I recently overhauled the handlebars on my commuter with a “drop” type bar, “road” disc brakes and campagnolo ergo “brifters” (on my shimano drivetrain). Below are the series of posts covering this.
- What is Shimergo?
- Luxy Handlebars
- Avid BB7 Road Brakes
- Campagnolo Veloce 10 spd Powershift Ergos
- Final Thoughts – 1000 miles
The trickiest part of the Shimergo conversion is getting the cable pull from the shifters to match up with the derailleur. The rear derailleur is actually quite well documented. It is a good read, and you should definitely take a look at it. The pertinent tables are below for Shimano conversions.
As you can see, the best match is using a campy 10 spd shifter with a Shimano 8 spd cassette. This is only 1/100th of a mm difference! The other option is to do a Hubbub re-route with Campy 10 spd shifter and Shimano 9 spd cassette. And a few more “fixes” exist. You can buy a JTEK Shiftmate which can marry just about any combination. DaVinci sells a modified Sram derailleur which marries Campy 10 spd and Shimano 9 spd cassettes.
Where the wheel falls off the wagon, and is not documented well, is how the front derailleur marries up with the left ergo. 3 or 4 years ago this wasn’t a worry because Campy had an awesome feature in their left shifter known as Ultrashift. In essence, instead of indexing the front shifter, it offered “micro-ratchets.” So, it may have taken 3 or four shifts to get your derailleur to move chainrings (which can be done in one swoop if you prefer), but you had the ability to “trim” your front derailleur on the fly. This allowed one to use virtually any FD and any number of chain rings. And it was too good to be true…
Campy has since “upgraded” from Ultrashift to what is known as Powershift. The French phrase which describes Powershift is, It Sucks. It’s not that bad, but what Powershift does is it indexes the shifts going down. So, if I want to shift from a big chain ring up front to a smaller chain ring, I hit my button and it makes the transition all the way to the next chain ring. Going up, however, it does “micro-ratcheting.” So, 3 clicks going up = 1 click going down. And unlike the old Ultrashift, you need to watch out for how many chain rings you want up front, as some Powershift Ergos are made for 2 and some are made for 3 chain rings.
With the unfortunate demise of Ultrashift for us lower class citizens (11 spd Record and above has true Ultrashift), the good news is Powershift Ergos still work with just about any front derailleur. They actually match up well with Shimano’s Mountain biking line. But since FD’s are much less standardized than RD’s, it much more difficult to document pull ratios. For example, Shimano’s road line has different pull ratios than their MTB line. But, with the “micro-ratcheting” going up and the ability to use the limiting screws on the derailleur, one should be able to use just about any FD, especially if it is just 2 chain rings.
I have an Altus FD, and it seems the cable pull and the ratio of the derailleur are almost spot on. And I wouldn’t hesitate to use it again!
At the end of the day, my Campy Veloce Ergos shift my shimano derailleurs beautifully. Shifting is crisp, quiet and flawless. Assuming a couple more weeks of hard riding on this setup remains flawless, I plan to upgrade my rando bike from friction bar end to these “brifters.”