CyclingNZ Home

Notice: Use of undefined constant aperson - assumed 'aperson' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in called from on line in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57
Campagnolo v Shimano - The Great Debate
4 May, 2003

How do you compare Campagnolo to Shimano? IBike's Del Woodford put's forward his views in the first of a regular column from bike shop's around the country.

 

To some there is no comparison, one is just so much better than the other. Both camps can come up with some pretty good arguments as to why they prefer one to the other. Many of today's riders have only ever used Shimano and with its silky smooth changing and reliability it gives them very little or no reason to change to Campagnolo. But to others who have been brought up on Campagnolo nothing will ever compare to the quality that comes out of Italy.

 

To understand this you have to go back in time, back to the days when to get something like a racing bike you had to buy the frame and then all the bits to build up your bike. The choices were limited and everything else seemed like a poor cousin to what Campagnolo was able to produce. The likes of Simplex, Mavic, Zeus and Gaili to name a few, all worked, some would say well but really nothing could compare to Campagnolo.

 

Campagnolo´s manufacturing activities began in 1933 in a small workshop in Vicenza. In the sixties Campagnolo went on a period of expansion and by 1968 had produced its first complete group set as we know it today. Shimano began in 1921 manufacturing single speed freewheels. Shimano expanded in the 50's and produced a derailleur that led to more sophisticated derailleur's and multi speed free wheels. Through the 60's, 70's and mid 80's the name Campagnolo had dominated the world of cycling but this dominance was about to get a shake up.

 

Around 1980/82 Shimano group sets were starting to be seen on top-end European racing bikes. When the great Italian Francesco Moser changed from Campagnolo to Shimano it almost led to civil war in Italy. Then came S.I.S (Shimano Index System) linear response braking, and finally, STI (Shimano Total Integration). Now the pressure was really on Campagnolo, who it would be fair to say, had sat back and lived on their previous history forgetting all about development. Their first attempts at index were pretty average, even for the die-hard Campagnolo fan it was hard to take. You could never fault the finish or quality of product but it just did not shift that well.

 

Shimano's history at developing product in association with some of the world's top teams was paying off. Their share of the racing market had increased at the expense of Campagnolo and to a greater degree the likes of Simplex, Zeus and Mavic (apart from rims) were going out of business.

 

The Italian company was not about to throw in the towel and throughout the late 90's have come up with some great product innovations. The introduction of 9 then10 speed group-sets and their use of carbon fibre and titanium have certainly taken the fight back to the Japanese Company. Their wheel sets are also very good but that's another review. Shimano may have just sat back a little bit too much over the last 4 or 5 years but word is that's about to change in 2004.

 

So who has the best group sets?

 

Record – well is there a challenger?

 

In my view, no.

 

Dura Ace comes close but lack a bit of Italian flair and finish. Here are a few other reason why I have rated Record above Dura Ace:

 

·       Campagnolo moved the bar up a notch when they went to10 speed and introduced carbon fibre & titanium into its group set.

·       The alloy finish on their components is as stunning as ever and the Ergo carbon levers are beautiful to look at, to use, and the cables being hidden under the bar tape, that's a real winner in my view.

·       The shifting is positive & precise and the 10 speed shifting is smoother than the older Record 9 speed.

There are areas where Dura Ace has an edge on some Record bits:

 

·       The likes of the Octalink Crank set and bottom bracket, both lighter than Record and being revolving weight, the savings are greater than a few grams on the seat post.

·       The Dura Ace shifting is suburb, lighter and smother than Record, though record 10 is a lot closer than the 9-speed version.

 

The down side for me is that Dura Ace still looks much the same as its earlier STI versions, it's still 9 speed, there is no carbon fibre and those gear cables really should be hidden. Shimano have big plans for 2004 but will it ever be able to match the finish of the Italians?

 

Only time will tell.

 

Below is a component list of the main parts in the group sets with weights and a rating out of five for each part based on weight, looks and performance.

 

As you can see out of a possible 65 Record scored 60.5 points and Dura Ace 57.

 

I have left out pedals and wheels, as both these products should be reviewed against other pedal and wheel manufactures.

 

 

Dura Ace

Weight

Campagnolo

Weight

 

Dura Ace

Performance

Campagnolo

Performance

Rear Derailleur

195

187

 

4.0

5.0

Front Derailleur

79

91

 

5.0

4.0

STI/Ergo

432

342

 

4.0

5.0

Brake Callipers Pair

317.5

348

 

4.5

5.0

Crank Set

594

632

 

5.0

4.5

Bottom Bracket

173

190

 

5.0

4.0

Front Hub

178

181

 

4.5

5.0

Rear Hub

376

316

 

4.0

5.0

Cassette

159.5

188

 

4.0

4.0

Chain

304

279

 

5.0

4.5

Head Set

101

104

 

5.0

5.0

Seat Post

195

180

 

4.0

5.0

Aesthetic Value

 

 

 

3.0

4.5

Total Weight

3,104

3,038

Total Score

57.0

60.5

 

 

 

As for the mass market, yes for the bike we can buy off the shelf at a price that most of us can afford, Shimano is the way to go. Why? Well there are hardly (if any) bikes being specified with Campagnolo Chorus, Centaur, Veloce or Mirage in our part of the world. Until that changes it is pretty hard to know what group set a product manager would specify from the Campagnolo range to go head to head with the likes of Ultegra, 105 & Tiagra.

 

So how do you pick between Ultegra, 105 or Tiagra?

 

Bang for your buck the 105 group set is great value, only 109g heavier (see weight chart below) than it's more expensive big brother Ultegra.

 

The Tiagra group also offers awesome value for money (totally under rated in terms of performance) and with the money saved you could upgrade to a light set of race wheels. Your performances could make the odd poser look twice.

 

When shopping around for a bike in the $2-$4k price range there is often more to the bike than just name on the rear derailleur, cranks and STI levers. The most important thing on a bike is the frame, fork and wheel set. If you are doing a lot of km's ie 16/20,000 a year then the Ultegra rear derailleur, chain rings and STI levers will generally out last the equivalent 105 or Tiagra.

 

On all group sets the chain should be replaced every 2500 – 3000km. By doing so you will extend the life of your cassette and chain rings.

 

Enjoy the ride.

 

 

 

Ultegra

105

Tiagra

 

Weight

Weight

Weight

Rear Derailleur

215

228

265

Front Derailleur

88

89

113

STI Levers

485

495

490

Brake Callipers Pair

335

353

355

Crank Set

643

645

776

Bottom Bracket

221.5

250

311

Front Hub

198

207

205

Rear Hub

410

411

425

Cassette

210

236

270

Chain

304

304

304

Total

3,109

3,218

3,514

Click to enlarge...

CONTINUE READING
Latest News
The Cycling Advocates Network (CAN) welcomes an increase in the driving age to 16, but says the government also needs to invest in professional cycle training to improve road safety. CAN spokesperson Anne FitzSimon says one of the best ways to raise driving standards is to make cycle training >>
This weekend I got my first taste of NRC racing in America. The Dana Point GP race on sunday was a 90min crit round a fast but very technical circuit in the streets of Dana Point, with a huge crowd and the top US teams present it was a pretty big event and had an awesome atmosphere. Bike Religion >>
Looking for a different challenge and some fun a West Coast couple riding a Unicycle are amongst the 1100 riders doing the Around Brunner Cycle event on the West Coast this Saturday. "We've been riding unicycles for around three years now," Alison Dixon from Blackball said. "It started off >>
Latest Articles
Former world Champion Hayden Godfrey is the latest big name to enter the Around Brunner elite road race this weekend. The 2008 Omnium World Champion was knocked off his bike in Christchurch in February, putting his arm through a car windscreen which required surgery meaning he missed valuable >>
This weekend is again a busy weekend for the Mico/All About Plumbing Cycling team presented by Revolution Racing. Saturday has the team lining up on the West Coast in Greymouth for the 130km National Point Series (NPS) Around Brunner Cycle Ride. Team director Steve Elden says "the ride or race for >>
Less than two weeks after entries opened, interest is already high in Cycling Southland's Harrex Group Corporate Pursuit being held in June. Organisers expect to easily fill the field of 32 corporate teams that will compete in New Zealand's only indoor velodrome in Invercargill in a grading >>
 Photo Gallery

Notice: Use of undefined constant pid - assumed 'pid' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in display_page_bottom called from /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_profiles.php on line 272 in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57

Notice: Use of undefined constant ptitle - assumed 'ptitle' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in display_page_bottom called from /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_profiles.php on line 272 in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57

Notice: Use of undefined constant ptitle - assumed 'ptitle' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in display_page_bottom called from /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_profiles.php on line 272 in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57
Tour of Southland

Notice: Use of undefined constant pid - assumed 'pid' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in display_page_bottom called from /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_profiles.php on line 272 in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57

Notice: Use of undefined constant ptitle - assumed 'ptitle' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in display_page_bottom called from /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_profiles.php on line 272 in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57

Notice: Use of undefined constant ptitle - assumed 'ptitle' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in display_page_bottom called from /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_profiles.php on line 272 in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57
Tour de Femme 2009

Notice: Use of undefined constant pid - assumed 'pid' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in display_page_bottom called from /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_profiles.php on line 272 in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57

Notice: Use of undefined constant ptitle - assumed 'ptitle' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in display_page_bottom called from /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_profiles.php on line 272 in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57

Notice: Use of undefined constant ptitle - assumed 'ptitle' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in display_page_bottom called from /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_profiles.php on line 272 in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57
Elite Women's National TT Champ Melissa Holt

Notice: Use of undefined constant pid - assumed 'pid' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in display_page_bottom called from /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_profiles.php on line 272 in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57

Notice: Use of undefined constant ptitle - assumed 'ptitle' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in display_page_bottom called from /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_profiles.php on line 272 in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57

Notice: Use of undefined constant ptitle - assumed 'ptitle' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in display_page_bottom called from /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_profiles.php on line 272 in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57
Waterfront TT 10 Oct '09
Home Kiwi Riders Sports Science Beginners Articles Riders Reports Tech Corner Contact
© Cyclingnz.com 2022 | Login | Design by OnfireDesign