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Bar-End Shifters on Drops For Crits

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Bar-End Shifters on Drops For Crits

Old 02-15-07, 10:25 PM
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Bar-End Shifters on Drops For Crits

I was perusing the racing books at the local library today and I came upon a fairly old book which had a section about Crits. The author mentioned that he liked to use one chainring and put a bar end shifter in the end of his bars so he could shift while in drops.

Have any of you tried this before? I ask because I have a 9-speed Shimano rear derailleur, but I HATE Shimano brifters; would be nice to use the RD in some capacity. Plus it sounds fun!
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Old 02-15-07, 11:14 PM
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I know a very strong rider who does this in road races. He's basically a TT guy and he runs his P3C in road races, switching out the bars for some track bars, and runs the bar end shifters from the drops. Works fine for him. I don't see why that couldn't work for you.

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Old 02-15-07, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Briareos
I was perusing the racing books at the local library today and I came upon a fairly old book which had a section about Crits.
you're being very kind...
was there like 'hand' lettering in the book, 'illuminations' of the inquisition?

Originally Posted by Briareos
The author mentioned that he liked to use one chainring and put a bar end shifter in the end of his bars so he could shift while in drops.
Have any of you tried this before? I ask because I have a 9-speed Shimano rear derailleur, but I HATE Shimano brifters; would be nice to use the RD in some capacity. Plus it sounds fun!
yeah we all thought we had 'the ****' - one chainring, corn cob, silk sewups glued on with the goo of squashed green catepillars mixed with Clement cement...
We all tried the barends... yeah, nice and at hand... until you accidently bump it with you leg as you come out of the saddle to get going after a corner. One interesting phemon you'll notice when that happens - is how all of a sudden all the riders around you seem to have jumped into WARP Drive... course the reality is YOU have actually dropped anchor and will shortly eject out of the back of the Peleton like a bad fart.
Back then if you raced south of the Mason-Dixon everyone would be cool and all, and 'best rider wins'. Same, Same for any racing above Fitchburg. But anywhere in between, expecially 'Da City', sportin barends is like a red cape, just askin a rider to come up and bang it 'home' for you.
Now these days, most riders would prolly scratch their heads seeing someone roll to the start sporting barends.
Truth be told, I can't count how many races I did, never getting out of the 95 inch gear for most of the race and then banging the DT lever home in the last 60 yds... It wasn't about gears, it was all a matter of whether you were 'in' or 'out' of the saddle or on the rivet. You knew it was a hard ride if your ass crack was really sore that night.
But hey, could be a psychological advantage - give it a try, might be the ticket...
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Old 02-16-07, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen
yeah we all thought we had 'the ****' - one chainring, corn cob, silk sewups glued on with the goo of squashed green catepillars mixed with Clement cement...
A truly epic post. Sadly I missed those daze, instead opting at the time for the motorized version of two wheeled racing, getting buzzed on Blendzall fumes instead of tubular glue. And no, it wasn't better back then for us either, wobbling around on two strokes with a powerband as wide as the pinstripes on a fine Italian suit, with brains melted to goo by 130db exhaust notes, and "rearsets" made from the passenger pegs and shortened/reversed shift levers.

I bow to the Zenmaster.
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Old 02-16-07, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen
you're being very kind...
was there like 'hand' lettering in the book, 'illuminations' of the inquisition?



yeah we all thought we had 'the ****' - one chainring, corn cob, silk sewups glued on with the goo of squashed green catepillars mixed with Clement cement...
We all tried the barends... yeah, nice and at hand... until you accidently bump it with you leg as you come out of the saddle to get going after a corner. One interesting phemon you'll notice when that happens - is how all of a sudden all the riders around you seem to have jumped into WARP Drive... course the reality is YOU have actually dropped anchor and will shortly eject out of the back of the Peleton like a bad fart.
Back then if you raced south of the Mason-Dixon everyone would be cool and all, and 'best rider wins'. Same, Same for any racing above Fitchburg. But anywhere in between, expecially 'Da City', sportin barends is like a red cape, just askin a rider to come up and bang it 'home' for you.
Now these days, most riders would prolly scratch their heads seeing someone roll to the start sporting barends.
Truth be told, I can't count how many races I did, never getting out of the 95 inch gear for most of the race and then banging the DT lever home in the last 60 yds... It wasn't about gears, it was all a matter of whether you were 'in' or 'out' of the saddle or on the rivet. You knew it was a hard ride if your ass crack was really sore that night.
But hey, could be a psychological advantage - give it a try, might be the ticket...
Daaaang.

Good reply, if I do say so myself.

I think I'll be ok as far as banging my knee's against the shifter. BUT, I have also considered going single-speed.

EDIT: What is a corn-cob...

Last edited by Briareos; 02-16-07 at 03:25 AM.
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Old 02-16-07, 07:53 AM
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Also please remember that book was probably published pre-STI levers, so they were the only thing to be had for easy access when shifting when in the drops. I don't see how barends would be preferrable to today's do-everything shifters though.
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Old 02-16-07, 08:20 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by Briareos
EDIT: What is a corn-cob...
Also known as a straight block, i.e. a freewheel with 1 tooth increments, 12-17 on a 6 speed freewheel.

With a 42 front chain ring, not very low gearing, but you looked like a man.
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Old 02-16-07, 08:40 AM
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If you're shifting at the bar ends, how are you braking?

Just a thought.
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Old 02-16-07, 11:12 AM
  #9  
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I loved the bar-end shifters. I tried to use them to great effect in crits (I don't really do races with long hills). Since crits were my best event, I optimized the bike for racing on the drops. I lost a big advantage in sprints once STI came out. Incidentally I only used the right one - in crits you barely touch the front shifter. So I've accumulated a pile of NOS left bar end shifters and right downtube shifters.

One of my teammates was a bar-end connoisseur and did some modifications to make things work better. I followed most of his steps.

1. Cut down bar so your hand, when in sprinting position, is on top of the bar-end. Really the meat of the palm of your hand is on the shifter and hangs a little behind it. For me, this meant cutting the bar just into the curve of the (non-ergo) drops. Regarding hitting bars with knees, I still do that if I don't cut about 3 cm off the bar (I just did this on the bar I have on my bike now).
2. Remount the shifter backwards on the "handlebar plug". This way the shifter is much more forward. Involved some home-made machining. This was necessary on the terrible Shimano mounts. For Suntour, not necessary.
3. Remove any rubber shift cover (if applicable). They simply numb the shift feel. Drill holes in the Shimano shifter for wet weather traction.
4. For optimal shift performance, let the cable stick straight forward and loop back to the downtube. For "clean" looks, run it along the bar. I used to drill my bar just in front of the lever and next to the stem and ran the cable internally. This was before these superlight bars. I never had a problem with breaking bars but I don't think it would be a good idea now.

With real drops, i.e. not ergo schmergo bars, you can hold the bars firmly enough to sprint at 100%, shift a bar end (or Ergo or STI), and brake if necessary. I still use the same hand/bar position except I now use Ergo levers. Bigdraft is right - although bar ends are great from the drops, the current brake/shift levers allow you to shift from the hoods as well. Plus with indexed shifting, you don't have to learn or think of how to shift, just bang bang bang and you're gone.

Probably the best known US racer to use this setup was Leonard "Harvey" Nitz.

blast from the past
cdr

ps on a straight block one of the cool things you could do was use a large flange rear hub and change spokes without taking off the freewheel. You knew a freewheel was tiny when you could see the spoke heads behind the teeth of the largest cog.
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Old 02-16-07, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Duke of Kent
If you're shifting at the bar ends, how are you braking?

Just a thought.
when it's time to shift you move you hand to the lever, you don't keep it there, just like you would have with a down tube shifter. and you're not doing both at the same time. pre-index and sti levers, shifting was a real art, trying to shift quietly so you could attack or trying not to shift on a hill because you had to take your hand off the bar while climbing in the middle of a group could be tough and not being able to let up on the pedal tension. you young guys don't know what you're missing.


i ran one bar end on my 8 speed dura-ace before the advent of the sti levers. it was much better than using a down tube shifter for sprinting. never had a problem with bumping them with my knees of other riders hiitting them accidentally or on purpose. but no reason to use them now it you've got and integrated system.
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Old 02-16-07, 12:41 PM
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You should have seen the looks when I pulled the old Cannnondale up to a local group ride. 1 bar end, 7 speeds and a styrofoam looking Specialized helmet. That was the good stuff, back in the day. Did I mention that I put the bike away for quite a few years?

Andy
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Old 02-16-07, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing
I loved the bar-end shifters...
With real drops, i.e. not ergo schmergo bars, you can hold the bars firmly enough to sprint at 100%, shift a bar end (or Ergo or STI), and brake if necessary. I still use the same hand/bar position except I now use Ergo levers. Bigdraft is right - although bar ends are great from the drops, the current brake/shift levers allow you to shift from the hoods as well. Plus with indexed shifting, you don't have to learn or think of how to shift, just bang bang bang and you're gone.

Probably the best known US racer to use this setup was Leonard "Harvey" Nitz.
...
ps on a straight block one of the cool things you could do was use a large flange rear hub and change spokes without taking off the freewheel. You knew a freewheel was tiny when you could see the spoke heads behind the teeth of the largest cog.
HEAR YOU on the schmergo bars... I can't get comfortable on them to save my life. Been hard finding non-anatomics to fit modern stems but recently took a chance and ordered some Reynolds Ouzos - FAB bars, traditional, almost Giro bend, check em out!

Trying to remember who else commonly rode barends back in the day, there were a bunch, just nothing poppin up at the moment.
Actually, until very recently I been using a barend on the FD side cause STI just seems huge overkill for a simple job, and 'trim' just doesn't ever seem to be just right. Suntour ratchet barends - Da Kine! Finally broke down this fall and mounted the left side STI on most of the bikes. I'll use em, but still not impressed. Think I'm gonna go back to a FD barend on the race bike.

you got that right about the corn cob and high flange. to think that we all rode 5 spd cogsets like this for a lotta years... don't know how we did it. never imagined I'd have a 10 spd cogset.
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Old 02-17-07, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Duke of Kent
If you're shifting at the bar ends, how are you braking?

Just a thought.
Well, you usually stay on one chainring, so you almost never use the front derailleur, and that is on the left side of your bars. Now, the brake you're supposed to use to control speed is your front brake, right? Now the front brake is on the left side. Are you following?

Have you ever driven a car with a manual transmission? That's like asking how you work three pedals at once with two feet.


Oh yeah, I've been rockin' bar-ends all summer. I assume that everyone's seen my blue Cannondale, right?
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Old 02-17-07, 12:41 AM
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You realize there are plenty of people in the world who run their front brake from the right side, right?
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Old 02-17-07, 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by bigdraft
Also please remember that book was probably published pre-STI levers, so they were the only thing to be had for easy access when shifting when in the drops. I don't see how barends would be preferrable to today's do-everything shifters though.
I mentioned that I have a 9-speed DA rear derailleur but I really dislike Shimano STI brifters. I really want to use the RD since I have it and I imagine having one less gear won't make a noticeable difference in a flat crit.

I loved the bar-end shifters. I tried to use them to great effect in crits (I don't really do races with long hills). Since crits were my best event, I optimized the bike for racing on the drops. I lost a big advantage in sprints once STI came out. Incidentally I only used the right one - in crits you barely touch the front shifter. So I've accumulated a pile of NOS left bar end shifters and right downtube shifters.

One of my teammates was a bar-end connoisseur and did some modifications to make things work better. I followed most of his steps.

1. Cut down bar so your hand, when in sprinting position, is on top of the bar-end. Really the meat of the palm of your hand is on the shifter and hangs a little behind it. For me, this meant cutting the bar just into the curve of the (non-ergo) drops. Regarding hitting bars with knees, I still do that if I don't cut about 3 cm off the bar (I just did this on the bar I have on my bike now).
2. Remount the shifter backwards on the "handlebar plug". This way the shifter is much more forward. Involved some home-made machining. This was necessary on the terrible Shimano mounts. For Suntour, not necessary.
3. Remove any rubber shift cover (if applicable). They simply numb the shift feel. Drill holes in the Shimano shifter for wet weather traction.
4. For optimal shift performance, let the cable stick straight forward and loop back to the downtube. For "clean" looks, run it along the bar. I used to drill my bar just in front of the lever and next to the stem and ran the cable internally. This was before these superlight bars. I never had a problem with breaking bars but I don't think it would be a good idea now.

With real drops, i.e. not ergo schmergo bars, you can hold the bars firmly enough to sprint at 100%, shift a bar end (or Ergo or STI), and brake if necessary. I still use the same hand/bar position except I now use Ergo levers. Bigdraft is right - although bar ends are great from the drops, the current brake/shift levers allow you to shift from the hoods as well. Plus with indexed shifting, you don't have to learn or think of how to shift, just bang bang bang and you're gone.

Probably the best known US racer to use this setup was Leonard "Harvey" Nitz.

blast from the past
cdr

ps on a straight block one of the cool things you could do was use a large flange rear hub and change spokes without taking off the freewheel. You knew a freewheel was tiny when you could see the spoke heads behind the teeth of the largest cog.
Thanks! Very useful post! I have several cheap alu handlebars and I plan on some grisly experiments with a hacksaw.

EDIT: I was under the impression you couldn't shift from the drops with STI or Ergopower (SRAM can do it though I think).

Last edited by Briareos; 02-17-07 at 01:53 AM.
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Old 02-19-07, 11:44 AM
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Shifting from drops - SRAM boasts that they allow easy shifting from the drops and that STI/Ergo don't, but that is totally wrong.

Ergo also allow shifting (up and down) from the drops as long as you don't use a jacked lever position (as one of my friends describes it - look at a later picture of Lance for a jacked lever position). I've used Ergo from when it first came out and I do a lot of shifting going into and during a typical sprint while in the drops - I sprint with a thumb ready to go to the button and usually my index finger on the other shift lever. With STI it's reasonably simple to shift into a smaller cog from the drops but I can't shift into a bigger one without putting the brakes on, so I don't use STI.

Braking and bar-ends - because I cut off a lot of my handlebar and I had a "compact" shifter (modded and very short in length), I could keep an index finger ready to touch the brake lever, my pinkie behind the bar-end (but gripping the bar), and my middle and ring fingers firmly grasping the bar. I could sprint and shift hard enough to pop out of multi-toe strapped pedals. Thinking about this, I realize I also brake with my front if it's a aggressive speed check (typical when trying to follow different leadout riders). The rear brake is more for slight adjustments in speed.

On the "three pedals and two feet", there is a technique called heel-toe which allows you to push the clutch, the brake, and blip the throttle so you can shift down without aggressively wearing your clutch when you let it back out. Although it is a race technique and sounds like a race-only thing, it isn't. I will heel-toe to park the car, to get going on an uphill, slow for exit ramps, etc. Very useful skill to have - I'd feel lost without it. And no, I don't race cars.

lol grisly experiments with bars. My bar-end bars (I still have a few) look almost like the aero bars used on TT bikes since part of the curve was cut off.

good luck with the bars
cdr
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Old 02-19-07, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing
Shifting from drops - SRAM boasts that they allow easy shifting from the drops and that STI/Ergo don't, but that is totally wrong.

Ergo also allow shifting (up and down) from the drops as long as you don't use a jacked lever position (as one of my friends describes it - look at a later picture of Lance for a jacked lever position). I've used Ergo from when it first came out and I do a lot of shifting going into and during a typical sprint while in the drops - I sprint with a thumb ready to go to the button and usually my index finger on the other shift lever. With STI it's reasonably simple to shift into a smaller cog from the drops but I can't shift into a bigger one without putting the brakes on, so I don't use STI.

Braking and bar-ends - because I cut off a lot of my handlebar and I had a "compact" shifter (modded and very short in length), I could keep an index finger ready to touch the brake lever, my pinkie behind the bar-end (but gripping the bar), and my middle and ring fingers firmly grasping the bar. I could sprint and shift hard enough to pop out of multi-toe strapped pedals. Thinking about this, I realize I also brake with my front if it's a aggressive speed check (typical when trying to follow different leadout riders). The rear brake is more for slight adjustments in speed.

On the "three pedals and two feet", there is a technique called heel-toe which allows you to push the clutch, the brake, and blip the throttle so you can shift down without aggressively wearing your clutch when you let it back out. Although it is a race technique and sounds like a race-only thing, it isn't. I will heel-toe to park the car, to get going on an uphill, slow for exit ramps, etc. Very useful skill to have - I'd feel lost without it. And no, I don't race cars.

lol grisly experiments with bars. My bar-end bars (I still have a few) look almost like the aero bars used on TT bikes since part of the curve was cut off.

good luck with the bars
cdr
Good info!

Do you think you have a picture of your setup? That'd go a long way to explaining what you did.

As far as the heel-toe method, can you explain it without car analogies? I don't know much about cars either...And I drive an automatic.
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Old 02-20-07, 11:02 AM
  #18  
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FWIW I still race bar end on my cross bike and I have never once accidentally hit it with my knee. Occasionally I see some one at a road race or crit with a bar end set up. imo there is a slight disadvantage but only slight.
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Old 02-20-07, 11:33 AM
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[QUOTE=Briareos]

Thanks! Very useful post! I have several cheap alu handlebars and I plan on some grisly experiments with a hacksaw.

QUOTE]

Hacking off an end I am sure is no big deal, but I wouldn't drill your bars to run the cable internally. I saw several bars break from this way back in the 80's- before the days of ultra light bars.
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Old 02-23-07, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Briareos
Good info!

Do you think you have a picture of your setup? That'd go a long way to explaining what you did.

As far as the heel-toe method, can you explain it without car analogies? I don't know much about cars either...And I drive an automatic.
If I have time I'll semi-reassemble some bar/shifter combos - I still have some bars, and some shifters, but none on bikes. I may have pictures of the setups in use. I'll see if I have them.

heel-toe - when slowing a manual car down you want to do three things:
1. apply brakes
2. shift into lower gear in preparation for accelerating after you're done slowing
3. don't upset balance of car (either by letting clutch out too aggressively, moving foot of brake pedal to push clutch and then back on brake, etc)

heel-toe is an old fashioned name (like "on the rivet" in cycling - very few saddles have rivets on the nose now) but your feet would do the following:
Left foot - push clutch pedal only
Right foot -push brake pedal with left side toes ("toe"), gas pedal with outside of foot ("heel").

Since you can manipulate all three pedals at once, you can perform shifting duties while braking the whole time.

If it were a timeline, it would look like this:
right toe<---------------------------------------braking------------------------------------------->
left foot <clutch in----------------------------------------------------------------------clutch out>
right heel<---------------------------------<rev engine so shift is smooth>----------------->
hand <-----------><shift into lower gear><---------------------------------------------------->

Note: there is something called double clutching which is necessary when using a non-synchro transmission (think of an old school bus) but I am skipping that here.

video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuoZeuSgEj4

I emphasized the "rev engine" since this is the step heel-toe allows you to execute. If you do not do this step, you risk violating #3 of the "list of things to do while slowing", namely upsetting the balance of the car. If you simply let the clutch out without revving the engine, the car's momentum accelerates the engine (sort of like if you were on a fixed gear and you suddenly got pushed from behind - your legs would accelerate since you are accelerating).

While not a problem in regular driving, if you are braking at your limits *and* you let the clutch out, you can exceed your tire's traction limits. The tire locks up and you slide. In car racing you see this as racers approach a turn and they make a mistake (or the car's rev-match feature fails). The car slides right off the course.

Since drivers rarely need to heel-toe but it is tricky to execute without a lot of practice, you can use it whenever you slow or stop. So I practice when pulling up to lights, parking my car, slowing for turns, and I actually do it for real when aggressively attacking exit ramps.

<sorry for hijack of thread>

hope this helps
cdr
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