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  1. #1
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    Campy Potenza group review

    I decided to go with the new Potenza group for my new Lynskey. I liked the idea of having that big 32t rear cog and I thought the current post-Brexit pricing was good ($650 incl. shipping)

    I had no issues building it up. I followed Campy’s instructions and it seemed quite straightforward. Fortunately, I only had to buy one tool – a 14mm hex socket. I had the Park took for the BB cups from a prior SRAM build. I used a KMC link on the chain rather than trying to peen the chain.

    Here’s the result: Very happy with the group. The shifting is clean and precise. Even to/from that big 32 tooth cog. I really do like the new EPS-style thumb button shifter. While I would prefer Ultra-Shift, you can shift the new button multiple times much quicker than with the old style button. You can also reach it easily from the drops. The Potenza front shifting works differently than my last Campy group (Athena). There are 3 positions or “clicks” with the shifter: two positions for the small chainring to allow for trim, and only one for the big ring. This is exactly opposite from Powershift of a few years ago. Regardless, I was able to get noise-free operation even when cross chained.

    The total weight of the group came in very close to the advertised weight. The one downside of the big cassette is that is weighs 338 grams (FYI , it did come with a lockring)

    The brakes offer good modulation. I don’t find them as grabby as on my SRAM bike but they do take more finger pressure. There is not much I can say about the cranks. This did come with a self-extracting screw, which was a major complaint users had with prior Power-torque cranksets.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the review, sounds promising. A few questions, if you have the inclination to answer any of them... some of them are very OCD but then I am OCD as well as a CheapSkate... a very poor combination

    1. (the biggy) What happens if you plug your Athena RD (or any other pre-2015) RD into your Potenza setup? Does it shift correctly?

    2. how clicky are the lever clicks? Say on a scale from G-spring levers (CLACK! CLACK! CLACK!) down to the first Ultra Shift levers (tick! tick! tick!)

    3. Is the shifting truly bullet proof? Can you trick it by shifting badly/lazily? For example on the 10s 12-27 cassette I can make it mis-shift if on the big ring, 12t cog I whang the finger lever over to do a triple shift and then immediately let the lever go. The last shift sometimes fails to complete and the chain goes rattle-rattle-rattle. I have to hold the lever over until the shift completes. Not the case with 12-25 or 13-29 cassettes, which are un-trickable for me.

    4. If you tune the FD to get bomb-proof shifts onto the big ring even when under power, does the FD then rub in the crossed gears when on the big ring?

    5. If you squeeze the NDS crank arm and the chainstay together using the pressure you might use for moderate braking, does the whole crank move axially and hit the retaining/holding clip? And then spring back when you release pressure?

    Thanks again for your review! Enjoy your new bike.
    Last edited by CheapSkate; 09-07-2016 at 01:34 AM.

  3. #3
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    Cheapskate, my responses in bold

    Thanks for the review, sounds promising. A few questions, if you have the inclination to answer any of them... some of them are very OCD but then I am OCD as well as a CheapSkate... a very poor combination http://ficdn.roadbikereview.com/imag...lies/smile.gif

    1. (the biggy) What happens if you plug your Athena RD (or any other pre-2015) RD into your Potenza setup? Does it shift correctly?

    The Campy documentation (technical manual, page 1) indicates that the Potenza shifters are not compatible with other Campy groups. It does not state why. I believe (can someone confirm)?) that pre-2015 and post-2015 Campy groups are not interchangeable so trying my older Athena RD might not work for other reasons. I really don’t want to tear things down to try this test.

    2. how clicky are the lever clicks? Say on a scale from G-spring levers (CLACK! CLACK! CLACK!) down to the first Ultra Shift levers (tick! tick! tick!)

    I do like the older Ergopower levers with the g-springs and harder clicks. The Potenza action is fairly light. Maybe not as light as Shimano but much lighter that the old g-springs. I don’t have any experience with newer Ultra-Shift


    3. Is the shifting truly bullet proof? Can you trick it by shifting badly/lazily? For example on the 10s 12-27 cassette I can make it mis-shift if on the big ring, 12t cog I whang the finger lever over to do a triple shift and then immediately let the lever go. The last shift sometimes fails to complete and the chain goes rattle-rattle-rattle. I have to hold the lever over until the shift completes. Not the case with 12-25 or 13-29 cassettes, which are un-trickable for me.

    I am not sure I fully understand the question. Any shifts with the thumbshifter are going to work 100%. You can get an intermediate shift by not fully activating the inner lever with a “lazy shift”.




    4. If you tune the FD to get bomb-proof shifts onto the big ring even when under power, does the FD then rub in the crossed gears when on the big ring?

    I did not experience any chainrub but I can’t say I used the big-big combo while actually riding. I think this is more of a set-up issue than a design issue though. When I set up the FD I allowed .5mm of gap between the FD cage and the chain when in the big-big combo.


    5. If you squeeze the NDS crank arm and the chainstay together using the pressure you might use for moderate braking, does the whole crank move axially and hit the retaining safety spring clip? And then spring back when you release pressure?



    I tried this “test” and I could not detect any movement on the Potenza bike or my Athena bike. Perhaps you have in installation issue. The “wavy washer” is supposed to take up any small slop

    Thanks again for your review! Enjoy your new bike.

  4. #4
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    @cheep

    5. If you squeeze the NDS crank arm and the chainstay together using the pressure you might use for moderate braking, does the whole crank move axially and hit the retaining safety spring clip? And then spring back when you release pressure?
    Something is wrong if this is happening.

    It is not a "safety clip". That was a translation error in the original docs.

    After all these years you appear not to understand how the UT or PT system is supposed to work.
    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?

    One.

    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekiIMh4ZkM

  5. #5
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    @BikerJulio… Oops, wrong/old terminology, my bad. Post corrected. Campag now calls it "retaining clip" in German and "holding clip" in English. Don't beat me up too much please!

    Yeah axial float under moderate axial pressure (two thumbs on the crank bolt) was an expected part of the design circa 2012. I got this confirmed all the way up to Campagnolo Technical in Italy. I still have two floaty Power Torque cranks in my possession from circa 2012 or 2013. I had a third but I donated it to Velotech.

    But there seems to have been a running change to eliminate the float. I’ve got some recent Power Torque cranks, purchased this year, which don’t have the axial float. Same bike, same cups, same spring, same retaining clip, same everything. I think I know mechanically what the change is but I won’t post here. I’ll probably only get flamed anyway for not knowing what I’m talking about ;)

    This may explain our disagreement. IIRC BikerJulio you have new-ish Athena Power Torque, so my guess is you have the newer "non-floaty” design. I guess it came in maybe 2014.

    For my pedalling style the float eventually leads to a clunk, regardless of frame or other components.

    I have run recent “non-floaty" Power Torque cranks for about 4000 miles this year with no issues. I have run the older “floaty” cranks for about 1000 miles this year with a whole bunch of clunking until I learned an easy fix. So chapeau to Campag, “the masters of the running change", they seem to have fixed my problem, I can’t speak for anyone else of course.

    So I asked Question 5 to see if Potenza was "non-floaty" like my newer Power Torque cranks. And it seems like it is.

    So the Potenza crank sounds nice:- There is a self extractor to eliminate the special puller; and presumably there is this newer "non-floaty" design so hopefully they shouldn't clunk with my crappy pedalling.

    I guess I should post on my original long thread from ages ago, to close out the issue.

    CheapSkate

  6. #6
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    I was reluctant to bring the issue of the clip up again as it's been done to death.

    FWIW all my modern Campy cranks are UT from the 2007-10 era. No PT for me. And no issues with any of them after a lot of Km.

    Because I'm old, I recently considered buying a Potenza crank with compact chainrings for one of my bikes. The price IMO was stupid. Not worth 2-3X the Shimano equivalent.

    I just HTFU instead.
    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?

    One.

    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekiIMh4ZkM

  7. #7
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    Yeah we agree on something at least

    We sound similar, after much contemplation I went compact on my winter bike, still run 39/53 on my summer bikes. For me compact is ... meh. The extra gear is not that exciting, just get out of the saddle. I find the smaller overlap between gears a bit annoying. Front shifting performance is adequate but IMHO inferior to 39/53. I do run 13-29 10s Veloce cassettes which I find excellent, plenty low gears, cheap as chips.

    If I run into any more issues with my Power Torque compact crank I will probably ditch it and go 105. Or even Tiagra. If they're compatible.

  8. #8
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    Shimano (and other) cranks will work just fine with otherwise Campy components IME.
    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?

    One.

    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekiIMh4ZkM

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjulio View Post
    I recently considered buying a Potenza crank with compact chainrings for one of my bikes. The price IMO was stupid. Not worth 2-3X the Shimano equivalent.

    I just HTFU instead.
    I wouldn't pay 2-3x more ether, but I least where I bought my Potenza group a Potenza crank is $20 more that an Ultegra crank.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    I wouldn't pay 2-3x more ether, but I least where I bought my Potenza group a Potenza crank is $20 more that an Ultegra crank.
    I already got flack elsewhere for suggesting that Potenza was really more equivalent to 105. Just because Campy marketing flacks say it's a competitor to Ultegra does not make it so. Sorry.

    Anyhoo.........Potenza is still a little bit in short supply at the places I usually look at.

    Wiggle currently has a Potenza crankset at $246.63.

    Ultegra is $148.19

    105 is $89.99

    Making Potenza 1.66 times as expensive as Ultegra and 2.74 times more expensive than 105.

    wiggle.com Cycle | Cranksets
    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?

    One.

    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekiIMh4ZkM

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjulio View Post
    I already got flack elsewhere for suggesting that Potenza was really more equivalent to 105. Just because Campy marketing flacks say it's a competitor to Ultegra does not make it so. Sorry.

    Anyhoo.........Potenza is still a little bit in short supply at the places I usually look at.

    Wiggle currently has a Potenza crankset at $246.63.

    Ultegra is $148.19

    105 is $89.99

    Making Potenza 1.66 times as expensive as Ultegra and 2.74 times more expensive than 105.

    wiggle.com Cycle | Cranksets
    It is very subjective. I would contend that there isn't a whole lot of difference in functionality up and down both the Shimano and Campy groups. In general, what you are paying for with Dura-Ace or Record is exotic materials for lower weight. On that scale Potenza is about 100 grams lighter than Ultegra. I think that may be the basis for their comparison

  12. #12
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    Ultra-torque is worth the $ for Chorus, around this time you can usually pick one up for under $250. I got old and went compact on everything, if you hate the gear overlap you need to stay in the big ring longer (using a cassette that has the 16 and 18 cogs helps)... It took me a good year to get used to compact but now I love it.
    “Bicycling has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.” - Susan B. Anthony 1896
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  13. #13
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    Just as an aside, I was musing on how attitudes have changed to running very short gearing. I remember when I first put a 29t cassette on my bike, someone sneered at me for having a dinner plate.

    Now we're here discussing a 34 - 32 lowest gear. No one is sneering, in fact (I guess) most of us can see the benefit... whether it's worth the money / losing Ultra Shift / going compact etc etc is the only debate.

    I wonder where it will end? I can imagine some kind of ultra-compact road chainset coming with more than 16t difference, maybe 30/48 with a 32-11 cassette? Then we can all moan about the lack of overlap again

    "Don't get more gears, pedal harder" seems to have been replaced with "you can't have too low a bailout gear".

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by CheapSkate View Post
    Just as an aside, I was musing on how attitudes have changed to running very short gearing. I remember when I first put a 29t cassette on my bike, someone sneered at me for having a dinner plate.

    Now we're here discussing a 34 - 32 lowest gear. No one is sneering, in fact (I guess) most of us can see the benefit... whether it's worth the money / losing Ultra Shift / going compact etc etc is the only debate.

    I wonder where it will end? I can imagine some kind of ultra-compact road chainset coming with more than 16t difference, maybe 30/48 with a 32-11 cassette? Then we can all moan about the lack of overlap again

    "Don't get more gears, pedal harder" seems to have been replaced with "you can't have too low a bailout gear".
    Agree. I remember years back before Compacts, if you posted here about a triple drivetrain you were berated and told that no real cyclist uses gears that low. That would usually be followed by some sort of bragging that the poster climbed Mt Everest with nothing more than a 39/21

  15. #15
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    I've been out of the game for a while; just where does Potenza fit in the Campagnolo hierarchy?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    I've been out of the game for a while; just where does Potenza fit in the Campagnolo hierarchy?
    Campy made a lot of line-up changes this year. They got rid of Centaur after this year, they will discontinue Athena. For mechanical groups it is

    Super Record
    Record
    Chorus
    Potenza
    Athena
    Veloce (10s)

  17. #17
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    I hope Potenza drifts down in price to replace Athena. I can't see any amazing new engineering in there which would prevent this, except perhaps the new RD with the "Embrace" widget and the self extractor on the chainset.

    ATM here in the UK prices go roughly £300 (Veloce) > £450 (Athena) > £550 (Potenza) > £800 (Chorus). Presumably Athena is heavily discounted though, it's on the way out?

    (I think US prices are much higher)

    IMHO Campy needs an 11s offering within spitting distance of 105 5800 which is about £350 here in the UK. Hoping Potenza gets there eventually.

    Then I'd be keen - some kind of cheapish Frankengruppo with Potenza cassette (32t cog), 105 crank (avoids Power Torque), Chorus levers (for Ultra Shift), Veloce brakes (cheap and good) - hmmmm.

    I wonder if Potenza RD works with Chorus levers? Hope so.

  18. #18
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    Campa still believe Potenza will be their Ultegra killer, and that people will be happy to pay 20% extra just because it has their logo on it. They will never sell it at 105 prices.

    I was hoping for Potenza to offer affordable cassettes, but boy was I wrong about that.

    Right now the Fulcrum RS cranks are ridiculously cheap at Merlin. You'd avoid PT (nttawwt) and you'd have a Record level crankset for peanuts.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mackers View Post

    Right now the Fulcrum RS cranks are ridiculously cheap at Merlin. You'd avoid PT (nttawwt) and you'd have a Record level crankset for peanuts.
    You're right - that's a steal for a carbon UT crankset. Pity I wanted compact. They have a full stock of 53/39 though.
    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?

    One.

    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekiIMh4ZkM

  20. #20
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    Hopefully when Ribble finally gets Potenza in stock it will be less than $600. Otherwise you might as well get Chorus at $832 unless you absolutely need the 32 then I think Ultegra would be a better deal at $573 with GS rear derailleur and 11-32 cassette.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjulio View Post
    Pity I wanted compact.
    If you are looking at compact, personally I'd avoid the 5 arm Campag chainrings. There are 8 shift pins, but they seem to have funny spacing so sometimes the crank has to make almost a complete revolution for the chain to find the correct pin. I can give more details if you like (I'll get flamed??) but IME the shifting is a bit nasty and crunchy sometimes. Part of the reason I'm down on compact. The new 4 arm chainrings have 4 pins roughly equi-spaced round the ring like competitors. I reckon they'd give better shifting, but I've not tried them. I will probably retire my 5 arm Veloce compact and try a 5800 over the winter.

    Of course YMMV.

  22. #22
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    I am looking for a 11-32 cassette for my bike. I do have the Super Record 11sp group (cassette 11-29). Can I go with the new Potenza 11-32 cassette 11 sp? I will really appreciate your advice on this

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricardochicas View Post
    I am looking for a 11-32 cassette for my bike. I do have the Super Record 11sp group (cassette 11-29). Can I go with the new Potenza 11-32 cassette 11 sp? I will really appreciate your advice on this
    I think Campy's official position is that its not compatible. The Potenza group includes an option for a medium cage rear derailleur that is to be used with the 32 tooth cassette. I suspect there are folks here that have used the 32 with a short cage derailleur and has it work as long as you don't cross-chain. Maybe someone can weigh in on that

  24. #24
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    It's not just about clearance to the 32T cog which is probably going to be OK with adjustment of the RD, but as Dave alludes to it's about chain takeup.

    I don't believe the basic geometry of the short cage has changed, meaning the max takeup is in the 32-33 Teeth range.

    A 11-32 cassette takes up 21T of that range leaving 12 T max for the chainrings. We don't know what you have. But

    53-39 = 14T

    and 50 - 34 = 16T

    both of which are too much for the short cage to take up. Therefore you really need a medium cage in either case to be 100% safe. Which rules out the idea in your case.

    There is a way to make it work. Just carefully size the chain so that the SR RD is at it's max safe extension when in the big-big. The chain will then go slack in the extremes of the small-small end of the cassette. Nothing will break, you just have to avoid the extremes of the small end of the cassette when in the small ring.
    Last edited by bikerjulio; 03-01-2017 at 03:52 AM.
    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?

    One.

    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekiIMh4ZkM

  25. #25
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    Currently, bike-components.de has ridiculously low prices ( for European market ) - a kit consisting of the chain, 32t cassette and a medium cage rear derailleur costs 269 EUR, while the shifters cost 125 EUR in silver color and... 139 EUR in black color. This is tempting for me to upgrade from my 9 speed Chorus, but I have some concerns about the longevity of 11 speed chains and cassettes.
    My main concerns is crankset compability. I use a Chorus ITA thread 102mm BB, and a PZ Racing Carbon crank, that is designed for 10 speed :

    https://www.amazon.com/PZ-Racing-CR3.../dp/B00F2E36DW

    I changed the 50T for a Rotor 46T noQ ring, as I am a desperate masher and a local cycling coach insisted I go for ridiculously low gears to improve my cadence, so I did. I am using a clamp-on Chorus CT front derailleur, and I have a spare one too. So... Is this somewhat compatible with the Potenza shifters and RD ? My other option is to go for 10 speed Record QS shifters, Veloce RD, as I remember bikerjulio insisting that the newer Veloce RD will work equally, or better than the Record carbon RD. Please, help me, I have invested absolutely all my money in that bike. Having tried brand new Veloce and Centaur 10 speeds, I did not like them at all.

    https://www.bike-components.de/en/Ca...0-fach-p25890/

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