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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Going from Standard to Compact Gearing (help)

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    I think I need to swap from my current standard to compact gearing. (I just went on my first group ride in some hills and was just dying.) Anyhoo, I am trying to understand what sort of investment this is going to be.

    I have been reading some of the old threads about gearing and at the moment, I am thinking about 50/34 up front and 12/27 on the back.

    At first, I naively thought that the rings could just be swapped out on the front.. but then I realized I would need a whole new crankset.

    I called my LBS and they basically said I would need a WHOLE NEW groupset. Shifters, everything.

    Really???? Really? That's EXPENSIVE.

    I have Campy Record 10 speed on there now. The current new stuff is 11 speed. Fine. If that's the case, I can see how I might need a whole new groupset.

    However, I think I could find a replacement (10 speed) crankset etc on ebay and take it to the LBS and have them swap it out.

    However, when I suggested this to the LBS, they said they were fine with this, but I would still need a whole new groupset...

    Is this true? If I swap out the front for 50/34 and the back to 12/27, this will mean that my current shifters, front and rear derailleur, etc ALL have to changed? I thought I was going to be able to get away with only swapping the cranks up front and the rear cassette...

    Thanks for your input---clearly, I am a total newbie on this stuff.
    Last edited by Roar; 08-03-2010 at 02:40 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    I'll start by saying that I know very little about Campy. All of my wrenching is on Shimano and SRAM.

    That said, I can't understand why you would need a new drivetrain. You should be able to buy a compact crankset that's compatible with your current bottom bracket, adjust your front derailleur accordingly, and get on with riding.

    Can you ask them for a better explanation? Maybe even call another shop?

    I'm as confused by their explanation as you are.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    If you have Campy 10 now, and you swap to Campy 10 compact, you'll be fine. They recommend a compact front derailleur, but I've got plenty of bikes with a compact crank and a standard double FD. I swap parts back and forth and never need to put a whole new drive train on. You're right - just get a 10-speed compact (you could even go with Chorus or Centaur) crank and a good mechanic will be able to adjust your FD to work.
    For 3 days, I get to part of a thousand other journeys.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    On my Campy bike I changed from a standard double to a compact, and I think it was $75 or $100 including labor.

    My bike has older Athena, which the LBS loves and says is compatible with just about everything. The guys at the LBS said the shifters could even handle changing to a triple if I wanted.

    It seems hard to imagine the newer Campy is less compatible and changeable, so I'd really try to find out why the shop can't switch to a compact without changing everything before dropping a ton of money.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Oh, PHEW. Thank you. That is what I was hoping to hear. Intuitively, it didn't make sense that everything would have to be re-done, but I really didn't know.

    I really don't want to drop that kind of money on re-doing everything.

    Does anyone have any thoughts about making changes to the cassette? Would that be OK, too, in the same vein?



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