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Why Reinvent the Wheel? (aka another Campagnolo rant)

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Why Reinvent the Wheel? (aka another Campagnolo rant)

Old 03-30-20, 06:31 PM
  #51  
Seattle Forrest
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How is this a campy rant? It's more like a love letter.
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Old 03-30-20, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
Ok, so you think the G3 system is silly. Fair enough, but I don't think there are many people that agree with your opinion. And, please, feel free to point out some better weight/dollar options?
.
Triplet/G3 lacing is a ****ing joke. It sorta works, until there's a broken spoke. You're screwed then.
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Old 03-30-20, 07:36 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
As a triathlete, that's literally the only niche I care about. If you're going to dismiss the dissenting opinions you ask for, why ask for them? Oh right, #41ier .
The hubs are fine. I'm sure I could cart them down to a Catholic church and get them blessed in exchange for a donation to the poor, if they need a little Italian magic.
I didn't dismiss your opinion at all. I said that you had found a niche (or angle) that I hadn't considered. Maybe it came off as sarcastic, but it wasn't meant to be.

As for the hubs being "fine." Ok, if fine is all your are after, that's good for you. But some of us want a little more when paying for quality wheels.

Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Aren't Zondas cheap right now because distributors are clearing them out, due to being narrow and non-tubeless? During their main run, I thought they were closer to $500. I could be wrong.
If you're looking for a wheel of their style, it's a decent deal at the moment, but I'm not sure that it's representative of how Campy wheels typically sit relative to the competition.

What do you mean by "characteristics"? ENVE wheels "justify" their price with exotic features like molded spoke holes making for extremely strong nipple seats. Boras seem considerably more vanilla than those halo products.

And it's not like they can't be undercut for their price and weight point. A 30mm-wide 56mm-deep wheelset that weighs about the same as a Bora can be had for around $600 from Light Bicycle, for instance.

Mavic has had some issues with hub quality, but that's more of a Mavic-specific problem than anything uniquely good about Campy.

....Their prices were extremely high, and aside from maintaining good build quality, they were incredibly technologically stagnant.
Starting at the end, "incredibly stagnant"? Seriously?

And, actually, Campagnolo hubs are pretty much uniquely good, all things considered. They perform exceptionally, all the while being fully and easily serviceable, extremely durable, and moderately priced.

Are you seriously bringing up Chinese wheels? Really?

So you think those "exotic" ENVE features make their wheels superior to similar options from Campagnolo that cost less? Ok, I guess that's why some people buy them. But I'm not buying that. Cartridge bearings? Or how about their "about us" video which is pretty much the opposite of what I want to see from a company making products like this? Artisans honing their skills over decades of work and craftsmanship? Nah, let's leave that to Campagnolo...

As for the Zonda, the newer models aren't particularly narrow, and even at $500 I want to see another wheel on the market that weighs 1550 grams, has excellent (non-cartridge) hubs, and a reputation for being incredibly tough and reliable?
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Old 03-30-20, 07:52 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
As someone else mentioned, I guess I have to remember that everyone's idea of quality is subjective. I wouldn't consider much of anything that Shimano makes to be of higher quality than the Campagnolo equivalent.
Cost-per-quality, not quality, and per the context of my text you're quoting, I was talking about the period from when Shimano started making derailleurs up through about 1990.

Even so, I'd argue that for much of that period, many Shimano products were clearly superior to Campagnolo's nearest equivalent. In some cases this is almost laughably so: for instance, the first-gen Campagnolo Rally was a blatant copy of the Shimano Crane GS, and it mostly worked similarly, except that it was heavier and prone snapping in half at the upper knuckle.
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Old 03-30-20, 08:29 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
Ok, so you think the G3 system is silly. Fair enough, but I don't think there are many people that agree with your opinion. And, please, feel free to point out some better weight/dollar options?
So I should be impressed by the Scirocco Disc, with its $680 msrp, 1740g, and very limited tubeless compatibility? And then wowed but the Zonda Disc, a $900 MSRP wheelset weighing in at 1675g, with no tubeless compatibility, and wide-for-a-decade-ago 17mm interior rim width? And then absolutely blown over by the Shamal Ultra Disc, a $1500, ~1600g wheelset with 30mm deep, 22.5mm wide aluminum rims?
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Old 03-30-20, 10:19 PM
  #56  
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@WhyFi This isn't about facts, quality, or value. Campagnolo are artisans from Yurope, everything else is terrible and awful. You should consider it a privilege to pay $1,500 for aluminum rims that aren't worth writing home about.
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Old 03-30-20, 10:39 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
Starting at the end, "incredibly stagnant"? Seriously?
Yes. In the context of the 20-year period centered from the early 60s through the early 80s, what about that judgement do you take issue with?

And, actually, Campagnolo hubs are pretty much uniquely good, all things considered. They perform exceptionally, all the while being fully and easily serviceable, extremely durable, and moderately priced.

I'm just not really sure how to respond to the implication that non-Campy hubs are generally poorly-serviceable, don't perform exceptionally, aren't durable, and are expensive.

The hub market seems to have this weird issue where a few of the boutique brands are unreliable, and as a consequence, some people seem to assume that the market as a whole is a catastrophic mine field where it's difficult to find anything that works great. It is not. Wheel bearings and spoke drilling and attaching a wheel to a bicycle are all problems that were mostly solved a century ago. A few designers have chosen to un-solve them, but by and large, stuff works.

I've literally never had any issues with any of my hubs.

Like, I've got one bike from the 1970s which I'm the second-hand owner of (my grandfather was the original owner). I've put over 5,000 miles on since receiving it, after it spent several decades in an unheated shed, going through many dew and frost cycles. On the front wheel, it still has its factory original bearing cartridges, spinning smoothly and without play. When those bearing balls from the 1970s stop working beautifully, it won't be much hassle to replace them: the cartridges are still a readily-available standard today.

I just don't understand what problems I'm supposed to be experiencing here as a consequence of not using adjustable-bearing Campy hubs. What the "little more" is that I'm supposed to expect if I would only use Campy hubs instead of other brands.

Are you seriously bringing up Chinese wheels? Really?
Yes.

So you think those "exotic" ENVE features make their wheels superior to similar options from Campagnolo that cost less?
I didn't say that.

One of my wheelbuilder friends would say absolutely. Some end users would say no. Whether it actually makes the product better is mostly besides the point when it comes to the juggling of halo products.

In the case of ENVE specifically, I would say that it's a complicated issue that depends significantly on what you're doing with the wheels, and possibly even what specific tires you want to use. And, of course, on how you value the dollar.

As for the Zonda, the newer models aren't particularly narrow
In 2020, 17mm internal on a clincher is narrow.

Last edited by HTupolev; 03-30-20 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 03-31-20, 02:17 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
In 2020, 17mm internal on a clincher is narrow.
+1

17mm is fine if you dont want tires wider than 25mm
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Old 03-31-20, 04:30 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
I didn't dismiss your opinion at all. I said that you had found a niche (or angle) that I hadn't considered. Maybe it came off as sarcastic, but it wasn't meant to be.

As for the hubs being "fine." Ok, if fine is all your are after, that's good for you. But some of us want a little more when paying for quality wheels.
It did come off as sarcastic, so I do apologize for misunderstanding - this whole thread comes off as very aggressive, and "niche" is a minimizing word. And there are a lot of triathletes out there, at least there were prior to this year's lack of racing,

On hubs though... unless the Campy hubs can be shown to save at least a large fraction of a watt under load and at speed, I really can't be bothered by it.
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Old 03-31-20, 04:32 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
So I should be impressed by the Scirocco Disc, with its $680 msrp, 1740g, and very limited tubeless compatibility? And then wowed but the Zonda Disc, a $900 MSRP wheelset weighing in at 1675g, with no tubeless compatibility, and wide-for-a-decade-ago 17mm interior rim width? And then absolutely blown over by the Shamal Ultra Disc, a $1500, ~1600g wheelset with 30mm deep, 22.5mm wide aluminum rims?
And the extra-wide Jet 6+ with tubeless compatibility and a super-fast shape is heavy at 1660g and $900.
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Old 03-31-20, 05:59 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
Which hubs are junk inside? Campagnolo? You must be kidding...
Lol, quite the straw man there; what sort of moron would claim that? Campy hubs are sweet AF inside, everyone knows that. The junk hubs are the ones with radial contact axle bearings, no way to set preload, and poxy sealing. IOW, most high end hubs.
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Old 03-31-20, 08:04 AM
  #62  
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Those commenting on the MSRP of Campy wheels are grasping at straws, trying to disprove their value. The last set of zondas I bought cost $320, delivered from pro bike kit. I had considered buying shamals, but they were only 100g lighter with the same 16/21 spoke count, but aluminum spokes, and carbon fiber hub shells at more than twice the price. Shamals can be had for half the price that someone quoted - $745 from pro bike kit.

If you're not competing at a high level, the deep profile carbon rimmed wheels are just for show. I suspect that most posting on this forum don't have a real need for them. 25 years ago I had some of the earliest aero wheels - Campy Shamals with 16 spokes front, 16 rear and deep profile silver anodized aluminum rims. I didn't compete, but they showed well. A couple of years later, I bought the latest model with 12 spokes front and rear.
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Old 03-31-20, 08:18 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
Those commenting on the MSRP of Campy wheels are grasping at straws, trying to disprove their value. The last set of zondas I bought cost $320, delivered from pro bike kit. I had considered buying shamals, but they were only 100g lighter with the same 16/21 spoke count, but aluminum spokes, and carbon fiber hub shells at more than twice the price. Shamals can be had for half the price that someone quoted - $745 from pro bike kit.

If you're not competing at a high level, the deep profile carbon rimmed wheels are just for show. I suspect that most posting on this forum don't have a real need for them. 25 years ago I had some of the earliest aero wheels - Campy Shamals with 16 spokes front, 16 rear and deep profile silver anodized aluminum rims. I didn't compete, but they showed well. A couple of years later, I bought the latest model with 12 spokes front and rear.
I quoted prices for current products listings from my LBS - how is that grasping at straws? Are you saying that the value stated by the manufacturer is no basis for judging value?
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Old 03-31-20, 08:24 AM
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So Campy is great if I just accept that I need special bearings and weird lacing, and DON’T need tubeless, aero, or wide beds?
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Old 03-31-20, 08:29 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I quoted prices for current products listings from my LBS - how is that grasping at straws? Are you saying that the value stated by the manufacturer is no basis for judging value?
I'm stating what should be obvious - only fools pay MSRP. Anyone with any brains buys online and pays far less. I haven't bought anything from a local shop for at least 25 years. A legitimate comparison would list the best price you can find on the internet.

Here's a source with a lot lower prices for Campy or Fulcrum Wheels.

https://www.probikekit.com/bike-whee...ontent:Fulcrum

https://www.merlincycles.com/factory...agnolo,fulcrum

The same thing applies to all bike products - frames, groupsets, tires, bars, saddles, etc. All can be had far below MSRP.

Last edited by DaveSSS; 03-31-20 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 03-31-20, 08:52 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
I'm stating what should be obvious - only fools pay MSRP. Anyone with any brains buys online and pays far less. I haven't bought anything from a local shop for at least 25 years. A legitimate comparison would list the best price you can find on the internet.

Here's a source with a lot lower prices for Campy or Fulcrum Wheels.

https://www.probikekit.com/bike-whee...ontent:Fulcrum

The same thing applies to all bike products - frames, groupsets, tires, bars, saddles, etc. All can be had far below MSRP.
Okay - so you *are* saying that a manufacturer's suggested price is no basis upon which to judge value, a leaky distribution system is a feature and things like local availability and warranty support should be neither here nor there w/r/t value, etc, etc.

Cool, cool - good to know.
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Old 03-31-20, 09:13 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
...I suspect that most posting on this forum don't have a real need for them...
Most people on this forum don't have a real need for 90%+ of the crap we buy. I also agree that street price is a much more useful comparison point than MSRP.
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Old 03-31-20, 09:17 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
Disclaimer: I swear that I didn't start my biking life as a Campagnolo "fanboy", but it looks as though I have indeed become one, so if you can't stand people like me singing their praises, you can stop reading now. I won't be offended. Also, I have absolutely no affiliation with Campagnolo, and I most certainly don't profit in any way from the sale of their products. Plus, serious injury or death!

Like most people in here, I can't stop messing around with my bikes, and that includes experimenting with different parts and setups. Over the past couple of years I've been researching and reading a lot about wheels, and I really can't understand the purchasing decisions that some people are making. This may sound ridiculous, but why aren't more people buying Campagnolo wheels?

First and foremost, despite the often repeating claims that Campagnolo products are overpriced, their wheels are actually really reasonably priced. And they are reasonably priced on both the high and the low end.

Let's start at the lower end, where you have various aluminum solutions. I'm going to skip right over the absolute entry level (the Calima and Khamsin level, where there is little differentiation among brands) and start with roughly the Zonda level of features and quality. And calling it the Zonda level is appropriate, because it's a level all its own, in a good way. For that price, what wheels are you going to buy that come anywhere close in terms of quality and weight? Then, as you move in price, you continue to find Campagnolo models that match or exceed the features of their competitors, and always at a better price. And I'm looking right at you here, Mavic!

And once you start to get into carbon, where things are much more expensive compared to most aluminum wheels, Campagnolo is still the clear leader in terms of quality to price ratio. Their Bora line is simply world class, and it's almost always significantly cheaper that stuff from Zipp, or Easton, or Enve, or any of the boutique brands. Compare wheels weights, and the Boras are usually lighter, or very close to, their competitors of similar rim depths. And then compare characteristics...

This is where another huge component comes into play: hubs. While being competitive in other specifications and price, Campagnolo does this while offering their own hubs. And please don't try to poo-poo their quality. This company has been making hubs, and top of the line hubs, for so many decades now. And it's not just about design and technology, it's also about production. They have been doing it for a long time, they do it well, and they do it in quantity. How can people really expect a smaller company to put out anything as high quality, high performing and reliable for anywhere near the same price? Go and read the customer reviews for wheels on Mavic's own website. It's a disaster. Their hubs appear to be really lousy considering the money people pay for the wheels they are mounted to. Simple sealed bearings and some plastic bushings that often wear out after a few thousand miles? Seriously? And then you get stuff like White Industries or Phill Wood and, quite frankly, I don't even understand why they exist. I'm all about supporting small businesses, and I'm glad they do exist and employ people, but why on earth anyone is buying that stuff instead of Campagnolo is beyond me.

OK, I think I'm done. So can some people chime in and explain why they decided to forgo Campagnolo wheels for other options?
Take a look at what a spare spoke for a Campagnolo wheel costs. Hint, they must be made out of unicorn-horn and kitten tears.
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Old 03-31-20, 09:17 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
So Campy is great if I just accept that I need special bearings and weird lacing, and DONT need tubeless, aero, or wide beds?
Campy/Fulcrum bearings are no more special than other brands. Any cartridge bearings used have a standard model number and the caged balls are standard sizes. The front lacing is standard radial. The rear lacing makes the spoke tension on the left and right sides much more equal than standard lacing, where the drive side tension is much higher, than the non-drive side. Many models are tubeless compatible, but not all. 2-way fit means tubeless compatible. Fulcrum has tubeless rims starting with the racing 5 disc. Apparently the Zonda used to have a tubeless option, but now that starts at the higher level Shamal.

I see no one here posting aerodynamic comparisons that would show Campy wheels to be inferior, but if you have some, please post. I believe that the widest rims are 19mm internal, but most 17mm internal. Both will handle up to 28mm tires easily, which I believe is currently the widest that is commonly used for road racing. Fulcrum lists the 17mm internal width rims as compatible with 23 to 50mm tire width.

https://www.fulcrumwheels.com/en/whe...ls/racing-5-DB
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Old 03-31-20, 09:23 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
Many models are tubeless compatible, but not all. 2-way fit means tubeless compatible.
Campy seems to make a distinction (I think, their documentation is spotty) between 2-way fit and 2-way-fit-ready. According to them, 2-way-fit-ready is only compatible with a handful of Schwalbe tires:

Schwalbe G-One
Schwalbe G-One Speed
Schwalbe G-One Allround
Schwalbe G-One Bite
Schwalbe X-One Allround
Schwalbe X-One Speed
Schwalbe X-One Bite
Schwalbe Pro One
Schwalbe One RaceGuard
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Old 03-31-20, 10:18 AM
  #71  
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It's threads like this that make me happy to not run Campy.

It seems like people who run Shimano or SRAM just go ride their bikes, and when asked which system they prefer (rare), it's usually a "I've always used Shimano, so, that one" or "SRAM is just a better version of Shimano, so I Made the Leap ".

BUT, when a Campy guy gets asked why he prefers Campy it's like all reasoning goes out the window, and he can't FATHOM why ANYONE would EVER use ANYTHING but CAMPY,
la, this thread.

That's not a group I want to be in, regardless of how good the components might be.

Before I joined this forum I had Campy Chorus on my Bianchi and it would upshift on its own under higher pedal loads, then I shattered a chainring taking off from a stoplight. I limped (literally) to every shop in town and none of them carried any Campy parts, so I used it as an excuse to buy a bike equipped with the industry standard - Shimano. I swore off Campy before I even met the vehement user base, and the longer I'm around it, the more confident I am in my component choice.
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incorrect.
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Old 03-31-20, 10:30 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
It's threads like this that make me happy to not run Campy.
The target market seems to be middle-aged guys with more money than ability who like stuff because it's rare, not in spite of that. If I broke a chainring (not that I have enough power for that to ever happen IRL), I'd JRA on another bike until I got the replacement part. Not like I'd miss any races or anything.
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Old 03-31-20, 10:34 AM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Take a look at what a spare spoke for a Campagnolo wheel costs. Hint, they must be made out of unicorn-horn and kitten tears.
Spokes for Zonda wheels cost $4 each. I've only broken 1 spoke in the last 25 years, but to be safe, I got bought 3 sets of 4 spokes to get the front spokes, RH rear and LH rear. It won't break the bank.
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Old 03-31-20, 10:36 AM
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I’m not the one who brought up magic Campy bearings. And what I see at PBK is cheap, narrow OEM wheels and expensive narrow aero wheels. Being available for $330 is only remarkable if they’re special.
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Old 03-31-20, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
Spokes for Zonda wheels cost $4 each. I've only broken 1 spoke in the last 25 years, but to be safe, I got bought 3 sets of 4 spokes to get the front spokes, RH rear and LH rear. It won't break the bank.

Depends on what wheel you have, and the year. Had a mate with Fulcrum Racing 1s. Replacement spokes were only sold in 3-packs at $50 for the pack that only included one of each spoke.
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