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Jamis Aurora Mods

Old 10-02-16, 02:08 PM
  #1  
Bearonabike
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Jamis Aurora Mods

I am considering modifications to my Jamis Aurora (2010) touring bike. The bike came with brifters and rim breaks. As much as I would LOVE disc breaks, that is not a possibility and not big enough an issue for me to think about changing out bikes. HOWEVER, I am finding that the brifters are something I enjoy less and less as time goes on. They are complex, so their reliability will not be as great as a simpler design and that also makes them a weak point over time.

In thinking about possibilities, I find bar end shifters and down-tube shifters are the most logical alternatives. Being "old school" I think I will convert over to down tube shifters but the bike has no braze-ons for that purpose. Rather than compromise a well protected metal tube, I would like to find a new version of the traditional strap on shifters. Does anyone know if these are even made today?
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Old 10-02-16, 03:06 PM
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https://www.amazon.com/SunRace-Speed...HKY0XNJF8FZX53

I've been using these for 5 years now. No problems whatsoever. They attach to the stem. It's an ideal location if your bike falls over as much as mine. They won't break.
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Old 10-02-16, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Bearonabike View Post
HOWEVER, I am finding that the brifters are something I enjoy less and less as time goes on. They are complex, so their reliability will not be as great as a simpler design and that also makes them a weak point over time.
Let me understand, are you saying you've experienced unreliability in your brifters or you believe they will be unreliable.

I don't know what you guys are doing with your brifters but I rode the bottom of the range Claris STIs for 8000+ miles and they were as good when I sold the bike as when I bought it.
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Old 10-02-16, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
Let me understand, are you saying you've experienced unreliability in your brifters or you believe they will be unreliable.

I don't know what you guys are doing with your brifters but I rode the bottom of the range Claris STIs for 8000+ miles and they were as good when I sold the bike as when I bought it.
No, what I am saying can be stated a number of ways:

1) Brifters have more to break and I want a simpler design.

OR

2) The Brifter MTBF is higher than the down tube or bar-end shifter MTBF and I want to achieve a higher level of reliability.

Not to mention, I find myself riding down in the drops less and less over time (back issue after a car wreck). At this rate, in a few years the back/neck arthritis will make brifters a real pain.
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Old 10-02-16, 04:04 PM
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I've been using brifters without a single issue since they were invented. To my knowledge, the only way they fail is with user error: the small lever gets pressed inward first, then the big lever gets pushed hard inward. I recall something about Ultegra levers failing in very limited numbers due to a production problem, but this is me repeating what I've read online. I live in the country and don't see many other cyclists and get very little exposure to their repair needs since I don't work as a mechanic anymore.
I wanted to set up a bike with old Camagnolo down tube shifters like I used as a youngster, just for nostalgia, but that bike is getting the brifter upgrade. After 250 miles of testing and trying to reaquaint myself I just can't see going back. Personal preference, of course.
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Old 10-02-16, 04:10 PM
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Got it

Got it. Thanks, but has anyone actually have a brifter fail/break during a ride?

I can see they can be fragile if you drop the bike on it, but how about it just breaking from regular use.

Originally Posted by Bearonabike View Post
No, what I am saying can be stated a number of ways:

1) Brifters have more to break and I want a simpler design.

OR

2) The Brifter MTBF is higher than the down tube or bar-end shifter MTBF and I want to achieve a higher level of reliability.

Not to mention, I find myself riding down in the drops less and less over time (back issue after a car wreck). At this rate, in a few years the back/neck arthritis will make brifters a real pain.
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Old 10-02-16, 04:11 PM
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Mean Time Between Failures should be lower for your argument, as is your position on the bike to shift with bar ends (which can fail) and downtube shifters. Shifters are not going to fix a bike fit problem.
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Old 10-02-16, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by venturi95 View Post
Mean Time Between Failures should be lower for your argument
Oops, you are correct.
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Old 10-02-16, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by venturi95 View Post
Shifters are not going to fix a bike fit problem.
Agreed, but then again, with arthritis you have to keep moving so you can keep moving. I can see where a flat bar on the bike may one day be a necessity.
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Old 10-02-16, 04:43 PM
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Brifters are a racers tool so that one can maintain an optimal race position (aero in-drops) while shifting (and/or braking) and maintain an optimal cadence (thereby power). None of these optimums appeal-to nor interest me while touring.

Personally I prefer:
  • less shifting -- 8-speed or less
  • maintain an upright position -- bar-ends

In answer to your question...You need an old-school frame that properly supports DT shifters
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Old 10-02-16, 05:05 PM
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But your typically on the hoods right?

I must be missing something.

Both STIs and regular brakes have hoods so how do bar end shifters help you maintain a more upright position.

I ride on the hoods, tops or drops and reach for the shifters when needed.

Also you seem to imply that riding with a load doesn't require much shifting. I've actually found the opposite. When carrying even 25 pounds I find I can't power up those short hills as before I need to downshift.

Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
Brifters are a racers tool so that one can maintain an optimal race position (aero in-drops) while shifting (and/or braking) and maintain an optimal cadence (thereby power). None of these optimums appeal-to nor interest me while touring.

Personally I prefer:
  • less shifting -- 8-speed or less
  • maintain an upright position -- bar-ends

In answer to your question...You need an old-school frame that properly supports DT shifters
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Old 10-02-16, 06:14 PM
  #12  
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You didn't quote me so I'll quote myself and clarify

Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
I must be missing something.

Both STIs and regular brakes have hoods so how do bar end shifters help you maintain a more upright position.

I ride on the hoods, tops or drops and reach for the shifters when needed.
I agree: You don't need Brifters.

I said:
Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
Brifters are a racers tool so that one can maintain an optimal race position (aero in-drops) while shifting (and/or braking)

Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
Also you seem to imply that riding with a load doesn't require much shifting. I've actually found the opposite. When carrying even 25 pounds I find I can't power up those short hills as before I need to downshift.

I agree: You're shifting too much SO use less gears to shift less OR EASILY shift two gears at once.

I said:
Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
Personally I prefer:
  • less shifting -- 8-speed or less

Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
reach for the shifters when needed.

I agree:
My rig -- 8-speed with bar-ends.

I said:
Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
Personally I prefer:
  • maintain an upright position -- bar-ends

Last edited by BigAura; 10-02-16 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 10-02-16, 07:45 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
Also you seem to imply that riding with a load doesn't require much shifting. I've actually found the opposite. When carrying even 25 pounds I find I can't power up those short hills as before I need to downshift.
I actually find myself shifting a lot more on gently undulating terrain than I do in the "real" hills. My wife and I have used brifters for a number of trouble free years. I ride on the hoods a lot, and it is so easy to use my ring and little fingers to execute a shift. I don't even have to move anything else.

Ironically, the only problem we've ever had with shifters on a tour, other than getting the dirt out of them after a crash, was with my daughter's bar-end shifters. The first thing she asked when we got home was to put STI shifters on her LHT. She is still thanking me.

I have never found them to be delicate, which can be attested to by their condition after several crashes. Several mishaps were pretty significant. I snug the mounting clamps just enough to feel secure under normal conditions, but able to move in a fall over or a crash. With bar end shifters that is not an option. We have shipped our bikes dozens of times by air ,train, UPS, Fedex, bus, and thrown in the back of trucks without any damage to the shifters. I believe that the greatest potential for damage to bike is while shipping them, not while riding them.

This is my most abused shifter, and it still shifts flawlessly.


If you saw the shifters on our son's CX bike you would never guess the age of them based on their appearance.

It all comes down to personal preference. We still have one daughter who is still using her bar ends.

Last edited by Doug64; 10-03-16 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 10-02-16, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
We still have one daughter who is still using her bar ends.
There's always one in he family! Commies!
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Old 10-02-16, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by venturi95 View Post
To my knowledge, the only way they fail is with user error
Nope, like any moving working part, they can and do wear out. I've worn out 2 right brifters in 20 years. Had friends wear them out as well, normally it seems the right hand goes first but my friend from Little Rock wore out an Ultegra left hand after many many years of use last year and replaced it with Microshift brifters .
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Old 10-02-16, 08:23 PM
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Wow most people seem to want to go TO STI shifters, not away from them.
If reliability is your main concern, you have no need to be concerned.
Seems to me that the issue is that you just plain don't like the STI shifters, or the idea of them.
My Dad has neck arthritis and he does best in the hoods. YMMV, of course.
Downtubes are not really a good option due to no braze-on's for them.
So unless you want to try something friction-only or use a converter for mountain shifters, it's bar-ends or keep what you got.
Bar-ends is a pretty easy swap (and a pretty easy swap-back later).
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Old 10-03-16, 06:32 AM
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Strike against downtube shifters: You have to bend your back to get to them.

idea: you could add stem-shifters to your bike now, and leave the STIs on there. Move your shifting to the stem-shifters for now and see if you like it more. The STIs will still brake just fine and you can decide before pulling them off and replacing them, which is a big headache that could require new bar tape and cables+housing

If I had a back problem and money I'd consider going flat bar or butterfly bar + mtb levers + thumb shifters (paul thumbie mounts), but that is major bike surgery and coud cost over $100

Last edited by Pukeskywalker; 10-03-16 at 06:42 AM.
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Old 10-03-16, 07:03 AM
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I swapped out my bar end shifters for Gevenalle's this past Spring and like them a lot. Never had a problem with bar ends but a new handlebar/stem combination put them on a collision course with the top tube. The convenience of brifters with the simplicity of bar end/down tube shifters. I used their "Audax" model combined with Rivendell Silver friction shifters. Also available with standard Microshift indexed shifters...



Gevenalle
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Old 10-03-16, 07:31 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
Got it. Thanks, but has anyone actually have a brifter fail/break during a ride?

I can see they can be fragile if you drop the bike on it, but how about it just breaking from regular use.
Yeppers, on the road bike. Mid-2000s I had two DA rear shifters wear out from regular use in the period of two seasons. One started failing during the last few days of a week-long supported tour. Fortunately, support was able to keep me on the road and I was able to get it replaced as soon as I got home since I only had a few day's turnaround before I had to leave for another week-long supported tour. After that one went I switched to SRAM.


Sticking with bar ends on the touring bike.


OP: Use what you want for whatever reason you want.
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Old 10-03-16, 07:36 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Bearonabike View Post
In thinking about possibilities, I find bar end shifters and down-tube shifters are the most logical alternatives. Being "old school" I think I will convert over to down tube shifters but the bike has no braze-ons for that purpose. Rather than compromise a well protected metal tube, I would like to find a new version of the traditional strap on shifters. Does anyone know if these are even made today?
Be old school, but with some bar end shifters. Or Gevenalle shifters. Both are just as simple and luddite-esque as down tube shifters, but way more convenient. You mention arthritis...I would think that downtube shifters would be more difficult to sue due to the flexibility needed and constant bending required to shift.


But if you want downtube shifters...https://www.amazon.com/SHIFTER-MOUNT.../dp/B007Q4NKN2
This is an adapter than clamps on. Add whatever shifters you want, and ride away.
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Old 10-03-16, 07:49 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Bearonabike View Post
I am considering modifications to my Jamis Aurora (2010) touring bike. The bike came with brifters and rim breaks. As much as I would LOVE disc breaks, that is not a possibility and not big enough an issue for me to think about changing out bikes. HOWEVER, I am finding that the brifters are something I enjoy less and less as time goes on. They are complex, so their reliability will not be as great as a simpler design and that also makes them a weak point over time.

In thinking about possibilities, I find bar end shifters and down-tube shifters are the most logical alternatives. Being "old school" I think I will convert over to down tube shifters but the bike has no braze-ons for that purpose. Rather than compromise a well protected metal tube, I would like to find a new version of the traditional strap on shifters. Does anyone know if these are even made today?

Before you go to DT shifters, you might give bar ends a try. That way you would not have to use strap on shifters which are okay but might chip the paint and look a little out of place next to the cable stops your bike is equipped with. Bar ends would work perfectly since you've already got cable stops.

I rode with DT shifters for years but now I have bar ends on my Soma Saga. A benefit is you don't have to take your hands off the handlebars and reach so far. The one downside is ocassionally I will hit one with a knee.
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Old 10-04-16, 07:55 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by robert schlatte View Post
Before you go to DT shifters, you might give bar ends a try. That way you would not have to use strap on shifters which are okay but might chip the paint and look a little out of place next to the cable stops your bike is equipped with. Bar ends would work perfectly since you've already got cable stops.

I rode with DT shifters for years but now I have bar ends on my Soma Saga. A benefit is you don't have to take your hands off the handlebars and reach so far. The one downside is ocassionally I will hit one with a knee.
How easy is the shifting action of the end tube shifters compared to STIs?

Also, wouldn't you effectively have to ride one handed when shifting or do you grab the bar end and shift at the same time.
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Old 10-04-16, 09:22 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
Let me understand, are you saying you've experienced unreliability in your brifters or you believe they will be unreliable.

I don't know what you guys are doing with your brifters but I rode the bottom of the range Claris STIs for 8000+ miles and they were as good when I sold the bike as when I bought it.

I'm glad I read this, sometimes I think about using brifters but I, too, balk at the "complexity." Maybe not so complex!
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Old 10-04-16, 09:39 AM
  #24  
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I put most of my International touring miles on a bike with Bar End shifters ..
I can remain gripping the top of the drop bars and just shift with the other hand on the bar end lever ,
Still have both hands on the bars, somewhere, for control..


One thing about Shimano Brifters is You dont repair them just replace them.

Yes as said,
Another mix is Shifters | Product Categories | Gevenalle a mix of simple shift levers on the front of basic brake levers.






'/,

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-04-16 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 10-04-16, 10:20 AM
  #25  
robert schlatte
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
How easy is the shifting action of the end tube shifters compared to STIs?

Also, wouldn't you effectively have to ride one handed when shifting or do you grab the bar end and shift at the same time.
If your hands are on the hoods, you have to move your hand to the end of the drop but your hands are still on the bars when you shift. I find bar ends to be almost as convenient as brifters. When shifting the RD from a smaller cog to larger, I think it is easier. You simply just pull up on the shift lever as opposed to pushing the brake lever sideways. The FD shift lever is way better than brifters in my opinion because it is friction which allows you to micro adjust the trim. I find indexed FD brifters to be clunky and awkward. In my estimation, when touring simplicity wins out every time.
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