Author Topic: Loaded Tour Bike Handling  (Read 11915 times)

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Offline John Nelson

Re: Loaded Tour Bike Handling
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2015, 11:31:53 pm »
Why bar end? A few reasons I like and a bunch of others I find suspect.

1. No cables that limit your bar bag.
2. Allows tweaking the dérailleur position.
3. Allow you to dump the whole cassette in one motion. Ride the Appalachians and you'll know why this is good.

Once you get used to them, you'll realize that you don't need to move your hands much more than you do with STI--in some cases less.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Loaded Tour Bike Handling
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2015, 07:02:25 am »
Why bar end? A few reasons I like and a bunch of others I find suspect.

1. No cables that limit your bar bag.
2. Allows tweaking the dérailleur position.
3. Allow you to dump the whole cassette in one motion. Ride the Appalachians and you'll know why this is good.

Once you get used to them, you'll realize that you don't need to move your hands much more than you do with STI--in some cases less.

There are a lot of factors at play so folks preferred choices are likely to be different and indeed mine are just about opposite yours in this case. 
1. I never had problems using a bar bag with brifters.  I just swept the cables into a position that kept them safe and out of the way.
2. The little half clicks on the front always worked well enough for me with brifters and the indexing generally is flawless on the back.
3. I find that brifters do big shifts plenty quickly.

I never found the location of bar ends convenient to me they always seemed awkward.  I wanted to like them, but they just didn't work out for me.  I find that with brifters in all the hand positions that I use much I either don't need to move my hands at all or have to move them an inch or maybe two.  Also I tended to bump bar ends with my knees and they tended to get bumped out of gear when parked.

I actually much prefer down tube shifters on bikes that don't have brifters and would even consider them if building up a new bike if it had a frame that supported down tube shifters.  Since I ride with fairly deep drops, low bars, and a smallish frame they are actually about the same height as bar ends would be on my bikes.  BTW the indexing works so well on my downtube shifters that I have never wanted or needed to use friction mode at all on the RD.

Bottom line, despite using nice Dura Ace shifters, I disliked bar ends enough that I took them off of my bike and never put them back.

Not suggesting that everyone will have the same experiences that I did with them, just suggesting that bar ends are not for everyone.

Offline DaveB

Re: Loaded Tour Bike Handling
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2015, 08:47:37 am »
I'm in agreement with staehpj1 about barend shifters.  I've used them and find them awkward to reach unless you have plenty of notice.  You have to move your hands from the hoods or tops to use them and they are impossible to use while standing to climb.   Brifters are far more convenient but are expensive and can be a reliability problem.  I've found an alternative to both barends and brifters that have nearly the convenience of brifters and the lower cost and durability of barends and downtubes.

"Retroshift" (now called Gevenalle) shifters are brackets mounted on standard Tektro brake levers (both caliper/canti and V-brake versions are offered) and use downtube shift levers.  The levers are right under your hands just like brifters, can be swept across the entire cassette in one motion.  Front shift is friction allowing infinite trim and indifference to crank and front derailleur choices.   They are available with 9,10 and 11-speed Shimano compatible shifters or use your own if you want 7 or 8-speeds. They even have models for hydraulic disc brakes.

I have these on three of my four bikes, two 10-speed and one 8-speed, and am extremely happy with them.  After many tens of thousands of miles on both Shimano and Campy brifters and a few thousands on barends I've found the Retroshift system to offer the best of both worlds. 

And, before anyone asks, no, I have no business or personal relationship with the company.  I'm just a satisfied and enthusiastic customer.


indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Loaded Tour Bike Handling
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2015, 09:13:07 am »
"Retroshift" (now called Gevenalle) shifters are brackets mounted on standard Tektro brake levers (both caliper/canti and V-brake versions are offered) and use downtube shift levers.  The levers are right under your hands just like brifters, can be swept across the entire cassette in one motion.  Front shift is friction allowing infinite trim and indifference to crank and front derailleur choices.   They are available with 9,10 and 11-speed Shimano compatible shifters or use your own if you want 7 or 8-speeds.

Hmmm....Too late for my upcoming tour that starts next week, but I will definitely look into them when I get back. I did a tour across PA last year. There were a couple of days with constant, severe rollers on roads with less than pristine shoulders. There were several times when I wanted to down shift to help maintain momentum through the next rise but was hesitant to take my right hand off the hood at high speed to reach the bar end shifter. Instead, I ended up coasting until my speed dropped to match the gear I was in.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Loaded Tour Bike Handling
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2015, 10:47:13 am »
While I'm on the subject can anyone explain why touring bikes allies bar-end shifters.

Simple answer is that it's the only way to use modern mountain bike gearing with drop bars.  Shimano used to have the same pull in their mountain and road group derailers.  That meant you could use road shifters (STI) to shift mountain derailers in the rear (with clusters over 27 teeth).  When they went to 10 speed, and now 11, the pull ratio was different between mountain and road.  You can still get by with STI and 9 speed gearing if you can get the parts, but the bigger bike manufacturers are slowly tossing in the towel and going to newer models for parts availability.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Loaded Tour Bike Handling
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2015, 01:00:16 pm »
While I'm on the subject can anyone explain why touring bikes allies bar-end shifters.

Simple answer is that it's the only way to use modern mountain bike gearing with drop bars.  Shimano used to have the same pull in their mountain and road group derailers.  That meant you could use road shifters (STI) to shift mountain derailers in the rear (with clusters over 27 teeth).  When they went to 10 speed, and now 11, the pull ratio was different between mountain and road.  You can still get by with STI and 9 speed gearing if you can get the parts, but the bigger bike manufacturers are slowly tossing in the towel and going to newer models for parts availability.

Bar End shifters were popular on touring bikes before Shimano introduced a different pull ratio in Dynashift mountain bike groups.  I suspect Bar End shifters were a reaction to down tube shifters.

In Shimano's implementation of the brifter, you end up with a very complicated and non servicable mechanism.  I cannot speak for non Shimano brifter implementations, but I suspect they are also complicated and not servicable.  Shimano brifters can stop shifting due to gunked up lubricants and wear.  A Bar End shifter is a much simplier, and much more reliable mechanism.  As longs as nothing fractures in the shifter, and there are a least a couple of strands of metal in the cable, a Bar End shifter will shift.  Plus you have infinite trim points on the front derailleur and non-indexed shifting should something drift or stretch.

I have 9 speed Ultegra brifters on my Paramount, and one of them recently stopped shifting. I had tried all of the documented tricks for getting my brifters working again, including 20 minutes of flooding it with citrus degreaser followed by water followed by wood alcohol, and then more degreaser.   I thought about going to Bar End shifters, but ended up buying a set of Micro-Shift shifters.  The Micro-Shifts are ok, but not as smooth as the Ultegra's were.  I gave the Ultegra's to a buddy who was going to canabalize them for parts.  He got them working again, by giving them a long soak in an ultrasonic degreaser.  I have a lot of cool stuff but I don't have an ultrasonic degreaser tank.

If you want reliability, get Bar End shifters, as brifters are a crap shoot.

A touring bike does not need the responsiveness of a race bike.  I will take the time it takes to move my hands to shift in exchange for a more reliable mechanism.
Danno

Offline DaveB

Re: Loaded Tour Bike Handling
« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2015, 04:46:21 pm »
You are correct that Shimano brifters are not really serviceable.  For one thing, repair parts aren't available to the consumer or LBS.  Campy Ergo brifters are (or at least were in the past) serviceable and replacement parts were available but it's not a job for the faint of skill.

I agree that downtube and barends are unequaled for reliability and durability but not for convenience.  That's why I'm such a fan of the Retroshifts I discussed above.  All the simplicity and reliability of barend/downtube levers (because that's what they are) but positioned where you can easily reach them.

Offline mucknort

Re: Loaded Tour Bike Handling
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2015, 02:11:52 pm »
Interesting how the title specifies "loaded tour bike handling", yet all the comments seem to be about gearing and shifters.
I'll chime in by saying that after many thousands of miles touring with racks and panniers I finally tried using a trailer.
After many more thousands of miles touring with a trailer, I find that my bike handles far better with a trailer than with front and rear panniers.