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Old 11-04-09, 01:05 PM   #1
Don in Austin
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Lame-ass doesn't know what gear he is in

I have three hybridized mountain bikes. They all have indicators on the shifters. I just bought a road bike with "brifters." I am embarrassed to say that I find myself needing to shift down in a hurry and have to look down at the sprockets to figure out where I am currently at -- not good. Somewhere I saw a link to add-on shift indicators but can't find it again to save my life. Suggestions?

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Old 11-04-09, 01:16 PM   #2
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Like these?
http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...&category=1613
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Old 11-04-09, 01:20 PM   #3
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I never look to see nor do I care what gear I'm in. I just pedal and shift as needed.
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Old 11-04-09, 01:36 PM   #4
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+1 ^^ My old friction shifters have no indicators. Lever up = bigger ring, lever down = smaller ring.
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Old 11-04-09, 02:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kaseri View Post
I never look to see nor do I care what gear I'm in. I just pedal and shift as needed.
What if you need to shift down and you don't know if you are maxed out on the front or the rear?

Don
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Old 11-04-09, 02:11 PM   #6
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+1 ^^ My old friction shifters have no indicators. Lever up = bigger ring, lever down = smaller ring.
I was considering getting friction down tube shifters simplicity and point of reference.

Don in Austin
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Old 11-04-09, 02:12 PM   #7
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They are out of stock there, but at least I know what to look for.

Thanks...Don in Austin
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Old 11-04-09, 02:12 PM   #8
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What if you need to shift down and you don't know if you are maxed out on the front or the rear?

Don
Just take a look at the chain ring or cassette.
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Old 11-04-09, 02:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don in Austin View Post
What if you need to shift down and you don't know if you are maxed out on the front or the rear?

Don
If you're maxed, then shifter won't shift. Just don't force the lever

Last edited by hairnet; 11-04-09 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 11-04-09, 02:38 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=kaseri;9983281]I never look to see nor do I care what gear I'm in. I just pedal and shift as needed.[/QUOT)
Mtn Bikes are unique in that you needn't worry about the chain being criss -crossed.. With my 21 gears, its something I try to avoid. Causes chain stretch and prematurely causes you to need a new chain.
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Old 11-04-09, 02:38 PM   #11
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The item CACyling linked are what you need.

However, you say you just got the bike. After you ride it long enough, you will know by feel what gear you are in. If not, the shifter won't let you shift, so you will know that way.

I would suggest against looking at the cassette while riding as this almost always causes me to come close to crashing into the back of parked cars. Has never actually happened, but I got really close a few times when I just got the bike.
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Old 11-04-09, 03:04 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=cyclezealot;9983839]
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaseri View Post
I never look to see nor do I care what gear I'm in. I just pedal and shift as needed.[/QUOT)
Mtn Bikes are unique in that you needn't worry about the chain being criss -crossed.. With my 21 gears, its something I try to avoid. Causes chain stretch and prematurely causes you to need a new chain.
Huh? How do mountain bikes alleviate crosschaining concerns?

As to the need for indicators, it's already been covered, but...I still use downtube shifters on my road bikes which are in and of themselves visual aids but I don't use them, I just know what gear I'm in (well, most of the time ). On my mountain bikes I take the indicators off (altho one set refuses to budge, thing came so tight I stripped it trying, so left them on that bike).
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Old 11-04-09, 05:04 PM   #13
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I shift often and keep track of which chainring I'm on. I ride a standard 53-39 double with a 13-26 cassette. I know that I can ride the inner ring (39) at any speed up through 20 mph at 100 rpm without cross-chaining. And I can ride the big ring at 19 mph and above at 85 rpm and above without cross-chaining.

This way I don't have to know exactly which gear combination I'm in, just which chainring.

Al

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Old 11-04-09, 05:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
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The item CACyling linked are what you need.

However, you say you just got the bike. After you ride it long enough, you will know by feel what gear you are in. If not, the shifter won't let you shift, so you will know that way.

I would suggest against looking at the cassette while riding as this almost always causes me to come close to crashing into the back of parked cars. Has never actually happened, but I got really close a few times when I just got the bike.
That's why I want the indicators. I don't want to be looking down at the cassette -- especially at night. As far as feel goes, I ride four different bikes and they are all different. Also different gear combinations work out about the same but may or may not have options for a needed quick downshift on a given derailleur.

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Old 11-04-09, 05:40 PM   #15
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You'll get used to it. Just take a quick look from time to time if you need to know where you are in the gears. As you ride more you'll look less often.

**sorry, I posted before seeing your post about not wanting to take a quick look because you are scared of crashing. Most cyclists don't have that issue.
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Old 11-04-09, 05:46 PM   #16
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Here's another option though it's a bit of an expensive solution (assuming compatible Shimano shifters):

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...&category=2170

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Old 11-04-09, 06:01 PM   #17
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Not to put words in the OP's mouth, but I believe he is thinking like a MTB rider (duh) not realizing that road biking is very different. In other words:

On a MTB, if you are riding aggressively, your shifts are quick and sudden. If you don't get in the right gear at the right time you either bonk on the up hill, loose speed going down, or get trapped in soft material, etc. And you don't have a lot of time to do it, either. Having your gears displayed in a heads up position can save you.

On a road bike, unless you are in a crit, you have time to tap a shifter and if it doesn't move, tap the other one and ... There are no real situations on a road bike that mimic a MTB.

This is one of the reasons that I ride MTB a lot. It improves reaction, balance, and endurance. Most importantly, it teaches you the importance of anticipating what it coming and adjusting. Traffic is nothing after you have banged down some technical trails.

I would suggest that the OP ride the road bike a while. I would bet that he finds he does not need gear indicators.
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Old 11-04-09, 06:03 PM   #18
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The little ovals on the Flight Deck indicate which chainring and cassette sprocket your in.
You can program it if you have a double or triple along with # of teeth on each chainring
as weel as cassette. You alkso have to program in wheel size. 3 models (oldest to newest):
SC-6500, SC-6501, SC-6502. There are also different wired & wireless harnesses and they are
also based on 9 cog or 10 cog cassette. The SC-6502 allows for programming in multiple
bicycles. This model also momentarily displays gear teeth combination when shifting.
The cyclocomputer ranges from $35-$65 and the harnesses from $20-$100.

It "calculates" cadence.
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Old 11-04-09, 06:05 PM   #19
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It was an issue for me to begin with when I used brifters, but now I don't worry to much about the gear I am in, if I find myself free spinning I just drop down...and move up when it gets hard. I have also gotten the feel. If I am on the largest ring at the back... my lever will move, but does nothing. For info they are Campy Veloce.
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Old 11-04-09, 06:39 PM   #20
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Need to mention the Shimano Flight Deck series cyclocomputers only work
with Shimnao brifters as the integrate a wire or two into them. Older Shimano
brifters had 2 buttons on inside edge of left brifter. Newer brifters have a single
on inside edge of each brifter. These buttons cycle thru the various displays and
reset and turn on/off timer/tripometer.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:36 PM   #21
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The "brifter" indicator you are looking for is this one:

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...s.php?id=16742

It is in stock for either 9-speed or 10-speed.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:47 PM   #22
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I have (and have had) road bikes with down-tube shifters, bar-end shifters, and brifters. and I often look down at the front and rear gears, especially with brifters which of course don't have any visual feedback from location of the shift lever.
I don't think it's dangerous at all, to glance down, if you are competent at riding the bike in a straight line.

is exRunner correct about this as a difference of going from mtb to road bike?
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Old 11-04-09, 07:55 PM   #23
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It's simple, tape over the indicators on the other bikes and learn to remember roughly what combo you're in and shift as required from there.

I've only got one bike out of 6 that has an indicator. I don't really look at it much and I don't look down at the other bikes more than extremely occasionally. If it seems odd I'll look down at the cranks and based on what I see there I know roughly which cog I'm on at the rear + or - one. That's close enough since you ride by feel. Too hard, shift... too easy, shift. It really doesn't matter which gear you're in as long as you know you're not severely cross chaining.
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Old 11-04-09, 08:09 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don in Austin View Post
That's why I want the indicators. I don't want to be looking down at the cassette -- especially at night. As far as feel goes, I ride four different bikes and they are all different. Also different gear combinations work out about the same but may or may not have options for a needed quick downshift on a given derailleur.

Don in Austin
You want lit gear indicators?
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Old 11-04-09, 08:10 PM   #25
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What if you need to shift down and you don't know if you are maxed out on the front or the rear?

Don
That's what chain rub's for!
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