Re: [CR]Campy handlebar shifter set up (long)

(Example: History)

Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 09:23:01 -0500
From: "Daniel Artley" <>
To: <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Campy handlebar shifter set up (long)

I concur with Steven with almost all of his post. I've been using the Campy bar ends for over 30 years on a bunch of bikes and derailleur combinations, much smoother than the Suntours set up as lightly as possible and still not slipping. I've stopped using grease in mine though years ago. I find that the lined housing works best for me, preferrably the hard plastic (Teflon?) liner. I use Triflow, usually in the small bottle dripped through the housing, which seems to last most of a season. It seems to me that the drip bottle has a higher concentration of teflon than the spray, although I've got a little fitting (from a New York bike show in the '70's) that allows me to pump the Teflon into the housing with a couple inches of slack cable. It works with the needle attachment to the spray can.

I have also shortened the bar by about an inch on those bars using barends. Keeps your knees from shifting when you're standing on the bike. Its a shame about all those narrower Cinelli bars I'm not using any more with the ends too short for other types of shifting. I also keep the number of bends in the casing down by exiting the casing below the brake levers so its just basically one bend to the cable stops. I get more positive shifting that way.

I've never grooved the bar or drilled the shifter body, but I do shave the coating of the housing for an inch or so on the side that goes against the bar.

Happy Trails,

Dan, Shiftey, Artley Parkton, Maryland

Hi Peter, I'll post this to the list for others also. There are undoubtedly other ways to do this, but this is mine: Shorten the bars 2cm. Use a rat tail file and groove the bottom of the bar to hold the cable and allow it to center on the control (the groove should be 1.5 to 2" long, deeper toward the control, shallower toward the bend). Drill out the hole that the cable goes through (on the body) and hourglass shape the hole. The reason you want a larger hole is so when you regrease it later, you can get more grease through to the cable housing. These two combined steps, eliminate wear on the cable where it goes through the body. If you skip this, the cables may break there, or at least lose a few strands, and that pretty much gums up the works and requires recabling. Get your outer housing length right. Tape the housing (Campagnolo stainless please) to the bare bars (with the leverless bodies installed on the bars). I go all the way up the bend to the bulge or ferule, depending on the make of bars. Place the cable so it becomes part of your grip under your fingers. Make sure you can turn the bars lock to lock. After getting the length right, you CAN untape the housings, finish installing the levers and cables into the bodies and then put the housings back on, greasing the heck out of them and then retape the housings to the bars. The first time you do the installation you can do this. Once the bars are fully taped, you won't want to. Use a lot of grease when assembling the lever and washers into the body. This holds the washers in place so you don't lose the "timing" when you insert the long keyed screw holder. It also allows you to adjust enough tension into the assembly so they hold well, but still move easily. For the first few rides, take along your Campy T wrench and a short screw driver (I use a swiss army knife), to fine adjust the friction for the levers. This is important, I've done a lot of these and it's not likely you'll get it right in the stand. If you do, that's great, but it's pretty easy to get it right stopping a few times on a ride. You want to work from a tad loose (this means it seems to hold, but slips a little over time) to just tight enough that it won't slip. Any tighter and you lose shifting performance. It's best to use braided cables. Suntour or Shimano cables will work, but you have to file the cable end as it's bigger than the Campys. After they are clamped, braided cables fly apart past the clamp point when you cut them. I like to solder them rather than use the little crimp on deals. Also! keep the derailleur itself lubricated (all pivots and spring contact points) with the smallest drop of lube you can manage. Lube the bb cable guides, and if you aren't using the bike, let the tension out of the derailleur springs while it's parked, between rides. They keep their strength longer that way. I periodically change springs, and it DOES make a difference. If you are using a Campy front derailleur, unclip the spring, remove the cage/arms assembly and grease the posts, then reassemble. Yes, with these controls you do have more cable and potentially a LOT more friction. If you use enough of the right grease, this is completely minimized. It's hard to use too much grease, it's better to be wiping it off after assembly. If you ever need to change cables, you'll be really glad you made those little grease wiping holes in the bodies larger. If I had a grease injector, I'd fill the housings entirely, and hold a finger over the open end to keep as much grease in there as possible while I fed the new cable through the body into the housing. Lacking that, I get as much grease as I can and work it into the new braided cable, leave a healthy smear on the cable and get as much through the enlarged hole as possible. So that's all, nothing to it!
Stevan Thomas
Alameda, CA