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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:02 pm
Posts: 74
Location: The Fens, UK
Hi all,

Apologies for sullying the board by both referring to distinctly non-WW parts and indeed the dreaded 2007(ish) vintage Campag QS shifters. The bike, other than the grouppo, is pretty light though!

Given the decent weather here in the UK, I've finally brought my road-bike out of storage and packed away my heavy old cross bike. Very annoyingly, I had forgotten that the road-bike had developed some 'interesting' shifting issues just before I put it away and these don't seem to have magically rectified themselves :-(

The drivetrain consists of a new 10 speed SRAM chain with a fairly worn 10 speed Veloce cassette and compact chainset. This is skipping a bit but I don't think is contributing to the main problem.

Whenever I shift up a gear (i.e. to a smaller sprocket) on the back the derailleur moves the chain between one and foursprockets. The cables are fairly new and don't seem to be jamming and slipping, instead it seems to be that something is wrong with the ratchet mechanism in the shifter. The number of shifts seems to be roughly inversely proportional to how hard I'm pushing if that makes sense? If I'm really hammering it it'll only shift one or two gears but if I'm just turning the pedals on the workstand it'll go from gear one to gear five to gear nine in two jumps. The same does not happen the other way. Downshifts are one at a time.

Now, leaving aside that this makes for quite an amusing training aid (I want to go easy, the bike wants me to ATTACK NOW!) it's distinctly sub-optimal from a riding to work perspective.

Has anyone else experienced this? Do you know if it's a case of being able to replace the ratchet or have I earned an excuse to buy myself a new groupset? :-)

Many thanks in advance for any help!

All the best,


PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:41 am 
Shop Owner / Manufacturer

Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 12:21 pm
Posts: 267
Location: UK
Hi ejls2

There is a problem that can develop in these shifters whereby the timing between the elements of the escapement movement in the lever body gets disturbed.

This gives exactly the symptoms you describe.

Causes can be heavy pressure repeatedly applied to lever 3 (the thumb lever) causing distortion in the relative positions of two pivot pins inside the lever body, oil-induced degradation of the cable bushing and / or the tip of the escapement actuator (the end of lever 3 that engages the cable bushing to hold it still as the escapement hook disengages from it's ratchet) or a combination of these two things.

In either case the 100% fix is to replace the RH gear lever body complete with EC-VL100 (or, I'll say it before someone else does, much though it pains me - buy a pair of Mirage 10s Escape levers and swap the brake lever blade over - same thing and you'll get a new pair of hoods, a spare LH lever body, a set of cables and some spare lever clips for not much more, given the way Campag prices are raped on t'interweb, that buying an EC-VL100 as a spare part).

Once you have taken either route, do not spray lube into the lever body, ever ... it doesn't need it and it may cause a recurrence of the problem.

Swap the SRAM chain for the real deal, put on a new Campagnolo cassette (it'll be Centaur now ...) and do a from-square-one adjustment and you'll be back to peachy shifting!

BTW, as you have QS-compatible levers, make sure the FD is QS also and set front gear cable tension as per Campagnolo's instructions (rather than the slightly random way a lot of shops set up LH Campag levers) and you should avoid the "broken lever 2" scenario that we also see occasionally with these levers ...


A Tech-Reps work is never done ...
Head Tech, Campagnolo main UK ASC

Posted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:41 am 

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:02 pm
Posts: 74
Location: The Fens, UK
Hi Graeme,

Thank you so much for the incredibly helpful response. I will take it apart tonight and see if I can see what's gone wrong (one of the many reasons I love campag) and then buy one of the parts you suggest. The lever blade itself has a couple of chips in it that have been there for years but have (I only noticed this morning) recently started to delaminate further so I may well have to start again from scratch.

Many thanks for the note on the front derailleur. I hd exactly that problem from the go. This is the only bike I own that I didn't build myself and the shop had indeed fitted an old, non-QS front mech and done a very bad job of setting the cable tension. It's all sorted now and I do all my own work on the bikes (hence the SRAM chain as I don't have the rather expensive campag tools) as none of my local shops seem to really know what they're doing.

If the worst comes to the worst, I'll treat it as upgrade time! :-)

Many thanks again for all your help with this.

All the best,


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