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Recumbent What IS that thing?! Recumbents may be odd looking, but they have many advantages over a "wedgie" bicycle. Discuss the in's and out's recumbent lifestyle in the recumbent forum.

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Old 09-04-08, 07:50 AM   #1
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Friction shifting?

I'm a new recumbent rider, but I'm not riding a new recumbent. It's a Counterpoint Presto and it's so old it has Suntour derailleurs with bar end shifters. The rear shifter is supposed to index, but it works better in friction mode, which would normally be fine with me because I generally prefer friction shifting anyway. I always liked Suntour gears.

But on the recumbent, shifting is different. I can see and hear the crank really well, but cannot see the rear derailleur at all, and can only hear it when it's really complaining. And I can't even tell which cog the rear derailleur is on. So now I find I'm shifting the front derailleur a lot more than the rear one.

So, my question is: what derailleur/shifter combination is best for a recumbent? What do you guys use? What do you recommend?


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Old 09-04-08, 09:17 AM   #2
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Ive got a Shimano Deore R/derailler and SRAM Attack twist grip shifters on my HiRacer - like em well enuff
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Old 09-04-08, 09:33 AM   #3
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Got a Shimano XT rd w/ Shimano bar-end shifters on my hi-racer, and Grip-Shifts on my swb. Both work fine. One observation: if your grips are roughly horizontal ("T" handlebar setup), twist shifters work well. For "tweener" bars (like on most US-brand hi-racers), where the grips are more vertical, bar-end shifters work better. Of course, YMMV...

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Old 09-04-08, 12:59 PM   #4
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Both my bents have mid-level SRAM rear deraileurs - one has SRAM trigger shifters and the other has SRAM gripshifters - both mid-level. Both systems work very well.
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Old 09-04-08, 09:36 PM   #5
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I currently have Shimano Rapidfire "trigger" shifters and friction bar-cons on my recumbents. I've used both SRAM and GripShift twist-grip shifters and Shimano indexed bar-cons. So far I haven't built a recumbent around an old Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub, but that may be next month's project.

So far my favorite has been the Shimano indexed bar-cons, with the Rapidfires a close second. The Rapidfire shifters have a gear indicator on the shifter that makes knowing what gear you're in a cinch. (It's also an ego boost when you see that you're in the big chainring and the little cog. I did this in today's time trial- with the wind, though.) Switching to Shimano indexing will probably require replacing the whole drivetrain, so if what you have works, why replace it?
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