Groupset Ranking Chart (Shimano/SRAM/Campagnolo) Opinions?
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  1. #1
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    Groupset Ranking Chart (Shimano/SRAM/Campagnolo) Opinions?

    Heya,

    I've poured over hundreds of threads and many reviews of different groupsets and how they compare to and against each other. I've come up with this mental image of how they would line up with each other across the big 3 so I decided to put it in a visual format. This is just a general guideline of how I perceive them to be arranged based on all the information I've read and the arguments I've heard. I remember scouring the inets for something like this back when I was starting to learn about groupsets. So I thought having a little tier system providing general rankings/guidelines might be useful for new guys looking to pick their first groupset. By general ranking I’m thinking just roughly where they would line up, I don’t mean to start an all-out battle royale =p. I would very much appreciate any opinions and input! All are welcome! From detailed, experience-based comparisons to a quick reply saying “X group should be at tier #4 .” Thanks!!!

    What would you switch around? Just a forum to shoot around ideas!

    # Shimano SRAM Campagnolo
    1 Super Record
    2 Dura-Ace Red Record
    3 Force Chorus
    4 Ultegra Athena
    5 Rival Centaur
    6 105
    7 Apex Veloce
    8 Tiagra
    9 Sora
    10 Claris

    ***I did not include Di2, EPS, or 10 vs 11 speed into the considerations. I feel like that would add a whole other level to all this. I'd like to consider this just in terms of mechs, performance, weights, asthetics, ergonomics, etc. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    For starters, Athena and Centaur are equal on almost all counts... so that seems like a trivial distinction. Athena has better chain rings... that's the only edge I can think of.

    Why even bother with Sora and Claris on your list? Limit it to 10&11 speed. Otherwise, you might as well include older technology from other brands. Hell, why not include microshift?

  3. #3
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    Lol you're totally right. It was more for the sake of appeasing my neuroses of having the full groupsets listed =p. I've had experience with Shimano and SRAM but never Campy and this is the kind of input I'm looking for, thanks! How would you describe the feel of Campy shifting as opposed to the others?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by StabbyJoe89 View Post
    How would you describe the feel of Campy shifting as opposed to the others?
    I think it's all personal preference and ergonomics. It's also what you're used to. I think it's a waste of time trying to compare across brands. From a quality of shift perspective, I'm happy with 105, Athena/Centaur/Veloce (integrated shifters are identical-ish) or Rival. I can't speak for the current generation of anything above that. I think that the current Shimano stuff looks like it was invented by Robo-Cop and won't use it based on aesthetics alone.

    If you are going to compare, you need to expand the list to reflect model years... the name on the component only tells a part of the story.

  5. #5
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    Glad to hear that I could expect comparable shifting performance even if I were to try out the lower end Campy Veloce/Centaur (only ones that I can see myself affording =p).

    I completely agree about the aesthetics of the newer DA/Ultegra levels. I'm not a fan of the 4 arm spider to begin with and the smoothed over, polished look just doesn't do it for me

  6. #6
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    I'm probably a little biased, but I'd line them up a little differently.

    # Shimano SRAM Campagnolo
    1 Super Record
    2 Record
    3 Dura-Ace Red Chorus
    4 Ultegra Force Athena
    5 Rival Centaur
    6 105
    7 Apex Veloce
    8 Tiagra
    9 Sora
    10 Claris
    11 Touney A070
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  7. #7
    Bianchi-Campagnolo
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    I'd be willing to give DA9000 a 2, Platy. It's PDG.
    SRAM I'd shift down, starting at 4 due to utter crap ergonomics.
    They do anything just to win a salami in ridiculous races. I take my gear out of the car and put my bike together. Tourists and locals are watching from sidewalk cafes. Non-racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me. It was the illest of times, it was the dopest of times. And we looked damn good. Actually the autobus broke down somewhere on the Mortirolo.

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    Inevitably this thread will go south, but I like PP's adjustment.
    You can guess what camp I'm in

  9. #9
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    I would just remove all the non-Campagnolo groups, as they're not made by Campagnolo.

    That's my unbiased opinion.

  10. #10
    MXL
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    Quote Originally Posted by CampyTim View Post
    I would just remove all the non-Campagnolo groups, as they're not made by Campagnolo.

    That's my unbiased opinion.
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  11. #11
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    Groupset Ranking Chart (Shimano/SRAM/Campagnolo) Opinions?

    Are you talking about cost?......Ego building?........Rich Fred appeal???

    Record, Dura Ace, Chorus, and Red all are close.
    Untegra, Force, and Centaur are just a little behind in shifting ability, but way behind in Rich Fred appeal.

    Any of the above will seldom lose you a race.
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  12. #12
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    # Shimano SRAM Campagnolo
    1 Dura-Ace (great shifting & brakes) Super Record (beautiful, but expensive spares)
    2 Red (so slight weight) Record
    3 Chorus
    4 Ultegra
    5 Force
    6 105 Athena
    7 Tiagra Rival Centaur
    8 Apex Veloce
    9 Sora
    10

    This is how I rank them from my experience on some of them and reviews on others. As a buyer, I'm thinking about mechanical feel mainly, and secondly aesthetics and weight. I really like the quality feel of my Dura-ace shifters and brakes.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SNS1938 View Post
    # Shimano SRAM Campagnolo
    1 Dura-Ace (great shifting & brakes) Super Record (beautiful, but expensive spares)
    2 Red (so slight weight) Record
    3 Chorus
    4 Ultegra
    5 Force
    6 105 Athena
    7 Tiagra Rival Centaur
    8 Apex Veloce
    9 Sora
    10
    As an owner of Record/Super Record mix, and of Dura Ace 9000 Mechanical, I like this chart. The only adjustment I'd make would be to move Ultegra up to #3 - tied with Chorus. Commenting only on the mechanical groupsets because I don't have experience with the electronic versions, neither Campagnolo Super Record/Record or Dura Ace 9000 are perfect (I get more dropped chains with Campy/ I miss the multi shifts on Dura Ace), but they each have exceptional qualities.
    Last edited by tvad; 11-17-2013 at 07:56 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SNS1938 View Post
    # Shimano SRAM Campagnolo
    1 Dura-Ace (great shifting & brakes) Super Record (beautiful, but expensive spares)
    2 Red (so slight weight) Record
    3 Chorus
    4 Ultegra
    5 Force
    6 105 Athena
    7 Tiagra Rival Centaur
    8 Apex Veloce
    9 Sora
    10

    This is how I rank them from my experience on some of them and reviews on others. As a buyer, I'm thinking about mechanical feel mainly, and secondly aesthetics and weight. I really like the quality feel of my Dura-ace shifters and brakes.
    So Campagnolo parts are more expensive? Hogwash. Try repairing your Dura Ace STI's compared to the cost of repairing Super Record. The former is a new PAIR of shifters at £500+ whereas Campagnolo is £90. A record chain is cheaper as are the chainrings. Granted the cassette is expensive, but unlike the 9000 one it runs perfectly with no issues. Campagnolo brake pads are cheaper, as are bottom bracket bearings if you compare like with like, that is standard steel vs standard steel.

  15. #15
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    My take on the mechanical groupsets with cable brakes.

    # Shimano SRAM Campagnolo
    1 Super Record
    2 Dura Ace Red 22 Record
    3 Chorus
    4
    5 Ultegra Force 22 Athena
    6 Centaur
    7 105 Rival Veloce
    8 Tiagra Apex
    9 Sora

  16. #16
    CarbonFrame
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    Unbiased Opinion....Thats funny...
    Life is short...Enjoy the Ride!!

  17. #17
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    Isn't right about now in these types of threads when someone will start arguing that Record is better than Super Record because it's more durable?

    Oh, I guess that was me!
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR_GRUMPY View Post
    Record, Dura Ace, Chorus, and Red all are close.
    Untegra, Force, and Centaur are just a little behind in shifting ability, but way behind in Rich Fred appeal.
    As a Rich Fred, I agree 100% with Mr_Grumpy.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultimobici View Post
    So Campagnolo parts are more expensive? Hogwash. Try repairing your Dura Ace STI's compared to the cost of repairing Super Record. The former is a new PAIR of shifters at £500+ whereas Campagnolo is £90. A record chain is cheaper as are the chainrings. Granted the cassette is expensive, but unlike the 9000 one it runs perfectly with no issues. Campagnolo brake pads are cheaper, as are bottom bracket bearings if you compare like with like, that is standard steel vs standard steel.
    This is like saying a Ferrari is cheaper to maintain than a Lamborghini.

    Both of these groups last a great deal longer than the cycles in which the companies release new updated groups at which time the majority of the owners purchase the new group.

    IMO the D/A is every bit Super Record's equal, super in many ways even.
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  20. #20
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    Interesting list. I think the reality is that very few of us have enough experience with all these groups to make a objective assessment. For me its just easier to buy Campy anyway

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    Interesting list. I think the reality is that very few of us have enough experience with all these groups to make a objective assessment. For me its just easier to buy Campy anyway
    Not to mention, not all individual components degrade from best to acceptable at the same rate. My list for shifters isn't the same as my list for brake calipers, or derailleurs, or cranks... Then there is the fact that a list can vary from year to year. 2010 Centaur wasn't that far below Record in that it shared ultra-torque and Record bearings, it had ultra-shift, same FD design but heavier alloy. Pick up the 2007 Centaur UT crank, and it was even closer to Record since it had the higher end chainrings (which Athena still has, although Athena also went to power-torque and power-shift in more recent years).

    It all varies, and even if some of us are lucky enough to have sufficient experience in all of these groups, the group itself may have changed since the version we used was released.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultimobici View Post
    My take on the mechanical groupsets with cable brakes.

    # Shimano SRAM Campagnolo
    1 Super Record
    2 Dura Ace Red 22 Record
    3 Chorus
    4
    5 Ultegra Force 22 Athena
    6 Centaur
    7 105 Rival Veloce
    8 Tiagra Apex
    9 Sora
    no experience with campy but I would see this list as being good for sram/shimano but having tested some tiagra and sora - I would dump both of them or move them lower as I feel Apex is higher than tiagra at least

  23. #23
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    I am curious about which specific characteristics of the groupsets lead most folks to line up Apex with Tiagra - instead of 105. It can't be weight. It can't be new cost. It cannot be resale value. Durability seems to be a wash based on most of what I've read.

    Is it the Wifli vs triple thing?

    Thanks.

  24. #24
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    This whole argument is very subjective. I bought a Sram Rival group. Rode it 1000 miles and happly swaped for another Ultegra group. It wasnt better or worse. Just not for me. I could never get used to the shifting.
    And why does weight really matter? On a 22lb bike the difference between Apex and 105 is no big deal. On a 15lb bike the difference is even less. Who cares?

  25. #25
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    Depends on where you are. I am a self-proclaimed Campy guy but in the US market Campy parts are more expensive that Shimano/SRAM parts, not to mention few shops actually stock them. You quoted your post in British pounds and I agree the costs delta is different there. Many Campy owners, myself included, buy their parts from the UK the avoid that

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