Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling - shifters. . .
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are bar-end shifters better for long-distance?:)
and if so, why?
07-24-06, 12:47 PM
Bar end shifters have one advantage if you are riding long tours far from modern bike shops. They have a friction mode which permits the use of any replacement rear mech, even a cheap all steel Shimano SIS one.
I've been using STI this season, but I'm leaning towards bar ends on the new ride.
I've only had some minor reliability issues with Ultegra STI - a few times this past year my rear lever got stuck and wouldn't downshift - so I was stuck in a low gear. Took some screwing around with the R.Der (nothing jammed, etc) and the lever. I eventually grabbed the cable under the downtube and yanked on it. Whatever was stuck inside the lever let go... and it popped back. Its happened a few times - but I wouldn't call it a deal breaker.
The new ride will probably have bar ends, as I'm interested in trying out various handlebar combos - I may switch out to STI after I get my fit / preferences down - but at this point I'm probably stealing parts off another bike (my touring rig) as I decide what I like / don't on the new rig.
STI is convenient, and I do alot of standing climbing - so shifting while standing is nice.
I think the failure argument is OK on world tours, but on Brevets you are typically withing reach of civilization at most times... granted, if you have a failed STI you probably won't be able to shift until you get to a shop - with a bar end you could go to friction mode...
07-24-06, 03:46 PM
If you are talking brevets, double centuries, or the like, I think your best bet is to go with whatever lets you use the brake levers that are the most comfortable in your hands. If STI or Ergo levers feel better to you, use 'em. If non-brifter levers feel better, use those and go bar-con. At those kind of distances, comfort in your contact points with the bike is critical and probably ought to trump other concerns.
If you are talking long-distance loaded touring, go bar-con for the reliability/friction mode factor, especially if you are going to be someplace where you might be several days (or more) from a bike shop.
If you are a racer and like to go after every sprint prime in every criterium you enter, get brifters.
And remember that this advice is worth exactly what you paid for it.:rolleyes:
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