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Chucky's tip of the day #2 - mounting Jtek's IGH shifter anywhere you want

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Chucky's tip of the day #2 - mounting Jtek's IGH shifter anywhere you want

Old 06-01-13, 06:41 PM
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Chucky's tip of the day #2 - mounting Jtek's IGH shifter anywhere you want

This is for the Jtek Bar-end Shifter for Internal Hubs:
https://jtekengineering.com/barendshifter.php

Shifter selection for internally geared hubs generally sucks. You either got those grip shifters which can't be shifted with sweaty/slippery hands or you got those trigger shifters which can't be used with winter mittens...and both options take up tons of bar space (cause they're designed to be mounted near the clamp area of flat bars) and weigh a ton!

Enter the Jtek bar-end shifter which is light as all get out and clamps to the outside of your bar end, but that sucks too because nobody rides with their hands at the bar ends because, no matter what the bar type, if your bars are properly adjusted then the ends should always be at the limits of your desired hand positions.

So I bought these 3 items:

A) Star nut for 1" steerer tube (important that it's for one inch and not the more common 1-1/8" size because otherwise it won't fit inside the Jtek)
B) Cateye SP-5 plastic clamp for handlebars
C) Bolt to fit inside the star nut (sorry I can't remember the necessary diameter or length, but I got one at ace hardware with a recessed/sunken/conical head).

Then you do the following:
Step 1. The cateye plastic clamp comes with an integrated nut that accepts a different size bolt than the star nut, so you have to knock that integrated nut out (just put a bolt in it and tap it with a hammer) so you can use the right diameter bolt for the star nut.
Step 2. Put the star nut inside the Jtek (where the actual end of the handle bar would normally go...you don't need the shim that comes with the Jtek, but remember to tighten the little pinch bolt on the Jtek to hold the starnut in).
Step 3. Put the plastic cateye clamp loosely on your handlebar.
Step 4. Attach the starnut and the cateye clamp with the bolt and tighten that bolt to cinch everything together (including both the Jtek to the cateye clamp and the cateye clamp to the bar...you might have to hold the Jtek with your left hand to keep it from rotating out of your desired orientation as you tighten).

And Voila! Light minimalist barend-style lever shifter mounted anywhere along the bar you want (and also adjustable with two dimensions of rotation...around the bar or around the mounting bolt):

...I slipped a piece of old inner tube around mine to keep the water out and my hands away from rough edges.

P.S. Yes I know that sturmey archer makes also bar-end shifters for their internal hubs...but this trick won't work with them because those go inside the bar instead of clamping to the outside of the bar and, thus, they can't be clamped to the star nut.
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Last edited by chucky; 06-01-13 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 06-01-13, 06:53 PM
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S-A hubs offer a variety of different shifting levers thumb shifter and bar end use the same lever..,
different mount..

Jtek compensates for the fact that Shimano does Not.


I have no problems with the tri lobed Grip shifter on my Rohloff hub bike.
w Mittens or anything else on my Hands.

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-01-13 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 06-01-13, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
S-A hubs offer a variety of different shifting levers thumb shifter and bar end use the same lever.., different mount..

Jtek compensates for the fact that Shimano does Not.
That's only SOME sturmey archer hubs that offer a variety of shift levers...the 8-speed, for example, only offers a twist grip and I have no idea about the various vintage models. I'm also not sure about SRAM, Rohloff, etc but I thought I'd share this modular technique in the case it might be helpful for those facing similar issues to mine with Shimano hubs or otherwise.

So I'm just showing a modular way to convert any clamp-on barend shifter like the Jtek into a thumb shifter...so if that's not useful to you because you already have or are willing to purchase a different shifter/hub then I congratulate you on your good fortune and apologize that I have nothing to offer you here in this thread.

Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I have no problems with the tri lobed Grip shifter on my Rohloff hub bike. Mittens or anything else on my Hands.
Including sunblock lotion? Regardless IMO grip shifters also take up too much bar space.

One hot summer day I took my bike on a bus to the outskirts of a hilly city where I had a business appointment...got off the bus, applied sunblock to my head/arms, and headed downtown but as soon as I hit the first hill my slippery hands couldn't turn the tri-lobed shifter. Aside from the fact that I was going to be late to my appointment (because the bus was already late dropping me off) the heavy traffic, already miffed that I was slowing them down to 10-15mph, became absolutely enraged when my improper gearing forced me to slow down to 5mph (uphill). Wiping hands on shirt, squirts of water, etc...nothing could get those sweaty hands to turn that slimy shifter and, once the sunblock rubbed off my hands and onto the tri lob from repeated shifting attempts, I couldn't even turn it after pulling over and using my shirt as a rag for grip to get a middling gear for riding one speed. I was stuck in high gear until I was able to wash both my hands and the tri lobed grip shifter with soap.

Last edited by chucky; 06-01-13 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 06-01-13, 07:42 PM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by chucky View Post
P.S. Yes I know that sturmey archer makes also bar-end shifters for their internal hubs...but this trick won't work with them because those go inside the bar instead of clamping to the outside of the bar and, thus, they can't be clamped to the star nut.
Of course, you could just get the Sturmey thumb shifter version of the same mechanism used in their bar end shifter.
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Old 06-01-13, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Of course, you could just get the Sturmey thumb shifter version of the same mechanism used in their bar end shifter.
Yes (if you have the right model), but I still think it's better to be able to convert the same part into multiple uses rather than having to buy a new/different part for each use due to lack of modularity in the design.

In any case there are many many things that one could do in life each with their own pros/cons and I was simply trying to share this particular method without confusing anyone into thinking they could use it to convert a bar end shifter as designed by sturmey archer because they can't. That's all.

Last edited by chucky; 06-01-13 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 06-01-13, 08:31 PM
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Sturmey Archer has done an amazing job of offering a wide range of shifters for the 3 and 5 speed IGH models and would hope they would start offering an 8 speed bar end at a decent price as the J-Tek is a spendy unit.

Shimano simply sucks in this regard.

With a modified clamp I was able to install the Shimano 7 speed shifter to a bar end and it works extremely well in this position and I am accustomed to bar end shifters and drop bars so it is a natural action to reach down to shift.

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Old 06-01-13, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
Sturmey Archer has done an amazing job of offering a wide range of shifters for the 3 and 5 speed IGH models and would hope they would start offering an 8 speed bar end at a decent price as the J-Tek is a spendy unit.

Shimano simply sucks in this regard.
Agreed and if I had to replace my three IGH gear trains from scratch I think I'd go with the Sturmey 5-speed for all of them, but since I got what I got (including the Jtek) I intend to make the units I have work for me for as long as they last which could be a long long time.

Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
With a modified clamp I was able to install the Shimano 7 speed shifter to a bar end and it works extremely well in this position and I am accustomed to bar end shifters and drop bars so it is a natural action to reach down to shift.
What style of shifter is that you have mounted with your modified clamp?

Of course drop bars have fewer issues with handlebar real estate due to the invention and availability of brake hoods (which are a similar idea to what I've done here with the shifter...offset the control from the bar and you can grab the bar AND operate the controls from all around the same area), but when I ride with bullhorns or experiment with optimizing hand positioning (for aerodynamics, quicker/more exact operation of controls, safety, etc lots of room for improvement here) then I keep finding myself wanting to put all the controls in the same place and don't have those brake hoods to make it all fit. But even with drop bars I think it's telling how you say "reach down" because if your hand position were optimized for braking and aerodynamics then you wouldn't be "reaching down" (from the hoods) you'd be getting your weight off your forearms and reaching back which is quite a bit more trouble (with a misplaced shifter being one more excuse not to get in the right position to begin with). So although I do also have an IGH drop bar bike setup like this with a sturmey archer bar end shifter, I'm not a big fan of it all in all because few people really make good use of drop bars because we all know instinctively that riding in the drops is both tiring (because you need to support more of your weight) and unsafe (because you can't see what's in front of you).

Yes we can get used to it, but why would we want to?
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Old 06-01-13, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by chucky View Post
Agreed and if I had to replace my three IGH gear trains from scratch I think I'd go with the Sturmey 5-speed for all of them, but since I got what I got (including the Jtek) I intend to make the units I have work for me for as long as they last which could be a long long time.

What style of shifter is that you have mounted with your modified clamp?

Of course drop bars have fewer issues with handlebar real estate due to the invention and availability of brake hoods (which are a similar idea to what I've done here with the shifter...offset the control from the bar and you can grab the bar AND operate the controls from all around the same area), but when I ride with bullhorns or experiment with optimizing hand positioning (for aerodynamics, quicker/more exact operation of controls, safety, etc lots of room for improvement here) then I keep finding myself wanting to put all the controls in the same place and don't have those brake hoods to make it all fit. But even with drop bars I think it's telling how you say "reach down" because if your hand position were optimized for braking and aerodynamics then you wouldn't be "reaching down" (from the hoods) you'd be getting your weight off your forearms and reaching back which is quite a bit more trouble (with a misplaced shifter being one more excuse not to get in the right position to begin with). So although I do also have an IGH drop bar bike setup like this with a sturmey archer bar end shifter, I'm not a big fan of it all in all because few people really make good use of drop bars because we all know instinctively that riding in the drops is both tiring (because you need to support more of your weight) and unsafe (because you can't see what's in front of you).

Yes we can get used to it, but why would we want to?
Shifter...



Almost every bike I own has drop bars and I make good use of them... they offer a wide range of hand positions and positions and with a fairly level saddle to bar one can ride in the drops rather comfortably while enjoying a more aerodynamic position. This requires better core strength so that you do not put as much weight on your wrists and if you are a skilled rider reaching down to shift dt shifters or use bar ends should not pose any issues.

If I am riding in the drops the shifter is right there.

I also have a modern road bike with 8 speed brifters as well as vintage bicycles with dt shifters, and mountain bikes with sti and bar end shifters on drops.
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Old 06-01-13, 09:43 PM
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Neat trick.
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Old 06-01-13, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
Shifter...
Thanks.

Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
Almost every bike I own has drop bars and I make good use of them... they offer a wide range of hand positions and positions and with a fairly level saddle to bar one can ride in the drops rather comfortably while enjoying a more aerodynamic position. This requires better core strength so that you do not put as much weight on your wrists and if you are a skilled rider reaching down to shift dt shifters or use bar ends should not pose any issues.

If I am riding in the drops the shifter is right there.

I also have a modern road bike with 8 speed brifters as well as vintage bicycles with dt shifters, and mountain bikes with sti and bar end shifters on drops.
That's fine, but the bars pictured in the OP are attached to a recumbent on which I could never quite figure how the drops should go.

Now I know there's a school of thought that a diamond frame with drop bar is the pinnacle of cycling technology and that it's not worth trying to improve on that because folks have been cycling for over 100 years, but I don't agree and I think there's tons of room for improvement as has been proven over the last several decades by cycling innovators from Pete Penseyres, to Graeme Obree, to Georgi Georgiev just to name a few of the famous ones.

I mean, heck, if you're going to give all your bikes drop bars then why even bother owning more than one?

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Old 06-01-13, 10:09 PM
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There's no significant biomechanical improvement to be had over an upright with drop bars IMO, in terms of the power produced at the crank... except maybe for a return to Shimano's dropped pedals, and there could be a few percent in ovoid chainrings, but only if the aspect ratio is so great it basically rules out front shifting.

The problem of course, is that the most powerful position is a poor aerodynamic package. That's the compromise.

Certainly not every conceivable variation on recumbents has been tried, and IMO they're a vastly under-used format, but I'm pretty sure they'll never climb like an upright.

Also, try building a recumbent that weighs six kilos... or bunnyhopping one.
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Old 06-01-13, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by chucky View Post
I mean, heck, if you're going to give all your bikes drop bars then why even bother owning more than one?
Because drop bars work on my touring bikes, road bikes, mountain bike, and more utilitarian and vintage bicycles I have.

A back injury prevents me from riding upright and need a sportier fit and I am also working on a recumbent design as well.
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Old 06-01-13, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
A back injury prevents me from riding upright and need a sportier fit and I am also working on a recumbent design as well.
I know we've bristled each other a bit over the years, but I didn't know you had a back injury...that sucks.

Of course I'm not trying to tell you what you should think is a good way to setup a bike, but my point is just that it's not always a solution to just say "this works with my drops and I'm used to it":
-Some people don't like drops.
-Some bikes can't use drops.
-Sometimes what you or I find satisfactory or are used to won't be satisfactory according to some particular criteria.
-etc.
Maybe the trick I described will help you or someone else with your recumbent or other bike or maybe not...I'm just throwing it out there for everyone because I've never found it disadvantageous to have an extra trick up my sleeve.

Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
There's no significant biomechanical improvement to be had over an upright with drop bars IMO, in terms of the power produced at the crank... except maybe for a return to Shimano's dropped pedals, and there could be a few percent in ovoid chainrings, but only if the aspect ratio is so great it basically rules out front shifting.

The problem of course, is that the most powerful position is a poor aerodynamic package. That's the compromise.

Certainly not every conceivable variation on recumbents has been tried, and IMO they're a vastly under-used format, but I'm pretty sure they'll never climb like an upright.

Also, try building a recumbent that weighs six kilos... or bunnyhopping one.
I think there's a lot more dimensions here than you're admitting in your characterization of "the compromise". There's visibility, maneuverability, comfort, safety, etc...lots of other things than peak instantaneous power production and aerodynamic drag. Weight, for example, effects neither peak instantaneous power production nor aerodynamic drag, but has long been known to affect other biomechanical aspects of energy production.

When Pete Penseyres invented aerobars the primary reason was to improve comfort...better aerodynamics helps, but compared to drop bars I also think they improve visibility and maneuverability in the specific maneuvers most commonly encountered in mixed vehicular traffic (which don't move like groups or teams of 100% bicyclists...mixed vehicular traffic mostly goes straight or makes sharp turns at low speeds and must be prepared to stop in an instant even if in the middle of "naturally" reaching for the shifter; likewise many people are accustomed to, find it natural, and have the skill to text while they drive, but wouldn't it be better if they found a way to become accustomed to something else?).

Some people say they don't need or want any improvement...ok maybe not now, but there tends to be a domino effect when designing something: change A and you have to change B, change B and you have to change C, change C and before you know it you're asking yourself how important that bar end shifter or drop bar really is to you or if you're willing to substitute for something else. We've seen some incredible innovations in bicycle design to circumvent some of our human limitations, but what series of changes will be required to make those innovations more practically useful remains to be seen and it remains to be seen where the rabit hole of fixing these niggling caveats will lead as we change A->B->C->etc.

There's also the financial aspect, it's easy to say "oh just buy this" but if you can make what you have work (or manufacture one product that works two ways instead of two products) then why are you wasting your money?

Last edited by chucky; 06-01-13 at 11:11 PM.
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Old 06-02-13, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by chucky View Post
I know we've bristled each other a bit over the years, but I didn't know you had a back injury...that sucks.

Of course I'm not trying to tell you what you should think is a good way to setup a bike, but my point is just that it's not always a solution to just say "this works with my drops and I'm used to it":
-Some people don't like drops.
-Some bikes can't use drops.
-Sometimes what you or I find satisfactory or are used to won't be satisfactory according to some particular criteria.
-etc.
Maybe the trick I described will help you or someone else with your recumbent or other bike or maybe not...I'm just throwing it out there for everyone because I've never found it disadvantageous to have an extra trick up my sleeve.
It is always good to have a few extra tricks and would not suggest drop bars are for everyone... my wife cannot lean forward on a bike because of some shoulder issues so set back and relaxed is her only way to ride.
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