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Down with downtube shifters

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Down with downtube shifters

Old 04-01-10, 11:25 AM
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Down with downtube shifters

If there's one thing I hate, it's downtube shifters.

Sadly, most alternatives are either stem shifters or super expensive. Enter the Shimano SL-A050 shifters, the best solution for modernizing old road bikes to indexed shifting - on a budget

Oh, and this is a very hilly city, so, MegaRange++

I'm happy with the result. Can't wait to sell it though, it's way too small for me. All it needs now is some pink bartape, after it's been fit to the buyer...



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Old 04-01-10, 11:40 AM
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they look better than what you did to your bike.
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Old 04-01-10, 12:02 PM
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Why do you have downtube shifters enough to do that? And why not bar end shifters? I got a set on ebay for $20.
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Old 04-01-10, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by mickey85
Why do you have downtube shifters enough to do that? And why not bar end shifters? I got a set on ebay for $20.
I agree, bar-end shifters are a simple and very effective upgrade;

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Old 04-01-10, 12:10 PM
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I don't mind DT shifters, but bar end shifters really bug me...maybe it's because I'm usually on the hoods and not the drops. I always wondered how bar end shifters on the bar ends of a MTB would work.
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Old 04-01-10, 12:39 PM
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This works...

These customized Suntour Barcons work just great, with this style of handlebar. You must figure out how to route the shifter cables, though.

Legnano_Consv_Bra&.jpg
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Old 04-01-10, 01:01 PM
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What is that thing hanging off of the handlebar?

Stem shifters would be a better choice, but bar ends are even better, as stated above. You don't ride with your hands on the shifters anyway - you just slide down the bars and shift.
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Old 04-01-10, 01:07 PM
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Oh, that thing hanging from the handlebars is a flashlight, I rode it back from the workshop at night...

As for using bar-end shifters, those sure are nice, but getting them for 20$ on ebay is a deal - they usually sell for more, and then there's shipping to Canada which can be another 20$... It's not like there's a convenient source of afforadble bar-end shifters.

Custermustache, why do you think stem shifters would be better? You have to take your hands off the handlebars to use them, and they're a groin menace. But hey, I can get Shimano 7-speed index stem shifters for the same price as those SL-A050...
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Old 04-01-10, 01:11 PM
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If there's one thing I hate, it's downtube shifter haters.

-Colonel Klink
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Old 04-01-10, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by hernick
Custermustache, why do you think stem shifters would be better? You have to take your hands off the handlebars to use them, and they're a groin menace.
WTH? If your "groin" is that close to the stem you have either the weirdest body geometry of any living human or you have serious fit problems. If you hit the boys on stem shifters why not the stem?
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Old 04-01-10, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by khatfull
WTH? If your "groin" is that close to the stem you have either the weirdest body geometry of any living human or you have serious fit problems. If you hit the boys on stem shifters why not the stem?
Maybe it's the scary thought of having those two shift levers always pointing at the jewels like sharp tines on a fork.......specially the ling thin ones made by Simplex.
Anyway, at least for me personally, I never saw the need to change over from DT to brifters because I do not need to make those fraction of a second gear changes that racers have to to keep up with the peloton, plus I just don't like the mess that additional cables and casings brifters and barend shifter adds to the front of the bike, lastly, brifters just "uglify" bikes.

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Old 04-01-10, 02:17 PM
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Personally, I wish I could put downtube shifters on my Univega, but with oversized Tange tubes and brazed on tube-style cable stops, there isn't really anyway for me to do it. I went with bar end shifters, and even though I spend probably 75% of my time on the hoods (the other 25% being equally split between drops, corners, and tops), it ain't no thang to drop down for a second and shift. They're less cumbersome than DTS, but they look pretty nice too. I've got the suntour micro ratcheting shifters (kinda like the ones pictured above)

For North Roads bars (or albatross, or any other swept bars), I like what Rivendell does with their cork grips - core a groove in the bottom and use twine and bar tape to tie the cable to the grip. It looks really pretty to me.

Photo borrowed from Rivendell. Note, I'm not shilling, I just like the look. And if you want to buy their grips and tape, good on ya!

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Old 04-01-10, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
If there's one thing I hate, it's downtube shifter haters.

-Colonel Klink
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Old 04-01-10, 03:02 PM
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works for me. they are nearly in the same place as stem shifters (nothing wrong with those either).

DT shifters are the best for looks, hands down. if you don't shift a lot, they work great. sometimes they just don't make the best sense.

another thing that would have worked in your situation was thumb shifters, although finding 7-speed indexed ones in your price range might be a little trickier.
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Old 04-01-10, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
If there's one thing I hate, it's downtube shifter haters.

-Colonel Klink
I am glad you are beginning to remember your commandments, young pad-wan!

Just for those who need a review. The 4th commandment reads;

Remember the down tube shifter, and keep it holy.
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Old 04-01-10, 03:11 PM
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Dura Ace 2/3 x 10 DT shifters
$70
Versatile
Light

If you can walk and chew gum.
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Old 04-01-10, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
Remember the down tube shifter, and keep it holy.
...and don't forget the promise...
'and you will ride long and smoothly."
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Old 04-01-10, 03:31 PM
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Let's not get too modern here, we can have alternatives that are still vintage.
Read it and weap, the future of friction shifters is the past.
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Old 04-01-10, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
Just for those who need a review. The 4th commandment reads;

Remember the down tube shifter, and keep it holy.
Bob, you know we'll be asking you for copies of the sacred Bicycle Texts after April 1st is over, you know

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Old 04-01-10, 04:18 PM
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If those work for you, more power to you but in this type of configuration, the bars should be at least at seat level; here you have them about 20 cm too low (plus this bike seems about 3 sizes too small; maybe that's a reason DT shifters do not work for you)

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Old 04-01-10, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by PDXaero
Let's not get too modern here, we can have alternatives that are still vintage.
Read it and weap, the future of friction shifters is the past.

Whoa! That looks interesting, please post a thread when you get them running. Routing the cables could be interesting.
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Old 04-01-10, 04:50 PM
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They were good enough for Tommy Simpson
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Old 04-01-10, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by EjustE
If those work for you, more power to you but in this type of configuration, the bars should be at least at seat level; here you have them about 20 cm too low (plus this bike seems about 3 sizes too small; maybe that's a reason DT shifters do not work for you)


Yeah, I agree that has to be a pretty far reach on a bike that small. Still I think your solution is a good one for a lot of people. I like the cross levers and putting the shifters nearby makes good sense to me. I like bar end shifters but I don't think they are sublimely superior, in fact I like them for north roads and not drop bars. You are dead on about Quebec being hilly, I don't blame you for wanting the mega range at all.
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Old 04-01-10, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
I am glad you are beginning to remember your commandments, young pad-wan!

Just for those who need a review. The 4th commandment reads;

Remember the down tube shifter, and keep it holy.
Can we get the 10 (or however many there are) Commandments posted somewhere, so we can see them all together?
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Old 04-01-10, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by secretagent
They were good enough for Tommy Simpson
and Eddie what's his name?

I like em....nothing simpler.
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