[ Home ]     [ 1st Visit ]     [ Tandem Display ]    [ Accessories ]    [ Parts ]    [ Close-Outs ]    [ Ordering Info ]    [ About Us ]    [ Links ]    

Page 1
A Summary Of The
Methods Used For
Mixing Campy Levers
With Shimano Hubs
Ver 1.3**
**A special thanks to Mark Livingood and Mark Johnson for helping me with this summary

Page 2
Page 2
So you want to use Campy levers on
your Shimano bike?
I recently converted my commuter bike from XT levers to Campy Ergo shifters. I did the
conversion myself after researching options to mixing the two brands of components. I am assuming
that you like Campy Ergo levers and want to use them to shift your road bike. If you don't like
Campy Ergo levers, this summary is not for you. Here are some of the advantages that I found in
mixing the two brands
1. Campy levers are more reliable for me and can be repaired if needed. If a Shimano STI lever
fails, you throw it away. Sorry, I've had too much trouble with Ulterga STI on a Cannondale
tandem. In an 18 month period, we went through five levers. Three on the right and two on the
left. Lance might ride'em, but he's not paying for mine!
2. Shimano makes some great hubs for use in all weather terrain. Shimano compatible hubs are
readily available from premier hub builders like Phil Wood, Chris King, Hadley and White
3. Shimano and Shimano compatible cassettes from SRAM and others are of excellent quality, very
durable, and offer the widest/lowest gear range options. Even with a Campy triple, I wanted to
have lower gears options that are currently not available using Campy's stock cassettes.
4. I was already accustomed to using the Ergo levers. I liked the hoods and feel of the clicks.
5. Campy doesn't make hubs that are designed for tandems. You can buy Campy compatible hubs,
but you still face the gear range limitations already mentioned. So, if you would like Campy
shifting on your tandem, you will need to mix the two brands. I also own a daVinci road tandem
that uses Campy levers and a Shimano rear cassette.
6. If you want integrated shifting and braking and also want nearly as much flexibility in trimming
your front derailleur as you get with a barcon control, you can get that with a Campy Ergo lever.
Finding out how to combine the two brands was interesting. The information was out there,
but it took some looking. What I wrote here was not pioneered by me. I spent some time finding out
what other riders and mechanics did in the past and put the information in one easy to read place. I
thought that this was a topic that needed a summary. The summary uses hyperlink text so that you
can also follow any link, the text in blue print, by click on it. Make sure you are first connected to
the internet before clicking. Clicking on the link will open a window in your internet browser or
email program. Where a technique was specifically discussed or developed by someone, I tried to
list their email and web address.
I found five ways to mix Campy Ergo levers with Shimano rear hubs:
1. Use a Campy Racing Triple, aka, Racing T, or Record Triple rear derailleur with Campy Ergo 9
speed levers and a Shimano 8 speed cassette -what da Vinci designs does on their tandems.
2. Use a VeloParts Inc, aka Shimagnolo, adapter-what I used for my conversion-with Campy
Ergo 9 or 10 speed levers, a Shimano rear derailleur (e.g, XT, XTR), and a Shimano 8 or 9
speed cassette.
3. Use a Wheels Manufacturing Accelerator cassette with Campy Ergo 9 speed levers and a

Page 3
Page 3
Campy Racing T or Record Triple rear derailleur.
4. Use a Shimano rear derailleur, 8 or 9 speed Shimano cassette, and follow Brian Jenks tips on
re-routing the rear derailleur cable.
5. Use Campy Ergo 9 speed levers and a Campy Racing T or Record Triple rear derailleur and a
Shimano 9 speed cassette.
Use a Campy Racing Triple, aka, Racing T, or Record Triple
rear derailleur with Campy Ergo 9 speed levers and a Shimano
8 speed cassette
This setup I have on my da Vinci road tandem. It involved using 9 speed Campy Chorus levers
and rear derailleur with a Shimano 8 speed rear cassette. The 9th shifting detent or "click" in the
Ergo lever isn't used. You set the cable travel up so that the extra click appears either at high-end
gear of the shifting range (the smallest cog in the rear cassette) or the low-end gear of the shifting
range (the largest cog in the rear cassette). To use this method, make sure that you have the limit
screw on the rear derailleur set properly so that the chain stops moving on the 8th click. If you don't
do this last step, the chain comes off the top into the spokes or off the bottom and jams between the
small cog and the frame--not a pretty sight. The ninth click isn't used.
Below are some pictures of the Campy derailleur. I don't think that there is anything special
about the cable routing. Since the parts for this conversion are not unique, you can buy them wher-
ever you normally trade for your bike parts. Cost of Campy Racing T derailleur are about $100.
Campy long cage derailleur. This is the 9 speed racing T derailleur used with an 8 speed Shimano cassette. The
levers are 9 speed Campy Chorus

Page 4
Page 4
Use a VeloParts Inc., aka Shimagnolo, adapter
I used this adapter to do my conversion. The adapter was designed to work with 9 or 10 speed
Campy levers, XT and XTR rear derailleurs, and 9 speed Shimano cassettes. What I liked about the
conversion was that I didn't have to buy a new derailleur. The system worked by adding a special
machined adapter to the derailleur cable mount housing and pinch bolt. Like the first method I
described, you end up with an extra lever click when your are done. Installation instructions were
very good and the product worked great!
How does it work? Perfectly. Contrary to popular belief, the changes have nothing to do with
the amount of cable pull. Brian Jenk's described it on the T&H mailing list..
Although the derailleur appears to be a fairly complex mechanism it is
really a simple parallelogram. By changing the cable-contact points (on that
parallelogram) you also change the derailleur's movement in response to cable
Although Brian was describing his alternate cable routing method described below, the prin-
ciples were the same for the VeloParts Inc. adapter. I first learned about this method by following a
thread on the tandem at hobbes mailing list. 
This is a subscription based free daily newsgroup. Glenn Erickson offers this adapter on his
tandems when customers prefer Campy Ergo shifters but also want the wide shifting range afforded
by the Shimano XT & XTR rear derailleurs. Glenn's tandem business, Erickson Cycles, doesn't have
a web site, but here is a link to an unofficial "enthusiasts" site:
, The person who makes these for Glen is Leroy Kopel. He can be emailed
, and also reached by phone at:1-480-839-
3787. When I called, I left a message and he called back in a few hours. He accepted paypal and
shipped the next day. Cost was $40 including shipping. Several other tandem dealers & bike shops
are now carrying the VeloParts Inc. adapter.
On the left, a standard XT derailleur. On the right, the XT Derailleur with the VeloParts Inc. adapter installed

Page 5
Page 5
Use a Wheels Manufacturing Accelerator cassette with Campy
Ergo 9 speed levers and a Campy Racing T or Record Triple
rear derailleur
The fine folks at Wheel Manufacturing. make a number of special-
ity products. Their accelerator cassettes begin life as stock Shimano Ultegra or DuraAce cassettes
that they disassemble, re-space, and remanufacture to match Campagnolo's shifting pattern. They
retain the Shimano spline pattern and can be used on any Shimano or Shimano compatible hubs.
They are 100% compatible with Campy shifters and derailleurs. Best results are obtained using
Campy levers and derailleurs. Wheels Mfg does not deal directly with the public, but you can buy
them through any good local bike shop and many of the on-line and catalog sales merchants. The
cassettes range between $100-170 depending on which model you choose Ultegra or DuraAce.
Just another angle of the
VeloParts Inc. adapter. I
used Daytona 10 speed
levers and a 9 speed
Shimano cassette. The
derailleur was a 9 speed XT.

Page 6
Page 6
Use a Shimano rear derailleur, 8 or 9 speed Shimano cassette,
and follow Brian Jenks tips on re-routing the rear derailleur

Brian Jenks wrote  this up and you can read the original by visiting his web

It is well illustrated and discussed. I pulled
the information for this summary directly from his site. Brian Writes:
How did we do it? Because of the wide-range-gearing requirements of our
tandems we use a Shimano 9-speed rear derailleur (XT-SGS) and a Shimano-compat-
ible 9-speed cassette (11-32 or 11-34). Other large-capacity derailleurs may be avail-
able but nine speeds allow for a smaller "step" inside that wide range. Campagnolo
10-speed Ergopower Shift/Brake levers (the right or rear shifter MUST have the 10-
speed "ratchet ring" a 9-speed ring will not work,) and a Campagnolo "triple"
front derailleur are also necessary. So far we have used RaceFace Tandem (54-44-32)
and Shimano Ultegra Triple (52-42-30) cranksets, but any properly set up 9-speed
crankset should work. The final elements are, of course, a 9-speed compatible chain
and well-lubricated high quality cables.
The actual setup and adjustment of the system is identical to any other except the
pinch-bolt on the rear derailleur, which holds the wire fast, should have a "hooked
washer" between the head of the bolt and extension from the parallelogram. Nor-
mally, when using a Shimano shift-lever, the "hook" faces rearward and the "tab",
which clamps the cable, points inward toward the rear wheel. The wire rests in the
small groove in the body of the derailleur and points forward (see fig. A).
Figure A

Page 7
Page 7
When using Campagnolo 10-speed Ergo-levers, however, the "hooked washer"
must be turned 90 degrees so that the "hook" is facing the rear wheel and the "tab"
is pointing directly forward. The wire is then wrapped tightly AROUND the "hook"
and clamped beneath the "tab" so that the wire points outward away from the bike.
The wire should then be running perpendicular across the small groove in the body of
the derailleur (see fig. B).
This Shimano Ultegra 9-speed rear derailleur is shown
with the wire routed in its normal fashion - for use with
a Shimano 9-speed shift-lever. The wire is clamped
into its corresponding groove beneath the washer's tab.
The same Ultegra 9-speed derailleur is shown with the
wire routed for use with Campagnolo Ergopower (10-
speed) shift-controls. The "hooked washer" is pivoted 90
degrees so that the wire wraps around the "hook", runs
across the groove, and is clamped beneath the tab.
Figure B
Wrapping the wire around the "hook" may not be as easy as simply running it
through the groove but it is necessary to making this combination work. I would also
recommend adjusting the cable such that the extra "click" in the control occurs after
the lowest gear rather than before the highest. This allows you to adjust the de-
railleurs lower-limit screw so that the 10
gear position is "locked out" and the 10-
speed control becomes, in effect, a 9-speed control.
Brian's method is the least expensive of the four if you already have an all Shimano bike to

Page 8
Page 8
start with. He also went into a lot of detail in a posting (T@H) that discussed
how the technique was discovered and refined that you can read in the archives:
Use Campy Ergo 9 speed levers and a Campy Racing T or
Record Triple rear derailleur and a Shimano 9 speed cassette.
This technique is very similar to the first one that I outlined on our da Vinci tandem, except that
it allows you to use a Campy 9 speed Ergo shifter and Campy rear derailleur with a 9 speed (instead
of 8 speed) Shimano cassette. Mark Livingood from Thetandemlink . com helped me with this section.
According to Mark, they're running two tandems with Campy Ergo 9 shifters, either a Racing T
or Record Long Cage Triple rear derailleur and Shimano 11x27t cassettes. Mark and others have
found that the Campy 9/Shimano 9 combinations all seem to shift quite crisply and run without chain
chatter. So, even though they'll acknowledge that it's not supposed to work, in practice these set-ups
work just great on the tandems and singles. It should be noted, getting the shifting "dialed-in" takes
a careful touch since the derailleur and cog alignment needs to be "spot-on". Because of this need
for extra attention to detail not everyone has enjoyed success with this particular set-up. Mark
Livingood sent me the picture below showing Campy Chorus, Shimano Ultegra & Wheels Manufac-
turing 11x23t cassettes sitting side-by-side to illustrate how different the spacing is between the
Shimano and Campy cassettes.
As you can see, the Shimano Ultegra cassette has an overall stack height (or width) that's a few
mm shorter than the Campy.
I also talked with Mark Johnson
Precision Tandems (http://
about the topic. Here were his comments:
I have never used a 9sp Campy lever with a Shimano cassette but have heard it
works. There would be little error for cable slop, maladjustment nor gritty less than
par cable operation for it to work though. Here is why, 9sp Shimano has a cog spac-
ing from center to center of 4.34mm while 9sp Campy is 4.55 or a .21mm difference.
With 9sp there are a total of 8 positions to move the chain past the first one that is
aligned perfectly, at least in theory. 8 x .21 = 1.68mm one would be off by the end of
Campy Chorus 9 speed
Shimano Ultegra 9 speed
Wheels Accelerator 9

Page 9
Page 9
the cassette. Splitting the difference would mean that the chain would be mis-aligned
with the further most outboard and inboard cog by only .84mm.
By the same token 10sp Campy spacing is 4.12mm compared to 9sp Shimano at
4.34mm or .22mm difference.
Remember the days of 8sp when everyone was buying spacing kits to convert
Shimano cassettes to proper spacing for Ergo levers? The difference then was only
.25mm with 7 positions to change from an aligned one or 1.75mm by the end of the
cassette or if perfect alignment was attained in the middle cog then it would be off by
only .875mm at each end of the cassette. I find it strange that this was unacceptable
for the very forgiving nature of 8sp (as compared to 9 or 10) and that everyone was
advocating respacing of the cogs to get back to Campy specs but now all of the
sudden it is supposed to work with a much narrower chain. Hmmm.... I am sure it
works but it has to be a bit finicky.
After the first draft, I received many favorable emails asking me to include this method in the
next revision. You asked for it and here it is! I was hesitant to talk about this method in the original
draft. I didn't have any experience using it and I was not comfortable talking about. Luckily Mark
Livingood and Mark Johnson were able to help me put it together for you. Having said that, I think
that this method may be used often. The method should be appealing to someone getting ready to
buy a build up a new bike. One of the reasons for varying success may be that some mechanics lack
the skills or/and patience needed to set the derailleur precisely. In my case, the VeloParts adapter
was appealing because Leroy guaranteed that it was easy to install and would work perfectly. I also
already had the cassette and derailleur. The trade off was that it cost me $40.00
Summary Comments
I won't be buying Shimano STI levers again. They were too expensive to throw away after a
few months of use and it took me too much time to change them. I don't care if they are under
warranty or not! The usual disclaimer: "Your mileage with Shimano levers may vary."
With the first version of this summary, the most common question I received was: "Can't I just
stick a Campy cassette on my Shimano hubs?" I thought the question was very odd at first, but I
think that the question resulted from attempts to understand posts on different newsgroups where
riders were talking about this topic. This summary should help to clear up the question. The ques-
tion was so frequent, that at one point I began to wonder if I knew anything about the topic! Finally,
I emailed Mark Johnson, and he reassured me that I was correct. I am only addressing it here be-
cause I want readers preparing to do this conversion to have a definite answer. So for the record,
can't just stick a Campy cassette on to a Shimano hub!
They don't fit! I liked Mark's response
to the question:
Campy (cassette) is so different from Shimano (cassette) in the spline pattern
and in the spacer diameter (Campy = 35.4, Shimano = 33.6) that it seems very far
fetched that one would slide onto another's freehub body, otherwise Phil,
Chris King and White Ind would not make different bodies. But having
said that I can honestly say I never actually tried to mate one to the
other nor have I tried to put a Ford transmission in a Chevy!

Page 10
Page 10
The second most often asked question was: "What speed chain should I use?" In general,
you should match the chain to the cassette. For example, if the cassette is 9 speed, you should use a 9
speed chain.
I hope you found the summary helpful. I learned a lot by putting the summary together. The
method you use will largely be determined by the parts you already own and the skills you need to do
the job. Drop me an email if you have questions or corrections. I will try to keep the summary
current. I will be adding more information to my bike web site, but the link below should get you
Stop back from time to time to check for updates. I may add a FAQ, frequently asked
question, section to the end of the summary.
Louis Du Brey
Klamath Falls, OR