Shigolo: a Descent Choice

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by OtterSpace

Shigolo = Shimano hydro shifting/brake lever (ST) & Magura derived Campagnolo 2nd Gen hydro caliper.

Like many of the more particular tinkerers in the hobby who had a preferred rim brake setup I’ve been in search of perfect disc brake feel and performance since the transition to flat mount disc. I haven’t found it yet but perfect is the enemy of good so its time to detail my 2000km+ journey with Shigolo for the community.

Personally I consider Shigolo to be an improvement over default Shimano ST road hydro setups, and Shigura, and I will not be swapping back. I first decided to give this a try after having previously using Shigura, seeing high praise of Campagnolo disc braking from multiple sources, and theorizing that Shigolo should basically be a modern version of Shigura given the its design lineage.

Some disclaimers first as I don’t want to derail and waste anyone's time who wouldn’t benefit from micro optimizing their Shimano setup given how verbose this write up will be:
  • If you are fine with default Shimano ST hydro setup’s grabby brakes then stick with it as this is the main item that Shigolo improves with a few trade-offs. (see: performance)
    • More specifically I would say that after initial pad engagement a full Shimano ST hydro setup lacks accessible low braking force across the remaining brake lever throw while bringing better usable high braking force than a good rim setup.
    • My opinion of Shimano OEM road hydro performance being grabby is unchanged across the last three generations of Shimano hydro ST after having extensively ridden all of them since 2018 with their corresponding default series calipers:
      ▪ ST-RS685
      ▪ ST-8070 & ST-9170
      ▪ ST-7170 (Non ServoWave) & ST-8170 (“road” ServoWave)
    • I am too stupid mechanically to know why default Shimano ST hydro setups are so grabby (it certainly isn’t the road ServoWave deployment as I see this with both ST-7170 and ST-8170). However, Shigura and Campag braking systems don’t have accessible low braking force issues from user reports and personal experience.
  • If you solo ride in a relatively flat place any hydro caliper, rotor, and brake pad will likely perform well enough unless you are extremely particular.
  • If you didn’t come from rim brakes, which some facetiously call speed modulators, than you likely don’t miss how you could precisely scrub speed more easily with rim through the first portion of a lever throw.
  • If your descents are not technical than you likely shouldn’t be overly concerned with brakes initially biting too hard.
  • In comparison to 12s Shimano calipers the Campag calipers don’t retract as much when nonengaged and therefore Campag calipers are more susceptible to setup misalignment and thermal expansion of rotors which results in audible ticking from disc rub.
  • SRAM road uses DOT fluid while Shimano, Campag, Magura, and Trickstuff use mineral oil. Due to this Campag calipers cannot be used with SRAM road shifters without a seal material change kit for Campag calipers which likely will never happen.
Last edited by OtterSpace on Mon May 27, 2024 10:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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by OtterSpace


I’m sorry but a lot of this is subjective. If I could show or test it I would. If others try Shigolo they might completely disagree with me which is what is part of what is great about forums.

For me after 2000km+ of riding on a ebike 1km elevation loss on technical descents every lunch ride (1-1.25hrs):

Shigolo is better than Shimano for:
  • Lever feel. The brakes apply far more gradually vs. with pure Shimano where you can hear and feel exactly when the pads contact as they hammer on.
  • Low force braking (bleeding speed without stuttering or shifting weight from slight braking at speed)
  • Modulation
  • More trustworthy when pushing descents due to the above points. I know when I go into a technical descent that I won’t over brake unless I intend to.
  • Caliper attachment relative to the disc & setup repeatability from good campag tools.
  • Front Aero (thinner & flusher fit) & looks (subjective) if using 160f caliper
  • Front weight if using 160f with a 160 rotor (no need for adapters and extra bolts)
  • Can optimize calipers to your frame & rotors (also a negative as there are options that don’t work)
  • This is taking advantage of a negative but you could use your frame’s disc mount drilling to mount larger calipers in certain instances without adapters.
Shigolo is in the same ballpark as Shimano for:
  • Bleed with the right tools. Some is easier some is harder but both are good if you stick with the right stuff. However, Shigolo likely has pitfalls if you use random stuff (Shigura road was terrible with random bleed stuff from personal experience)
  • Perceived usable max braking force.

I don’t know how they truly compare but I guess pure Shimano is better:
  • Absolute thermal pad performance from Shimano’s heavier option default finned pads. (likely a micro optimization that is hard to confirm just like the thermal coating on XTR vs XT rotors)
Shigolo is worse than Shimano for:
  • Max pad retraction, and therefore susceptibility to thermally impacted discs (ticking). Basically a reversion to 11s Shimano performance for this metric.
  • Determining which calipers work for your frame. In some instances you might buy a caliper that doesn’t work for your frame due to your bike’s disc mount drilling.
  • Setup (its not hard to do if you have the right stuff but it must be painful to read through my post)
  • Have fun explaining this to your local bike shop mechanic (thankfully this should be far better than Shigura)
  • Likely cost unless you find the right Campag calipers used like I did :)
Last edited by OtterSpace on Mon Jul 08, 2024 5:17 am, edited 4 times in total.

by Weenie

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by OtterSpace

History / Background:

The transition from rim to disc was rather fast and a bit rocky all things considered. I’ll try to keep this focused as its easy to derail a thread on this even still in 2024. However, as a quick personal note I own three optimized rim brake bikes that I love but for overall riding and hard braking I prefer even unoptimized disc setups.

Shigura = Shimano hydro shifting/brake lever (ST) & Magura MT4/8 FM. (See: Other Calipers)

Magura, a German company, have made great brakes for a long time across many applications (MTB, Motorcycle, Road Rim, and Road Disc) but they never could make a shifting/brake lever (ST) for obvious reasons. I would say they are a medium size mostly aftermarket company who were very active in designing hydro bicycle calipers of many types in the early 2010s that they were very willing to license to other vendors to recoup costs and/or scale up distribution.

In the MTB space they found their largest home where it is both easier to swap calipers and the market is more open to mixing and matching. Shigura was first coined in MTB for mixing Shimano brake levers and Magura brake calipers. From what I understand from a quick search MTB people say Shimano ServoWave levers give extra power compared to Magura levers. From my outsider perspective Magura put their engineering focus into calipers and not levers.
  • Note: I would personally be curious to know more if anyone from the MTB space can share more background.
Magura helped make rim road TT bikes less horrible which helped them gain a narrow entry into road. However, roadies tend to stick with full OEM setups and almost excursively use shifting/brake lever (ST) so Magura largely failed to really gain traction in road outside of small niches until….

Chris Froome first came later to disc when joining Israel–Premier Tech and oh boy did he stir the already raging disc vs rim debate at the time when he posted a video on Feb 7th, 2021 tearing apart Shimano 11s disc (ST-R9170 & BR-R9170) I bet the sponsors like that.

Peak Torque posted a reply video shortly after

I’m sure both of them would have slightly evolved takes now a few years later but after Froome started using a Magura MT4/8 FM caliper on the front from a Rotor hydro groupset that Magura sold their calipers with. And with that road Shigura was truly kicked off.
Froome.png (542.35 KiB) Viewed 1652 times
Many of the Shigura people never moved past this phase. I road Shigura myself for a few years and considered it a comprehensive improvement over 11s Shimano braking in use but very frustrating to bleed. (See: Bleeding)

Froome went back to Shimano OEM with R9270 which improved pad retraction in the caliper to mitigate thermally impacted rotors from touching the pads and increased the shifter size to include bigger hydro components (ST) while offering “road” ServoWave in Ultegra and up shifters.

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by OtterSpace

Magura passes the baton to Campagnolo:

Magura moved on from selling their MT4/8 FM calipers individually, and then with Rotor, to working with Campagnolo on the DB-F160 (front 160 caliper), DB-R140 (“rear” 140 caliper), DB-R160 (rear 160 caliper), DB-210 (brake pad), and bleeding infrastructure for Campagnolo 11s hydro road. Was this an IP sale, did they contract but not design, or did they manufacture as well? We will never know but the end result was a braking system that has almost universal love that continued to evolve with Campagnolo with 12s.

Unlike Shimano and SRAM these calipers are the same across the Campagnolo range to reduce SKU. By this I mean in pre Super Record Wireless all calipers of the same generation were the same from Super Record down to Chorus.
1st Gen Campag.PNG
I personally have never ridden these Magura x Campagnolo hydro calipers, and am curious on the details, but don’t see a need to go backwards. Compared to Magura MT4/8 FM the 11s Campag calipers lost the 1 part caliper design while slimming down the caliper outside width, releasing 3 calipers instead of 1, and added a much needed bleed flow on/off nut. I’m not sure if the pistons are magnetic or not with these calipers like they are on MT4/8 FM but they likely are given that the DB-210 pads don’t come with a spring.
Although 2nd gen Campagnolo Hydro braking didn’t come out initially with 12s it shortly followed, or maybe it came with 13s EKAR I don’t know I’m not a Campag historian. Regardless 2nd gen Campag Hydro introduced 4 calipers with 3 different sizes DB-F161 (front 160 caliper), DB-R141 (“rear” 140 caliper) & DB-EK140 (“rear” 140 EKAR caliper), DB-R161 (rear 160 caliper), DB-310 (brake pad), and new bleeding infrastructure for Campagnolo 12s+ hydro road. (See: Bleeding) The caliper pistons are non magnetic so a spring is included with the DB-310 pads which still have a magnetic compatible backing.
2nd Gen Campag.PNG
Recently Campagnolo released a wireless super record groupset which has a glossy finish and super record branding. As far as I can tell these calipers are functionally the same as the 2nd gen parts listed in the paragraph above. As of the time of posting I do not know the caliper only part numbers and if you know them please share so I can edit them in. With wireless they released a new non magnetic brake pad DB-410 which is easy to determine by the metal colored (Al) backing vs black previously.

Posts: 391
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by OtterSpace

Caliper Options & Frame Compatibility:

Campagnolo road is both better and trickier to setup from having 3 caliper sizes vs the standard shared 140 “rear” caliper adapted for front use that SRAM, Shimano, Magura, EKAR, and all aftermarket brands follow and then adapt for front use.

Campag caliper options:
2nd Gen Campag.PNG
Typical 140 "rear" adapted for front use:
Adapted 140 rear Calipers.jpeg
This is further complicated by frame and fork drilling which can either be:

• Standard: Campagnolo’s sizing fits as expected (e.g. 140 caliper fits 140 rotor). Most common on climbing & racing frames.
• Oversized: Campagnolo’s sizing is off (e.g. 140 caliper fits a 160 rotor). Most common on gravel & endurance frames.

Here is a good example of Standard (140/160 mount) and Oversized (160/180 mount) from Hope RX4+ caliper documentation
hope mount.PNG
Manufacturer invents a new standard. Use Campagnolo 140 “rear” caliper your frame’s adapters & hardware. Most common with Specialized Tarmac SL8, Aethos, and Cruz, but also on any bike that throws away the standard like whatever 3T decided to do recently.
The micro optimization you get from the Campag approach is that you can maybe run the Campag 160f caliper (DB-F161) which if supported does not require a front adapter plate, and removes two additional mounting bolts, for forks that follow the standard. This caliper will fit your forks native drilling, which is likely 160 or 180. It is the narrowest & most aerodynamic caliper and after tuning is extremely light when it fits.
161f mounted.jpg
With the rear if you go with DB-R161 you are buying the rarest of the three brakes and limiting yourself to a specific sized rotor but you are saving the weight of an adapter if you don’t need it. Personally I would recommend going for DB-R141 or DB-EK140 for the rear and adapting it if needed. You do you but optimize at your own risk.

The 140 “rear” Campagnolo calipers ( DB-R141 or DB-EK140) follow the Shimano and SRAM standard so are safer to buy and should work with any adapter that those calipers support for front or rear use.

The 1st gen Campag calipers listed in (Magura passes the baton to Campagnolo) follow this same logic but I don’t know why you would seek them out unless you already have them or find them for a substantial discount.
Last edited by OtterSpace on Thu Jun 20, 2024 4:14 am, edited 3 times in total.

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by OtterSpace

Caliper Weights & Measurements:

Please let me know what you would like measured or shown. I can include it here while I have extra calipers on hand from testing. I currently have Shimano BR-8170 and Magura MT4/8 FM along with Campag 2nd gen calipers.

Shimano BR-R8170 drained of fluid, without pads, retaining bolt assembly, compression nut, fixing bolts, or adapter plates with stock bolts connecting the two caliper halves:
Shimano BR-R8170 disassembled:
Shimano dis.jpg
Shimano 140 "rear" adapters for front & 160 rear use:
shim adapt.PNG
Magura MT4/8 FM drained of fluid, without pads, retaining bolt, fixing bolts, or adapter plates with stock banjo bolt:
Magura 140 "rear" adapter for front use:
magura adapt.jpg
Campag 2nd gen 140r caliper drained of fluid, without pads, retaining bolt assembly, compression nut, fixing bolts, or adapter plates with Ti bolts connecting the two caliper halves (add 3.9g for stock steel bolts):
Campag 140.PNG
Campag 2nd gen 160f caliper drained of fluid, without pads, retaining bolt assembly, compression nut, fixing bolts, or adapter plates with Ti bolts connecting the two caliper halves (add 3.9g for stock steel bolts):
Last edited by OtterSpace on Fri May 31, 2024 6:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

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by OtterSpace

Tuning & Campagnolo Tolerance Gap:

As you can see from the length of this thread if you are being kind you would say that I’m an optimizer. So I couldn’t just bolt up the stock calipers and go. It is bolt tuning time.

Regardless of Campagnolo 2nd gen caliper type there are two bolts used to clamp the two caliper halves together. These bolts are the same and are standard steel bolts. Steel is heavy for its size and Ti options are easy to find for standard bolts.

The stock bolts have blue (medium strength) threadlocker with the weight and dimensions shown below and are M6.
Stock caliper half bolts.PNG
Unfortunately the pockets in the caliper for the bolts are around 10.75mm which limits some aftermarket options.
caliper bolt max diameter.jpg
For $14 I found a set of 6 Ti bolts that I swapped to. I purposely did not use threadlocker for worst case (don’t do this). I have had no issues in my extending testing with these parts.
Caliper halve tuned bolts.jpg
A pad retaining bolt and spring is needed for the non magnetic piston. The pad retaining bolt is also limited by a machined pocket for the bolt which limits options. Otherwise the bolt thread and length matches other companies options. Al (lightest), Ti (medium), or steel (heaviest) all work for this if it fits.
Caliper pad retainig bolt dia.jpg
If you want a retaining clip (I do for completeness) the stock way to place the bent clip is towards the caliper center unlike Shimano. However, the direction doesn’t really matter for Campag where with Shimano you face it away from the finned pad.
I bought my calipers used as a cheap optimizer and for worst case. Mine did not come with a hose compression bolt. Shimano parts and aftermarket options work here but likely impact the hose connection (See: Bards & Olives).

The machining and fitting of the two halves on the 12s parts is an order of magnitude worse than Shimano. After bleeding my front brake I used a feeler gauge to roughly measure the spacing. I was worried initially and thought I saw leaking but it likely was residual from the bleed. Watch for leaks on your first rides but know I didn’t have any functional issues after 2000km+ of riding. I also saw the new Super Record calipers that come on wireless and their mating was far better if this bothers you.
feeler gauge.PNG
The bleed port and flow on/off nut nest together and are steel. I do not see a reason to search for a replacement but they do mark easily from the used parts I have on hand.

Frame adapters and bolts seem standard & steel but I’ve already typed enough so I wont detail these.

Here is an image dump of the Campag 2nd gen calipers disassembled.
Last edited by OtterSpace on Fri May 31, 2024 5:53 am, edited 2 times in total.

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by OtterSpace

Barbs, Olives, and Hose:

I used Shimano bard, olives, and hose due to my used caliper’s lack of Campagnolo hose nuts and the length of the assembly with campag parts and a Shimano style aftermarket nut with reduced thread length to save weight.

I can add more info later as I foresee people trying to find the right combo of barbs, olives, hose, and nuts but for now I’ll leave this placeholder to edit with time.

Whatever you try first try a bard & olive assembly in the Campag caliper feel it out by hand before truly committing by torquing the nut and adding fluid. After installing try the brakes on the flat before really pushing it.

I also went with Shimano hose as this setup uses barbs and olives at both ends over Campag banjo at the shifter and Magura MT 4/8 banjo at the caliper. Personally I’d rather the caliper leak than the shiftier which also contributed to the thinking of going full Shimano hydro line parts.

Likely multiple options work here but more real feedback can be added if others try going Shigolo.

I feel like I tried worst case for the caliper and did not run into any issues with leaking over my 2000km+ of hard ebike riding.

More info on Barbs:

From pin gauges I can confirm that Shimano has a bigger ID. Those in colaberative engineering can likely attest that whatever pin gauge size you want is almost certain to be missing so I don't know exact max ID of Shimano but its at least 0.068 inches (1.7272mm converted) while Magura and Campag are both 0.062 inches (1.5748mm converted). Part of a 0.063 pin gauge would fit into Magura & Campag but I didn't want to force it and 0.071 did not fit into Shimano.

Supporting images:
Magura and Campag are basically the same and are longer and have a wider OD (2.52mm and the widest flair not at the end) compared to Shimano OD (2.37mm) but Campag & Magura have an even wider OD at the inner tip at 2.8mm. The length of the Campag barb was too long because of the much longer threaded support sleve portion of the barb to use my optimized Ti hose nut with reduced thread length so I used Shimano barb, olive, and hose, for my Shigolo setup and my setup has not leaked.

I have not looked into hoses and olives.
Last edited by OtterSpace on Tue Jun 18, 2024 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by rudye9mr

any breakdown on the hope RX4+ caliper?

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by OtterSpace


So boring but very important given the particularity of Shigura which is thankfully drastically improved with Shigolo. I’d skip this section unless you are really considering taking the plunge.


With the right tools bleeding is very simple just like with full modern Shimano and Campag. Basically use your preferred bleed tools for your Shimano shifters and then use the Campag kit for the caliper.

Here is a video Campagnolo put out for bleeding their system and aligning disc rotors


Buy DB-100 bleed kit if you don’t already have it to bleed the calipers.
Campag bleed.jpeg
Buy UT-DB011 oil level tool if you don’t already have it to bleed and align the calipers.
campag bleed block.jpg
UT-DB011 also works with Magura MT4/8 FM as shown below.
Shigura bleed.jpg
---Caliper Mounting?---

Follow the video listed above and the tools listed above. With Campag mounting bolts you wont run into issues. However if you are using aftermarket bolts to mount a 161f native 160 front caliper than the bolt max diameter is important. If you use bolts with too wide of a washer or head than it will move the caliper inboard as you torque the bolt.

The stock bolts have a 10.8mm washer while I ran into minor issues using aftermarket Ti bolts with a 11mm diameter washer.

The front caliper is also easy to scratch given its tightly machined bolt mating surfaces. I recommend using a long bit to attach the calipers to avoid scratching them like I did.

I can highly recommend a CDI 2-8 Nm torque wrench which comes with long bits. (part number: TLA28NM)

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by OtterSpace


The 2nd gen Campag calipers work with the following pads in order of recommendation:

DB-410 The most modern Campag pad with an Al backing. Use the whole kit but you can replace the bolt if you have a preferred option.
DB-410 weights.PNG
DB-310. Use the whole kit but you can replace the bolt if you have a preferred option. I first used up a set of DB-310 before swapping to DB-410. Not only is DB-410 lighter but it seems to perform better thermally from my time with both.
db-310 weight.jpg
Swiss Stop Disc 30 RS, DB-210, & Magura. Avoid these because they require a bolt spring due to the modern pistons being non magnetic. These pads were all designed for the older Magura MT and Campag gen 1 Calipers with magnetic pad attachment and a retaining bolt.
Magura Pad.jpg

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by OtterSpace


I’ll update this section as more questions get asked.

As of posting I would recommend you stick with your preferred rotors that you know well first before deciding to swap to anything else.

I was forced to go with a 180mm front rotor due to my fork drilling 6 bolt hubs so I tried a galfer floating rotor and now a Shimano 180mm rotor. Of those I highly prefer the Shimano rotor due to better thermal performance on sustained descents but it does tick much like an older BR-9170 caliper or Magura MT4/8 would.

I plan to try other rotors to find a sweet spot of performance for my application and might detail them here.

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by OtterSpace

Personal Bike Example:

I plan to fill this in later for more context. As mentioned in the start of this thread I ride an ebike (300w motor assistance added to my input up to 45km/hr) which allows me to get a lot more climbing and descending in the same time period. I also live near short to medium and sharp hills with fairly technical road descents. All of this had me desiring a better braking system than Shimano or Shigura.

For now you can read my write up on this bike here.
Last edited by OtterSpace on Mon May 27, 2024 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

by Weenie

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