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  1. #1
    Piney the Elder -holiday76's Avatar
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    bar ends on a cross bike

    do any of you run bar ends on a cross bike? I'm building my first cross. i've never raced cross but i will be. I'm going to be building up a cross check. I can either run 8 or 9 speed indexed bar ends for free since i already have them, or I can get some brifters. I'd prefer to spend nothing and use the bar ends. I've used them on my commuter tourer and like them, but this is racing, a different story.

    I'd like to hear from people who have used both and why they like/hate them, advise against or for them, etc etc.

    at the very least I'm thinking i'll try training with them, and maybe even my first race, then if they doni't work out I can always get some ergo's or sti's later.

    i do have experience with sti's ergo's and bar ends. I'd imagine brifters of some sort are probably most widely used o cx bikes since everyone seems to ride on the hoods. which is why i'm not sure if i should even bother trying the bar ends..

    help me out!
    Last edited by -holiday76; 08-22-09 at 11:23 PM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member bluenote157's Avatar
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    stick with you barends for awhile.. i'm sure if you've never raced..you will probably dump your bike a number of times. a lot of folks end up breaking their stis and those things are not cheap. Then when you really feel like it.. get some... or not.

  3. #3
    cs1
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    Until the advent of brifters, that's all cross racers used. I've had them on bikes since 1991. Never used it on a cross bike though. They do work well. My experience is with SunTour and Campy. Good luck and try them.
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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    If you are just starting out, why not. It doesn't cost you anything since you already have them

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    One caveat, years ago my first cross bike had bar end shifters, I friggin hit my knees on those things a few times and that was it, off they came.

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    The only way I could improve on this would perhaps be some dirt drops.
    It's none of my business what other people think of me.

  7. #7
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    I really like bar end shifters. I have them on my steel frame roadbike (105 8 speed) and have used them for years. I use them only un-indexed, and like the fact that you can "tune" the gears in on the go. This is great for long flat rides where you dont change gears much (my commute) I would definately go with them if your after a budget build and already have them. But... They are tricky to shift accurately on bumpy ground. I tried to ride ride my steel frame commuter off road and found the hand stretch a bit tricky. AND I kept bumping them with my knees when standing on the hardest climbs. Accidentally shifting down a cog when your already stretching your lungs really sucks!

  8. #8
    Piney the Elder -holiday76's Avatar
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    Just to be clear, I'm only asking if you guys like them for cross racing. Can you still be competitive with them against peeps with brifters? I have them on commuters and tourers , I'm already sold there. Been using them for years. I' d like to hear from the racers. Thanks!
    Mmm, bikes.

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    My 1st couple of races were on a borrowed bike with bar-end shifters. Coming from road racing on STI's, they were very foreign. I felt like they got in the way of the transitions and taking my hand of the bars to shift was a little dicey at times. I did love the simplicity though.

    I'm racing on STI's now While I like the idea of bar-ends for touring or just riding around, I don't think I would go back to them for racing. There just so much going on in a race, especially during the mad starts, that shifting without having to think about it is important to me.

    I think the only way I would run bar-ends again is if I ran a single ring, and cut the bars on the right side down so I could reach the shifter from where my hands would be in the drops. Actually, that would be pretty cool...

  10. #10
    M_S
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    I used to. The convenience of brifters means you will definitely be shifting more over the course of a race. But the bar-ends are more than workable. You can also look into finding a set of Kelly Take-Offs (dunno if he still makes them) which mount the shifter unit inboard of the brake lever. They're super trick and would be cheaper than buying a whole new set of STIs.

    Also, the more time you spend in the drops, the more you'll like the bar-ends. This depends on fit and preference.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by -holiday76 View Post
    Can you still be competitive with them against peeps with brifters?
    Last year I ran 1x10 with a Paul thumbie mount, loved it, doing it again this year even though I have an integrated shifter to use.

    But the shifter doesn't win the race, the legs do. Most hardcore racer types want the latest/greatest, while most bike dorks who like to fiddle with obsolete technology would rather drink beer and jaw in the shop than train hard. So there may be an association with bar-end shifters and being slow, but it's due to selection bias.

  12. #12
    blah onetwentyeight's Avatar
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  13. #13
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by OnTheRivet View Post
    One caveat, years ago my first cross bike had bar end shifters, I friggin hit my knees on those things a few times and that was it, off they came.
    No offense but if your knees were hitting the shifters your bike wasn't fit properly. I've had them on one bike or another since 1976 and never banged my knees, ever.
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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  14. #14
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by -holiday76 View Post
    Just to be clear, I'm only asking if you guys like them for cross racing. Can you still be competitive with them against peeps with brifters? I have them on commuters and tourers , I'm already sold there. Been using them for years. I' d like to hear from the racers. Thanks!
    Barcons and down tube shifters are considered obsolete in racing circles by most riders. Yet Eddy Mercx won 5 TDF's on DT shifters with times that still can't be beat. What I'm getting at is that it's more in the rider than the equipment. Maybe when you're in the elite top 5 racers then it will matter. For now see how you like them. Good luck this season.
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    1989 Raleigh Technium, 1989 Schwinn Traveler, 1986 Specialized Rockhopper
    1984 Specialized Stumpjumper, 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper and just way too many projects to list.

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    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post


    The only way I could improve on this would perhaps be some dirt drops.
    No, you could do what Crit racers do with bar-ends - it would probably much reduce the chance of the bar ends sticking you in a collision at least:

    http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...for-crits.html

    - You cut the bar down into a sort of inverse bullhorn...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by -holiday76 View Post
    Just to be clear, I'm only asking if you guys like them for cross racing. Can you still be competitive with them against peeps with brifters? I have them on commuters and tourers , I'm already sold there. Been using them for years. I' d like to hear from the racers. Thanks!
    Well in cross, it really boils down to your motor and skills. What kind of shifter you have probably isn't going to make a difference in the end. But if you were head to head against someone with similar motor and skills fighting for position, you may end up losing that position

  17. #17
    Senior Member bluenote157's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitterken View Post
    I think the only way I would run bar-ends again is if I ran a single ring, and cut the bars on the right side down so I could reach the shifter from where my hands would be in the drops. Actually, that would be pretty cool...
    I was thinking the same thing!! cool that is!

    Quote Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post


    The only way I could improve on this would perhaps be some dirt drops.
    Are these the diacompe barends? How do you like them? I was thinking of picking up a pair for my cx? I'll be running a right ergo but figure if/when i need it, it is easier to mount this and run an fd instead of unwraping tape and putting on the other ergo.

  18. #18
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    I own a cross bike, and while I don't race, I do frequently take it offroad. I can't imagine having to take my hands off the bars to shift in a technical section. While YMMV, I'd be eating dirt. I've had instances where the front of the bike jolting almost jarred me off the hoods...

    And while Saddle Up's pic sure looks pretty, that's obviously not a race bike.

  19. #19
    I Love My Dream
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    Yep they are Dia-Compe. They feel really nice the ratcheting is very smooth. Combined with the 9 speed mountain cassette/XT RD shifting is really positive and precise. I'm really a SS rider at heart so I try and set my my geared bikes with a really wide range of ratios so I shift less often. The bike just seems to be in the right gear most of the time.



    The 38/46 front rings really help with that.



    I don't race but the bike is ridden off road.
    It's none of my business what other people think of me.

  20. #20
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    I've raced on them, and while I prefer brifters for racing, it's not that big a deal especially in C and B races- my pit bike has barcons and it sees frequent racing action. There are obviously some advantages with being able to shift to friction mode, a little lighter, and certainly the way to go if you're building on a budget- spend your money on entry fees and tires. To make them work well, for setup, I'd choose a bar with a reach on the medium or long side and a shallow drop. The long reach, combined with a little shorter stem to compensate to put you in the right position, allows you to be able to cut off 1-2cm of the handlebar ends. This way you can avoid hitting your bar with your knees as you dismount- the barcons won't stick back much farther than uncut handlebars, and the long reach models will still give you plenty of space down on the bottom of the drops. Because shifting is best done in the drops, you'll want to have your handlebars on the high side- so use the spacers and stem rise you need to get them up there, a shallow handlebar drop will help- you want to be able to ride comfortably in the drops as much as possible to get to your shifters quickly. Since you're already used to bar cons on your other bike, you should have no frustration using them for cross, once you have a good position in the drops, and you'll just get good at anticipating shifts earlier from the bar tops or hoods- brifter users can get lazy with that basic skill, consider the bar cons as your shifting learning aid for cross. I run my derailleur cables under the bar tape all the way around to exit at the center of the handlebar, looks nice and neat and won't catch on other dudes' handlebars in the chaos of 1st lap hilarity. The cable length is longer, but they shift flawlessly using standard shimano derailleur housing, just be careful to avoid sharp turns as you arrange them along your bar. Bar cons are just fine for cross racing, especially if you optimize your set up for them.

  21. #21
    Run What 'Ya Brung bonechilling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doofo View Post
    the main cause of fit problems is riding your bike

    you should have just stopped riding so you could focus on color coordination

  22. #22
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    I thought about switching to bar ends the first time I wiped out and the bike landed almost precisely on the STI. But then I picked the grass out of it that night and it still worked, so I left it.

    I'm not terribly competitive, but I find that I hardly ever need to shift over the course of a race. Single speed really makes a lot of sense. I wouldn't use bar ends just because hard poking things sticking out of the bike seem bad when you're trying to toss the bike on your should in full adrenaline mode. Obviously with sufficient skill and poise that wouldn't be an issue.

  23. #23
    Piney the Elder -holiday76's Avatar
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    thanks for all the great info/opinions. I've decided I'm going to build my cross bike 1x7 with a 42 single in the front and a 14-34 7 spd freewheel in the back, shifted by a single indexed bar end. I'll cut the right drop as advised above. We'll see how this works out for my first cross race which is in about a month.
    Not sure if you guys are into pics over here, or even interested in an old road/cross conversion, but I'll post pics up when it's done. I'm used to posting in C&V where we love pics

    later
    Mmm, bikes.

    I prefer emails to private messages - holiday76@gmail.com

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by -holiday76 View Post
    Not sure if you guys are into pics over here, or even interested in an old road/cross conversion, but I'll post pics up when it's done. I'm used to posting in C&V where we love pics

    later
    It'll be rude not to post pics!

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