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Opinions wanted on Campy Drivetrain noise(10 posts)

Opinions wanted on Campy Drivetrain noisePoint Given
Aug 18, 2001 8:22 PM
I spoke with my local bike dealer today who told me that Campy drivetrains always sound louder than Shimano because of the mechanism used to make the gear shifts. He stated that while Shimano builds some play into their shifts and uses a spring loaded mechanism, Campy on the other hand does not build any play into their drivetrain mechanism (this is why it takes them awhile to break in) and also the mechanism for making the shifts will always result in as he called it "plunking" the chain from sprocket to sprocket which causes the noise. He further explained that this noise never leaves the Campy drivetrain even after its broken in, it just a different way to do the shift versus Shimano and it will always be louder and more noticeable according to him. He said that Shimano intentionally builds play into their drivetrain so that it functions perfectly with no break in period directly out of the box. This is why it gets worse after a long time because the play gets bigger and bigger.

He said he thought it was unimportant that the Shimano play eventually resulted in poorer shifting because he said this takes years to occur for your typical rider and by then you are usually upgrading to a new bike with new drivetrain technology, which seemed to make sense, and that you could eliminate the excessive play by simply buying the occasional newe cassette and every several years a new rear derailleur.

Any opinions on Record and Chorus versus Dura Ace and Campy.

Has anyone seen the 25 anniversary edition Dura Ace. I saw it today on a Merlin Extralight and it looked like jewel quality finish.
your dealer is mistaken....C-40
Aug 19, 2001 5:29 AM
There is no reason for campy to be louder than shimano. The shifting on the new Campy 10 speed is as smooth and quiet as anything on the market. Campy ergo levers do loosen up a little as they break in, but much less now than in the past.

Campy Chorus is the best value in bike components right now,IMO. Cheaper than DuraAce, but a few ounces heavier. Chorus will function as well as record, at a much lower price. Record is great is you can afford it, but the extra cost is strictly weight saving measures, and nothing that affects durability. Many Chorus parts are identical to Record parts from a few years earlier.

Campy 10 speed provides a larger range of gearing with no large jumps between cogs. If you get a 12-25 or 11-23 cassette in Shimano 9 speed, you don't get the important 16 tooth cog that you do with campy.

Shimano replacement cassettes and derailleurs are cheaper, which is an advantage if you're one of the many who clean and lube infrequently and suffer premature component failure.

Shimano is bound to update to 10 speed soon, which may leave you with an outdated 9 speed drivetrain in the near future.
your dealer is mistaken....Point Given
Aug 19, 2001 10:43 AM
Thanks for the info C-40. By the way, what do you think about the Chorus 9 speed group for 2001. I noted that you said Shimano's 9 speed would soon be outdated when they go to 10 speed, but isn't this therefore true also for Campy Chorus?Record 2001 9 speed models?

Chorus/Record 9 speeds for 2001 are priced at the exact same prices as the 10 speed groups. It appears that many guys like the 9 speed and don't apparently think 10 speed is much of a difference otherwise why are they being sold by Campy and its retailers for the same price as 9 speed?

Just wondering, personally I have heard great things about Chorus and I'm seriously considering going with Chorus 2001 9 or Ultegra 2001. I particularly like the 2001 Chorus 9 speed versus the 10 speed because it gives me the option of using the Wheels Manufacturing 9 speed cassette and thus I have access to any Shimano campatible wheelset out there which is a far greater wheel selection than your typical Campy ownere has access to. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

About the Campy 10 . . .DCW
Aug 19, 2001 11:28 AM
About a year and a half ago, when I was building up a new frame and upgrading from Campy 8, I thought about Campy Chorus 9. 10 seemed excessive, unnecessary, perhaps a little gimmicky. And it cost more. After hearing from folks who were already using it and talking to my dealer, I went for the 10. Absolutely no regrets, only satisfaction. I run a 12-25, and the improvement over my former 8-speed rear is astounding. I always seem to have just the gear I'm after, with the low to mid-range giving me one-tooth jumps that I like. If you are running a straight block, maybe a 9 is enough, beyond that, the extra two gears come in handy.
your dealer is mistaken....Cliff Oates
Aug 19, 2001 11:29 AM
Wheels cassettes are also available in 10 speed versions. Check their web site for details. One of my bikes has Chorus 10, another has a mutt mix of Daytona, Racing Triple, and Veloce -- 9 speed of course. A previous bike had 8 speed Veloce upgraded to 9 speed with some Record parts (hubs and shifters). Chorus is shinier and Record is lighter, but all of this stuff works very well indeed. FWIW, my Chorus bike has the 29t cog cassette which is not available in 9 speed. It's hilly here in Northern California and I'm not getting any younger.

My Chorus 10 bike is riding on Nucleons, which I am not convinced are $400 better than a set of well built wheels constructed out of the usual suspects. The selection of wheels for Campy is improving. I don't know what you're specifically after in a wheelset, but the odds are good that something equivalent exists that will take native Campy cassettes.
check the cassette gears for 16 tooth cogPdxMark
Aug 19, 2001 11:01 AM
I rode 105 for a few years and this year switched to Chorus 10. I choose Campy in part becuase the 16 tooth cog is a surprisingly important omission from Shimano - to convince yourself, caluculate the ratios - the jump from 15 to 17 is surprising. Does Campy 9 have a 16 tootth cog?

As for the original oise question, I never noticed any noise difference with well adjusted set-ups. A friend riding Ultegra ohhed and ahhed about the smooth, quiet shifting of my Chorus group - but I really don't notice either... I think noise is a smokescreen - find the fit and gear arrangement that works best for you.
check the cassette gears for 16 tooth cogCliff Oates
Aug 19, 2001 11:15 AM
Sure, 9 speed cassettes with a 16t cog would be 12-21, 12-23, 13-23, and 13-26.
re: Opinions wanted on Campy Drivetrain noisedavidl
Aug 19, 2001 11:01 AM
That sounds like sales talk from the dealer. Just keep your chain properly cleaned and wet lubed and any noises you hear will sound good to you.
re: Opinions wanted on Campy Drivetrain noisePoint Given
Aug 19, 2001 11:56 AM
Thanks guys, great info. Yeah, I had a feeling my LBS was a little off. He basically made it sound as though a Campy drivetrain would always sound louder than a Shimano drivetrain. I'll probably end up going with 2001 Chorus 9, but now I think I'll test ride Chorus 10 to see what I'm missing. I just think about the fact that less than 10 years ago, the best riders in the Tour were using 8 speeds and now less than a decade later I'm basically being told that without 10 speed a serious recreational rider is out in the cold, and I'm a little skeptical about that. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I'll test ride it nonetheless. If 10 speed blows me away I'll get it as they cost the same as 9 speed. Thanks.
Don't buy Chorus 9!C-40
Aug 20, 2001 2:13 PM
Absolutley no advantage to purchasing Chorus 9. There is no reliability improvement. My experience has been that the shifting is also not as good. You lose valuable gearing range. If you change your mind later, it will cost a bundle to convert to 10.

As for the selection of wheels, it's also a mistake to consider any new wheel that doesn't have a campy compatible hub. Stay away from off-brand cassettes. The number of wheels with campy compatible hubs has increased markedly in the last year. Campy has a great line of wheels. Mavic Ksyriums with the ED-10 hub are my current choice. Campy Record 28H hubs can be built with Revolution spokes to produce very light wheels as a very reasonable price.