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Are we losing Campagnolo?(21 posts)

Are we losing Campagnolo?Tony O.
Jul 23, 2001 4:04 AM
Is it me or is Campagnolo losing it's presence here in the States? It seems to me that most of the online and catalog retailers cater to Shimano. Plus, over the past couple of years, an increasing number of team bikes in the TDF are equipped with Shimano vs. Campagnolo.

Though Campagnolo is my personal preference, I've had great service with Shimano components over the years. I believe that variety is the "spice of life" and that competition is good for the consumer. I'd hate to see Campy squeezed out like Suntour was in the late 1980's, early 1990's.
doubt itDog
Jul 23, 2001 5:34 AM
There are many lifelong Campy enthusiasts, almost at a cult level, to which the likes of Suntour or even Shimano never even came close. Basically, Shimano works fine, is cheaper, and has great marketing and distribution. The people the buy and stick with Campy do so for different reasons, and my bet is that those people will always be around, always wanting Campy.

Now, whether Campy is economically viable, I have no idea. Even some of the most well regarded companies in the world can go out of business if they are not run well. Who knows?

If Campy would only get into the mountain bike component business, then they would have greater presence and diversity.

doubt itCliff Oates
Jul 23, 2001 7:22 AM
If Campy would only get into the mountain bike component business, then they would have greater presence and diversity.

They tried that and it didn't work out. Considering the supply problems they had in the other propduct lines when they introduced 10 speed gear last year, it would seem that they're at their limit in terms of manufacturing capacity. If anything, they should probably find a way to manufacture the Veloce group a bit more inexpensively so they could drop Mirage and simplify their product line a bit.

After that, it comes down to sales and marketing. It seems like Campy has decided to let Shimano win in the US market. They need a larger presence as an OEM supplier, and they need to get some people out in the independent bike shops winning hearts and minds.
Campy has failed at two thingspeloton
Jul 23, 2001 7:36 AM
The mountain bike market and the lower end market. Shimano makes very impressive mountain bike componentry and their low end components are the best- cheap and reliable. Campy makes great high end components, and surely creates better products for all of us by creating competition with Shimano. Competition creates the best products for all of us regardless of brand name. The worst thing that I can imagine is having only one brand of componentry availible to us here in the US.

And really, wouldn't everyone miss it if we couldn't argue about the merits of Shimano vs. Campy?
What problems?TJeanloz
Jul 23, 2001 10:09 AM
I don't remember problems in the 10speed supply chain. As I recall, they managed to keep the group top-secret until Interbike, and then managed to have it on the showroom floor within 90 days. I was impressed, and Italians rarely impress me.

Rumor is that they will be back into the mountain bike market in the near term.
What problems?Cliff Oates
Jul 23, 2001 10:40 AM
10 speed supply was fine. 8 speed cassettes were seriously scarce and 9 speed stuff was in short supply for a while.
so frustrated...keith m.
Jul 23, 2001 5:41 AM
This weekend I needed a campy ten chain, so I got out the yellow pages and started calling around. After about five tries, I actually found one. Of course everyone said,"we have shimano chains, we don't normally carry campy stuff, but we can order it for you." I was in Supergo about three weeks ago and was looking at wheelsets. There were about two hundred sets of wheels hanging up in there. I asked the magic question, "are any of these wheelsets for campy?", "well no" they replied, "but we can order them for you." I am always told by local shops, there is just no demand for us to stock campy. I really like my campy grouppo, but I'm frustrated over the fact that there is a lack of aftermarket equipment for it like chains and wheelsets, etc.. Plus the fact that nobody seems interested in stocking replacement parts. These facts alone have me considering ...uh oh...dddDura...aa..aaAce for my next bike. Man those words were hard to get out of my mouth.
stocking / emotionDog
Jul 23, 2001 6:05 AM
I do a bit of stocking myself. I have an extra chain, Permalinks, chainring bolts, those sorts of things around as spares, just in case. But, I do the same for my Shimano stuff, too. If I break something, I want immediate repairs, which I do myself.

Hey, if you owned a Ferrari, you might wait months for a part, whereas your Acura NSX might get fixed at the local dealership that day. People don't usually choose between the two based upon that, though. You'd choose the Ferrari "just because," in spite of the problems. It's not necessarily rational, but more emotional or even visceral. Heck, check the Campy website slogan: "Technology and Emotion." You just can't really explain this sort of thing.

stocking / emotioncycleguy
Jul 23, 2001 8:56 AM
I have been Shimano since 74 Suntour before that and never even tried Campy till I took a Marin for test ride last year. This summer I replaced an the old 105 group on my 2nd bike with Daytona. I just ordered an Italian lugged steel frame this summer. When I get the frame I can't think of using anything but Campy on it. Purely emotional on my part.
Would there be the same emotion...ET
Jul 23, 2001 10:03 AM
if Campy were not made in Italy? Would you really have got that C-40 paint job if it were not from Italy? :-)
emotion / ItalyDog
Jul 23, 2001 1:01 PM
Would I want Campy or a Geo C-40 if they were not from Italy? Hard to answer. That certainly plays a big role. It's hard to separate the components of the reasons for choosing them. My wife is partially from Italy (her mother, and she spent quite a bit of time there). Would I want her if not for that? That fact is a part of who she is, and the same with the bike stuff.

Ferrari's from Germany or Japan would not be Ferrari's. A Porsche from Japan would not be the same. To some extent, many products acquire the personalities of their makers (with a Porsche or Mercedes likely the best examples). I think Campy does that to quite an extent. It represents a long history of cycling, the Italian flair for both innovative design and adherence to tradition. Hard to put into words, but there is a personality to the parts. Some people care about that stuff, some don't.

frustrating, but it will stickDuane Gran
Jul 23, 2001 7:55 AM
I'm a Shimano user, and for the first time in my life I think I'm on the side of the mainstream after experiences with BetaMax, Macintosh and MiniDisc. When I purchased my bike I wasn't intimately familiar with the differences between the groupos, it just seemed that the majority of bikes came with Shimano. I'm sure I would have been happy otherwise, but now that I have two bikes with Shimano and own tools for this system I'm unlikely to switch. I think my experience is very common.

This has many parrallels with the computer industry, of which I'm familiar with. As a Mac user I can attest to a certain flavor and elegance of the system in contrast to the more common PC, but when you go to the store the PCs dominate the list of choices. We could go on about why this is the case, but I don't want to open that old can of worms. My point is simply that the prevalant choice will often set the market trend.

I'm glad there is some variety and choice out there. I happen to be very happy with Shimano, but if they didn't have some competition I'm sure it would halt progress. Lets not forget Mavic though... they have very little foothold, but they are doing some innovative and interesting stuff with components.

If Campy wanted to take back some market share, they should offer a competitive upgrade program where Shimano users could send in their old groupo and get a reduced rate on a Campy replacement. They need to directly address the investment that many of us have made, and some form of upgrade path would make sense.
not like computersD3
Jul 23, 2001 8:17 AM
Campy is the stalwart, shimano the upstart. Both work fine, but not compatible (OK, a little like computers). But here's the deal... more people are getting into biking, and newbie/fred bikes don't come with Campy- simple as that. OK, Marin is an exception. And I doubt that Campy would go for some gimicky trade-in program. Being a privately-held (I think) Italian company, they are less into the growth and marketshare at all costs mentality than most of today's business. No, quality is what Campy is and always will be known for.
Bianchi is the big OEM account as far as Campy is concernedCliff Oates
Jul 23, 2001 9:10 AM
Marin is small potatoes. Bianchi is the big prebuilt bike manufacturer that specs Campy on all of their Italian-built bikes. The article from slowtwitch that Doug posted a link to in another thread had an interesting insight on the reluctance of the Taiwanese manufacturers to go with components other than Shimano.

Indeed, Shimano is the upstart. When I started riding, Shimano wasn't in the US market.
Uhhh...check the Bianchi site lately?kenyee
Jul 23, 2001 4:10 PM
I checked because I was curious which bikes use Campy Chorus/Record so I could try them. The best road bike they carry uses Campy Veloce. Most of the road bikes listed use Shimano.
Race bikes use Campy Recordkenyee
Jul 23, 2001 4:12 PM
I was looking at the Road category and not the Race category. Whoops.
YesCliff Oates
Jul 23, 2001 5:42 PM
People buying prebuilt bikes generally don't buy them equipped at the Record/Chorus/Dura-Ace level. People who are interested in the higher quality groups have usually been riding for a while and they know precisely how they want the bike equipped. I doubt that Bianchi sells too many XL AL frames built up at the factory for $3,450.

When I am referring to OEM equipment, I am referring to lower priced parts that appeal to a wider audience. In the road bike section, the Italian made bikes (Veloce, Campione, Eros, San Remo) all use Campagnolo while the Taiwanese bikes (Reynolds 631, Giro, Volpe, Brava) use Shimano. In the Reparto Corse, the SL/AL Centaur uses the renamed Daytona group, while the Alloro (which I'm pretty sure is made in Taiwan) uses Ultegra.
a change in strategyDaveG
Jul 23, 2001 8:22 AM
Until now, both Shimano and Campy has tried to maintain the incompatibility gap to hold their market share. I think this works much better for Shimano than it does for Campy. Now that trick wheels seem to be a large driver in the US market, and most of those wheels are only Shimano compatible, perhaps Campy should try a different approach. It seems like it would be very easy for Campy to provide a lever "disc" to make their shifting compatible with Shimano. Given that one can now convert Campy 10s levers to 8/9 speed with one part this seems doable. Yes, this would allow folks to mix and match parts, but this would open up an entire market of riders fed on a Shimano-only diet. Unless Campy get get there stuff spec'ed on new production bikes (which they have not been able to do to date) they could see their market erode further. What do you think Campy?
discs...Andy M-S
Jul 23, 2001 8:55 AM
I consider myself to be very fortunate in this regard. I have Sachs ergo shifters, which are essentially Campy Record/Chorus (dunno which--carbon/BB system, anyway) that shift Shimano spacing (which Sachs also used). I combine these with a Shimano Ultegra drivetrain.

This gives me the stuff that Shimano is REALLY good at--like cogs and derailers that shift beautifully--and which they're good at making for cheap, and the stuff that Campy does best (shift/brake levers that are tough, fixable, and aesthetically superior to STI).

Having evaluated over the past few years DT shifters, BarCons, Command Shifters, STI, and Ergo, I've got to say that Ergo provides the best overall shifting experience. Of course, I pay the price as well, being stuck with 8 speeds.

Now, one of these days, someone is going to license that disk from Campy. Or, if Campy is really smart, they'll produce a Shimano-compatible model.

We may have seen the first step--Campy's 'boutique' wheels are now available (or will be shortly) with a Shimano-compatible freehub.
yes, rood
Jul 23, 2001 9:46 AM
Mavic wheels with Campy-compatible freehub...
re: Are we losing Campagnolo?mackgoo
Jul 23, 2001 12:04 PM
I doubt Campy is leaving the states, I do agree though, alot of places don't provide Campy and I will go else where.
In I believe it was Cycle Sport or something like that they had a break down of the teams in the TDF bikes sponsors equipment etc. I believe Campy had the edge by 1 or 2 teams. As far as that goes though I think it's just how far the manufacturers want to go in giving their stuff away.