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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 08-08-06, 05:13 AM   #1
MrCjolsen
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Why are bar-end shifters promoted as good for cyclocross?

Bar ends are great. But I was wondering, why are they sometimes advertised as being a good choice for cyclocross? Does anyone who races CX use them? Just curious.
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Old 08-08-06, 06:02 AM   #2
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They are cheaper and more reliable then brifters. I did a couple of races last fall with them, but I didn't take to them like I thought I would. I think it was mostly because the courses had enough variations that faster shifting would have been helpful. I also kept on hitting the left (FD) shifter every time I dismounted. I think if the course was pretty flat and muddy, the bar end shifter would be great. I've been toying with the idea of building up a backup rig with a single chain ring up front and 9sp RD with a bar end shifter and using V-brakes/287v brake levers.
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Old 08-08-06, 06:50 AM   #3
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I race with them because as mentioned they are cheap and reliable. I think if I could afford it I probably would upgrade to 9 speed STI but I do fine on bar ends. IMO there is absolutely no place in cross for 10 speed. In fact a 5 speed would be ideal. I am running campy 8 speed with my bar ends in friction mode. This way if I blow a wheel I can get a campy or Shimano 9 replacement in a hurry and it still works fine. They are very practical.
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Old 08-08-06, 01:17 PM   #4
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Although not as convenient to use as brifters, bar end shifters are less prone to destruction in a crash, and they function properly regardless of the amount of mud and sand being flung about. And, as others have mentioned, they are less expensive than brifters.
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Old 08-08-06, 02:34 PM   #5
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One look at the brake levers on my bike will answer your question-they are beat to hell. The brake levers get hit all the time when you crash-I can't imagine brifters lasting very long in that environment.
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Old 08-09-06, 09:33 AM   #6
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Don't forget, bar-end shifters predate integrated brake/shifters by about 40 years. For a long time, the only choice was between bar-ends and downtube shifters.

If you hit your knees on bar-ends, you can trim your handlebars by an inch or so.
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Old 08-09-06, 05:12 PM   #7
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I liked barends so well on my cross bikes that I've put them on two of my roadbikes instead of Campy Ergo. I've got to tell you that I can barely tell the difference in operation. Yes, sometimes Ergo would be more convenient. But that's a very rare occassion.
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Old 08-09-06, 05:23 PM   #8
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I love my bar ends. I just can't justify the cost and complexity of brifters for everyday riders. Sure, if you are a pro that little difference can mean a lot. It's like the difference between a stick shift and the steering wheel shifters on a race car. Is the cost and maintencance for road riding worth it? And for CX why risk losing your transmission in a fall?
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Old 08-09-06, 06:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclintom
I liked barends so well on my cross bikes that I've put them on two of my roadbikes instead of Campy Ergo. I've got to tell you that I can barely tell the difference in operation. Yes, sometimes Ergo would be more convenient. But that's a very rare occassion.
I've used barcons since about 1989. They are indestructable. I have a set of Campy 9 speed on a bike and they work very well. Also, Campy barcons take about 15 minutes and $10 to rebuild. I just did a set. Shimano barcons are a lot cheaper than Campy. Either one is still cheaper than brifters though. Try a set, if they don't work out, sell them on ebay. Good luck

Tim
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