Author Topic: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint  (Read 15986 times)

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Offline staehpj1

Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2011, 06:11:14 pm »
Personally I really like brifters, and if I used something else it would be down tube shifters.  To me, bar end shifters are less convenient, get bumped when riding, and get bumped when parked.  Purely personal preference though...


Joe B

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Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2011, 07:58:26 pm »
I agree with the brifter folks. I originally had decided to do what I had on my last touring bike, straight bars with bull horns to simulate the "on the hoods" position when needed. However my everyday beater bike had this set up and I now found it annoying to have to move my hands to shift. I quick ride on a friends STI equipped bike and I was convinced that my next touring bike would have brifters, I even sold my everyday bike and replaced it with a KHS with 105 shifters. The currently under construction touring bike I am doing ( photos of the build at  joesride.blogspot.com ) is equipped with Campy brifters and a mix of Campy/SRAM drivetrain for a huge gear range.

Offline DaveB

Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2011, 08:11:57 pm »
[I suspect I have many many more tens of thousands of miles riding Campagnolo Ergo than you do.
Maybe you have and maybe you haven't.  I've ridden them 40,000 miles over the last 5 years so I'm not new to them either.   

But I have never bought into this adaptor thing.  If you want to use Campagnolo, then use Campagnolo shifters, hub, cassette, rear derailleur.  Don't add adaptors that may or may not work into the mix.  Especially not on a touring bike.  Reliability is something most people want on a touring bike.  Shimano is the only touring component maker.  SRAM does not make a triple shifter.  Campagnolo does not make cassettes bigger than 28 or 29.  And is impossible to find in the US market.  Easy to find and replace parts is crucial for a touring bike.  I'm aware IRD makes some kind of adaptor cassette that fits on the other hubs or has spacing like the other company.  But again its a specialty adaptor part, not commonly available.
I further suspect I have many more 10 of thousands of miles using Shiftmates than you do.  The Shiftmate works, works well and isn't fussy, trouble prone or failure prone.  It's as solid as any other component and there is no downside to using one.  Your concerns are far more theoretical than factual.

You are correct that neither Campagnolo or SRAM are in the touring business and Shimano is the default supplier.  That's not all bad but does limit you somewhat.  The Shiftmate gives you options that neither Campy nor Shimano offer alone.     

As for Campagnolo being expensive, this is a myth unknowledgable Americans perpetuate.  European bike shops, mail order places sell Campagnolo for less than the cost of Shimano.  Anyone who buys Campagnolo from the US is just wasting money.
You have that right.  Campy commands a huge cost premium from US shops that it doesn't elsewhere. 

Offline whittierider

Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2011, 12:28:33 am »
Quote
I remember back in the day of down tube shifters that they were much "cooler" to use than handlebar-stem mounted shifters. One of the reasons everyone gave was that the longer cable run from the handlebar stem shifters made shifting worse. Now we have brifters and bar-end shifters with really long cable runs and everyone loves them! :-)

For ultimate simplicity and crisp shifting I think you can't beat downtube shifters.
Stem shifters were the worst of all the kinds I've tried.  The longer cable housings today however are using a cable type that didn't exist in the days of stem shifters, being wound differently so they're not so compressible.  Down-tube shifters truly are the best though, except for their location.  In the case of the front derailleur, there is no cable housing at all with DT shifters.  The rear derailleur has only 8-10" of cable housing total.  Today's 10-speed Dura-Ace DT shifters are indexed for the rear derailleur, and friction for the front, which is perfect.  Their action has the quickest, most-precise response of all the shifter types.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2011, 07:32:11 am »
Stem shifters were the worst of all the kinds I've tried. 
Actually for folks who ride a lot with their hands in the middle of the bars stem shifters would seem to be about the most convenient.  I am guessing that this would mostly be the folks who like a very upright posture.  Not that I think cable length is a major factor, but it is shorter than with bar ends or brifters.  I recall some really well made stem shifters from way back in the day (the ones I remember were suntour).  They had a very smooth micro-click mechanism and long levers that made them less fiddly.  I always wondered why they have not made a comeback with the upright position devotees.

Me, I like a more aggressive posture and brifters or as a distant second down tube shifters.

Offline TCS

Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2011, 09:14:10 am »
You are correct that neither Campagnolo or SRAM are in the touring business...

Unlike Shimano, SRAM actually has a purpose-marketed touring (they call it 'trekking") line in their Via groupsets.  Additionally, and like Shimano, a nice all-SRAM touring drivetrain could be put together mixing their road, mountain and Truvativ lines.

One could also put together complete single-brand Microshift or SunRace Sturmey-Archer touring drivetrains.
"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline ducnut

Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2011, 08:03:00 pm »
Some have mentioned cables being in the way with brifters and using handlebar bags. Current-model, Shimano, Campy, and SRAM route the cables under the bar tape.

I've used brifter, bar-end, down-tube, and stem-mounted, with dropbars. I'll take brifters, everytime. Though, I equally like a flatbar and triggers.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2011, 12:16:12 pm by ducnut »

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2011, 10:43:58 pm »
Additionally, and like Shimano, a nice all-SRAM touring drivetrain could be put together mixing their road, mountain and Truvativ lines.

And what SRAM road bike shifter would you use to shift the triple crankset?

Offline ducnut

Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2011, 12:22:16 pm »
Additionally, and like Shimano, a nice all-SRAM touring drivetrain could be put together mixing their road, mountain and Truvativ lines.

And what SRAM road bike shifter would you use to shift the triple crankset?

I'm guessing Twist Shifters. I've seen people using them on road bars. Not my cup o' tea, but, whatever.

http://www.sram.com/sram/mountain/category/81

Offline litespeed

Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2011, 11:32:25 pm »
I have 9-speed bar-end shifters on my 12 year old touring bike (Litespeed Blue Ridge). They suit me all right although I occasionally bump them with my knee when dismounting - not often enough to be a real problem. I have replaced the cables once.

On the other hand I have 8-speed brifters on my 30+ year old Sampson (Omega frame with 105 components), my knock-around, casual riding bike. Most everything but the frame and brifters have been replaced at least once over the years. The small cassette shifter is a bit worn - sometimes takes a while to shift and requires a special touch - but otherwise the rig still serves me well. But I can no longer easily get get chains and gears so I will probably change the whole rig to 10 speed one of these days. Or just get a new bike.

It's amazing how Shimano components hold up. I certainly don't baby my bikes and, to the best of my recollection, have never had a failure. Bar-ends on my touring bike and brifters on my local bike suit me just fine.



« Last Edit: November 29, 2011, 10:15:38 am by litespeed »

Offline cgarch

Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2011, 01:05:59 pm »
Some of you might find this development of interest http://www.bikerumor.com/2011/11/28/first-look-retroshift-brake-shift-levers-for-cyclocross/
Basically a downtube shifter adapted to a cross brake lever.

Offline ducnut

Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
« Reply #26 on: November 29, 2011, 09:56:39 pm »
Some of you might find this development of interest http://www.bikerumor.com/2011/11/28/first-look-retroshift-brake-shift-levers-for-cyclocross/
Basically a downtube shifter adapted to a cross brake lever.

That's interesting!

Offline biker_james

Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2011, 03:23:37 am »
Not sure where the bar bag thing came up with brifters. I've used a handlebar bag on my Cannondale touring bike since I got it ten years ago. First one was a good size Axiom bag, then I wen to the LARGE Arkel handlebar bag. Bike shifts fine, no issues.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
« Reply #28 on: December 01, 2011, 07:01:08 am »
Not sure where the bar bag thing came up with brifters. I've used a handlebar bag on my Cannondale touring bike since I got it ten years ago. First one was a good size Axiom bag, then I wen to the LARGE Arkel handlebar bag. Bike shifts fine, no issues.
My experience is similar.  I use a large handlebar bag with normal width bars and brifters with no issues.  I just gently push the cables out of the way.  The bend winds up being kind of tight, but it shifts fine and the cables have at least 10k miles on them without failure.

Offline waynemyer

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Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
« Reply #29 on: December 01, 2011, 10:04:43 am »
Some of you might find this development of interest http://www.bikerumor.com/2011/11/28/first-look-retroshift-brake-shift-levers-for-cyclocross/
Basically a downtube shifter adapted to a cross brake lever.

Thank you for that link! Finally, a best of both worlds solution.
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