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Downtube shifters

Old 03-20-22, 02:41 PM
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trail_monkey
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Downtube shifters

This bike doesnít apply to this section but the shifters do. I was afraid if I asked in the gravel section I would get laughed off the board. I have a modern steel gravel bike that I run single speed a lot. But sometimes I throw gears on with a downtube shifter for a 1x10 set up. It works remarkably well. I do this for 2 reasons. The first is because this way I donít have to mess with bar tape every time I switch over plus my high flare gravel bars put a really tight cable bend in a shift cable when using a brifter. The second reason is just because Iím a retro grouch and I love simple pure vintage stuff.

My one question is how do you shift when climbing a steep grade? Iím talking short steep punchy grades repeatedly not a long climb on a mountain pass. Is it possible to shift one gear at a time when pushing and pulling on the bars or is the old trick just to dump the entire cassette in one shot and use granny all the way to the top? The only thing I do miss about brifters, and I do mean only, is the ability to be out of the saddle on a climb and shift gears one at a time up or down to find your sweet gear for the standing climb. Any tips would be appreciated.
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Old 03-20-22, 03:32 PM
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It all depends on how deleterious you are. are you running index or friction? One of the other things to remember with DT levers is to plan ahead a little more. I singletrack various bikes with dt levers and it's doable to shift in the flow if you've done it a few hundred times. I can't imagine most gravel being any more difficult.
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Old 03-20-22, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Dylansbob;[url=tel:22445188
22445188[/url]]It all depends on how deleterious you are. are you running index or friction? One of the other things to remember with DT levers is to plan ahead a little more. I singletrack various bikes with dt levers and it's doable to shift in the flow if you've done it a few hundred times. I can't imagine most gravel being any more difficult.
friction. Older style shimano shifters from a vintage road bike. Definitely agree you have to plan ahead. Itís almost as if you even have to plan ďam I going to stand and mash on this hill or sit and spin it?Ē
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Old 03-21-22, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by trail_monkey View Post
This bike doesn’t apply to this section but the shifters do. I was afraid if I asked in the gravel section I would get laughed off the board. I have a modern steel gravel bike that I run single speed a lot. But sometimes I throw gears on with a downtube shifter for a 1x10 set up. It works remarkably well. I do this for 2 reasons. The first is because this way I don’t have to mess with bar tape every time I switch over plus my high flare gravel bars put a really tight cable bend in a shift cable when using a brifter. The second reason is just because I’m a retro grouch and I love simple pure vintage stuff. Any tips would be appreciated.
Makes complete sense.

Originally Posted by trail_monkey View Post
My one question is how do you shift when climbing a steep grade? I’m talking short steep punchy grades repeatedly not a long climb on a mountain pass. Is it possible to shift one gear at a time when pushing and pulling on the bars or is the old trick just to dump the entire cassette in one shot and use granny all the way to the top? The only thing I do miss about brifters, and I do mean only, is the ability to be out of the saddle on a climb and shift gears one at a time up or down to find your sweet gear for the standing climb. Any tips would be appreciated.
I do the same when I'm set up with DT shifters. I toss the range, and try to immediately assess if I can drop a cog or two, and then do it right away. Very useful when you have rollers. Everyone else is playing catch-up and you are in the gear and moving on.

You may well end up with trombone muscle memory and learn to just toss 2/3 of the cassette.

I highly recommend get one of the options for indexed R side x 10-speed shifting.
There is a thread here on it. Downtube 10s

Most expensive: There are DT shifters by Dura Ace. SL 7800 or 7850 or 7900, I think.
Next best bet: There are bar end shifters that will swap over. B-SL79 or something like that (in the thread I mentioned).
Cheapest: Microshift 2x10 DT shifters. They've improved a lot, and you can save the L shifter for a different day.

Last edited by bamboobike4; 03-21-22 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 03-21-22, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by bamboobike4 View Post
Makes complete sense.

I do the same when I'm set up with DT shifters. I toss the range, and try to immediately assess if I can drop a cog or two, and then do it right away. Very useful when you have rollers. Everyone else is playing catch-up and you are in the gear and moving on.

You may well end up with trombone muscle memory and learn to just toss 2/3 of the cassette.

I highly recommend get one of the options for indexed R side x 10-speed shifting.
There is a thread here on it. Downtube 10s

Most expensive: There are DT shifters by Dura Ace. SL 7800 or 7850 or 7900, I think.
Next best bet: There are bar end shifters that will swap over. B-SL79 or something like that (in the thread I mentioned).
Cheapest: Microshift 2x10 DT shifters. They've improved a lot, and you can save the L shifter for a different day.
your link doesnít bring me to anything. I might have neglected that I am using a Sram x7 derailleur. I do have a shamanism XT dyna sys on the wall but either way neither of those will work with a road 10 speed drivetrain. I assume the micro shift 10 speed shifter you mentioned is for road? I do have a micro shift 10 speed mountain bar end. I just hated to use it and have it left hanging when I switched to single speed. I know Iím being anal lol 😁
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Old 03-21-22, 03:02 PM
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Yup, plan ahead. A life I knew well as a 1970s road racer. Both steep hills and sprints. What you've got is what you've got. Deal with it.
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Old 03-21-22, 03:09 PM
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All my geared bikes are friction DT. Superbe top-mounted that are really nice shifters with 9-speed, SunTour Power Ratchets - so easy up through 7-speed; never tried beyond and the auto adjusting SunTours that have such easy action.
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Old 03-21-22, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney;[url=tel:22446225
22446225[/url]]All my geared bikes are friction DT. Superbe top-mounted that are really nice shifters with 9-speed, SunTour Power Ratchets - so easy up through 7-speed; never tried beyond and the auto adjusting SunTours that have such easy action.
this bike shift so buttery smooth with this set up. I remember when I had SRAM rival brifters and they work nice when they work but you get in a little mud or a little grit and things started acting funny. Plus you were always dealing with cable friction if the bends got too tight etc. And donít even get me started on batteries. I have enough electronics to keep charged without remembering to charge my shifter. Things just canít screw up with these friction shifters and I love them for that reason. Yeah they present a new challenge when youíre on loose surface Road trying to hit the right gear before I climb but Iím willing to deal with it to keep using these things. Thereís nothing to go wrong unless you rip your derailer off or break a cable
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Old 03-21-22, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by trail_monkey View Post
this bike shift so buttery smooth with this set up. I remember when i had sram rival brifters and they work nice when they work but you get in a little mud or a little grit and things started acting funny. Plus you were always dealing with cable friction if the bends got too tight etc. And donít even get me started on batteries. I have enough electronics to keep charged without remembering to charge my shifter. Things just canít screw up with these friction shifters and i love them for that reason. Yeah they present a new challenge when youíre on loose surface road trying to hit the right gear before i climb but iím willing to deal with it to keep using these things. Thereís nothing to go wrong unless you rip your derailer off or break a cable
+1
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Old 03-21-22, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Dylansbob View Post
...plan ahead...
Plan ahead... Plan ahead... Plan ahead... Plan ahead... Plan ahead...

And don't be surprised when Bammmm, you are stuck. I once popped three spokes forcing some gears when pushing up a hill figuring I would just MASH on up doing a cave man crawl. It was not worth it. Note that I have also seen people do the same with indexed shifters and brifters...

Still, I love my friction shifters...
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Old 03-21-22, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by trail_monkey View Post
your link doesn’t bring me to anything. I might have neglected that I am using a Sram x7 derailleur. I do have a shamanism XT dyna sys on the wall but either way neither of those will work with a road 10 speed drivetrain. I assume the micro shift 10 speed shifter you mentioned is for road? I do have a micro shift 10 speed mountain bar end. I just hated to use it and have it left hanging when I switched to single speed. I know I’m being anal lol 😁
Oops. There’s a thread with rccardr and motochick that discusses it. Sorry.

if you are using a X.7. A Shimano road R DT shifter will shifter a 700 series Deore/XT/XTR all day. rccardr can help you with that, too, if he’s not busy.
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Old 03-22-22, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by bamboobike4 View Post
Oops. Thereís a thread with rccardr and motochick that discusses it. Sorry.

if you are using a X.7. A Shimano road R DT shifter will shifter a 700 series Deore/XT/XTR all day. rccardr can help you with that, too, if heís not busy.
thanks I sent him a pm.
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Old 03-22-22, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by trail_monkey View Post
friction. Older style shimano shifters from a vintage road bike. Definitely agree you have to plan ahead. Itís almost as if you even have to plan ďam I going to stand and mash on this hill or sit and spin it?Ē
Iove friction. A barend might help you with the climbing. Btw the only index I ever use is for a sturmey Archer 3 speed.
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Old 03-22-22, 05:22 PM
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I like DT shifters; they're so efficient and functional. They look great. I put the SL79 guts into 6 speed bodies and levers.
But working uphill on the road I really like brifters.
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Old 03-22-22, 10:45 PM
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In ye olden days, some racers used bar-end shifters for cobbled classics, cyclocross and stages with mixed terrain. Helps keep both hands on the bar even while shifting. But it mostly limits us to using the drops. Although it's a shorter reach from the hoods or tops to the bar end.

With practice you can shift the lever down by pressing with the base of the palm, and use the little finger to pull the lever up, while keeping both hands on the drops.

The tricky bit is getting adequate clearance for the knees. I still need to trim about an inch off the ends of my handlebars to ensure the bar-end shifters clear my knees for slow, tight turns.

But, yeah, brifters are easier.
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Old 03-23-22, 07:44 AM
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As noted, you plan ahead. If the OP is running 1 x10, then it's obviously Hyperglide compatible you only need a 1/2 sprocket revolution to execute the shift. It may not sound great but it will shift, even under heavy gear train loading. All you need to do is make a couple of very strong pedal strokes so you can then back off and grab the shift lever. If it's too steep for even that, then ensure there is no traffic in front or behind and ride a diagonal line across the road. This will decrease the grade, allowing you make a couple of strong pedal strokes and execute the shift.
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