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Centaur vs. Chorus Build kits

2435 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  bikewriter
I am torn over the Centaur components. I don't have that much to splurge, but I want quality parts that will perform well and live long. Some people told me that while Centaur is decent I might want to make some upgrades. With that in mind, I would upgrade the rear derailleur and shifters. But what about the BB and crankset? Is it worth getting Centaur or would I be better off with Chorus? With not having that much cash to throw at this bike are there any areas I should upgrade? Thanks, your thoughts would be most appreciated. Cheers.
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I own both groups

I own two bikes – one is equipped with Chorus the other with Centaur and quite honestly I can’t see any differences in performance. I purchased the Chorus equipped bike first. The Chorus group is lighter and has better finish (most noticeable in the crank) but that’s about it. The hubs are virtually identical, the derailleurs shift as crisply as Chorus, and the brakes stop just as well. The brakes are both dual pivot and they are not as clean looking as the Chorus Differential brakes.

The only real weakness I see to the entire group is the bottom bracket. I solved this by ultimately purchasing a Phil Wood bottom bracket.

In my opinion I would stick with the Centaur group and upgrade the bottom bracket.

Also, check out Branford Bike and the Campy Only web site both have a lot of good information on the groups.

BTW, had I bought the Centaur group first, my second bike would be equipped with it as well.
I just had a bike built a couple of weeks ago. When it comes to road stuff, this is all new to me being a mountain bike guy. However, I was in the same situation you are and I wanted a Campy bike. I went with Centaur mostly I upgraded both derailleurs and BB to Chorus. The derailleurs on Centaur are very good, if I had it to do over again I would have just stayed with Centaur and pocketed the cash, but I definitly agree with the above statement of upgrading the BB. When I looked at the Chorus cranks and the Centaur crakset I could only see minor difference in finish. Now when I looked at the Veloce crankset I could see a difference in the finish and the chainrings are cheaper, but Centaur and Chours have the same rings.
Definitely upgrade the BB

Had troubles with mine. Either use the Phil Wood option or swap in the Chorus crank/bb
Good luck
Chorus gets my vote

I own two bikes, a Trek 5500 with Centaur, and Serotta Ti with Chorus. There is not much, if any difference in the brakes or the deraillurs, but the Chorus Ergo shifters are definitely a cut above. The shift mechanism rides on small ball bearings. Centaur uses sleeve bearings. The shift action is more precise with the Chorus. Also, I have gone through two bottom brackets in 6000 miles on the Trek. The Chorus BB is better. I purchased the Chorus group at They have the best prices I've seen and the shipping is reasonable.
Go Centaur with Upgrades

I also have a Trek 5500 frameset with Centaur (actually Daytona) groupset but I upgraded the shifters, crankset and BB. I previously had a Trek with Veloce components and I did notice imporved feel with the Chorus shifters due to the ball bearing system mentioned. I know that the new Chorus has carbon shifters and cranks a la Record, but if you are looking to save some $$, I think that you will be very happy with the aluminum Chorus components.
Like others have said, upgrade the bb, and be done with it.
I rode a bud's Centaur equipped bike for the day and would say his "acted" like my Chorus within a 5% margin, for the most part.

Yes, Chorus is nice but let's be realistic: you have a limited budget and are too smart not to waste $$$ keeping up with the Jonse's, right? Right!
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