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Controls for the mature/experienced.

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Controls for the mature/experienced.

Old 05-04-09, 07:10 PM
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Controls for the mature/experienced.

Ok, you've all been around for a while......a good long while. During the time that you have been involved with bicycles, the control systems have changed and changed again. I remember 3 speed shift levers for an internal hub, full friction stem shifters, MTB triggers and twist shifters, bar cons and modern STI's. Which systems did you like? If you could change them, what would you add?

I like high quality SRAM twist grip shifters. I use them with fat grips so my hand doesn't really notice the difference between stationary grip and shifter grip. I mount them along with 2 finger brake levers so that my hands are, but for one finger, outboard of the shift grip. I find them light, positive and precise and most importantly, I can shift multiple gears with each hand simultaneously whenever I want.

In the world of combined shift/brake levers, I learned something from the Shimano Dual control MTB system. Shifts in one direction were acomplished by pushing the lever down, the other way by flipping the lever up with the backs of the fingers. I would like to see someone produce a set of STI's that operated this way.......lever in, shift one way.....lever out, shift the other.

Just my oddball choices, how bout you.
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Old 05-04-09, 07:48 PM
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Phew...when I read the title, I was afraid it may be a Depends thread.

I like D/A and look forward to the electronic shifting price coming down.
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Old 05-04-09, 08:45 PM
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I detest RapidFire and most other indexed front derailleur controls, because I like to be able to fine-tune the cage position and the rate at which I move the cage.

For a mountain bike, I like linear action SunTour or Shimano thumb shifters, which I keep in friction mode. On a twitchy road bike, I really like friction barcons. I still appreciate the rapid response of a good set of friction downtube shift levers, but I admit that I sometimes end up spinning too low a gear when I fail to shift up before I get going too fast.
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Old 05-04-09, 08:57 PM
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I have bar-ends, down tube shifters, and 9 and 10 speed STI on my 4 road bikes. It's hard to imagine anything easier than STI shifters, except maybe electronic. I can shift the rear from the hood with my pinky.
I have SRAM push-push on the mtb. The shifting is perfect but I sometimes make accidental shifts by bumping the lever.
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Old 05-04-09, 09:33 PM
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My sentimental favorite shifters for 8 speed or less rear gears on a road bike is Suntour ratcheting friction bar end. For 9 or 10 speed on a road bike I'll somewhat reluctantly go for any of the brifters with a slight preference for SRAM based on the little bit of experience I have with any of them.

For upright bars and 8 speeds or less I like the old bar top thumb shifter, either Suntour or Shimano with an edge to Shimano for rear indexing compatibility if the bike is used for aggressive offroad riding. For true mountain bike use I'm fine with either Shimano Rapidfire or SRAM push-push. I have not used SRAM Twist Grip, but I am sure I would be fine with that too.
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Old 05-04-09, 10:03 PM
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I like the Sora shifters on my Trek. A flick of either the finger or thumb does tha job.
Sram twist shifters on my LWB recumbents.
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Old 05-04-09, 10:24 PM
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I have STI shifters, two bikes with downtube friction shifters, and my MTB/commuter has SIS indexed thumb shifters.

STI - best/easiest shifting ever.

I love bar ends, am going to convert one of my bikes to bar ends.

Like downtube shifters as a "retro" change of pace.

Hate the thumb shifters. Hate, hate, hate.

Would love to have a Rohloff hub on a commuter if there were a better shifter solution that fit drop bars.
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Old 05-04-09, 10:45 PM
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On my LWB recumbents, I love my SRAM X.9 grip shifters. Very little movement needed to shift, and shifting is immediate and sure. I've got Shimano 105-level thumb shifters on my flat-bar bike and they work quite well, but require more attention and effort than my grip shifters.

I still have two bikes with friction shifters (one thumb and one downtube) and have owned others. I've always liked those for the front crank, but have mis-shifted many times on the rear. But I never put the mileage on them that many in this forum have.

I recently used indexed barends on a recumbent trike with under seat steering. I thought they worked very well in that application, as did the Schlumpf drive front crank, which shifted when you tapped it with your foot.

As to other mature controls, after my wife went through "The Change" we didn't have to use them anymore.
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Old 05-04-09, 10:49 PM
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I still prefer the feel, the efficiency, and the look of downtube friction shifters, although my new LHT has bar end shifters that I like almost as well.

The Lemond uses Shimano 105 brifters that work perfectly. My primary complaint with this design is the amount of lever travel required to complete a shift.
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Old 05-04-09, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
Phew...when I read the title, I was afraid it may be a Depends thread.
I like D/A and look forward to the electronic shifting price coming down.
I'm sticking with my Shimano barcons until I die. Got them on all my road bikes, in friction mode on all but one. I've been using them for 20+ years and see no reason to change.
I have to say the allure of electronic shifting completely escapes me. I can't imagine that it would be good enough compared to current systems to justify the price, and I'm not sure i'd want it even if it were free. Do we need to take ALL the skill out of cycling?
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Old 05-05-09, 05:15 AM
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Over the years I've tended to gravitate toward Ultegra and Dura Ace. I like the firm crispness of the shifts. Currently, my road bikes have Ultegra 9, Ultegra SL 10, and Dura Ace 10. It would all be 10 speed but the 9 speed stuff just doesn't want to wear out. I've had no problems trimming the front dérailleur once the limit adjustment screws are adjusted correctly (It probably took me two years to learn to do that). An improvement I'd like to see is the limit adjustment screws on the rear dérailleur a bit beefier (they seem to be very soft metal). I'd also like to see a DA brifter that could be re-built by the consumer if damaged in an accident. Truth be told, almost all the components I've ever ridden have worked remarkably well, including the friction, long cage Huret Eco-Duopar rear dérailleur I used to use on my touring bike with bar con shifters. Some of the older stuff, like the Suntour Alpha down tube shifters were aesthetically very, very pleasing.
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Old 05-05-09, 05:17 AM
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i prefer friction shifting over indexed, but then i'm 50+

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Old 05-05-09, 05:39 AM
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What? No wag has mentioned fixies that need no controls?

Friction shifters forever. I don't need no stinking indexing.
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Old 05-05-09, 06:01 AM
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I really like the grip shifters on my late 80s Specialized Hardrock. With that system, one can move the front or rear derailleurs very rapidly without individual clicks.

I've had friction shifters on older road bikes, and I believe the modern "brifters" are much better.
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Old 05-05-09, 06:46 AM
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I really like my Campy record brifters. They fit nicely to my hands. I can jump over several gears at a time if I wish. Thumb lever brings the gears back in the other direction. I can fine tune the front derailleur. The shifts are precise, smooth, quick and quiet.
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Old 05-05-09, 02:34 PM
Time for a change.
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I have Sora- 105 and Ultegra brifters on my bikes and they all work. No preference- but the Sora's have a thumb button for shifting one way. Not a problem till I change to another bike and my thumb movement doesn't change anything.

And what do I need shifters for on most of my rides- They all seem to be going uphill so for 50% of the ride- I don't have to change anything.
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Old 05-05-09, 07:19 PM
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Over the years I have had bikes that had a hub gearset, Shimano MTB Deore, Shimano 105 and Campagnolo Centaur/Chorus setups. I'm not planning to move away from Campagnolo shifters for a LOOOONNNG time. I visualize which way I want the chain to move and that determines whether I use the thumb or the index and middle fingers. And people will say "so does the Sora". OK, but how far down the food chain is the Sora?
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