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Old 07-24-07, 04:59 AM   #1
cyclezealot
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What is your expectation for how long handlebar, STI shifters should last.

And is there much difference in how long the various models of Shimano shifters might last. Is say, Dura Ace worth the investment in terms of longetivity as opposed to say the 105 ? I know Campi is repairable, but are they not like three times as expensive.
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Old 07-24-07, 05:41 AM   #2
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I'm not sure about the answer..... but I can give some other thoughts:

1. I wonder if the higher the model corresponds to reliability as well -e.g. the lighter the components, usually the less likely they are to be as robust

2. I have 2 Tiagra shifters, never broken, probably about 10,000 miles on one pair, maybe 2,000 on the other. Originally when I was replacing some components on my road bike to Ultegra, I thought about replacing my Tiagras with Ultegra STIs, however after trying some, I really thought that there wasn't a discernible difference in performance and the weight savings didn't make any difference to me.

I will say this though, the more used Tiagras don't feel as positive as the newer less used ones, though again you could then describe them as smoother I suppose. Regardless, they shift as I want them too. I now expect them to last at least 10,000 miles or 5 years of use (which though they are expensive, are worth it for the convenience of gear changing they offer).
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Old 07-24-07, 06:06 AM   #3
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On my three bikes, I have Tiagra, Ultrega, and Dura Ace. My estimated miles on each of the bikes range from about 5000 miles to over 10,000. I am beginning to think they are slower at completing a gear change. Wondering if that is a sign they might soon might fail. Think an upgrade worth the money.
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Old 07-24-07, 06:12 AM   #4
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I expect them to last forever. I have a pair of Campy downtube shifters from the early 80's that have about 50K miles on them, and they are working like new, they are the reference which all other shifters are compared. Nothing in a brifter is particularly high wear. I just took my wife's RSX brifters apart from 17 years ago, and they look like new when you clean off the dried shimano pile of grease. I soaked the mechanisms and re-lubed and they work like new. If can't get 10's or 100's of thousands of miles on something as simple as a shifter and brake lever, the engineers (of which I'm one) need to be strung up.

Sheldon
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Old 07-24-07, 06:20 AM   #5
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wonder how much new Campi ergo cost. ? Is not ergo top of the line. Is repair relatively easy and inexpensive. ?
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Old 07-24-07, 07:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclezealot View Post
wonder how much new Campi ergo cost. ? Is not ergo top of the line. Is repair relatively easy and inexpensive. ?
Record Shifters cost LESS than Dura Ace shifters. In general Campy shifters cost a lot less than their shimano counterparts. Yeah a campy group might cost more than shimano, but how often do you see a 5-10 year old shimano group still shifting as good as it was new. A Centaur group costs less than Ultegra

Have had several shimano shifters come into the shop looking for repair but sadly we had to toss them. Would have been a cheap[er] fix with new g-springs, and possibly spring carrier if it were a campy shifter.
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Old 07-24-07, 07:50 AM   #7
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Stuff breaks, light stuff breaks sooner. As you move up the Shimano line from Tiagra to D/A (I have bikes with all levels here) you don't improve durability, you reduce weight and some will debate gain on precision (though I maintain it is more a function of proper tuning). Thus, the Ultegra line has always been marketed as nearly pro level at significantly less cost (I also love 105). As far as how long they last, that question has too many variable. How much do you shift, how much do you ride, do you race, do you crash, what is your riding style, do you have loads of rolling hills.
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Old 07-24-07, 09:34 AM   #8
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My experience with 2 8spd (105/Ultegra) and 5 9spd (2x105 and 3 Ultegra) is that the L
hand shifters last more than 12kmi. The R hand shifters have on only two out of the
seven lasted longer than 10kmi, two broke at 2kmi or so, several at 7-10kmi. Mechanism
is always a ratchet failure, usually the ratchet will go from the 12t to the 17-21 and no
higher. On one, (failed at 2kmi) on a 12-27 cassette it won't hold the 24t cog, skips it
everytime, unless I hold the lever deviated to keep tension on the cable. Although
Campys are repairable, finding parts and doing so is not inexpensive, but reportedly not
terribly difficult as they are simpler and more robust than Shimano. Still cheaper by far than buying a new set. When shifters cost
$150 or so for a set with cables (8 and early 9spd) it was annoying but not too bad.
Now they are typically $200 and occasionally more when stocked. Readily available from
Shimano, few shops (mail or local) bother to stock 8-9spd brifters. 10spd brifters are
in the $350-450 range. No or few reports yet as to longevity.

One other comparison: my bent has twist grips and a mid drive so it uses a 9spd
shifter on the R and an 8 spd shifter on the L, both SRAM. The R shifter got flaky at
about 12-13kmi and was finally replaced. Nashbar was nice enough to have some
closeouts on 8-9spd sets for $12 to 25 each so it was painless to buy a life time
supply. Some of them were even just the 8spd grip only so I don't have to throw
away superfluous 3spd L grips.

Last edited by sch; 07-24-07 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 07-24-07, 11:47 AM   #9
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As previously mentioned, campy ergo shifters are much less than shimanos. I had a 105 shifter fail. It would cost about $200 to replace the one shifter, but I got a set of Campy Veloce shifters for $114 shipped from GVH bikes. I then got a JTEK Shiftmate for $35 to make the right Campy shifter and rear Shimano DR compatible.
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