Author Topic: shifters  (Read 3449 times)

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Offline driftlessregion

shifters
« on: November 28, 2012, 08:57:51 pm »
Don't want bar ends but also leery of STI breaking mid tour (I've seen it and it is ugly)? Check out these http://retroshift.com/.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: shifters
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2012, 10:33:08 pm »
I had STI type Campy shifters partially break on the first day of a 3 week tour on the Pacific Coast.  Guess what--no one carries Campy stuff along the route.  I rode with this hassle from Olympia WA to Santa Cruz Calif and was able to get them fixed there because we had parts mailed ahead and my partner was a mechanic.  I vowed never to go with Campy stuff again.  Had it been Shimano, I could have had it up and running in the first town I came to.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline DanE

Re: shifters
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2012, 05:55:11 am »
Why not just use friction shifters on the down tube if you don't want barcons or STI brake shifters.

Offline staehpj1

Re: shifters
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2012, 06:18:22 am »
I had STI type Campy shifters partially break on the first day of a 3 week tour on the Pacific Coast.  Guess what--no one carries Campy stuff along the route.  I rode with this hassle from Olympia WA to Santa Cruz Calif and was able to get them fixed there because we had parts mailed ahead and my partner was a mechanic.  I vowed never to go with Campy stuff again.  Had it been Shimano, I could have had it up and running in the first town I came to.
Why didn't you just mount a down tube shifter or even a stem shifter temporarily.  If you have a frame that won't accomodate a down tube shifter you could probably mount one somewhere (bar, stem, or even seat post).  Most shops would have something cheap that would allow you to get along for the rest of the tour.  It could even be something from their junk bin.


Offline DaveB

Re: shifters
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2012, 07:44:28 am »
Don't want bar ends but also leery of STI breaking mid tour (I've seen it and it is ugly)? Check out these http://retroshift.com/.
I have these on my Cross Check using the V-brake lever version and 8-speed Ultegra downtube shift levers shifting an 8-speed Shimano rd and cassette and a 105 triple crank.   Highly recommended.

They aren't quite as convenient as brifters since you can only shift from the hoods but, other than that limitation, they are a very good substitute for STI/Ergo brifters.  They are vastly more convenient to shift than any downtube or barend lever. 

The price is lower than brifters and the versatility unmatched since any "speed" indexed or friction downtube or barend levers can be mounted on them and they are available with brake levers for either caliper/canti brakes or V-brakes.  Their durability is as good as any downtube or barend shifter since that's basically what they are.   


Offline Rick.in.AZ

Re: shifters
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2012, 09:14:18 pm »
Interesting, but pricey.  My 7 speed STI level died so i just bought some NOS shimano 105 down tube levers for about $30.  Franly, i adapted back in minutes.  I doubt i'll bother with STI again.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: shifters
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2012, 09:20:49 pm »
I had STI type Campy shifters partially break on the first day of a 3 week tour on the Pacific Coast.  Guess what--no one carries Campy stuff along the route.  I rode with this hassle from Olympia WA to Santa Cruz Calif and was able to get them fixed there because we had parts mailed ahead and my partner was a mechanic.  I vowed never to go with Campy stuff again.  Had it been Shimano, I could have had it up and running in the first town I came to.
Why didn't you just mount a down tube shifter or even a stem shifter temporarily.  If you have a frame that won't accomodate a down tube shifter you could probably mount one somewhere (bar, stem, or even seat post).  Most shops would have something cheap that would allow you to get along for the rest of the tour.  It could even be something from their junk bin.

Well that was the plan, mount one on the down tube.  The partially broken ones were stil "kinda" working--the gears would slip sometimes, especially going up hills.  We were all ready to do the mount and were planning to do it in camp one evening.  That day my partner's shifter broke completely, so he needed it more than I did.  We were then able to get my real fix done two days later.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline DaveB

Re: shifters
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2012, 07:27:19 am »
Interesting, but pricey.  My 7 speed STI level died so i just bought some NOS shimano 105 down tube levers for about $30.  Franly, i adapted back in minutes.  I doubt i'll bother with STI again.
How "necessary" STI/Ergo levers (and Retroshifts) are depends on the terrain you ride in.  In flat to moderately rolling areas where shifting is infrequent and you have plenty of warning when a shift is needed, downtube or barends are no problem at all.  In very hilly areas, the ability to shift quickly and without taking your hands off the hoods can be priceless.   .   

Yes, high line STIs and Ergos are expensive but a lot of worthwhile things are expensive.  If cost is a big factor, Retroshifts are less expensive than brifters and a one time purchase since the any downtube or barend lever can be installed on the same base.  Worn out levers or if you want to "upgrade" to a different number of speeds only requires replacing the shift levers, not the entire unit.   

Sure, we got by with downtube shifters and barends in the past when there was nothing else available but there are good reasons why brifters now dominate the market and it's not just marketing hype.     

Offline staehpj1

Re: shifters
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2012, 08:22:23 am »
How "necessary" STI/Ergo levers (and Retroshifts) are depends on the terrain you ride in.  In flat to moderately rolling areas where shifting is infrequent and you have plenty of warning when a shift is needed, downtube or barends are no problem at all.  In very hilly areas, the ability to shift quickly and without taking your hands off the hoods can be priceless.   .   

Yes, high line STIs and Ergos are expensive but a lot of worthwhile things are expensive.  If cost is a big factor, Retroshifts are less expensive than brifters and a one time purchase since the any downtube or barend lever can be installed on the same base.  Worn out levers or if you want to "upgrade" to a different number of speeds only requires replacing the shift levers, not the entire unit.   

Sure, we got by with downtube shifters and barends in the past when there was nothing else available but there are good reasons why brifters now dominate the market and it's not just marketing hype.     

I generally agree with that and like brifters a lot, but on the other hand I will say that I rather enjoyed using down tube shifters on my Southern Tier ride.  The simpler approach just seemed to fit with the minimalist approach I took for the trip in general.

Offline DaveB

Re: shifters
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2012, 02:31:12 pm »
I will say that I rather enjoyed using down tube shifters on my Southern Tier ride.  The simpler approach just seemed to fit with the minimalist approach I took for the trip in general.
OK, but isn't the Southern Tier about the flattest cross country route available?  The relative inaccessibility of downtube shifters isn't a handicap under those riding conditions.

Offline jrswenberger

Re: shifters
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2012, 02:16:29 am »
I will say that I rather enjoyed using down tube shifters on my Southern Tier ride.  The simpler approach just seemed to fit with the minimalist approach I took for the trip in general.
OK, but isn't the Southern Tier about the flattest cross country route available?  The relative inaccessibility of downtube shifters isn't a handicap under those riding conditions.

Hehehe...this sounds like the marketing KoolAid pushed by the bike component companies to replace perfectly functioning components to the non-racing majority of cyclists.

I'm not drinking...

Jay
ACA Life Member 368

Offline DaveB

Re: shifters
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2012, 07:00:29 am »
Hehehe...this sounds like the marketing KoolAid pushed by the bike component companies to replace perfectly functioning components to the non-racing majority of cyclists.

I'm not drinking...

Jay
You are absolutely right.  All modern bike components are nothing but an evil conspiracy by rapacious manufacturers to fool gullible riders into spending large amounts of money on things of no value.  You obviously see through their nefarious intent.   

Offline staehpj1

Re: shifters
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2012, 08:13:01 am »
I will say that I rather enjoyed using down tube shifters on my Southern Tier ride.  The simpler approach just seemed to fit with the minimalist approach I took for the trip in general.
OK, but isn't the Southern Tier about the flattest cross country route available?  The relative inaccessibility of downtube shifters isn't a handicap under those riding conditions.
It is the flattest of the cross country routes, but there are still a few passes that were plenty steep and a fairly long stretch of steeply rolling hills.  There is less climbing than on the TA but I think the climbing that there was is steeper than what I found on the Trans America in the Rockies or Cascades.  The Appalachians on the TA did probably have steeper climbing than anything on the ST though.

Bottom line, there is plenty of climbing on the ST and some of it is pretty steep.

Offline jrswenberger

Re: shifters
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2012, 01:27:38 am »
Hehehe...this sounds like the marketing KoolAid pushed by the bike component companies to replace perfectly functioning components to the non-racing majority of cyclists.

I'm not drinking...

Jay
You are absolutely right.  All modern bike components are nothing but an evil conspiracy by rapacious manufacturers to fool gullible riders into spending large amounts of money on things of no value.  You obviously see through their nefarious intent.

My response was to the "relative inaccessibility" remark. Do most people using down tube shifters put a box around them to reduce their access? It seems that many generations got along just fine with their relatively inaccessible down tube shifters.

I never said that other shifters have no value. Please try not to change my words to make a ridiculous point.

ACA Life Member 368

Offline DaveB

Re: shifters
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2012, 07:16:05 am »
My response was to the "relative inaccessibility" remark. Do most people using down tube shifters put a box around them to reduce their access? It seems that many generations got along just fine with their relatively inaccessible down tube shifters.

I never said that other shifters have no value. Please try not to change my words to make a ridiculous point.
First downtube shifters, and to some extent barend shifters, are inaccessable if you are climbing standing and determine you need a lower gear in a hurry.  No "box" is needed under those conditions.   

Many generations also got along with 3-speed manual transmissions, manual steering, non-power drum brakes, no air conditioning and no power accessories in their cars too.   Do you still drive a car llike that?  Did it take Kool-Aid to get  you to pay for a more modern car?

OK, you never actually said you saw no value to other shifters but your words did imply that only marketing (i.e. Kool Aid) convinced most riders to buy them, not merit.  There I very much disagree and don't think my point is at all ridiculous.