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Why did bicycle racers in the 60's/70's sometime go with bar-end shifters

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Why did bicycle racers in the 60's/70's sometime go with bar-end shifters

Old 03-18-22, 07:41 PM
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I think this answer has already been given, but my guesses are 1) more stealthy shifting, and 2) more stability while shifting. I have barends on two of my bikes. One is a commuter/tourer often carrying extra weight and I put barends on for the 2nd reason. The 2nd is a triathlon bike and I put barends on that (on the end of the clip-on aero bars) so that I could stay aero while shifting. But that is a 3rd reason and I don't think the 60's/70's professionals were thinking about that.
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Old 03-19-22, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by glenfong


back
The jerseys we used also came from Kucharik! Also made of nylon/rayon synthetic, no pockets. We used to tuck the jerseys into our shorts. Bicycle Center & Bernie Foxal! He would always be whistling whenever we stopped by his shop on Chester & 8th. I had heard he moved from another location downtown. Maybe it was too close to his former empoyer, Vincent's Cyclery. I always wanted to get a Raleigh Professional after seeing his on display on the back wall. Your pictures look like our training rides on Round Mtn Road, and the Bena Road towards Caliente & Bear Mountain. I noticed a guy with a Montrose jersey in the last photo of the album. You must have known Charlie Morton & his son Harry?
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It is so cool hearing your story. I never knew the Wheelmen kept rolling later. I moved to Fresno in 1969 for college, then to LA in 1972. Yes, Charlie Morton was our curmudgeon/mentor/coach. He was quite a character, and so much fun to hang with. We never met Harry, but knew of him and tried to follow his racing in Europe. I hung the Legnano on the garage wall until I turned 50 in 2000. I rode a little bit in between but not seriously. I've done two Eroica rides on it since then, and ride with a Pasadena vintage group when I can, Retrovelo. Are you still in Bakersfield? My brother, who used to ride with the Wheelmen too, still lives there.

You mentioned Raleigh. I've built two Raleigh Super Course, '73 and '78 the last few years. Not fancy bikes but really nice to ride. The top photo, 1973 Super Course frame, stripped of paint, then interim build, and finally custom dark green paint and new decals. The gold '78 Raleigh was a $20 Craigslist project, original paint and decals. Both use Suntour drivetrain and bar end shifters, Campy/Mavic wheels, Shimano freewheels.





Not my photo, but a friend sent me this of Charlie Morton working at Vincent's. I love this photo.
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Old 03-19-22, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by TugaDude
Maybe it is just me but when I see pics like this I think that's gone beyond patina and crossed over into neglect. Not reason that can't at least be minimized by a little proactive cleaning and protection. 
That was a barn find that I got for $50. Full Campy Legnano Gran Premio. Couldn't pass it up, but the frame was too small and more "patina" than I wanted to deal with. Still a fun little bike. I was able to move it on to someone who had a use for it.
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Old 03-19-22, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Gonzo Bob
, and 2) more stability while shifting.
Stability is all well, and maybe i'm a moron because i cant imagine operating bar-ends without lettling the handlebars loose, but if one cant ride stable with one hand off the bars, how does one signal direction changes? in a group ride, indicate obstacles, give signals? In a race, drink? scratch your nose?

friction shifting ime requires very fine tuned adjustments. I feel these are better done on a downtube shifter, where the rest of the hand can contact the downtube and the thumb and index finger can operate *against* that, than with your pinkie or freehand on a moving handlebar

Last edited by martl; 03-19-22 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 03-20-22, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by martl
Stability is all well, and maybe i'm a moron because i cant imagine operating bar-ends without lettling the handlebars loose, but if one cant ride stable with one hand off the bars, how does one signal direction changes? in a group ride, indicate obstacles, give signals? In a race, drink? scratch your nose?

friction shifting ime requires very fine tuned adjustments. I feel these are better done on a downtube shifter, where the rest of the hand can contact the downtube and the thumb and index finger can operate *against* that, than with your pinkie or freehand on a moving handlebar
I have one bike with barcons - 74 Crescent 319. I’m self taught and never raced but I agree with Gonzo Bob on stability. I don’t let go of the bars. To loosen the cable I hold the bar with thumb and two fingers then push down with the base of my thumb. To tighten the cable I hold the bar with thumb and two fingers and pull on the shifter with my fourth finger and “pinky”. Easy, stable and precise. I like ‘em.
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Old 03-20-22, 10:46 AM
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A trend. A fad. Someone has success with this component or that, others follow. The winner of this years Milan-SanRemo used a "dropper seatpost". With restrictions on riding positions on mountain descents, dropping the seatpost may give more control and more aero positioning...perhaps. So look for other riders to follow suit.
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Old 03-20-22, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by big chainring
The winner of this years Milan-SanRemo used a "dropper seatpost".
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Man, was that a ride or what!

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