Best Mechanical Groupset regardless of price

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by jrobart

I have SRAM Red 10 sp. on my Seven Diamas and Campag SR/Record 11 on my Seven Axiom SL. SRAM works fine, but it just isn't the same fit, finish or quality of the Campag.
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by tommasini

All the top groups perform similar - with some differences in the feel and manner in which to carryout shifts.

But keep in mind that you're getting a Wilier Cento 1SR - It is a top level frame that deserves to be dressed up in a group with top level fit and finish......and being choice - Campy SR.

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by mellowJohnny

+1 - easy choice, must be Campy.

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by mikeyc

I've had all three. Shimano works well, but its like driving a Japanese car, super reliable and smooth, but its got no soul or personality. Sorry. I then tried SRAM Red because it seemed like excellent value and was the lightest. I then realized that I didn't like the double tap, but YMMV. Also, I realized that Shimano and Campy could make their gruppos as light as SRAM by using less material/parts, but the cost is a less durable product. I traded in my Red for Campy Record and boy do I love it! Shifting is super fast and smooth and you get a reassuring "clunk" when you shift gears, I love the tactile feedback. Its like driving a nice Italian car. The ability to dump a pile of gears with one motion and trimming is really nice also. Also the hoods and levers fit my small hands perfectly, the ergonomics are superb. But my favourite feature of all is the thumbshifter, downshifting never was so fast and effortless, its just perfect. I don't see a need to go electronic either because Record works so well. And finally, if you have a nice Italian bike such as a Wilier, its gotta be Campy.

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by kac

I've only ridden Record 10 speed, SRAM Force and Super Record (current drive train). I won't comment on the performance characteristics, since these groups aren't exactly comparable, so I'll mention only my aesthetic preference: Campagnolo.

I like the contrasts between carbon fiber and titanium (Record) and I don't like the non-contrasting metal appearance (SRAM) and, for reasons I can't exactly define, Shimano doesn't really appeal, SR performs well (it always works and it's not noticeable: that's what counts, right?).

In short, having only looked at the other options you listed in shops, I still prefer Campagnolo, especially on an Italian bike. Still and all...I like the looks of the old Record 10 speed the best, followed by current SR, followed by Shimano and then SRAM. Since they'll all last a long, long time, take a good look and pick what you think will satisfy you the best over the years.

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by SLCBrandon

Obviously none can be "proven" as better so I won't get into that as a current Shimano and Sram user.

That said, thinking about fitting Campy on a future bike and wondered about downshifting in a sprint with the thumb shifters. I've had Campy lovers insist it's not an issue but they are VERY biased and would never ever admit to Campy not literally being the savior himself. Seems like you only have one VERY strict option for hand position in a sprint to facililitate a last downshift. With either Sram or Shimano I can have a pretty wide area I can be in and still "flick" in a general area.

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by Wcl4


I personally prefer the campy system as it is quieter and more refined. As much as I like the shift actuation on sram, the shifting clicks and chain noise drive me crazy. Plus campy just looks right on wilier IMO.

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by eric

Thumb levers feel unnatural to me, so no Campy.

Sram chain noise is due to the older Red cassette which acted like a sound amplifier, and the Sram chain. I use KMC chains and mostly Shimano cassettes on my Sram bike and it has no more chain noise than my Shimano bikes. The shifts are louder than Shimano but not annoyingly so to me.

Sram shifts take a lot of force compared to Shimano. And even though I've had about 700 hours on the Sram bike I still sometimes upshift when I wanted a downshift because I did not push the lever quite far enough. With Shimano it just doesn't shift, which is much better. OTOH Sram shifts take less hand motion.

I may try out 9001 before I buy my next group. I don't find Shimano to be soulless but I like my shifts to be as minimally intrusive as possible, like I always just happen to be in the right gear.

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by 2tonGorilla

Campy SR11 hands down.

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by kode54

Wcl4 wrote:Image

I personally prefer the campy system as it is quieter and more refined. As much as I like the shift actuation on sram, the shifting clicks and chain noise drive me crazy. Plus campy just looks right on wilier IMO.

no doubt. that Wilier looks great with Campy. i wouldn't even consider Shimano or SRAM as it would feel out of character. in fact, the Campy 80th anniversary matte version would go nicely...and that's considering the 'regardless of price.'
- AX Lightness Vial EVO D + DA9150 + Enve SES 3.4 carbon hubs
- Parlee Altum + DA9150 + Enve SES 4.5 carbon hubs
- Parlee ESX + DA9150 + THM SRM PM + Enve SES 6.7 CK hubs
- Independent Fabrication Ti FLW + DA9100 + Enve 3.4 CK hubs

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by Quinn039

Campy, I agree with the concensus based on the Italian pedigree of the bike. Personally a Shimano fan, but I can't wait to get a nice bike to put a Campy gruppo on.

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by Zoro

My son races SRAM and Shimano, I ride Campy. He doesn't care which. SRAM is lighter. If you were to never go to a bike shop again, or adjust your bike - I think Campy would last longer. But we do take care of our bikes. Everything is so stiff now compared to years ago, it doesn't matter between those. Shimano seems to be a smoother shift. We just orders Di2 for this year (had Di2 10-sp before) mainly because we can program it to run 10spd.

If you race - choose the one with the best race support. That varies by venue.

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by Wcl4

I have the newer sram 10 with yaw. That cassette and chain is still considerably louder than campy. I don't know with dura ace cassette, although I do have a shimano cassette laying around and could try easily enough. Good experiment.

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by Cheers!

I would say Dura-Ace 7800 was the best mechanical groupset ever made. Shifted flawless. Was super reliable. Easy to service. Hood shape was nice.

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by Musiker

+1 for personal choice.. I have no doubt all three groups are great..

I've only ridden SRAM and Shimano and I like both, with a slight edge towards SRAM mostly because of the weight and because I have come to like the "hard" way it shifts, it kinda feels better to me... I just upgraded my Parlee from Force 2010 to with SRAM RED 22 - Have not ridden it yet, but it shifts perfect in the workstand, hehe! The cables are pretty stiff - Not so much it was a problem (Electrical tape held down the cables fine), but I only used the supplied Gore for the shifters and old Nokon for the brakes...
I think I will get Nokon or Ilink for the shifter cables once housing needs replacement.

I have only tried campy on a few test spins, not long enough to get used to the thumb switching - So I can't really say how I would like it in the long run, but I also think the thumb switch looks a little out of place.. Basically the look of the thumb switch have been the main reason I never even considered Campy, lol..
If I felt that SRAM and Shimano had issues, I might had considered again... Or if I got an Italian bike, then I would almost feel obliged to get Campy for it, lol....

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