There are a number of ways to mix-and-match Campagnolo Ergpower levers with an otherwise-Shimano drivetrain. Options include from alternate cable routing, conversion cassettes, and cable-pull adapters. I’ve experimented with several of those methods, but my favorite way to pair Ergopower levers with Shimano running gear is da Vinci’s custom SRAM derailleur.
Starting with a medium- or long-cage SRAM X9 derailleur, da Vinci replaces the stock cable guide with a special CNC-machined guide that allows the different brands’ components to play nicely in the same sandbox. The derailleur is available in versions for 10-speed Campagnolo or 10-speed Shimano levers (both are compatible with Shimano or SRAM 9-speed cassettes).
Installing the custom SRAM derailleur is similar to installing any other modern derailleur (and takes less trial-and-error than cable-pull modifers or alternate routing) The only real difference is that you’ll need to account for your particular shifter’s “extra” click. On my bikes, I usually set them up so that the phantom click occurs after the shift to the largest cog.
Shifting with the da Vinci derailleur is spot on. I’ve used the derailleurs successfully with 2nd- and 3rd-generation Ergopower levers, and both Shimano and SRAM 9-speed cassettes (with KMC, Shimano, and SRAM chains). And because the standard SRAM X9 derailleur is targeted to mountain bikers, it can easily handle 32- and 34-tooth large cogs (and wraps plenty of chain for double- and triple-chainring cranks).
If you’re a Campy fan and you want wider-range gearing, compatibility with 135mm rear hubs, or the increased longevity from 9-speed cassettes and chains, the da Vinci custom is definitely worth considering.
For more information, contact da Vinci Designs.