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Old 08-02-09, 11:11 AM   #1
on the path
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Hi from upstate New York

I'm a fifty something once again bike owner/rider. I haven't really ridden for over 30 years, until purchasing a hybrid about a week ago. I'm having a blast riding on the aqueduct trail that runs through my town and pretty much the length of the county and on into New York City. The trail is a combination of hard pack dirt and loose gravel, with a few rocks and roots mixed in to keep things interesting. The bike I chose has fairly beefy tires, but not knobbys, so road riding is still an option. I'm really liking the bike, with one caveat...

The first question I asked the bike salesman was about the shifters. The bike has bar mounted twist type indexing shifters. The salesman assured me that the indexing shifters work great and always shifted the to gear indicated. I actually believed him....

My memory may be a little foggy, if not sentimental, but I don't recall ever having problems with my frame mounted friction shifters on my low end 70's era 10 speed road bike. I'm less than impressed with the indexing shifters on my current bike, especially the one controlling the front sprocket set. I'm seriously considering changing out the front index shifter for some kind of friction shifter replacement. Any comments would be most welcome. Thanks.

OTP
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Old 08-02-09, 11:22 AM   #2
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Welcome to Bike Forums. That's too bad you're having trouble with your shifters. You might try posting your question in General Cycling Discussion or Bicycle Mechanics forums.
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Old 08-02-09, 01:38 PM   #3
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Index shifting was a sophisticated solution to something that wasnt a problem, but I love all the close ration gears which a simple click of the shifters can select the right gear for the slightest change in gradient. However these index shifters need a lot of care to get them working properly, and need adjustment when new as the cable housing bed down. The downtube shifters were only handy to operate when you were riding in the drops.
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Old 08-02-09, 01:52 PM   #4
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Index shifters are pretty handy as far as not having to worry about dialing in your gear on the fly. I've got a Schwinn hybrid with index shifters that work flawlessly. The shifter cables might stretch a little requiring some adjustment early on but once everything's broken in they should hold true.
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Old 08-02-09, 03:13 PM   #5
on the path
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Thanks for the welcome and the thoughtful replies. It turns out that my new bike is also a Schwinn hybrid. At best the shifts have been about 90% solid. I've done some adjusting of my own and now carry a screwdriver and appropriate allen wrench. I am a mechanically inclined person.

The trail riding that I do has me shifting quite often. I like that the shifters are mounted on the bars, and if they worked flawlessly I would love them. I'm wondering if someone makes friction shifters that mount the same and operate in a similar fashion. Thanks again.

otp
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Old 08-02-09, 03:42 PM   #6
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I'll bet we've got the same bike. Aluminum frame with front suspension? The components are surprisingly nice for a bike of that price point. a little tip for those shifter is to lightly push the trigger - not enough to change gears but just a nudge- if the gear doesn't catch. This might work for you.
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Old 08-02-09, 07:32 PM   #7
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Standard - Yeah we probably have the same bike. I've got the Sierra GS. About the gear shifter, I've tried every subtlety in shifting technique, and adjusted it every which way and it's just a disappointment. If the shifts are good, which is where I have it adjusted now, I can count on the derailleur to rub the chain on some sprocket settings. I think I might throw up a post about it in the mechanics section. BTW, I grew up in the Albany area.
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