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"Upgrade" to Ultegra R8000 from 10-yo Campy Chorus?

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:52 pm
by VirginiaWheeler
My current "travel bike" is a Look 585 with 2009 Campy Chorus 11-speed. It has somewhere between 12,000-15,000 miles on it, and the drivetrain needs a refresh. I needs a new cassette and is due for another cable change. Basically, despite two recent tune-ups from a two separate shops and a new chain, the shifting is still crunchy and I get some ghost shifting. The front shifting is as it's been for the past 10 years - decent, but not as good as my other bike with SRAM (which probably says something). Finally, my aluminum wheels are fairly worn, and I'm ready to spring for a new set.

I'd estimate the Campy drivetrain refresh will cost me a few hundred in parts and labor (I've never been great at adjusting Campy, so I'd have a shop do the recabling). This would of course still leave me with a 10-yo groupset, and I think the first iteration of Campy 11-speed is considered a bit iffy. As I was perusing online, I noticed that an entire Ultegra R8000 groupset would cost me just under $600. I'm pretty good at setting up Shimano, so I could probably do this install myself. I haven't ridden the newer Shimano line, but I've read good things. Without stepping into sensitive groupset religion issues, what do you guys think is the wiser move? I would lose the Campy thumb lever gear-dump feature, but I'd likely gain better front shifting and reliability, right? Are that any other benefits / disadvantages to moving to contemporary Ultegra over 10-yo Chorus?

"Upgrade" to Ultegra R8000 from 10-yo Campy Chorus?

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:52 pm
by Weenie

Re: "Upgrade" to Ultegra R8000 from 10-yo Campy Chorus?

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:12 pm
by pdlpsher1
Everything you have said is true. The modern Shimano groups are very good. This is a wise move because you said you needed a new set of wheels too. So by choosing a wheelset with a Shimano freehub will enable you to run a full Shimano group with a Shimano cassette. Lastly make sure that the shop also checks your derailleur hanger alignment. You can put the best group on a bike with a mis-aligned derailleur hanger and your shifting will be crap. Good luck with the upgrade.

Re: "Upgrade" to Ultegra R8000 from 10-yo Campy Chorus?

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:47 pm
by AJS914
I'd stick with Campagnolo on the Look.

On the plus side of switching to Ultegra is that you could probably sell your used Chorus parts for good money on ebay.

Re: "Upgrade" to Ultegra R8000 from 10-yo Campy Chorus?

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:58 pm
by DJT21
It sounds like your shifters need a service; strip them, clean them and replace the G springs. That should solve your shifting issues.

Try doing the same with a Shimano groupset ten years down the line ;-)

Re: "Upgrade" to Ultegra R8000 from 10-yo Campy Chorus?

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:09 pm
by angrylegs
DJT21 wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:58 pm
It sounds like your shifters need a service; strip them, clean them and replace the G springs. That should solve your shifting issues.

Try doing the same with a Shimano groupset ten years down the line ;-)
I agree. Try this first. There's nothing wrong with those components. My older LOOK still has Record 10 on it. Unless you're specifically unhappy with Campy, I'd be inclined to stay - but that's really your call there.

Re: "Upgrade" to Ultegra R8000 from 10-yo Campy Chorus?

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:19 pm
by Zakalwe
You’ll add ~200g with that “upgrade”. I’d look for a better mechanic to look at the Chorus, personally

Re: "Upgrade" to Ultegra R8000 from 10-yo Campy Chorus?

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:20 pm
by morrisond
Or try Potenza - close to Ultegra in Price - it's a fantastic group and the Thumb shifter is really nice.

Re: "Upgrade" to Ultegra R8000 from 10-yo Campy Chorus?

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:33 pm
by VirginiaWheeler
Zakalwe wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:19 pm
You’ll add ~200g with that “upgrade”. I’d look for a better mechanic to look at the Chorus, personally
I recognize that it's heavier and that this is WW, but there are other things to look at besides weight. 2009 Chorus front shifting cannot match the newer Shimano offerings, no matter who tunes it. So it's not a matter of a better mechanic. Bascially, the the Campy refresh will cost me $300-$350 and a few hundred more buys me a whole new groupset - and I can likely sell off my existing Campy groupset components for at least that balance. But I do like the Campy ergonomics. Tough call, hence me posting. All of the arguments seem valid.

Re: "Upgrade" to Ultegra R8000 from 10-yo Campy Chorus?

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:39 pm
by raisinberry777
DJT21 wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:58 pm
It sounds like your shifters need a service; strip them, clean them and replace the G springs. That should solve your shifting issues.

Try doing the same with a Shimano groupset ten years down the line ;-)
This is 11 speed. 11 speed shifters do not have G springs.

Setting up a Campag groupset is no more difficult than doing a Shimano one.

Re: "Upgrade" to Ultegra R8000 from 10-yo Campy Chorus?

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:59 pm
by Zakalwe
I’ve got 2011 chorus on one bike which shifts just as well as the 2016 SR I have on another. Technology advances, but groupset tech is pretty mature at this stage - I don’t think there were any revolutions made on Ultegra over the last 10 years that negates all that went before. I’d be inclined to think it’s a set up issue, rather than obsolete mechanisms. Unless I’m just used to crap shifting

Re: "Upgrade" to Ultegra R8000 from 10-yo Campy Chorus?

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:34 pm
by VirginiaWheeler
Zakalwe wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:59 pm
Unless I’m just used to crap shifting
That made me laugh.

Re: "Upgrade" to Ultegra R8000 from 10-yo Campy Chorus?

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:41 pm
by Nejmann
I have had all high end groupsets the last 4 years from sram, shimano and campagnolo. All electronic.

Just put the r8000 on my winter bike and it’s really really good actually. I was really surprised.

Re: "Upgrade" to Ultegra R8000 from 10-yo Campy Chorus?

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:18 pm
by bremerradkurier
Merlin in the UK has full 2018 Chorus 11 speed for a little under $1K.

Re: "Upgrade" to Ultegra R8000 from 10-yo Campy Chorus?

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:26 pm
by Robcrx
For what its worth I found the r8000 series really easy to work on plus if your spending money its always nice to jave shiney bits to motivate you to ride

Re: "Upgrade" to Ultegra R8000 from 10-yo Campy Chorus?

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:25 am
by angrylegs
VirginiaWheeler wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:33 pm
Zakalwe wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:19 pm
You’ll add ~200g with that “upgrade”. I’d look for a better mechanic to look at the Chorus, personally
I recognize that it's heavier and that this is WW, but there are other things to look at besides weight. 2009 Chorus front shifting cannot match the newer Shimano offerings, no matter who tunes it. So it's not a matter of a better mechanic. Bascially, the the Campy refresh will cost me $300-$350 and a few hundred more buys me a whole new groupset - and I can likely sell off my existing Campy groupset components for at least that balance. But I do like the Campy ergonomics. Tough call, hence me posting. All of the arguments seem valid.
Going to disagree on this one. Shimano has a distinct, mechanical, functional feel to it. Solid and crisp. But, imho, it's also never felt as nice as Campy can feel when dialed in just so. I'm still running Record 10 from around 2003 on one of my bikes, and for my preferences, it feels better than the newest Shimano offerings, and certainly that technology trickled down into 2009 Chorus by that point. Now don't get me wrong - Shimano stuff is very nice - but feel is a subjective thing. Functionally, I get where I want to get (and wonderfully so with the thumb shifter) with Record 10 and prefer it to the newer Shimano stuff I tested.

Personally, if you're set on upgrading the drive train, get new Chorus 11 shifters and derailleurs. That said, you're making a hard argument for Shimano, so it sounds like you just wish to change. Nothing wrong with that either. You asked for opinions. Mine is stay with Campy. There's nothing better imho. It's just an opinion though.

Re: "Upgrade" to Ultegra R8000 from 10-yo Campy Chorus?

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:25 am
by Weenie