Last Updated on July 8, 2023 by FAB Jim The Cyclist
For many cyclists Campagnolo is a bit of a mystery, a legend most aren’t fully familiar with. It has been a long time since Campy was commonly offered on new bikes which means people don’t see it very often on newer bikes. I recently decided I wanted to put the best-looking drop bar shifters on my Surly Cross Check and searching led me to Campagnolo. I really think their shifters have a great look, so I made the move to Campy.
What you need
Campy shifters, derailleurs, compatible chain, Campy cassette, Campy cassette tool, torx driver, and compatible cables. Most cranksets of the same speed seem to be compatible; I am using a Stronglight Impact double crankset. If you use a Campy crankset, you will also need the correct bottom bracket for it.
Because I had a 10-speed crankset that I wished to keep I used Veloce and some new old stock Centaur components. Here are all the parts I used for change:
Veloce Front Derailleur
Centaur Rear Derailleur 10-speed
KMC 10-speed chain
Veloce Cassette 10-speed
Campagnolo compatible housing and cables
You will need a torx driver for the shifters if you don’t have one and also the Campy specific cassette tool. If you switch to a Campy crankset installation seems pretty straight forward, but when you need to change the bottom bracket later it seems to require a few special tools like a bearing puller.
Everything installed pretty much the same as Shimano. I didn’t really like the access point on the shifters for the torx clamp bolt, but I got through it fine. Everything else with the installation was pretty standard. The Campagnolo components all came with nice books explaining installation.
Tuning works the same way as other brands. It was either a coincidence or maybe I’m getting better at tuning, but it was really easy to get everything tuned. I quickly got everything working on the bike stand and everything has worked well on the road, no additional adjustments needed.
The components are working great, and I have come to really like the thumb shifter. I think they look good, seem well built and perform well. Shifting has been crisp with no odd noises or issues.
So, if you want to switch over to Campagnolo it’s really not that hard. You need the components and just a couple of Campy specific tools and you can make it happen. And you can go with one of the more affordable options like Centaur and most people won’t have a clue how good your component group is. Most will assume it’s really expensive because it is Campagnolo.