Too many speeds

Too many speeds

I have a bike with Campagnolo 10-speed transmission on Khamsin wheels, but am experiencing very short chain life. Is there any way of changing to 7-speed without a new back wheel or freehub body? Campagnolo don’t make components less than 10-speed!

Colum Quinn

Some people (actually, one person on the Cycling UK Forum) report excellent longevity from Campagnolo 10-speed chain. This person, however, achieves that by cleaning their chain more often and thoroughly than most people would want to even if they had the time! So I think the general observation that 10-speed equipment wears out faster and costs more to keep on the road (than is sensible for everyday transport) holds true. So I sympathise with your wish to simplify to 7-speed. But I wouldn’t go that far: 8-speed uses the same type of chain and will be easier to source quality parts for.

Unless you have suitable old 7- or 8-speed mechs and shifters, in good condition, this won’t be a cheap exercise and will take a long time to pay for itself in less pricy chains. And unless you have old Campagnolo mechs and shifters, you had better switch to Shimano, because Campag haven’t made anything 8-speed for ages. But here’s a thing: your Campag 10-speed right-hand shifter and a Shimano 8-speed shifter both pull exactly the same amount of cable with each click. Swap the Campag rear mech for any decent 8 or 9-speed Shimano mech and fit a Shimano 8-speed cassette and you’re all set. It should also be possible to fit a replacement Shimano HG-compatible freewheel body into a Khamsin freehub (provided it’s pre-2014), but this part is (a) hard to find and (b) likely to cost more than two 10-speed chains.

Alternatively, you could switch to 9-speed and stick with Campagnolo. Campagnolo have pulled the plug on 9-speed too, but you can still get 9-speed Campag cassettes, which will fit your hub just as well as 10-speed. Your existing rear mech and shifters will probably do, once the indexing cam in the right-hand shifter has been replaced with the different part for 9-speed. This is a tricky operation, best performed by a Campag specialist such as Mercian Cycles in Derby. A simplification to 9-speed still provides access to cheaper chains.

Chris Juden

 

This was first published in the April / May 2015 edition of Cycling UK's Cycle magazine.

Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Cycling UK continues to support the UK to cycle
This remains true during this difficult period with the ongoing threat of coronavirus Covid-19
Join Cycling UK to help us change lives and communities through cycling
Join Cycling UK to help us change lives and communities through cycling
Membership gives you peace of mind insurance, discounts in cycle shops, rides & routes