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  1. #1
    Senior Member rykoala's Avatar
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    Simple/reliable shifter setup for flat-bar?

    I am kicking around the idea of building myself a geared road bike, and the only thing I hate about geared bikes is the shifters. I would be perfectly happy with handlebar mounted friction shifters. I want to run a flat bar MTB style though. Any suggestions? I hate grip shifters, and trigger type shifters aren't far behind.

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Have you looked at SRAM trigger shifters? Cheap and the best ive encountered
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  3. #3
    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rykoala
    I am kicking around the idea of building myself a geared road bike, and the only thing I hate about geared bikes is the shifters. I would be perfectly happy with handlebar mounted friction shifters. I want to run a flat bar MTB style though. Any suggestions? I hate grip shifters, and trigger type shifters aren't far behind.

    Thanks for the help!
    There are cheap friction shifters available ,and Shimano thumbshifters as found on ebay have a friction mode.

  4. #4
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    ive got a set of Xt topmount Thumbshifters (they do 8spd indexed) and they are by far the best shifters I have ever used (tried rapidfire, sti etc). Many people swear by them, if you can find a pair its well worth it.
    If money is of little importance, and you need 9spd, there's also paul's thumbies that'll let you mount 9spd downtown (or is it barend) road shifters like old thumbies.

  5. #5
    Senior Member rykoala's Avatar
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    Thank you for the suggestions! Keep'm coming. What I want is something that I can count on to be high quality but ultra simple. If I could find an all-metal version of these I'd be happy:
    http://www.loosescrews.com/index.cgi...d=799972032568

  6. #6
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    unfortunately, they dont really make any high quality thumbshifters anymore...
    At least as far as I know, id love for someone to correct me!
    I think your best bet is either Deore or XT topmounts or Suntour XC pro topmounts are also supposed to be good.
    The plastic ones they sell know will work fine, but I wouldnt count on teh quality

  7. #7
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rykoala
    Thank you for the suggestions! Keep'm coming. What I want is something that I can count on to be high quality but ultra simple. If I could find an all-metal version of these I'd be happy:
    http://www.loosescrews.com/index.cgi...d=799972032568
    Get yourself a set of shimano barcons and a pair of these:

    http://www.paulcomp.com/

  8. #8
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    I vote for the thumbies. I have them with 8 speed bar end and they are great. makes life much better then some of the other optiond out there
    "When a man lies, he murders some part of the world"

    God Bless Chris LeDoux. R.I.P. 1948-2005

  9. #9
    chopsockey jo5iah's Avatar
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    How about a Rohloff Speedhub?

  10. #10
    Senior Member rykoala's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jo5iah
    How about a Rohloff Speedhub?
    LOL that's a good one! I'm having a cow at potentially spending almost a hundred bucks on high quality thumb shifters as it is. I don't think I could ever bring myself to spend $1k on a bicycle, let alone just the rear hub .

    For what its worth I did think about doing an internally geared hub but I may use the bike for touring, and so I'll need a triple front and a 7 or 8spd rear. I wish there was such thing as a 5spd cassette, I would use that so that I could get less dish but there is no such thing unfortunately.

    Maybe I should ask this: How is the quality of shifters that cost less than $50, like shimano alivio shifters? The all-plasticness of them scares me a bit, and if I use the bike for touring, the last thing I want problems with is shifters. Its one reason my main commuter is a single speed road bike.

  11. #11
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    at the risk of souding like a broken record, it should be fairly easy to get a pair of very high quality very good used XT thumbshifters on ebay for 50$. I got mine for 40$ CDN incudling 2 UN-72 BBs.
    You simply will not find a more reliable shifter for touring.

  12. #12
    Glutton for Punishment
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    I've got a set of old Shimano barcons in my touring bars and I love 'em. Before that I used thumbshifters, and while they're handier than stem shifters, I still had to take my hand off the grip far too often in order to shift. With the barcons I just slide my hand back a bit and there it is.

  13. #13
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rykoala
    Maybe I should ask this: How is the quality of shifters that cost less than $50, like shimano alivio shifters? The all-plasticness of them scares me a bit, and if I use the bike for touring, the last thing I want problems with is shifters. Its one reason my main commuter is a single speed road bike.
    They're OK. They're not great, but they are functional and I would use them for a commuter bike if it was something I had to leave outside.

  14. #14
    Senior Member rykoala's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies. I appreciate it VERY much. The XT thumb shifters look like THE route to go, so I'll find some of those when the time comes. I'm debating between building a geared road bike, and building a monster lighting system for next winter.

  15. #15
    Senior Member rykoala's Avatar
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    PS- I also now know what to buy for my mountain bike when it comes to shifters, thanks to you all. Those grip shifts have got to go....

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