Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-31-06, 09:10 AM   #1
The_B.O.C.
babyjuniorsonofa*****
Thread Starter
 
The_B.O.C.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: denver
Bikes: '83-'84? Nishiki Prestige
Posts: 266
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
who commutes with stem shifters?

i might be buying a bike with stem shifters. i've never used these before and i'm debating whether or not it would be worth it to switch 'em to down tube shifters.
so, do any of you have any opinions on downtube vs. stem shifters?
The_B.O.C. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-06, 09:13 AM   #2
cuda2k
Unique Vintage Steel
 
cuda2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Allen, TX
Bikes: Kirk Frameworks JKS-C, Serotta Nova, Gazelle AB-Frame, Fuji Team Issue, Schwinn Crosscut, All-City Space Horse
Posts: 11,486
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
I dispise stem shifters. If you can get your hands on them still, try to get a set of Kelly Takeoff's to put a pair of downtube shifters on. They place the downtube shifter levers on the handlebars. Lots cheaper than STI, 90% of the convience.
cuda2k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-06, 09:14 AM   #3
HardyWeinberg
GATC
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: south Puget Sound
Bikes:
Posts: 7,649
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 102 Post(s)
Before I moved into the 1990s, tech-wise, I've only used stem shifters, not downtube ones, and I never thought twice about them. What kind of concerns do you have?
HardyWeinberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-06, 09:16 AM   #4
moxfyre
cyclist/gearhead/cycli...
 
moxfyre's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: DC / Maryland suburbs
Bikes: Homebuilt tourer/commuter, modified-beyond-recognition 1990 Trek 1100, reasonably stock 2002-ish Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo
Posts: 4,166
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_B.O.C.
i might be buying a bike with stem shifters. i've never used these before and i'm debating whether or not it would be worth it to switch 'em to down tube shifters.
so, do any of you have any opinions on downtube vs. stem shifters?
As I said in another thread, I find stem shifters just as bad/good as downtube shifters, except that they tend to be of lower quality in general since they're mostly on low-end bikes.

I say switch to bar-end shifters. You can get SunTour Barcon or Accushift bar-end shifters CHEAP, or modern Shimano ones for a bit more. Bar-end shifters are ideal for commuting: they can be used in either friction or indexed mode, they are nearly as convenient as STI in my opinion, and they are very very very reliable and durable. I don't think I'll ever want to commute with any other shifters!
moxfyre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-06, 09:19 AM   #5
GTcommuter
Easily distracted...
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Decatur, Ga
Bikes: Surley Cross Check
Posts: 1,067
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've always found them to be inconvenient. I'm used to bar-end shifters and it's tough for me to move my hands in to the center for shifting. If you buy the bike, you can potentially move them to the downtube or Rivendell makes nubs to convert them into bar end shifters. I like shifters in roughly this order: bar-end, thumbies, STI, downtube, stem, twist-grips.
GTcommuter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-06, 09:27 AM   #6
The_B.O.C.
babyjuniorsonofa*****
Thread Starter
 
The_B.O.C.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: denver
Bikes: '83-'84? Nishiki Prestige
Posts: 266
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by moxfyre
As I said in another thread, I find stem shifters just as bad/good as downtube shifters, except that they tend to be of lower quality in general since they're mostly on low-end bikes.

I say switch to bar-end shifters. You can get SunTour Barcon or Accushift bar-end shifters CHEAP, or modern Shimano ones for a bit more. Bar-end shifters are ideal for commuting: they can be used in either friction or indexed mode, they are nearly as convenient as STI in my opinion, and they are very very very reliable and durable. I don't think I'll ever want to commute with any other shifters!
thanks for your input, i'll definetly check out the bar end option!
The_B.O.C. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-06, 09:28 AM   #7
moxfyre
cyclist/gearhead/cycli...
 
moxfyre's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: DC / Maryland suburbs
Bikes: Homebuilt tourer/commuter, modified-beyond-recognition 1990 Trek 1100, reasonably stock 2002-ish Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo
Posts: 4,166
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTcommuter
I've always found them to be inconvenient. I'm used to bar-end shifters and it's tough for me to move my hands in to the center for shifting. If you buy the bike, you can potentially move them to the downtube or Rivendell makes nubs to convert them into bar end shifters. I like shifters in roughly this order: bar-end, thumbies, STI, downtube, stem, twist-grips.
My shifter ordering would be similar to yours, except I really like the GOOD twist-grips like SRAM Attack (as opposed to the junky ones on most low-end MTBs).
moxfyre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-06, 09:35 AM   #8
Steev
Senior Member
 
Steev's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Backwoods of Ontario
Bikes:
Posts: 2,150
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I was using them until this Feb. when I crashed the bike. I found the position quite convenient when riding on the tops, a bit awkward from the drops. I think for commuting they are a better position than downtube shifters or bar-ends. Of course, if you ask a "roadie" they'll tell you you'll impale yourself on them in a crash, but if you're flying hard enough into the stem to impale yourself on a shifter, you're going to get hurt by something anyway.
Steev is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-06, 09:40 AM   #9
The_B.O.C.
babyjuniorsonofa*****
Thread Starter
 
The_B.O.C.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: denver
Bikes: '83-'84? Nishiki Prestige
Posts: 266
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steev
I was using them until this Feb. when I crashed the bike. I found the position quite convenient when riding on the tops, a bit awkward from the drops. I think for commuting they are a better position than downtube shifters or bar-ends. Of course, if you ask a "roadie" they'll tell you you'll impale yourself on them in a crash, but if you're flying hard enough into the stem to impale yourself on a shifter, you're going to get hurt by something anyway.
that's why i didn't post this in the roadie forum!
The_B.O.C. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-06, 10:00 AM   #10
GTcommuter
Easily distracted...
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Decatur, Ga
Bikes: Surley Cross Check
Posts: 1,067
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by moxfyre
My shifter ordering would be similar to yours, except I really like the GOOD twist-grips like SRAM Attack (as opposed to the junky ones on most low-end MTBs).
Yea, they were ruined for me by a set of cheap ones on my first moutain bike. They were hard to turn and then would slip out of gear unexpectedly. Blah. Now I'm looking at an internal gear hub and most come with grip-twisters so I might be stuck with one. I'll have to look for the good SRAM shifters on their internal hubs.

I agree with the strong support for bar-ends. They're very stable for keeping hands on the bars while riding. Really any shifter that can be converted to friction mode if need be. I've had to do that several times and it's an invaluable feature.
GTcommuter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-06, 10:08 AM   #11
The_B.O.C.
babyjuniorsonofa*****
Thread Starter
 
The_B.O.C.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: denver
Bikes: '83-'84? Nishiki Prestige
Posts: 266
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTcommuter
Really any shifter that can be converted to friction mode if need be. I've had to do that several times and it's an invaluable feature.
is it pretty easy to do?
The_B.O.C. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-06, 10:09 AM   #12
Novakane 
Senior Member
 
Novakane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Canada's Capital
Bikes: Sekine RM40 1980, Miyata 1000LT 1990, Raleigh Mixte Sprite 1980, Raleigh Grand Prix 1979
Posts: 556
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_B.O.C.
i might be buying a bike with stem shifters. i've never used these before and i'm debating whether or not it would be worth it to switch 'em to down tube shifters.
so, do any of you have any opinions on downtube vs. stem shifters?
The bike I'm riding now has stem shifters. I've only been riding it for about a month, and previously was using downtube shifters and I've not made up my mind just yet regarding them.
The advantage I see over the downtubes is that my hands don't need to move quite as far from the brakes to shift when they're up on the stem. Also, the shifters and their current positions is closer to my field of view than the downtube.

The downside is that it's a rather unatural angle to access while in a good riding position, but that may be just because I've gone from 10 years of downtube shifting so my instinctive movement is to reach for the downtube, remember it's a different setup and correct myself.

As to impaling yourself on the shifters - I think if you're slamming forward with that much force towards your handlebar stem you'd just as likely do a nasty number on yourself hitting the stem as you are hitting the shifters. I've never smacked the stem in a wipeout, so I think it's a moot point, personally.
Novakane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-06, 10:10 AM   #13
moxfyre
cyclist/gearhead/cycli...
 
moxfyre's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: DC / Maryland suburbs
Bikes: Homebuilt tourer/commuter, modified-beyond-recognition 1990 Trek 1100, reasonably stock 2002-ish Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo
Posts: 4,166
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_B.O.C.
is it pretty easy to do?
With nearly all models of bar-end shifters and downtube shifters, converting to friction mode is trivial: usually you just turn a knob or ring on the rear shifter!
moxfyre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-06, 10:48 AM   #14
nelson249
"Per Ardua ad Surly"
 
nelson249's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Bikes: Bianchi Specialissima, Mongoose Hilltopper ATB, Surly Cross-Check, Norco City Glide
Posts: 1,416
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_B.O.C.
thanks for your input, i'll definetly check out the bar end option!
+1 On the bar con shifters
nelson249 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-06, 10:51 AM   #15
KrautFed
cars are fun
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Bikes:
Posts: 235
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Stem shiftie here. To me its the greatest position to shift while upright. I heard someone say something about not having their eyes to go so far... the reason I like the stem is because I know where it is, and I don't have to look. Shifting only requires a simple hand movement leaving only one hand on the bars for a split second. While in the drops, its no different.

keepin' it real with the no look friction shift
KrautFed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-06, 12:29 PM   #16
godspiral
Senior Member
 
godspiral's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 876
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I can't understand why anyone would prefer downtube shifting over stem for commuting. I've heard of racers shifting with their knees, but that can't be relevant. Shifting from the drops is far less common or essential when cruising along, and stem shifting involves less reaching and bending, less interference with your knees while pedalling (if bike is a little small). Stem shifting is really convenient when slowing down up a climb, and is probably the only important occasion where easy and fast shifting is important in a commuting setting.
godspiral is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-06, 01:25 PM   #17
truman
It's true, man.
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: North Texas
Bikes: Cannondale T1000, Inbred SS 29er, Supercaliber 29er, Crescent Mark XX, Burley Rumba Tandem
Posts: 2,726
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I used to have stem shifters on my commuter, but I'd hit them with my knee on a stiff climb, upshifting when I really didn't want to. Finally found some oddball downtube shifters on eBay that fit my one-bolt shifter braze on.
truman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-06, 01:27 PM   #18
-=(8)=-
♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯
 
-=(8)=-'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: 40205 'ViLLeBiLLie
Bikes: Sngl Spd's, 70's- 80's vintage, D-tube Folder
Posts: 7,903
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I Stem shifters !!
That is what my two geared bikes have.
Brifters, STI....you can keep that crap !
Bar ends and stemmies are the best !
__________________
-ADVOCACY-☜ Radical VC = Car people on bikes. Just say "NO"
-=(8)=- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-06, 02:16 PM   #19
GTcommuter
Easily distracted...
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Decatur, Ga
Bikes: Surley Cross Check
Posts: 1,067
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by godspiral
Stem shifting is really convenient when slowing down up a climb, and is probably the only important occasion where easy and fast shifting is important in a commuting setting.
This is actually the argument for bar end shifters. They allow you to move your hand outwards and keep a hand on the outer side of the bars which is much more stable going slow. I have a hard time riding slow with my hands at the stem or center of the bars. Bar-end shifters were first developed for touring bikes where stability at a low speed (and next to a big cliff) was critical.
GTcommuter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-06, 02:48 PM   #20
rando
Senior Member
 
rando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Tempe, AZ
Bikes:
Posts: 2,967
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have stem shifters on my old steel ten speed that I commute on. I don't have a problem with them, I only use one gear anyway.
__________________
"Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me
rando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-06, 05:26 PM   #21
godspiral
Senior Member
 
godspiral's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 876
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTcommuter
This is actually the argument for bar end shifters. They allow you to move your hand outwards and keep a hand on the outer side of the bars which is much more stable going slow. I have a hard time riding slow with my hands at the stem or center of the bars. Bar-end shifters were first developed for touring bikes where stability at a low speed (and next to a big cliff) was critical.
I appreciate that barends are an upgrade. I was just comparing stem to downtube.

With either one (of the center shifters) though, setting aside practise time on quiet bumpy crackling sidestreets will increase your confidence in shifting with one hand off the bars while keeping a straight line. I think a key is to maintain fairly light grip balancing as if you could go no handed. Its a learned skill that you only get better at by purposefully practiciing, I think.
godspiral is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:39 AM.