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Old 05-31-12, 02:06 PM   #1
steve53mg
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Dura ace barcons

I had my 9 speed Dura ace rightside (rear) barcan die on me this week. Lost its ability to click and the outer band broke and fell off. Also would not access 3 largest cogs even in friction mode. Disappointing...only a couple of thousand miles on it! Has anyone had any luck repairing these units? They look sealed! I found a replacement, but would love to fix and have a spare.
Also, I considered switching to STI levers, but I didn't want to deal with the expense and replacing all of the cables right now...maybe in the future. I have a early nineties Deore triple and it is not easy to shift to large chainring, so I'm a bit skeptical about an indexed STI front lever. Anyone have any experience with this combo?
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Old 05-31-12, 03:28 PM   #2
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We have bar-end shifters as well. We had the left (front) one fail. I don't think they are repairable. Ours is a 3x8 speed. I found some 3x9 Durace and just installed the left one. I decided that if & when the right side fails, I'll replace the cassette with a 9 speed. I think I paid about $110 for the pair. Maybe from Pricepoint.com (?). You might also find some on eBay. Maybe just the right side.
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Old 05-31-12, 03:30 PM   #3
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Bar-end shifters are pretty easy to take apart into many small pieces, and are not too tricky to put back together if you pay attention when taking them apart. Whether or not you can get individual spare parts is another matter.

STI levers won't work with a Deore (or any other MTB) front derailleur; but a road triple front derailleur sometimes works OK even on MTB-sized chainrings.
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Old 05-31-12, 04:09 PM   #4
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Have used barcons shifters for decades on our last 4 custom tandems.
Never had neither Suntour or Shimano barcons fail, even with 50,000+ miles on them.
Did try D/A STI for 3,000 miles back in 2003 . . . got tired of chainrub and re-shifting front der and at stoker's request went back to barcons (Shim. 9-speed).
Switched the STI to my single bike and it totally failed after 10,000 miles. Yup, put barcons on my single bike.
Put 30,000+ miles on the last pair on our Zona tandem and 6,000+ miles on my single.
Just switched to Shimano Di-2 . . .
See our recent post under "Test dummies . . . again" on BF's Tandem Forum.
Pedal on TWOgether!
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Old 06-01-12, 01:27 PM   #5
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It seems to me that designs have moved to a shorter expected life span. Many STIs fail about 10-15K miles. My 2006 Ultegras did. Some have told me that is more than most people who buy new bikes ride a bike before upgrading or ceasing to ride so it is considered a good useful life for a bike product.

Electronics tend to become outdated quickly. It will be interested to see how long Shimano will carry the electronic cables and other parts needed for the original but now outdated electronic DA groupset?
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Old 06-01-12, 02:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
STI levers won't work with a Deore (or any other MTB) front derailleur; but a road triple front derailleur sometimes works OK even on MTB-sized chainrings.
That is simply not true! I've been running XTR front derailleur with Ultegra 9 spd STI levers and Ultegra triple crank for a long time with no problems.
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Old 06-01-12, 05:27 PM   #7
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9-speed DuraAce bar end shifters are used frequently on recumbents and trikes. The recumbent community is well aware of DA bar ends made since '08 or '09 breaking in under 2,000 miles. It's a hot topic on recumbent boards. The little two part plate inside slips a detent and then breaks the plastic bezel. At that point, the shifter is toast and can't be repaired. Shimano doesn't sell the parts. Also, nobody sells just a right shifter. Plan on buying a set.

If you don't need friction mode, the new Microshift shifters look just like DuraAce and seem to be made better. Nobody has reported any failures yet, anyway. I currently have a set with 4,000 miles on them and they shift very crisp, crisper than the DAs ever did, even when new.
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Last edited by Trsnrtr; 06-02-12 at 12:19 PM. Reason: Changed Microtech to Microshift
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Old 06-02-12, 09:11 AM   #8
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Thanks to everyone for the information. It seems that these units are almost universally problematic...very disappointing! I too have had STI (Ultegra) STI levers fail in less than 10K miles. I think that I'll take advantage of Zona's wealth of experience and not bother with STIs. Maybe I'll get lucky with the new barcon and get the kind of longevity that he got!
Dennis T, you have described my failure exactly! I'll check the recumbant BBS. I am curious, where can one find this Microtech shifter - sounds encouraging!
One thing that I find interesting...my old tandem ran for well in excess of 10K trouble free miles with Suntour 6 speed indexed barcons - too bad that that company has vanished!
It seems that I have to agree with Wanseulak; the industry, or at least Shimano, doesn't consider us truly long distance cyclists. Back in the day when things were simple, my Campy Neuvo Record stuff never acted up; in fact I never recall ever having to replace brake pads-they never wore out or squeeked from drying out! I seem to wear out my Shimano pads every year!

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Old 06-02-12, 09:40 AM   #9
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Dennis T, Do you mean Microshift? It looks like Nashbar markets them. I haven't been able to access the Nashbar site...I wonder if they carry the 9 speed barcons, or if anyone else does?
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Old 06-02-12, 12:18 PM   #10
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Yeah, my mistake. Microshift is the company. I edited my post.
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Old 06-03-12, 05:51 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by steve53mg View Post
I too have had STI (Ultegra) STI levers fail in less than 10K miles.
I've been using the same set of Ergopwer levers on my tandem since about 1998. It's only 8 speed but the levers has about 25-30KM+ of usage. I should ask my mechanic to replace the spring and ring thingie inside soon. I don't know about current Ergopower levers but I would hope they would last just as long when I need to replace the current set.
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Old 06-03-12, 05:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve53mg View Post
I had my 9 speed Dura ace rightside (rear) barcan die on me this week. Lost its ability to click and the outer band broke and fell off. Also would not access 3 largest cogs even in friction mode. Disappointing...only a couple of thousand miles on it! Has anyone had any luck repairing these units? They look sealed! I found a replacement, but would love to fix and have a spare.
Also, I considered switching to STI levers, but I didn't want to deal with the expense and replacing all of the cables right now...maybe in the future. I have a early nineties Deore triple and it is not easy to shift to large chainring, so I'm a bit skeptical about an indexed STI front lever. Anyone have any experience with this combo?

Did you call Shimano US tech and discuss the situation with them. If there is a problem they need to stand behind it.
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Old 06-03-12, 05:58 PM   #13
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Did you call Shimano US tech and discuss the situation with them. If there is a problem they need to stand behind it.
So far, Shimano has been pretty wishy-washy about warrantying them. Some people on other boards have gotten them replaced but most like me, were told that they couldn't warranty a part with 1,500 miles on it.

Like I stated earlier, 9 speed bar end shifters are common on recumbents and failure since late 2008 or so is very common. Personally, I wonder if they consider 9 speed a legacy item and don't wish to deal with them any more.

On the other hand, my 2003 9 speed DA bar ends have ~10,000 miles on them and work fine.

Go for the Microshift bar end controls. They work very well.
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Old 06-20-12, 05:22 AM   #14
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If you don't need friction mode, the new Microshift shifters look just like DuraAce and seem to be made better. Nobody has reported any failures yet, anyway. I currently have a set with 4,000 miles on them and they shift very crisp, crisper than the DAs ever did, even when new.
I noticed this recently, apparently Microshift agreed to sell Riv a bunch of left shifters by themselves. May be a good Fleabay alternative if friction is desired: http://www.rivbike.com/product-p/sh4.htm
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Old 06-20-12, 08:08 AM   #15
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One approach that is sort of up and coming in cyclocross is Retroshift, which essentially mounts bar end shifters to the front of the brakes. If expense is an issue for you and you like friction for the FD and indexed for the RD, this could be a choice. I can't find the forum post at the moment, but people have just drilled into their brake levers and mounted their shifters without the expense of the retroshift levers. So, it could be a really cheap switch. Just another thought.
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Old 06-20-12, 06:14 PM   #16
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Nothing useful to add other than I'd feel your pain. IMO, the price and reputation of DA means nothing should be plastic inside. And if it failed from some cheesy plastic piece, they should warrant it no matter how long. Actually, for the clientelle that will pay for DA, 1500 miles may only be 5-6 months of use.

But, as this thread showed, when opportunity presents itself, alternative vendors will spring up.
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Old 09-10-12, 02:52 PM   #17
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precision tandems sells single barcon's for use as drag brake actuators. I don't remember the brand that ships but I don't believe they are very expensive so that may rule out them being Dura ace. But it might get you back on the road. If so, recommend get an extra one for later spare as have to wonder how long your left side one will last if the right side already failed...
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