Having been reminded of the stiffness, the nice tactile feedback and the sweet way the NR components "worn in" as you used them for a while, I find I have to agree pretty much entirely with the points Stevan Thomas made in his last response to me. I recall how the japanese rear derailers seemed to sort of "squirt" across the cogs, unlike the solid "chonk-chonk" of a NR rear, and how that was a bit disappointing to me.
I have no real opinion about the steel springs "going weak", though it sure would seem that not exceeding the metal's fatigue limit would make for an eternal constant steel spring, at least in principle. I can certainly accept that the Campy bar-ends I and several friends used to use were not as well set up as they could have been, maybe. We sure tried, though...
When I used Campy front shifters they were with Campy 53/48 or 53/42 cranks and rings and they worked pretty nicely as a system. Its just that I needed lower gearing to climb Mt Mitchell from Asheville, etc, for those Saturday rides with friends and a picnic by the spring. So, I used a 30-tooth rear cog and SunTour in the rear, since getting a Campy system to accept that type of range was very difficult (not designed for it). "Corncobs" of 14-15-16-17-19 were cool, but realtively impractical for the cycling I enjoyed in those days. With a 53/39 I can ride a 12 - 25 and not use the 25 much at all, these days. I don't use the 12 much either, come to think of it ! Maybe I should revert to 6-speed freewheels in 13 - 23 ? :-)
Thanks Steve for jogging my memories !
Glenn Jordan - Durham, NC