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By Lennard Zinn
Mating Mavic, Campy and Shimano
I’ve got some 2004 Mavic Cosmic Carbones with a Campy cassette and have recently bought a bike with Dura-Ace 10 transmission. What would I have to do to use the Cosmics on this bike?
Dear Andy,Those wheels would not shift worth beans using a Campy 10 cogset with a Shimano 10 transmission. You could buy and install a Shimano 10-speed cogset and a Mavic freehub body for Shimano (called “M10”), interchanging it with that “ED10” freehub body and Campy cogset. Alternatively, you may be able to locate some aftermarket cogs for a Campy freehub that have narrower, Shimano spacing. I know these exist for going the other way (for instance, Wheels Manufacturing makes a Campy-10-compatible cogset for a Shimano freehub using a Shimano cogset with modified cog spacing), so they likely do the other way around.
9-speed Shimano cogs, 10-speed Campy drivetrain
For years I have been using 9-speed Shimano cogsets with Campy shifters. I have six bicycles set up that way, and an equal number of additional wheelsets with Shimano cogsets. I switch wheels all the time and have no problem. In fact, I own no wheels with Campy cogsets, and I do not use conversion kits for any of the wheels. I race on these bicycles, and they perform excellently with that set up, and shift flawlessly. Since the 9-speed works so well, I assumed that 10-speed would work even better as there would seem to be even less room for variation between cogsets. I do not understand why that would not be the case. Of course, I was told that the 9-speed switch would not work before I did it six times.
Your setup should work fine as long as you stick with 9-speed Shimano cogsets with your 10-speed Campagnolo drivetrain. That is the fix that the neutral support teams initially used when Campy 10-speed first came out, because the spacing between cogs on a Shimano 9-speed system is so close to that of a Campy 10-speed system. However, I am quite sure that a Shimano 10-speed cogset will not work with a stock Campy 10-speed system, because the spacing between cogs is so much narrower. Now, you may be able to get the derailleur to move less far with each shift by clamping the cable on the opposite side of the cable-fixing bolt on the rear derailleur, but it of course would then no longer work with your 9-speed Shimano cogs.
PowerTap hub, Ultegra cogs and Campy 10
I recently purchased a PowerTap hub on a prebuilt wheel. I purchased two of the Wheels Manufacturing cogsets (11-23 and 11-25, both Ultegra versions) so I can ride my Campagnolo Record 10-speed with this wheel. I had to add two inserts (1mm each) to make sure the inside rivets don’t hit the spokes, and fit is otherwise okay. I am running into a recurring problem and cannot figure out the source. The indexing shifts normally, with the exception of a few hiccups. However, the chain will not stay on the largest cog (either cassette) under high torque (e.g., hard climb, seated or standing). I adjusted the barrel and re-tensioned the cable, changed the chain, cleaned and relubed everything, but the problem remains. I don’t believe this is cog wear because it only occurs in the large cog position. I verified that the chain clears the spokes; it’s a close fit, but any more spacers behind the cogs means I can’t close the lockring down.
Here is the answer from Dave at Wheel Manufacturing:
In our Shimano cogsets to fit Campy 10-speed, the spacing between the two largest cogs is left as Shimano, which is narrower than Campy, not wider. We have found that these two spacers do not affect the overall shifting of the cassette as long as all the other spacing is “fixed” to Campy width. The whole Campy system is about 3mm wider than Shimano, but leaving those two spacers only makes a .3mm or .4mm difference and it has not been a problem, at least of the first 5,000 we have sold, anyway.
I would suspect his problem is one of derailleur adjustment or hanger alignment. It is also possible he still needs to get his cogset towards the chainstay a little more as clearance with the PowerTap hub is never a problem. We sell these cassettes direct to Graber for use on PowerTap and they work great!This next part is the good stuff for getting my cassette, or any 10-speed cassette, to work properly. Make sure chain lines are good and change spacing as needed (more an issue with our product than OEM Campy).
Check dropout alignment with tool.
Check wear and tear on derailleur and chain. Make sure everything is good working order, as these 10 speed systems tend to be finicky, even under the best of conditions.
Check “forward and aft” derailleur adjustment screw (the “b-screw”—Editor). Important for getting proper shifting out of the smallest cogs.
Start cassette adjustment by adjusting high and low limit screws. When pedaling, manually move derailleur to high and low spots and adjust screws.
Put derailleur in middle of cassette and start up and down adjustment from there. Adjust barrel and cable tension so that derailleur shifts down one smaller cog, then back to the starting cog. Next go to next larger cog and back. Once that is working, go two cogs down, two cogs up, etc., until all cogs are working.
And as always, my first advice for problematic shifting problems is to take the whole thing to a good mechanic!
Do the math: Shorter cranks won’t help
My inseam is 32-ish and my crankarm length is 172.5. If I want to protect my knees as much as possible (and focus on spinning faster), will switching to a 170 make a big enough difference to warrant the switch? Thanks for any thoughts!
Do you have a problem with your knees? 172.5mm is by no means too long for you. In fact, 21.6 percent of a 32-inch inseam length is 175mm. If you do have pain on the back of the kneecap, nowadays called patello-femoral syndrome, formerly called chondromalacia, shortening the cranks will ease the pressure somewhat by decreasing the knee angle at the top of the stroke. Regarding spinning: you do the math. Shortening your crank by 2.5mm out of 172.5mm is a 1.4 percent smaller circle. If you are already spinning at 100 RPM, that means that the crank length difference at the same foot speed would allow you to spin at 101.4 RPM, or, in whole numbers, 101RPM. And if you’re spinning at 90RPM, you go up to 91RPM, and if you are at 120RPM now, you go up to 121.7RPM, or 122RPM rounded off. Doesn’t seem like worth the effort and expense to me for one revolution per minute.
Garden sprayer makes a great bike washer
I use a garden sprayer to rinse my bike down. You can find these in many hardware stores. They hold about a gallon of water and contain a hand pump to build up air pressure in the jug. It also comes with an adjustable nozzle to control the spray pattern. The pressure is mild, but strong enough to wet the bike down and rinse it off. I have never had any problems with seepage into bearings. They’re also great if you live in an apartment (I used to take my bike and sprayer to the curb in NYC) and the unit is pretty portable for the weekend racer too.
You can’t replace lost carbon, but lacquer fixes clear-coat nicks
My son’s road bike (Tirreno Razza) has a carbon rear triangle. Several days ago as he and I were climbing a steep hill, the rear wheel pulled out, presumably from not tightening the quick release adequately. When working on his bike today, I noticed that the clear coat over the carbon had been completely worn through at a spot on the inside of the chain stay where the tire had jammed against the frame. Also, a very small carbon piece had chipped out of the frame near the rear dropout where the hub axle had banged against it. The frame itself still seems solid enough. Is there a “home repair” to prevent any further damage or deterioration to the carbon stays?
Use clear lacquer to fix the rubbed off clear coat. There’s nothing you can do about missing carbon.
Technical writer Lennard Zinn is a frame builder (www.zinncycles.com), a former U.S. national team rider and author of several books on bikes and bike maintenance including the pair of successful maintenance guides “ Zinn & the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance” and “Zinn & the Art of Road Bike Maintenance.”Zinn’s regular column is devoted to addressing readers’ technical questions about bikes, their care and feeding and how we as riders can use them as comfortably and efficiently as possible. Readers can send brief technical questions directly to Zinn. Zinn’s column appears here each Tuesday.