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

banerjek 03-04-14 06:09 PM

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.

And how could such a rider even wave? It's bad when someone can't even make it into the ranks of the Freds.

Anyone who can't ride without taking a hand off the bars to shift also can't to signal and probably gets destabilized very easily. Definitely not good candidates for road riding or even the MUP.

chaadster 03-04-14 06:45 PM

Can't we all just get along? Retroshift!

http://www.bikerumor.com/wp-content/...01-600x398.jpg

LesterOfPuppets 03-04-14 06:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chaadster (Post 16548693)
Can't we all just get along? Retroshift!

Nope. You're wrong too.

Gripshift or death.

http://ts4.mm.bing.net/th?id=HN.6079...719036&pid=1.7

Motolegs 03-04-14 07:06 PM

OP, I own a road bike with shifters like the Super Mirage, and a Mirage with the DT shifters.

Both shifting systems are good! Different sure than the MTB systems you are used to, they'll likely feel awkward at first. Just practice till your choice becomes second nature. I learned on DT's then got my hands on brifters later. Look at it this way, practicing means riding, and riding means fun! I don't think you can lose with either choice, the Mirage has thus far exceeded expectations. The Super Mirage might be a tad trickier to set up out of the box, but I can't imagine it would be too tough. I'd like to hear an update when you get your new bike! :thumb:

RobbieTunes 03-04-14 08:05 PM

Interesting thread, perhaps I can chime in. I learned on friction stem shifters, moved to friction DT shifters, then to indexed DT shifters and then to both Shimano STI's and Campagnolo Ergos. I also tried Microshift, and I have had Sora's, RSX, 105, Ultegra, Dura Ace, and Campy 8sp Chorus, Veloce, and 10-sp Centaur and Record. I am not inexperienced, and I lead a newbie group in the spring of entry-level riders, most of them on DT bikes, but some on bikesdirect.com bikes (that I usually end up fixing). I'll add that I ride the drops 99% of the time, but I do realize that most people don't. I still ride both types of shifters.

DT shifters require you to be aware of where you are, your terrain, and think ahead. You learn to anticipate shifts, because getting behind the curve on that has immediate consequences, especially on hills. My personal belief is that it's good to learn cycling with DT shifters. You have to actually think, and you learn to control your core while shifting. It does not take long to learn to shift on the fly. You have a lot of choices in brake levers, as well. DT shifters are insanely easy to set up and maintain, and keep your bars clear of annoying cables. I've used many, even Syncro's (we won't go there) and never had a problem. I've even used the 10-sp Dura Ace DT shifters, and they are precise, light, and very accurate.

Brifters remove the need for as much anticipation, awareness of your terrain, and thinking ahead. A rider who moves from DT shifters to brifters of any kind is often more prepared for hills, descents, corners, etc, because of the experience gained on DT shifters. The learning curve for those new to cycling is so short on brifters that novice mistakes can be compensated for, have less consequence, and the novice rider sticks around to ride another day, instead of giving up. Aesthetically, they are unsightly for the most part, and unless the cables are routed along the bar (with some loss of crispness), they look like alien feeding tubes. This does not matter to people new to the sport, nor should it. They take it as it comes, and if it's that much easier to ride brifters than DT shifters, then do it.

Now, for specifics. I have ridden Sora's both in the 8-sp DT shifters and the 8-sp and 9-sp plastic brifter versions. As a drop rider, I simply mounted the brifters down in front so I could reach the thumb button, but that pretty much ruled out any braking or shifting from the tops. I found the 8-sp Sora DT shifters to be crisp, clean, and worked much better as far as accurate shifting, ease of installation and adjustment. The particular model of brifters on the OP's choices are, to me, a waste of $50. They break fairly easily, in my experience. If the OP has to choose between the two bikes he mentioned, I'd recommend the DT shifted model. Go for the best bike for the money of the two, and worry about moving to brifters in a couple of years, when you really know what you want.

Lot of good points in the thread, and I agree with some, but not on those Sora's. The OP would be best served, overall, with a good used $400 bike, and there are many in this area, with brifter shifting that are a lot higher quality than those Moto's. However, if he wants to go new, that's his choice. 2 years from now, whichever bike he chooses, he'll be either out of the sport or getting a better bike. I'd hate to see him give up the sport if DT shifting appears too hard. I've seen it happen with my novice group; they get frustrated and give it up.

iamtim 03-04-14 08:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chaadster (Post 16548693)

Holy hell, those things are real! http://www.retroshift.com

...

I think I kinda want a pair. :)

big chainring 03-04-14 08:17 PM

If i take my hands of the handlebars I might crash.
If I can't shift from the drops I might crash.
I shift with mental mind control.

Brian Ratliff 03-04-14 08:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by big chainring (Post 16548962)
If i take my hands of the handlebars I might crash.
If I can't shift from the drops I might crash.
I shift with mental mind control.

...from the couch.



:p

Brian Ratliff 03-04-14 08:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets (Post 16548726)
Nope. You're wrong too.

Gripshift or death.

http://ts4.mm.bing.net/th?id=HN.6079...719036&pid=1.7

Egawds. I remember those. Mid-90s mountainbike tech to the rescue!

big chainring 03-04-14 08:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff (Post 16549011)
...from the couch.



:p

Davenport, and I don't mean Iowa. Unless you're Jeff Bradley.
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0...D720/ry%3D480/

v70cat 03-05-14 03:47 AM

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.

Really?

v70cat 03-05-14 06:19 AM

Do you think people should only learned to drive on cars with manual shifts?

RJM 03-05-14 06:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by v70cat (Post 16549644)
Do you think people should only learned to drive on cars with manual shifts?

I do.

v70cat 03-05-14 06:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RJM (Post 16549661)
I do.

I bet you also think steel is real and carbon sucks.

RJM 03-05-14 06:38 AM

Steel is better than carbon in my experience with riding, but that doesn't have anything to do with gaining a life-skill like being able to drive a manual shift car.

Duane Behrens 03-05-14 06:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shoota (Post 16547877)
I can't imagine some of the new riders I've seen lately try to learn with DT shifters. Goodness, I would try to be miles away from them.

And GET OFF MY LAWN!!

:-)

Duane Behrens 03-05-14 07:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobbieTunes (Post 16548920)
Interesting thread, perhaps I can chime in. I learned on friction stem shifters, moved to friction DT shifters, then to indexed DT shifters and then to both Shimano STI's and Campagnolo Ergos. I also tried Microshift, and I have had Sora's, RSX, 105, Ultegra, Dura Ace, and Campy 8sp Chorus, Veloce, and 10-sp Centaur and Record. I am not inexperienced, and I lead a newbie group in the spring of entry-level riders, most of them on DT bikes, but some on bikesdirect.com bikes (that I usually end up fixing). I'll add that I ride the drops 99% of the time, but I do realize that most people don't. I still ride both types of shifters.

DT shifters require you to be aware of where you are, your terrain, and think ahead. You learn to anticipate shifts, because getting behind the curve on that has immediate consequences, especially on hills. My personal belief is that it's good to learn cycling with DT shifters. You have to actually think, and you learn to control your core while shifting. It does not take long to learn to shift on the fly. You have a lot of choices in brake levers, as well. DT shifters are insanely easy to set up and maintain, and keep your bars clear of annoying cables. I've used many, even Syncro's (we won't go there) and never had a problem. I've even used the 10-sp Dura Ace DT shifters, and they are precise, light, and very accurate.

Brifters remove the need for as much anticipation, awareness of your terrain, and thinking ahead. A rider who moves from DT shifters to brifters of any kind is often more prepared for hills, descents, corners, etc, because of the experience gained on DT shifters. The learning curve for those new to cycling is so short on brifters that novice mistakes can be compensated for, have less consequence, and the novice rider sticks around to ride another day, instead of giving up. Aesthetically, they are unsightly for the most part, and unless the cables are routed along the bar (with some loss of crispness), they look like alien feeding tubes. This does not matter to people new to the sport, nor should it. They take it as it comes, and if it's that much easier to ride brifters than DT shifters, then do it.

Now, for specifics. I have ridden Sora's both in the 8-sp DT shifters and the 8-sp and 9-sp plastic brifter versions. As a drop rider, I simply mounted the brifters down in front so I could reach the thumb button, but that pretty much ruled out any braking or shifting from the tops. I found the 8-sp Sora DT shifters to be crisp, clean, and worked much better as far as accurate shifting, ease of installation and adjustment. The particular model of brifters on the OP's choices are, to me, a waste of $50. They break fairly easily, in my experience. If the OP has to choose between the two bikes he mentioned, I'd recommend the DT shifted model. Go for the best bike for the money of the two, and worry about moving to brifters in a couple of years, when you really know what you want.

Lot of good points in the thread, and I agree with some, but not on those Sora's. The OP would be best served, overall, with a good used $400 bike, and there are many in this area, with brifter shifting that are a lot higher quality than those Moto's. However, if he wants to go new, that's his choice. 2 years from now, whichever bike he chooses, he'll be either out of the sport or getting a better bike. I'd hate to see him give up the sport if DT shifting appears too hard. I've seen it happen with my novice group; they get frustrated and give it up.

Informative and logical. Thank you.

I went the other way. Started with brifters on an ultralight carbon bike. Later moved to restoration of older steelies. I have 3 of them in the garage now, all with stem-mounted shifters; 2 friction and 1 indexed (Shimano). As you say, I quickly learned to anticipate my shifts. And with the friction shifters, I found it also helps to shift decisively, then back the lever off by a 1/2 mm or so . . . which seems to "lock it in" somehow.

I may convert one or more of the stem shifters to downtube. I WON'T convert the steelies to brifters, for reasons of cost and ugliness (as you say, it looks like someone is tube feeding an alien).

But which do I prefer for reasons of safety, speed and convenience? Brifters, hands down.

StanSeven 03-05-14 07:09 AM

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.

I agree. What I mean is riding in the drops for many people is to go faster. That means a pretty low position. That also isn't the most comfortable for just riding along.

Brian Ratliff 03-05-14 08:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by v70cat (Post 16549533)
Really?

Umm, what else would it be?

Brian Ratliff 03-05-14 08:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by v70cat (Post 16549644)
Do you think people should only learned to drive on cars with manual shifts?

Can't now, since manual gear shifts are going the way of the Dodo. But it does put the driving student in better touch with their car. How is this difficult to understand?

GeorgeLeslie 03-05-14 09:26 AM

I have both (Brifters on my CF and down tube indexed on my old Steel Fuji Ace. At times I have to think twice to remember which I am currently using, but once in the right mode for the right bike, it is a automatic.

That said. I do find the brifters. much more intuitive to operate with no change of hand prosition required. If money is no object, go with Brifters. If you can appreciate the $50 savings, down tube shifers are more than adequate.

jdowdy411 03-05-14 11:03 AM

Haha. This escalated quickly! But thanks to everyone for their opinions and views. This, along with continuing research on my part, has been a huge help for this decision. My mind is made up at this point and I've decided on the Mirage with the DT's. Nothing against the brifter crowd (I'll probably try them out eventually!) But I feel like the DT's would be more fun and interesting after years of riding mountain bikes (with grip and trigger shifters). I'll update once I get the bike and have some miles on it; thanks again everyone.

banerjek 03-05-14 12:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdowdy411 (Post 16550545)
Haha. This escalated quickly! But thanks to everyone for their opinions and views. This, along with continuing research on my part, has been a huge help for this decision. My mind is made up at this point and I've decided on the Mirage with the DT's. Nothing against the brifter crowd (I'll probably try them out eventually!) But I feel like the DT's would be more fun and interesting after years of riding mountain bikes (with grip and trigger shifters). I'll update once I get the bike and have some miles on it; thanks again everyone.

No reason to go one way or the other. When you get more bikes, you can have different shifting systems as each has advantages in different situations -- there are totally legit reasons why you might want brifters on one bike and DT on another. And as others have brought up, there are other choices as well.

I don't even know how many different kinds of shifters I've used over the years and I've tried many more. For all the noise made here about how hard/easy it is to use system X or Y, I can't say I've ever had trouble shifting gears and anyone with a room temperature IQ can figure out and internalize any system in a few minutes. Having said that, you always want good quality. There are choices out there that are designed to look hi tech but which break easily and require constant fiddling to keep adjusted.

sced 03-05-14 12:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdowdy411 (Post 16550545)
Haha. This escalated quickly! But thanks to everyone for their opinions and views. This, along with continuing research on my part, has been a huge help for this decision. My mind is made up at this point and I've decided on the Mirage with the DT's. Nothing against the brifter crowd (I'll probably try them out eventually!) But I feel like the DT's would be more fun and interesting after years of riding mountain bikes (with grip and trigger shifters). I'll update once I get the bike and have some miles on it; thanks again everyone.


Make sure you wear at least two helmets and full body armor or you're doomed.

sleepy 03-05-14 12:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff (Post 16549980)
Can't now, since manual gear shifts are going the way of the Dodo. But it does put the driving student in better touch with their car. How is this difficult to understand?


Because roadies are getting weak and lazy?

Can't ride heavy bikes. Must be light.

Sprockets must go over 9. Can't wait to see it go to 20 in the back.

Shifting has to be on brifters-and eventually, digital.

Absolutely must have some sort of guide to show them how far their riding, or how hard they should push.

Eventually, drugs are involved.

I mean, yes it all helps. But really, why not just slap a motor and engine in the back? How did those folks ride those ancient iron velocipedes back in the day? Barbarians!


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