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Old 10-09-06, 11:37 AM   #1
guruguhan
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I'm leaning towards barcon shifters now...a few q's

Well, I rode around on a bike with barcons today for the first time. At first, I just assumed I'd buy STI since they are current (I enjoy innovation) and I thought they'd be significantly more comfortable. I still like STI, but after riding with barcons I wonder if they are worth the price (I also like the thought of being able to service my bike by myself). But I don't want to turn this into an STI vs. barcon thing.

I just want to clear up a couple things in my head. Can I use dura ace 10spd barcons on a 9spd cassette and have indexed shifting?

Another q just popped in my head: Does your frame have to be "down-tube ready", or can down-tube shifters be put on any frame?
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Old 10-09-06, 12:38 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guruguhan
I just want to clear up a couple things in my head. Can I use dura ace 10spd barcons on a 9spd cassette and have indexed shifting?

Another q just popped in my head: Does your frame have to be "down-tube ready", or can down-tube shifters be put on any frame?
As with all shifters, if you want indexing, the shifter has to match the number of cogs on the back. The spacing between the cogs is different for 10 speed. That said, Shimano used to make a plastic insert for barcons that made it possible to use cassettes with a different count from the shifter. My wife's bike has (or had, I don't remember) one. I don't recall which way the shift went, i.e. 7 spd shifter with an 8 spd casssette or vis versa, but they did make them.

You frame has to have either shifter bosses brazed to the frame or a clamp for the shifter bosses on the down-tube for down tube shifters. Otherwise, whatcha gonna attach 'em to?
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Old 10-13-06, 01:01 PM   #3
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A google search for "clamp on downtube shifters" will turn up some clamp on shifters you can use if they fit your frame.
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Old 10-13-06, 01:08 PM   #4
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I forget, are you one of those folks making over an MTB. Assuming it's a steel frame, you could just get some dimples brazed on. They are small and propane torachable. So depending on how good the paint is you could have a decent little project afterall you probably aren't going to wreck the downtube, just keep most of the heat playing on the boss. Nova has them.
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Old 10-13-06, 07:54 PM   #5
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You could also grab some Paul Thumbies if you liked the feel of the Barcons but didn't have anywhere to put them. They cost extra but if the shifters are for you, then maybe it's worth it. I love mine.
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Old 10-13-06, 09:40 PM   #6
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Rivendell sells 9-speed Dura Ace barcons. $68 (yeah, two Dura Ace parts for less than $100!). http://www.rivbike.com/webalog/shift...urs/17049.html
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Old 10-13-06, 11:27 PM   #7
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Barcon was a trademarked name used by Suntour for shifters that mounted in the end of drop handle bars. Most people use the the term for any brand of shifter that plugs into the end of drop bars. The only difference between barcons and down tube shifters is the bar end plugs the shifters screw into-- if you have a those plugs, you can use the regular down tube shifters!

It's possible to use barcon shifters with ANY bike--- but it might take some thought and some extra parts. And it doesn't take a lot of skill to do this yourself.
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