Strengths: - Durability
- Shifters can be upgraded for larger cassettes
Weaknesses: Seems kind of difficult to find the complete groupset for sale online?
I had Mirage on my first road bike, a 1999 Bianchi Eros Reparto Corse which I received in 2006.I feel the need to correct some misconceptions, these being that despite many comparisons to Tiagra or Sora in the Shimano line this is close to neither.
I find most often the people claiming this have never really had significant experience with Mirage and are judging based off the plastic shifters (which have since been relegated to Xenon), however the internals of this gruppo are metal and are very solid despite the cheaper finish.
The reality is this Gruppo is far more comparable to Ultegra 6600, in terms of reliability, weight and durability. Meaning, in terms of weight, above 105 but below Ultegra SL. While I cannot speak of Xenon, it's weight is also more comparable to Ultegra 6600 than Shimano 105, and appears to be exactly like my decade old Mirage.
This also doesn't take into consideration being able to shift up or down more cogs than it's competitors. Having the possibility of rebuilding the shifters if they wear out, or upgrading them to accommodate larger rear cassettes.
I have since moved up to a Chorus bike, but this gruppo served me well and is still rode on as my main winter bike.
If you can find it by itself it is a solid buy for the right price, or if you are looking for a new bike don't hesitate based off of Mirage. Low end Shimano isn't the same as low end Campagnolo despite some people trying to paint the two with one brush.
Similar Products Used: Shimano 105
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: January 20, 2009
Strengths: Smooth, quick, reliable, and precise shifting
excellent brake modulation
cheap to buy
when properly tuned and set-up, will function with a perfect 10
Weaknesses: hoods are somewhat uncomfortable
requires a competent mechanic to set-up right
give the group a check up once in a while to make sure it is working right
This is the first time I have ever owned anything with Campagnolo on it, and I must say, I am supremely satisfied with my purchase. I have a Fuji Newest 3.0, originally came with Shimano Sora and some other really low tech stuff, no-name brakes (probably unbranded Tektros), Alex R500 wheels, triple crank, 8 speed cassette, and poor shifting.
The bike was set up very well when I purchased it, and I ensured that I had good maintenance for repairs and adjustments, but the original Sora shifting just plain sucked, especially for the front derailleur. Sometimes the shifter would jam and I wouldn't be able to shift! Thankfully, all that changed when I got my 2008 Mirage gruppo. Shifting changed by a magnitude of a mol in comparison to the previous group. Not only was it quicker, it was quieter, smoother and much more precise. Going down the cassette to the 12, is fast and reassuring; likewise for going up the cassette, taking only 3 pushes of the upshift lever to go back to the 27. Front derailleur shifting is also fantastic. I can't quite shift to the big chainring under lots of power, but during normal cruising, upshifts are sooooooo smooth. I can't remember anything this good, and I've ridden Force, Sora, Tiagra, and 105, for a reference. Downshifts are equally fantastic, when under normal, moderate power, the chain gently drops to the little ring, and under certain conditions, there is almost no perceptible change until I go to my next pedal stroke. Brakes are great too. The only thing better(in terms of power) on the road that I have ridden was SRAM Force, but that is about $450 more for the group. The thing I like about the Mirage brakes is that they are lighter than the Veloce skeletons of the same year (2008), have good power, and excellent modulation. Also, I think, are dual pivots in the rear, unlike the single pivot which is everything above Mirage using Skeleton brakes. So you get almost the same braking power at each wheel. Finally, the crankset; with the Ultra-Torque axle Hirth joint, I was amazed at how powerful each pedal stroke had become. Each stroke sends you forward, and never feels weak. Just keep an eye out on it for any kind of flex near the bearings. I would highly recommend tightening the 10mm bolt in the axle up to spec at least once a year. Mine got slightly loose (like less than a mm of play after about a year), but not enough to be dangerous.
My only complaint are the hoods. The knub at the top of the shifter doesn't really feel comfortable for many positions while on the hoods, nor does the rest of the material, but that is why a road bar has plenty of positions. Get some good bar tape, and all should be well.
Overall, a fantastic group for the price. Yes, it doesn't have carbon, it isn't as light as Ultegra or Chorus 11, but it isn't meant to be. This groupset has great reliability, functions fantastic, and offers riders new to the road world a taste of what a world class gruppo manufacturer is all about.
Strengths: campy, quality, technology, long lasting, cheap
Weaknesses: low-end campy,not as crisp as higher end components
My Mirage group came with the purchase of my Bianchi Eros. Instead of a mixture of components I got lucky and received all campy Mirage componets--breaks, shifters, f/r derailleurs and crank. Bottom line, GREAT product for the price. Folks at Bicycle Village said that the Mirage groupo ranks just behind Shimano's 105s. I would go further and say that they're on par with the 105s. The good thing about the Mirage unlike the Shimano's Soras or Tiagras is that the Mirage group benefits from Campy's Record technology. Because of the price you're giving up weight and high-end materiel. Mirage is a quality product. At first I had problems dropping my chain, but after some tweaking no chain drops. Many of the drops were operator's errors. Didn't know how to change gears in a mountainous region. Now that I'm educated and experienced 7 centuries this summer, no problems whatsoever. If you're budget minded, go with Mirage, it's a great value for the mone.
Favorite Ride: Hotter N Hell 100 in Wichita Falls, TX
Purchased At: Bicycle Village
Similar Products Used: Ultegra, 105s, cane creek scr 3
Bike Setup: Fully carbon Fuji Team, Forte carbon seat post, sella italia (yellow/black)saddle, Vittoria Rubino Pro (kevlar)(yellow/black), Shimano Ultegra drivetrain--20 speed (groupo)--shifters, breaks, f/r derailleurs, cassette, chain