Author Topic: Bar end vs. STI.....who cares?  (Read 14743 times)

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Offline ahorowit

Bar end vs. STI.....who cares?
« on: October 14, 2006, 07:19:02 pm »
It seems to me that STI shifters are more convenient and bar-ends a bit clumsy.  Aside from style, why do many tourists prefer bar-ends?


Offline Fred Hiltz

Bar end vs. STI.....who cares?
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2006, 09:23:23 am »
From one tourist who rides both: for ease of use, I find STI easier on one- or two-gear shifts and bar-end easier on bigger shifts (think the start of a climb after a steep dip). The difference is insignificant, though, IMO.

Bar-ends are simpler to repair and adjust on the road, more rugged, and offer friction mode as a fall-back. Only once has a shifter (a down-tube model) blown up on me, drizzling what seemed to be dozens of little parts onto the pavement. Fortunately, the next town had a shop.

The difference in reliability is not terribly large, though, from conversations I have had with mechanics. It will not matter at all unless you would do roadside repair by yourself.

In sum, I'd say ride whichever appeals to you.

Fred


Offline RussellSeaton

Bar end vs. STI.....who cares?
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2006, 12:44:40 pm »
"It seems to me that STI shifters are more convenient and bar-ends a bit clumsy.  Aside from style"

Its apparent from your pre-judgment you have never used bar-end shifters.  I'd suggest using them and deciding the merits of each.


Offline ahorowit

Bar end vs. STI.....who cares?
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2006, 12:53:00 pm »
thanks for the input.  My only bike, which I've had for over 10 years, has bar-ends, and they've been fine but I don't love them.  I'm considering the Trek 520 and Cannondale T2000 and one of the differences between these bikes is the shifters, so I was trying to get a sense of other people's preferences.


Offline jimbeard

Bar end vs. STI.....who cares?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2006, 08:24:26 pm »
  I  had STIs that give out after 1,000 Miles .While current Bar Ends Have given 30,000 miles not one problem .I would not use STI for Touring although many people have good luck with them. They are one reason i purchased Trek 520 .

Jim
Jim

Offline Sailariel

Bar end vs. STI.....who cares?
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2006, 11:15:56 pm »
Been riding a Fuji performance bike with 105STI shifters for two years. They appear to be reliable and user friendly--have about 3,000 miles on them. I recently got a cross bike with bar end shifters--am by far no expert, but I like the fact that you can shift very nicely when you are in the drops. I can see where they would be a real plus on a touring machine.    Alex


Offline biker_james

Bar end vs. STI.....who cares?
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2006, 08:17:53 am »
My wife and I have Cannondale T800's, and while we haven't used bar-ends, we wouldn't be in a hurry to switch to them. Our biles came with Tiagra STI-lower end. They worked great for over 5 years, then seemed to be getting a bit sloppy, so we upgraded to Ultegra's. As we, and I think most tourers, spend most time with hands on the hoods, not in the drops, the shifters are always handy. And still handy to shift when in the drops too. I think the reliability thing is really a small thing nowadays. The only time I've been riding with anyone, and had any shifter fail was years ago, and it was a MTB Gripshift.
I believe that you are a lot more likely to use your gears properly, if you don't have to think about moving your hands off the bar every time you want to shift. As for keeping them in adjustment-we do a three week tour every year, and have never needed to do more than turn the cable adjusters half a turn or so.I have nothing against barends, I just wouldn't bother putting them on my bike.


Offline DaveB

Bar end vs. STI.....who cares?
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2006, 11:55:22 am »
I've used both STI/Ergo and barend shifters extensively so I do have some background here.

STI/Ergo are certainly more convenient and are the only shifters that are accessible while you are standing. This is not a minor point.

My experience with their reliability has been very good.  I've had two sets of 105 8-speed STI's last over 30,000 miles each and have 10,000 miles on my current 105 9-speed STI's. My knowledge of other rider's experience is equally encouraging.  The only "premature" failure I'm aware of came after 9000 miles on the bike of a rider I consider abusive to his equipment.  

If maintenance is a selling point, Campagnolo's Ergo levers are rebuildable and can be made to work well with Shimano components by using a $35 J-tek adapter.

Barcons are less mechanically complex and offer a friction option if all else fails.  They are easier to access than downtube shifters but not nearly as convenient as STI's.  

BTW, Fred's comment about barcons being easier for multiple downshifts is not really germane as STI's allow 4-cog downshifts with one lever sweep and two sweeps will cover the entire cassette in a split second.  Even the pros think this is fast enough.  


Offline Fred Hiltz

Bar end vs. STI.....who cares?
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2006, 08:41:29 am »
DaveB wrote:
BTW, Fred's comment about barcons being easier for multiple downshifts is not really germane as STI's allow 4-cog downshifts with one lever sweep and two sweeps will cover the entire cassette in a split second.

Thanks, Dave. I'm glad to hear about the newer STI. My 3-year-olds give me only two gears per push, but I'll live with them for a while!

Fred


Offline dicanip03

Bar end vs. STI.....who cares?
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2006, 06:22:21 am »
I've just completed my first tour  after changing from STI (ultegra) to bar end shifters (dura-ace) on my thorn tourer and I liked them a lot. I liked the fact that you could shift while on the drops and the fact you can be very precice with shifting on the front chain ring. I don't think I would ever go back to STI, although I find the STI's much more comfortable in my hands, especially on long decents than my new brake levers.  


Offline DaveB

Bar end vs. STI.....who cares?
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2006, 08:30:54 pm »
I don't think I would ever go back to STI, although I find the STI's much more comfortable in my hands, especially on long decents than my new brake levers.

If the minor weight difference isn't a big deal, you could continue to use the STI's just as brake levers and use the barcons as shifters.  Just don't hook the STI's up to the shifters.


Offline driftlessregion

Bar end vs. STI.....who cares?
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2006, 11:02:06 pm »
Four years, 7000 miles on my 105 STI including mountains of Northern Tier. Love them, but will I keep them on in another two years when I again do a long trip in the mountains?  For a week around Wisconsin next summer fine, but I do worry about them for my next tour in the mountains in 2008 that will be harder on them. I'm thinking of using bar end from my city bike or replacing the STI with new ones before I head west.


Offline litespeed

Bar end vs. STI.....who cares?
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2006, 12:02:04 am »
I have bar-end shifters on my Litespeed Blue Ridge. After over 20,000 miles touring around the country they still work fine but the cables have gotten a bit stiff and I might get them replaced. All those nights with the bike out in the rain while I was in my tent have taken their toll.


Offline DaveB

Bar end vs. STI.....who cares?
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2006, 03:22:05 pm »
After over 20,000 miles touring around the country they still work fine but the cables have gotten a bit stiff and I might get them replaced...
No kidding.  I think your cables are about 10,000 or 15,000 mile past due for replacement.  Cables are cheap, easy to replace and a real pain if they break on a ride or trip.  What were you waiting for?


Offline litespeed

Bar end vs. STI.....who cares?
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2006, 11:18:01 am »
Good idea. I've never replaced the shifting cables on bar-end shifters but I ought to be able to figure it out. Or maybe I'll just take it down to Chainwheel Drive and let them do it.