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  1. #1
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Modification remorse???

    My '89 Trek 1500 has been in the shop all week to have some modifications done. Turns out they haven't even started but still believe they will finish by tomorrow (Monday) afternoon as promised.

    They're going to raise the handlebar, retape it, and morph the downtube shifters into bar-end shifters, using some part they had to order.

    All week I've been having "modification remorse" because I'm thinking I should keep the downtube shifters the way they are, the way Trek intended them to be, and the way 1,000's of riders have ridden 1,000,000's of miles.

    The LBS said bar-end shifting is a little easier and a little safer, and I figure they know what they're talking about. BUT -- part of me says for the full "retro" experience, I should leave the bike, as much as possible, the way it was when it left the factory. (Okay, the saddle's not original, but you get the point.)

    I have until tomorrow morning to debate this (you know me!). I'm really tempted to call them and ask them just to raise the bars and retape 'em, but leave the shifters alone.

    I'd love any ideas, pros or cons.

    It's a cheap bike ($125) and the mods aren't much either, so it's not about the money. It's about whether to just get the handlebars where I need 'em and ride it like that. I don't even shift that much in my urban environment. Hills? What hills?
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  2. #2
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    The "retro" experience can still be had with bar end shifting. There were plenty of people converting down tube shifting to bar end shifting in the 80's. It's not like you're switching to (gasp) brifters or anything.

    Personally, I like the DT shifters. But, hey, that's just me.

    Welcome back.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Get the bar ends.

    After you raise the handlebars you'll have to bend farther from your normal riding position to reach the down tube levers. Set up your bike to suit yourself. The guy who designed your bike didn't know that you were going to buy it so it's set up for somebody else who probably isn't qualified to post here.

  4. #4
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Besides, what's the point of going "retro" if you're not returning to something you were once familiar with. DT's would not be retro for you....they would be simply archival. Being far older than you, DG, I recall when DT's were the norm for everyone including me. Still fun to have one bike with DT's. I also have one bike with BarEnds, and one with Ergo. It's a nice spread. I wouldn't know what to do with a metal water bottle, barely remember real wool shorts, or would never again carry a banana blackened by riding in my jersey pocket. No point in going back to things that inherently don't please you...like the nasty chemical taste of early plastic water bottles.

    BarEnds will set you off as "timeless" cyclist...and they are in many situations safer and more convenient.

    Your bike will be a nice mix uniquely itself and belonging to you. Neither a quaint museum piece nor a Bicycling magazine trend-setter ho-hum just like all its predictable brethern. A real bike that has fit itself to your style and tastes.

    End of Rant. Send pics.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    I've had bar end shifting on two bikes, a Cannondale and a Santana tandem. The bar ends would still be there except for the invention of integrated brake/shifters that made it even easier to react to a shift while still holding the bars.

    Go for it!!!!!

  6. #6
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    If you DON'T make the changes, you'll always wonder if they would have been better than the stock set up. I would make the changes. Because next year, you probably will change something else. That's part of the fun. Go for it DG.
    Roccobike BF Official Thread Terminator

  7. #7
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Go for the bar ends.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  8. #8
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I used bar ends from '73 until STI came out. So it's not like they're <gasp!> A NEW THING. Go with them, you'll love 'em.

  9. #9
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    Why go half way to the 21st century? Go for brifters!!

  10. #10
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artmo
    Why go half way to the 21st century? Go for brifters!!
    I can think of a couple hundred reasons.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  11. #11
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    Do it. It's not a permanent change, so you can go back to DT shifters in the future if you want.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg
    I can think of a couple hundred reasons.
    I was going to say a couple of thousand...

  13. #13
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Besides brifters being more expensive, and you'd have to fool a bit more with the bike to match them to a 7spd...it seems fun to plug in to early style indexing and then follow the evolutionary ladder upwards later if you wish. Besides, you can always loosen the d-ring and take a trip back in time to friction, which, you never know, you might find kind of fun and can have a handful of retro as well.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  14. #14
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artmo
    Why go half way to the 21st century? Go for brifters!!
    He only paid $125.00 for the whole bike! That'd be like hanging a crystal chandelier in a log cabin.

  15. #15
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    FWIW, I have bar ends on two bikes, and one of the sets of shifters came off another bike I bought in 1970. They count as retro.

  16. #16
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I don't see any reason to keep the bike as original or retro as possible. It's a fine machine, that has already lived a life or two in its present config. You should make it into what you want it to be, take advantage of upgrades that weren't available back then, when they are reasonable.

    Make it into something that you truly enjoy riding. If bar shifters move it in that direction, then go for it.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  17. #17
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    One pitfall (or glory-- depending) of cycling is equipment. When I was a runner, I thought more about my body...aches, pains, areas to strengthen, etc. Cyclists can fall into the hole of becoming obsessive about their gear and, sometimes, the "statement" it makes. Maybe we should fashion that individualized, fabled machine that "disappears" beneath us...and then forget about it except for maintenance.

    We need to remember....... it's not the cycle, it's the cyclist.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
    I don't see any reason to keep the bike as original or retro as possible. It's a fine machine, that has already lived a life or two in its present config. You should make it into what you want it to be, take advantage of upgrades that weren't available back then, when they are reasonable.

    Make it into something that you truly enjoy riding. If bar shifters move it in that direction, then go for it.
    +1

  19. #19
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    Gentlemen! The bar ends closed!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg
    Go for the bar ends.
    +1 I'd never used them before. Had downtub shifters 30 years ago and had trigger shifters on my MTB. After trying the barends, I like them A LOT - convenient, easy to use, shifting feels natural & I'm not reaching far away from tops of handlebars. I think there IS some kind of cool factor but being 50+, I don't think I'm qualified to identify it.
    centexwoody
    They're beautiful handsome machines that translate energy into joy.

  21. #21
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    I love my DT shifters - but go for the bar ends - you can't figure out what you like best without trying all the options.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  22. #22
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    I bet you'd love brifters.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  23. #23
    jcm
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    DT shifters were the mark of a bike that was intended for the more 'discerning' cyclist. That means, aggressive. Personally, although I have always ridden fairly aggressively, I had no use for them. Bar-ends are much more instinctive for me, set to friction mode. Heck, for that matter, the stem mounted shifters were great, too.

    My Sequoia Elite has the brifters. Very handy, but the front has always seemed, well, rather clunky and imprecise. I may try to re-fit a friction shifter for the front DR.

  24. #24
    King of the molehills bcoppola's Avatar
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    Convert it to fixed gear. Less for you to obsess about.
    '04 Giant OCR2|'87 Schwinn World Sport F/G conversion (6,129)|'92 Trek 820 MTB|'85 Schwinn Super LeTour
    "People who spend most of their natural lives riding iron bicycles over the rocky roadsteads of this parish get their personalities mixed up with the personalities of their bicycle as a result of the interchanging of the atoms of each of them and you would be surprised at the number of people in these parts who are nearly half people and half bicycles." - Flann O'Brien, The Third Policeman

  25. #25
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    OK, Deeg, I'm here to totally confuse matters: I've got bikes with bar ends, down tube shifters, and brifters. Honestly, I like 'em all. But to me, there's something uniquely pleasurable about the DT shifters. Sort of like driving an old stick shift VW. Of course, that's far from everybody's cup of tea.
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

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