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  1. #1
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    Why bar end shifters?

    This was probably my main reason for not buying a complete CrossCheck or LHT. I'm not knocking them but am just wondering the appeal of them over STI's.
    Don't be a guy. The world is full of guys. Be a man.

  2. #2
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    My Trek 520 had bar end shifters....I really didn't like them much. I ended up switching to trekking/touring handlebars and got grip shifters.
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  3. #3
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    They work great in the winter with large glove/mittens compared to STI. For summer, I prefer th STI though. They are very dependable(Bar end shifters). SO winter and dependability are their two main virtues I like.

  4. #4
    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
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    Once you get used to them they are very nice and completely indestructible.
    Non semper erit aestas.

  5. #5
    GATC
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    I have had not great luck w/ trigger shifters, I like twist shifters fine, and if I was going to err toward newer-fangled than twist or older-fangled, I would go older. So I did. Plus, it's just not easy to correctly index a triple chainring, less annoying to just concede that out of the box and use a friction front shifter. And they're cheaper.

  6. #6
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    bar ends-
    have a nice feel,
    are reliable,
    and are fairly inexpensive.

  7. #7
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    One of the redeeming features of barends for me is the ability to grab a whole handful of gear at once. None of this push to shift, push to shift crap. I can go from little cog to big cog in one movement. And I can infinitely trim the front.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  8. #8
    Senior Member John C. Ratliff's Avatar
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    I have bar end shifters on two of my bikes (the other is my recumbant), and I like them over the original shifters mounted on the frame, as they are more accessible. Concerning them compared to STIs, I believe that STIs are probably a bit handier. But the STIs are sitting out there in front, with the brake levers, and in a crash situation would be pretty mangled (potentially). Bar ends, being on the other side of the bar, are much more protected in a crash than the STIs.

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  9. #9
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pieholden View Post
    This was probably my main reason for not buying a complete CrossCheck or LHT. I'm not knocking them but am just wondering the appeal of them over STI's.

    Just the opposite for me. The friction bar ends were a huge plus.
    STI and Index are rate slightly above a flat tire in terms of usefulness to me.
    -ADVOCACY-☜ Radical VC = Car people on bikes. Just say "NO"

  10. #10
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    Bar end friction shifting is the simplest shifting for me

    When I use trigger or twist grip shifters, I have to go pedal, *click*, pedal, *click*, pedal to get into a desired gear. With friction I just slap it down or push it up until it settles in a cog that feels comfy to pedal.

    The first (and only) time I used STI shifters, I didn't like 'em, because I had to put too much of my concentration into remembering which of the 4 shifter paddles did what. "Let's see here...this little one shifts up on this side and down on that side, right?" *click* "Nope. D'oh." *click* "Oh, right. Outer paddle, not inner paddle." *click* "!@#$!@$!" The outer shift lever could shift 3 cogs at once, of course, if I could only remember if it was up or down...

    I plan on having all of my future bikes use friction shifting, except for any racing bikes I'll be getting. I plan on doing triathlons...glad those Tri/TT bike things use bar-ends

  11. #11
    Senior Member climbhoser's Avatar
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    I don't like where they're located as much as STI, but I do like friction shifters. It's tough for me to decide, because the best of both worlds would be friction shifters on the convenient part of the bar...that is, where your hands usually are!

  12. #12
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martianone View Post
    and are fairly inexpensive.
    A lot of the PVI (Pilot-Vehicle Interface) comes to personal preference.

    However, they aren't quite as inexpensive as it would appear. Depending on what "level" you're comparing at, bar end shifters plus seperate brake levers isn't that much less then a "brifter", which is your shifter and brake lever together.
    Good night...and good luck

  13. #13
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    Other than on a time trial bike, I'll always take STI or Ergo over bar end shifters.

    Surly uses them because they're cheap.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Caspar_s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by climbhoser View Post
    I don't like where they're located as much as STI, but I do like friction shifters. It's tough for me to decide, because the best of both worlds would be friction shifters on the convenient part of the bar...that is, where your hands usually are!
    http://www.paulcomp.com/ Look under thumb shifters

  15. #15
    The Brutally Handsome Sizzle-Chest's Avatar
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    while shifting a bike that his heavily loaded, you can maintain your balance much better if you never have to let go of your handlebars, especially on an climb.
    "What kind of bike? I don't know, I'm not a bike scientist."

  16. #16
    "Per Ardua ad Surly" nelson249's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pieholden View Post
    This was probably my main reason for not buying a complete CrossCheck or LHT. I'm not knocking them but am just wondering the appeal of them over STI's.

    Easy to use and maintain, dead on reliable in all weather conditions and with heavy gloves and cheap to replace. I've had barcons on two bikes (including a Crosscheck) and I doubt I will ever go to STIs. The barcons were a plus for me.
    1997 Mongoose Hilltopper, 1988 Bianchi Specialissima, 2006 Surly Cross-Check, 2010 Norco City Glide, 1947 CCM Single-speed.

    "Take him to the forge and show him the instruments"
    Bernardo Gui, Inquisitor The Name of the Rose

  17. #17
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    I have two bikes with bar-end shifters, and one with STI.

    I love the bar-end shifting for non-racing applications. My hands are usually in the drops, so bar-ends are actually in a more convenient location than are STI shifters (except for shifting during climbs). Plus I like the friction shifting for the front derailler.

    The dura-ace 9-speed bar-end shifters I have on my LHT have a wonderfully positive feel. Shifting is very fast. The 8-speed bar-ends I have on my tandem are slower and have a vague feel to the indexing... that may be because of the long cable length required on the tandem.
    Last edited by matthew_deaner; 10-09-07 at 08:28 PM.

  18. #18
    Year-round cyclist
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    A few advantages for bar-end shifters that weren't mentioned before :

    – I know which gear I'm at just by looking at my shifters. Especially useful in the dark and on the tandem.

    – Quite accessible from the tops and readily accessible from the drops.

    – Works in friction. Especially useful for the front end, because it works with non-standard gears: just trim to your heart's content!

    Three noteworthy experiences:
    – I prefer by far to set the drops a bit high – about level with the saddle – and to ride mostly on the drops. From the drops, I find not only that bar-end shifters are easy to use, but also that STI shifters are cumbersome. STI works best from the hoods, but I hate that hand position.

    – I replace my parts when they are worn or when I need them somewhere else. So for about 2 year, my touring bike was set up with a 9-speed cassette, a 9-speed chain... and 8-speed shifters. No problem, as I used the shifters in friction mode.

    – My tandem has 4 chainrings : 48-38-28-18. It's a tight setup, but it works with standard parts: a 105 front derailleur and a bar-end shifter.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  19. #19
    Mirror slap survivor
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    I have a bike with barcons and a bike with STI. I don't have a functional preference, but the aero levers fit my hands better than the STI do. Plus, the cabling is neater with barcons, and there are no cables to get in the way of my headlight beam.

  20. #20
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    One other thing... handlebar bags fit when you use barcons because of the inobtrusive cable routing.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Bolo Grubb's Avatar
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    I personally do not like bar end shifters. I kept hitting them with my knees at stops. SO I switched to downtube. Better for my use but now I am thinking it might be time to switch to a nexus hub.

  22. #22
    Senior Member MrCjolsen's Avatar
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    Barcons + Tektro brake levers = much cheaper than the cheapest STI.

  23. #23
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    I like the physicality of the barcons. Just feels right to reach down and whack the lever into place. I could never get happy about the fiddly feeling of STI shifters. YMMV.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schwinnrider View Post
    I don't have a functional preference, but the aero levers fit my hands better than the STI do.
    Oh! I forgot about that one! The Shimano Sora/Tiagra aero levers on the Cross-Check I test rode felt nice & comfy, while the Shimano 105 STI levers on the Giant OCR1 I rented did not (not enough padding on the levers)

    My main beef with the Cross-Check complete is that the steerer tube is cut too low, but that's a subject for another thread...

  25. #25
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    If you have arthritis like me you convert to bar-end or down-tube shifters. You don’t need fingers to shift either type. I can shift them with just my palm if the pain is really bad. With STI you must use your thumb and fingers. Twist grips are impossible to use on bad days.

    Over a year ago I built an electric shift system. A Basic Stamp microprocessor drives two stepper motors with cams that pull or release the shift cables as required. I just have two buttons to control both a triple front and rear derailleur. The microprocessor is programmed to select the best ratio between the chain rings and cogs for the next up or down shift.

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