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Shifters on the downtube...why?

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Shifters on the downtube...why?

Old 01-20-15, 06:33 PM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
"Ghost Shifting" was usually a combination of a flexible frameset, crankset and/or rear wheel, friction shifters of any flavor (Suntour and Simplex resisted best), and a big gear max effort. Shimano's indexed DT controls helped manage one variable.
When banging up through the gears for a sprint finish 'click' gave confidence that one was firmly In a gear w/ no surprises to follow.

edit: PS
Note that the OP has disappeared mysteriously. Trolling?

-Bandera
Ah, yes, I had forgotten about friction shifters! Now that you mention it, I did used to experience ghost shifts back in the day- and I doubt I was flexing my frame, because I was a weaker rider back then than I am now. I just attributed it to the cheap crappy bikes i used to ride; and the fact that back then, I didn't have a clue as to how to adjust a derailer- I'd just give the screws a few turns and hope for the best; and repeat until I could at least get into most of the gears...

Nah, Buffalo Bu[STRIKE]tt[/STRIKE]ff isn't a troll. He was participating in a couple of other threads right along. Maybe he just got busy, with it being a weekday and all after along weekend. Hey, at least he started a good thread for us!
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Old 01-20-15, 07:11 PM
  #77  
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What possible advantage does this style have over literally every other common style from the past 4 decades?

2 decades. They became common on club bikes in 1992/93
Before that everybody used DT except for some tourists and CX racers who used bar-ends BE.
Stem-mounted shifter is horrible and dangerous
DT is quick, direct, reliable and simple and you don't need to shift your body to reach down.
On tour, I carry a backup DT shifter.

DT is quicker than BE and has a more direct cable run.

Why would anyone want to play the violin when a guitar has frets?
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Old 01-20-15, 07:28 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
What possible advantage does this style have over literally every other common style from the past 4 decades?

2 decades. They became common on club bikes in 1992/93
Before that everybody used DT except for some tourists and CX racers who used bar-ends BE.
Stem-mounted shifter is horrible and dangerous
DT is quick, direct, reliable and simple and you don't need to shift your body to reach down.
On tour, I carry a backup DT shifter.

DT is quicker than BE and has a more direct cable run.

Why would anyone want to play the violin when a guitar has frets?
And lets not forget: The DTs don't need to loopingt curves and slack in their cables, to allow for the turning of the handlebars, as stem shifters' bar-ends and brifters do.

Just a straight, solid connection, with only 1 bend!

One day, people will look back at the present day, with the brifters, with their internally-routed cables, and all the bends and extra friction; mechanical complexity and weight, and say "What were they thinking?!".
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Old 01-21-15, 07:35 AM
  #79  
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Yep, a silly troll out to cause a tempest in a tea pot and apparently fairly successful considering we are on page four.

Started with a five speed "freewheel" and friction shifters...easy peasy...but more is better hehehe.
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Old 01-21-15, 08:05 AM
  #80  
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My '97 MTB has crossfire shifters (I think) up by the hand grips. With a 3x7 drivetrain I'm always hunting among gears. My '84 road bike has 2x6 gears on the downtubes and I tend to not fidget with the gears so much, in part, because of the position shift and reaching needed to shift. On the other hand, I don;t really think about it, and for me any break from one seating /hand position is a plus.
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Old 01-21-15, 08:44 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
...... and for me any break from one seating /hand position is a plus.
Excellent point! With brifters, I tend to stay "locked-in" to one position for a very long time, since I don't have to move. Come to think of it, I NEVER remember my hands going numb back when I rode cheap ill-fitting DT bikes....
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Old 01-21-15, 03:40 PM
  #82  
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I like vintage racers with a twist of moderno.....

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Old 02-10-15, 12:56 AM
  #83  
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I put 10 speed DA down tube shifters on a lugged frame bike, with compact gearing. Built the bike I used to ride as a kid.

I don't race, just ride for fun and exercise. You need to think a little ahead, with DT shifters. But they work well. Simple, direct, few moving parts. Kind of like driving a manual transmission. More fun. Its just muscle memory. if you can ride a bike, you can get comfortable with DT shifters.

Last edited by fn1889m; 02-10-15 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 02-10-15, 01:32 AM
  #84  
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My early ten-speeds had down-tube shifters; one had bar end. My 12- and 14-speed bikes had stem shifters. Perhaps it's because I never had a high-end bike in those days, but I greatly appreciate the smooth performance of the modern brifter. That said, I do miss having a tactile cue of what ring/gear I'm on/in. Perhaps I'm still on the learning curve, but I still tend to sneak a peek at the gear-index window (which disappear once you get to 105-level equipment).
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Old 02-10-15, 01:53 AM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
The thing I don't get about this then is why, when I was looking for new 10 speed downtube shifters last week, were the only ones I could find Dura Ace (7900)? If they're only making them for cheap bikes, why weren't they tiagra or sora or claris or something?
There is a roughly Tiagra level 8-speed, SL-R400. There is a Tourney level 6 & 7 speed SL-SY20 with braze-on, band, or stem mounts which I've seen on Denali type bikes and juvenile 650A road bikes.

Campagnolo have indexed bar-end shifters in their TT line and they are reputedly derived from the old Synchro shifters so with a set of each you can build yourself whatever you need from the pieces.
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Old 02-10-15, 02:02 AM
  #86  
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FWIW I've been using Schwinn Twin-Stik Shifters for about the last six months and they're ok.
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Old 02-10-15, 05:40 AM
  #87  
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My first roadbike had DTs on it, I thought it would be difficult, then at one point I had to shift the bike, I was like; wtf was my cincern even about. My genesis has stem shifters, which just does not look right at all, better(lighter, better) than the gripshifts on the Denali(Denali pro or Denali Yukon actually had brifters), but on a modern frame, looks like crap, and really in general looks like cheap almost after-thought crap. I put mtb brifters on my friends Denali.

I had a roadbike, briefly with brifters on it, it was stolen, and I recovered it for the owner, I like them, but after I laid down my genesis, and damaged the right brake lever, I decided they aren't for me, not a part I can replace on a whim. That, and some of them have exposed shift cables, I have expectations appearance wise for bikes, dependant on what they are; a mtb I am fine with the loops of cables in the cockpit, not so much on a road bike. They would look awesome on my bike, but risk of crash and price stopped that dream. I mean as long as they've been around, they should not cost so much.

I like DTs,they are just perfect for me, I want a custom bolt on braket for my genesis to mount downtubes.I think with bmx style front brake routing, DTs, and a chainstay brake, would be a real clean look, even with the one rear brake loop.
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Old 02-10-15, 10:24 AM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
I like vintage racers with a twist of moderno.....

Beautiful! (The pic. and the bike!)
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Old 02-10-15, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Stucky View Post
Beautiful! (The pic. and the bike!)
Thank you
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Old 02-10-15, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
There is a roughly Tiagra level 8-speed, SL-R400. There is a Tourney level 6 & 7 speed SL-SY20 with braze-on, band, or stem mounts which I've seen on Denali type bikes and juvenile 650A road bikes.

Campagnolo have indexed bar-end shifters in their TT line and they are reputedly derived from the old Synchro shifters so with a set of each you can build yourself whatever you need from the pieces.
Do you have a source for Tiagra 8-speed d/t shifters? I've never been able to find them.
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Old 02-10-15, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Do you have a source for Tiagra 8-speed d/t shifters? I've never been able to find them.
I just looked on Amazon. I suppose it could all be a cruel hoax

Amazon.com : Shimano SL-R400 Double/Triple 8-Speed Braze-On Shifters : Bike Shifters And Parts : Sports & Outdoors

The copy actually says they're Sora. I though 4* was Tiagra and 3* was Sora. Who knows? Shimano has quite a few oddball parts that are not quite in groups.

http://productinfo.shimano.com/lineu...ies&speed=2x10
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Old 02-10-15, 01:34 PM
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I wish they hadn't taken the friction option away from the right shifters. When I wanted 8 speed, I ended up finding some older DA DT levers with the knowledge that I was going to have to use the alternate routing to get them to work with my shifters (ended up deciding to get 10S when I found them for not much more, so I never mounted the 8S shifters to see if the alternate routing actually worked).
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Old 02-10-15, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
I just looked on Amazon. I suppose it could all be a cruel hoax

Amazon.com : Shimano SL-R400 Double/Triple 8-Speed Braze-On Shifters : Bike Shifters And Parts : Sports & Outdoors

The copy actually says they're Sora. I though 4* was Tiagra and 3* was Sora. Who knows? Shimano has quite a few oddball parts that are not quite in groups.

Line-up chart - Shimano Product Information Web
I didn't even see those, maybe because I keep seeing the Sunrace that are $10-20 (but clamp-on) and just skipped by the $40 and up.

But now I also see the Tiagra labeled ones for $52 Shimano Tiagra SL-R400 Down Tube Shifters - Silver, 8 Speed so I guess they're not that hard to find after all.
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Old 02-11-15, 12:28 AM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
It was much simpler and made a much more direct connection with the derailleurs without all the extra curves of cable and housing (heck, FD didn't even need housing).
This is it: simple, easy to use riding in the drops (if that's what you're used to). The line back in the day was that downtube shifters, because the cables are shorter and straighter, work better than bar-end shifters. It's a matter of simple cable length and drag, but I also think it was a function of the cable housings not being as good back then as they are now? But bar end shifters worked well too- just not the tiny bit of performance advantage that downtube had back then.

Stem shifters, forget it. They aren't efficiently accessible have longer cable runs, so no advantage except maybe cheaper than bar ends - which is the only reason I can think of that they were marketed on crappy bikes back then. Maybe they thought that riders of crappy bikes would like them there because they didn't ride in the drops.

I liked bar end shifters too and didn't mind the tiny bit of lag in the shifting. I like downtube shifters and integrated brake/shifters too. But I "grew up" with downtube shifters in the 70s so there's some good memories and muscle memory involved.
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Old 02-11-15, 10:26 AM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
I just looked on Amazon. I suppose it could all be a cruel hoax

Amazon.com : Shimano SL-R400 Double/Triple 8-Speed Braze-On Shifters : Bike Shifters And Parts : Sports & Outdoors

The copy actually says they're Sora. I though 4* was Tiagra and 3* was Sora. Who knows? Shimano has quite a few oddball parts that are not quite in groups.

Line-up chart - Shimano Product Information Web
Neat find, Darth. I'd been wondering where some of those "non-series" specs were hiding.

Originally Posted by himespau View Post
I wish they hadn't taken the friction option away from the right shifters. When I wanted 8 speed, I ended up finding some older DA DT levers with the knowledge that I was going to have to use the alternate routing to get them to work with my shifters (ended up deciding to get 10S when I found them for not much more, so I never mounted the 8S shifters to see if the alternate routing actually worked).
I agree -- the micro-ratcheting "friction" option is so nice if things get out of whack or you want to challenge yourself a little over indexed mode. Probably keeps the price down to implement only one set of ratchets, though.

Since 7-speed and 8-speed spacing is so close, have any of you guys tried using 7-speed DT shifters (plus the low-limit stop) to shift 8-speed cassettes? I'd like to think you could go either way and open up some options, but haven't tried it myself.
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Old 02-11-15, 11:06 AM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Neat find, Darth. I'd been wondering where some of those "non-series" specs were hiding.
There's a long pdf document from the link that says "specifications" at the lower left corner of SHIMANO Dealer's Manual / User's Manual that has a lot of current and recent specs.

This page has the individual documents for things that are not grouped SHIMANO Dealer's Manual / User's Manual. This is the zone where you'll find things like cross cranks, tandem cranks, canti brakes, long reach brakes, etc, and any oddballs.
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Old 02-14-15, 09:24 PM
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I have a strong bond with downtube shifters. Bought my first 10sp in '73, a Motobecane Mirage. I knew enogh about the racing culture enough to know that the turkey levers, dork disc and stem shifters were not racing equipe. For 5.00 I grabbed clamp on downtube shifters and went to work. Even with the clumsy Allvit derailleur I could shift it with a quick flip and no need to trim. Every bike since then has had DT shifters. For me, they are not oldschool, they are distinctive.
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Old 02-15-15, 12:26 PM
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The other advantage of downtube friction shifters is one handed shifting. I'd always use my right hand to pull back my front derailleur lever.

Makes things simpler still.
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Old 02-15-15, 12:53 PM
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There was even a fitting of both levers on top of the downtube, to make that even easier..
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Old 02-15-15, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
There was even a fitting of both levers on top of the downtube, to make that even easier..
And more aero!
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