Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-10-08, 09:07 AM   #1
Servo888
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: SE, Michigan
Bikes: k2 Zed 3.0
Posts: 518
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
Servo888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-08, 09:23 AM   #2
Buglady
Senior Member
 
Buglady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Calgary
Bikes: 2013 MEC Col Ltd. road bike; 2012 MEC Silhouette hybrid; 2001 Specialized Allez (too small); 1984 Raleigh 5-speed city bike; 1985 Boyes-Rosser tourer; 1976 Raleigh Twenty folding bike; 1988 (?) Kuwahara "Blaze" mountain bike
Posts: 2,304
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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 )
Buglady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-08, 09:30 AM   #3
wahoonc
Membership Not Required
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On the road-USA
Bikes: Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
Posts: 16,802
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 55 Post(s)
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.

Aaron
__________________
Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-08, 11:44 AM   #4
YungBurke
Waiting for his CX
 
YungBurke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Atlanta, Georgia; Lewisburg Pennsyvania
Bikes: Jamis Satellite, Motobecane Fantom Cross UNO, Fuji Team singlespeed
Posts: 453
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i usually use whichever hand is on the side of the shifter I need to use.
YungBurke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-08, 04:49 PM   #5
sailorbenjamin 
26 tpi nut.
 
sailorbenjamin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Rhode Island (an obscure suburb of Connecticut)
Bikes: one of each
Posts: 5,701
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
I saw an old bridgstone a while back and it had both shifters on the same side (right). both on the same pivot.
__________________
I have spoken.
sailorbenjamin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-08, 04:58 PM   #6
Ex Pres 
#39
 
Ex Pres's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mountain Brook, AL
Bikes:
Posts: 6,628
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 166 Post(s)
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.
__________________
72 special CNC & Frejus (ala Legnano) / 73 Holdsworth Record /74 Italvega NR /80 Ranson & an unknown French /83 Trek 620 (nee 600) /c'85 Gianni Motta / 86 Trek 400 Elance /03 Casati Dardo /08 BF IRO (fixed/SS) /09 Dogma FPX magnesium /10 Vassago Fisticuff (IGH)

For Sale: '82 Peugeot PXN10 & c'88 Guerciotti GLX f&f
Ex Pres is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-08, 07:14 PM   #7
USAZorro
Seņor Member
 
USAZorro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Florence, KY
Bikes: Mostly English - predominantly Raleighs
Posts: 15,414
Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 435 Post(s)
Depends on your gearing. Seriously.
__________________
In search of what to search for.
USAZorro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-08, 07:20 PM   #8
robatsu
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Kansai
Bikes:
Posts: 1,686
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
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.
robatsu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-08, 07:42 PM   #9
divineAndbright 
Senior Member
 
divineAndbright's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: ontario
Bikes:
Posts: 2,234
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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).
divineAndbright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-08, 07:49 PM   #10
pabuck
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NC
Bikes:
Posts: 290
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Left hand for left, right hand for right. I've never ridden a bike with brifters.
pabuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-08, 08:19 PM   #11
steelbikeguy
Senior Member
 
steelbikeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Peoria, IL
Bikes:
Posts: 984
Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 252 Post(s)
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?

regards,
Steve K.
steelbikeguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-08, 08:38 PM   #12
SoreFeet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 2,093
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
The only wrong way to use a downtube shifter is to replace it with an indexed brifter.
SoreFeet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-08, 08:46 PM   #13
KrisPistofferson
Immoderator
 
KrisPistofferson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: POS Tennessee
Bikes: Gary Fisher Simple City 8, Litespeed Obed
Posts: 7,630
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
I just use my left hand, but I don't think there is a proper method.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikeforums
Your rights end where another poster's feelings begin.
KrisPistofferson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-08, 08:47 PM   #14
USAZorro
Seņor Member
 
USAZorro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Florence, KY
Bikes: Mostly English - predominantly Raleighs
Posts: 15,414
Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 435 Post(s)
Quote:
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.
__________________
In search of what to search for.
USAZorro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-08, 09:03 PM   #15
Xlr8n
Senior Member
 
Xlr8n's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 109
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
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.
Xlr8n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-08, 09:04 PM   #16
Bikedued
Senior Member
 
Bikedued's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 10,893
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 120 Post(s)
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
__________________
So many bikes, so little dime.
Bikedued is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-08, 11:28 PM   #17
Warren128
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: San Francisco
Bikes: Nikishi Tri-A, 1987 Raleigh 531C Team Replica, 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2002 Lemond Tete-De-Course, 2001 Lemond Zurich
Posts: 159
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
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.
Warren128 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-08, 01:08 AM   #18
grayloon
Senior Member
 
grayloon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Kingwood, Texas
Bikes: 1983 Nishiki Cresta (original owner), 1987 Centurion Lemans RS, 1996 Gary Fisher X-Caliber, His and Hers Trek 800's, Schwinn beach cruiser woman's frame, and grandson's Huffy learner bike.
Posts: 619
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You're supposed to shift gears?
grayloon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-08, 11:44 AM   #19
sekaijin
Senior Member
 
sekaijin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Bikes: 2000 Litespeed Classic, 1984 Schwinn LeTour, 1998 Gary Fisher Marlin, 1969 Hercules, 1977 Sekai 5000 Superlite, 1993 Koga-Myata TerraLiner, 2013 Trek Farley.
Posts: 1,140
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
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).
sekaijin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-08, 11:54 AM   #20
RobbieTunes
Idiot Pro Tempo
 
RobbieTunes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: NC
Bikes: at Pedal Room
Posts: 21,743
Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 256 Post(s)
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.
RobbieTunes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-08, 12:15 PM   #21
melville
Senior Member
 
melville's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 487
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Quote:
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.
melville is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-08, 12:39 PM   #22
awc380
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 661
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
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.
awc380 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-08, 12:43 PM   #23
jsmithepa
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 1,152
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
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.
jsmithepa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-08, 12:52 PM   #24
KrisPistofferson
Immoderator
 
KrisPistofferson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: POS Tennessee
Bikes: Gary Fisher Simple City 8, Litespeed Obed
Posts: 7,630
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
The proper way is to invest $700 in STI.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikeforums
Your rights end where another poster's feelings begin.
KrisPistofferson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-08, 01:19 PM   #25
RickAccused
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Connecticut, USA
Bikes: Panisonic Dx2000(R.I.P), Panasonic DX 5000, Panasonic DX 1000, Trek 530, Schwinn Varsity, Motobecane Mirage, other bikes that I've garbage picked or found
Posts: 156
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I used both hands but mainly my right for shifting.
RickAccused is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:07 PM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    get answers from real people!
Click to start entering your question.
I HAVE A QUESTION