View Full Version : Sponser questions and what is the deal????

Dave B
08-03-2007, 09:47 AM
I am trying to word this as to not start a riot, so please begrudge me some latitude here.

I personally have switched from Shimano DA to Campy Chorus. I am not by any means saying one is better. I like Campy for me...me only.

So here is my question. With all of the "new" models coming out from the big companies (Trek, Giant, Cannondale, etc.) Why do less and less companies use Campy? Does shimano simply pay more or give better deals for OEM stuff?

I guess the breaking point for me is the new Madone. I know everyone here has their own opinion on it as it has been discussed to a point of silliness. But you know as it just won the tour, Trek is going to sell loads of them.

Yet "Right now we do not offer" anything but Shimano. You will have to buy a separate kit to use Campy.

I know we can debate which components are better until we are blue in the face, but why such a lack of OEM Campy stuff?

If it is just money..ie deals for OEM, doesn't it make sense that Campy would try to be more competitive to get their products out there.

Discuss......with out getting into a Campy vs. Shimano and who is better. That is not what I meant to ask.

08-03-2007, 09:59 AM
Maybe the Euro exchange rate? Just a guess, but that may have something to do with it.

08-03-2007, 10:22 AM
Or marketing price points...

Maybe because the Campy groups are so much costlier and Trek wanted to keep the price points lower (just a guess).

Has Trek ever equipped its road models with Campy? Maybe they dont have a relationship with the Campy distributor...Or,they have such a great relationship with Shimano that they dont even bother looking into equipping their bikes with Campy (for profit margin reasons)...

Maybe Grant or one of the other bike shop "guys" would have better insight than someone like me...

Maybe give Trek customer service a call and see what they have to say about it...

Good luck!


Grant McLean
08-03-2007, 11:06 AM
Here are some thoughts. For mainstream brands like the big boys,
basically, it comes down to decisions made by the brand product managers.
If the product mangers don't have the confidence that a model with Campagnolo
parts will sell, they won't spec the parts. They have to balance a lot of
factors when making these choices. Price, currency exchange, delivery times,
consumer and retailer feedback and support. A number of things are against
Campagnolo in this respect.

Shimano seems to give big volume price discounts to the major bike players.
Campagnolo doesn't seem to have the same flexibilty in this respect.
For example, the difference between a Record group and a Dura Ace group
from a parts wholesaler is not that much, maybe $100-200 premium for
the Campagnolo. But when Cannondale offers a Record bike, it's often $1000
more expensive than the same bike with Dura Ace. What's up with that?
Obviously Cannondale is buying Dura Ace at a really good volume discount.

A big part of what Product managers do is listen to their customers, who for the
big brands, are the bikeshops who purchase their products. So the Brands
are really in the position of giving the shop owners & buyers what they ask for.
Many shop owners do not like to have to stock Campagnolo parts, in addition
to all the skus of shimano. (and i don't even mean all the small parts)

Very few mainstream consumers have even heard of Campagnolo, or if they
have, associate it with something from 30 years ago.
As a longtime retailer, I understand their fear of choosing Campagnolo components.
There is a risk associated with doing something 'different', and it is perceived
that there is very little upside of risking on Campagnolo. The shimano equipped
models always sell. Mainstream brands like Cannondale, Trek, Specialized,
Giant sell bikes to a customer that not looking to be 'different'.

Just like 95% of the computer customers buy a windows operating system,
almost everyone is paralysed by fear of chosing the wrong thing. Many people
who have never even used an Apple computer don't even give it any real
consideration when they go to guy a new machine. Many people feel Apple
computers are far superior to windoze, but the near monopoly of Mircorsoft

On "custom" bikes, built from a frame and custom parts kit, Campagnolo has made
major inroads. This makes sense to me. Take a guy to walks in to a shop to
buy a Cervelo R3. You can buy a dura ace complete bike, or a frameset
and built it however you want. In our shop, a very high percentage of people
who choose to buy a frame, also choose Campagnolo. If you want your bike
built exactly how you want, these customers seem very interested in hearing
about what Campagnolo has to offer. Those who really don't care, they just
buy a complete shimano equipped bike, which ends up costing less, due to
the OEM discount price structure.

With more players like Sram and FSA entering the market, it becomes less of
a monopoly situation for Shimano. Choice is good, but the market already
has a multitude of variations already.. compact, double, triple etc...
and as a shop, it's really hard to find consensus what products your customers
actually want to buy from you. That's what makes it so hard to find a dealer
that stocks what you need, there's just so many choices. It also creates
a situation where the dealers actually want to take control, and directly
influence the customers choices by what their shop chooses to stock,
since it's impossible to carry it all.

The most exciting Campagnolo products are in the high end of their line,
and the big brands do most of their volume in the low and middle. So really,
it's just a situation of the big guys focusing on the core of their business,
and not wanting to take risks without greater rewards.

Man, I need a real job!


08-03-2007, 11:14 AM
C'Dale speced a few of their mid-range models in 2005 with Campy due to the outrageous pricing of all things Japanese at the time of marketing. That allowed them to keep a reasonable price point. They were using Daytona I believe.

08-03-2007, 11:17 AM
As humans, we all want the most for the least amount of money. That's why we eat 3 times more than we should at the all you can eat Chinese Buffet. Shimano is cheaper and meets the needs of getting a bike that works and the most customers will enjoy equally as they would Campy. Both manufacturers make a fine product. Campy just costs more. If I were going to spend $55,000 on a car but the one I really wanted costs $60,000, I'd spend the extra money. I think you would also.

I share your frustration because I love Campy. It makes it hard to by a new bike, or even one on e-bay. I was lucky, Campy is on my first bike. Tried Shimano recently, didn't like. Whichever frame I decide I like, even if it comes preassembled with Shimano, I've already told the LBS we're going to have to replace all the Shimano with campy.

Some people call this The Campy Tax. I say, if you like Campy and that is what you want, pay the tax. You'll thank yourself every day you ride.

08-04-2007, 02:10 PM
I am sure that the margins allowed by Shimano are better for the dealers. The Japanese were smart marketers and "bought" the market. Today pricing isn't that different and when you get ready for replace components you can rebuild Campy easily whereas Shimano is hit or miss usually having to buy a new part. I think that between Record and DA there isn't much difference. But, if you drop down the other groups the Value with Centaur is absolutely unbeatable and the functionality is very close to Record and Chorus. The same is not true with Ultrega and below.

Steve Hampsten
08-04-2007, 02:39 PM
We're only talking about the US market here, right? You'll see more Campy at the OE level in Euroland; in other markets I'm guessing Shimano does pretty well, probably for the reasons Grant outlined.

08-04-2007, 02:46 PM
campy is a very unreliable vendor.
shimano is a good vendor...
re: on time delivery, accurate delivery.

08-04-2007, 02:50 PM
I don't care which way they run, but the beautiful Colnago in their window would have looked even hotter with Campy dressing. Then again the Colnago was probably built next door to Shimano.

08-04-2007, 02:53 PM
campy is a very unreliable vendor.
shimano is a good vendor...
re: on time delivery, accurate delivery.

And then there's TA ...

Compared to them Campy is the NIST atomic clock.

little charlie
08-04-2007, 04:14 PM
The price of Campy changes daily with the exchange rate of the Euro and the dollar. How can a company spec something when they don't have a clue what it will cost them tomorrow.

When you check the price of Campy products at a LBS you will know they are giving you a good deal when they give you a price that is only good for that day. If they will hold the price then they certainly have a lot of extra room to absorb the price it might cost them tomorrow(or they don't know what the deal is).

I have bought campy chains for one price only to be charged a much higher price a month later at the same shop. I felt like I was getting ripped off until I understood the daily price changes that occur with the exchange rate.

Grant McLean
08-05-2007, 09:27 AM
The price of Campy changes daily with the exchange rate of the Euro and the dollar. How can a company spec something when they don't have a clue what it will cost them tomorrow.

That's not quite right.

There is exchange rate from Japan too, last time I checked, they used Yen,
not USA $.

The major bike brands can buy 'futures' of the foreign currency, regardless of
what country. This locks the price until the time that the orders ship from
the factory. If the cost of the currency goes up, they win because they're
locked in. If the currency goes down, they lose, since they're locked in.

What your shop told you is true for the campy pricing from wholesaler parts
suppliers like QBP. They are famous for adjusting their cost price to bikeshops
based on the latest order they have received in the warehouse. But that's
not true for Campagnolo factory orders placed by bike manufacturers.

The Euro has become much more expensive to the USA dollar in the last
few years, raising the price of Campagnolo parts. Large brands like Bianchi
and some other European brands that use a lot of Campagnolo would pressure
all their European suppliers to give them a better price to remain compeitive
in north america.

Take an example like the tire suppliers, Continental and Michelin, and some
other european companies. They've lowered their price in Euros as the
USA dollar has gone down to remain price compeitive in the market.
For those big guys, it's more important to keep their OEM business in the
long term, than have short term price problem due to currency changes.