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  1. #1
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    Optical gear display on newer STI levers?

    I recently upgraded from 9-speed Sora levers to current gen 10-speed 105 (5700 series), and I find myself missing the optical gear display.

    Apart from swapping out my current computer for Flight Deck (or looking down at the cassette...), is there any way to modify my setup to easily see what gear I'm in?

    My 9-speed Flight Deck Tiagra levers look like it might be possible to swap in the optical display from the Sora levers, but the design on the 105s is different enough that I don't see where an optical display could even go. Is there any possibility of modifying the levers themselves?

    What about the old-school inline gear displays that could be spliced into the cables south of the levers -- do those still exist? Are the compatible with current-gen 10-speed?

    Are there any other options that I'm not thinking of?


    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Since the cable housings now go from your handlebar tape to your cable stop, the inline gear indicator would still require you to look down. The most practical approach here would be to sell off your 105 lever set and get Tiagra 4600, which has OGD and also would accomodate an inline indicator if you like that better.

  3. #3
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    How long have you been using the 5700? give it some time, any you will soon get used to it.

    Have never found the need to have something telling me what gear I am in on the road, but on an MTB, I find it much easier with.

    For mechBgon's suggestions, these are about the best you can do with the current kit available, but the 4600 shifters loose the underbar cable routing, which is one of the best things about the latest Shimano road range

  4. #4
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    Try it without it for a while.

    If you really need to know what gear you're in, take a quick look at your gears.

  5. #5
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    yeah seriously, I don't really understand this. your legs will tell you if you need to shift up or down. if anything, get a cadence sensor and set a target cadence for yourself and base your shifting on that.

  6. #6
    Hopelessly addicted... photogravity's Avatar
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    At first, I thought this was just trolling, but on second thought I suppose it is a valid question. From personal experience, I just count the gears up and down and keep a mental note... I don't need no stinkin' indicator!!!
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    Ridding the world of derailleurs, one bicycle at a time.

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  7. #7
    Hopelessly addicted... photogravity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motobecane69 View Post
    yeah seriously, I don't really understand this. your legs will tell you if you need to shift up or down. if anything, get a cadence sensor and set a target cadence for yourself and base your shifting on that.
    Makes perfect sense to me and that's more or less the approach I take with shifting my bikes.
    --
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    46 Hercules Roadster, 49 Hercules Kestrel, 50 Norman Rapide, 51 Hercules Lion, 52 Hercules Windsor, 56 Hercules Royal Prince, 61 Fiorelli Tandem, 67 Carlton Super Race (IGH), 70 Schwinn Collegiate (IGH), 71 Hercules, 71 STF Hercules, 72 Peugeot PX-8 (IGH), 76 Raleigh Sports, 77 STF Raleigh Sports, 77 Jack Taylor Tandem, Early-80's Mike Appel SC, 84 Davidson Tandem, Late-80's Alpine, 10 Bilenky "BQ" Signature Tandem

  8. #8
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    I only care when I'm climbing a steep hill and want to know if I have any gears left. Tilting your head down a few degrees is no big deal.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  9. #9
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    Inline optical gear display

    I find that I mostly use it in urban riding, when I'm riding toward an intersection and the light starts to change; I don't know what gear I'm in (because, as others suggest, when I'm just riding along, I shift to match cadence and don't keep track of exactly what cog I'm in), so I have to guess how much to down-shift in preparation for re-starting after the light.

    Even with the gear display on the Sora, it wasn't exact, and I always found myself wanting numbered stops like my mountain levers have. Now, with nothing, I just double-shift a couple times and hope for the best; but more than once, I've found myself in a higher gear than I expected when I start up again -- which means slow starts, which means that the cars behind me are much more likely to try something stupid.


    Anyway, It seems like there's room between the where the shift cables come out from the tape and where they go into the cable stops (especially since I use top-tube routing), and after searching for a while, I did eventually find a ten-speed version of the inline display, so I think I'll pick one up and try it out.

  10. #10
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    10-speed indicator.

    http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-Inline...5414816&sr=8-2

    not terribly cheap at some $21, but hey...

  11. #11
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    I am not adamant about this, but I don't really understand the necessity of knowing what chainring and sprocket one is riding on at any given time. Whenever I come up to a stop (if I plan on putting my feet down) or a hill I shift down a couple sprockets in the rear and leave it at that. However, I rarely take my feet off the pedals at stops, I instead balance in a trackstand or similar and find that accelerating from a standing start is much easier, regardless of what gear I am in. Once you ride your new setup for a while you will develop a "feel" for what gear you are in and be able to shift accordingly without the visible confirmation. Of course, if you find the indicators to be absolutely necessary, others have suggested various contraptions to help you with that.

    Cheers
    lverhagen
    Rex Kramer: Striker, listen, and you listen close: flying a plane is no different than riding a bicycle, just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes.

    - Airplane!

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
    I don't know about style, because I live in the suburbs.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ikarios View Post
    10-speed indicator.

    http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-Inline...5414816&sr=8-2

    not terribly cheap at some $21, but hey...
    The OP can't use this, as the OP is using 5700 series STI's which have the cabling running under the bartape, and this gear indicator needs the shifter cable to run from the shifter side like the older 5600 series

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