I definitely agree with MotiveForcer concerning Campagnolo down shift lever. It is a very awkward arrangement. My hands are larger and that made it even worse. Down shifting on Campagnolo for me was almost as awkward as having down tube shifters again. I had Campagnolo Chorus 9 speed numerous years ago and I disassembled the shifting mechanism and altered the down shift lever so its starting position was angled down significantly. It made it much easier to shift the campy system. And in this position I could even down shift while my hands were in the drops. In the end though I went back to Shimano Ultegra 10 speed shifters simply because the shape of the lever is so comfortable. Campagnolo should do a complete redesign of their ergo shifters in my opinion.
Perhaps you should sell your services to Campy as you've done the work already. That is so cool that you were able to jumpstart their design flaw.
Just finished building my new set-up a couple weeks ago, CAAD9 , I opted for the Ultegra shifters (for cumfort over the DuraAce which is to narrow for me) and went with DuraAce deraillures. I'm running a compact FSA crank and have had no issues what so ever. Haven't had probs. with shimano so I think I'll stick with them.
Good point regarding the shift levers. Actually, I had thought I heard they were different in size but had not tried them myself and had forgotten that point until you mentioned it.
Sweet looking ride. It fulfills one of my primary criteria for bike ownership: "EVERYONE SHOULD OWN AT LEAST ONE RED BIKE!"
Regards and Heads Up!
Having two bikes, one equipped with Ultegra 6600 (2009) and the other with SRAM Force 2010, I can say the Ultegra is in my experience overall a better performing, smoother shifting group. Front trim on the SRAM is kludgy and I have dropped the chain on shifts down from the big ring to the inner on the 50-34 compact setup (remember Schleck in the Tour De France?). This has never happened with the Ultegra group. The overall shift feel with the SRAM doubletap is flimsier than the Ultegra, which is solid and smooth. In 2010 Shimano changed the size and shape of the hoods on Ultegra 6700 an Dura-Ace 7900 groups, so I cannot speak to the feel and quality of these newer groups in actual use, however, having handled them on bikes in the rack at the local bike shop, they appear to have gone a step retrograde in build quality (maybe due to the pressures of trimming weight and maintaining profit margin in a recession economy?). To answer the question of the original post, Ultegra trumps the Rival group, by far. SRAM Force is the competitive equivalent to Ultegra and even it, in my opinion, is slightly inferior to the Ultegra.
In response to ronnylee61 and Andy Schlecks chain drop in the Tour..... I have been a bike mechanic for over 20 years now and I can tell you from direct experience with specialized bicycles that Andy Schlecks chain dropped because he was using the specialized crank and chainrings on his bike. The Specialized chainrings are notorious for having terrible shifting problems and I replaced many of their chainrings with Shimano rings in order to fix the problem of chain drop. They would do the exact same thing that happened to Schleck.....under pressure on a downshift the chain literally jumps off of the chainrings and falls to the inside. When I saw that during the Tour I screamed because I knew exactly what the problem was.
What a moment that was! I jumped out of my seat too. I'm sorry but I don't really dig Andy. He seemed less than gracious when interviewed throughout the tour. Dougolas, your insight is keen. I figured that perhaps the chain stretched (though I'm sure it was pretty darn new) or just an adjustment was off. Personally, I would not have sat up if I had been Contrador. In a race a few years back I got into a solo attack off the front (I was shocked they let me ride away) and the finish was on a climb that had a false flat finish about 50 meters prior to the finish. For the first and only time on that bike (Merlin with 8 sped Durace 53/42) my chain skipped and my left thigh slammed into the bar end. Fortunately it did not drop off and I did not take a spill. I lost several pedalying strokes though and some crucial momentum and ended up taking a fifth as they were coming strong after me. I figure I would have won or been in the top three for sure but the bummer was the race paid out to four so I was out of the money.
I got a new chain on there the next day! (We've had this discussion re: chain replacement previously on Active).
Oh, and later that day I raced again, got into a break but took a sixth out of the six and that race paid to five! But at least the bike rode flawlessly.
The problem occurs when shifting on the Specialized chainrings and also there is a flaw in the shape of the teeth on the Specialized rings. When one shifts under power from the large to the small chainring on the SBC rings a great deal of energy is carried over onto the small ring in the chain. The teeth on the SBC rings have a more relaxed angle to them so this powered chain dropping onto the small ring skips over one tooth and off to the inside of the small ring at the same time. Almost every SBC road bike we sold at the shop I worked at had this problem. The answer was to replace the SBC rings with Shimano rings.
A very similar thing occurs with either a stretched chain on any chainring or a worn ring wiht a new chain. But the Specialized rings were special....they were designed to have this problem right from the beginning. No need to go ride 10,000 miles to wear out your rings or chain.
Geez! I presume your shop contacted Specialized regarding the problem. That becomes very costly if you have to spend time (without getting paid by the customer) and probably have to give some sort of deal to them for the new rings (otherwise I'd be really upset myself). All I can say is that I don't think that Andy and Frank will be on Specialized next year. I generally like the brand too.
Thanks for sharing the neat insight.
Personally, I would not have sat up if I had been Contrador.
I know folks have weighed in on the "mechanical issue" ad infinitum. However, my take is simply that its racing. When you are separated by seconds at that level you have to take advantage of the opportunity when ever it occurs. Mechanical flaw in the chain ring aside, as a professional it is incumbent on Schleck to know the limitations of his gear and have the proper technique to work within those limitations. I am going to take a guess and speculate that he experienced similar mechanicals on prior training rides so this probably was not a surprise. Last season, I saw a kid drop a chain during a crit and that race did not slow down for him to recover.....so I am wondering are there 2 standards of unwritten rules. Maybe its different when you are racing for a pair of socks and its every rider for themself.
Gotta Ride Today
aka Chuck Faulkner
Tazewell, TN 37987
You will remember that Lance sat up for Ulrich when he ran off the road in the TdF. That was not in the midst of an attack and with plenty of miles to go but if there had been a flat, I wonder what might Lance have done. In an earlier tour Lemond flatted and his team car was really slow getting him a wheel. The team, now this was a mountain stage, waited and they had to go 71 mph he reported to catch back on. He said he had never been so scared in his life and he's mentally tough.
I think the rules are depending on the circumstances and the question is whether or not if you are "sporting" will it come back to haunt you later. IF you sit up for someone now will the other riders respect you and not attack you at every whim? or cut you a break if you have to take a natural break or whatever!
I have been riding for just a year now. Tested many bikes and love SRAM. Seemed quicker to me. Have no issues with it. When you get yours, make sure the LBS agrees to adjust your fit and allow you to bring your bike in a few times for tweaking fit and adjust cables and components after a few months of riding.