Feeling Shifty – Bike Snob NYC


No matter you consider Campagnolo, for a few years their parts had been undeniably elegant:

Their skewers had horny cutouts in them, and it’s stated the radius of the curve was modeled upon the style during which one would cup one’s hand when ingesting from a crystalline stream:

Their grease port clips made it seem like their hubs had been sporting jewellery, and so they included this element nicely into the twenty first century, regardless that no one lubed their hubs this manner anymore and virtually each different firm had moved on to tacky skateboard wheel bearings:

I don’t know if that hidden fifth spider arm on the crank truly did something, however it was a stroke of genius, as a result of after you noticed it each different crank (together with their very own inexpensive ones) appeared ugly and lame as compared:

Even their emblem is iconic, which is why so many individuals get tattoos of it, a lot to the delight of the Campagnolo advertising division:

I’ve completely no concept what physique half that it, however it does seem as if the wearer could have acquired it in jail.

To be truthful, there are individuals who get Shimano tattoos:

Although it’s not till you see a Hollowtech II crank rendered on human pores and skin that you just notice how disconcertingly phallic it its.

Talking of which, the place’s this one going?

That’s simply bizarre.

Right here’s one other tattoo that presumably exhibits the implications of not utilizing that particular Shimano becoming a member of pin appropriately:

Maybe the wearer ought to go on a type of tattoo cover-up footwear and have it transformed to a 1x setup.

Anyway, I point out this solely as a result of I used to be poking round on the Campagnolo web site just lately, which jogged my memory as soon as once more that the times of the bicycle element as an object of magnificence are past over. Take into account this for examplle:

I don’t suppose we’ll be seeing any tattoos of that.

Couldn’t they not less than have made it seem like a Delta brake?

As for why I used to be poking round on the Campagnolo web site, it’s as a result of I’ve been driving and obsessing over the newly-refinished Milwaukee ever since I acquired it again from Ben’s Cycle:

And I’ve been pondering rather a lot about shifting:

No, I’m not enthusiastic about getting a elaborate new Campagnolo group or something like that. Nonetheless, as an getting old Fred I do prefer to examine in from time to time and see what the present state of affairs is veeza vee [assistant–fix that] efficiency street bike components. So far as I can inform, of the Large Three, Campagnolo is the one firm that also presents any sort of mechanical shifting on the excessive finish. (Although there appears to be hypothesis that perhaps Shimano will hold 105 mechanical going for only a bit longer.) Nonetheless, I don’t see any extra rim brakes on their web site in any respect, nor do I see something beneath the Refrain stage. Presumably this implies they’ve given up on OEM street stuff, although I do imagine there are a good quantity of full bikes that include their Ekar gravel stuff. Entry-level gravel bikes are most likely the brand new entry-level street bikes, so perhaps mechanical shifting will stay on a bit of longer there what with Ekar and Shimano GRX. (As for SRAM, they provide me the douche-chills and I can’t carry myself to take a look at their web site. They hate entrance derailleurs, they’re making an attempt to reinvent rear derailleurs, and a typical SRAM bike wants like seventeen batteries simply to be useful. I don’t get it, and I don’t wanna get it.)

However sure, shifting. As I discussed, I’d been that means to go “traditional” with the Milwaukee and match it with downtube friction shifters. Nonetheless, I used to be in a rush to journey it, and so I put the unique components again on it, together with the 105 shifters that got here with the bike:

I occur to love these shifters rather a lot. My favourite factor about them by far is the form, although in addition they work nicely and the truth that they’re silver is a bonus. Should you look them up on the Web, there are many individuals who say they destroy shifter cables. I’m not calling them liars, however I’ve had these for eight years; I’ve modified the cables solely as soon as, I’ve by no means modified the housing, and I’ve by no means had an issue Sure, now that I’ve stated that I’m positive the cable will snap in the course of my subsequent journey, and I’m positive somebody will share their very own horror story within the feedback. However whether or not it’s bikes or anything it truly is wonderful what number of “issues” solely appear to exist on-line.

Hey, look, as a born-again friction fan I’d love to have the ability to impugn a set of built-in shifters. However I’ve ridden this bike rather a lot, and for awhile it was even my devoted shitty climate bike as a result of it takes full fenders:

Throughout that point I managed to put on the chainrings right down to the purpose the place they began skipping underneath load, which is one thing I’d by no means even executed earlier than–cassettes sure, however by no means chainrings. (That’s why there’s a distinct crank on the bike now; I didn’t have any spare chainrings in that measurement, however I did occur to have one other crank.) I additionally unwittingly cracked this highly-regarded boutique hub throughout that point, although that might have been because of my very own shitty wheelbuilding:

In addition to that I’ve crashed the bike, I’m positive my son dropped it greater than as soon as throughout his time with it, I’ve gone by varied chains and different consumables, and naturally have had loads of shifting points associated to gunk and drivetrain put on and neglect. However none of those points ever had something to do with the shifters themselves, which haven’t solely been boringly dependable but in addition really feel fairly good within the hand.

So whereas I’d been planning to place downtube shifters on there, as soon as I acquired the bike collectively and rode it, I needed to admit to myself it felt unbelievable simply because it was. I nonetheless beloved the thought of a “fashionable traditional”–metal body, fancy shade, newish components, friction shifting…. However was it actually definitely worth the effort once I was already having fun with it a lot? Plus, other than the Milwaukee, because of the brainwashings of Grant Petersen each single one among my bikes now sports activities friction shifters, except for my singlespeed mountain bike, which doesn’t settle for shifters in any respect. Given this, wouldn’t disassembling and reassembling the cockpit of the Milwaukee at this level principally simply quantity to pointless surgical procedure?

Nonetheless, I couldn’t get the thought out of my thoughts. A quick built-in shifter feels nice…however so does a pleasant friction shifter paired with fashionable ramped drivetrain parts. It’s addictively easy, like slathering a sandwich with mayo. After which there have been the wheels I used to be utilizing:

As I discussed, I’m utilizing Campagnolo 10-speed wheels. They work simply wonderful with the Shimano shifters. Higher than wonderful. However they don’t work completely. Like from time to time it is advisable use a bit of additional finesse. There are most likely loads of folks driving round on all-Shimano or all-Campy bikes whose bikes shift rather a lot worse. In truth lots of people would most likely journey this bike and don’t know the components had been mismatched. However nonetheless, it could possibly be higher. I’d give it a B+.

In fact I might use a Shimano wheel, however the easy reality is these are the wheels I wanna use on this bike proper now. Additionally, now that so lots of my bikes have friction shifting I’ve form of grow to be hooked on the compatibility. Sure, I might put a Shimano 10-speed wheel on this bike and the shifting would most likely go to an A+. However I might additionally friction-ify it and go from Campagnolo 10-speed to Shimano 9-speed to no matter else I’ve laying round and have all of it work completely with nothing greater than a bit of restrict screw fiddling, if that. It’s fairly liberating to buy cassettes with out caring what number of cogs they’ve. Positive, I’ve been having fun with the velocity and comfort of the built-in shifters, however my racing days are behind me, and I believe I’ll have reached the purpose in my life the place I don’t actually care the place on the bike the shifters are situated anymore and I prioritize boneheaded simplicity above all else. Plus, it’s enjoyable to tinker.

“Fuck it,” I assumed as I neared dwelling. “I’m gonna do it.”

So I set myself up for a stunning Sunday afternoon of motorbike puttering. I retrieved the shifters I’d been saving only for this, in addition to all the mandatory cables and housings and even some fancy ferrules:

To not make this all about seems, however I knew the shiny shifters would look nice alongside that sparkly metal tubing:

I even had some recent bar tape Paul from Traditional Cycle had despatched me awhile again:

No matter you say, field:

Holding it subsequent to the bike, I made a decision the colours would go collectively nicely sufficient:

Happy I had all the pieces I wanted, I subsequent went to take away the brake levers I used to be going to make use of from the outdated bar they had been on after which…the hoods tore as if they had been product of ham:

A lot for that.

Guess I’ll benefit from the built-in shifting for not less than a short time longer.