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Proper Way to use Downtube Shifters?

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Proper Way to use Downtube Shifters?

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Old 08-10-08, 09:07 AM
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Servo888
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Proper Way to use Downtube Shifters?

Here's a simple question. What is the proper way to use downtube shifters? Basically after experimenting, what works for me is the just use the right hand for shifting both front and rear, and always keeping the left hand on the bar. But I've never really seen anybody use DT's before.
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Old 08-10-08, 09:23 AM
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That's what I do, but I'm VERY right handed and tend to use my left only for signaling...(then I wonder why my left shoulder gets sore on long rides )
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Old 08-10-08, 09:30 AM
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I would primarily use my right hand, but could also use the left if needed. Typical, for me, was to make the major shifts with my right and use the left for "trimming up" when needed. No clue why or how I developed that particular technique.

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Old 08-10-08, 11:44 AM
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i usually use whichever hand is on the side of the shifter I need to use.
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Old 08-10-08, 04:49 PM
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I saw an old bridgstone a while back and it had both shifters on the same side (right). both on the same pivot.
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Old 08-10-08, 04:58 PM
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On the right shifter - right hand
On the left shifter - could be either one. Usually if I'm only shifting the front, then left hand. If shifting both, then I'll go ahead and use the right.
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Old 08-10-08, 07:14 PM
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Depends on your gearing. Seriously.
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Old 08-10-08, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Barker View Post
On the right shifter - right hand
On the left shifter - could be either one. Usually if I'm only shifting the front, then left hand. If shifting both, then I'll go ahead and use the right.
+1, my practice, generally, and have been using DT shifters since they were non-retro/ironic. Plus, I'm strongly left-handed, fwiw.
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Old 08-10-08, 07:42 PM
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I've always used Right for the right,left on left. I don't think there is a "proper" way.

Lately ive been using my left hand only though, even on my bike with bar ends.. (my right hand is currently broken and in a cast haha.. broken hand aint gonna keep me off the bike).
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Old 08-10-08, 07:49 PM
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Left hand for left, right hand for right. I've never ridden a bike with brifters.
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Old 08-10-08, 08:19 PM
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Right hand only. This becomes much more efficient if you are using half-step gearing or have other reasons to do a double shift (i.e. shift both derailleurs). It's not too unusual to shift both derailleurs simultaneously with the right hand.

I've got one bike equipped with bar end shifters, and was annoyed at having to move both hands to the drops to execute a double shift. This bike has a compact crank, which typically means having to shift two gears in back whenever I need to move between chainrings.

This is one of those things that doesn't matter to most folks. Personally, it strikes me as very inefficient to shift using both hands. Or don't most folks make double shifts?

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Old 08-10-08, 08:38 PM
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The only wrong way to use a downtube shifter is to replace it with an indexed brifter.
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Old 08-10-08, 08:46 PM
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I just use my left hand, but I don't think there is a proper method.
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Old 08-10-08, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
... This is one of those things that doesn't matter to most folks. Personally, it strikes me as very inefficient to shift using both hands. Or don't most folks make double shifts?...
Actually, it isn't a common thing for me. Just before or after hills are the only times I usually have to double-shift.
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Old 08-10-08, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Servo888 View Post
Here's a simple question. What is the proper way to use downtube shifters?....
...I believe it is some form of survival instinct. You soon learn to use whichever way that is least likely to make you crash.
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Old 08-10-08, 09:04 PM
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On 99% of my bikes, I use right hand only. My left is steadier when steering one handed. I seldom use my left hand for shifting, and mostly only to fine tune the trim on the FD.,,,,BD
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Old 08-10-08, 11:28 PM
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i've never used brifters, only dt shifters since the early 70's. There are no rules, just do whatever feels safer and more stable to you. I use mostly my right hand for shifting the rear cluster, and downshifting the chainrings (bigger to smaller). If I need to upshift the front (smaller to larger), I would likely use my left hand since it requires more force to upshift the front but even that varies depending on how I feel at the time.
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Old 08-11-08, 01:08 AM
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You're supposed to shift gears?
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Old 08-11-08, 11:44 AM
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I used to shift only with the left hand on left side, right hand on right side. I recently started shifting both levers with the right hand most of the time, and it's an improvement. I'm left handed and I find the real focus of coordination is keeping the bike stable with one hand on the bars, not the shifting action itself.

It's more efficient especially when cresting a hill, when I upshift 3 times with a few seconds between shifts (small cog to middle cog, small ring to big ring, middle cog to small cog).
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Old 08-11-08, 11:54 AM
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Left with Left, Right with Right. Then, if I've been riding a brifter or indexed bike, I have to re-adjust for quiet. Within a half hour or so, I'm back in the swing, getting it right most of the time. How those guys play trombone, I'll never know.
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Old 08-11-08, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Barker View Post
On the right shifter - right hand
On the left shifter - could be either one. Usually if I'm only shifting the front, then left hand. If shifting both, then I'll go ahead and use the right.
Same here, but it's a recent development. I never used my left hand on DT shifters until I put bar-end shifters on the Vitus. A couple years later, I pull the crit bike out of mothballs for a race and I realize I'm using the left hand to go for the big ring.
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Old 08-11-08, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Warren128 View Post
i've never used brifters, only dt shifters since the early 70's. There are no rules, just do whatever feels safer and more stable to you. I use mostly my right hand for shifting the rear cluster, and downshifting the chainrings (bigger to smaller). If I need to upshift the front (smaller to larger), I would likely use my left hand since it requires more force to upshift the front but even that varies depending on how I feel at the time.
I've never even used DT shifters, only Sturmey Archers since the 1920's.
Yeah. Take that.
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Old 08-11-08, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Servo888 View Post
the proper way ....always keeping the left hand on the bar. But I've never really seen anybody use DT's before.
Proper way is to video yourself with an high speed camera and see which way u can do it faster, on-gear (no shimmying) and no looking (of course).

I do it with both hands, dunn know how u can do it quickly with a single hand and no interference. But that's 'coz I feel comfortable with either hands on the bar.
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Old 08-11-08, 12:52 PM
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The proper way is to invest $700 in STI.
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Old 08-11-08, 01:19 PM
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I used both hands but mainly my right for shifting.
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