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Stem shifting, pie plates and thumb shifters.for drp brs

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Stem shifting, pie plates and thumb shifters.for drp brs

Old 03-04-19, 11:32 AM
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Cycle Tourist
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Stem shifting, pie plates and thumb shifters.for drp brs

OK. Now I know I'm taking heresy here but why are these things verboten. When I learned that stem shifters were not cool I moved to install bar end shifters in my cro-mo Shwinn and likewise when I changed a gearset on my first racing bike, off came the pie plate for the same reason. Recently I've been updating some vintage bikes from 6 to 7 speeds and found some very cheap thumb shifters that look like a good fit. Yes, I know they are meant to fit a much narrower bar but assuming I can get around that problem, is it so different to use thumb shifters rather than barends.
I was recently beat out by a last second bid on a nice set of indexed bar ends and some very low priced thumb shifters popped up as an alternative. I remember some reference to stem shifters being inaccurate because of the longer routing or that they were dangerous when being launched over the handlebars. I always found other things to be worried about as I flew over the handlebars and the stem shifters I have used seem as percise as any other. Why do bike manufacturers include a plastic or metal spoke protector on all bikes? The minor weight penalty seems insignificant to all but the most competitive cyclists and the rather remote possibly of bouncing a chain or running over a stick causing the chain to get caught in the spokes seems like a reasonable precaution. While upgrading my personal old Cannondale I again considered leaving off the plastic pie plate but since everything fit perfectly without removing it, I once again left it on. While being passed on a hill by a rider 50 years my junior riding a carbon fiber wonder I'll probably receive a derisive snort but I've outgrown the need to be cool. Heck, I will probably get passed by a thirteen years old girl on a Huffy with a plaid skirt carrying a book bag so the cool ship has probably already sailed anyway.
So I put it to you, is their any legitimate reason for eschewing the venerable pie plate and stem shifters and for riders that spend nearly all their time on the tops of road bars why not use thumb shifters? Let the discussion begin.
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Old 03-06-19, 02:12 PM
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I take off the spoke protector because if it is plastic, it is usually faded, yellow, cloudy and not looking good. If it is steel it is rusty, or dented. Since I am careful to adjust the derailleur, I am not worried about the derailleur hitting the spokes.

Seth, from Seth's Bike Hacks tried to make a good looking spoke protector. He calls it the Dude Disk. Here is the link.

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Old 03-06-19, 02:43 PM
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IMO there is nothing wrong with any of those things, although stem shifters do have a drawback that people should be aware of. They encourage riders to hold the handlebars near the stem, which gives less leverage over the bars and thus less control. Thumb shifters or Barcons avoid that issue.

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Old 03-06-19, 03:51 PM
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I bought some fairly nice Sun Race 8 speed indexed thumb shifters, intending to put them on a road bike, but the clamp busted while tightening it down, even though I widened it with a dremel. Now I have a set of busted shifters with no way to mount them. Was hoping to find a creative spot near the hoods to mount them, and use them as a set of a poor man's Gevenalle shifters, but no dice.

Had no idea that MTB bars were so much smaller in diameter than road bars.

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Old 03-06-19, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Cycle Tourist View Post
OK. Now I know I'm taking heresy here but why are these things verboten. When I learned that stem shifters were not cool I moved to install bar end shifters in my cro-mo Shwinn and likewise when I changed a gearset on my first racing bike, off came the pie plate for the same reason. Recently I've been updating some vintage bikes from 6 to 7 speeds and found some very cheap thumb shifters that look like a good fit. Yes, I know they are meant to fit a much narrower bar but assuming I can get around that problem, is it so different to use thumb shifters rather than barends.
I was recently beat out by a last second bid on a nice set of indexed bar ends and some very low priced thumb shifters popped up as an alternative. I remember some reference to stem shifters being inaccurate because of the longer routing or that they were dangerous when being launched over the handlebars. I always found other things to be worried about as I flew over the handlebars and the stem shifters I have used seem as percise as any other. Why do bike manufacturers include a plastic or metal spoke protector on all bikes? The minor weight penalty seems insignificant to all but the most competitive cyclists and the rather remote possibly of bouncing a chain or running over a stick causing the chain to get caught in the spokes seems like a reasonable precaution. While upgrading my personal old Cannondale I again considered leaving off the plastic pie plate but since everything fit perfectly without removing it, I once again left it on. While being passed on a hill by a rider 50 years my junior riding a carbon fiber wonder I'll probably receive a derisive snort but I've outgrown the need to be cool. Heck, I will probably get passed by a thirteen years old girl on a Huffy with a plaid skirt carrying a book bag so the cool ship has probably already sailed anyway.
So I put it to you, is their any legitimate reason for eschewing the venerable pie plate and stem shifters and for riders that spend nearly all their time on the tops of road bars why not use thumb shifters? Let the discussion begin.
,,,,,so you have outgrown the Cool facter, I don't know if that's a good thing , you know you can be slower and still be cool I'm finding that out right now myself,,,, I'm realizing there's a whole different lifeform in the slower ranks and it's easier to be cool if you're not out there trying to be number one at every event, obviously those times have passed for you and me by the way you're talking,,, so I say keep all the coolness you still have, buy some more if you want just use them in other ranks,,,,, I've gone so far as to start a new club,,,,,, yeah,,,, The used to be fast/ faster ridding group,,,,,, they're starting to pay attention to the idea,,,,,
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Old 03-09-19, 01:13 PM
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Why not ask the manufacturers, why?

And the Gevenalle Brifters , put thumb shifters on the front of a drop bar brake lever..

combining 2 simple , reliable , mechanisms..



Have used sun tour * bar end shifters for 40 years

* My C&V Campag , uses their friction bar end shifters ...






....

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-13-19 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 03-09-19, 01:19 PM
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I'm totally in love with the idea, but $200 bucks? I balk at paying that much for an entire bike!



When I win the lottery, I'd like to try some.
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Old 03-12-19, 11:59 AM
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I honestly don't know why not.

I think you would need a 23.8mm reamer with a 22.2mm pilot and maybe some shim stock to fill in the gap for the clamp.

Reamers worth owning are expensive though. But nothing says you couldn't try with a garbage single margin 15/16th drill bit from the home improvement store, or very carefully with a Dremmel and rotary sanding bit. Generic thumbies are cheap enough you could toss a few & still wouldn't be out a lot.
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Old 08-22-19, 02:07 PM
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Am I cool yet?

Well, this thread is ancient but I love it. My commuting bike is an 80s Schwinn World. Like others have said, when the pie plate is plastic it gets yellow and brittle and cloudy. Probably not a good sign that I could just rip mine off with a couple fingers. I swapped the rear wheel for a 7speed and adjusted the derailleur to accommodate (it was a 6 before?). And this morning I was thinking to myself how awesome the stem shifters were. I hold onto the end of the bullhorn (I run a single front brake on TT bullhorns) and slap the little paddles into whatever gear I want, say that’s good enough, then tighten the plastic butterfly nut and fly on.
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Old 02-17-20, 11:10 PM
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I had a case where the old brittle plastic pie plate pieces doubled up and solidly jammed the freewheel to the spokes. All of a sudden it was a fixie bike. I usually remove them unless they are in very good condition, especially the plastic ones.
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