to pick something else. Most bike enthusiasts would agree that given the choice, putting japanese parts on an Italian frame would just seem wrong. But with any other frame, it could go either way.

Also, I knew I wanted to use a Chris King thre
What's your dream track bike?Qubeley
Apr 19, 2002 1:37 PM
Why not take a look at Fuji Track Pro? $1000. Come with complete Miche component. Miche specialize in making track components. And you save your time and hussle. Even if you don't like Fuji, keep the components, sell the frame. I would buy it if I have the money.