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Questions about Bar End Shifters

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Questions about Bar End Shifters

Old 08-02-22, 10:56 AM
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cpsqlrwn
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Questions about Bar End Shifters

I have a road bike with full Nuovo Record group, 7 speed with Sachs freewheel. Interested in moving from down tube shifters to bar end shifters. Since this is purely friction shifting, can I use vintage Suntour bar ends? And on the Suntour bar ends, must they be pure friction bar ends without ratcheting (clicking) or can I also use the kind that ratchets with clicking? Wasn't sure whether the ratcheting kind are only compatible with Suntour derailleurs. Trying to get up to speed on this. Never worked with bar ends before and, based on what I've read, I think I would prefer Suntour to Campy. Did Campy even make bar end shifters in the 6 or 7 speed era? Thanks for any information.
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Old 08-02-22, 11:06 AM
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I have Campagnolo bar end shifters on one of my classics and they work fine , they should handle a 7 speed FW although I haven't tried. The SunTour Power Shifter type bar ends with the ratcheting sound work well . My daughter has them on her bike and I believe a six speed FW with no problem. I prefer down tube shifting myself but as I said I have the bar ends on one bike because it came that way . It always takes me a few shifts for my muscle memory to quit reaching down to shift when I ride that bike.
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Old 08-02-22, 11:06 AM
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The older style SunTour BarCons are friction only with micro clicks. I never had a set but anybody I knew that had them loved them. The “Accushift” generation ones have settings for indexing SunTour Accushift 6 or 7 speed compatible freewheels or cassettes. AFAIK this function can be defeated and the knob turned for friction only. I have a set of these I got from an eBay seller on the island of Cyprus - I had hope of setting up an indexed SunTour touring bike but never got around to it yet.
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Old 08-02-22, 11:11 AM
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Suntour bar-ends will work fine with vintage campy. The suntour micro-ratchet bar ends are a great design, the ratchets help counter-act the cable/spring tension of the rear derailleur so less friction is needed at the shifter to hold the RD in gear, makes for a lighter touch to the shifting and with consistent amount of tension to move the shifter up/down through the full range.
Campy did make vintage bar-end shifters in the pre-index shift era , similar primitive friction mechanism as their downtube shifters that never worked as well as other improved designs.
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Old 08-02-22, 12:00 PM
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Suntour barcons will work with pretty much anything up to and including 10 speed stuff. I use them everywhere. Having said that I have never used them with sram.
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Old 08-02-22, 12:20 PM
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Since you might be asking in the future, the Shimano L600 Fingertips will go at least 8. I can't remember if I've tried them with a 9 speed setup.
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Old 08-02-22, 01:50 PM
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FYI,
Simplex also made a lot of bar end shifters. They even had a model that had retrofriction function....
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Old 08-02-22, 10:45 PM
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Suntour Barcons are great. I like to set them as light as possible without ghost-shifting. The small locknuts that hold the lever tension are prone to wandering off, so it’s advisable to use blue Loctite on them.
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Old 08-02-22, 11:05 PM
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Don't worry about compatibility with the ratcheting action of Suntour Power shifters. Not only should the chain, cogs and derailleur have enough tolerance to handle it, the ratcheting only works in the "pull" direction. So if you hit a click stop that's a little off, you can always push the shifter to make a micro-adjustment. It's a little hard to explain in words, but once you've used them, in both directions, the idea will.... er.... click.
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Old 08-03-22, 06:53 AM
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Old 08-03-22, 07:10 AM
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Thank you to all who replied for all the beneficial information and pictures. Very helpful. Thanks again.
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Old 08-03-22, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
Suntour Barcons are great. I like to set them as light as possible without ghost-shifting. The small locknuts that hold the lever tension are prone to wandering off, so it’s advisable to use blue Loctite on them.
Should I assume their adjustment is just the torque applied to the pivot nut on the shift lever? Mine are a nice comfortable stiffness (for confidence reasons) but I wouldn't might lightening them a touch.
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Old 08-04-22, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Einzelherz View Post
Should I assume their adjustment is just the torque applied to the pivot nut on the shift lever? Mine are a nice comfortable stiffness (for confidence reasons) but I wouldn't might lightening them a touch.
They are a locknut; there is another nut inboard of the slotted domed bit.

They fall out when someone tightens the screw on the the other side (to increase the friction) and fails to re-tighten the locknut.
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Old 08-04-22, 12:07 PM
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First, note that some of the newer SunTour barcons do not have a true friction mode. This was a huge disappointment for me. My best shot is to reverse them, putting the "rear" shifter in its pseudo-friction mode and using it for the front derailleur.
I am a huge fan of the first-generation SunTour barcons.
I have been missing the external locknut on my Peugeot -- no problem whatsoever.
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Old 08-04-22, 12:44 PM
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Keep your down tube shifters in a safe place cos you might want to go back to them real soon. I've tried a variety of bar ends on a variety of bikes for a variety of purposes. I have never found a place that I kept them for more than a very short time. No more for me, thanks.
So plan ahead JIC you get the "that sux" feeling too
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Old 08-04-22, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
First, note that some of the newer SunTour barcons do not have a true friction mode. This was a huge disappointment for me. My best shot is to reverse them, putting the "rear" shifter in its pseudo-friction mode and using it for the front derailleur.
I am a huge fan of the first-generation SunTour barcons.
That should be stressed- if they're black meta/plastic/resin sort of things- those are Suntour's indexing shifters.


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Old 08-04-22, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by cpsqlrwn View Post
And on the Suntour bar ends, must they be pure friction bar ends without ratcheting (clicking) or can I also use the kind that ratchets with clicking? Wasn't sure whether the ratcheting kind are only compatible with Suntour derailleurs. Trying to get up to speed on this.
For everything I've seen, "ratcheting" is different than indexing "clicks." Each indexing click is a move to a specific gear, while ratcheting is a gear that clicks when the lever moves a certain amount.

A lot of older shifters (specifically Suntour) had indexed shifting for the rear and ratcheting shifting for the front. Notice the Barcons I posted above- one says "Accushift," the other says "Power Shifter." Suntour called their ratcheting action "Power Shifters."
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Old 08-04-22, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
The “Accushift” generation ones have settings for indexing SunTour Accushift 6 or 7 speed compatible freewheels or cassettes. AFAIK this function can be defeated and the knob turned for friction only.
Shimano had a patent on that type of indexing/friction switch- Suntour kept the switch, but had a "Light Indexing" setting- it just didn't click quite as robustly.
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