Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Gear Talk => Topic started by: peterharris on November 04, 2011, 02:34:13 pm

 
Title: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: peterharris on November 04, 2011, 02:34:13 pm
First off, let me thank all of you who so patiently answer questions from us newcomers, questions that sometimes seem sort of repetitive. I value all the input I've received from you on my previous posts and just generally enjoy reading what you have to say, even if it's not on a topic that is a burning one for me.

I'm the guy who originally thought about "converting" my hybrid bike to a light tourer but who - after much research, reading this forum, and riding bikes my friends own - have started thinking about a "cyclocross" as a distinct possibility for the type of riding I want to do ... light touring, exercise, back-road rides in my rolling Virginia countryside. I want a "do-it-all" bike that doesn't excel in any one thing but does a few things reasonably well and many of the models sold as "cyclocross" (even the venerable Surly Cross-Check) claim that's what their bikes do. I can afford money and space for one bicycle. I don't have the inclination or money to think about buying a frame and then building it out the way I want to (whatever that could end up being). I'm going to buy something off-the-shelf.

I see some bikes I like and they're sort of evenly divided between having brifters and bar-end shifters. My hybrid is easy ... a flat handlebar with rapid-fire shifters right next to the brake levers. And all the other friends' bikes I've ridden have brifters. But as I look at the "cyclocross" bikes, all of which have drop bars, I wonder about the convenience of bar-end shifters as opposed to brifters. I clearly see the pros of the brifters - an all-in-one package that lets me shift regardless of where my hands are. I wonder about moving my hands down off the brake hoods to shift with bar-ends. I intend to test ride a bar-end bike sometime over the next few months but I was wondering what your views are about the relative convenience of bar-ends? I've done a search of this forum for previous bar-end posts but they all seem to be discussions about the durability and maintainability of brifters vs. bar-ends.

One of the bikes on my short list is, in fact, the Surly Cross-Check. It has bar-end shifters. It's currently set up with a compact double but the bar-end shifter that works the front derailleur actually can work a triple. That would allow me to later swap out the double for a triple (maybe 48-36-26) to get to 21 or 22 gear-inches. I think the current set up (48-36 and 11-32) only gets me down to 31 gear-inches. So, from that perspective I see the flexibility to get down to granny-gear range with a relatively inexpensive swap. But that may just be THAT bar-end (Shimano SL-BS77).

So many decisions. I need your help! Once I spend the money, I'm not going to be able to spend even more $$ fixing a bad decision.
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: John Nelson on November 04, 2011, 02:59:11 pm
The pros and cons of these two solutions has been exhaustively discussed before. I didn't do a search, but perhaps you could find something that way.

I have one bike with each. For touring, I prefer the bar-ends for numerous reasons:
 - No cables to get in the way of your handlebar bag.
 - Can see or feel what gear you're in by looking at or feeling the shifters.
 - Easier to make wide shifts (useful at the end of a steep downhill that goes directly into a steep uphill).
 - Easier to operate with heavy gloves.

I know many others prefer the brifters, and if you get campy, the cable problem goes away. You can pretty easily adapt to either system. I don't find moving my hands down to the levers to be an issue.
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: DanE on November 04, 2011, 03:30:16 pm
With the Shimano brake/shifters, the movement of the large lever swinging inward can be hindered by the use of a handlebar bag. Since the use of handlebar bags is common for touring, many use the bar end shifters because of this. 

It just comes down to what you like and how you plan on using it. Some don't use handlebar bags and use the brake/shifters on their touring bikes. Some pick out a handlebar bag which will not interfere with the shifters. I think many just take whatever shifters come on the bike.
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: Ailish on November 04, 2011, 05:37:15 pm
I think one of the factors in the relative convenience of brifters vs bar-end shifters is the spacing of your rear cassette.  With an 13-22, there's going to be a fair bit of micro shifting as you go up and down one cog which is perhaps only a tooth different to find the optimal gear.  With an 11-34, your rear shifting is somewhat more set and forget.

I got used to brifters on my older Bianchi Volpe.  After it was stolen, I mostly ended up looking at touring bikes, which ran heavily to bar-end shifters, and on my test rides, I wasn't a fan of them.  I use the bike as a general purpose bike, including a good deal of urban riding where I frequently have to stop/start.  I typically like to downshift as I'm braking to a stop so that I can more easily accelerate off the stop.  With bar end shifters, I found it inconvenient to have the brakes and shifters so far apart.  On the open road, again, it probably wouldn't be as much of an issue.  What I ended up doing was getting a Surly LHT, and having them swap the shifters and break levers with Tiagra STI brifters.  I use an Arkel small handlebar bag, and it doesn't obstruct either the action or the cables.  I suspect I could use a large handlebar bag just fine, as well.

In the first of the Adventure Cycling reports of Interbike, recently, they featured four new touring bikes.  Of the four, three had drop bars, and all three of those had brifters, so I think the strict association of bar-end shifters with touring is loosening, somewhat.
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: Pat Lamb on November 04, 2011, 05:41:46 pm
Good news: they both work, and quite well.

Bad news: they both have a few quirks.

Handlebar bag doesn't interfer with my Shimano brifters, but the cables make getting them on and off slightly more challenging.

Barcons (or bar-ends, if you prefer) do require you to take a hand off that brake.  Not usually a big deal, as my hand naturally hits the barcons as my arm pivots down.

I haven't toured with the barcons, but I do wonder: my bike, loaded with panniers, naturally seeks its own level and direction when I park it with the kickstand down.  On the brifter-equiped bike, that sometimes leads to the handlebars swinging around and impacting the top tube.  Has anyone damaged barcons like this?
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: DaveB on November 04, 2011, 06:27:48 pm
I have used both and in hilly terrain, brifters are vastly more convenient than barends.  They are always right at your finger tips and shifting while under load or when surprised by a sudden uphill is far easier.  If you are standing while pedaling, they are the only accessable shifters. 

Brifters downside is that they are more expensive, not quite as durable and don't offer a friction option.  Despite this, to me there is no decision to make.  Brifters at all times on all bikes.
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: RussSeaton on November 05, 2011, 02:17:29 pm
Pluses and minuses with each shifting method.  Front derailleur shifting is superior with bar end.  You can trim the front derailleur to any position.  STI has very limited trim function so the front derailleur and chain may be rubbing in some gears.  Bar end allow you to shift many gears at once.  STI is one gear at a time when going to smaller cogs.  STI does allow 2 or 3 larger cogs at a time.  Both types of shifters are easy to reach.  But this is spoken by someone who actually rides in the drops.  99+% of bicyclists have never touched the drops on their bikes.  These people would be very frightened of bar end shifters.  For durability, bar end wins.  Bar end shifters allow any handlebar bag.  The newest STI 10 speed shifters rout the cables under the bar tape so they can accomodate any handlebar bag.  Older 10 speed and 9 and 8 speed STI have the shift cable sticking out the side of the lever.  Exactly where a handlebar bag goes.  A tiny handlebar bag might fit inside the cables with these older STI levers.
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: DaveB on November 05, 2011, 05:04:44 pm
Pluses and minuses with each shifting method.  Front derailleur shifting is superior with bar end.  You can trim the front derailleur to any position.  STI has very limited trim function so the front derailleur and chain may be rubbing in some gears.  Bar end allow you to shift many gears at once.  STI is one gear at a time when going to smaller cogs.  STI does allow 2 or 3 larger cogs at a time.  Both types of shifters are easy to reach.  But this is spoken by someone who actually rides in the drops.  99+% of bicyclists have never touched the drops on their bikes.  These people would be very frightened of bar end shifters.  For durability, bar end wins.  Bar end shifters allow any handlebar bag.  The newest STI 10 speed shifters rout the cables under the bar tape so they can accomodate any handlebar bag.  Older 10 speed and 9 and 8 speed STI have the shift cable sticking out the side of the lever.  Exactly where a handlebar bag goes.  A tiny handlebar bag might fit inside the cables with these older STI levers.
Campy Ergo brifters address and/or eliminate most of your comments on the disadvantages of brifters. 

-They have a "micro-shift" ratchet for the front shifting so you can trim any deraileur to center it over any chainring, including triples. 

-The upper lines (Record and Chorus) allow a full sweep of both the cassette and chainrings in both directions, upshifting and downshifting. 

-Ergos have had the shift cables under the bar tape since the 8-speed days so they don't interfer with any handlebar bag.

-Ergo brifters can be rebuilt so the durability issue is lessened

I ride the drops a fair bit but I don't, and most other riders don't, climb with my hand in the drops and that's where the ability to shift from the hoods or tops is so very welcome.   For the record, both Ergo and STI brifters can be shifted from the drops if you wish.  Bar ends can only be shifted from the drops.  I'm not frightened of them, I've used them more than enough to give them a good evaluation and found brifters better in almost all conditions.
 
Finally, I assume everyone is going to say, true but they can only be used with Campy (read expensive) components and their gearing range is limited.  Well, Jtek's Shiftmate will make Ergos compatible with otherwise all Shimano components and they shift like a dream.   
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: Pat Lamb on November 05, 2011, 11:23:40 pm
Finally, I assume everyone is going to say, true but they can only be used with Campy (read expensive) components and their gearing range is limited.  Well, Jtek's Shiftmate will make Ergos compatible with otherwise all Shimano components and they shift like a dream.   

I must be doing it wrong.  I put on a Shiftmate early last year while my 9-speed Campy brifters were being rebuilt, to use some newer 10-speed Campy brifters with Shimano derailer and cassette.  After three tries at installing and adjusting, it still doesn't shift reliably in the middle of the cassette range.  9-speed Campy brifters, Campy derailer and Shimano cassette worked fine for me.  Now if the darn 10-speed would wear out so it needs to be rebuilt, maybe I'd wake up from this bad dream!
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: DaveB on November 06, 2011, 09:16:55 am
I must be doing it wrong.  I put on a Shiftmate early last year while my 9-speed Campy brifters were being rebuilt, to use some newer 10-speed Campy brifters with Shimano derailer and cassette.  After three tries at installing and adjusting, it still doesn't shift reliably in the middle of the cassette range.  9-speed Campy brifters, Campy derailer and Shimano cassette worked fine for me.  Now if the darn 10-speed would wear out so it needs to be rebuilt, maybe I'd wake up from this bad dream!
I expect you are indeed doing something wrong or have the wrong Shiftmate pulley.  My first use of a Shiftmate (#2) was with Campy 10-speed Ergo brifters, a Shimano 9-speed rear derailleur and a Shimano 9-speed cassette and it shifted flawlessly all the way across the cogs. 

Last year I "upgraded" to a 10-speed Shimano cassette and chain using the same Campy 10-speed Ergos and the same Shimano rear derailleur and installed the appropriate Shiftmate pulley (#3).   Again, shifting is flawless all the way across.

You do have to be sure you have the proper pulley, the cable routing is correct and the pulley orientation is correct to make a Shiftmate work.  It's not difficult or tricky but has to be done correctly.   The directions with the Shiftmate are very clear but you have to follow them.
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: Pat Lamb on November 06, 2011, 11:08:55 am
You do have to be sure you have the proper pulley, the cable routing is correct and the pulley orientation is correct to make a Shiftmate work.  It's not difficult or tricky but has to be done correctly.   The directions with the Shiftmate are very clear but you have to follow them.

Ordered correctly, done, and done.  I haven't disassembled the thing to make sure the pulley's correct, but that's the only thing I can think of at this point.  As I said, I'm eagerly awaiting the death of the Campy g-spring so I can be bothered to switch the brifters back.
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: RussSeaton on November 06, 2011, 01:47:33 pm
Campy Ergo brifters address and/or eliminate most of your comments on the disadvantages of brifters. 
-They have a "micro-shift" ratchet for the front shifting so you can trim any deraileur to center it over any chainring, including triples. 
-The upper lines (Record and Chorus) allow a full sweep of both the cassette and chainrings in both directions, upshifting and downshifting. 
-Ergos have had the shift cables under the bar tape since the 8-speed days so they don't interfer with any handlebar bag.
-Ergo brifters can be rebuilt so the durability issue is lessened
I ride the drops a fair bit but I don't, and most other riders don't, climb with my hand in the drops and that's where the ability to shift from the hoods or tops is so very welcome.   For the record, both Ergo and STI brifters can be shifted from the drops if you wish.  Bar ends can only be shifted from the drops.  I'm not frightened of them, I've used them more than enough to give them a good evaluation and found brifters better in almost all conditions.
Finally, I assume everyone is going to say, true but they can only be used with Campy (read expensive) components and their gearing range is limited.  Well, Jtek's Shiftmate will make Ergos compatible with otherwise all Shimano components and they shift like a dream.   

I suspect I have many many more tens of thousands of miles riding Campagnolo Ergo than you do.  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.

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.
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: paddleboy17 on November 07, 2011, 01:14:10 pm
From a rider comfort point of view, brifters are the way to go.  I have one road bike setup with brifters, and one with barcons.  But I would still go with barcons for touring, as you can always limp home in friction mode.  I have had brifters seize up, and while I have always been able to fix them once I got home, this is not something I would want to deal with on a trip.

My understanding is that cyclocross bikes have a shorter wheel base.  This might not be much fun when you have panniers on the bike.

Light touring bikes, those things the bike stores carry, might meet your every need.  I have hear of people touring on Cross-Checks, but the Long-Haul-Trucker will also do all of the things that you say you want to do.
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: BikeFreak on November 07, 2011, 01:44:44 pm
I'm kind of old school: I don't have brifters and I don't have bar end shifters. I have down tube shifters. And everybody makes fun of me.

However, I cannot trust brifters - they are too complicated if something goes wrong. I don't like bar end shifters because they easily get damaged if the bike falls or touches a wall.

I have used down tube shifters the past 12 years and they perfectly suit my riding style. Plus, if a wire snaps you can fix it with a coca cola can and a swiss army knife.

Lucas
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: BrianW on November 07, 2011, 02:53:11 pm
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.
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: staehpj1 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...

Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: Joe B 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 (http://joesride.blogspot.com) ) is equipped with Campy brifters and a mix of Campy/SRAM drivetrain for a huge gear range.
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: DaveB 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. 
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: whittierider 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.
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: staehpj1 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.
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: TCS 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.
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: ducnut 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.
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: RussSeaton 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?
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: ducnut 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 (http://www.sram.com/sram/mountain/category/81)
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: litespeed 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.



Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: cgarch 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/ (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.
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: ducnut 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/ (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!
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: biker_james 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.
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: staehpj1 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.
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: waynemyer 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/ (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.
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: staehpj1 on December 01, 2011, 02:04:51 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/ (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.
Depends on what you are looking for.  Some folks consider it the worst of both worlds.

My take is that it is a good idea but at $140 and not including any shifters, the price is awfully steep.  I wouldn't consider them myself for that reason and will stick with STI.  That said, I would definitely use them before I would go to bar end shifters, which I do not care for.

I think the retroshift levers would be hard to find replacements for when on the road, but you could always mount the same shifters on the down tube bosses.  I actually might put something like them on my 1990-ish bike with 7 speed cluster if Tektro or Cane Creek or someone manufactured them rather than doing a costly modification and therefore brought the price down to the sub $40 range (plus shifters).
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: waynemyer on December 01, 2011, 06:09:37 pm
My take is that it is a good idea but at $140 and not including any shifters, the price is awfully steep.  I wouldn't consider them myself for that reason and will stick with STI.
...
if Tektro or Cane Creek or someone manufactured them rather than doing a costly modification and therefore brought the price down to the sub $40 range (plus shifters).

I know, that "made by American workers in an American shop" is a pretty hard price tag to swallow. I'd much rather buy something made completely in China by cheap labor where they don't have to worry about things like environmental standards.
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: DaveB on December 01, 2011, 09:17:02 pm
Quote
I know, that "made by American workers in an American shop" is a pretty hard price tag to swallow. I'd much rather buy something made completely in China by cheap labor where they don't have to worry about things like environmental standards.
If you read the description, you would know the developers are modifying Tektro R200 brake levers.  Guess where they are made?
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: waynemyer on December 01, 2011, 10:18:42 pm
Thank you for pointing out the obvious. Hence my adverb "completely" in the phrase "made in China."
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: DaveB on December 02, 2011, 10:22:04 am
Thank you for pointing out the obvious. Hence my adverb "completely" in the phrase "made in China."
I wasn't being nasty but I don't think it was obvious unless the original link was read thoroughly.   I'd pay the extra to have the majority of the work done here too.  I do wish they would modify Tektro's RL520 levers so their adapters would work with V-brakes. 
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: staehpj1 on December 02, 2011, 11:08:14 am
My take is that it is a good idea but at $140 and not including any shifters, the price is awfully steep.  I wouldn't consider them myself for that reason and will stick with STI.
...
if Tektro or Cane Creek or someone manufactured them rather than doing a costly modification and therefore brought the price down to the sub $40 range (plus shifters).

I know, that "made by American workers in an American shop" is a pretty hard price tag to swallow. I'd much rather buy something made completely in China by cheap labor where they don't have to worry about things like environmental standards.
The question that I ask myself is "how much more is it worth to me" and $140 seems too much to me especially since the levers were originally made in China and I still need to buy shifters that were probably made in china as well.  It is understandable that the price is high not only because it is produced in the US, but also because the production numbers are certainly very small at this point.  The bottom line is still that they, for me at least, do not provide enough of an advantage to justify the price tag in my opinion.
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: DaveB on December 02, 2011, 07:20:22 pm
One option similar to the modified brake levers mounting downtube shifters is the Kelly Take-Off  (www.kellybike.com).  These are brackets that attach to any make or model of unmodified brake lever and accept downtube shifters located just inboard of the brake lever.  They are reasonably low cost (~$50) and accept any make or model downtube shifter.   They aren't as convenient as brifters but are much more so than downtube or barend shifters.  They are also less expensive and offer the durability and ease of low cost upgrading that downtube shifters do. Also, they are USA made. 

I have a pair on my Surly Cross Check using 8-speed Shimano dt levers and they are a very good compromise.
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: pdxsnap on December 18, 2011, 03:28:49 pm
You can have both!   :)

http://vimeo.com/33852295 - Bar-end Brifter

Cheers!


Adam
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: Pat Lamb on December 20, 2011, 12:09:19 pm
http://vimeo.com/33852295 - Bar-end Brifter

Looks just a bit odd, to me, seeing someone wearing trousers with straps around his ankles riding on a trainer...
Title: Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
Post by: pdxsnap on December 21, 2011, 12:47:25 am
They are there to distract you from the oddness of the shifting system  :p

Adam
Retroshift, LLC