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  1. #1
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    Rapidfire Shifters on Dropped Handlebars?

    I am wondering if rapidfire shifters can be mounted on dropped handlebars. I am a mountain-biker-turned-tourer, and really like rapidfire shifters, but want the versatility of dropped handlebars. Don't know if this is an option, but it seems like a good combo to me. Any info is appreciated. Thanks

  2. #2
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Not that I know of.

    A lot of tourers like indexed bar-end shifters. That has the added advantages of fewer cables in between the bars (i.e. easier to put a handlebar bag there), less clutter on the bars, and simpler brake / shifter repairs.

    FWIW I've done pretty well with flat bars, bar ends, grip shifter and Ergon grips. I use drops on my road bike, but am planning to stick with flat bars on the touring bike for awhile.

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    Senior Member arrasmithf's Avatar
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    I am in the exact same situation as you are. I decided to go with the Nashbar trekking Bars($15). They look a little weird, but I'm hoping to transfer my brakes and shifters, and have the potential for even more hand positions than drops. If they don't work, then only out the 15 bucks, and i can try something else.

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    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arrasmithf
    I am in the exact same situation as you are. I decided to go with the Nashbar trekking Bars($15). They look a little weird, but I'm hoping to transfer my brakes and shifters, and have the potential for even more hand positions than drops. If they don't work, then only out the 15 bucks, and i can try something else.

    They will work, I have them on my Jamis and I don't think they look bad either.
    George

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    Senior Member arrasmithf's Avatar
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    Cool, how do you like them? let us know what you think.

  6. #6
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    OK, I know this a whole order of price magnitude greater than the Nashbar stuff, but if you're gonna go for trekking bars....





    http://www.wallbike.com/components.html

  7. #7
    cycling fanatic Ken Brown's Avatar
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    I am confused here. I have never owned a MTB, but aren't "rapid fire" also called "brifters", where the shifter is part of the brake (eg Shimano STI)? If so, touring bikes such as the Cannondale T-800 come with drop bars and brifters. Racing bikes come with brifters.

  8. #8
    Senior Member arrasmithf's Avatar
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    I thought something like the SRAM attack shifters like i have on my hybrid, which are great in my opinion. I never like the twist shifters and never felt comfortable on drop style handlbars.


  9. #9
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Brown
    I am confused here. I have never owned a MTB, but aren't "rapid fire" also called "brifters", where the shifter is part of the brake (eg Shimano STI)? If so, touring bikes such as the Cannondale T-800 come with drop bars and brifters. Racing bikes come with brifters.
    Rapid fire refers to shifter mechanism only. RF has 2 levers - one up, one downshift, both actuated by pushing with thumb.

    This confused some folks, so Shimano revised RF to RF Plus. Push one lever with thumb to upshift, pull other lever with index finger to downshift. These shift better.

    RF and RF+ were sold with or without brake lever integrated into common mount with shifter. The brake lever operates brake only, not shifters.

    Latest shimano mtb controls are sti "dual control". This looks like a brake lever but operates brakes AND shifter. This would be the mtb equivalent of road bike brifters. I've heard they don't work as well as separate brake and shifters.

    Rapid fire plus looks and works like the Sram Attack shifter pictured above.

    I have sram attack shifters, except mine are grip-shifters.

    Now, is that clear as mud?
    Last edited by seeker333; 06-01-07 at 04:14 AM.

  10. #10
    cycling fanatic Ken Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333
    Rapid fire refers to shifter mechanism only. RF has 2 levers - one up, one downshift, both actuated by pushing with thumb.

    This confused some folks, so Shimano revised RF to RF Plus. Push one lever with thumb to upshift, pull other lever with index finger to downshift. These shift better.

    RF and RF+ were sold with or without brake lever integrated into common mount with shifter. The brake lever operates brake only, not shifters.

    Latest shimano mtb controls are sti "dual control". This looks like a brake lever but operates brakes AND shifter. This would be the mtb equivalent of road bike brifters. I've heard they don't work as well as separate brake and shifters.

    Rapid fire plus looks and works like the Sram Attack shifter pictured above.

    I have sram attack shifters, except mine are grip-shifters.

    Now, is that clear as mud?
    I actually do understand what you are saying. We are comfortable with what we know and my brifters have worked flawlessly for 5+ years so I can't see an advantage to having them separate.

  11. #11
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Brown
    I actually do understand what you are saying. We are comfortable with what we know and my brifters have worked flawlessly for 5+ years so I can't see an advantage to having them separate.
    Is this the royal "we?"

    I can see several advantages, depending of course upon application and personal preferences.

    - Brifter cabling, unless you do something custom, will interfere with putting a large handlebar bag in between your drops.
    - Brifters are usually more expensive than separate brake / shifter setups.
    - Bar-end and MTB-style shifters are typically more rugged than brifters.
    - Brifters are usually high quality, but if they ever do break, they are more complex (and expensive) to fix.
    - Touring seldom requires the speed / control advantages of brifters.

  12. #12
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arrasmithf
    I am in the exact same situation as you are. I decided to go with the Nashbar trekking Bars($15). They look a little weird, but I'm hoping to transfer my brakes and shifters, and have the potential for even more hand positions than drops. If they don't work, then only out the 15 bucks, and i can try something else.
    Trekking bars are the answer. Mine are also from NashBar. Here is how I mounted mine.

    I mounted them for a drop as deep as any road bike handlebar when on it's drops. I have arthritis so I need to keep my wrists straight when using all the differing hand positions and this mounting option provides that.

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