Custom Bike - 6~8 weeks
Bike Repair - 1 week
"Why do my shifters say 10 speed, but there's only 9 gears on the back?"
On some of our touring bikes and tandems we use 10 speed Campagnolo shifters with a 9 speed SRAM or Shimano cassette in the back. We're not the only high-end manufacturer that does this, but we are probably the biggest.
Sometimes, a customer notices this difference themselves. Usually, the question comes after the customer has owned the bike a while (sometimes years), and the cables need some adjusting. When the bike is taken to a shop that is not familiar with compatibility between different components (unless it's specifically listed in the manufacturer specifications) they often mis-diagnose a simple cable adjustment issue as a component compatibility issue. Often, they will say something like "they put the wrong cassette on your bike"....or "they put the wrong shifters on your bike". Then they may try to suggest to remedy the issue in the most difficult (ie. expensive) way. This is a good time to have them give me a call so I can fill them in on compatibility and why we set our bicycles up the way we do.
Note: It's always amazing to me that a mechanic would not deduce that the bike has obviously been working fine for quite some time with the components it has on it, so why not try an adjustment first?
The Campagnolo 10-speed shifters are compatible with Shimano and SRAM spaced 9-speed cog sets, even though the manufacturers tell you that you have to have everything the same brand (Gee, I wonder why they'd say that? ;-). Anyway, as it goes, this combination works very well, and really opens up your options for hub choices as well as gearing choices. I could get really technical and delve into all sorts of minutia here, but I'm being waved off of the diatribe route and redirected to the path of relevant information.
Maybe you would like to know why we go through the trouble to set up our touring bikes and tandems this way, and how it benefits you?
Some ask "why not just use a 10-sp chain and cassette with the 10-sp shifters"? There are a couple of benefits to sticking with 9:
2.) Less maintenance:
3.) Lower maintenance costs:
So, when someone says "they put the wrong XXXX on your bike" or "those shifters won't work with that cogset" you can just tell them "shhhhhh......don't let my shifters know that"