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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 03-03-14, 04:08 PM   #51
jdowdy411
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
Buy something which is inexpensive, durable, and simple, learn your preferences and then advance into new tech once you know what you like. Instead, spend $300 on a simple road bike; learn to ride it and maintain it.
That's been the plan all along. Also, not a total noob. Been riding and working on mountain bikes for years; pretty much a noob to road bikes though.
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Old 03-03-14, 04:14 PM   #52
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We're not talking about the latest and greatest though; that's never factored into this conversation. We're talking about trickle-down advances in technology vs. the tried and true methods of yesteryear and whether one "deserves" the former without having used the latter. The latest and greatest had not been mentioned in this thread until you brought it up.
I wouldn't consider brifters that didn't allow shifting from the drops to be a "trickle down" of anything. They are a literal technology dead end. You get to the point where you want to ride in the drops, you throw them away and buy something new. That's the long and the short of it. Down tube shifters allow you to ride a road bike like a road bike. These 2300 brifters do not.

And part of your statement was about safety. Brifters do not improve safety. At all. It is an illusion at best. If brifters are the difference between staying balanced and crashing, then you are not fit to be riding in active traffic.
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Old 03-03-14, 04:15 PM   #53
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That's been the plan all along. Also, not a total noob. Been riding and working on mountain bikes for years; pretty much a noob to road bikes though.
That's great! Have fun with your bike and welcome to the world of road cycling!
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Old 03-03-14, 04:23 PM   #54
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The brifters allow you to shift without moving your hands from the hoods. Can the DT shifters do that?
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Old 03-03-14, 04:23 PM   #55
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My wife's old bike has older Sora thumb shifters. They shift cleanly and reliably.
Shifting is all about maintenance. Poorly setup Dura-Ace can shift badly, well maintained 2300 should shift fine.

The lever throw is longer/stiffer than Ultegra, but functionally it still shifts crisply and runs quietly. The only part I hate is that the thumb buttons are in exactly the wrong place.

Also, let me get this straight the main argument against the brifters is that you can't up-shift in the drops. To which the solution is not being able to up or down-shift from the drops?
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Old 03-03-14, 04:25 PM   #56
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The downtube shifters on the mirage really aren't bad. I really like them because they are simple to adjust and maintain. I probably would have considered the super mirage if it were an option for me (sold out) when I ordered my mirage, but I am happy with my choice. Honestly, I would save the money on the shifters and use it on a different saddle unless you'd be able to swing the money for both.
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Old 03-03-14, 04:30 PM   #57
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I say downtube, in friction mode.


It just isn't that hard, working on your bike's drivetrain is super simple with downtubes, it's cleaner looking, and you can drop the entire cassette in one motion when you find you are going up a hill that is just way too hard for your knees.



I just hate sora and below brifters and am a little bummed my two bikes don't have downtube bosses.


But honestly, for 400 bucks I would be looking at a used bike and skip the entire bikes direct stuff.
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Old 03-03-14, 04:35 PM   #58
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A lot of people seem to be making this mistake, so let me correct it: these are INDEXED downtube shifters. Not friction! Indexed. With clicks. 90% of what's challenging about DT shifters are eliminated with indexing. The disadvantages are reduced to having to take a hand off the bars (not a big deal most of the time) and the resulting delay between thinking about shifting and executing it.

I think this is kind of a toss-up. I really like indexed downtube shifters. A lot. But I think shifting in the drops is about equally difficult for both. You either reach your hand down to the downtube, or up to the top of the hood. The latter is probably a bit more awkward, but you have to move a hand either way. I do think downtube shifters are unfairly maligned by those with little experience with them, or by people thinking about crummy friction shifters, but I also think that integrated shifters are an improvement. I don't have a lot of experience with the non-group Shimano stuff, but I do know it's better than ever and also probably unfairly maligned by people who remember the early days of Sora and haven't used the cheap stuff since then. But it's hard for me to make an actual recommendation.
Alot of good words spoken here on both sides of the coin. Indexed down-tubes shift very well, however, you are still reaching down/getting a hesitation prior to the shift. However, they are always lighter and easier to maintain / service. No real reason to complain about Sora anymore regarding reliability. It's solid, but like any shifter, only as good as the person setting up / maintaining the bike. No it's not fun shifting from the drops. But how much are you in the drops? I can't imagine Claris being much different. The question is, what would you prefer, or want to have. Me, for $50 would definitely to to the SIS system. However, I've been using it for quite a few years.
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Old 03-03-14, 05:44 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
I wouldn't consider brifters that didn't allow shifting from the drops to be a "trickle down" of anything. They are a literal technology dead end. You get to the point where you want to ride in the drops, you throw them away and buy something new. That's the long and the short of it. Down tube shifters allow you to ride a road bike like a road bike. These 2300 brifters do not.
This doesn't really make any sense. In both cases if you are riding in the drops you have to remove that hand from the drop to shift. Its closer to move from the drop to the hood than down to the DT, and its not awkward after 2-3 times. You also retain braking if necessary. If you are on the hoods most of the time like 99% of road cyclists I see, then you have full brifter functionality for the majority of your time, with DT shifters you always have to let go of the bar to shift.
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Old 03-03-14, 05:45 PM   #60
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Alot of good words spoken here on both sides of the coin. Indexed down-tubes shift very well, however, you are still reaching down/getting a hesitation prior to the shift. However, they are always lighter and easier to maintain / service. No real reason to complain about Sora anymore regarding reliability. It's solid, but like any shifter, only as good as the person setting up / maintaining the bike. No it's not fun shifting from the drops. But how much are you in the drops? I can't imagine Claris being much different. The question is, what would you prefer, or want to have. Me, for $50 would definitely to to the SIS system. However, I've been using it for quite a few years.
Claris/Sora now has the second shifter paddle like Tiagra so you can shift from the drops
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Old 03-03-14, 06:01 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
I rode with downtube shifters for 30 years. Trust me - you want the brifters.

I prefer the ergonomics of the Shimano brifters with the separate paddle and downshift buttons - like in the ad. Fortunately these are the least expensive - a bonus. Plus they are among the mechanically simplest and lightest Shimano brifters. More benefits.

I also prefer the brifters in which the shift cables come out of the sides of the lever bodies and are not wrapped under the bar tape. It looks less clean, but the shifting action is crisper and lighter due to not having the extra friction involved in under the bar-tape housing runs.

For some reason Shimano went to under the bar tape shifter housings a few years back; I assume the marketing folks won over the engineers on this decision.
Actually the customers won the argument. At last count the engineering staff doesn 't contribute very much to the sales total of a company, directly I mean.
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Old 03-03-14, 06:08 PM   #62
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This doesn't really make any sense. ...
It makes more sense when you try it.
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Old 03-03-14, 06:14 PM   #63
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It makes more sense when you try it.
I've used both, the Sora brifters are still easier for almost all riding. The only argument that makes sense is if you think the shifting with the DT is easier to maintain and more precise.
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Old 03-03-14, 06:50 PM   #64
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The Super Mirage also appears to have DT shifter braze-ons. For $50 more get the bike with brifters. If you don't like them, you can sell them and get DT shifters. The sunrace 8sp DT shifters are like $20.
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Old 03-03-14, 07:08 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
Or, and this is a radical suggestion, but if you don't feel comfortable enough on a bike to take your hands off the bars to shift, learn to get comfortable enough on your bike to take your hands off the bars to shift. If you can't ride with one hand off the bars, comfortably and smoothly and without thought, and are not willing to learn, then you should stop riding your bike, for your own safety. Because, you will crash eventually, and it'll be a hard crash. 100% guaranteed.
I thought one of your arguments against thumb shifters was that you can't shift in the drops. It is certainly easier than DT shifters when in the drops.
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Old 03-03-14, 07:38 PM   #66
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A lot of snow still on the ground apparently. WOW!
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Old 03-03-14, 07:40 PM   #67
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Holy... Imagine if STI's/Ergos/SRAM stuff had never come along.
POOF! 90% of the Forum here would disappear.
America!
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Old 03-03-14, 07:46 PM   #68
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Thank you all! Hearing all the different perspectives on this topic is very helpful. At this point, I'm probably going with the DT's since this is my first road bike. For now something simpler and reliable will be better as I learn how to maintain a road bike on my own (up to this point I've only ridden and maintained mountain bikes).
I just bought this very bike you are considering a couple weeks ago! The downtube shifters are indexed on the rear. They work very well. Be prepared to give the barrel adjuster a turn or so to line things up correctly. Very nice, smooth shifting. The front features minute clicks that serve well in controlling the cage position, but they aren't a "one click, shift" set up.
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Old 03-03-14, 07:52 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post

Also, let me get this straight the main argument against the brifters is that you can't up-shift in the drops. To which the solution is not being able to up or down-shift from the drops?
Yeah, it's that ridiculous.
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Old 03-03-14, 11:59 PM   #70
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Brifters are great if you are shifting a lot as is often the case riding with a group or racing.

Downtubes - You can rip through gears which is nice in some situations. Infinite trim on the front is nice too as is the friction option if things get a little funky. Cables are easier to replace on the road.

One definite advantage to downtubes for me is brake lever choice.
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Old 03-04-14, 02:23 AM   #71
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I would buy the downtube bike. While I also would personally rather have a good DT setup than a low end brifter setup, my judgement is that the Mirage comes in a much nicer color. The black fork is unfortunate, but it's still a great looking, classic bike.
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Old 03-04-14, 06:29 AM   #72
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You can always swap the DT's for some bar end shifters (barcons) that will let you keep your hands on the bars while shifting. You might be able to just buy the pods and reuse the DT's.

Functionally, I think the difference between barcons and brifters is negligible. Same with index versus friction.
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Old 03-04-14, 07:50 AM   #73
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I think it depends a lot on the environment. I have three daughters that ride, two in Portland OR and the other in a wide open rural area with amazing bike lanes everywhere. I am concerned with their safety, risk of injury, which is a matter of exposure and consequence. IMO for the two in Portland traffic brake/shifters materially reduce the exposure (hands on bars all the time) to a situation that results in a fall. IMO in a rural area with lanes and little traffic there is a reduced likelihood of serious consequence of a fall and a lower exposure so I would not be too worried about DT.
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Old 03-04-14, 08:14 AM   #74
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How in the world did this become "DT shifters are more dangerous than integrated levers"? And why do people talk about this like it is an absolute truth?
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Old 03-04-14, 08:16 AM   #75
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FWIW, I found DT shifters to be not terribly inconvenient, the only advantages really are the simple reliable mechanism, less weight and lower cost. Keeps the cables out of sight. Switching to Sora 3400 shifting is far more convenient including, for me, shifting from the drops. To be honest I'm sometimes tempted to switch the front shifter back to the downtube since I don't shift it that frequently.

Brifters aren't that cheap, worth a $50 difference for sure, but I'd look real close at the bikes since it's probably made up somewhere else. Carbon fork for example.
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