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Thread: STI or Barcon?

  1. #1
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    STI or Barcon?

    Getting ready to pick components for the new LD bike.

    Stuck on going STI or barcon. What says you in LD land?


    Convince me either way.
    I like the option of clean handlebar bag mounting.
    I mix it up when climbing - standing and sitting.

    I'm probably going to try the On One Midge bar.

    I'm not a speed demon.
    I used aerobars this season but won't next, anticipating PBP.

    The bike will also be a light tourer, weekend away rider. (leave on Saturday morning, ride 100-150 miles, camp or hotel, head home)
    Last edited by bmike; 07-28-06 at 03:12 PM.

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    I use barends because I want to know what gear I'm using at night. The back-up friction option doesn't hurt if I bend the gear hanger during a ride or have to get a replacement wheel. Most randonneurs use STI or Ergopower.

    STI cables can be a pain when in the headlight beam and discourage the use of handlebar bags. Quite a few randonneurs clip their route sheets (cue sheets for Yanks) to the STI cables.

    Midge bars will sit your STI levers at a funny angle...

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    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    +1 for barcons!
    Less hi-tech, less $$, less problems than STI.

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    I'm planning on outfitting my Club Racer with barcons, too; mostly because it's what I'm used to. Aside from the aforementioned benefits of friction mode and simplicity, I also like being able to jump three or four cogs on my cassette with one lever pull rather than doing four clicks on an STI shifter.

  5. #5
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spokenword
    I'm planning on outfitting my Club Racer with barcons, too; mostly because it's what I'm used to. Aside from the aforementioned benefits of friction mode and simplicity, I also like being able to jump three or four cogs on my cassette with one lever pull rather than doing four clicks on an STI shifter.
    I do like them on my 520...

  6. #6
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    STIs (Tiagras no less) for almost five years, almost 50,000km and nary a problem. Just to balance the debate, you understand, I need to point out a few things. Shifting three gears at once on STIs is entirely possible, in fact easy, with just a single flick of the lever. In-line barrel adjusters (on the downtube or adjacent to the levers) can overcome wear and some damage problems (and I haven't damaged a rear der on an LD event yet).

    Mounting a suitable sized handlebar bag is not a problem (I use the Topeak Tour Guide small model that discourages overloading), the cables don't interefere with a light that is mounted at crown or lower level where the beam is most effective in identifying road undulations, and the real advantage is being able to shift while standing to pedal and while my hands are on the hoods (I don't stand to climb on the drops). Came in very handy climbing Sunwapta Pass in the Rockies this weekend.

    By the way, one thing to watch for that can trick riders and less aware mechanics... STIs can give the impression of "packing up" with stiff or even seized shifting. The culprit may not be the shifter innards at all, but an accumulation of sports/energy drink drippings on the bottom bracket cable guide that causes the cable to seize. This happened today after a bike that I serviced was test ridden by the owner, who then complained it wouldn't shift on the rear cogs. A squirt of water and away the rider went happy as can be. I have found occasionally that on a long event, the shifting slowly deteriorates, with rear cogs not shifting down the cluster crisply, and the front shifter becoming so stiff as to be virtually inoperable. A sticky cable guide is the culprit.

  7. #7
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    Shifting three gears at once on STIs is entirely possible, in fact easy, with just a single flick of the lever.
    I tried Chorus 10 this weekend. Wow. Very different in feel from the Ultegra on my bike. If I remember correctly I dumped 8 cogs with a full push of the thumb lever.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    Mounting a suitable sized handlebar bag is not a problem
    I'd use noodles on STI. But with the Campy, there are no cables to worry about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    and the real advantage is being able to shift while standing to pedal and while my hands are on the hoods (I don't stand to climb on the drops).
    Agreed. I've been standing more and more as I climb, and sliding in and out of the saddle and being able to adjust is nice...


    But, after having played with Chorus in the workstand and getting a short test ride, I may be going Ergo. The LBS is pricing it out for me...

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    I wish there were modern indexed stem shifters.

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