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Early Brifter Bikes - 7,8, and 9 Speed Not vintage, not new, but still loved!

Newbie Thoughts on Early Brifter Bikes!

Old 06-07-21, 07:27 PM
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Jacob_R_59 
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Newbie Thoughts on Early Brifter Bikes!

Iím brand new to Bike Forums and I think I voted incorrectly to the Poll on this Subforum. I think a Subforum devoted to the early brifter bikes is a great idea.

I donít have any particular thoughts about whether or not Ergopower levers are properly called brifters.

I have an 8 speed Sachs Ergopower gruppo and now that I have a set of Campagnoloís current cables & housing the shifters work great. Both shifters had a tendency to freeze & lockup and this stopped with the new cables.
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Old 06-07-21, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Jacob_R_59 View Post
Sachs Ergopower
That's some pretty rare gear around my way, only come across it once.

And it was on a rather interesting bike - dude was rocking a weird Suntour RD with it that didn't use a housing loop, the bare cable just came straight from the cable guide, onto a pulley/cam bit on the RD (kinda like SRAM), and he reckoned the indexing was spot on. Couldn't find that RD on Disraeli Gears, either.

Anyone know anything about the cable pull on these? I seem to recall it was different to the Campy ones.
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Old 06-07-21, 11:18 PM
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Careful What You Ask For...

Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
That's some pretty rare gear around my way, only come across it once.

And it was on a rather interesting bike - dude was rocking a weird Suntour RD with it that didn't use a housing loop, the bare cable just came straight from the cable guide, onto a pulley/cam bit on the RD (kinda like SRAM), and he reckoned the indexing was spot on. Couldn't find that RD on Disraeli Gears, either.

Anyone know anything about the cable pull on these? I seem to recall it was different to the Campy ones.
I own a set of early Sachs New Success Brifters, I've read all sorts of conflicting reports about compatibility. I haven't extensively experimented because Lazy.

This SunTour Superbe Tech L RD on Disraeli?


(Photo from Velobase.)

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Old 06-08-21, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by machinist42 View Post
Hey, you found it! Trippy bit of kit.
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Old 06-09-21, 10:21 PM
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Maybe @Dfrost will stop by. He has a couple bikes running Sachs brifters. Yes, cable pull is different than Campy.
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Old 06-10-21, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by tricky View Post
Maybe @Dfrost will stop by. He has a couple bikes running Sachs brifters. Yes, cable pull is different than Campy.
Yes, as @tricky notes, both of my bikes use Sachs New Success Ergo brifters. (And I call them brifters all the time. No reason not to!) The RD are both Sachs NS medium cage that appear to be identical.






I mention that because the setup on the black Miyata 912 shifts fabulously with Shimano 8-speed spacing (4.8mm), while the red Marinoni is equally nice with Campy spacing (5.0mm). No, that is NOT an insignificant difference - they don’t play nice if I switch wheels between bikes without correcting cog spacing. This reinforces information that Sachs changed pawl increments sometime in the late 90’s. FWIW, both use loose cogs on either Ultegra or 600 tri-color hubs, primarily Shimano plus a few Miche or SRAM cogs. The cassettes are always one of my “custom” arrangements. I’ve tried using a Shimano RD as an experiment (‘cuz I’m a former test engineer!) but that didn’t work all that well. Those Sachs NS RD’s last forever, and I’ve got spares.

For the OP, I (obviously!) really like Sachs NS with Ergo brifters, especially as an older rider on tall bikes in a hilly urban riding environment - long reach to DT levers when your back is old, bars are high, and shifts are frequent. The brifters are easily rebuilt using available (often inexpensive) Campy parts. But I’ve only needed to do so twice in more than 25 years and over 50,000 miles of use. They are much easier to setup and maintain indexing precision than similar Campy, having also spent plenty of years/miles keeping my wife’s former Campy Chorus 8-speed Ergo working acceptaby. They share the Campy Ergo advantages of easy triple conversions, FD trimming, and complete compatibility with just about any FD. I slightly prefer the front shifts with Campy “Racing T” over several later Suntour FD’s,

———————————————-

And on a different note, I see ABSOLUTELY no value in having discussions about brifter shifting over certain number of gears on a forum other than C&V. I’d much prefer that this and similar information was available to the significant audience over there. Shifting variations are NOT a reason to differentiate.

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Old 06-10-21, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Dfrost View Post
They are much easier to setup and maintain indexing precision than similar Campy, having also spent plenty of years/miles keeping my wifeís former Campy Chorus 8-speed Ergo working acceptaby.
That'd seem to suggest a longer cable pull than Campy...
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Old 06-10-21, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Dfrost View Post
And on a different note, I see ABSOLUTELY no value in having discussions about brifter shifting over certain number of gears on a forum other than C&V. Iíd much prefer that this and similar information was available to the significant audience over there. Shifting variations are NOT a reason to differentiate.
I hardly ever poke my nose into C&V, but I'm interested in bikes you can shift while standing...
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Old 06-15-21, 02:29 PM
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I put Sachs NS Ergos and rear derailleur on my 1994 Cannondale R500, way back in about 1995. It came with RX100 kit with DT shifters. I ran it with a Campy 8-speed cassette, I think.
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Old 06-18-21, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
I hardly ever poke my nose into C&V, but I'm interested in bikes you can shift while standing...
Just because you can doesn't mean that you should.

For "shifting while standing" the "why you shouldn't do that" case is this:

You try for a way-too-late desperation bail-out shift to your lowest gear, standing on the pedals, heaving on the bars, at full honk, and in time with your stroke. And then your rear derailleur blows into three pieces, and then your rack your 'nads on the top tube, and then you crash.

(This is why I stopped using GripShift on mountain bikes, despite my intense dislike for under-the-bar push-with-your-thumb MTB shifters. And thumb throttles on ATVs.)

--Shannon
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Old 06-19-21, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ShannonM View Post
Just because you can doesn't mean that you should.

For "shifting while standing" the "why you shouldn't do that" case is this:

You try for a way-too-late desperation bail-out shift to your lowest gear, standing on the pedals, heaving on the bars, at full honk, and in time with your stroke. And then your rear derailleur blows into three pieces, and then your rack your 'nads on the top tube, and then you crash.

(This is why I stopped using GripShift on mountain bikes, despite my intense dislike for under-the-bar push-with-your-thumb MTB shifters. And thumb throttles on ATVs.)

--Shannon
Yeah nah, more like a truck goes past and I'm able to get a good pull from the draft that just wouldn't have been an option with DT shifters.

BTW, sounds like you should invest in a higher class of derailer.
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Old 06-19-21, 06:05 AM
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I'm loving the Sachs-Huret New Success gruppo on my newly acquired 1970s Liberia. This is my first experience with lever shifters, as everything else I own or have owned has been down tube, bar end, or thumb shifters.

Received the bike on Thursday of this week, and went on a 30 mile shakedown ride yesterday. Everything was buttery smooth. I won't be switching everything to this type of setup, but it is definitely very nice!

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Old 06-19-21, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Jacob_R_59 View Post
I have an 8 speed Sachs Ergopower gruppo and now that I have a set of Campagnoloís current cables & housing the shifters work great. Both shifters had a tendency to freeze & lockup and this stopped with the new cables.
Originally Posted by machinist42 View Post
I own a set of early Sachs New Success Brifters, I've read all sorts of conflicting reports about compatibility. I haven't extensively experimented because Lazy.
Originally Posted by tricky View Post
Maybe @Dfrost will stop by. He has a couple bikes running Sachs brifters. Yes, cable pull is different than Campy.
Originally Posted by Dfrost View Post
Yes, as @tricky notes, both of my bikes use Sachs New Success Ergo brifters. (And I call them brifters all the time. No reason not to!) The RD are both Sachs NS medium cage that appear to be identical.

I mention that because the setup on the black Miyata 912 shifts fabulously with Shimano 8-speed spacing (4.8mm), while the red Marinoni is equally nice with Campy spacing (5.0mm). No, that is NOT an insignificant difference - they donít play nice if I switch wheels between bikes without correcting cog spacing. This reinforces information that Sachs changed pawl increments sometime in the late 90ís. FWIW, both use loose cogs on either Ultegra or 600 tri-color hubs, primarily Shimano plus a few Miche or SRAM cogs. The cassettes are always one of my ďcustomĒ arrangements. Iíve tried using a Shimano RD as an experiment (Ďcuz Iím a former test engineer!) but that didnít work all that well. Those Sachs NS RDís last forever, and Iíve got spares.

For the OP, I (obviously!) really like Sachs NS with Ergo brifters, especially as an older rider on tall bikes in a hilly urban riding environment - long reach to DT levers when your back is old, bars are high, and shifts are frequent. The brifters are easily rebuilt using available (often inexpensive) Campy parts. But Iíve only needed to do so twice in more than 25 years and over 50,000 miles of use. They are much easier to setup and maintain indexing precision than similar Campy, having also spent plenty of years/miles keeping my wifeís former Campy Chorus 8-speed Ergo working acceptaby. They share the Campy Ergo advantages of easy triple conversions, FD trimming, and complete compatibility with just about any FD. I slightly prefer the front shifts with Campy ďRacing TĒ over several later Suntour FDís,
Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
I put Sachs NS Ergos and rear derailleur on my 1994 Cannondale R500, way back in about 1995. It came with RX100 kit with DT shifters. I ran it with a Campy 8-speed cassette, I think.
Great article here re: Sachs New Success, for those interested that haven't read it. Bikemig posted it over on my Liberia thread.

https://lecycleur.com/parts/history-...s-new-success/
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Old 06-20-21, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
Yeah nah, more like a truck goes past and I'm able to get a good pull from the draft that just wouldn't have been an option with DT shifters.

BTW, sounds like you should invest in a higher class of derailer.
Of course there are many situations in which shifting while standing is a small win over not doing so. I do not deny this. Indeed, it was one of the many things I liked about the setup I had on the bike in question. Until that one moment, on that one ride, on that one day, when I did what I had gotten used to doing over the many times that I had gotten away with it... and suddenly didn't.

As to "higher class of derailleur"... It was a Deore XT, so, no, that wasn't the problem.

This was the problem:
Shifting chain-and-derailleur drivetrains under high pedalling force is always and everywhere bad for them. I'd bet a sixer of your favorite malted beverage that, if one were to conduct a poll here on BF as to "How did you break your chain", "I tried to downshift on a steep section while pedalling hard" would be the #1 answer, and by a big margin. And, if you break your drivetrain in this, the most likely way for you to do so, it's going to really, really suck.

There are many good reasons to like, and even to prefer, integrated brake/shift levers. "They allow me to shift while standing" is not a particularly good reason, because you pretty much shouldn't be doing that.

--Shannon
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Old 06-20-21, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by ShannonM View Post
There are many good reasons to like, and even to prefer, integrated brake/shift levers. "They allow me to shift while standing" is not a particularly good reason, because you pretty much shouldn't be doing that.
I've never even come close to having a problem shifting to larger cogs while standing, but I've always used close ratio cassettes. I'd also assert there's nothing wrong with dropping to smaller cogs while giving it the beans no matter what your cassette.
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Old 07-09-21, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Dfrost View Post
Yes, as @tricky notes, both of my bikes use Sachs New Success Ergo brifters. (And I call them brifters all the time. No reason not to!) The RD are both Sachs NS medium cage that appear to be identical.

Those Sachs NS RDís last forever, and Iíve got spares.

For the OP, I (obviously!) really like Sachs NS with Ergo brifters, especially as an older rider on tall bikes in a hilly urban riding environment - long reach to DT levers when your back is old, bars are high, and shifts are frequent. They share the Campy Ergo advantages of easy triple conversions, FD trimming, and complete compatibility with just about any FD. I slightly prefer the front shifts with Campy ďRacing TĒ over several later.
#1. I've been looking for a mid or long cage sachs NS at the local coops for years AND you have SPARES.? (I'm too old for big boy gears)

#2. Old... Check. Tall Bikes... Check. Hilly urban light to light sprinting ... Check. Campy or Sachs ergo levers with random FD's and Triples... Check.
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Old 07-09-21, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by escii_35 View Post
#1. I've been looking for a mid or long cage sachs NS at the local coops for years AND you have SPARES.? (I'm too old for big boy gears)
I have one additional medium cage, and it’s about to get some use on a potential new-to-me bike. The other spares are short cage versions. I figure that the parallelogram bodies are the most likely to wear (but they haven’t yet), after the pulleys. Even those seem to last forever. I have had to switch in some original floating upper pulleys after previous owners *****ed that job.

Those floating pulleys are a significant difference from similar era Campy RD’s, and seem to be the reason that the Sachs are so easy to adjust, and keep in adjustment, based on a long-term “relationship” with Campy 8-speed Chorus on my wife’s former custom Erickson.

Last edited by Dfrost; 07-09-21 at 11:45 AM. Reason: Not sure why BF didn’t like the word above. It was not an obscenity
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Old 07-09-21, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
I've never even come close to having a problem shifting to larger cogs while standing, but I've always used close ratio cassettes. I'd also assert there's nothing wrong with dropping to smaller cogs while giving it the beans no matter what your cassette.

On a hill climb, I'm way more likely to be dropping from the big to the little chain ring as I cruise on the big chain ring at all other times, but if I shift to a bigger cog going uphill, it makes a bit of noise, but I've never busted a chain or broke a derailleur while shifting in about 45 years of riding with them, and I'm the king of bad habits. I shift while standing a lot.
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Old 08-18-21, 06:12 AM
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Iím running Sachs ergos and new success in the rear, and it shifts well over a 7 speed shimano freewheel. More fun than reaching between my legs on a 10% hill to shift.

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Old 08-18-21, 07:04 AM
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It appears that the Sachs Ergo/Brifters are the equivalent of the first gen of the Campagnolo.
See Rebuilding Ergo Levers — Branford Bike
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