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-   -   Brifters vs. Downtube shifters (http://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycling/936553-brifters-vs-downtube-shifters.html)

zymphad 03-04-14 02:25 PM

I really like my brifters. Dunno if it's better or not, but I find myself shifting a lot and braking when I'm in the drops and not having to move my hands to shift/brake is a godsend. I really really enjoy having my eyes ahead on the road and not having to worry about where my shifter and brakes are. Really enjoy not having to move my hands to do it. I upgraded from 2300 to 105 just so I can shift properly in the drops, 2300 has a thumb shifter.

iamtim 03-04-14 02:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff (Post 16548038)
Well... perhaps it looks like omniscience some... But it's really just eyeballs and knowing what to look for.

Dude, you're amazing. It must be nice to NEVER hit an unexpected pothole or groove. To ALWAYS know the exact road conditions ahead of you. To never have your attention momentarily captured by something else and missing something on the road.

iamtim 03-04-14 02:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brian ratliff (Post 16548047)
wow. Get over yourself.

:p

BillyD 03-04-14 02:31 PM

Um, guys, let it go.

It's no surprise to have differing opinions in life, get used to it, you can't fight about all of them with everybody.

zymphad 03-04-14 02:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StanSeven (Post 16547705)
The argument about not shifting from the drops is weak. The majority of riders spend most time on the hoods or bar tops and not in the drops. I've seen numbers like 20% of the time is average. If someone is riding in the drops much more frequently, most likely your bars are way too high.

Why would you say it's more likely bars are too high? I ride in the drops as much as I possibly can. My stem is shunted as low as it can go and it's a -10 degree stem too. I would assume anyone who rides in the drops a lot is looking to ride faster and more efficiently, trying to be more aerodynamic. Not assume their bike isn't fitted properly.

Quote:

Originally Posted by RollCNY (Post 16547749)
No offense, but I disagree with this. I have seen more crashes, especially with newer riders, based upon an unrelenting death grip on the bars than I have ever seen from one handed riding. And I don't recall DT shifters in anyway causing my eyes or attention to leave the road.

You'd rather have new riders fidgeting with DT shifter and eyes off the road than new riders keeping eyes on the road with two hands on the handlebar using brifters?

You have to admit brifters are inherently easier to use than DT shifter for a new rider.

Brian Ratliff 03-04-14 02:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zymphad (Post 16548097)
Why would you say it's more likely bars are too high? I ride in the drops as much as I possibly can. My stem is shunted as low as it can go and it's a -10 degree stem too. I would assume anyone who rides in the drops a lot is looking to ride faster and more efficiently, trying to be more aerodynamic. Not assume their bike isn't fitted properly.

When I am solo and putting in an effort, I tend to ride in the drops for aerodynamics. When I am in a group, I tend to ride on the hoods for comfort and line of sight.

zymphad 03-04-14 02:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff (Post 16548101)
When I am solo and putting in an effort, I tend to ride in the drops for aerodynamics. When I am in a group, I tend to ride on the hoods for comfort and line of sight.

Understandable. But I wouldn't assume you are riding in the hoods for when you want to be more aero cause your bars/stem are set too high. That's what I was refuting.

Brian Ratliff 03-04-14 02:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zymphad (Post 16548097)
...
You'd rather have new riders fidgeting with DT shifter and eyes off the road than new riders keeping eyes on the road with two hands on the handlebar using brifters?

You have to admit brifters are inherently easier to use than DT shifter for a new rider.

If the rider is stable on their bike, I don't think there is a real difference.

I would actually argue that DT shifter take less brain power to use (leaving more brain power to process their environment), since there is immediate feedback as to the gear position (via the position of the lever). I've noticed that riders new to brifters (and even some experienced racers) lose track of their gear position without that feedback and spend a lot of time looking down at their gear cluster. Lance Armstrong took a header into the back of his team car just prior to the start of the Tour one year because of this. I was in a race one time where I had to flat out tell a guy he was in his small ring, after I saw him with the chain all the way on the smallest cog and him futzing with his levers trying to find more gear. And... it's happened to me before as well.

I am not actually bothered all that much with the prospect of a new rider riding with one hand.

RPK79 03-04-14 02:52 PM

How about this bike:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...rt_al_xiii.htm

It has Stem Shifters. Discuss.

:popcorn

Brian Ratliff 03-04-14 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RPK79 (Post 16548142)
How about this bike:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...rt_al_xiii.htm

It has Stem Shifters. Discuss.

:popcorn

You mean ball skewers?

iamtim 03-04-14 02:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff (Post 16548144)
You mean ball skewers?

Back when I raced BMX I took a stem to the junk during a crash. I can't imagine what that'd have been like were there shifters there. Oof.

jerrycan42 03-04-14 03:13 PM

Dealing with the specific choice presented here, the brifter choice is fine. They are sturdy and will last. No brainer really...

sleepy 03-04-14 03:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iamtim (Post 16548054)
Dude, you're amazing. It must be nice to NEVER hit an unexpected pothole or groove. To ALWAYS know the exact road conditions ahead of you. To never have your attention momentarily captured by something else and missing something on the road.


Wow. Issues, yo.

I don't see why folks are so uppity about learning to ride a freakin' bike with DT Shifters, or riding Fixie.
It's called learning. Ain't nothing arrogant or hoity-toity about that.

Much like the guy ahead and behind me on his Cervelo with the 11 speed brifters, it ain't gonna mean jack how nice or convenient your stuff is if you can't even ride straight when pulling out your water bottle.

iamtim 03-04-14 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sleepy (Post 16548230)
I don't see why folks are so uppity about learning to ride a freakin' bike with DT Shifters, or riding Fixie.

Huh? I don't think fixed had anything to do with it. And really, for my part, it wasn't about learning to ride on DT shifters carte blanche, it was about brifters being safer to learn on for some people than DT shifters.

sleepy 03-04-14 03:49 PM

DT shifting is an excellent way to teach cyclist to ride.
Honestly, I wonder if some of the folks here would even be riding if Brifters didn't exist. Kind of sad.
Also, your snarking is remarkably petty. Like embarrassing to watch.

iamtim 03-04-14 03:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sleepy (Post 16548311)
Also, your snarking is remarkably petty. Like embarrassing to watch.

That's an interesting observation coming from someone who thought the conversation had anything to do with riding fixed.

Brian Ratliff 03-04-14 04:07 PM

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/duty_calls.png

Let it go Tim. You've made your point to the forum. Others have differing views.

sleepy 03-04-14 04:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iamtim (Post 16548333)
That's an interesting observation coming from someone who thought the conversation had anything to do with riding fixed.


I know, right?
It's almost as bad as watching someone insecure enough to badger an experienced rider spouting sensible advice.
Hang on to those brifters, bro! The streets are kee-razy! Might as well just get an SUV for the ultimate in safe transportation!

Keep flailing, homer.

RollCNY 03-04-14 04:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zymphad (Post 16548097)
You'd rather have new riders fidgeting with DT shifter and eyes off the road than new riders keeping eyes on the road with two hands on the handlebar using brifters?

Not that I think you will understand, but:

OP states in this and previous "which bike" thread that he/she is an experienced mountain biker moving to road cycling. Someone who has survived MTB riding can handle DT shifters. In the previous thread and in this one, I recommended the DT bike as the better candidate of the two selected.

In general, I don't think that DT is any harder to learn on for a beginner. I have built new or rebuilt old bikes for my siblings, and they have all ended up DT shifters. On my sister's Lotus, I used 9 speed Microshift integrated levers for brakes, and 6 speed friction DT shifters. I have told her that we can switch over to the integrated whenever she wants, and she has no interest.

iamtim 03-04-14 04:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sleepy (Post 16548355)
It's almost as bad as watching someone insecure enough to badger an experienced rider spouting sensible advice.

You might want to go back and re-read the thread, there, bucko... it was Brian who initially dumped on my comment.

Quote:

Originally Posted by sleepy (Post 16548355)
Hang on to those brifters, bro! The streets are kee-razy! Might as well just get an SUV for the ultimate in safe transportation!

For what it's worth, I've ridden several DT shifter equipped bikes and I'm quite fond of them. I've not been talking about myself at all, only those beginning riders with whom I've ridden.

sleepy 03-04-14 04:33 PM

Okay.

Brian Ratliff 03-04-14 04:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iamtim (Post 16544901)
...

If you don't feel comfortable enough on a bike to take your hands off the bars to shift, definitely do NOT get the DT shifters.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff (Post 16544925)
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.

Quote:

Originally Posted by iamtim (Post 16544959)
... And the way to learn those skills is not to take off on a bike using an older approach to shifting. ...[B]rifters are safer for beginners and novices specifically because they don't require releasing hold on the bars to shift.

Not everyone is a cat 2 track, cat 3 road level cyclist.

__________________________

Quote:

Originally Posted by iamtim (Post 16548410)
You might want to go back and re-read the thread, there, bucko... it was Brian who initially dumped on my comment.
...

Here's the core of the discussion. There was no dumping. Just a reasonable disagreement on how to teach beginners to ride.

The bolded highlight is mine. Note you start resorting to ad hominum rhetoric quite early in the discussion and I probably could have toned down my initial response a little. Now, we've both presented our views. We are on two different ends of an internet pipe; all we can convey is information for others to view and evaluate.

And I still stand by my opinion. You have bigger problems than shifting systems if riding with one hand affects your safety.

iamtim 03-04-14 04:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff (Post 16548449)
There was no dumping.

Dumping was probably not the right term; it wasn't meant in a negative light, but in retrospect I see that it came across that way. Apologies.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff (Post 16548449)
Note you start resorting to rhetoric quite early in the discussion.

Which was simply in reaction to the sarcasm of "Or, and this is a radical suggestion..." At least, what I perceived as sarcasm. It's hard to not read that comment as sarcastic.

Truth be told, the last few posts I've made haven't had anything to do with you or our debate, but rather center around sleepy's out-of-the-blue comments about my "issues" and "petty" comments. As far as I'm concerned, we're good. And if sleepy's done harping on me, we're done too.

sleepy 03-04-14 05:03 PM

FYI: Nothing out of the blue when it's posted up for active participation on a forum.

Nice way to while away the hours at the office.
Your internetz roadie rage has been entertaining.
Thanks.

Dave Mayer 03-04-14 05:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by achoo (Post 16544890)
DT wins hands-down over low-end brifters that you're going to outgrow anyway.

I have used the following DT shifters in my many years:

Friction:
Simplex retrofriction
Campagnolo retrofriction
Campy regular (several types)
Huret
Suntour (several including the Power Ratchet design)
Dura-Ace 7200. 7300, 7400
Simplex metal and derelin

Indexed:
Campy Syncro 1
Campy Syncro II
Shimano 105 6 and 7 speeds
Shimano 600 6 and 7 speeds
Dura-Ace 6 and 7 speeds
Shimano RX100 7 speeds
Suntour SL
Suntour Superbe Pro
Suntour GPX

The best of all of them: The Shimano RX100 indexed shifters. These still sucked compared to any brifters I have ever used.

Comparing badly setup brifters to well setup downtube shifters is unfair.

Final analysis: I would take one set of inexpensive Shimano 2300 shifters for all the downtube shifters in the world.

The worst downtube shifters ever: Campy Syncro 1.


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