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Campy thumb shifting.(45 posts)

Campy thumb shifting.Allen az
Sep 14, 2001 3:25 PM
After seeing that new carbon crank, Iv'e decided that I'm gonna get Record instead of D-Ace for my next bike.

My question (for Campy users).... Is it difficult to shift from the drops because of the thumb shifters?, (like Shimano Sora).

No, but...Cliff Oates
Sep 14, 2001 3:39 PM
I've never used Sora. I think the controls are laid out differently. I have no problems shifting from either the drops or the hoods.
re: Campy thumb shifting.mackgoo
Sep 14, 2001 3:41 PM
Smae here.
It's easy, I do it all the time. nmHighgear
Sep 14, 2001 3:47 PM
Its actually not bad from the drops but from on top of the hoodsbEUFORD M. RADDISON
Sep 14, 2001 3:50 PM
is another story. I spend a pretty good amount of time on top of the hoods and here is where the thumb shifter sucks. You have to slide you hand back 2-3 inches to be able to reach it.

Its not good if your choosing this group just because of the cf crankset. The Shimano is probably still lighter with its cold forged hollow-tech design and HAS A FAR SUPERIOR bb and crank interface.
Huh?Kerry Irons
Sep 14, 2001 4:51 PM
Slide your hand back 2-3 inches? Where are you putting your hands? I have large hands (6' tall) and have absolutely no problems shifting from the hoods. The thumbshifter (mouse ear) is in just the right place.

The DA crank is "probably" still lighter? If you take the 135 gm off a Record crank, you get 500 gm (suggested weight for the Record CF wrapped alloy crank). DA is 560 gm. "Probably"?

Regards the FAR SUPERIOR splined design of Shimano - do you have some objective engineering basis for that claim, or is it just "probably" FAR SUPERIOR. I'm not trying to knock DA, just trying to understand your analysis.
Sep 16, 2001 3:12 PM
Both the shimano and the isis systems are a better set up. The spline allows for more contact area between the bb and the crank. The round design of the spindle also lets them be hollow to reduce weight. I currently run a profile carbon crank with the dura ace bb and have to say it works well. When the record crank comes out I'll get it to match the rest of the set and put the profile on my cyclocross bike. As to the below poster I haven't had a single problem with any of the dura ace bbs that I've installed at the shop where I work. Most people seem to be used to cartridge style bbs and aren't used to installing something like the older cup and spindle bbs. TTFN
Sep 16, 2001 3:15 PM
Havent seen the weight of the new Campy cf cranks so I said probably. 500 grams aint bad. Is it as stiff as a hollowtech at that extremely light weight?

It doesnt take an expert to be able to see which crank/bb interface is gonna transfer forces more efficiently. Campy's just mad that Shimano thought of it first and has the patent :(.

Oh, I checked the distance that I have to move my hand back to reach the thumb shifter while in the hoods and its more like an inch and a half. Still not good. Sorry for the exageration.
Sep 14, 2001 8:11 PM
2-3"?! You must mean from the aero bars, because that's impossible, or don't your thumbs have joints in them?

Oh, BTW read the reviews, the DA BB is a throwaway joke, and most guys run a (heavier) Ultegra because the reliability is worth it. So much for your BB superiority theory. Add the parts weights up, if D-A is lighter at all, it's by a handful of grams, and it still has the cables blowing in the breeze, real clean lookin'.

Shimano guys are just jealous of how sweet the CF crank will look with the CF levers, and you know it.
Dont beleive everything you read in the reviews here, most arentbEUFORD M RADDISON
Sep 16, 2001 3:20 PM
very accurate. Try it out for yourself.

The real reason people dont like it is because unlike other cartridge bbs you cant just slam it in the frame and forget it. You have to actually have to adjust it. Its a lost art, and if you cant do that type of mechanical work use the Ultegra. The Ultegra costs you 1/8 of a pound over Dura Ace.

Dura Ace is much better imo.
Its actually not bad from the drops but from on top of the hoodsmackgoo
Sep 15, 2001 4:15 AM
Was just playing with the bike and took a measurement from the back of the hood where the V of the thumb and forfinger of a HUMAN hand would rest is an 1 1/4 back to the center of the button. This is a Record set.
all wet...C-40
Sep 15, 2001 6:44 AM
Shifting the thumb lever from the hoods is a piece of cake. You must be totally uncoordinated, if you have to slide your hand back to use the tumb shifter.
Its actually not bad from the drops but from on top of the hoodsmackgoo
Sep 15, 2001 8:20 AM
Ok, Just whent for a quick ride, want to do something with my wife today. Any way I must admit, after changing stem length I have been spending most of the time in the drops, just like it there. Today I went for a quick 15 mile ride staying on the hoods. I only crashed three times trying to use the thumb shifter. The first two crash's were the first two times I tried to use it. Then I only crashed once more during about 15 uses after I learned the trick. If you unclip the oposite foot of the thumb your going to use, stick it out horizontaly away from your body this balances out having to use the shifter. This works great, as I say I only crashed once more after I figured this out, and that was only because I hit the little old lady walking down the side walk as I was sticking out my leg. If this doesn't help you my only advice would be sell the offending components real cheap to some sucker and pick yourself up some Shimano stuff, after all you deserve it. Not every one likes the light.
Its actually not bad from the drops but from on top of the hoodsAD14
Sep 15, 2001 11:18 AM
You must be a Freds Fred. My complaint with the shimano system is the occaisional braking while shifting. My record shifters are flawless if set up right.
LOL (nm)Kristin
Sep 16, 2001 7:04 AM
Its actually not bad from the drops but from on top of the hoodsColnagoFE
Sep 17, 2001 6:38 AM
So how easy is is to shift with D/A from the tops? I'd say next to impossible.
Its within perfect reach. No movement necessary. nmbEUFORD M. RADDISON
Sep 17, 2001 8:41 AM
Any work arounds?CJ3
Sep 14, 2001 4:05 PM
When I'm on the hood, I have to essentially unbalance to reach the thumb shifter - let go, reach & shift, then grab on. Ditto the drops. Bad ergonometric design. Does anyone have a rig that they use for this or any ideas? A shifter extender?
Thumb shifter works great over here. From any position. Exceptbill
Sep 14, 2001 6:40 PM
from the tops, but, you know.
Any work arounds?Andy M-S
Sep 15, 2001 4:43 AM
I dunno about workarounds; I have fairly large hands (like another poster) and find that my thumbs rest comfortably over the shift buttons. If you're having trouble with this, you may have your levers mounted too far forward (or too far back) for a comfortable position.

My spouse also has Ergos, but smaller hands than mine (though still large for a female--probably a male medium) and has no problems.
re: Campy thumb shifting.mackgoo
Sep 14, 2001 4:37 PM
Don't know what planet these guys are from. Do you know any aliens that don't have thumbs? That's about the only planet I can think of. Certainly can't be from Earth, maybe planet ShimaNO?
No problem from either drops or hoods for me . . .DCW
Sep 14, 2001 4:41 PM
Maybe my hands are odd in some way, but I never have to give shifting action much of a thought. My hands are medium to small, so that may make a difference.
No problem from either drops or hoods for me either . .davidl
Sep 14, 2001 5:43 PM
and I have small hands. I just don't think the posts claiming problems with ergo deescribe the real world; at least not the one I'm familiar with. The longer I use the chorus ergo, the better it functions. IMHO Campy is the only way to go. Check out for reviews of the 2001 gruppos and news about the record carbon crankset.
No problem from either drops or hoods for me either . .pfw2
Sep 14, 2001 8:00 PM
I have a friend who spec'd his new rig with Chorus BECAUSE he rode my Daytona and liked the shifting so much better than his Ultegra. At least you CAN shift from the hoods, which I found more awkward with Shimano. Some of the above comments are like the reviewer in Bicycling mag saying that Speedplay pedals were difficult to clip into without looking, go figure.
(HOWEVER, I did blow out the medial colateral ligament in my right thumb, then shifting from the drops is not so much fun.)
Total Ergonomic IntegrationbEUFORD M RADDISON
Sep 16, 2001 3:26 PM
The reason Campy users might not notice the inconvenience of the thumb button is because you havnet experienced the total ergonomic integration of Shimano. Effortless and smooth as BUTTA! Can Campy users say that? The word that comes to mind for Campy is notchy and awkward. Im selling my record bike. I thought I would like it due to all its praise but Im going back to DA. I think the praise comes from all the traditionalists that wouldnt dare use Shimano.

I have no loyalty. I just use what works best.
Total Ergonomic Integrationmackgoo
Sep 16, 2001 4:40 PM
Actually I just bought a bike with Dura Ace. Being A Campy guy I figured I'd go with the Dura Ace until the winter and switch over. It blew. You can hardly switch to the big chain ring from the drops, the reach is just too far to get to the brake lever then actually push the 3-4 inches required to make the shift. I don't know what kind of butter your talking about peanut butter maybe, with the peanuts. Result? I did what I should have done and got the Record NOW.oH AND i SEE ALOT OF INTELIGENCE COMMING FROM bEUFORD. Or may be he's just being cute.
Sep 16, 2001 3:30 PM
The reviews on that site wouldnt be biased at all.

Thats where I would go to get a feel for Campy. Isnt Dog breath a guy. YOu can see the intelligence of him.
re: Campy thumb shifting.Vlad the Impaler
Sep 14, 2001 8:05 PM
I have Campy Daytona on my ride and have no problems what so ever shifting from either the drops or the hoods.
re: Campy thumb shifting.KG381i
Sep 14, 2001 8:10 PM
Even with significant problems with the old paws, I can shift from the drops very easily.

re: Campy thumb shifting.Andy M-S
Sep 15, 2001 4:39 AM
It depends on where you have the levers. I place mine well down on the curve, so reaching the thumb buttons from the drops is trivial.

The shape of the levers is quite a bit different from STI; I happen to prefer the older 8-speed Ergo levers, because I like the pointed hood shape, but YMMV. And cable routing is different. Some folks like flying cables, some don't/

The feel is very different as well. I like the fact that the brake lever never moves--makes me feel secure. I like the fact that I can sweep gears (do a multigear shift) going up *or* down (something STI can't do). And you may find the left lever a little strange. It's not indexed as the Shimano levers are; instead, you have a series of ratchet stops. Some people complain that this leaves the left throw a little wide; that's true, but I like it because I can adjust my trim easily.

One more point. On STI levers, every time you brake, the shift mechanism is exposed (since it all sits in a little capsule on the back of the brake lever. All of Ergo's shifting mechanism is concealed in the base of the lever, and so is better-protected against environmental factors and crashes.

You need to TRY these levers and decide if you like them--then make your decision. You can use the Campy carbon crank with a DA system too, you know.
Sep 16, 2001 3:35 PM
The only problem with not being able to upshift multiple gears at a time is when the bikes in the stand to have the rear wheel removed.

In real riding situations you really shouldnt have to upshift more than one gear at a time.

The shifting mechanism being exposed is a non-issue imo.
Sep 16, 2001 7:03 AM
Okay, I'm really not posting anymore. ;-) I popped into to search for some info. This thread confused me greatly. I hunted for a picture of Record levers, but couldn't find one. I do know that the Datona & Veloce levers are identical. I'm guessing that Record is the same as well.

So heres my confusion:

Difficultly shifting from the hoods? I test rode bikes with Sora, 105, Veloce, Mirage and Ultegra. The Ultegra was my favorite. With Campy I immediately noticed, that I had to change my position on the hoods because of the thumb shifter position. I didn't like it, but quickly got used to it. I definately don't have any problem reaching the lever though. Perhaps because I position the crook of my hand behind the shifter.

Bigger confusion: Shifting from drops??? Okay, perhaps there is some cool trick I have yet to learn, but I don't think its possible to "truly" shift from the drops. When in the drops, I have to remove one hand from the drop, in order to reach up and shift. To me, this doesn't constitute shifting from the drops. Are you guys shifting in some manner I can't yet imagine, or are the record levers different?
Sep 16, 2001 8:37 AM
I guess what it means is for most of us the hand manipulation is no different for one group or the other all can be done. your just using different toes. One comment made that I found to be true also. With Shimanos system shifting from the hoods using the brake levers almost regularly caused a tapping of the brakes also. I found this to be very anoying. Didn't really cause any braking, more like that agrivating tire that is just out of true enough that you hear the slightest rub of the brake as that part of the rim goes by.
Keep practicing Mackgoo, you'll develop hand-eye coordinationbEUFORD M RADDISON
Sep 16, 2001 11:50 AM
and motor skills to shift without braking. It took me 6 months of parctice. Once I tried to go to the big ring and I went over the bars.
Keep practicing Mackgoo, you'll develop hand-eye coordinationmackgoo
Sep 16, 2001 12:04 PM
Yes you can shift in the drops!! Why arent you posting anymore?bEUFORD M RADDISON
Sep 16, 2001 3:37 PM
Shifting in the drops is 100% possible.
You guys talaga!I Love Shimano
Sep 16, 2001 4:57 PM
This all just comes to prove that choosing between Shimano and Campy depends on your ergonomic preference and not on perceived performance or superiority. We have some people here who find it difficult to use Ergopower levers, and we also have some here who can't shift STI without engaging the brakes at the same time. It's all a matter of how you operate the stuff. So enough of why STI is better than Ergo or vice versa, let's argue over the quality and aesthetics of the two brands instead.
You guys talaga!flybyvine
Sep 16, 2001 7:13 PM
Agreed. I started using Ultegra & when the shifters busted & I was faced with junking them I did just that & replaced them with Campy on the basis that they can be repared. When you are spending this much money you want something that will last.

Both shifting systems are OK but not ideal. I find that having the brake integrated into shifting distracts from braking. On the other hand I do find the thimb shifter a bit less convenient than Shimano (on both hoods and drops - I ride with my thumb fwd on the inside of the hoods). Nonetheless both work well but I have stuck to Campy for the repairability and the "cableless" look.

Sep 16, 2001 7:58 PM
Kumusta kaibigan!bEUFORD M. RADDISON
Sep 17, 2001 8:49 AM
Alam nating Shimano ay pinakamabuti.
ConfusedLen J
Sep 17, 2001 3:49 AM
I shift from the drops when my hands are in the flat portion of the curve up (if that makes any sense). From here it is very easy to use my index finger (or thumb) to work my STI shifters without changing hand positions.

Hope this helps.

& keep posting we can't afford to lose sane voices.

Still ConfusedKristin
Sep 17, 2001 6:19 AM
Thanks for the encouragement Len. I didn't really want to bail out on the board. I like it here. But I hate fighting and arguing--I suck at it and it stresses me out. This board argues often. I just need to just avoid those threads completely.

Now about the shifting. How in the world do you get your thumb or index finger up to the thumb shifter? I'd have to be a contortionist to do this. My hands are pretty small, but even still. I just can't picture it.
Still ConfusedLen J
Sep 17, 2001 6:28 AM
Where are your hands?

Flat part of bar (lowest point)?
Curving up part of bar?

Mine are on the curvy part and fingers reach shifter. I do have to rotate my wrists to use thumbs, but even this is not that big a deal.

Maybe you need smaller bars?

I find that two things work for me in these arguing threads:
1.) Avoid the really emotional ones &
2.) Stay focused on what I believe or feel, stop trying to convince someone else I'm right and just share what I believe. Give up the outcome.

BY GOLLY!Kristin
Sep 18, 2001 1:14 PM
You can shift from the drops. I never even thought of trying before, but as I walked my car to the bike...(I mean, walked my bike to the car) this morning, I investigated. I can, in fact, reach up and shift from the drops. Now, do I have the handling skills to pull it off? :-)
Easy as pieColnagoFE
Sep 17, 2001 6:38 AM
I can shift from tops, drops, and in between. Campy's system is great.