Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

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

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

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

Old 09-18-22, 03:09 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Location: Pac NW
Posts: 1,834

Bikes: several Eddy Merz (ride like Eddy, braze like Jim!)

Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 993 Post(s)
Liked 1,608 Times in 599 Posts
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?
Robvolz is offline  
Old 09-18-22, 03:15 PM
  #2  
Bianchi Goddess
 
Bianchigirll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Shady Pines Retirement Fort Wayne, In
Posts: 29,620

Bikes: Too many to list here check my signature.

Mentioned: 190 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2869 Post(s)
Liked 2,624 Times in 1,401 Posts
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.
__________________
ďOne morning you wake up, the girl is gone, the bikes are gone, all that's left behind is a pair of old tires and a tube of tubular glue, all squeezed out"

Sugar "Kane" Kowalczyk
Bianchigirll is offline  
Likes For Bianchigirll:
Old 09-18-22, 03:27 PM
  #3  
Phyllo-buster
 
clubman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 8,824

Bikes: roadsters, club bikes, fixed and classic

Mentioned: 133 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2284 Post(s)
Liked 2,013 Times in 1,238 Posts
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.
clubman is offline  
Likes For clubman:
Old 09-18-22, 03:28 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 20,491

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 178 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5872 Post(s)
Liked 3,426 Times in 2,055 Posts
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:



bikemig is offline  
Likes For bikemig:
Old 09-18-22, 03:58 PM
  #5  
seŮor miembro
 
SurferRosa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Pac NW
Posts: 8,738

Bikes: '70s - '80s Campagnolo

Mentioned: 92 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3832 Post(s)
Liked 6,401 Times in 3,165 Posts
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.
SurferRosa is offline  
Likes For SurferRosa:
Old 09-18-22, 04:01 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 20,285
Mentioned: 129 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3434 Post(s)
Liked 2,774 Times in 1,957 Posts
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 )
repechage is offline  
Old 09-18-22, 04:03 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 20,285
Mentioned: 129 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3434 Post(s)
Liked 2,774 Times in 1,957 Posts
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
repechage is offline  
Likes For repechage:
Old 09-18-22, 04:04 PM
  #8  
Friendship is Magic
 
3alarmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 22,784

Bikes: old ones

Mentioned: 304 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26080 Post(s)
Liked 9,997 Times in 6,944 Posts
.
...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.
__________________
3alarmer is offline  
Old 09-18-22, 04:07 PM
  #9  
iab
Senior Member
 
iab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: NW Burbs, Chicago
Posts: 12,113
Mentioned: 200 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2979 Post(s)
Liked 3,625 Times in 1,371 Posts
Poor performance when compared to downtube shifting.
iab is offline  
Likes For iab:
Old 09-18-22, 04:07 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 23,233
Mentioned: 651 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4719 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3,030 Times in 1,870 Posts
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?
T-Mar is offline  
Likes For T-Mar:
Old 09-18-22, 04:10 PM
  #11  
ignominious poltroon
 
Polaris OBark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 3,848
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2155 Post(s)
Liked 3,252 Times in 1,703 Posts
There is also the potential for a stab wound.
Polaris OBark is offline  
Likes For Polaris OBark:
Old 09-18-22, 04:12 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: south kansas america
Posts: 1,908

Bikes: too many

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 411 Post(s)
Liked 232 Times in 138 Posts
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.
uncle uncle is offline  
Likes For uncle uncle:
Old 09-18-22, 04:24 PM
  #13  
small ring
 
droppedandlost's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: PNW
Posts: 1,027
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 433 Post(s)
Liked 916 Times in 368 Posts
I don't mind them at all. I like each of my bikes to offer something different.

__________________
72 Bob Jackson -- 74 Motobecane Grand Jubile -- 74 Sekine SHS 271 -- 80 Nishiki International
85 Shogun 800 -- 86 Tommasini Super Prestige -- 92 Specialized Rockhopper -- 17 Colnago Arabesque
droppedandlost is offline  
Old 09-18-22, 04:27 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
jethin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,104
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 282 Post(s)
Liked 306 Times in 152 Posts
Iíd say itís mostly snobbery. Theyíre more ergonomic than downtube shifters imo.
jethin is offline  
Old 09-18-22, 04:27 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
merziac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: PDX
Posts: 13,945

Bikes: Merz x 5 + Specialized Merz Allez x 2, Strawberry/Newlands/DiNucci/Ti x3, Gordon, Fuso/Moulton x2, Bornstein, Paisley,1958-74 Paramounts x3, 3rensho, 74 Moto TC, 73-78 Raleigh Pro's x5, Marinoni x2, 1960 Cinelli SC, 1980 Bianchi SC, PX-10 X 2

Mentioned: 266 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4440 Post(s)
Liked 6,099 Times in 3,552 Posts
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.
merziac is offline  
Old 09-18-22, 04:55 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 20,491

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 178 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5872 Post(s)
Liked 3,426 Times in 2,055 Posts
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.
bikemig is offline  
Likes For bikemig:
Old 09-18-22, 05:09 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
icemilkcoffee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,508
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1486 Post(s)
Liked 1,613 Times in 912 Posts
Now the Shimano Positron console shifter:

This one rules! I don't care how many of you are sneering!
icemilkcoffee is offline  
Likes For icemilkcoffee:
Old 09-18-22, 05:34 PM
  #18  
feros ferio
 
John E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: www.ci.encinitas.ca.us
Posts: 21,719

Bikes: 1959 Capo Modell Campagnolo; 1960 Capo Sieger (2); 1962 Carlton Franco Suisse; 1970 Peugeot UO-8; 1982 Bianchi Campione d'Italia; 1988 Schwinn Project KOM-10;

Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1372 Post(s)
Liked 1,254 Times in 801 Posts
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.
__________________
"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." --Theodore Roosevelt
Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
Carlton: 1962 Franco Suisse, S/N K7911
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1982 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

Last edited by John E; 09-18-22 at 05:40 PM.
John E is offline  
Old 09-18-22, 05:52 PM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 12,705

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 125 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4675 Post(s)
Liked 3,765 Times in 2,447 Posts
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.
79pmooney is offline  
Old 09-18-22, 06:15 PM
  #20  
Phyllo-buster
 
clubman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 8,824

Bikes: roadsters, club bikes, fixed and classic

Mentioned: 133 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2284 Post(s)
Liked 2,013 Times in 1,238 Posts
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.
clubman is offline  
Likes For clubman:
Old 09-18-22, 06:30 PM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
curbtender's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SF Bay Area, East bay
Posts: 8,615

Bikes: Miyata 618 GT, Marinoni, Kestral 200 2002 Trek 5200, KHS Flite, Koga Miyata, Schwinn Spitfire 5, Mondia Special, Univega Alpina, Miyata team Ti, Santa Cruz Highball

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1564 Post(s)
Liked 2,397 Times in 1,147 Posts
Pretty standard on the Mixte frame bikes.
curbtender is offline  
Old 09-18-22, 06:53 PM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
zandoval's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bastrop Texas
Posts: 4,329

Bikes: Univega, Peu P6, Peu PR-10, Ted Williams, Peu UO-8, Peu UO-18 Mixte, Peu Dolomites

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 882 Post(s)
Liked 1,507 Times in 973 Posts
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...
__________________
No matter where you're at... There you are... Δf:=f(1/2)-f(-1/2)
zandoval is offline  
Old 09-18-22, 07:37 PM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 883

Bikes: 1964(?) Frejus Tour de France, 1967(?) Dawes Double Blue, 1979 Trek 710, 1982 Claud Butler Dalesman, 1983 Schwinn Paramount Elite, 2014 Brompton, maybe a couple more

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 301 Post(s)
Liked 627 Times in 309 Posts
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?
albrt is offline  
Old 09-18-22, 07:45 PM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
P!N20's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Wurundjeri Country
Posts: 2,421
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1063 Post(s)
Liked 1,838 Times in 902 Posts
Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee
Now the Shimano Positron console shifter:

This one rules! I don't care how many of you are sneering!
P!N20 is offline  
Likes For P!N20:
Old 09-18-22, 07:55 PM
  #25  
Senior Member
 
branko_76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: The Urban Shores Of Michigami
Posts: 1,741

Bikes: ........................................ .....Holdsworth "Special"..... .......Falcon "Special".......... .........Miyata 912........... ........................................

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 700 Post(s)
Liked 661 Times in 414 Posts
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.
branko_76 is offline  
Likes For branko_76:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.