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Thread: Backup shifters

  1. #1
    mousse de chocolat Moose's Avatar
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    Backup shifters

    I am thinking of getting some friction shifters to back up my Shimano 8-speed RSX brake lever shifters. I am leaning towards bar end shifters rather than downtube shifters.

    Will I need different cable ends? Can I simply pull the cable right off the levers and attach them to the bar end shifters? Do indexed bar end shifters have a "friction mode"? Am I paranoid?
    I feel more like I do now than when I first got here.

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    If you have downtube bosses, then its much easier to keep an old friction DT lever as a backup. Converting from STi to bar-end needs longer gear cables, and re-jigging your outer cables. The spare is just to get you out of trouble, and a DT one can re-use the cable and takes no outer.

    Bar end shifters do have a friction mode, and are great for touring, but too much hassle to use as backups.

  3. #3
    mousse de chocolat Moose's Avatar
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    Thanks MichaelW,

    I do not have DT bosses. Maybe I need a new bike...
    I feel more like I do now than when I first got here.

  4. #4
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Originally posted by MichaelW
    If you have downtube bosses, then its much easier to keep an old friction DT lever as a backup. Converting from STi to bar-end needs longer gear cables, and re-jigging your outer cables. The spare is just to get you out of trouble, and a DT one can re-use the cable and takes no outer.

    Bar end shifters do have a friction mode, and are great for touring, but too much hassle to use as backups.
    As always, excellent advise from MichaelW.

    In addition, I have found that down-tube shifters are just plain easier to rig and maintain than bar-end shifters. If you need to maintain or change the cables on bar-end shifters, you have to unwrap the handlebar tape and that is a hassle.

    Also, SOMETIMES if the bike falls over or some other hazard gives a good wack to the bar-end shifter, it can pop out of the handlebar and be a real bugger to get back in properly.

    If you are looking for something for back-up, use down-tube shifters.
    Mike

  5. #5
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    Clamp-on DT shifter work OK. I use them on my everyday commuting bike. Most older bike shops have a bin-full of used clamp-ons.

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