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Good shift/brake lever combo replacement

Old 08-26-18, 10:23 AM
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Good shift/brake lever combo replacement

I am starting a new thread to my original post because this is sort of a new topic now. To sum up, I need to replace the brakes on my old Trek 820 and decided to switch to v-brakes. Since I need new levers for that, and I have never been thrilled with the grip shifters, I think I will just get a new shift/lever combo. My bike has 21 speeds and doing a little research, I have come across these Shimano ST-EF500 or these Shimano ST-EF65 and can't really tell the difference. Are either of these good choices or is there something else I am missing? Someone provided a link to ST-EF51 in the first post but it looks like the EF500 is a newer version. I already purchased the Shimano universal brake cable set so I have that to use and it looks like these both come with shift cables.
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Old 08-26-18, 10:31 AM
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Nevermind
your choice is made.







..

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-15-18 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 08-26-18, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I look at the picture.. EF65 is not for 7 speed, its for 9.

so your choice is made.
Not if you "really look" and select the options.

I've had EF-51 & EF-65 on the same bike. (51's stolen)
The 65's shifted better.
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Old 08-26-18, 10:53 AM
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Ok (I don't own an index shifted MTB)..
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Old 08-26-18, 11:14 AM
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I personally prefer separate brakes and shifters for more adjustability.
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Old 08-26-18, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
I personally prefer separate brakes and shifters for more adjustability.
That's a good point, but I don't know if that will be too much of an issue for me. I won't be riding that much, or off roading or anything so I probably won't need to mess around with them too much or be that particular. Hopefully these combos are pretty decent. I imagine they are better than the grip shifts I have!
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Old 08-26-18, 04:31 PM
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I appreciate the comparison. I notice the 51's look different than the 65's (51's have a round display) but both the 65 and 500 look similar. Actually reading some of the reviews and questions, it looks like the 65's come with both brake and shift cables AND hosuings.

Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
Not if you "really look" and select the options.

I've had EF-51 & EF-65 on the same bike. (51's stolen)
The 65's shifted better.
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Old 08-26-18, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by jm88 View Post
I appreciate the comparison. I notice the 51's look different than the 65's (51's have a round display) but both the 65 and 500 look similar. Actually reading some of the reviews and questions, it looks like the 65's come with both brake and shift cables AND hosuings.
The 51's shifted fine, but it seemed I'd have to change the barrel adjuster a click or 2 every few days/week. No logical explanation.
On the same bike, it seems it's just a click or 2 when the seasonal temperatures change.
Something that obscure could even bee the cable housing and not the shifter.
I have the EF-65's on BOTH bikes in the 9 speed version. The 4 finger version for my canti braked Rockhopper.
I have no complaints with either. They do what they should very well for the money.
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Old 08-27-18, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by jm88 View Post
That's a good point, but I don't know if that will be too much of an issue for me. I won't be riding that much, or off roading or anything so I probably won't need to mess around with them too much or be that particular. Hopefully these combos are pretty decent. I imagine they are better than the grip shifts I have!
the separate trigger shifters would have the index finger lever under the bar instead of over as in the EF series. Under the bar is closer to the resting position of my index fingers. Less reaching and less fatigue. And if you use four finger levers, separate is more flexible. Do consider.

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Old 08-27-18, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by hermanchauw View Post

the separate trigger shifters would have the index finger lever under the bar instead of over as in the EF series. Under the bar is closer to the resting position of my index fingers. Less reaching and less fatigue. And if you use four finger levers, separate is more flexible. Do consider.

Hmmm...just when I thought the decision would be easy! Ha. Well, thanks for the additional info. I never thought of that but if it is not too much more expensive, maybe I will research that and see if it is important to me.
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Old 08-27-18, 03:28 PM
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Combos are nice because the there's so many flavors of brake levers on old bikes and not all separate brake/shift combos match up nicely. The Shimano combo package includes cables/housing and works on both v-brake and canti brakes (with a little adjustment cam in the lever). They use a single band clamp instead of two so no position issues. It's esp an problem with narrow, curvy bars that many of those old MTBs had. Well worth the slight premium because everything will fit with good positioning and you'll have new cables
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Old 08-27-18, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
Combos are nice because the there's so many flavors of brake levers on old bikes and not all separate brake/shift combos match up nicely. The Shimano combo package includes cables/housing and works on both v-brake and canti brakes (with a little adjustment cam in the lever). They use a single band clamp instead of two so no position issues. It's esp an problem with narrow, curvy bars that many of those old MTBs had. Well worth the slight premium because everything will fit with good positioning and you'll have new cables
Only the "4 Finger" version is compatible for both brake styles.
Other is V Brake only.

I certainly wouldn't call it a "cam". it's just a plug you install in 1 of 2 positions. Nothing converting rotary to reciprocating motion involved.

Last edited by Bill Kapaun; 08-27-18 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 08-27-18, 11:14 PM
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I admittedly don't know much about these, but I did read somewhere in the descriptions of both of these that the EF-500 is for V brakes only and the EF-65 is compatible with both.
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Old 08-27-18, 11:16 PM
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The more I read, I am thinking a combo may be a better solution for me because my bike is not high end, older, and I won't be riding it all the time like a lot of people might. This sounds like a simpler, easier upgrade that will still be a big improvement over what I have.

Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
Combos are nice because the there's so many flavors of brake levers on old bikes and not all separate brake/shift combos match up nicely. The Shimano combo package includes cables/housing and works on both v-brake and canti brakes (with a little adjustment cam in the lever). They use a single band clamp instead of two so no position issues. It's esp an problem with narrow, curvy bars that many of those old MTBs had. Well worth the slight premium because everything will fit with good positioning and you'll have new cables
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Old 08-28-18, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by jm88 View Post
I admittedly don't know much about these, but I did read somewhere in the descriptions of both of these that the EF-500 is for V brakes only and the EF-65 is compatible with both.
READ the previous post!
Only the 4 finger version will also handle Canti.
The part# will have either a 2 or 4 in the suffix. You need the 4 version for canti.
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Old 09-04-18, 10:42 PM
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I think I am just going to get the EF-65 I mentioned in the first post above because they come with everything (both sets of cables, housings, etc.) for $31. I don't see much difference between this and the EF-500 and this comes with all the cables. As far as the brakes, I was just going to get this BR-T4000 set for $14 per wheel, but then saw these BR-M422 for $35 for both sets. What do you think between those or anything else?
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Old 09-13-18, 09:14 AM
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I just picked up the EF 65 and just looking at them out of the box, I am wondering about the index finger shifter. There seems to be no room to squeeze your finger between that and the brake lever. Maybe it is just because it is not mounted yet and will feel right when it is ,but I want to make sure before I mount them while I can still return them if necessary. Or do you just hit the top of the lever to shift without having to squeeze your finger between it and the brake lever. I hope I am making sense! Maybe the separate ones are easier, but hopefully I am just looking at this wrong.
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Old 09-15-18, 03:03 PM
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I am glad I ran across this thread, as I am sort of in the same boat. I actually need to replace my grip shifters because something is not right but I never liked them too much anyways so I am not going to look too much into them. I was going to upgrade the brakes as well because they seem to drag a bit so I was also looking at the combo shifter/brake lever but this opened my eyes. Doing the pricing, it looks like going separate will only run about $10 more. What did you end up doing? I am curious if the separate ones are much more comfortable.
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Old 09-15-18, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jorider View Post
I am glad I ran across this thread, as I am sort of in the same boat. I actually need to replace my grip shifters because something is not right but I never liked them too much anyways so I am not going to look too much into them. I was going to upgrade the brakes as well because they seem to drag a bit so I was also looking at the combo shifter/brake lever but this opened my eyes. Doing the pricing, it looks like going separate will only run about $10 more. What did you end up doing? I am curious if the separate ones are much more comfortable.
I haven't done anything yet. Maybe someone else will chime in that has used both. Maybe they will seem different once mounted.

Originally Posted by hermanchauw View Post

the separate trigger shifters would have the index finger lever under the bar instead of over as in the EF series. Under the bar is closer to the resting position of my index fingers. Less reaching and less fatigue. And if you use four finger levers, separate is more flexible. Do consider.

You definitely have me considering them now that I noticed in hand where the triggers are on the EF-65's. They seem like they would be hard to get to while riding.
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