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Why do C&V Riders scoff at stem mounted shifters?

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Why do C&V Riders scoff at stem mounted shifters?

Old 09-18-22, 03:09 PM
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Why do C&V Riders scoff at stem mounted shifters?

Itís interesting, ergonomically speaking it takes less movement to take your hands off the handlebars to shift on a stim mounted shifter than a downtube mountain shifter.

none of the high-end Italian French or English racing bikes use this. I admire the SunTour stem mounted shifters. Is it just a social thing or something deeper?
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Old 09-18-22, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Robvolz
Itís interesting, ergonomically speaking it takes less movement to take your hands off the handlebars to shift on a stim mounted shifter than a downtube mountain shifter.

none of the high-end Italian French or English racing bikes use this. I admire the SunTour stem mounted shifters. Is it just a social thing or something deeper?
Youíre sort of in the wrong section, maybe a Hall Monitor will move it.

I think in general because stem shifters are generally associated with lowend bikes. I believe on some older bikes like the venerable Schwinn Varsities if the cable is binding pulling on that long lever can actually pull the front wheel and cause balance issues for inexperienced riders.
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Old 09-18-22, 03:27 PM
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I scoff. They're truly awkward to change gears when you're in the drops, even if they are functional in other situations. That's a subjective opinion and I'm unlikely to ever change it.
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Old 09-18-22, 03:28 PM
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Well they were spec'd on lower end bikes by and large. That said some really nice Schwinns have them like this '73 Schwinn Sports Tourer:



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Old 09-18-22, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman
I scoff. They're truly awkward to change gears when you're in the drops.
I sneer. They cover one of the most beautiful parts of a bicycle, the quill stem, with their absolute ugliness.
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Old 09-18-22, 04:01 PM
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Racers scoff.
my son likes them as his first road bike had them.
on that bike I added cyclocross inline brake levers, another requirement now.
( was a big feature when I sold that bike on- buyer had never seen- paid asking )
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Old 09-18-22, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
Well they were spec'd on lower end bikes by and large. That said some really nice Schwinns have them like this '73 Schwinn Sports Tourer:



suntour power ratchet, superior to those, but the chrome finish was well done by Schwinn
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Old 09-18-22, 04:04 PM
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.
...some of them (the better ones), work OK on touring bike setups. But the additional cable housing just complicates life, and the simplicity of DT shifters is aesthetically more pleasing. They presuppose a rider who is reluctant to bend down and reach for a DT shifter, so in that sense, if you have ridden better bikes from the 70's and 80's, there's a tendency to consider them as requiring less skill. I know it's wrong to be judgmental, and I struggle with it.
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Old 09-18-22, 04:07 PM
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Poor performance when compared to downtube shifting.
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Old 09-18-22, 04:07 PM
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Stem mounted levers (and brake safety levers) were a market wide concession to newbies who wanted to part of the 10 speed crowd but weren't comfortable riding on the drops. Bicycles with down tube shift levers and bar end levers were aimed at more experienced, more skilled cyclists. It may not be PC, but thats how you were slotted. Which group would you want to be identified with?
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Old 09-18-22, 04:10 PM
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There is also the potential for a stab wound.
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Old 09-18-22, 04:12 PM
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I'd reword the common statements that stem shifters appeared on lower end bicycles, and note that they were common on bicycles purchased by novice bicycle riders. In the bicycle shop I worked at in the eighties, we would swap in stem shifters onto any new bicycle purchased, entry model or not. Even a Schwinn Paramount could be ordered with stem shifters. Stem shifters were, from their inception, an attempt to placate the fear of removing one's hands from the handlebars for novice bicycle riders. And, looking at it the opposite way, anyone with stem shifters must be an unconfident newbie, and thus leaving them subject to the quiet snickers, hidden pointing, and jokes within the group ride. Note, that same fear still exists in many bicyclists who have never rode a bicycle that didn't have the shifting on the handlebars. It's actually a bit sad that some of that stigma for stem shifters still continues to this day, as it's still a barrier for people who might take up the C&V baton.

Last edited by uncle uncle; 09-18-22 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 09-18-22, 04:24 PM
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I don't mind them at all. I like each of my bikes to offer something different.

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Old 09-18-22, 04:27 PM
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Iíd say itís mostly snobbery. Theyíre more ergonomic than downtube shifters imo.
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Old 09-18-22, 04:27 PM
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They were a BSO trait for the most part so.....

All Schwinn drop bar bikes had them at some point including many Paramount's as they were an option on them while being standard on the rest.

I've seen several but of course can't find any pics atmo.
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Old 09-18-22, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage
suntour power ratchet, superior to those, but the chrome finish was well done by Schwinn
Agreed, suntour power ratchet shifers are likely the best stem shifters and one of the best downtube shifters ever made.
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Old 09-18-22, 05:09 PM
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Now the Shimano Positron console shifter:

This one rules! I don't care how many of you are sneering!
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Old 09-18-22, 05:34 PM
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When I repurposed my first Bianchi (low-end 1962 Corsa, my first 10-speed) for my college sweetheart (now wife for 49 years), and later when I custom-built the Peugeot UO-8 for her, she wanted stem shifters and UO-18-style flat handlebars. As she grew timid in traffic and switched to a mountain bike (starting by frequently borrowing my KOM-10 to drop a hint), I repurposed the UO-8 for myself, with barcons and drops.

For keeping hands on drop bars while shifting, nothing beats good old SunTour non-index ratchet barcons.

My UO-8 with barcon cables routed between the rack and the cylindrical Bellwether front bag.
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Old 09-18-22, 05:52 PM
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At the bike shop I worked in my racing days, we used to tell male customers to think about what part of their anatomy might meet that shifter in a crash and did more than a few conversions to DT shifters on new bikes. As I entered the hotel lobby the night before my last race, an older gentleman approached me to tell me he had done exactly that.
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Old 09-18-22, 06:15 PM
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I was never a racer in any true sense but I rode many spirited group rides, large and small. If I showed up with stem shifters, I would be considered a liability and told to stay off the back. That's not snobbery, it's caution.

Maybe the thread title is a bit of a red herring as if C&V riders have a commonality that distinguish them from others. I don't accept that stem shifters are user friendly on a dropbar bike and I've always liked being in the drops.

Sure, if your Paramount came with stem shifters, restore the bike to it's original beauty. Just don't take it out and hope to stay in the pack if you're an average road rider. Paramounts deserve better

Last edited by clubman; 09-18-22 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 09-18-22, 06:30 PM
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Pretty standard on the Mixte frame bikes.
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Old 09-18-22, 06:53 PM
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I agree that Stem Shifters are taking a bad rap. Finding a nice set of affordable Stem or Down Tube shifters is becoming a real chore...
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Old 09-18-22, 07:37 PM
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I like stem shifters. The current build for this Montagner has stem shifters (along with mismatched turkey levers).



This is just a temporary setup to test ride the bike, but I will very likely keep the stem shifters. I plan to ride it mostly in town, so not down in the drops much, and it is part of the urban camouflage. What self-respecting thief would take a bike with stem shifters and turkey levers?
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Old 09-18-22, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee
Now the Shimano Positron console shifter:

This one rules! I don't care how many of you are sneering!
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Old 09-18-22, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jethin
Iíd say itís mostly snobbery. Theyíre more ergonomic than downtube shifters imo.
Stem shifters may be more "convenient" psychologically, but certainly not more "ergonomic". If they were, racers would use them more.
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