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Are there any relatively inexpensive road index shifters? 6-8 speed

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Are there any relatively inexpensive road index shifters? 6-8 speed

Old 05-04-12, 04:54 PM
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bobotech
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Are there any relatively inexpensive road index shifters? 6-8 speed

You can find decent flat bar index shifters all day long for around 20-50 dollars on ebay for various 6-8 speed shimano/sram components.

i'm looking to possibly buy a late '80s road bike frame that is missing its drive train and I am contemplating putting drop bars on it. I would be using an 8 or 7 speed cassette and either a double or triple with 52t big ring.

One of the reasons why i don't want to put drops is I'm not sure about finding inexpensive road shifters for drop bars. I don't want to spend 100-200 dollars for a set of brifters when I could just put flat bars on it and buy a nice Deore flatbar 8 speed shifter for around 30-40 dollars.

I do not want stem or downtube shifters, they are too uncomfortable for me.

So what did 8 speed road bikes use for index shifting back when they were popular and are they now fairly inexpensive as used parts?
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Old 05-04-12, 05:20 PM
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Shimano SL-A050

Tech doc indicates the front is friction. Not fancy, but probably the least costly indexed shifters that will mount to drop bars.
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Old 05-04-12, 05:36 PM
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What about bar end shifters?

The going rate for most STI shifters, even lowly SORA, is about $100. 7 speed RSX shifters are even more expensive than current stuff since they are becoming rarer.
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Old 05-04-12, 05:40 PM
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Unfortunately, choices are pretty limited for drop bar shifters in the 7 and 8 speed region.

When I did my 8S build I used Shimano 8S bar-end shifters. IIRC they were $60 and I am very happy with them.
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Old 05-04-12, 07:19 PM
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Bar-ends rule, and jenson usually has the best prices on 'em. 8speed will work with 7speed cassettes. This is probably your only realistic option.

The SL-A050 recommended above are thumb shifters, so possibly not what you had in mind, but you could mount them on the flat part of a drop-bar. They're cheap, and look pretty yucky, but my friend runs them, and they work very well. And, they're SUPER cheap.

hth
-rob
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Old 05-04-12, 07:29 PM
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Sun race clamp on downtube shifters - 7,8,9 speed (friction front, index rear). Very economically priced and work excellent. Loved moving to index shifting on my old bikes that had friction stem shifters. If only they would make a cheap pod that would let them mount as barcons, that would be sweet!
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Old 05-04-12, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Puget Pounder View Post
What about bar end shifters?

The going rate for most STI shifters, even lowly SORA, is about $100. 7 speed RSX shifters are even more expensive than current stuff since they are becoming rarer.
So glad I scored an entire bike with RSX 3x7 for $60!
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Old 05-04-12, 11:12 PM
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I can't find those SL-A050 shifters anywhere. Where can I find them? I will buy a set and try them out just for giggles.
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Old 05-04-12, 11:24 PM
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https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-Handle.../dp/B001L5Y1GC
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Old 05-05-12, 12:31 AM
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Amazon (Niagra) has the best price on the bar-ends:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000F5...dir_mdp_mobile
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Old 05-05-12, 01:31 AM
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there are no rules saying you can't use flat bar shifters on drops. You'd have pretty easy access to shifters mounted on the flats and adding cross stop levers would give you access to brakes and shifters at the same time. I think bar end shifters have a certain charm but they're pricey and moving your hands from the hoods to the bar ends isn't much better than reaching down to downtube shifters. Twist grip shifters might also be a good low-cost option. They can be mounted on the tops or the drops and will be very easy to find in 7-8 speed.
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Old 05-05-12, 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Standard Issue View Post
there are no rules saying you can't use flat bar shifters on drops. You'd have pretty easy access to shifters mounted on the flats and adding cross stop levers would give you access to brakes and shifters at the same time. I think bar end shifters have a certain charm but they're pricey and moving your hands from the hoods to the bar ends isn't much better than reaching down to downtube shifters. Twist grip shifters might also be a good low-cost option. They can be mounted on the tops or the drops and will be very easy to find in 7-8 speed.
Clamp diameter is the issue here. MTB (flat) bars are 22.2mm, while most drop bars are 25.x so most flat bar shifters will not fit without modification. Grip shifters? Impossible to get to the tops, but I once mounted a grip shifter on the end of a cheap steel drop bar that happened to have the right diameter. So they are out there.
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Old 05-05-12, 02:00 AM
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The O.G. Gripshifters came in road diameter. Dunno if they made it to 7-speed or not. They may have met their demise in the 6-speed era.

Much less bulky than MTB Gripshifters also, made to go on ends of bars, drops or aero.

Found a pic:


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Old 05-05-12, 02:22 AM
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Consider a compromise solution;

get a North Roads handlebar and mount it upside down so it drops rather than rises. (or a Soma Sparrow, same thing really)
Set it low and you can approximate a dropped position, and your hands will be more ergonomically positioned than a flat bar would. Yet it will have a 22mm mtb sized grip area, so you can use your deore flatbar shfiter/brake pods on it.

Warning!: many mtb integrated shifter/brake pods nowadays will have the brake levers designed for v-brakes; this will be incompatible with your road bike caliper brakes. make sure the pod you select has the brake lever portion meant for canti (non-linear, non v-brake)pull.

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Old 05-05-12, 07:14 AM
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The beauty of cheap flatbar shifters is that they often have clamps that are flexible enough to be mounted on the wider-diameter drop bars. I have some sunrace friction thumbshifters (which are GREAT, btw, for $8/set) which could easily be fit on a dropbar. (I have mine set up on 22.2mm bars, though.) I'll take another look at the 7speed shimano sl-a050 to see if they have a similar mount. I also have seen roadbikes with gripshifters riding way high up, near the stem. I think this is a thoroughly gruesome set-up, but my stepdad seems to like 'em; he swears they were original equipment on his 1990s-era Giant roadbike.

8speed bar-cons are $65. In my opinion, that's plenty-cheap for some nice, reliable shifters that you can likely use on future builds if necessary. I know i've used my barcons in a variety of contexts, and they've yet to disappoint.

-rob
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