Bicycle Travel > Gear Talk

STI and handlebar bags

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Tonight I saw on the Arkel Panniers site about using either Avid Rollamajig or V-brake "noodle" to allow large handlebar bags wtih STI levers. Installed where the shifter cable exits the lever it directs the cable down without harming it. Does anyone have any experience with this system?

Does anyone have opinions about the reliability of STI on a long tour?

When I changed cables this past spring I put on "noodles" on the shift cables of my Cannondale. I am not sure if I would do it again or not. It does give more clearance for my bar bag, but I sometimes (not always) think that the shifting isn't quite as good. But that may just be me on those days. I do think if you're riding without the bar bag, they look a bit funny, but so what.
My wife and I have had our Cannondales for nearly 4 years, and use them for rec riding and loaded touring. Last year and this year we did trips of about 1600 km (each year) and have done a bunch of shorter tours. The shifters have never created a problem. Our bikes use Tiagra, ranked pretty low in the Shimano world, so I would expect 105's or up to be even more reliable. Even Adventure Cycling has said that anticipated reliabilty problems with STI's have not developed. I like the STI's too much to go to barends because one time in 5 years or more I lose a day or two cause a shifter strips out.

Glad to hear that the predicted unreliability of STI may not be as bad as I thought. I have 105's and love them but don't mind swapping bar-ends for my Northern Tier trek next summer if necessary. I've had them on for 2000 miles now and wonder if they will break in the middle of ND. Anyone else?

I have this type of setup on my Trek 520 but my bag is made by Topeak - one of their larger ones....

I'm relatively new at this, having only logged about 1200 miles on the bike, but so far I haven't had any problems. The bag does seem to push the cables out of the way a bit but it works well enough for me to not really notice anything. I often times ride a bit agressively so I'm flying thru the gears and/or hitting the brakes. So far, so good.

don quixote:
I suggest you write to Serge at Arkel:  He is very knowledgable and will give it to you straight.  I have a full set of their bags and they are top quality.
George Olmstead
San Diego


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