Shimano and Campagnolo – Can’t We All Get Along?

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Shimano Derailleurs and Campagnolo Ergopower Levers Happy Together

Shimano derailleurs and Campagnolo Ergopower levers happy together

By popular demand, we’re finally publishing our Bike Hacker story (originally published in our premier issue, Issue 1) online. [Note: It was written prior to the emergence of Campagnolo 11-speed drivetrains, Shimano STI levers with hidden cables and the popular SRAM DoubleTap. Be sure to pick up a copy of a Issue 9 for an even more in-depth look that covers additional mix and match options, including our editor's new favorite involving the now-discontinued Shimano Rapid Rise (low normal) rear derailleurs. See more details at the bottom of the article.]

Most ‘cross racers don’t have the luxury of component sponsors, don’t receive new bikes or new drivetrains each year, and lack pit crews to clean their bikes every lap. So, they need to select parts that will perform, be reliable under all conditions, are lightweight and affordable, and hopefully last many seasons.

We at Cyclocross Magazine are no different, and as we choose parts for our ‘cross bikes, we take all these things under consideration in hand-picking our parts. Over the last few years, we’ve come to be fond of one particular setup:  Campagnolo Ergopower shifters mated to Shimano derailleurs and cassettes. Some fondly call this setup “Shimergo.”

What the hell?  These two aren’t supposed to work, you say?  Don’t believe the companies or the brand loyalists. As long as 8 or 9 speeds 8,9, or 10 speeds in the back is enough for you, they work great, and the combination also allows you to save some money if you’re buying individual parts as well as some precious grams you’ll appreciate when lifting your bike for the 23rd time.

Run 10 speed Ergopower Levers with a Shimano 9 speed drivetrain just by clamping the cable as shown

Run 10-speed Ergopower Levers with a Shimano 9- speed drivetrain just by clamping the cable as shown

How does it work?  We won’t bore you with cable pull measurements, but basically Campagnolo shifters pull more cable per shift than Shimano STI shifters, and it just so happens that when you mate a 10-speed Ergopower shifter to a Shimano derailleur, they work perfectly with a Shimano 8-speed cassette  Prefer an extra gear? With just a simple change on how you clamp the shift cable, this setup will work perfectly with a 9-speed cassette as well (see picture at left). [Update: 11-speed Ergopower shifts work perfectly with 9-speed Shimano cassettes, and 10-speed cassettes with the alternative cable clamping.]

We love the Campy shifter / Shimano drivetrain setup for a few reasons:

It’s lighter. Campy shifters are lighter than Shimano shifters, about 90-130 grams lighter than their Shimano equivalents.

It’s cheaper. Campy shifters are cheaper than their Shimano equivalents. Yet Shimano derailleurs are cheaper than their Campy equivalents. And Shimano-compatible wheels are cheaper, or more readily available, either from another bike, a local bike shop, or the local swap. We’re not rollin’ in it and need burrito and beer money. Priorities, right?

It’s cleaner. Those shift cables are nicely tucked under bar tape, away from the elements, and won’t get caught on people’s bikes, tree branches, or a poorly placed course-marking pole. [Update: Obviously with the 7900/6700 level of components, Shimano now has hidden shift cables]

It’s more reliable. Okay, this might be subjective. But we’ve had many an STI-lever give out, with weak springs or broken springs or from a crash, and much fewer problems with Campagnolo Ergopower. And we can rest easy knowing Ergopowers are easily repairable and parts are readily available. STI repairs, on the other hand, have been known to end a race season or even a marriage.

Does it matter what Shimano rear derailleur you use?  Not really. There’s no such thing as a Shimano 7, 8, 9, or 10-speed rear derailleur. As long as you avoid pre-9-speed Dura Ace rear derailleurs, everything will work great.

But modern parts are 10 speed…why would you want to use 8 or 9 speeds? Cyclocross in most areas is a muddy sport. The wider spacing and more cable pull between cogs allows more reliable shifting when mud/grass/snow get in the way of the cable and derailleur, and it’s been our experience that the wider spacing doesn’t get as jammed full of mud as the narrower 10-speed cassettes. But with Campagnolo’s 11-speed levers, 10-speed Shimano cassettes are now an option. [Ed. note: if you're really tired of mud derailing your shifting and drivetrain, consider Retroshift's shifter options, or converting to singlespeed for cyclocross.]

What’s the downside?  There are two potential downsides we can think of. The first is that many people, especially those with larger hands, prefer the longer Shimano STI lever bodies, especially the newer 10-speed models. These longer levers are also easier to point up, creating a large surface to push against and a position similar to mountain bike bar ends. [Ed. note, this is a moot point with the larger Ultrashift-shaped Ergopower hoods]. The second drawback for some is that it’s harder for some people to upshift during a sprint from the drops. This often depends on the exact positioning of the levers, as pointing them upwards makes it harder for those with shorter fingers to reach the upshift button. If this might be an issue, get a back copy of Issue 9 in print or digital format right away, and learn about our solution for this problem.

Want to try this setup but don’t want to lose a gear or clamp your cable differently?  You can either buy re-spaced cassettes or use a little pulley from Jtek Engineering.

Save Weight and Money…Mix and Match!

Brake/Shift LeversRear DerailleurWeight (grams)*Price*
Campagnolo RecordCampagnolo Record324 + 184 = 508$310 + $280= $590
Shimano Dura-AceShimano Dura-Ace420 + 180 = 600$400 + $120 = $520
Campagnolo RecordShimano Dura-Ace324 + 180 = 504$310 + $120 = $430
Shimano UltegraShimano Ultegra485 + 205 = 690$300 + $77 = $377
Campagnolo CentaurCampagnolo Centaur334 + 227 = 561$200 + $120 = $320
Campagnolo CentaurShimano Ultegra334 + 205= 539$200 + $77 = $277
Shimano 105Shimano 105500 + 221 = 721$280 + $65 = $345
Campagnolo VeloceCampagnolo Veloce351 + 250 = 601$140 + $80 = $220
Campagnolo VeloceShimano 105351 + 221 = 572$140 + $65 = $205

*Your results may vary. Weights and prices for 10-speed parts as seen in major catalogs in Fall 2007.

The rear cable clamp on a Rapid Rise rear derailleur to run 9 speeds on a 10 speed Campagnolo lever. © Cyclocross Magazine

The rear cable clamp on a Shimano Rapid Rise rear derailleur to run 9 speeds on a 10 speed Campy shifter, or 10 speeds with an 11 speed shifter. © Cyclocross Magazine

Notes:

  • Front derailleurs vary less in price and weight between the two brands. We’ve used Ergopower with Shimano front derailleurs with success, but a Campagnolo front with Ergopower shifters is ideal.
  • You’ll need a 9-speed Shimano-compatible cassette to complete the package, which can also save weight over 10-speed cassettes.

Want to get started? Check these out:
Campagnolo Ergopower shifters
Shimano 8-speed cassettes
Shimano 9-speed cassettes
Shimano 10-speed cassettes

 Update: This article was originally published for our Issue #1! Since then some of the Cyclocross Magazine team has experimented and successfully adapted Campagnolo 11-speed shifters to Shimano high-normal and low-normal rear derailleurs and Shimano and SRAM 10-speed cassettes. Our favorite is the Ultra Shift models (Super Record, Record, Chorus, and older Athena) of Campagnolo 11-speed shifters with a Shimano pre-Dynasys GS (medium) cage XTR, Deore XT or Deore LX Rapid Rise (low normal) rear derailleur. Got all that? That combo results in the fastest cyclocross downshifts, with multiple gear shifts at once possible.  See these images for how to clamp the cable on Rapid Rise derailleurs. 

For a different take on mix-and-match, one could pair Campagnolo Ergopower shifters with the 2013 Shimano-compatible Retroshift BURD rear derailleur.

 

 

 

Cyclocross Magazine, Issue 22, Print and digital subscriptionsHave you subscribed yet? You're missing out if not. Get all-original content and your cyclocross fix throughout the year with a subscription and Issue 23 back copy, with features on Lars van der Haar, Jonathan Page, Elle Anderson and more!
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84 comments
jasforsyth
jasforsyth

Hi

Update from me is that I'm now running campy chorus 11 speed levers with a campy front mech then shimano ultegra 6800 11 speed medium cage rear mech and cassette. I have a fully operationally great shifting 11 speed (11-32 cog) the trim on the front eliminates any chain rub accross all 11 gears, so my view is that shimano new 11 speed is spaced as 9 speed as the same shifters previously worked perfectly with a shimano 9 speed rear end. Oh and chainset is 10 speed no issue at all

vdubber67
vdubber67

@cyclocross :) didn't realise you were using 9spd cassette. Missed that article previously - excellent stuff!

Johncx
Johncx

G'day. I'm starting from scratch on a new CX/touring bike. I don't have any existing parts as I'm new to geared bikes. So I'd like a 1x10 speed with an 11-36 cassette and running BB7 disc brakes. Considering using an XT rear derailleur (medium cage?) and Campy Athena Ergopower 11Speed shifters. Is this like to work and what sort of issues am I likely to encounter? Or is there a better way to achieve what I'm after? Thanks

sheeshkebob
sheeshkebob

look at the picture i'm guessing this just gives the cable a little cam so changes the cable length a little as the derailleurs? seems a cool fix will give it a go as was hoping to upgrade later anyway

Kicsitesa
Kicsitesa

I am interested whether is there any way to make my 8 speed ergos to work with a shimano rear mech and 7 speed shimano cassette... I know, that I could make it work on a 6 speed cassette, and even I could use campy rear mech on a seven speed cassette as well, but is there any way to make an eight speed brifter to work with a shimano rear mech and seven speeds? :) Thanks :)

Rich240
Rich240

hi, i have did the alternativecable routing for the rear mech, and works perfect, but now i have problem with the front shimano derailluer rubbing on the big chainring, and the campy veloce doesnt have anymore trim clicks to eliminate rubbing. Also to note that, the high limiter screw is maxed out.

Rich240
Rich240

Hi, i need help, with my setup. hope someone can reply...

 

i have a 9 speed Shimano Sora rear derailleur and a 9 speed Shimano Tiagra front derailleur. For the cassette i have a 9 speed shimano tiagra. and 9 speed chain. currently have a double crankset.

 

as for the shifters i would like to know if these shifters would work, with my above setup:

2012 Power-Shift Campagnolo Veloce ALLOY ergo lever shifter set (10 speed double)

DarylPickering
DarylPickering

Is a shimano tiagra crank (10 speed) compatible with campy veloce (10 speed)

TroyEdige
TroyEdige

Hi there - a bit late on the topic, but hope someone can reply...

I have 8 spd Campy ergo's and a Shimano 105 rear derailleur. Would this setup work with an 8 spd Shimano cassette?

Thanks

grosmince
grosmince

Hello, just an update to say I am very pleased with my set up: 

I got the Jtek converter #2 to fit my 2011 10speed Campagnolo Centaur. I wanted the regular cable routing as it seems more solid. Works with Shimano 9 speed 12/25, Ultegra rear derailleur. Front shifting is excellent (better than with original Ultegra shifter!). No complain. New cables (Jagwire). All is groovy!

plinkypete
plinkypete

Hi Guys, a little late on this topic but this may get me out of a costly upgrade!

can anybody tell me if the following combo will work?

Campag Xenon 10spd shifters

Shimano 9spd 105 rear mech

shimano sora front mech

shimano 9spd cassette

thanks,

Pete

Atomkinder
Atomkinder

I hadn't seen it mentioned recently, but JTek is indeed back, so buy their stuff! Those shiftmates, while not the cheapest solution, work VERY WELL. I've been a mechanic for about 6 years now, and I recommend them highly (no, I don't work for them and never have, but they make solid products).

Adrian
Adrian

Are SRAM Double tap mix and match options covered in issue 9? I stumbled across this (excellent) article and would love to have more info on this topic, especially regarding use of SRAM 10 speed with Shimano 7 and 8 speed (Zinn's statements make the SRAM 10-Shimano 8 sound workable, but offer no certainty; would give me great upgrade options), but I haven't done any cyclocross and don't know if it would be worth it (for me) to subscribe. If issue 9 includes the info I'm after I'd be glad to buy the issue and see how much interest I have in the magazine (and maybe it will help me decide if I want to spend the time/money/energy to try the sport).

Jae
Jae

can i use shimano 105 shifters with both shimano front and rear derailleur with campagnolo cassette and crank?

justin
justin

so, my 6 speed 7400 dura ace derailleur wouldnt work? bummer. any workaround for this?

There are so many great anagrams for
There are so many great anagrams for

hi,
thanks to all for this thread, it's heartening me as i'm trying to figure out if i've just blown some $$ on these campy levers to do a shimergo thing. can i ask if this set up is a workable one? DA 7700 double, campy record 10 speed ergo, shimano 600 8-speed rear der, shimano 600 8-speed cassette. that's good as is....right? i've been suddenly worrying that i'll need to do the hubbub/9-speed thing, but would prefer not to.

@mabed
@mabed

Will this combo work, I'll use Jtek Shiftmate for the rear drivetrain: Campy Veloce 10spd ergopower shifters, shimano SLX 10spd cassette (11-36) and derailleur. Front: Sugiono XD500 crankset, and the Ird alpina front derailleur

GABooth
GABooth

I recently installed Chorus 10s ergo levers on my 2005 Fuji Cross Pro with a 9s Dura-Ace rear derailleur. I used the 90 degree cable attachment as described above, and I love it. However, I am having some problems with the chain skip/jump (not autoshift) while using the 2 or 3 large cogs while under extreme pressure ascending sharp, steep climbs. I had the hanger checked and found to be straight, and neither the chain nor cogs are excessively worn. On the stand, it shifts beautifully, but the LBS wrench felt the cable was loose on the way up and tight on the way down the cassette. I weigh 185 lbs and consider myself a power rider. What suggestions might you have? Could frame flex account for this problem?

Cyclocross Maga
Cyclocross Maga

ken, find yourself an older left that's pre qs and it'll work great. sorry, we're not 100% sure which models and years that includes...but with some searching you can probably decipher all the changes.  the years with the right-side escape mechanism probably are the years to avoid as the left was probably not the microshift. all 10-speed stuff should work okay - you might wanna play with your front mech though.  i know 11s stuff has given ppl fits with triples...but newer 10s left levers have worked, but better with campy front mechs.

hope that helps.

Ken
Ken

I have the Shimano 105 5603 group (triple).  I crashed and damaged the left shifter.  I would like to go to Campy shifers because I understand replacement parts are available.  Can you tell me which, if any, Campy shifters are compatible with the 105 deraileurs and thriple crank and cassett. 

Thanks in advance.

Josh
Josh

Will campag mirage shifters work with 9 speed sora derailleurs and a 9 speed tiagra cassette?
Thanks.

Cyclocross Maga
Cyclocross Maga

richard,
they certainly will work, but will only give you 5/6 speed index spacing.  i _think_ if you try an alternative cable clamp, it'll get you up to 8 speed shifting but that's it.  if you went campy 11, you'd get 8 speeds with the normal clamp. good luck!

Richard
Richard

Does anyone know if Campy Record 10 levers will work with an old Dura-Ace 8 rear derailler?

Cyclocross Maga
Cyclocross Maga

Hey Ron,

You should have fine luck with this setup as long as you: 1) use the alternative cable clamp on your rear mech, and 2) your front shifter has the multi-click option.  obviously you'd want a shimano or sram rear cassette.

good luck.

ron
ron

for a Shimergo set up using a mtb drivetrain, will 10speed Chorus or Record shifters (not bar end) work with a 9speed Shimano XT triple crankset and XT Front Derailleur?

thx!

Cyclocross Maga
Cyclocross Maga

chris,
you should be fine with a 9 speed chain on the campy 10 crankset. I'd go with a sram/shimano chain though. you can keep your campy front mech too.

chris grecole
chris grecole

i currently have a full campy record 10 sp group (double in the front). i want to downgrade to a 9 speed for a thicker chain, less maintenance, and cheaper repairs. if i go with a shimano rear derailleur and cassette, i'm assuming i will also have to switch to a shimano crank and chain as well. this is fine, I just want to do what's bests for long term trouble free use. let me know if i've got this right. thanks!

cyclocross
cyclocross

@vdubber67 we've done campy 11 ergopower with 10s shimano/sram rear too. but running 11 in the rear takes a different config.

cyclocross
cyclocross moderator

@Johncx it will work fine if the rear derailleur is pre dynasys and you clamp the cable using the alternative clamping style.

Rich240
Rich240

 @Rich240 also i forgot to include that my 9 speed tiagra cassette is 12/25. If that makes any difference.

cyclocross
cyclocross moderator

 @DarylPickering Daryl, it should work fine - assuming you're using 10 speed Veloce for everything else?  

cyclocross
cyclocross moderator

 @TroyEdige no, not without an adapter or a re-spaced cassette (and likely using only 7 speeds).  it'd probably work on 6 speeds though!  you'd have better luck with a campy rear derailleur, which will be closer.  

cyclocross
cyclocross moderator

@plinkypete We can't comment on the front shifting - but the rear should work with the alternative cable clamp. Good luck! If your front shifter has many clicks, you probably can get it to work, but a front mech is pretty affordable too. Good luck!

cyclocross
cyclocross moderator

Sorry for the late reply, but we do have some SRAM mix and match topics covered in the issue. We haven't had much luck with the SRAM/Campy or SRAM/Shimano because Campagnolo and Shimano pull different amounts of cable per shift while SRAM does not. We also tested a DaVinci modified SRAM mtb derailleur, and we spent a lot of time with RapidRise and road shifters. Issue 9 can now be added directly to the cart here: http://cxmagazine.com/subscribe Cheers.

Cyclocross Magazine
Cyclocross Magazine

Hi Adrian, we do talk about Campy/SRAM compatibility, and do address Zinn's comments about that working. We don't address any SRAM/Shimano compatibility. The real challenge (which we address in the article too) is that Campy/Shimano don't pull an even amount of cable per shift - it varies across the range. SRAM does. That's problematic for compatibility, but we do believe that people still do it anyway - it just depends on your tolerance for less than ideal shifting or perfect alignment. We also cover things like Campy 11, Rapid Rise what just might be the closest thing to a poor man's electronic shifting.

We've got a few back copies of issue 9 left - I think you will enjoy the mag. That was our last mostly b/w issue. Now we're in full color. If you enjoy in-depth interviews and profiles, technical features, objective reviews, travel stories, and a bit of Myth Busters-type research you'll probably like the mag. If you want a frequent mag that's filled with mostly ads and only features the top riders, you will not like CXM. And who knows, it could save you money with some of the tips and pay for itself.

And if you get your subscription in super soon, you'll get issue 12 at our bulk mailing rates.

Good luck!

Cyclocross Magazine
Cyclocross Magazine

this is a tough combo. your best bet, assuming shimano 10s derailleurs and shifters, is a campy 11s cassette and not using one gear. it's not a great match but shoudl work fine with campagnolo 11speed cassette, chain, crankset.

Cyclocross Magazine
Cyclocross Magazine

btw, sorry for the late response but your 7400 should work fine with a campy 11 shifter running 8 speed in the rear. not sure if you want to spring for that shifter though.

cyclocross808
cyclocross808

We're not sure on this combo as the slx is supposed to have different cable pull than previous road and mtb systems. Better off getting a 11-32 and running an older mtb derailleur. That will work. -via mobile

Johncx
Johncx

@cyclocross So how old or what year is ' pre dynasys'? I'm not familiar with it.

cyclocross
cyclocross moderator

 @Rich240 Rich.  Hopefully this helps:

1) there's no such thing as a 9 speed rear derailleur. with the exception of 8 speed Dura-Ace and 10 speed mountain rear derailleurs, all will work fine across 6-10 speed index systems.

2) Those levers will work fine with the "alternative" cable clamp that loops around the tab and reduces movement per shift.  So take a careful look at the picture and clamp the cable like that and it'll work great.  If you want to run an 8-speed cassette (8 speed chain will help too), you won't have to change your cable clamp at all.

 

Good luck!

cxpaul
cxpaul

in issue 9, you seem to imply moderate success combing sram double tap with a shimano rapid rise rear derailleur using an 8-speed cassette. However, you do mention the importance of dialing-in the setup with respect to the other combinations. Is this setup running on such a fine line to make it even worth it? I assume this setup utilized the "alternative clamping bolt" technique? I have a rival shifter and I'm underwhelmed by the downshift performance/effort, so if I'm just a cheap 8-speed cassette away from trying this out... @cyclocross

French Clements
French Clements

hey, thanks for asking!! it works beautifully about 95% of the time, and then sometimes it requires an extra few clicks to get it sitting right and quit its annoying plink-plink. not sure if i know how to fix. i LOVE being able to sweep through from large sprockets to small, and vice versa, and the trim-ability is decidedly Hot. check it: http://velospace.org/node/34244

Johncx
Johncx

 @cyclocross

 Thanks heaps for your assistance. Finally got the bike up and running and I'm loving everything about it. Cheers

Rich240
Rich240

 @cyclocross ok, but theres still one mind keeps itching.

 

Will i be able to use every single gear,on my 9 speed cassette? or will one or two gears?

cyclocross
cyclocross moderator

 @Rich240 it doesn't really require more cable and you never really want slack once it's clamped.  but note that campagnolo shifters use a smaller cable end than shimano, so you'll need to change your cable anyway. maybe your housing too if you have 5mm housing, as some newer levers expect 4mm housing to fit into the lever.  good luck! 

Rich240
Rich240

 @cyclocross well this is the derailluer copied from the amazon website:

 

Shimano Sora 9-speed Road Bicycle Rear Derailleur - RD-3400.

 

so if i do the alternative cable clamp, like how much inches should i leave extra slack?

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