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  1. #1
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    Why are bar-end shifters so expensive?

    I'm looking for a set of bar-end shifters, as I'm planning to put dirt drops on my Saracen MTB, but I can't find any for under £40! Why do they cost this much, when a set of MTB brake/shifter combo units can be had for about £25 new? Is there anywhere I can get them cheaper?

    Alternatively, I seem to remember seeing a pair of units that consisted of the handlebar fitting from a bar-end shifter with a downtube shifter boss on them, allowing downtube shifters to be fitted as bar-end ones. I have a set of friction DT shifters, does anyone know where I can get a set of the adapters?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Maybe you`re thinking of Pauls Thumbies? They let you use downtube shifters on the handlebar itself which isn`t quite the same thing.

    Price? Limited demand so small manufacturing runs and higher distribution and stocking costs. On the other hand they`re cheaper than custom made units.

  3. #3
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    Limted market / low demand, there just arn't as many people using bar end shifters as there are using STI or rapidfire + shifters, with both of these, there are products at multiple price points, normally for bar end shifters, they are only at the high (Ultegra/ Dura Ace) level / price points.

  4. #4
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    The adapters to allow downtube shifters to be fitted as barends are available from Rivendell Bicycle Works. Here is the link:

    http://www.rivbike.com/products/show...ts-pair/17-068

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    If you forgo indexing, then the 25 year old Sun Tour bar end shifters work fine..

    Now SRAM and Campag, sell some, too, but their target market is Triathlon,

    racers and the time trial specialty bikes,
    to have the gear shift in the end of aero bars.
    so as to stay in the aero hunch.

  6. #6
    Randomhead
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    triathletes have a lot of money? Bar end shifters are not usually made in the lower-end component lines. When electronic shifting takes over, we may see the end of bar ends.

  7. #7
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    One of the biggest costs for components are the tooling, and production set-up costs, which are basically one time costs. With most components the vast majority go to OEMs and the one time costs are spread over a large volume. On components with no or limited OEM, the tooling is spread over a small volume resulting in much higher unit costs.

    Simply put, the alternative to paying a hefty price for limited demand and niche products is not to have them at all. Unfortunately that's becoming the norm. Try for example to get a 1st tier 8 speed cassette.
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  8. #8
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    Hillrider, those were the ones I meant, thanks for the link. If I can find them cheaper than the Rivendell adaptors, I might go with fietsbob's idea of older shifters, I've already been scouring eBay for them, since I'm willing to forgo indexing. Anyway, thanks guys!

  9. #9
    cab horn
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    8 speed cassettes lol.

    What is this 1994?
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    A fair number of touring bike builders , Like Bruce Gordon, sell a group-set kit,
    with bar end 9 speed shifters.

    Because..

    they are a neutral interaction allowing a combination of a Drop style handlebar
    and a Mountain Bike Drive train be combined.
    as there is the ability to use either road and MTB front mechs,
    since left is not indexed.. where the Brifters for each are not interchangeable.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Steev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    The adapters to allow downtube shifters to be fitted as barends are available from Rivendell Bicycle Works. Here is the link:

    http://www.rivbike.com/products/show...ts-pair/17-068
    There's also the Jagwire ones that clapm outside the bar. Bit pricey.
    http://www.probikekit.com/ca/compone...mount-kit.html

  12. #12
    Senior Member shouldberiding's Avatar
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  13. #13
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    8 speed cassettes lol.

    What is this 1994?
    Maybe for some folks, 8 is plenty and they'd rather not have to adjust their indexing and replace cables and chains more often.

  14. #14
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    I just picked up a pair of suntour accushift barcons for $25 off craigslist... you can get a good deal if you look around. Mine were in excellent shape. I just posted a wanted ad in the bike section.

  15. #15
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    If you forgo indexing, then the 25 year old Sun Tour bar end shifters work fine..
    Yep, I'm running those to drive a 7-speed indexed system. The shifters are not indexed, but they shift far better than normal friction shifters. With development of a little muscle memory, I can move the shifter to get a good shift nearly all the time if shifting one gear at a time. If I dump but don't go all the way to the end, I sometimes end up having to trim a bit. I have a 9-speed cassette and RD I want to try with the Suntour shifters.

    The Suntour shifters, by the way, are not a simple friction shifter. When "pushing" the cable, you are moving against friction. When pulling the cable, it ratchets. The result is that it tends to stay put, but you don't have to use a lot of force to fight the friction. Pretty nice feel, actually.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    They are relatively cheap if you were paid more money,
    I'd work on what you can change.

  17. #17
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    The Suntour shifters, by the way, are not a simple friction shifter. When "pushing" the cable, you are moving against friction. When pulling the cable, it ratchets. The result is that it tends to stay put, but you don't have to use a lot of force to fight the friction. Pretty nice feel, actually.
    What were they called, Powershifters or something? I think I had em on an old beater, they were pretty cool. Any reasonably nice (like 105) Shimano index levers are way sweeter though, IMO. When switched to friction, the right lever feels like the left one, a really fine 'micro-index' kinda thing. And the thing is, they're countersprung, which equalises the force by reducing it rather than adding to it. They're trick, and work beautifully.

    Here's a set for 15 quid.
    Last edited by Kimmo; 07-07-11 at 09:56 AM.

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