Campy SR Shifting Poorly, Stumped
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  1. #1
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    Question Campy SR Shifting Poorly, Stumped

    So the 2015-2017 Super Record Groupset I'm building up currently isn't shifting right. It shifts slowly in both directions, especially with the extreme ends.

    Heres the build:

    - Campy SR 2015-2017 11 speed shifters and derailleurs, used but appears brand new (not a single scratch on any of the pieces)
    - Brand New SRAM Red XG-1190 11s Cassette 11-25T
    - Campy SR 2017 11 speed Crankset, used but also near flawless.
    - Brand New Shimano SP41 Housing
    - Brand New Jagwire Campy Cables
    - Brand New Campy Record 11s Chain
    - Brand New Bitex RAR9 11s Hub

    Symptoms:

    - Shifts to largest just fine, but doesn't shift to second largest. Shifting again shifts flawlessly to 3rd largest.
    - Shifting improves if I shift repeatedly between 2 sprockets (e.g. 1-2-1-2-1), but only for those two, kinda like worn housing
    - Shifting in the small range of the cassette is just poor in both directions.
    - Shifting is ​ok in small chainring. However, disconnecting the FD cable entirely does not solve the issue.
    - A FIRM shift-and-hold will achieve the shift, but lighter touches as one would normally operate often fail to shift.
    - RD cage looks visually crooked, but how's that possible? The thing is carbon fiber and doesn't show any wear (Der. hanger is straight)


    Here's what I've tried:

    - Hanger is straight
    - Housing is all brand new Shimano SP41, ferrules are new
    - B tension is properly set
    - Cables are new, Jagwire Campy Specific
    - RD pivots have been lubed and worked/wiggled thoroughly by hand.
    - Shifter has been rebuilt from scratch, shift plate does indeed have the letter A on it, as does everything else in the drivetrain.
    - Reinstalled cassette, made sure everything was centered and seated properly
    - Limit screws are properly set
    - Spent more than an hour trying to index the thing, still shifts like crap
    - Tried an external, full-housing, direct shifter-to-RD cable run, also with brand new SP41 housing, same ****.
    - Chain length is correct according to Campy standards, was just cut and built up.

    Could the SRAM red cassette be the culprit? I thought it was well established that 11s cassettes were all interchangeable. Campy chain isn't directional IIRC, there was text on both sides and plates were symmetrical and identical. Could it possibly be the Shimano SP41 housing I used? Must I used campy housing too?

    I'm stumped and down... Did I miss anything?

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by hihihi8; 01-09-2020 at 12:04 AM.

  2. #2
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Sounds like something is causing friction and that's messing up your shifting. I agree that all 3 brands are so close that cassettes are interchangeable. Could be a simple kink in the cable where it's inside the housing. I wouldn't think the brand of cable/housing would matter this much. Hard to say w/o seeing it.
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  3. #3
    Adorable Furry Hombre
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    Cheap Bitex hubs....is the FH->dropout face within spec? Outside face of the hanger to outside of the 1st gear should by 10.2 to 12.2mm max.

    You say 2015-2017...are all the parts labeled "A"?
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by hihihi8 View Post
    So the 2015-2017 Super Record Groupset I'm building up currently isn't shifting right. It shifts slowly in both directions, especially with the extreme ends.

    Heres the build:

    - Campy SR 2015-2017 11 speed shifters and derailleurs, used but appears brand new (not a single scratch on any of the pieces)
    - Brand New SRAM Red XG-1190 11s Cassette 11-25T
    - Campy SR 2017 11 speed Crankset, used but also near flawless.
    - Brand New Shimano SP41 Housing
    - Brand New Jagwire Campy Cables
    - Brand New Campy Record 11s Chain
    - Brand New Bitex RAR9 11s Hub

    Symptoms:

    - Shifts to largest just fine, but doesn't shift to second largest. Shifting again shifts flawlessly to 3rd largest.
    - Shifting improves if I shift repeatedly between 2 sprockets (e.g. 1-2-1-2-1), but only for those two, kinda like worn housing
    - Shifting in the small range of the cassette is just poor in both directions.
    - Shifting is ​ok in small chainring. However, disconnecting the FD cable entirely does not solve the issue.
    - A FIRM shift-and-hold will achieve the shift, but lighter touches as one would normally operate often fail to shift.
    - RD cage looks visually crooked, but how's that possible? The thing is carbon fiber and doesn't show any wear (Der. hanger is straight)


    Here's what I've tried:

    - Hanger is straight
    - Housing is all brand new Shimano SP41, ferrules are new
    - B tension is properly set
    - Cables are new, Jagwire Campy Specific
    - RD pivots have been lubed and worked/wiggled thoroughly by hand.
    - Shifter has been rebuilt from scratch, shift plate does indeed have the letter A on it, as does everything else in the drivetrain.
    - Reinstalled cassette, made sure everything was centered and seated properly
    - Limit screws are properly set
    - Spent more than an hour trying to index the thing, still shifts like crap
    - Tried an external, full-housing, direct shifter-to-RD cable run, also with brand new SP41 housing, same ****.
    - Chain length is correct according to Campy standards, was just cut and built up.

    Could the SRAM red cassette be the culprit? I thought it was well established that 11s cassettes were all interchangeable. Campy chain isn't directional IIRC, there was text on both sides and plates were symmetrical and identical. Could it possibly be the Shimano SP41 housing I used? Must I used campy housing too?

    I'm stumped and down... Did I miss anything?

    Thanks in advance.
    When you execute a shift, does the RD upper jockey pulley align properly with each of the cassette cogs? Does it "over-shift" just slightly before aligning? A careful observation of the actual shift might provide a clue.

  5. #5
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    Is the cable getting hung up in the bottom bracket cable guide? That gave me fits a while back

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  6. #6
    Matnlely Dregaend
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    I second the bottom bracket cable guide, crud tends to collect there, but you said you've already run the cable direct. Another thing to check on the shifters is to pull back the shifter covers and look for the little Y shaped guide inserts, often there is corrosion on the cables there that prevents the cables from sliding freely. You can also check whether there is play in the RD at the attachment to the hanger, that had me stumped recently. Look from behind and top at the RD and see if the pulleys line up correctly.
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  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the ideas!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    When you execute a shift, does the RD upper jockey pulley align properly with each of the cassette cogs? Does it "over-shift" just slightly before aligning? A careful observation of the actual shift might provide a clue.
    Yes, it does overshift. In fact, when I get it to shift well in the smaller cogs, it sometimes overshifts too much on the larger cogs, bumping the chain up to the next largest before dropping it back down.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Cheap Bitex hubs....is the FH->dropout face within spec? Outside face of the hanger to outside of the 1st gear should by 10.2 to 12.2mm max.
    You say 2015-2017...are all the parts labeled "A"?
    Yes, the shifter der. combo was bought together. Everything's got an A on it, including the shift ratchet plates inside the shifters. However, you did get me when you mentioned the hanger distance. My cassette/hanger distance measured 12.8-12.9. However, even after I put a 1mm spacer behind the cassette to bump it out a bit, there was no improvement in shifting (there is dangerously little spline engagement on the last cog, i would not ride it like this, but did it out of curiosity)

    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Sounds like something is causing friction and that's messing up your shifting. I agree that all 3 brands are so close that cassettes are interchangeable. Could be a simple kink in the cable where it's inside the housing. I wouldn't think the brand of cable/housing would matter this much. Hard to say w/o seeing it.
    I tried running it direct shifter-to-RD really short housing (total length 1 foot/30cm), and the shifting improved drastically. It would actually make all shifts in a manner one would expect of SR. That, however, raises the question of: is it the housing, or is it something else that's slightly sticky, and was made worse by the long-ish cable run? When I run internal routing though, there is no housing so whatever it is, it's pretty sensitive to small changes.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrSmile View Post
    I second the bottom bracket cable guide, crud tends to collect there, but you said you've already run the cable direct. Another thing to check on the shifters is to pull back the shifter covers and look for the little Y shaped guide inserts, often there is corrosion on the cables there that prevents the cables from sliding freely. You can also check whether there is play in the RD at the attachment to the hanger, that had me stumped recently. Look from behind and top at the RD and see if the pulleys line up correctly.
    Pulley cage is pretty tight and doesn't wobble or exhibit play. The hanger is straight and was straightened/double checked when I was fiddling with it trying to get it to work, however the cage doesn't look very vertical, but I can't imagine how the cage could be bent, as the RD itself is mostly carbon fiber and doesn't have a scratch on it. The BB cable guide is clean, and shifting sucks even with full-length full-housing.

    On the other hand, thanks for bringing up the Y-shaped cable guide! I had not checked that, while it's not filthy, there is some black residue in that I'll clean out when I next work on the bike. I'm also going to try the alternative route on the Y-guide. Right now, I have the cable coming out at an angle (along the front of the bars) instead of following the outboard side of the bar. Maybe that'll change something!

    Anyways, thanks for the help!
    Last edited by hihihi8; 01-10-2020 at 02:55 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by stlutz View Post
    Is the cable getting hung up in the bottom bracket cable guide? That gave me fits a while back

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
    That was my first thought. I don't know how to heck it happens but gel or energy drink can get down there and it can be worse than it looks. I assume it was gel or energy drink anyway that make it really sticky a few times I've checked on that.

    For what it's worth: I could never get Sram cassettes to work all that well with everything else being shimano and the identical set up working just fine with a shimano cassette. It was good enough to use but not great.

    So while Sram cassette and campy chain both 11 speed may not be a 'compatibility' issue per se it may be that Sram cassettes are just not that great. Expensive thing to check on, but cassettes don't last forever and it's always nice to have other gear options haging around so probably worth giving a campy cassette a try.

  9. #9
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    What's the frame? Start on the smallest cog big ring take the tension off the cable make sure the the top pulley is lined up with the cog. Set the cable with the adjuster around half way. go from smallest to the next back and forth adjusting cable tension to get the shift with the click no more no less and see how that works.

  10. #10
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hihihi8 View Post


    I tried running it direct shifter-to-RD really short housing (total length 1 foot/30cm), and the shifting improved drastically. It would actually make all shifts in a manner one would expect of SR. That, however, raises the question of: is it the housing, or is it something else that's slightly sticky, and was made worse by the long-ish cable run? When I run internal routing though, there is no housing so whatever it is, it's pretty sensitive to small changes.
    You did replace the cable after you did this, right?
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    You did replace the cable after you did this, right?
    Was going to, but I couldn't find even the tiniest flaw in that cable since campy's clamp is flat and I was pretty light on the clamping torque. FWIW, it shifted damn well with that super short cable run, and that was the last thing I tried before calling it a day, so the cable was 'pristine' prior to that too.

  12. #12
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    It is odd it worked fine with the short run. I would think if it were the cassette it would shift poorly regardless. I'm assuming you unwrapped the bar when you did the direct route? Maybe the cable casing isn't set in the shifter. Is that thing landed firmly?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mackgoo View Post
    It is odd it worked fine with the short run. I would think if it were the cassette it would shift poorly regardless. I'm assuming you unwrapped the bar when you did the direct route? Maybe the cable casing isn't set in the shifter. Is that thing landed firmly?
    I double-checked that before I posted my first post too, just forgot to list it under the things I had tried. I retaped the bars once, making sure to jam the housing in as I taped them in place, but to no effect either

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