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  1. #1
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    STI Shifters - love em, hate em?

    I was looking at a Trek 1500 today with Shimano STI shifters. They seem rather flimsy and fragile, and it seems they would take some getting used to. Also, it seems to be a gimmick from Shimano to lock you into their (and only theirs) integrated controls.

    Tell me if you like them, hate em, or had any problems with em.

  2. #2
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    How long have you been out of the cycling scene...?
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
    .litespeed.classic.litespeed.firenze.bianchi.pista.dean.colonel.plus.more.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fixer
    How long have you been out of the cycling scene...?
    You have read my mind!

  4. #4
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    I've been riding a 14-year old Bianchi, long before STI appeared on the scene. That bike served me well, but it's time to get something newer.

  5. #5
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solomr2
    I've been riding a 14-year old Bianchi, long before STI appeared on the scene. That bike served me well, but it's time to get something newer.
    Well, actually.....STI's been out about that long... ...you must at least have seen a few of them on the road.
    Last edited by roadfix; 12-30-05 at 06:09 PM.
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
    .litespeed.classic.litespeed.firenze.bianchi.pista.dean.colonel.plus.more.

  6. #6
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    To answer your question I love them and no problems with durability and it takes very little time to get used to the shifting.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
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    That may well be, but I've only been shopping for about 2 weeks.

  8. #8
    Veni, Vidi, Vomiti SteveE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solomr2
    That may well be, but I've only been shopping for about 2 weeks.
    Looked at any Campagnolo-equipped bikes?
    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ...'holy *****...what a ride!'"

  9. #9
    Prefers Aluminum Sprocket Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solomr2
    I was looking at a Trek 1500 today with Shimano STI shifters. They seem rather flimsy and fragile, and it seems they would take some getting used to. Also, it seems to be a gimmick from Shimano to lock you into their (and only theirs) integrated controls.

    Tell me if you like them, hate em, or had any problems with em.
    I have experience with 105, Ultegra and Dura Ace STI shifters, and none of them are flimsy or fragile. Once I got STI, I knew that I would never go back to downtube shifters.

  10. #10
    Senior Member skiahh's Avatar
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    I like them on my road bike. Haven't had a chance to try the MTB version, but I don't like the idea so far compared to my rapid fires.
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  11. #11
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    Funny... when I switched from Dura-Ace 8-sp STI to Dura-Ace 10-sp STI the new shifters felt flimsy and fragile too. After a few 1000 km I love 'em and my old 8-speed units feel like stirring a stick in a bucket of rocks.

    Shimano has invested years and years into making the shifters shift as effortlessly as possible. Just ride the bike and enjoy.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Zowie! I suppose it's been a decade now, I know it was before disc brakes, that I made my decision not to switch to Magura rim brakes on my tandem. The reason was that I would have to give up my STI's and I didn't want to do that.

  13. #13
    Senior Member FLBandit's Avatar
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    Love em! Must admit though, I hadn't ridden in some time when I bought the Lemond. My first question was " Uh, how do you shift?"
    I wanna ride!
    '90ish Giant Perigee

  14. #14
    Senior Member royalflash's Avatar
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    I seem to be in the minority but I hated them- I sold mine on my road bike and got some handlebar mounted thumb shifters
    only the dead have seen the end of mass motorized stupidity

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    (well if he was alive today he would have written it)

  15. #15
    Enthusiasm on Wheels As You Like It's Avatar
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    Like Royal Flash, I'm considering "downgrading" my 105 STIs on my road bike to some manner of friction shifters and normal brake levers possibly teamed with auxiliary cyclocross levers. I've been riding this old Schwinn 5-speed a lot this fall and winter, and I have gotten kind of spoiled to the thumb-action friction shifter. No click-click-click-click to switch gears, just a little nudge of the thumb. Once you get used to friction, it seems a lot quicker and more convenient.

    I'm definitely putting friction shifters on my mountain bike after this current set of Grip*Shifters breaks, as they inevitably do. I tell you what, I won't ever have another set of Grip*Shifters. They're the most fragile things I've come across to date.
    Wheeeee!

  16. #16
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Once you go STI it's hard to go back.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  17. #17
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Front shifting is a bit of a PITA on my 9speed Tiagra and 8 speed 105s. Much prefer 10 speed Campy Ergo. I suppose the newer/spendier STIs are better. Indexed barcons I like almost as much as Ergo and more than STI. I can deal with DTs but I don't prefer them.

    What's wrong with your 14-year-old Bianchi? If it's a nice one, you might be better off with some moderate upgrades than with a whole new bike.

  18. #18
    Senior Member dagna's Avatar
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    Love them. Also love clipless pedals.

    Dagna

  19. #19
    Senior Member Deanster04's Avatar
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    If you don't like the loosey goosey feeling of the shimano shifters then give campy a try. I like the fact that the brake levers are fixed while the shifter controls are independent. I ride about 100% of the time on the top of the bars or the hoods and the fact that the brake levers weren't stable drove me crazy. Went back to campy and the ergo shifters.

  20. #20
    Announcer EventServices's Avatar
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    How many THOUSANDS of cyclists are using STI shifters without complaint?

  21. #21
    Behind EVERYone!!! baj32161's Avatar
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    I bought my first new bike in many years last February and it was the first time I ever saw STI shifters. I was worried about the same things you were. After 10 months of using STI I would never even consider going back to downtube shifters. I have never tried Campy ergo but I have heard alot of great things about them. I have had no trouble at all with my Shimano 105/Ultegra setup and I love it. Give it a try, I am sure you will like them as well.

    Cheers,

    Brian
    “A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence. ”

    ― Bruce Lee

  22. #22
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    They are pretty tough, despite their looks.

    Just be weary when doing sudden braking, since you could possibly shift while braking.
    -------- __@
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  23. #23
    53 miles per burrito urban_assault's Avatar
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    Love 'em. I got used to them very quickly and have found them to be pretty tough. Mine are nicked from a few crashes but still work fine.

    The funny thing is when I would ride one of my other bikes with down tube or bar-end shifters, I would still sometimes try to shift with my hands on the hoods of my aero levers. Once you get used to STI or Campy Ergo levers you will probably like them.

  24. #24
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    I've crashed on my ultegra shifters a bunch of times, they're banged up but work like new.

  25. #25
    Olé Olé Olé Olé T-C...N-J TCNJCyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catatonic
    Just be weary when doing sudden braking, since you could possibly shift while braking.
    I've had the occassional problem of braking while shifting up, but other than that I love them. I have downtube shifters on my commuter and I'm always tweaking the lever up or back so that nothing's rubbing. With STI, I just have to push the lever and I'm set.
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