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During the past few weeks, I've encountered a couple of times the statement that there is no difference in the shifting performance across different tiers of Campagnolo rear derailleurs. I.e., one gets top-notch performance even from their cheapest offering. Supposedly, higher-end derailleurs are more expensive due to the lower weight and materials used.

Is there any truth to this? Is there any other difference between a, say, Veloce and Super Record rear derailleur other than price and weight?

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    I don't know campy, but based on experience with shimano, the answer is going to be not much if anything. – Batman Jun 11 '17 at 20:26
  • And Campy have an even worse (better?) reputation for failing to differentiate their lineup. – alex Jun 17 '17 at 15:20
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Performance wise the largest difference is that mid- and higher level derailleurs have ball bearings while low end has nylon sleeve bearings. That and better quality materials together make more durable product.

Paying for high end gets you carbon fiber parts which mainly save weight and ceramic ball bearings which are mostly useless in bikes.

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Think about what is going on with shifting from a derailleur point of view, all you have to ultimately do is get the guide pulley in the correct place and the derailed arm straight. You can do this with a $20 dr. Some of the best shifting bikes I have had are cheap ones.

However, what you are paying for is durability and weight, and they are often inverses. Generally the most durable shifter is the entry level of the high end line. After that, you are paying for less weight. That tends to make for a less durable product.

Now, a good cassette and chain will make a difference as you go up in quality. Spend your money there instead.

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    "Most durable is entry level" was true in the good old days. Now entry level Shimanos get you stamped pieces of pot metal with sleeve bearings. Mid-level is now where you get the best balance, at least for shimano. – RoboKaren Jun 17 '17 at 7:30

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