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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:35 pm
Posts: 1484
Location: Geneva
Hey weenies!

I'm looking to build up an Isaac Sonic (NOS, 2009 ish?) that I got on yerman ebay for fairly cheap. My current other rides are....

Merckx EMX-5 2010 w/ Chorus (11)
Ridley Phaeton w/ Athena (11)- don't like single downshifts on both sides, but not deal breaker
Cyfac RandoNerv w/ Centaur 2009 i.e. multishift and trim (10)- training and touring

Wheels-
Reynolds DV3kT (11sp compatible w/ 11 sp cassette)
Reynolds UL32T (11sp compatible, not mounted yet)
Campag Zonda 2 way (11sp cassette on there, run tubeless)
Mavic Elites (11sp cassette on there)
Campag Neutron Tubs (10sp compatible only, w/ 12-25 cassette)
Campag Centaur w/ open pro (10sp compatible only, w/ 13-29 cassette, touring training etc)

All my current bikes fit me well, but the Ridley a touch less-so than the others even though I do think it's a decent bike. My heart (and lack of storage space) tells me I need to sell something and that's probably going to be the Ridley(most likely w/ Mavic Elites). That way I can have the Merckx for long sportives (comfy bike) and the Isaac for racing and short stuff.

I've never been hugely impressed w/the 11speed. I find it finicky and a bit more vague than the 10speed. That said, Centaur went to 'Athena' style shifting in 2011 which doesn't make me very happy either. The 2009-10 Centaur suited me well, but not so easy to get the important parts. Also I hate the cassette ratios...(sub question...who makes the best custom 10 speed Campag cassettes?) Going back to 10 speed would also mean being stuck inbetween with all my wheelsets now that life is pretty simple.

Finally- WEIGHT seems to be a lot lighter with 10 speed Centaur (200 grams?) than Athena 11sp?

If I went 2009/10 Centaur I would most likely pick up a different chainset. I'm thinking budget of 300 Eur so my choices seem to be a NOS Campag something or a Deda Lokomotiv (any reviews? I like the look) or an FSA SLK but they seem to get horrid reviews here.

Help! This is doing my head in and I need to sort it.


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 8:32 pm 
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Location: Glermsford, Suffolk U.K
I would also have centaur 10 speed over Athena. The chains and cassettes are cheaper for a start and those do wear out quickly is you do alot of riding like me. Personally I like the new shifting that campag use.

Miche make decent custom cassttes. I have been trying to contact Company Z about this but have had no joy so far. I have never tired the IRD ones to know what they are like. What are after from a custom cassette anyway. What ratios do you want?

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Posted: Mon May 14, 2012 8:32 pm 


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 9:19 pm 
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Posts: 897
Location: Calgary
After finally getting the last of my 9 speed bikes onto 10 speed three years ago, I know the problems of having multiple cassette sizes. However, I'm starting to make the transition because it's getting harder to get good 10 speed parts. My sons and I together have about 10 10 speed bikes and several wheels that won't handle 11 speed (although I didn't know that Neutrons and old Campy hubs fell into that category).

Personally, I'm inclined to build things with 11 speed because of the availability. However, if you want to stick with 10 speed, what about searching on the net for NOS Chorus shifters and derailleurs? They'd probably meet your budget and work well without the goofiness of the new Centaur. I don't love the single shift but can live with that more easily than the front derailleur that can't be trimmed. Also, if you want 10 speed parts, get them soon because it looks as though there's some Record, very little Chorus out there so you have to pay for Record or accept the new Centaur stuff that looks a lot like old Veloce in quality.


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 9:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:17 am
Posts: 73
Location: New Zealand
I had similar problem deciding on which Campagnolo group to get recently in terms of the differences between Centaur/Athena/Chorus. Although I didn't have the legacy issue you have with multiple bikes and and some 10 speed.

I felt I was deciding between how many trade offs I wanted to make. The shifting and trim really clinched it for me and went with Chorus. As others have mentioned the availability of 10 speed parts may increasingly be an issue for the future so you might as well go for 11.

Athena group and Chorus shifters might keep give you the shifting options you want though. I'd bite the bullet and go Chorus.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 8:47 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:35 pm
Posts: 1484
Location: Geneva
Grrrr, yeah you guys all make very valid points, especially about spares.

Will 10 speed chorus bits work with the newer 10 sp centaur levers (09/10 version)? I like the new style levers a lot more, more to grab on to.

I haven't tried to put an 11 speed cassette on the Neutrons yet, but I reckon they are circa 2003/4. I've heard rumours that they will fit though? :noidea:

Chorus would definitely be the best option but since I got a bargain on the framset and will probably blow my wad on something really nice in the next year or so (custom cyfac, c59, zero.7?), I'm thinking I keep this one on the cheap-o.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 10:14 am 
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Location: North Western Plains Germany
if you shop around you might be able to find some 2009/10 Athena shifters as these have multi shift

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 10:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:35 pm
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Location: Geneva
callam wrote:
if you shop around you might be able to find some 2009/10 Athena shifters as these have multi shift


Really? Athena only came out in 2010 I think and I'm pretty sure I got the first version w/ the single downshift and no trim (unlike Chorus 11 since inception).


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 11:07 am 
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Location: London, UK
ultyguy wrote:
Hey weenies!

I'm looking to build up an Isaac Sonic (NOS, 2009 ish?) that I got on yerman ebay for fairly cheap. My current other rides are....

Merckx EMX-5 2010 w/ Chorus (11)
Ridley Phaeton w/ Athena (11)- don't like single downshifts on both sides, but not deal breaker
Cyfac RandoNerv w/ Centaur 2009 i.e. multishift and trim (10)- training and touring

Wheels-
Reynolds DV3kT (11sp compatible w/ 11 sp cassette)
Reynolds UL32T (11sp compatible, not mounted yet)
Campag Zonda 2 way (11sp cassette on there, run tubeless)
Mavic Elites (11sp cassette on there)
Campag Neutron Tubs (10sp compatible only, w/ 12-25 cassette)
Campag Centaur w/ open pro (10sp compatible only, w/ 13-29 cassette, touring training etc)


All my current bikes fit me well, but the Ridley a touch less-so than the others even though I do think it's a decent bike. My heart (and lack of storage space) tells me I need to sell something and that's probably going to be the Ridley(most likely w/ Mavic Elites). That way I can have the Merckx for long sportives (comfy bike) and the Isaac for racing and short stuff.

I've never been hugely impressed w/the 11speed. I find it finicky and a bit more vague than the 10speed. That said, Centaur went to 'Athena' style shifting in 2011 which doesn't make me very happy either. The 2009-10 Centaur suited me well, but not so easy to get the important parts. Also I hate the cassette ratios...(sub question...who makes the best custom 10 speed Campag cassettes?) Going back to 10 speed would also mean being stuck inbetween with all my wheelsets now that life is pretty simple.

Finally- WEIGHT seems to be a lot lighter with 10 speed Centaur (200 grams?) than Athena 11sp?

If I went 2009/10 Centaur I would most likely pick up a different chainset. I'm thinking budget of 300 Eur so my choices seem to be a NOS Campag something or a Deda Lokomotiv (any reviews? I like the look) or an FSA SLK but they seem to get horrid reviews here.

Help! This is doing my head in and I need to sort it.
Have you tried an 11 speed cassette on these wheels? I have Record hubs from the 9 speed era and they take an 11 speed cassette just fine. No reason to assume that the older wheels & Centaur hubs are any different.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 12:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:35 pm
Posts: 1484
Location: Geneva
ultimobici wrote:
[Have you tried an 11 speed cassette on these wheels? I have Record hubs from the 9 speed era and they take an 11 speed cassette just fine. No reason to assume that the older wheels & Centaur hubs are any different.


Thanks for the infor ultimobici! I haven't tried yet, and heard that it was a bit hit or miss, will have to give it a shot.


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 Post subject: Campag - Athena/Centaur
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:39 pm 
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Posts: 448
Location: SW England
So there's a fantastic deal on Merlin at the moment for Athena. However I've always been under the impression that low-range 11spd aren't as good as Centaur. Any opinions on this?

Weight-wise they are near enough the same. Unlike some of you, a difference in 20g means nothing to me.

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Last edited by Devon on Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 14, 2007 10:32 am
Posts: 611
Location: Finland
I think Athena feels just as good as Chorus and Record... Excellent shifting.

But the Merlin deal is not very fantastic, because Velo-Motion sells a full Chorus 11 groupset for 865€ and Bike-Components sells Athena Carbon for 769€ ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:53 pm 
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Posts: 651
depends on your usage.


I've had better luck keeping the 10 speed groups tuned up. the 11 speed requires a little more finesse/ attention. I've got an 11 speed super record on my Cervelo R5, 10speed Record (older versions) on my CX bike, and I'm going to put Centaur on my next project (Titanium Road Endurance Bike with disc brakes)

I think there are good situations for both, that's why they make both!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:53 pm 
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Location: SW England
Consider postage from Europe though.

I'm thinking 10spd will do me better. Frankly I'm not overly keen about moving away from 8spd... My main concern however was with mechanical efficiency between the two.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 5:08 pm 
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Posts: 1452
I think that if you wanna stick to the new shape and 10 speed, the best would be to find some 2009-2010 ultrashift centaur shifters.

I'm not really a fan of the powershift shifters. The internals are in plastic and so lasts much less than ergopower or ultrashift.

I'm still using my 10 speed record ergopower shifters and i'm not planning to change anytime soon. the shape fits my hands nicely and parts are still available to rebuild. I just rebuilt them for the second time over a 9 year span and still work beautifully.

The new shifters you can't rebuilt them, but you can buy the replacement body which includes the mechanism. Campagnolo is doing that to simplify and lower cost I guess.

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Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 5:08 pm 


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:31 pm 
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Posts: 326
I have a 2012 Athena group. It's great, even without the multiple downshifts. The negatives for me would be the single pivot rear brake, it's a git. The chain (chorus), I much prefer KMC chains, and the fact that when it does go out of alignment, there seems to be no tweaking it back in, I have to disconnect the cable and set the derailleur from scratch.

The Alu-crank Athena with Chorus shifters would be a good choice.


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