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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:22 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:17 pm
Posts: 3775
Location: Norn Iron
As some readers may have noticed, i am trying to build up my knowledge of cycling products and maintenance etc. in a short space of time.

Tonight's query is about components - which is the best? Is Shimano better then Campag? Which groupset is the best? Which hub is the best for road/track? These questions would go on forever and may turn out to be a matter of opinion or taste.

What i was wondering was - is there a components league table or similar so that i can guage components against each other? This is an odd question and possibly there is no answer to it but i would appreciate any advice.

As per my previous posts, i am thinking of putting Shimano 600ax components on my bike but i have seen 600ex (perhaps called DuraAce) components for sale. If memory serves me right, these are a higher quality than the 600ax - but i could be mistaken. I am very (VERY) confused by the naming of various sets of components as, to me, the name may be the same but the year is the important bit - a 1983 DuraAce is not the same as a 2012 DuraAce - how should i be able to tell the difference?

Thanks to all who read this, any responses are, as always, appreciated - and if the responses say that there is no answer to this - i will accept this.

p.s. My new bike has Shimano Tiagra components - the LBS advised that Shimano has perhaps 6 sets of current components, mine being second or third from the top - is this accurate information? If so, would a current Shimano catalogue give me this information? If a catalogue is the answer, is it possible to get old catalogues for 1983?

Thanks to all who read this.


Last edited by TGR on Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:31 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:12 am
Posts: 1513
Location: Gold Coast Australia
some love campag , some love shimano , they both have a heirarchy within their own components , Campag is reagarded as "traditional" and Shimano (a 10 times bigger company) is regarded as always worked well. and they are often compared by prices IMO The biggest difference between them now is the shape of the rubber hoods for your hand and the different method they use to shift gears. don't forget the new upstarts SRAM either ha ha

ps Shimano has Dura ace > Ultegra> 105 as the top 3 groups and right now there is Electronic versions of the top 2 also

and a long time ago Ultegra WAS 600 , one year both were written on the components


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:40 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:17 pm
Posts: 3775
Location: Norn Iron
G'Day,

You have just about answered my question - it appears that there is no way of tracking what is what except with your own personal knowledge and experiance.

I note you are in the Gold Coast - i was there a few years ago and i remember thinking it would be a superb area for cycling (if the wind was not blowing from the sea too much). Where are the best cycling routes near you - are the all parallel with the coast?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:01 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:31 pm
Posts: 1111
Depends on the period - Simplex went from making some of the best derailleurs to making some of the worst.

www.disraeligears.co.uk is a good source of information on a huge range
of (rear) derailleurs. www.velobase.com is also a good source of information though it doesn't make so many qualitative judgements.

Suntour has not been mentioned yet - at various points they produced gears that were better and cheaper than either Shimano and Campagnolo, and some of their gears were very attractive too. There are lots of Suntour VLuxe derailleurs floating round where I live, so you can get one of their classic models for loads less than the Campag equivalent.

Johnny


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:05 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:15 pm
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Location: Behind you with the duct tape pulled out.
Just thought Id throw sach huret into the pot aswell. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:26 pm 
rider | rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:42 pm
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Location: Wakefield, Yorkshire
'the LBS advised that Shimano has perhaps 6 sets of current components, mine being second or third from the top'

Hmm, I think your LBS is a bit lacking in their knowledge which could be a bit worrying! As Latman says, in descending order -

Dura-Ace
Ultegra
105
Tiagra
Sora
Some numbered ranges fitted as OEM to low-end bikes.

This is the current situation I believe but the same names have been used for some time now. Development seems to take place at DA level and the 'improvements' then filter down through the ranges.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:27 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:39 pm
Posts: 95
Location: Wiltshire, UK
Re the older Dura Ace. Dura Ace has traditionally (going back into the early 70s) been Shimano's top groupset.

The `ax' referred to the aero variant launch in the early 80s that really stirred the market up - although I'm a Campagnolo fanatic, I remember the feeling that all Campagnolo kit was instantly made to look old fashioned.

ax was beautiful and included bars and stem. Shimano also produced a lower priced 600ax, with the non aero version being the `ex'.

I've attached a scan of Viscount's lovely looking Dura Ace AX from mid '82. I've never seen one for sale - are there any out there?


Attachments:
Viscount DAAX.jpg
Viscount DAAX.jpg [ 226.56 KiB | Viewed 597 times ]
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:46 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:31 pm
Posts: 1111
That Viscount is lovely, except for the water bottle that looks like it
should have fabric conditioner in it.

I wonder what the 'e' in ex stood for, if 'a' presumably stood for 'aero'.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:19 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:17 pm
Posts: 3775
Location: Norn Iron
Thanks for all the info, more would be appreciated but, I think, the answer to my question, is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I would love to see pics or any readers favourite bits and the reasoning why.

This might extend the thread but I suspect it would be worth it. Currently, my favourite bit would be Shimano 600ax pedals - a foot fetish perhaps but I do not care!

Keep it up people, it's all great stuff!

And, thanks again.


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 Post subject: viewing parts
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:30 am 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:17 pm
Posts: 49
Location: Here
As mentioned above you can view parts from lots of different brands and era's at www.velobase.com

Great site.


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