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Bar end shifters

Old 01-12-10, 02:39 AM
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jesdg
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Bar end shifters

are all new bar end shifters both index and friction? I am going to do a cross country trip, would bar end be the best option for shifters?
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Old 01-12-10, 08:45 AM
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The Dura Ace 9 speed shifters I got in 2008 worked in both modes, so I presume most are similar. They worked great in index mode, and were very easy to adjust when the cables did their break-in stretch.
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Old 01-12-10, 09:54 AM
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You could tour with any type of shifter. Bar-ends happen to have a few non-critical advantages:

• can switch between friction and index, handy if your drivetrain gets a little out of adjustment
• easier to use than downtube shifters
• less expensive than STI
• easier to maintain than STI
• slightly more robust than STI
• don't need to fuss with shifter cables to use a handlebar bag

That said, STI's are fairly robust, and most people find them easier to use than bar-end or downtube shifters.

I prefer bar-ends for touring, but I don't see it as a necessity.
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Old 01-12-10, 10:00 AM
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This is really a personal choice. I don't think it matters. There are positives to both sides and you're going to have people pop on and say this is the best set-up or this is the best set-up but in reality, it's just the best set-up for them.
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Old 01-12-10, 11:08 AM
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Shimano 8 and 9 speed bar ends will do friction or index, the 10 speed are index only.
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Old 01-12-10, 11:57 AM
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You can also buy mounts made to convert DT shifters into bar ends. I think Velo Orange or Rivendell sells them. A lot of people like to go that way. Makes for a wider selection of shifters.
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Old 01-12-10, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by LeeBob View Post
Shimano 8 and 9 speed bar ends will do friction or index, the 10 speed are index only.
Not true! The Shimano Dura Ace SL-BS78 10-speed bar-end shifters are friction or "SIS".

I'm holding a set in my hand as I send this.

Michael
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Old 01-12-10, 12:39 PM
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I'm a fan of my 9spd bar-ends in friction mode, but I agree with Homeyba; that's just one guy's opinion. On our brevets I see almost every type of shifter out there from downtube to STI, even a Rolhoff and a twist shifter... although I've yet to see anyone with stem-mount shifters at one of our rides.
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Old 01-12-10, 06:06 PM
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Both Riv and Velo Orange have ratcheting shifters. Having a set of ratcheting Suntours on my daily bike, I'd go that route - they're awesome!
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Old 01-13-10, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
Not true! The Shimano Dura Ace SL-BS78 10-speed bar-end shifters are friction or "SIS".

I'm holding a set in my hand as I send this.

Michael
Yes, the BS78 allows for indexed or friction rear shifting; however the more recent 10-sp version (BS79) is indexed rear only.
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Old 01-18-10, 12:06 AM
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I have bar end shifters (9 speed) and they work pretty well! What is the difference between indexed and friction? How do you change it over between the two?
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Old 01-18-10, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by ryandood View Post
I have bar end shifters (9 speed) and they work pretty well! What is the difference between indexed and friction? How do you change it over between the two?
How? Read the directions For some models, it involves turning a d-ring. For others, it's a little more involved.

What's the difference? Friction mode doesn't click and stop at preset points. Good for if you can't get index adjustment working properly for some reason. You can still shift in friction (analog) mode.
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Old 01-18-10, 07:44 PM
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I started out with downtube shifters on my old 1986 Myata 210, and switched to bar end shifters when I converted it for all terrain riding. Trying to shift downtube shifters while bouncing down a dirt road wasn't safe. Having both hands securely holding the bars while shifting was much better.

But when I started doing a lot more road riding again, I found them less pleasant, but that was due to my bike having half-step gearing (http://sheldonbrown.com/gloss_ha-i.html#halfstep). That meant that half of my shifts required shifting both front and rear, which meant shifting one hand down to the drops, doing a shift which put me in a gear I didn't want, then moving the other hand down and doing another shift to get to the gear I really wanted. On a bike with more normal gearing, it wouldn't have been nearly as much of an issue.

About a year ago I bought a "new" bike, a 1988 Myata 610 that had downtube shifters. I converted it to use Campy Ergopower brifters, which are the first brifters I've ever used. Wow. I don't think I'll ever go back to downtube or bar end shifters. It's so nice to just flick my finger or thumb to shift without having to move my hands off the brake hoods. It used to be that if I was in too low of a gear, but a hill was coming up in a hundred meters or so, I'd just stay in the wrong gear because it was too much hassle to shift up, and then shift back down 10 seconds later. Now it's trivial to do the shifts, so I don't end up riding in the wrong gear.

The Campy brifters are nice because A) both cables are routed under the bar tape, so they don't interfere with h-bar bags, and B) they can be repaired if something breaks. I use a J-Tek shift-mate to get the Campy brifters to work with my Shimano derailleurs.

Of course, There is also the issue of going from friction to indexed shifting. The 210 was friction shifting, and the 610 was my first bike with indexed. Before I used indexing, I thought it was just a luxury for people who couldn't be bothered to learn to use a friction shifter. I could shift just fine with my friction shifters, thankyouverymuch. The indexed downtube shifters were a nice improvement from friction, but now I'm really sold on indexing and brifters now. Many hours into a ride, when my arms are tired and my brain is half functional, it's still trivial and effortless to shift.

So that's my experience with different styles of shifters. I'm not the sort of rider who always has to have the latest, most modern gear (I'm happy riding a 22 year old steel frame and using an 8-speed cluster), but my experience says that brifters are worth it. But there are probably plenty of people with more experience than I who have tried brifters and still prefer downtube or bar end shifters. Nothing is right for everyone.

Keith
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Old 01-18-10, 08:44 PM
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I'm fine riding with whatever kind of shifters are there (ok - so I don't like stem shifters, but besides that). Never really gave much thought to difficulties using downtube shifters, or bar ends. Brifters are nice, but they also have their downsides.
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Old 01-19-10, 09:47 AM
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For about a year, I tried riding with 9-speed bar-ends in friction mode (using Rivendell silver ratcheting shifters) but just had too many missed shifts where you'd stand on a hill and the chain clunks down a gear. Main problem was winter riding where your ears are covered up and you can't hear that the chain isn't centered on the gear. In the old days, you could feel when it wasn't centered, on a 5-speed cluster with 5-speed chain. But the newer chains are so flexible that it makes it hard to feel when it isn't centered on the gear, and the spacing on a 9-speed cluster is so tight that if it is the slightest amount off center, then it shifts when you stand. I also had friction shifters that I was using with a 6-speed freewheel on my early 80's Trek, but when I replaced the freewheel with a 7-speed to get wider gearing, I replaced the chain at the same time, and after about a year I got tired of mis-shifts and bought an EBay 7-speed index shifter.

So I think that the "moral" is that for friction shifting to work well, you need to either A) have better skills than I ever developed, which is entirely possible, or B) have the right mix of hardware.

I'm now on down-tube shifters on all my bikes except for the tandem, which doesn't have downtube cable-stops and which uses bar-ends. After reading khearn's post on the glories of brifters, I took a look at whether I could afford brifters for the tandem, but then realized that A) at $400 and up, they're all way above my budget, and B) they all are short-pull, so they won't pull the V-brakes on my tandem without using an adapter. I think I could go back to cantilevers, but dumped them for the supposedly-superior braking of the V-brakes. I'm not entirely convinced that V-brakes are better, since they tend to be "grabby", but it's a pain to go back to cantis.
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Old 01-19-10, 01:48 PM
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the new 7900 are index only
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Old 01-19-10, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by thebulls View Post
After reading khearn's post on the glories of brifters, I took a look at whether I could afford brifters for the tandem, but then realized that A) at $400 and up, they're all way above my budget, and B) they all are short-pull, so they won't pull the V-brakes on my tandem without using an adapter.
I agree that brand new brifters of either brand are too expensive. I paid $450 for the bike (used), I wasn't going to spend almost as much just for the brifters! Fortunately, if you don't need 10 or 11 speeds, there are plenty of people who think they do, and are willing to sell their old 8 or 9 speed castoffs at reasonable prices. I picked up my pair of 8-speed Ergos on Ebay for around $100, including shipping.

I can't help much on the short-pull vs. long-pull issue, though. My bike's got canti's.

Keith
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Old 01-27-10, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
Brifters are nice, but they also have their downsides.
yea, they are expensive
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Old 01-27-10, 11:35 PM
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campy bar ends are index only.
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Old 01-28-10, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
campy bar ends are index only.
I take it you mean new ones. (They started making them over 40 years ago).
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Old 01-28-10, 11:38 PM
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I thought that the OP asked about new ones. but I did forget that campy bar ends were around that long. To think that they were around that long make me feel old since I remember seeming a pair when they first came out.
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Old 01-31-10, 04:14 PM
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Like previous posters I'm a huge fan of bar end shifters, because you save so much money and wind up with a simpler, more reliable system with a very high tolerance for abuse (particularly if you keep them on friction mode). I love that you can disassemble and rebuild DA barcons with a dime. I have never had a problem with 9 speed shimano on friction mode.

Last edited by mander; 01-31-10 at 04:18 PM.
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