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It appears I prefer stem shifters

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It appears I prefer stem shifters

Old 10-22-16, 11:44 PM
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It appears I prefer stem shifters

I've been following the vintage MTB drop bar thread. My old steel frame Trek Millennia seemed the perfect candidate. I bought the bike on CL and it looked to be hardly ridden. The original grip shifters worked perfectly but really weren't my style. I thought about drop bars and how to accommodate the original shifters. Then I thought about drop bars and setting up whatever shifters I would prefer.

I have an OCR3 with brifters I think you call them? They work. As do most appliances. There's just something missing in the use aspect of the tool. Functional but not inspired. Thumbies work but no. Bar ends? No again. My youth recalls a ten speed with friction stem shifters. Then a beloved Univega I never should have sold.

I gave my daughter a Bianchi mixte which has the old stem shifters. I took that bike for a spin and it all came back to me. The simplicity. The directness. Being able to lean the bike anywhere and not worry about knocking something south, as it were. The Trek would get stem shifters.

I love em. Few people do, I guess, but they're my favorite. A Cinelli drop bar, stem shifters... It's coming together. Kind of a Frankenbike. Blue with cream logos. It's a '98 model.

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Old 10-22-16, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by MNHarv
I have an OCR3 with brifters I think you call them? They work. As do most appliances.
Best I've heard it said.
A race bike in any era is a highly personal choice that at its "best" balances the requirements of fit, weight, handling, durability and cost tempered by the willingness to toss it and oneself down the pavement at considerable speed. ~Bandera
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Old 10-23-16, 01:03 AM
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You're not alone..I dig'em too !! reminds me of the old varsitys !
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Old 10-23-16, 03:55 AM
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I think stem shifters are the greatest! Only problem I have with them is when I need to change gears!
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Old 10-23-16, 04:43 AM
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My son had on his mod Fuji Ace 24" wheel road bike shifters that were essentially stem shifters as they mounted adjacent to the stem- shaped with dual levers about 100 degrees apart, allowed for multiple choices on which to grab/control. He liked them.
By Shimano, current production a few levels of finish last I looked.
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Old 10-23-16, 07:13 AM
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I was going to set up my drop barred ATB with stem Shifters. I went as far as finding nicer levers that would fit in the housing- I never acted on it- that bike now has trekking bars and thumb Shifters.

My phone keeps capitalizing "Shifters."
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Old 10-23-16, 10:27 AM
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I think there's a "12 step program" for that problem.
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Old 10-23-16, 10:36 AM
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My back up bike has stem shifters. I rode it about a year and a half ago. Felt very strange. I kept reaching down.
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Old 10-23-16, 10:45 AM
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is there a "bikes with stem shifters" pic thread? there should be.
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Old 10-23-16, 11:06 AM
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A stem shifter thread... I think it would be a short thread. We would have to combine with those bikes which also have those extra brake levers.. Safety brakes?

Maybe it would be good. Kind of like that behind bars thread. That is a great thread. Well, this whole place is addicting.

Thankee, folks
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Old 10-23-16, 11:19 AM
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Some of my favorite shifter's are Suntour Stem powershifter's. I used them a lot on bike coop builds because they are simple, cheap and plentifull and work good with nearly any setup. They would likely be my choice for a MTB drop converision, DT shifter's just don't work good on MTB frames and getting brifters to index good on this type build is nearly impossible on a reasonable budget and it is getting hard to find nice barends at a decent price.
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Old 10-23-16, 11:34 AM
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Whenever I see a drop bar bike equipped with stem shifters & turkey levers I immediately think about doing an upright bar conversion. Stem shifters are easy because you can leave them right where they are. You only need new stem, handlebars, grips, brake levers, & brake cables. That's it, that's all, done deal.
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Old 10-23-16, 12:36 PM
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Somebody recently linked a blog post describing a way to mount stem shifters to the mounting bosses of safety-lever brake levers... perhaps that might be of interest?
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Old 10-23-16, 12:53 PM
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+1 on the Suntour Power shifters. I have a set on a Schwinn Super Sport and they're quite nice.
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Old 10-23-16, 01:28 PM
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Watcheth thine nut sack.

Don't plan on going over the handlebars the having an intact groin area.
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Old 10-23-16, 01:48 PM
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I've set up a couple of city bike builds with stem shifters. This Schwinn Super Sport was a 1x5 with a single SunTour power shifter:

SuperSport5_4.jpg by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/8858391@N04/]

SuperSport5_22.jpg by neal_lerner
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Old 10-23-16, 04:13 PM
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Before I took over the UO-8 as my commuter/beater, my wife had the straight-ish upright bars that came with most of the Peugeot UO-18 mixtes, along with Schwinn TwinStik stem shifters. Barcons or thumbies, both still relatively rare in the early 1970s, might have worked, but I can see where someone would not want downtube shift with upright bars. When I built her a mountain bike, since she prefers trails away from traffic, I decided to try barcons when I converted the UO-8 to drop bars, since I already had the downtube cable stop in place for the stem shifters. I have been delighted with them.
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Old 10-23-16, 06:36 PM
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4 or 5 years ago I purchased a box of 10-12 packages of NOS Suntour Stem Shifters from a bike shop that was going out of business. They are still in their original bags with white cable liner and shifter cables included. I've used 3-4 of them on builds and rebuilds for family and friends and they are fabulous. My wife and daughter love them. I think I paid less than $3 per set so I'm pretty happy with the deal that I got, and don't mind riding around on any of the bikes we have with stem shifters. I wouldn't do any club rides with them, but for tooling around and enjoying a leisure ride with family they are perfect.
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Old 10-23-16, 06:46 PM
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No shame in stem mounted shifters. Although generally a sign of low cost C&V bikes some of them work very well. Good on Harv for knowing what he likes.
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Old 10-23-16, 11:18 PM
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I think when stem shifters become a good option (flat bar) a thumb shifter is a better option.
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