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Old 08-11-05, 01:46 PM   #51
zac
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I do, I do! (Campy Record with downtube shifters.)

But I ride STI shifters on my new bike too.

Honestly, I don't know why I waited so long. I can shift pretty effortlessly with the friction shifters, and sometimes the STIs seem to have a mind of their own. BUT, being able to shift while hammering away out of the saddle going uphill, at least for me, makes it all worth while.

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Old 08-12-05, 07:34 PM   #52
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I haven't read all of this thread, but if someone hasn't said it before, index shifters are like putting frets on a fiddle.
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Old 08-13-05, 10:13 AM   #53
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what is a fret on a fiddle and what does it do?
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Old 08-14-05, 04:53 PM   #54
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Are you serious or is it like a musician asking what a bottom bracket is?
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Old 08-19-05, 09:13 AM   #55
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I was SOOOOOO glad to give up the friction shifters for my first bike with STI shifters. I hated having to let go of the handlebars and trying to shift while going uphill (and not lose speed, because the blasted thing would find the gear). Plus, you who like them must have much smoother shifters than I had. Buttery smooth NEVER described the shifting on that bike. What I remember if having to have my hand on the shifter for a relatively long period of time to try to get it into the correct gear. Ugh. Those of you who like it, all the power to you. I'll stick with my Shimano Ultegra.
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Old 08-19-05, 10:09 AM   #56
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When I got my first derailleur bike about 50 years ago, I was puzzled why the shifters weren't made to index just like the Sturmley-Archer trigger shifters I was used to. I learned that the reason was unreliability because of cable stretch and the obvious misalignment that happens as the front and rear chain line changes. Back in the eighties Suntour came out with shifters that mounted on top of the downtube which compensated for the front change by adjusting the rear cable and vice versa. I don't have a lot of experience with index shifters, except fine tuning the ones on my son's bike. It's certainly more finicky than adjusting the cables on friction shifters. I still don't know if index shifters incorporate a means of compensating for the change in chain line. It seems to me that index shifting was introduced to dumb down shifting so as to accomodate the masses flocking to the SUVs of cycling, mountain bikes.
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Old 08-19-05, 10:21 AM   #57
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I have downtube friction shifters on my old (1984) Schwinn Super Sport, very easy to adjust, nothing to go wrong - and with good maintentance, very reliable. My first bike with index-shifting was a Nishiki Cascade MTB - very easy to shift - makes riding a breeze (until something goes wrong with the innards of the shift-levers…). It's a bit like the stick-shift/auto argument with cars - it often provides a useful excuse for not letting others ride your bike if they're only used to index-shifting…

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Old 08-19-05, 10:29 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OLDYELLR
Are you serious or is it like a musician asking what a bottom bracket is?
Exactly!

While I am a newer "musician" (and used here, the term "musician" is used in the broadest possible sense) I did catch your analogy.
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Old 08-19-05, 11:47 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wil Davis
It's a bit like the stick-shift/auto argument with cars
- Wil
Well, yes and no. While all racers now have index shifters on the brakes, in car racing an automatic would be unthinkable (except for drags and those F1 gearboxes).
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Old 08-19-05, 04:20 PM   #60
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Lesliegee--- I'm the one guilty of "buttery smooth"...which friction shifters (especially those with an internal ratchet ("retrofriction") can be. But, when those fine motor skills are gone or that farmer's dog is vectoring on your leg, they can be a bit rougher.
Under a lot of chain tension while climbing they can go from smooth to rough for sure.

Chain rub management, I.M.O., is much easier manually than with with a brifter--especially Shimano. In the end, this is merely a matter of taste and style; BTW, I still
wear saddle shoes but they're hard to find.
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Old 08-19-05, 07:38 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zac
Exactly!

While I am a newer "musician" (and used here, the term "musician" is used in the broadest possible sense) I did catch your analogy.
I'm still mystified, but will let it drop.
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Old 08-20-05, 12:12 AM   #62
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bah you guys are ragging too much on the friction shifters. I think they are much better than some of you suspect You have to get used to them and then its like heaven
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Old 08-20-05, 11:00 AM   #63
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bah you guys are ragging too much on the friction shifters. I think they are much better than some of you suspect You have to get used to them and then its like heaven
Yep, I thought they'd be impossible to use and finicky, because I'd only used MTB rapidfire shifters before. Then I tried friction and found it was laughably easy, I found that I could shift just as fast as I needed, and that not having the stops was no problem at all... after about 2 minutes of trying it
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Old 08-20-05, 11:08 AM   #64
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I actually find them EASIER to use with more modern cassettes, 8 and 9 speeds, because there is less space between the cogs than on old freewheels. In conjunction with a double up front, it really is the most trouble free shifting I've ever tried, apart from Ultegra-level STI. But it's WAAAAY cheaper.
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Old 08-20-05, 11:22 AM   #65
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After you know the position of each gear it is very fast and easy. It takes time to find those right spots but in the end its problem free. Its so much easier to adjust
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Old 08-20-05, 11:25 AM   #66
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Old 08-20-05, 06:03 PM   #67
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I just moved to indexed shifters from friction. While the positioning wasn't a problem with the downtube shifters, the location was. I found myself mashing hard on an uphill rather than shift down if I were standing. I find I am more likely to select just the right gear ratio now than before. I'm a new comer to the sport, but to me, the location is 100% the benefit from my new shifters compared to my old ones.
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Old 08-20-05, 10:54 PM   #68
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I am vindicated! Almost forgot about my old Stumpjumper with Suntour XT friction
shifters on the handlebars. That's my rest day(s) bike.

sun
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Old 08-22-05, 06:52 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slide
I'm still mystified, but will let it drop.
Slide (a name like that and you don't play steel or dobro?) here's the scoop: A fiddle (or a violin to the highbrow snobs) has no frets (metal bars on the neck to determine the exact length of string being played. The player holds down the strings in the correct place on the neck from experience to get the right note. Guitars and most electric basses have frets to give the correct note, requiring less skill and experience. Similarly, SIS shifters supposedly put you in the correct gear without having an educated hand and perceptive feel.
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Old 08-22-05, 07:07 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slide
I found myself mashing hard on an uphill rather than shift down if I were standing. I find I am more likely to select just the right gear ratio now than before. I'm a new comer to the sport, but to me, the location is 100% the benefit from my new shifters compared to my old ones.
I have no experience with the brake lever shifters, but to me the downtube shifter is wher my hand falls the easiest. As for having to downshift on a hill, it's frerever been drilled into us to downshift before you need to. In my case, when the going gets tough and I'm not yet down to my 21 tooth cog, I can't really miss it by just pulling the lever all the way back.

This reminds me of when I rode a bike with Sturmley-Archer hub gears. If you dropped the bike on the right side you could break the little chain that changed the gears and it would revert to the high gear. The quick fix was to pull the remainder of the chain out to engage the middle gear and stick a finishing nail through it.
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Old 08-22-05, 07:24 PM   #71
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index shifters are like putting frets on a fiddle.
That is the perfect analogy. . .
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Old 08-23-05, 07:16 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OLDYELLR
Slide (a name like that and you don't play steel or dobro?) here's the scoop: A fiddle (or a violin to the highbrow snobs) has no frets (metal bars on the neck to determine the exact length of string being played. The player holds down the strings in the correct place on the neck from experience to get the right note. Guitars and most electric basses have frets to give the correct note, requiring less skill and experience. Similarly, SIS shifters supposedly put you in the correct gear without having an educated hand and perceptive feel.
Handle is a holdover from motorcycle riding fora.

I didn't know that about violins! I also don't know what a dobro is - I'm sure I don't play one. I do play a mean radio, though

Thanks for the explanation. I don't see why frets are a bad idea on a violin. They would, I think, make one's job playing easier.
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Old 08-23-05, 07:22 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OLDYELLR
I have no experience with the brake lever shifters, but to me the downtube shifter is wher my hand falls the easiest. As for having to downshift on a hill, it's frerever been drilled into us to downshift before you need to. In my case, when the going gets tough and I'm not yet down to my 21 tooth cog, I can't really miss it by just pulling the lever all the way back.

This reminds me of when I rode a bike with Sturmley-Archer hub gears. If you dropped the bike on the right side you could break the little chain that changed the gears and it would revert to the high gear. The quick fix was to pull the remainder of the chain out to engage the middle gear and stick a finishing nail through it.
I initially had a borrowed bike which had downtube shifters. Then I had to give it back and buy my own. I ended up with shifters which are close to the brake levers. You push down or sideways on two levers to move to larger or smaller sprockets (large lever moves to smaller sprocket).

I find the location to be much easier to access as all my gear changing is now at my fingertips when I'm in natural positions riding. Also, as my friend pointed out, I can now switch gears while standing on a hill. Like you imply, that's a theoretical advantage as I tend to shift down before the hill. HOwever, I hope to not to in the future as I need to take advantage of my new bike's assets.

Where I find little improvement is the fact of the indexing. I didn't have problems before finding the right gear if I could get to the lever. Also the move one way for larger the opposite for smaller spockets made logical sense where push lever A for larger, lever B for smaller is taking some learning.

What I can't see are those bar end shifters. I have never used them. Perhaps if I did, I'd learn to appreciate them.
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Old 08-23-05, 10:06 PM   #74
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Slide.....I have barends on two bikes and like them. One set is indexed, one not. They are more easily accessible because they are closer to normal hand positions. (I often shift by just curling my pinky around the shifter. They are almost as precise as downtube shifters. They are more accurate and require less fiddling than STI when tuning your front derailleur to prevent chain rub. In indexing mode, they may well be a compromise between STI and downtubes. As for friction/index....you can choose either. Barends are cheap enough on ebay...try a pair...you may well like them as an alternative to dt's. The only hindrance, which may soon grow unnoticable, is the shifter cable shooting out from the drops before it curls back around to enter the cable guides on the downtube.
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Old 08-24-05, 10:53 AM   #75
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I'll keep that in mind, GG but I don't plan on changing what I have. I had to buy a bike because my borrowed one had to go back. I had a particular budget which should have met my needs easily. I ended up exceeding that budget by a whopping amount. My spending days are over for a good while.

Thanks for the info.
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