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Shifters: Campy vs. Shimano(15 posts)

Shifters: Campy vs. Shimanofbg111
Dec 2, 2002 6:05 AM
Went on a group ride this weekend, and one guy owned several bike stores, so I asked him his opinion of Campy vs. Shimano. He said a good Dura Ace build is basically as good as Record, but good Dura Ace components are less consistent. For example, Campy shifters have about three moving parts, while Dura Ace STI shifters have moving parts numbering in the teens. For that reason, he believes it is more difficult to manufacture and build Dura Ace shifters with low defect tolerances, and that over time Campy shifters tend to last longer due to their simpler design. What do y'all think of that?
re: Shifters: Campy vs. ShimanoNo_sprint
Dec 2, 2002 8:04 AM
I don't know anything about the manufacturing process for either. I can tell you this, it's nice to have the ability to shift several times with one push on the thumb shifter into a smaller rear cogs with the Record. My DA shifters cannot do this. It's my understanding that the Campy shifters are fully rebuildable while the Shimmy stuff isn't.
re: Shifters: Campy vs. Shimanofbg111
Dec 2, 2002 9:30 AM
What is "fully rebuildable"?

Also, on my 105-equipped TCR2, I've noticed that I can shift from smaller to larger cogs several times with one flick of the STI shifter. I can also do the same shift one at a time with a smaller shifting motion. But shifting from large to small cogs is always one at a time.
re: Shifters: Campy vs. Shimanobrider
Dec 2, 2002 9:25 AM
It's a matter of taste, really. And any one can justify their tastes with whatever reason they wish, and it will all seem so sensible. But it's still a matter of taste.

I remember when Campy first answered to the STI thing with their Ergoshifting. Lemond was interviewed, and he said (loosely) "I like the ability to shift on the handlebars. I like how the Ergo stuff works. I've never ridden Shimano, but I'd imagine theirs doesn't work any better."

Suddenly every one was saying that Greg endorsed Campy (he was paid to ride it), and that he said it was better than Shimano. WRONG!!!

The ability ot do a "big slam" when upshifting (going from the biggest to smallest cog in one lever throw) seems to be very important to some people. Good for them. I've never seen any one do it in a race and stay with the pack. I've also never had problems upshifting multiple cogs when I needed to on Shimano stuff (just do multiple shifts -- you'll keep up with the chain just fine).

I ride Shimano because I couldn't afford the coin for the Campy stuff at the time. Their finishes tend to be better, tollerances better etc. The Shimano stuff has rarely failed me, and it's never been the fault of the equipment. They both do the job.
re: Shifters: Campy vs. Shimanofbg111
Dec 2, 2002 9:34 AM
Interesting. A lot of people say it's just a matter of taste, but talking to this guy this weekend was the first I'd heard of some concrete technical differences. But so far, it seems the major technical differences are only in the shifter mechanisms, while the rest of the gruppo is very similar. Or is it?
re: Shifters: Campy vs. Shimanobrider
Dec 2, 2002 9:37 AM
Shifters are different. Most people wouldn't rebuild a Campy mechanism, however. Derraileurs are very similar.
Beg to differ...Andy M-S
Dec 2, 2002 10:33 AM
I use Sachs Ergos (Campy-made 8-speed units that index Shimano cogs) and I've got to tell you that there are more than 3 parts in there!

However, I had my right shifter rebuilt for $25 a few months back. I could've done it myself for about the same amount, but decided to take it to the LBS.

This is something you can't do with Shimano shifters. I would have had to buy a new set of levers for >$100.

That's one thing I like about Campy. Another is the 'mouse ear' inner shifter. And another, which really kicks into why you can rebuild them in the first place, is the fact that the shifter guts are protected in the base of the hood, not hanging out in the breeze on the lever.
Beg to differ...fbg111
Dec 2, 2002 10:40 AM
I see. Rebuilding a shifter is to replace worn out or broken parts with new ones. Why can't that be done with Shimmy STI shifters?

Also, why do you prefer the mouse ear inner shifter over Shimano's brake-lever shifter?

Actually, the guy I spoke to said there 3 *moving* parts, not just three parts. True, or not?
Dec 2, 2002 1:09 PM
Why not go to campy's web site and get some education?

The Campy site has all the info on how to rebuild the levers. The parts are readily available from sources like

Shimano STI levers are not considered to be rebuildable. If you find some place that sells repair parts and has instructions for the repair, let us know.
Can't we all get along without rehashing the same old.....Juanmoretime
Dec 2, 2002 12:37 PM
debate. I ride Shimano and love it. I would also love to own a complete Campy bike too. Steel verses ti, Italian verses the world. Let it go. Just ride and be happy.
I'm not trying to start another debate, just to learn...fbg111
Dec 2, 2002 2:33 PM
I'm just curious. I didn't post flamebait. I'm trying to get at the actual technical differences of Campy & Shimano. Personally, I like almost all bikes and gruppos and would love at least one of each. I like being able to downshift and brake with a single motion on my 105's, but I've heard people say on this forum that Campy's brakes are more responsive. Is that due perhaps to their brake lever being dedicated solely to braking, unlike Shimmy? Just curious how these things work, and how their mechanical differences contribute to their performance differences.
Ride 'em both, see which YOU like (nm)brider
Dec 2, 2002 3:16 PM
stay with shimanobenja15
Dec 2, 2002 7:53 PM
the hood shifters on campy get in the way when riding on the hoods

campy makes good bearing surfaces, im assuming otherwise campy and shimano are comparable
campy shifters are rebuildable.. but shimano should last a long while if you treat them right
Smart guy?53T
Dec 2, 2002 1:33 PM
Why would I listen to a guy who dumb enough to not only own a bike shop, but several bike shops!
re: Shifters: Campy vs. Shimanomapei boy
Dec 2, 2002 5:37 PM
I have Campy Chorus on my road bike and Shimano XT on my mountain bike. I love them both. Yes, with the Campy it's fun to smash down one time on the mouse ear and zoom into the little cog, but with some rapid finger action you can get to the smallest cog on the Shimano just about as fast. Neither system, by the way, can jump across the cluster nearly as quickly as did my old Nuovo Record with downtube levers.