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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 05-06-12, 12:53 PM   #1
biknbrian
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Intergrated shifter (brifter) touring bikes.

My primary bike is currently a rigid 26 inch commuter/trekker/backroad bike that I put together. I'm thinking that I'd like to keep it set up for dirty work and shorter rides on mixed terrain. I also started running studded tires in the winter, but the way last winter went I hardly needed them. I guess what I'm getting at is that I'm starting to look around for my next bike. One that can be set up to be a little lighter and faster on the road in the summer and used on nice days in the winter. It still has to be able to carry stuff and maybe do some shorter couple day trips now and then, and someday, well who knows? So basically my next bike will be a touring bike.

My problem is that so many complete touring bikes come with bar end shifters. I've read about the pros and cons of each style, but I've owned bikes with brifters and I know that is what I want. Heck I get tired of moving my hands to and from the bar ends on my current flat bar bike. Plus I sometimes climb standing and have to shift. And as I've said I want a bike that for now will be a little bit more set up for on road efficiency than what I'm currently riding.

At this point I'm looking pretty closely at the Nashbar touring bike and the Bikes Direct Windsor Tourist mostly because they both have brifters (of course there's also the price). Still I can't help but want to go a little bit above and beyond "this will do the job" and maybe actually buy myself something nice. The only other brifter equipped bikes that I've stubled upon are the dics brake Redline Metro's and some of the Salsa Vaya's. Of course I could just build a bike, but I just want to see if there is anything else out there?
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Old 05-06-12, 01:04 PM   #2
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Rocky Mountain Sherpa 30.
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Old 05-06-12, 01:18 PM   #3
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Raleigh Clubman
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Old 05-06-12, 06:13 PM   #4
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Salsa Casseroll, brifters, triple chaonring, steel frame, rack and fenders mounts.
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Old 05-06-12, 07:09 PM   #5
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Bd also sells a motobecane touring bike with barends
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Old 05-06-12, 08:21 PM   #6
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This will be my ninth riding season using brifters on a touring bike, and I have had zero problems.

The downside of (Shimano) brifters is that they are not field serviceable; if seriously broken, they need to be replaced. But because I do not tour in remote areas, I don't sweat it.
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Old 05-07-12, 04:39 AM   #7
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The downside of (Shimano) brifters is that they are not field serviceable; if seriously broken, they need to be replaced. But because I do not tour in remote areas, I don't sweat it.
It should be noted that for touring in truly remote areas a set of down tube shifters could be carried as spares. Also, in the event of a broken shifter, either derailleur can be temporarily rigged to be in what ever gear would be acceptable for the ride and a reduced range of gears is still available by using the one remaining shifter. Bottom line is that for most touring brifters are fine.

I used them on a number of longish tours and found them very nice and quite acceptable. I never liked bar end shifters for a number of reasons, but don't mind down tube shifters and am actually running them on my ultralight touring rig.
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Old 05-07-12, 06:39 AM   #8
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The Rocky Mountian looks nice, but I'm having a hard time figuring out if it is still available as a 2012 model.
The Raleigh is nice, but I'm not sure about the caliper brakes. I'd hate to be to limited on tire sizes.
I don't know how I didn't look more closely at the Casseroll when I looked at Salsa bikes. Definetely something to consider.
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Old 05-07-12, 07:51 AM   #9
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I don't know if you're only looking at new models, but if you see any Cannondale T1 or T2s around, they were great bikes with brifters. I took a 2008 T1 on a 20,000 km tour and with the exception of a couple of snapped shifter cables, had no issues. Comfortable, pretty fast, and could carry a load. I think 2010 might have been the last model year for them though... Could be wrong, but it was somewhere around there. Either way, I'd keep my eyes open for a lightly used one...
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Old 05-07-12, 01:19 PM   #10
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I have an old MTB frame that may find itself with dropbars when I rebuild it. And of course what shifters to use has been tossed around. Since I always ride on the brake hoods, I am tempted to use the standard thumb shifters it has already. But I may spring for the brifters (a knock-off brand) and be done with it).

Time will tell.
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Old 05-07-12, 01:33 PM   #11
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The Rocky Mountian looks nice, but I'm having a hard time figuring out if it is still available as a 2012 model.
The Raleigh is nice, but I'm not sure about the caliper brakes. I'd hate to be to limited on tire sizes.
I don't know how I didn't look more closely at the Casseroll when I looked at Salsa bikes. Definetely something to consider.
It is confusing. I saw a listing for 2012 last week (or so). It has Sora shifters (not great). Mine has Tiagra shifters (which are fine).

Here's what I think is going on: they tend to list the Sherpas later in the current year. It's possible that they no longer have stock and, so, removed it from their website.

The Salsas are very nice too. As far as I can tell, the Vaya has geometry very close to the Sherpa.
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Old 05-07-12, 01:44 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by steve-in-kville View Post
I have an old MTB frame that may find itself with dropbars when I rebuild it. And of course what shifters to use has been tossed around. Since I always ride on the brake hoods, I am tempted to use the standard thumb shifters it has already. But I may spring for the brifters (a knock-off brand) and be done with it).

Time will tell.
I have an old steel mtb for my commuter that I've put drop bars on that I really love. Right now it's got Kelly Take Offs which put downtube shift levers right next to the brake levers so you can shift with your fingertips while on the tops or hoods. My plan in the near future is to build new wheels for it (right now it's got 6 speed 130 mmx26" wheels) so that I can upgrade to an 8 speed and I'll then run a shimergo setup with some 10 speed campy centaur brifters I got on the cheap.
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Old 05-07-12, 02:06 PM   #13
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The Rocky Mountian looks nice, but I'm having a hard time figuring out if it is still available as a 2012 model.
Rocky Mountain told me that they would not be selling the Sherpa in the U.S. this year, so I gave up on it and got my Fargo instead. My nearest dealers are in Portland anyway, but I sure would like to ride one.
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Old 05-07-12, 03:21 PM   #14
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Get the frame fit right, then,
If the whole spec list is not what you want,
change component parts until it is.

Salsa /QBP may be available on order at your shop with a QBP account,
just some dealers cannot afford to stock them on speculation..

That does not mean they cannot get them for you,
and will change parts to suit your requirements..

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-18-12 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 05-18-12, 03:55 AM   #15
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Don't feel obligated to brift on both sides either. You can use the STIs (brifter) on the rear cassette and a bar end for the front derailleur, which also lets you use a better vbrake if you go left with a tektro rl520 for the cable pull. Front derailleur shifting is not as frequent, so this works as a compromise. What I don't like about STIs at all is that if you go over bars, you've got something quite complicated that will be hitting the pavement. I'm in agreement with you that it is quite nice having quick shifts on rolling hills.
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Old 05-18-12, 07:18 AM   #16
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Don't feel obligated to brift on both sides either. You can use the STIs (brifter) on the rear cassette and a bar end for the front derailleur, which also lets you use a better vbrake if you go left with a tektro rl520 for the cable pull. Front derailleur shifting is not as frequent, so this works as a compromise. What I don't like about STIs at all is that if you go over bars, you've got something quite complicated that will be hitting the pavement. I'm in agreement with you that it is quite nice having quick shifts on rolling hills.
Yea, but if the bike falls against a wall or the bars sweep across the top tube at just the right height you can break bar ends as well. These events are probably a bit more likely than an endo (which could break a lot more trip critical things than some bike parts). Anyway for now at least I’ve put the buying of another bike on hold while I get around to trying some touring on the bike I have.
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Old 05-18-12, 11:04 AM   #17
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30 + years, drop bars, bar end shifters, no problems,
wide bars so the front pannier load goes where I want.
I'm a Pootling rider. now 64,
no daily milage targets, just time in the saddle is how far I go.
& you can go far in 90 days.

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-18-12 at 11:08 AM.
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