I’ve been riding Campy Ergo 10 Speed since 2000, and I just love that gruppo. We’ve had some great sponsorship from Shimano and SRAM on Team Mack, but shifting preferences are more important than saving a little money. And, when I started racing cyclocross I decided to do it on the cheap, and bought a Centaur gruppo for the Old Blue Gunnar. It was awesome!! I probably put 20,000 miles on that bike with three full race seasons and some seriously crazy mountain- biking-on-cross-bike training rides. The right shifter was toast after this season, and I noticed a shiny new set of Centaur Carbon Shifters on sale at an on line outlet. Notably, the place also had the old centaur levers on blowout for practically free. But, I thought, “Wow. Don’t those look just like Record! I bet those are just like the 2003 record levers on my race bike.” After all, the Centaur I had on Old Blue were pretty much just like the 2000 Chorus levers I had on my Pegoretti. So, it must be like that, Right?
WRONG!!!! The new Centaur shifters suck!!! The shift buttons are smaller and feel cheapy (like that Shimano Tiagra or whatever that tried to mimic Campy). Shifting action is noticeably less precise on both shifters. AND YOU CAN’T DUMP THE CASSETTE!!! On top of looking better, having more ergonomic hoods, costing less (Record is the same price as Dura Ace, if not cheaper), and performing better in general, MUCH of the appeal of Campy has always been the ability to go from the 25 cog to the 12 in one fell swoop, if the situation was called for. Not with the new Centaur. No, you have to keep clicking that button ten times, like you’re jerking a bunny rabbit or something.
I could have saved $ and gotten a better set of shifters by buying the old model. Supposedly, Chorus and Record remain the same.