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Old 03-05-07, 06:46 PM   #1
hamr22
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Barcons slower?

Converting from sti to barcons and I'm worried that they will be slower on the "club" rides. I'm posting here because the racer types in the other groups will likely comment even without any personal experience with barcons. So...Are you significantly slower with barcons as compared to STI/Ergo? Thanks!
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Old 03-05-07, 06:48 PM   #2
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Your style of shifters has absolutely nothing to do with how fast you go.
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Old 03-05-07, 06:53 PM   #3
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Shifting-wise - they are a little slower if you aren't used to them. Otherwise, it's a draw. Of course, if you normally ride with hands on the hoods, you'll have to make an extra motion to reach the shift levers.
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Old 03-05-07, 07:21 PM   #4
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My barcons are friction so I spend a bit of time trimming the derailleur but I don't race. I like them alot, as much as the STI shifters.
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Old 03-05-07, 07:30 PM   #5
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Yeah, they take getting used to, and they don't shift as quick as indexed, but it sounds like the OP is talking about the speed of his bicycle, not the speed of the shifting.
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Old 03-05-07, 08:06 PM   #6
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When you need to shift across 2 or 3 cogs at a time, any linear motion system, indexed or not, has a huge advantage over STI, RapidFire, etc. When you want to trim your front derailleur cage, any non-indexed front shifter has a huge advantage over any indexed system. STI's only real benefit is in single-cog shifts, although a rider familiar with his/her downtube shift system can probably execute the actual shift just as fast. I have found barcons to be a bit slower shifting than downtube levers, presumably because of cable housing compression.
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Old 03-05-07, 08:23 PM   #7
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In a related note, why didn't barcons become more popular than they were? I know it is forbidden to say this, but I HATE downtube shifters. What a terrible place to force me to reach while I am straining. Barcons are right where you want them. And yet they are put in the touring ghetto. Why?

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Old 03-05-07, 08:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgedwa
In a related note, why didn't barcons become more popular than they were? ...
From 1972 to 1974 or so, they enjoyed a pretty good run on Nishikis, including the Road Compe and the Semi-Pro. When commuting in traffic or riding in a crosswind, I, too, prefer not to take a hand off the bars.
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Old 03-05-07, 08:36 PM   #9
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Old 03-05-07, 08:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgedwa
In a related note, why didn't barcons become more popular than they were? I know it is forbidden to say this, but I HATE downtube shifters. What a terrible place to force me to reach while I am straining. Barcons are right where you want them. And yet they are put in the touring ghetto. Why?

jim
Can't say for sure. Campagnolo made them, but SunTour popularized them. It might have had something to do with "in the box" thinking, and it also might have had something to do with the stigma that Japanese made products had until the early eighties. Bar cons are a little less quick in operating than downtube shifters, and they weigh more. Still, once you get used to them, nothing is sweeter (IMO)

I've heard some people say they hit their knees on them, and I imagine that bar-cons would be easier for another rider to switch on you than downtubes.
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Old 03-05-07, 08:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Barcons are right where you want them. And yet they are put in the touring ghetto.
Barcons were pretty much standard equipment on Cyclocross bikes before STI/Ergo came along so they weren't limited to touring bikes.

Quote:
When you need to shift across 2 or 3 cogs at a time, any linear motion system, indexed or not, has a huge advantage over STI, RapidFire, etc.
You can downshift up to four cogs in one lever sweep with both STI and Ergo shifters. Ergos (pre-07 for all models and '07 Record and Chorus) let you upshift the entire width of the cassette in one push of the release button.

STI/Ergo are clearly superior to barcons when you are standing while climbing or accelerating. You can easily reach brifters but not barcons from the hoods.
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Old 03-05-07, 08:49 PM   #12
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barcons set on friction let you PUT THE HAMMER DOWN. if you're as fit as your club buddies, you will drop them off the stops. like a block plus. friction lets you shift the whole cogset in one move, if you want. Great prepping for hills, and downhills as well.

I'll say it one more time: friction shifters lets you PUT THE HAMMER DOWN.

Barcons let you hold on, or palm shift, and fine tune while out on the drops too.
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Old 03-05-07, 09:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgedwa
In a related note, why didn't barcons become more popular than they were? I know it is forbidden to say this, but I HATE downtube shifters. What a terrible place to force me to reach while I am straining. Barcons are right where you want them. And yet they are put in the touring ghetto. Why?

jim
+1 I can see where shorter cables and less housing would be advantageous for shift accuracy but at what cost? Staying hunched over most of the ride (I live in hilly country)?

Shifters need to be up on the bars, whether barcons, thumb, brifters, or even stem, imo. Look at how popular Formula 1 race car's paddle shifters on the steering wheel are becoming for regular road cars for example. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 03-05-07, 09:27 PM   #14
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I prefer friction shifting myself for hilly country. Real nice to slip all the way into 1st/granny gear on one shift when I come upon a hill and realize that I'm gonna need to gear down more than a few notches, because it's such a monster. Plus, I can shift from first all the way to the highest gear for downhills (yes, I like pedalling downhills...speed, man, speed!)

Bar-cons are set at a more convenient spot than down-tube shifters are
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Old 03-05-07, 09:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HillRider
You can downshift up to four cogs in one lever sweep with both STI and Ergo shifters. Ergos (pre-07 for all models and '07 Record and Chorus) let you upshift the entire width of the cassette in one push of the release button.

STI/Ergo are clearly superior to barcons when you are standing while climbing or accelerating. You can easily reach brifters but not barcons from the hoods.
+1

STI/Ergo has a huge advantage in shifting multiples over friction, not the other way around.
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Old 03-05-07, 09:53 PM   #16
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And some of us would disagree with ya, big boss man

Friction barcons shift FAST.

wouldn't STI/indexing not even be considered classic/vintage?
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Old 03-05-07, 10:04 PM   #17
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The reason that barcons never took off? Typical cable routing made the front of the bike look like a huge catfish; the shifter cables sprouting out of the bar tape under the brake levers always reminded me of an I.V. line too ...
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Old 03-05-07, 10:19 PM   #18
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Hmm, Campagnolo had bar shifters in the 50s. Back in the 70s, (my time) they were popular with tourists and a few racers. They require you to be on the drops; if that's where you ride, its good; if not they're awkward. They are a little fiddly, not the same feel as downtube shifters; maybe the cable lengths, maybe the throw of the shorter lever. Like anything, they an be adapted to. My stepfather's 50s bike had them and he loved them. I knew a racer in the seventies who had a fingertip (that's what we called em) for the front and a downtube for the rear and thought it was his edge because he could be shifting both at once. I've had Campagnolo on a few bikes, no problem but not my first choice, though I have to admit the racheted Suntours are probably better. But I tend to avoid Japanese stuff, as when I was getting interested in this stuff, Campagnolo was what we aspired to. The Japanese stuff works really well, it just has no romance for me!
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Old 03-05-07, 10:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
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And some of us would disagree with ya, big boss man
I know....

But, I've spent countless hours using both systems. As was pointed out a couple of posts back, you can drop the whole 10 speeds with one push of the Ergo button. >CLICK<..... done. Top to bottom. And you don't even have to move your hands from the hoods.

How much faster can any friction shifter be?
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Old 03-05-07, 10:59 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by bigbossman
I know....

But, I've spent countless hours using both systems. As was pointed out a couple of posts back, you can drop the whole 10 speeds with one push of the Ergo button. >CLICK<..... done. Top to bottom. And you don't even have to move your hands from the hoods.

How much faster can any friction shifter be?

I'm sure that's true.

However, I've always said, this new technology shifting is a complex solution to a non-existent problem. If it was good enough for Eddy, it is good enough for me! For the top level racer, sure. For 99.9999% of the rest of the riders in the world? Come on!
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Old 03-05-07, 11:19 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbakl
I'm sure that's true.

However, I've always said, this new technology shifting is a complex solution to a non-existent problem. If it was good enough for Eddy, it is good enough for me! For the top level racer, sure. For 99.9999% of the rest of the riders in the world? Come on!
Well, it's not a solution so much as an advancement of technology. As to whether friction is "good enough" or not, that wasn't the discussion at hand. But to answer your straw-man, I'm convinced it's WAY better than friction shifting, BY FAR. And even the most casual rider benefits from it's use.

But, I was replying directly to this assertion:

"When you need to shift across 2 or 3 cogs at a time, any linear motion system, indexed or not, has a huge advantage over STI, RapidFire, etc. When you want to trim your front derailleur cage, any non-indexed front shifter has a huge advantage over any indexed system. STI's only real benefit is in single-cog shifts..... "

Having used both systems extensively, I just don't see the "huge advantage" of friction. STI/Ergo is faster, easier to use, AND more precise. In my experience.
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Old 03-06-07, 12:33 AM   #22
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Campy STILL makes barcons.

And you can shift barcons all the way across the cogset in one swift move, or to your sweet 'hammer' gear for the conditions, just as fast or faster than a 'click' click' 'click' or all the way.

And what if you ride the drops a lot because its more Aero than on top the hoods?

I'm biased, however. And I don't think indexed shifting with integrated brake&shift levers is in any way considered 'classic'
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Old 03-06-07, 12:45 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
And what if you ride the drops a lot because its more Aero than on top the hoods?
Then STI is a clear advantage, because you can ride with your hands firmly in the drops and shift with your index finger, and never have to move your hands to a lever on the end of the bar or on the DT. If you don't bellieve this, it suggests to me that you have little or no experience running STI shifters, because I know for a fact that you can work the brakes and shifters on STI with both hands firmly planted, either on the hoods or in the drops. That's one of the principal advantages of the new stuff - finger tip shifting with full, two handed control of the bike.

Look, the statement was made that barcons had a "huge advantage" over STI/Ergo. What is it? What is the huge advantage?

Back to the OP's original question - barcon's or even DT friction shifters may or may not be "as fast" as the new stuff, depending on your experience and skill. Simple as that. On a fast group ride, you will probably be at a disadvantage. On a typical fun/recreational ride, I doubt you'd lose too much, if at all.

I've done both, with both technologies. And based on my experience, I gotta ask staight up to all you folks that are telling me STI/Ergo is a disadvantage/inferior - how many miles have you used it for? What is your experience with it?
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Old 03-06-07, 12:51 AM   #24
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I never made that assertion, only that they let you PUT THE HAMMER DOWN.

But I am asserting that indexed/integrated is NOT to be considered classic or vintage!
Barcons, however- pretty dang sure those fit the 'classic' bill for most riders.

Except the slack chainers.
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Old 03-06-07, 01:20 AM   #25
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*sigh*

In the immortal words of Lancelot Armstrong, "It's not about the bike"
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