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What to do about bike failure!

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What to do about bike failure!

Old 02-07-11, 12:01 AM
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soymateofeo
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What to do about bike failure!

Here's the situation. I have a mountain bike that I converted to a commuter and have been riding her for years. Recently, I killed the shifter. Let's just call it the garage door incident of 2010. The shifter was a shimano 7 speed shifter brake combo. I bought a new one from my lbs but found out that it was for a v brake and i have old shimano cantis. (inhale) this bike is rigged with super thick tubes, kevlar reinforced tires, racks, etc. SHE IS HEAVY AND SLOW AS HECK! But reliable and able to handle bumps and holes.

In the garage I have a Scott hybrid that I usually only ride for exercise down the beach trails and by the local river. I've never considered commuting on this bike for 2 reasons:
1. i ride through industrial hell with a few areas that might have more glass and crap than I want to deal with and I hop off curbs here and there. Not a good idea on such thin tires.

2. I ride through the hood and do other things and would HATE to lock this nice bike up while I went in for a beer or two.


Maybe the 700 cc wheels would be a huge improvement?
Maybe I should just get a new shifter as best I can?
Maybe I should keep my eyes out for a newer commuter hybrid with fenders and all that already on it?
maybe I should buy kevlar tires for the scott?
Maybe...maybe....uuuugh!

Any input would be huge. i'm so torn on this. I hate it. I want my old bike to just work damn it!
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Old 02-07-11, 12:45 AM
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Just get new shifters. Reason #2 is why you want to use your beater 26" bike. Brake/Shift combos for 7 speed is cheap.

You could try replacing your Cantilever brakes to V-brakes. If your MTB is from the 90s and up, there's a good chance you can do this conversion. Could be cheaper than the brake/shifter combo. Just find a pair of cheap V-brakes. Like some Tektros or try finding a pair of Avid SD-5. If you live near a Bike co-op, I bet you could get these parts for super cheap.

Some brake/shift combos can use be used for both Cantis and V-brakes. You just install the brake cable in a different slot position. Try to see if your shifter/brake combo has this.
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Old 02-07-11, 02:01 AM
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Just buy some deore thumbshifters and some brake levers on eBay. For 7 speed you can even get indexing shifters. I don't like the combo ones.
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Old 02-07-11, 07:19 AM
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Sounds like the LBS would have you up and running in a day for around $50. Seems like a no brainer, unless you secretly want to justify a new commuter (there's no shame, you're amongst friends!)
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Old 02-07-11, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by soymateofeo View Post
... I want my old bike to just work damn it!
Fix the shifter.
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Old 02-07-11, 02:51 PM
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Use whatever bike you have available and fix up the ones not working. Everything you mention in your original post doesn't sound to bad.

1) how much would new shifters cost?
2) Ride the bike you have that is working. If you get flats look into better tires
3) Lock your bike up wherever you go.

New shifters or tires maybe all that is necessary. I think you are over thinking things.
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Old 02-07-11, 03:25 PM
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Eh, buy a new bike. I hear something in your post quietly telling us you want us to urge you to do that, so I'll say it.
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Old 02-07-11, 03:48 PM
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The only way you could really go wrong would be to stop riding to work. Other than that? Its all win.
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Old 02-07-11, 04:33 PM
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I have a few options some of which have been mentioned already. Here they are in no particular order.

1. Keep new shifter and just buy a set of v-brakes to match the brake lever you have.

2. Maybe you would be lucky and the shift pod from the new shifter would go over to the old brake lever...unlikely, but I'll suggest it.

3. Find a used shifter brake lever combo and rock that.

4. Get a used canti brake lever and different shifter pod maybe a used one. You could even do a new cheap friction thumb shifter.

5. Get a cheap friction thumb shifter and clamp that on and just use your old brake lever with the busted shifter.

6. Get a new shifter brake combo that works with your canti brakes

You have lots of options and most if not all of them aren't really that expensive. It sounds like you like the bike you have for its purpose so I would just spend a few bucks to get it working again.
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Old 02-07-11, 04:35 PM
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That's a pretty minor failure. Easy and cheap to fix. I'm in full support of the suggestion to take the opportunity and ditch the integrated brake/shifter. I've had nothing but problems with them, and on a flat bar there's really no benefit.

If you'd rather ride a new bike or the Scott, go ahead. Instead of buying a new set of shifters, buy some flat-resistant tires. It's not difficult, ride what makes you happy.
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Old 02-07-11, 04:38 PM
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or you could drop ~$15-20 on a set of stem shifters. Not ideal, but they do the job and you can keep your same brake levers.
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Old 02-07-11, 09:55 PM
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Just go V brake if you allready have the new lever/shifter combo. v brakes are cheap and easy to install and adjust.
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Old 02-08-11, 07:33 PM
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Falcon Shifters, friction, $12....easy to install, almost no adjustment (except every time you shift...)

http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...-shifters.html
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Old 02-09-11, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by CptjohnC View Post
The only way you could really go wrong would be to stop riding to work. Other than that? Its all win.
Yes
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Old 02-14-11, 07:02 AM
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New Shifters

Here's the update. I've been out riding around with my new shifters!

I went down to ol' LBS and found some shifters for 40 bucks. The guy behind the counter gave me this sad, apologetic look and said, "These are the only ones I can get." implying that they suck. I told him, "Any crappy 2011 shifter has to be better than my crappy 1993 shifters!" He agreed when he saw the old ones and didn't feel so bad after all. I ran out the door with my shifters and immediately put them on. HOLY CRAP AM I HAPPY! It's like a new ride! I feel like everybody is watching me as I roll down the street. My new shifters sparkle! If you ever saw Fly Guy walking down the street with goldfish in the heels of his boots, then you know how I am doing it. And for some reason she's faster, she turns quicker and she's 20 lbs lighter! I'm gonna put new shifters on my girlfriend!

I engage the shift lever with my thumb and I know some hydraulic doodad doing it's thing because "click" the gear has shifted. and with my index finger, "click" and the gear returns from where it once came! YES!

NO new bike needed friends! You can all sleep well tonight knowing that I am back on the road dodging buses and gangsters. Thanks for all your input and wisdom!

"Click!" the gear goes up and, "Click!" the gear goes down!
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Old 02-14-11, 07:06 AM
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soymateofeo
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
Falcon Shifters, friction, $12....easy to install, almost no adjustment (except every time you shift...)

http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...-shifters.html
OH My Goodness! That's the shifter that I had on there whilst I survived this ordeal! They sucked so bad! You have to keep them tight or else they easily change gears on their own. Well, that being said, it happened when I was going up a hill loaded with groceries and other wares. lol I shifted 6 gears in one pedal stroke. That sucked! But they worked for a while!
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