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Chorus vs. Ultegra(16 posts)

Chorus vs. Ultegrartyszko
Jul 31, 2002 4:49 AM
Okay, so I paged through a bunch of posts and I have not seen this posted recently. I'm a recreational racer who's been riding a 1997 105 group for about 20,000 miles and honestly I've had few complaints. It's a bit heavy and the shifting is a tad (I do mean "tad") sluggish but it's time for a new bike. It's hard to beat some of the online deals for titanium (Dean USA, Airborne) so I'll most likely go with either the next-to-the-top-of-the-line offerings to do justice to the titanium purchase.

Any opinions from folks who have used both? I'd be interested in cassette (cog) options especially. I've become a cassette changing freak and I've noticed that Shimano stuff has a few limitations on their cog combination choices (their big three or four seem to be bolted together limiting options). What type of cog setups does Campy offer?

Bob Tyszko
re: Chorus vs. UltegraDINOSAUR
Jul 31, 2002 6:44 AM
I have Ultegra-9 on my old bike and Chorus/Record-10 mix on my new one. However this isn't a fair comparison as the Chorus group should be compared to Dura Ace.

The difference for me is like night and day. The Shimano STI's are shifted by using your fingers, the Campy by fingers and thumbs. The Chorus has a heavier feel to it that can be fine tuned by adjusting the downtube barrel adjusters. The Ultegra tends to get rather loose and sloppy with age (15,000 for me), although they still function fine. The Campy has 10 gears vs the Shimano 9, giving you a closer gear ratio, plus one more gear. The Campy 10 uses a 10 speed chain, which I have had no problems with around 1,400 thousand miles. For me it's hands down Chorus (I have Record Ergo levers and rear der) because I just like the feel. However as previously mentioned you should compare Chorus with Dura Ace, and it takes sometime to really get used to the group. Another big difference is the shape of the brake hoods, the Shimanos are nice and large and have a different contour and the Campy's are small and took awhile for me to adjust to them. Might be a problem if you have big hands.
I run a 12x25 with the Chorus, 12X27 with the Ultegra (D.A. cassette). You have several different options for the Campy ten speed cassettes, I wanted to go with a 12X26 Chorus but my LBS had none in stock. The 12-25 is perfect for my riding conditons (lots of climbing).

The only real problem I have is when I ride my old Klein with the Ultegra it take a while to remember that I'm not riding the Chorus bike and I'm constantly upshifting when I want to downshift.

If you are keeping your old bike and plan on riding it, you might want to consider going with Shimano as you would have the same shifting system on both bikes. For me it was Italian bike=Italian components, and the Chorus was $100.00 less than the Dura Ace group.

If you can test ride both groups it would give you an idea. For me I'll never use anything else besides Campy, but that's just me....
re:I have Chorus 9sp and much prefer all but the rear brake.dzrider
Jul 31, 2002 11:15 AM
I also put 9sp Ultegra cassettes on my old 8sp wheels and the Campy stuff shifts it without difficulty. I have heard that 10sp shifters will also do this, but cannot speak from my own experience. I prefer the trimmable front derailleur and really like the more rigid feel of the Campy brake levers.

The rear brake is centered with a spanner which I find less convenient than my Ultegra brakes that I center by grabbing and moving.
re: Chorus vs. Ultegrammaggi
Jul 31, 2002 7:05 AM
Dinasour's response just about says it all.

But also consider this: you won't be able to interchange parts from one bike to the other. That includes the wheels.

If you have no problem with that, then go Campy just for the change. I did and I love it. Nothing wrong with Shimano, but I love Campy.
re: Chorus vs. Ultegratarwheel
Jul 31, 2002 10:34 AM
My experiences are similar to Dinos. I've got Ultegra 9 on one bike, Chorus 10 on the other. I've had the Ultegra group about two years, but have actually put more miles on the Chorus in a little over a year. I strongly prefer the Chorus over Ultegra, much of that due to the Campy ergonomics fitting my hands better. Once I got used to the Campy shifting, I found it easier to use than the Shimano. Chorus has a reputation for being sturdier and longer lasting. The Ultegra seems to get sloppier over time, while the Chorus just gets smoother and better. My Ultegra chains rubs the big chainring when using the lowest three gears (12-13-14), but the Chorus doesn't rub in any gear combinations. For that reason alone, I would prefer the Chorus. I initially got Chorus because I wanted the 10-speed with 13-29 cassette, which gives me almost all the climbing gears of a triple without the hassle. I have since changed to a 13-26 cassette, but the 29 is a great option for hillier terrain. I have not found a hill that I couldn't spin up using the 39-29 combo. Campy offers a wide range of cassette rations, but does not have a 12-27 that is available with Shimanos. The biggest downside to Campy is that maintenance costs are higher. Campy 10 steel cassettes cost at least $80 -- more than a ti Dura Ace cassette -- and the Campy ti cassettes are outrageous. C-10 chains are also more expensive and aren't worth a darn due to the crappy Campy permalink -- truly the "weak link" in an otherwise excellent group. Fortunately, there are some excellent aftermarket options for chains and links, like the Wipperman. I now use a Wipperman chain and with that setup I have absolutely no complaints regarding my Chorus group.
maintenance on campy higher?ColnagoFE
Jul 31, 2002 11:42 AM
sure the parts might cost more, but you can rebuild ergoshifters while you have to buy a PAIR of new shimano ones--not rebuildable. don't know why you'd want a campy TI cassette anyway. the permalink has been a sore spot--i'll agree here. have had 2 fail on me already and supposedly they fixed it AGAIN. I'll let you know as I'm not on Campy 10 chain #3.
Aug 2, 2002 3:04 PM
I can get Chorus cassettes for around $90 so that means the Shimano's are $10. Wow, that's cheap.

The C10 chain is a SUPER good chain. I get over 6K miles per chain. Just put the bitch together without the PL or newer replacement link and be done with it for 6K miles.

Dino and dzriderrtyszko
Jul 31, 2002 11:59 AM
I am a little confused. Why should I compare Chorus to Dura-Ace? Isn't the "Record" group Campy's top of the line? What do you mean? Price? Performance? Weight? Sex appeal?

Answer: Record has no equals -WARNING RANT!SnowBlind
Jul 31, 2002 12:26 PM
Record fit and finish is beyond what Shimano is willing to produce. Every single piece is QA'd, not just a statisitic sample.
Chorus is more like Dura-ace, the best you can mass produce, but not the best you can produce.
It is a bit like comparing Japanese cars to Italian ones. Yes, the NSX is the among the best mass produced sports cars in the world, at a great price, and very reliable.
But is it a Ferrari or Bugatti? Hell no.
Very well saidgrandemamou
Aug 1, 2002 5:02 AM
When good enough is enough: Chorus/Dura Ace. When you want the Best: Record. No one needs Record it is completely unnecessary. But, my last bike is full Record. It's only money, you can always make more.

I have a friend who owns a LBS. He was always slamming Campy as overpriced hype. I told him the only way I'd buy a bike from him was if he built it up with Campy. He agreed. He called me when he was building it up amazed at the quality, fit and finish of the parts. The way they spent time to finish parts that no one would ever notice. He just went on and on. Needless to say he bought a full set of Campy tools and has since become a Campy convert.
Check out for comparisontreeman
Jul 31, 2002 1:20 PM
They have a nice comparison of Campy vs. Shimano under "components" and it covers both of your models.
re: Chorus vs. Ultegraxcandrew
Jul 31, 2002 3:25 PM
See this link for a ton of cassette information, including individual cogs and bolted together cogs for both Shimano and Campagnolo:

Also this link on Shimano:
Good suggestion, but another cog questionrtyszko
Aug 1, 2002 10:49 AM
I went to the Branford bike site and it looks like Campy has cog combos that I'd prefer. Even if it isn't listed, can I mix and match the loose cogs (12, 13, 14, etc) as needed? Also, It looks like they marry the two big cogs together (eg 26-29, 23-25). Does this mean that I can buy both of those and use them even if they are not traditionally sold together as a cog set? If you can't tell, I love to climb hills and I especially like having lots of combos on my way up. Please reply if you can help.

Good suggestion, but another cog questionxcandrew
Aug 2, 2002 3:42 AM
23-25-26-29 has some weird jumps. 8.7%, 4%, 11.5% between those cogs. A one tooth difference is twice as small in these larger sizes as the jump between 13-14, so that's why they usually use bigger jumps. I'm not sure if that combination would work, but look at the spacer page(p.20 on Branford site). It looks like the "L" spacer would work to separate the two groups. You'll have to ask someone who can try it out or ask Campagnolo to be sure: The cogs in between the smallest and the two biggest are fully interchangable.

I'm assuming that you're looking at the 10 speed stuff in Campagnolo. 9 speed can be had with fully loose cogs (page 14), but there's a 28 instead of a 29 for the biggest size. Either way, you can't get 22, 24, and 27 cogs to make the spacing more even on the big sprocket end.

You more cog choices with Shimano. They do have completely loose cog setups, your just not seeing it on the Branford page because they only show Dura-Ace and Ultegra. LX is loose cog for example. See this link:
(read the note at the bottom too)
The ones without the colored backgrounds are not linked, so look under the 9 speed's and these are your choices, plus you can use a couple of the others without a problem because the thicknesses of the cogs are close enough. You could make something weird like 13-15-17-19-22-24-26-28-30 with 9 speed cogs except 8 speed for the 22 and 26.
Go the the Harris site and you'll see some custom 9's and also the "Loose Sprockets" section, where he has some loose cogs available.
Another Questionrtyszko
Aug 1, 2002 10:44 AM
Another question. I have quite a few of Park's tools that work on my current Shimano stuff. In general, are there many differences between the type of tools necessary to wrench at home on Campy vs. shimano? Am I looking at buy new tools too?

re: Chorus vs. Ultegramackgoo
Aug 1, 2002 10:46 AM
Come into the light.