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How do I Attach Thumb Shifter to Drop Bar

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How do I Attach Thumb Shifter to Drop Bar

Old 06-01-13, 01:05 PM
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kehomer
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How do I Attach Thumb Shifter to Drop Bar

Just posted this query to the Mt Bike Forum but this forum may be more appropriate.

I am an old guy whose limited biking experience is with 70s and 80s road bikes, steel road bikes. Just bought an '89 Panasonic MC-5500. I got it to pass on to another person but that didn't work out. After checking the bike out, I got the idea that it will make a comfortable, versatile road bike. Color's not great but can't have everything. Thought I would get some lighter wheels, a Gary something flared dropbar ,a longer dirt drop stem, etc.

I kind of like the thumb shifters but not the brake levers. Will probably get road type levers. What I need advice on is where can I buy a piece that will attach to a shifter and will allow me to attach the shifter to the bar? Hope that's clear enough.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-01-13, 01:10 PM
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http://www.paulcomp.com/thumbies.html
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Old 06-01-13, 01:28 PM
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Thanks, that looks like it will work but $75.00? Hopefully I can get something that won't cost almost 50% of the total bike price.
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Old 06-01-13, 01:32 PM
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It depends on what shifters you have. If they have a steel clamp, you can put them on the bars near the stem clamp with a longer screw (and nut?). If you have a set of XT thumbies with an aluminum clamp, probably not, I wouldn't risk cracking the clamp on those. I don't believe the Paul's Thumbies mentioned will work with mountain bike thumb shifters, you would need a road bike downtube shifter for that. You can also get a set of Sunrace thumb shifters if you don't mind friction shifting. The mountain bike conversion thread has a lot of ideas also.
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Old 06-01-13, 01:44 PM
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Might be easier than you think.

Look for a handlebar that has a 25.4 mm clamp. That'll match your existing stem and at least some of those had a smaller grip size so your thumb shifters will work.
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Old 06-01-13, 03:26 PM
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If you're using flared/dirtdrops, then the intent of such bars is to be set high and to have your hands on the drop section all the time.
This makes bar end shifters ideally placed for this setup. (alternatly brifters/ergopowers, but thats expensive)
If you can work with non-indexed friction shifting, your options become more economical
example:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/USED-Vintage...item1e7b5ec907
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Old 06-01-13, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Might be easier than you think.
Look for a handlebar that has a 25.4 mm clamp. That'll match your existing stem and at least some of those had a smaller grip size so your thumb shifters will work.
Note that flat bars have a 22.2mm diameter on most of the bar (with 25.4mm or 31.8mm on the clamp area).
Drop road bars have 23.8mm clamp section on the non-clamp part of the bar.
So your mtb shifters on the current flat bar have a 22.2mm clamp diameter.
You can get a road bar with 25.4mm clamp diameter (and it will fit on the current stem) but taht won't take care of your shifter problem.
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Old 06-01-13, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by TallRider View Post
Note that flat bars have a 22.2mm diameter on most of the bar (with 25.4mm or 31.8mm on the clamp area).
Drop road bars have 23.8mm clamp section on the non-clamp part of the bar.
So your mtb shifters on the current flat bar have a 22.2mm clamp diameter.
You can get a road bar with 25.4mm clamp diameter (and it will fit on the current stem) but taht won't take care of your shifter problem.
It's been awhile but I've seen drop bar brake levers with clamps that only fit the smaller bar diameter. Somewhere there's a handlebar that fits those levers.
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Old 06-01-13, 05:53 PM
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[QUOTE=xenologer;15692953]If you're using flared/dirtdrops, then the intent of such bars is to be set high and to have your hands on the drop section all the time.
This makes bar end shifters ideally placed for this setup. (alternatly brifters/ergopowers, but thats expensive)
If you can work with non-indexed friction shifting, your options become more economical
example:
Yes, I've read about riding in the drops almost exclusively when using the Gary Origin-8 and similar bars. I'm used to moving my hands around a bit when riding and my squeaky back won't allow anything approaching a racer's crouch. Both my road bikes have tall technomic stems that allow for a fairly relaxed position.

I'm going to try to adapt the existing Mountain LX thumbies to the drop bars or ugrade a little to Deore XT. The LX shifters don't have a handlebar mount. They attach to the brake lever housing. The housing attaches to the bar. Using indexed levers has spoiled me. Would prefer not to use friction.

Guess I'll have to look at it a little bit harder. Thanks everyone for your input.
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Old 06-01-13, 07:57 PM
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fork steerers on 1" threaded forks have a 7/8" ID so the stem quill is that, aka 22.2mm
so you can potentially put a thumb shifter on the stem quill. not ideal but it works

then they are stem shifters..

Retroshift brake levers put the shift lever on the front of themselves..
IDK if the LX thumbies come off their Mounts .. retroshift guy posts here you can ask Him.

personally I like the way trekking figure 8 bend bars work as replacements for MTB straights ..

and the shifters and levers transfer, even left on their cables..

though a shorter, higher rise stem would be in order.

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Old 06-01-13, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by kehomer View Post
Color is AMAZING.
Just had to fix that bit about the color.
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Old 06-01-13, 08:20 PM
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I have Suntour barcon shifters on my bike with dirt drops (A Schwinn Crosscut, which is a similar style to your bike). Took a little while to get used to reaching outward for them, but that may be because I already had another bike with barcons on more typical drop bars. You can usually find them on Ebay for between $30-40. Sometimes less if you are patient.



Another option might be to get some thumb shifters that are not integrated with brake levers and mount those on the tops of the bars. That might be useful if you ride on the tops a lot.

I'm a hood rider and what I like best about the woodchipper bars is the inward tilt of the hoods. It offers a very natural hand position for me.

On the color thing, I also like the deep purple.
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Old 06-02-13, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Yo Spiff View Post
I have Suntour barcon shifters on my bike with dirt drops (A Schwinn Crosscut, which is a similar style to your bike). Took a little while to get used to reaching outward for them, but that may be because I already had another bike with barcons on more typical drop bars. You can usually find them on Ebay for between $30-40. Sometimes less if you are patient.




Another option might be to get some thumb shifters that are not integrated with brake levers and mount those on the tops of the bars. That might be useful if you ride on the tops a lot.

I'm a hood rider and what I like best about the woodchipper bars is the inward tilt of the hoods. It offers a very natural hand position for me.

On the color thing, I also like the deep purple.
I may upgrade to the XT thumbies that attach directly to the bar. If there is a problem matching the diameters of the thumbies vs the bars, then mounting on the stem (will be a long one) is a viable alternative. Anyhow, I am anxious to get started on the project. May even do fenders and rack(s). Thanks a lot for all the knowledgeable advice.
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Old 06-02-13, 11:22 PM
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Surprised no one has mentioned this option ....

http://www.rivbike.com/product-p/sh3.htm

I bought the same or similar shifters under the "Pyramid" or "Sunlite" name on Amazon for something like $6, including cables. Mine are a little sloppy in their movement, could probably benefit from adding nylon bushings around the pivots, but they work fine otherwise, and maybe the $18 ones are assembled with a little more care? Anyway, you spread out the mounting bands, add longer screws if needed, and they fit road bars. (Curiously, I noticed that Rivendell is now selling a $50 IRD stem shifter mount that's along the same lines as the Paul Thumbies.)

Someone may have mentioned this already, but '90ish entry-level SIS levers with the steel band are really rather good if you prefer indexing, their friction mode works great, and obviously the band-spreading trick works with them too. I've eyed '80s Suntour ratchet thumbshifters before, and I think some used a hose-clamp type of mount that might fit a road bar.

A really funky option I've seen was a Bridgestone mountain bike on eBay with Nitto "Bosco" upright bars, one bar-end shifter on the right side, and one thumb shifter clamped to the stem. For all I know the seller may have just been using up odds and ends, but he claimed that arrangement was absolutely brilliant.

Last edited by 1987cp; 06-02-13 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 06-03-13, 04:06 AM
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IMO one of the best ways to sort this out would be at a co-op. There are three listed in Georgia, at the site linked in my tag.
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Old 06-03-13, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by 1987cp View Post
Surprised no one has mentioned this option ....

http://www.rivbike.com/product-p/sh3.htm

I bought the same or similar shifters under the "Pyramid" or "Sunlite" name on Amazon for something like $6, including cables.
I bought a pair of those for $10 on Ebay when i converted my wife's road bike to upright bars. At the time I didn't have any better thumbshifters in my parts bin and couldn't find any good used ones for a decent price. They are not elegant looking, but they do work well. Rivendell wouldn't offer them if they didn't work.
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Old 06-03-13, 11:28 AM
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I have a near new pair of those Levers , after an Upgrade to an Older Shimano friction thumbie set

so open to Offers for the other ones..
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Old 06-03-13, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by kehomer View Post
Thanks, that looks like it will work but $75.00? Hopefully I can get something that won't cost almost 50% of the total bike price.
Haven't read this whole thread to see what others have recommended but...

These are much cheaper, and can be found a few dollars cheaper than that on eBay.

Assuming you have downtube shifters that you just want to mount up top -- and you still need to buy brake levers? If so, then Retroshift CX2 covers both needs for $129. Here's my review of retroshifts.
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Old 06-03-13, 11:23 PM
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kehomer,

Some additional food for thought...

I would direct you to this thread:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ar-Conversions

Many options abound, but IMHO the easiest would be to buy a set of road bike brake levers and locate some Shimano 7 or 8 speed bar end shifters on eBay to keep the indexing intact. The shifters will also give you the friction option if you need it.

The Mountain LX shifters you have on the Panasonic are integrated into the brake levers. Additionally, the four pins on the bottom of the shift lever are a slightly smaller pattern than what were used on both Deore and Deore XT thumb shifters, so those nifty dirt drop shifter adapters shown in the other thread won't work with your Mountain LX thumb shifter pods. You think Paul's Thumbies are pricey... so are Deore XT 7 speed thumb shifters!

Happy hunting!

EDIT: Looks like you've seen the other thread...

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Old 06-04-13, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by oldskoolwrench View Post
kehomer,
The Mountain LX shifters you have on the Panasonic are integrated into the brake levers. Additionally, the four pins on the bottom of the shift lever are a slightly smaller pattern than what were used on both Deore and Deore XT thumb shifters, so those nifty dirt drop shifter adapters shown in the other thread won't work with your Mountain LX thumb shifter pods. You think Paul's Thumbies are pricey... so are Deore XT 7 speed thumb shifters!
Those XT thumb shifters are cheap compared to those dirt drop adapters. I haven't seen a pair sold for less than a hundred dollars. They come from a rare and esoteric era of mountain biking history, and I suppose have a lot of value. It's easier to get a pair of Suntour Command Shifters and that's saying something.
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