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Thumbies on a drop bar a practical idea?

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Thumbies on a drop bar a practical idea?

Old 08-28-15, 07:31 PM
  #1  
Oncoming Storm
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Thumbies on a drop bar a practical idea?

I am planing on replacing the non-aero levers on my bike with some cheap aero hoods and getting handlebar tape to replace the foam grips. At the same time I am thinking of changing my "suicide shifters" up to something more easily accessible in the hoods as I will finally be able to ride on them. The frame is an 84 Schwinn Le tour so I'm not about to spend big money to make a race bike, just more comfortable/practical.

what I have in mind is something like this



Am I crazy or would this work well?
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Old 08-28-15, 07:36 PM
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Many have done this sort of mod before. SunTour Command shifters are one commercial attempt. One of my high school riding partners did this with a couple of stem shifters in 1974. What many have found out is that the range of motion needed and finger length/strength are a challenge. Andy.
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Old 08-28-15, 07:37 PM
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How about something like this: Shifters Archives - Gevenalle
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Old 08-28-15, 07:39 PM
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Kelly "Take-Offs" are a similar bracket that hold downtube shift levers right next to dropbar brake levers. "Gevenalle" (aka Retroshift) brifters do the same thing but the bracket hold the levers to swing sideways. You can Google to see what they look like. BTW, you aren't going to drill and tap the handlebar to hold the bracket are you? The photo makes it look that way and it's a real bad idea.
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Old 08-28-15, 08:02 PM
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Gevenalle levers cost way too much for me to want to spend money on them but are a very nice solution.

Hillrider don't worry I wasn't planning to drill any hole/s in the bar it was just the best picture I could find for a setup like what I have in mind.
those Kelly "take off's" seem like a good idea if I am to build it up this way

Right now things are still in the planing stage and getting advice is priority.
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Old 08-28-15, 08:55 PM
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Just use stemmies!

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Old 08-29-15, 10:08 AM
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What are these "suicide shifters" you speak of?
Are you calling downtube shifters "suicide shifters".... they are not.
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Old 08-29-15, 10:43 AM
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The "suicide shifters" I was referring to are stem mounted, I had assumed when someone on my group ride called them that, that it was a common name for them.

After some research I'm finding the the proposed shifter position won't be practical because the relevant parts are very hard to find at a good price, I might as well at those prices look into spending a little more and building it up with a totally new groupie. but that begs the questions of does the Sora 3500 goupset work with 27" 1 1/4" or failing that have the caliper height adjustment range for a 700c conversion.



(Edit) I just figured out that a new wheel-set in 700c would be absolutely necessary for any new groupie to work.

Last edited by Oncoming Storm; 08-29-15 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 08-29-15, 12:12 PM
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there was a widget like the OP Posted, Made in the Past, You cant take stuff into the afterlife ..

so someone is auctioning off dead people's stuff ..


BTW if you 'have it in mind' and have a shop to make it in, Go For It.
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Old 08-30-15, 10:13 PM
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Thumbies work but as you've discovered they aren't a panacea for costly shifters. These are on my son's bike and he really likes the positive shifts you get with the mounted bar ends. (10-speed)

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Old 08-30-15, 10:28 PM
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Most upright handlebars measure 7/8" (22.2 mm) diameter. Thumb shifters are made for that size bar. Most road bike drop bars have 15/16" (23.8 mm) diameter bars. Thumb shifters do not fit (or not without a little persuasion, anyway).
Fortunately there are steel drop bars that measure 22.2, common on older cheap bikes. Thumb shifters will fit on those.

I prefer downtube shifters, though.
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Old 08-30-15, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Most upright handlebars measure 7/8" (22.2 mm) diameter. Thumb shifters are made for that size bar. Most road bike drop bars have 15/16" (23.8 mm) diameter bars. Thumb shifters do not fit (or not without a little persuasion, anyway).
Fortunately there are steel drop bars that measure 22.2, common on older cheap bikes. Thumb shifters will fit on those.

I prefer downtube shifters, though.
They may not be stocked in any quantity, but Paul Components Thumbies are made for three popular size bars including modern road bike bars.
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Old 08-31-15, 12:18 PM
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1) SunTour barcons are an excellent solution with a heritage of use on sport touring, full touring, and racing bikes. That's about a $50 and easy to install. I like them a lot, as do many others.

2) Downtube shifters are the simplest and most excellent answer, obviously. If they were good enough for Merckx, then they're good enough for you. Unless, of course, you think you're better than Merckx...

3) Stem shifters? No.

4) Kelly take-offs are interesting, and they have their fans. I've never used them, so cannot comment. The concept seems a bit odd to me.
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Old 08-31-15, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
1) SunTour barcons are an excellent solution with a heritage of use on sport touring, full touring, and racing bikes. That's about a $50 and easy to install. I like them a lot, as do many others.
I converted my old Panasonic from stem to bar-end shifting. Best mod I ever did to that bike. My favorite style of shifter is the modern brifter unit, but bar-ends are a close 2nd.
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Old 08-31-15, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Oncoming Storm View Post
The "suicide shifters" I was referring to are stem mounted, I had assumed when someone on my group ride called them that, that it was a common name for them.
I can only assume that the person who made that comment is not comfortable enough to ride without taking one of his/her hands off to shift.

Does you Schwinn Le Tour have down tube shifters now? Is there a reason why you want to change them? I am assuming that if the bike is a 1984 with original parts, then it doesn't have index shifting.

If you don't want to reach down to shift, you can go with bar end shifters or even stem shifters. I think trying to modify the shifters to get them up by the brakes is going to cost you more then it is worth.

John
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Old 08-31-15, 03:16 PM
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I thought 'suicide shifters' was a nickname for stem shifters because in a crash you might stab yourself in the gut. But that always seemed a rather silly worry to me.
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Old 08-31-15, 03:38 PM
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What about some grip shifters? They are cheap to buy, compact and if you have the 7/8" bars should fit. I think some of the GMC bikes have that set-up but may be wrong. There is a guy in Knoxville that deals in used bikes. I've talked to him and I've gotten the impression that he has plenty of used parts. He'll normally have 6-12 listing on Knoxville CL, that might be something you could check into.
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Old 08-31-15, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by cale View Post
Thumbies work but as you've discovered they aren't a panacea for costly shifters. These are on my son's bike and he really likes the positive shifts you get with the mounted bar ends. (10-speed)

What brand are these?
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Old 08-31-15, 06:08 PM
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To My Eye the mounts are paulcomp the lever came from a Shimano bar end set .

Thumbies from Paul Component Engineering
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Old 08-31-15, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
To My Eye the mounts are paulcomp the lever came from a Shimano bar end set .

Thumbies from Paul Component Engineering
Yes indeed.
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Old 08-31-15, 06:43 PM
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Why are posters advocating $75-$175 shifters for a Le Tour? GET REAL!
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Old 09-01-15, 10:25 AM
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These will give you road bike 7 speed bar mounted shifting and they're cheap. I just pulled a set from a bike that was given to me. They're not the most elegant shifters Shimano ever made, but they work fine.

Shimano*sl A050 Thumb Shifter 14 Speed New Old Stock | eBay
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Old 09-01-15, 10:43 AM
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Because I don't care if the OP is Cheap. its not my problem.

I got a $12 set of cheap friction thumb shifters .. at My Local Bike Shop put them on my straight (22.2) bars

I use bar end shifters on drop bars .. to each their own..

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-01-15 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 09-01-15, 12:50 PM
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yes cheap friction thumb shifters are a good option, shift from the tops instead of the hoods. Cheap, and even endorsed by Rivendell.
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Old 09-01-15, 01:10 PM
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Only because they are the only ones they can get.
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