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Bar End Shifters?

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Old 07-13-18, 08:34 PM
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jyl
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Bar End Shifters?

What do you think about bar end shifters? Do you use them on your strict C&V builds?

I've been thinking about how to make my 1978 Team Pro more rideable. One issue I have with the downtube shifters (Simplex retrofrictions) is that I am not coordinated enough to shift when riding out of the saddle. So if I'm, say, pushing hard on a hill and the grade eases so that I want a bigger gear, I have to sit down, shift, and get up again. I've gotten used to simply shifting while staying up, using brifters and Gevenalle shifters.

I do recall from prior bikes with bar ends that sometimes my knee hit them when sprinting or climbing out of the saddle. I don't know if those bikes were perhaps poorly sized for me.

So, the book on the Ti-Raleigh teams shows a few team bikes with bar ends, in races. Apparently a few of the team riders used them, back in 1976-1980, and thus I could try bar ends without losing the "correctness" that is important for this particular bike in the fleet.

I have a suitable set of bar end shifters and some CLB alloy housing that I could install. One thing I wonder is if Benotto tape works well when wrapped over housing. The other is if I should try to adapt the retrofrictions for bar end use, and how.

Comments?
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Old 07-13-18, 08:44 PM
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I use barcons on my vintage bikes, including both my Masi and my Holdsworth-copy made by Rodriguez. I can’t see why Benotto tape would not work well over the shift housing. Dunno about the retrofrictions, though. How compatible are the innards with Shimano or Suntour bar controls?
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Old 07-13-18, 08:50 PM
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Do it, I have never had any but them until the Paramount was recently acquired and it is likely going to get them as well. Don't know about the Benotto but I'm sure it was used back in the day. I put them on the Bruce Gordon and they came on the green Merz. I have long legs and almost never hit them, but also almost never ride out of the saddle. Can't imagine riding without them.
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Old 07-13-18, 10:55 PM
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I am pretty sure bar end Retrofrictions exist, but finding siome might be a challenge.
I would probably just go with Suntour.
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Old 07-13-18, 11:44 PM
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Yes, Bar end (Simplex) retrofrictions do exist.
I have a set I want to do a Raleigh SBDU build around on, one day,......if I ever get lucky enough to find one.......
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Old 07-14-18, 12:13 AM
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I've got bar-ends on multiple bikes. I like them.

Bar-end shifters can be shifted out of the saddle, although it's still clumsier than with brifters. The hand doing the shifting is out past the ends of the drops, with most of its fingers not gripping the bar to a very meaningful degree, and its coordination is occupied with the shifting process. Furthermore, if you're someone who often rides out of the saddle from the hoods, you have to move your hand to the drop as part of the process. This all usually ends up being a little disruptive to pedaling form despite not having to sit down, although it's mostly a better situation than downtubes.

Why do you think Benotto tape might be an issue?
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Old 07-14-18, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
I am pretty sure bar end Retrofrictions exist, but finding siome might be a challenge.
They do. Both Simplex and Shimano made them:


VeloBase.com - Component: Simplex Cross Commande (retro-friction)


VeloBase.com - Component: Shimano L-600 Fingertip Control Barcons

But as you note finding a set can be a problem, and they tend to be costly when you do find them. The Simplex ones work best with a demultplicator:


VeloBase.com - Component: Simplex 3637 L Demultiplicator

I would probably just go with Suntour.
There's nothing wrong with the SunTour Bar-Cons, and they tend to be both more available and less costly than the retrofriction units. And they're still far better than the friction-only levers from Campagnolo and others.
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Old 07-14-18, 06:16 AM
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I happily use SunTour ratchet barcons on my Peugeot transportation beater, and I sometimes think about retrofitting one of the Capos with them, as well. I am definitely a fan of them, ever since we put a Campag. unit (yes, the 1970s SunTours are better) on my high school friend's 1960 Schwinn Continental back in 1967, and we had to solder together a cable extension, for lack of availability of a long cable off-the-shelf at the local shop. (Probably the only 1960 Conti. with full chrome plating and the original Simplex rod shift front and a barcon-controlled Campag. GS rear.)
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Old 07-14-18, 06:27 AM
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I always had a wrap of adhesive cotton bar tape (sometimes over inner tube strips) under my cellotape to enlarge the effective bar diameter slighter and improve comfort. I would think that this approach would alleviate any potential issues between bar end cable housing and celloptape.
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Old 07-14-18, 07:21 AM
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You’ll still have to sit down to shift.

At at least I do.
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Old 07-14-18, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by brianmcg123 View Post
You’ll still have to sit down to shift.

At at least I do.
Darn. Can anyone shift while standing using drops or bar-ends? What's the trick? I seem not coordinated enough.
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Old 07-14-18, 09:22 AM
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Simplex Retrofrictions are not impossible to find. They are hard to differentiate from standard Simplex friction shifters, so sellers may not realize what they have. John Thompson is right, they work better with a demultiplicator relay to reduce cable pull.
I'm not a fan of Suntour Barcons or any other friction shifters that ratchet.
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Old 07-14-18, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
They do. Both Simplex and Shimano made them:


VeloBase.com - Component: Simplex Cross Commande (retro-friction)


VeloBase.com - Component: Shimano L-600 Fingertip Control Barcons

But as you note finding a set can be a problem, and they tend to be costly when you do find them. The Simplex ones work best with a demultplicator:


VeloBase.com - Component: Simplex 3637 L Demultiplicator



There's nothing wrong with the SunTour Bar-Cons, and they tend to be both more available and less costly than the retrofriction units. And they're still far better than the friction-only levers from Campagnolo and others.
The Shimanos pictured have a counter spring. Very smooth, like butta. Plus, you can tell people you bike is Dura Ace equipped and not be telling a fib. 😁
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Old 07-14-18, 11:18 AM
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I love my bar ends, have OEM Campy on my Legnano, and recently built a Super Course with Suntour ratcheting bar cons. I like the feel of the Suntour better than the Campy, but really love them both. Just before Eroica, I was doing lots of vintage miles getting used to the damned toe clips, When I got on my modern Di2, I reached for the non-existant bar ends more than once. The Brooks bar wrap looks fat on the Raleigh because I went over the previous foam tape.

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Old 07-14-18, 11:24 AM
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Depends on the bike and the use I intend it for. For example, I do not like them on my 1969 Atla...


But I absolutely love my seven speed indexed bar ends on my 1982 Bianchi Touring...


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Old 07-14-18, 11:42 AM
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I rode w/ Shimano barcons for Criterium racing for their quick/smooth operation and ST for the positive sturdy stay-put of ratcheting in the rough environment of cyclo cross "back when".
One ST is still in service on the town bike functioning perfectly > 40 years on.

As far as shifting while standing and putting the power down goes.....good luck with that.

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Old 07-14-18, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
I rode w/ Shimano barcons for Criterium racing for their quick/smooth operation and ST for the positive sturdy stay-put of ratcheting in the rough environment of cyclo cross "back when".
One ST is still in service on the town bike functioning perfectly > 40 years on.

As far as shifting while standing and putting the power down goes.....good luck with that.

-Bandera
I got my blue Legnano Roma (pictured above) new in '64 and it came with Campy bar ends. I raced as a junior racer with them, and really hate to ride a bike with down tube shift. My old Contimental had dt, but we traded it in on the new Legnano. I had a Bianchi Forza for a short time with Shimano indexed dt, but it got killed by a car. I rebuilt it with a new frame, but had moved on to Sti brifters by then. When I built the Raleigh, it was a bare frame, so bar cons went on it too. I've heard that you should shorten the bar end by about 1" when you add bar cons ro avoid knee contact. In over 50 years of riding with them, I think I may have hit them 2 or 3 times. I'm 6' tall with fairly long legs too. I've never cut the bars off to fit the bar cons.

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Old 07-15-18, 09:39 AM
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If you really wanted Simplex retrofrictions on bar-ends, and couldn't find the Simplex model, you could always mount the downtube models that fit Campy-standard braze-ons to the Riv "silver shifter" bar end mounts, no? A bit longer levers, though.
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Old 07-15-18, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
But I absolutely love my seven speed indexed bar ends on my 1982 Bianchi Touring...



You still have that bike? I seem to recall you selling it! (were you talking about selling it when you moved?)

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Old 07-15-18, 11:26 AM
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You still have that bike? I seem to recall you selling it! (were you talking about selling it when you moved?)
Oh my, yes! I still have the Bianchi and I ride it for four or five months, each winter, in Jamaica. I was trying to sell another Bianchi, that I took to the island and brought back to Canada. I did sell that yellow and black full Campy ten speed when I returned to Canada. The bike I now have in Jamaica (1982 Bianchi Touring), the one in the picture, was accepted, by me, as partial trade for the much newer Bianchi that I, truly disliked (aluminum frames are not for me). But this lugged steel work horse is much more to my liking, Campy Record hubs and all...


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Old 07-15-18, 11:59 AM
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I think bar end controls are often begging to have 15-20mm of bar trimmed off for aesthetics and knee avoidance when out of the saddle on a steep hill.
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Old 07-15-18, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
They do. Both Simplex and Shimano made them:




VeloBase.com - Component: Shimano L-600 Fingertip Control Barcons

Originally Posted by seypat View Post
The Shimanos pictured have a counter spring. Very smooth, like butta. Plus, you can tell people you bike is Dura Ace equipped and not be telling a fib. 😁
Are those actually "retrofriction?"

Those shifters have that counter spring that seems to simply balance the derailleur spring-with no clutch. Unlike the clutched spring action of the Simplex Retrofriction shifters and unlike the ratcheting clutched action of the Suntour Power shifters.

With no derailleur spring to counter the counter spring- the Shimano levers always return to the position above- there is nothing to hold the lever in place. Retrofriction shifters, with no cable or anything, the levers stay where you move them to. The clutch holds the lever in place.
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Old 07-15-18, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
I think bar end controls are often begging to have 15-20mm of bar trimmed off for aesthetics and knee avoidance when out of the saddle on a steep hill.
one of the vintage bike parts suppliers (sorry - the name of the company escapes me at the moment - Boulder Bike maybe??) has been selling Cinelli “Diet Ebios” 26.0 NOS handlebars at clearance prices - these are extra short on the drops - perhaps these would be a good fit to work with bar end shifters.

Edit - I just checked and Boulder Bicycle has the Diet Eubios in 26.4 (old school Cinelli diameter) only. They have some 42’s and some 44’s for 22$ each.

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Old 07-15-18, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Are those actually "retrofriction?"
You're right, they are a different design from Simplex retrofriction levers, but the "feel" in use is very much the same, and quite different from a plain friction lever or even a SunTour ratcheting lever.
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Old 07-16-18, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
Darn. Can anyone shift while standing using drops or bar-ends? What's the trick? I seem not coordinated enough.
I routinely shift my barcons whilst standing up. When standing up, you only need to balance the weight of your upper body since it’s leaning further forward. The following only usually works for me when standing up but not pumping at full racing effort. I imagine most people use some variation of this procedure.

Full-grip on non shifting hand. On shifting hand, I half-grip the end of the bar using my thumb and forefinger, with the knuckle under my forefinger as my main vertical support.
When moving the barcon lever “up”, I use my pinky or last two fingers. When moving the lever “down”, I push down using the lowest point of my palm (closest to my wrist). I’ve trained myself to use this procedure even when riding in the saddle.

For reference, I have suntour accushift indexed barcons on my old specialissima commuter.
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