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SRAM, Campy, Shimano - compare

post #1 of 65
Thread Starter 
Please compare Campy, SRAM, and Shimano - I'm only familiar with Shimano and want to learn the differences.
post #2 of 65
I've ridden Campy and Shimano for well over 10,000 miles each. They both work great. Since you know all about Shimano, a couple Campy points:
  • Braking and shifting aren't controlled by the same lever; i.e., it's impossible to accidentally brake while shifting. I occassionaly grab the brake while trying to move the "big" shift lever on Shimano.
  • The "little" shift lever (i.e., the one behind the brake itself) does the exact opposite thing on Campy vs. Shimano.
  • Some people with small hands find it difficult to shift Campy from the drops.
  • The rubber brake hoods feel different between Campy and Shimano. Not better or worse, just different.
  • Campy can shift multiple gears in both directions (assuming you have Record or Chorus gear).
  • Campy has lots of front derailleur trim positions.
  • Campy shifters are fixable... Break a Shimano shifter, and you're buying a new one.
post #3 of 65
I am a Shimano fan, although the sound of Campy is just music. Whatever I have had with Shimano, STX to XTR just work.
post #4 of 65
there is no comparison
post #5 of 65
As far as Mountain bikes. SRAM shifters, chains and derailleurs, Shimano cassettes, cranks, and rings. Have to watch for compatibility between SRAM chains and Shimano rings, on the newer stuff Shimano ramps on the chainrings won't catch on a SRAM chain. Shimano is making it so all their stuff is only compatible with Shimano.
post #6 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
the sound of Campy is just music.
Oh yeah. Campy rear hubs are much louder then Shimano hubs. The "buzz" of a free-wheeling Campy hub is startingly loud actually. When I made the Shimano to Campy switch, my riding buddy had a couple "what the heck is that???" looks when I started coasting. It's not an issue if you keep pedalling though.
post #7 of 65
I have been happy with shimano components on my Mt Bikes, but I must say, when I demo'd road bikes, I really liked how smooth the Ultegra components felt when I made adjustments.
post #8 of 65
(Ultegra is Shimano)
post #9 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
(Ultegra is Shimano)
Has anyone ever told you that I'm blonde? Some days more so than others.
All I know is that I never see the name ultegra(model ultegra, not brand, as it were) on mt bikes and saw Ultegra on many road bikes when I was demoing.

I'm fairly knowledgeable about mt bikes, though I still have tons to learn.

I'm just learning about road bikes and components now, and its amazing how much is different.
Huge!
post #10 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
All I know is that I never see the name ultegra(model ultegra, as it were) on mt bikes and saw Ultegra on road bikes.
I'm fairly knowledgeable about mt bikes, though I still have tons to learn.

I'm just learning about road bikes and components now, and its amazing how much is different.
Huge!
I do give Shimano credit for keeping their MTB and road component lines amazingly interchangeable. You can put a 9-speed XTR (MTB) rear derailleur on a 9-speed road bike and it will work just fine. The cassettes are interchangeable as well (assuming the number of gears remains the same). I forget the compatability rules for putting 8, 9 and 10 speed cassettes on the same rear wheel, but generally speaking -- it just works.

Campy does keep changing things, so that old stuff won't work with new and new stuff won't work with the old stuff.
post #11 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
I do give Shimano credit for keeping their MTB and road component lines amazingly interchangeable. You can put a 9-speed XTR (MTB) rear derailleur on a 9-speed road bike and it will work just fine. The cassettes are interchangeable as well (assuming the number of gears remains the same). I forget the compatability rules for putting 8, 9 and 10 speed cassettes on the same rear wheel, but generally speaking -- it just works.

Campy does keep changing things, so that old stuff won't work with new and new stuff won't work with the old stuff.
This is good to know.
post #12 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
I forget the compatability rules for putting 8, 9 and 10 speed cassettes on the same rear wheel, but generally speaking -- it just works.
About the only thing you can't do is put an 8 or 9 speed cassette on a NEW (7800) DA hub.
post #13 of 65
If anyone needs any shimano MTB stuff let me Know. I've got a bunch of new and perfectly usable XT and XTR level stuff thats collecting dust.
post #14 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnys Zoo View Post
As far as Mountain bikes. SRAM shifters, chains and derailleurs, Shimano cassettes, cranks, and rings. Have to watch for compatibility between SRAM chains and Shimano rings, on the newer stuff Shimano ramps on the chainrings won't catch on a SRAM chain. Shimano is making it so all their stuff is only compatible with Shimano.
I just put new 105 chainrings on my bike with a SRAM chain and it shifts fine.
post #15 of 65
One of my buds owns a bike shop. We literally spent 2 hours trying to get my Cake 1 to shift properly with new XT chainrings and a PC 69 chain. We finally dug out an older XT chainring and compared the ramps. Shimano changed them. The inner ring doesn't matter because it doesn't have any ramps. We replaced the new XT rings with an older ones and presto. No problem. I don't know about the 105 rings, Is it a triple? Maybe the newer Sram chains work with the newer Shimano rings?

By the way, as far as Sram goes, the derailleurs can be completely covered in WV mud and still shift. Shimano's new low normal and older rapid rise derailleur is no good in dirty/muddy/dusty conditions. If your cables start to get the slightest amount of dirt on them, they start to mis-shift.
post #16 of 65
I'd rather just use a Shimano chain anyway. I have a PC-89 chain on my 8-spd bike and it shifts like crap and is noisy. The IG-91s I used to use on it were so much better. On my XTR bike I use the CN-7701 and it works like a champ. There's a definite performance difference between the new and old cainrings too. Notice how nobody bothers putting anti-chainsuck stuff on thier frames anymore? I do carry a SRAM Powerlink on rides with me just to speed up repairs if needed.
post #17 of 65
Yes, I'm now also using a shimano chain on my Cake. I like the Sram chains because I can quickly remove the chain (quicklink) for cleaning, etc. Shimano is a pain with those rivets, I can never remember which color rivet I've used. Several times I ruined Shimano chains by trying to adjust the links for different set ups.
post #18 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnys Zoo View Post
...I don't know about the 105 rings, Is it a triple?..
Yes, and I only replaced the granny and middle. I guess in the middle ring, the ramps don't matter too much (because no limit on derailluer position) and if the small ring doesn't have ramps, probably explains why it works OK.
post #19 of 65
Just leave it on for cleaning. Breaking it all of the time is asking for trouble. I just use ProLink ProGold chainlube and wipe it down. It doesn't need to be sparkling..
post #20 of 65
Are you familiar with WV mud? I ride with 2 fenders, when I'm not racing. I don't remove my chains that often, but when I do its nice to use those Sram powerlinks.
post #21 of 65
Well, I've ridden in NC clay...

Seriously though, a hose is your friend. Lube wipe repeat. Use a chain measuring gauge and replace your chain often.

To some degree, riding in mud is a thing of the past for me as it seems to be frowned upon in todays mountain bike culture. If you are riding on 4-wheeler trails and stuff where it doesn't matter, you are probably seeing a lot more mud than I am.
post #22 of 65
I never break my chain until it's being replaced. I had trouble with Shimano Uniglide chains and quit using them many years ago.

I use White Lightning lube. Apply, wipe down, repeat until chain is clean, similar to hot waxing and scraping skis several times to get them clean and waxed. White Lightning is wax based, most people hate it but I like it. I get compliments on my gleaming chrome plated SRAM chain.

Don't ride muddy trails. Leave no trace.

Oops, epic beat me to the punch.
post #23 of 65
Most everywhere around here has mud. Indeed there are many 4 -wheeler trails but also many single tracks. Check out the trails list at mtbr.com if you are interested. By the way the terrain here is similar to Pisgah in some respects. If you don't keep your drive train clean around here, you are going to be replacing it frequently. No matter what components you ride.

By the way, I'm not a rookie.

I'm the big guy on the 2nd place podium.

post #24 of 65
Oboe, sorry to digress from the topic. There are a couple sites that I would like to direct you toward.

For road bikes.
http://www.roadbikereview.com/reviewscrx.aspx

For MTB.
http://mtbr.com/reviews/

As far as WV being wet, I live right beside the New River Gorge National Park. This area is full of old mines. Beckley, WV has more mine shafts running under it than any place in the world. Henry Ford had a mine here until the late 50's I believe. If you have been rafting in the New River look at both sides. As far as you can see used to be mines on both sides of the gorge. Logging goes right along with mining. the timber gets stripped off before they mine. After a mine is exhausted they usually fill it with water. In a heavy rain the earthen plugs they put in the mine become saturated. The earth then can start to sheer down slope and suck the water out of the shaft explosively. It literally takes the whole side of the mountain with it. So, the New River Gorge is a drainage basin full of these old and new mine shafts. The landscape is covered with old logging and mining roads, mine shafts railroad beds, etc. Indeed this is an unharvested MTB LaLa land. But the drainage is all screwed up. You can't compare this area to largely suburban park like Pisgah in NC or Gambril in MD. To call me a fornicator of the trails is a misnomer.

As far a lubricants, and chain degreaser Tri-flow all the way. Bontrager/Castrol, and Finish Line are also good. White Lightning and White Lightning Race day are too sticky. The wax base that is supposed to shead off dirt, but it acts like glue. Dirt and sand stick to the chain and your rings, chain and cassette get sandpapered.
post #25 of 65
I didn't call you a fornicator of trails. Thus the reference to ATV trails. I recognize that MTB culture is different in different areas and as I said, I don't see the mud that I used to.WV must be a great place for riding. I t actually seems like kind of an undiscovered MTB land.
post #26 of 65
Sorry Epic, that was a little extreme. The Park Service has closed some trails that I ride on. People dump trash on the land because they either can't afford trash service, or are too lazy to take to the dump on free trash day. On my rides I take a plastic sack and fill it full of disgarded bottles, etc. In a way I'm a misfit to the locals. They will see me out on the trails on 4 wheelers and say, duh, wheres your motor? I see people throw out trash and cigarette butts and it really gets to me. Maybe I'm oversensitive. I just don't expect to get sideswiped with unprovoked comments that are out of context with the thread. So, see you on the trails?
post #27 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnys Zoo View Post
Yes, I'm now also using a shimano chain on my Cake. I like the Sram chains because I can quickly remove the chain (quicklink) for cleaning, etc. Shimano is a pain with those rivets, I can never remember which color rivet I've used. Several times I ruined Shimano chains by trying to adjust the links for different set ups.
You remove your chain to clean it? :

http://www.parktool.com/products/det...=5&item=CG%2D2

Actually, if you use a "dry" chain lube, you'll never have to clean your chain. I use Pedro's Extra Dry. I haven't needed to clean my chain in three years. I do repalce the chain every 800 to 1000 miles or so. Preventive maint.
post #28 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnys Zoo View Post
Are you familiar with WV mud? I ride with 2 fenders, when I'm not racing. I don't remove my chains that often, but when I do its nice to use those Sram powerlinks.
Man, this is almost too much. I lube my chains with Tri-flow usually. I wipe my chain off with a rag and if its not too dirty I'll put some more Tri-flow on, wiping off the excess. Typically, I'll do 2-3 rides before a thorough cleaning. I use a grunge brush and Tri-flow citrus cleaner.

I currently have a Shimano chain, not sure of the number, and no I'm not going to go look. It has stainless sides, not sure if the rivets are stainless.

I prefer SRAM chains. If you have ever picked up a stick and had a derailleur in your spokes, chain sucked up behind your cassette...You will appreciate having a powerlink to remove it.
Or for god knows why, you want to put a spacer on and convert to single speed or simply swap your chain to another bike. Anything like that, the powerlink is super.

Pedros is no good either, wax based. And those California semi-slicks don't work here either.
post #29 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
I've ridden Campy and Shimano for well over 10,000 miles each. They both work great. Since you know all about Shimano, a couple Campy points:
  • Braking and shifting aren't controlled by the same lever; i.e., it's impossible to accidentally brake while shifting. I occassionaly grab the brake while trying to move the "big" shift lever on Shimano.
  • The "little" shift lever (i.e., the one behind the brake itself) does the exact opposite thing on Campy vs. Shimano.
  • Some people with small hands find it difficult to shift Campy from the drops.
  • The rubber brake hoods feel different between Campy and Shimano. Not better or worse, just different.
  • Campy can shift multiple gears in both directions (assuming you have Record or Chorus gear).
  • Campy has lots of front derailleur trim positions.
  • Campy shifters are fixable... Break a Shimano shifter, and you're buying a new one.
Good observations. Comparisons between SRAM [Red, Force, Rival] Campagnolo [Record, Chorus, Centaur] and Shimano [Dura Ace, Ultegra, 105] can also be viewed with respect to group set price, material performance, weight, professional use etc., and of which there are many sites that do such side by side comparisons.

For me, I personally like double tap [shifting] and the flexibility SRAM now provides jumping gears [along with liking the David and Goliath challenge SRAM has with their recent move from mountain to road competition with the big dogs Shimano and Campy]. However, Shimano is the engineering giant, proven, deep pockets, forever migration with very measured product development supporting bullet proof products up and down the price line. For example, the price value of 105 is outstanding if you are looking for rock solid performance on a reasonable priced complete ride. On the other hand, Campy is the Holy Grail mystic following of Tullio Campagnolo, a 1930’s Italian racing star turned manufacturing monk of bike components. For many serious roadies, anything less than a full Record gruppo is made in China with toxic material.

For the hard worker and adventurous, the only way to really 'learn the differences' is to visit your LBS and get a seat of the pants comparison with the all three component manufactures [it may take a couple of bike shops depending on what components are carried with their higher builds] and get a specific feel of the drive train. While it’s hard to ignore wheelsets, bike material and geometry and once you get a feel for the brakes, try to hone in particularly on your shift commands [crisp, clean, quick, accurate?] causing the f/r derailleur action covering shifts on the chain ring setup you will ride [a double, compact double with bigger tooth jump or Triple with a larger throw of the front derailleur]. Talk to the wrenches [usually they are very independent minded] and they will give you feedback on what spends more time in the shop and less on the road…and why.

Of course ‘feel’ will change for many soon with the commercial offerings of electronic component groups from Campy and Shimano. I’m also wondering if issues of spontaneous battery combustion will then rule cycling forums :
post #30 of 65
"On the other hand, Campy is the Holy Grail mystic following of Tullio Campagnolo, a 1930’s Italian racing star turned manufacturing monk of bike components. For many serious roadies, anything less than a full Record gruppo is made in China with toxic material."

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