Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

STI or barend shifters?

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

STI or barend shifters?

Old 06-23-08, 08:42 AM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
STI or barend shifters?

I'd like to get into touring, likely in the mountains. I'm considering the LHT. Realistically the bike will see more commuting then a few yearly tours. I'm interested in touring the western US, though in the future I just might be interested in more remote areas. Living in Colorado even my commute is hilly. I love STIs on my road bike. I shift often adjusting for hills and such. I'm wondering if I should go with STIs or barend shifters. I've read that barends are more suitable to road side repair.

Thanks,

Marc
mcdelroy is offline  
Old 06-23-08, 08:51 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
O-Town's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Saint Pete
Posts: 253

Bikes: Seven Axiom Steel, Surly LHT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you love STI on your road bike you will like them on your touring rig just as much. If your going to commute on it you might like them more.

Just a thought but...My road bike has Ultegra STI and my LHT has Tiagra STI. The Tiagra is not as smooth as the Ultegra but they have been very durable for me. Oh and, my LHT is fantastic for my 46mile (round trip) commute.
O-Town is offline  
Old 06-23-08, 09:15 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,275
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 158 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
sti
antokelly is offline  
Old 06-23-08, 09:18 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 11,888
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1257 Post(s)
Liked 768 Times in 568 Posts
I love STI on my touring bike.
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 06-23-08, 09:23 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1,435

Bikes: IF steel deluxe 29er tourer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
+1 on STI. Why struggle to shift when you don't have to? STI are sufficiently reliable when you regularly tune your drivetrain.
Cyclesafe is offline  
Old 06-23-08, 09:26 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 177
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
STI hands down
Muttsta is offline  
Old 06-23-08, 09:31 AM
  #7  
Professional Fuss-Budget
 
Bacciagalupe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 6,494
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked 24 Times in 14 Posts
I think you'd be fine with STI's, especially if that's what you prefer. Easy, familiar, no worries about accidentally shifting with your knees.

I happen to like bar-ends, as it gives me the option to use friction if there's a problem or the indexing goes out, and I don't happen to feel like fixing it right then and there. It's also more robust, less expensive, and easier to repair in general.

With STI, if something breaks in the brifter you'll have to replace the whole thing. Also, a stock STI setup won't work with large handlebar bags. Small ones are usually ok though.
Bacciagalupe is offline  
Old 06-23-08, 09:37 AM
  #8  
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 5,115
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Bar-ends are more easily repaired or frankensteined together with found parts. STI is fine too. Real out there touring, which in N.A. doesn't require a plane ticket, is biased a little more towards reliable gear.

It sounds great online to talk about rapid fire shifting. But I can ride hours without a single stop on tour, sometimes with hardly a shift. Compared to comuting that's a totally different deal. Meanwhile break downs you can't fix really get your attention on the road. After a while out there, having acquired a totally different set of legs, I would guess you will be willing to sacrifice just about any modern convenience for a realiable experience. That's why some people prefer to spend their tech dollar on something like the Rohloff gearhub. No brake lever shifters there, no 30 gears. But what's there, is probably going to hold up through thick and thin.

I think STI is reliable, racers want reliable gear and they work it hard. The average vaccation tourer can take a risk in whatever direction. I guarantee you though, if it ever fails you, you will be an immediate convert to some kind of back to basics system. Partly because it is such a pain to be sidelined, and also because half the fun of touring gearheadism is to have an experience and adapt gear as a result of it. Until then you can decide whether you prefer the pose of advanced techno gearhead, or old person of the mountain fundamentalism. I remember when the old stuff was new, so I can have the feel of both on my ride.
NoReg is offline  
Old 06-23-08, 09:47 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
smurf hunter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 622

Bikes: 2006 LeMond Croix de Fer, 2005 Kona Dew Deluxe

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm currently re-building my Kona Dew Deluxe to use Midge drop bars and ultegra bar ends. I should have this done in a few days, expect a photo thread.

Anyhow, reasons I chose bar ends:

1) It was far cheaper to get separate aero brake hood/levers and barends than any sort of STI. New Ultegra/D.A. 8spd shifters include cables and housing as well (saved me $10 or less at the LBS).

2) The bike was stock w/ MTB drive train parts, so I couldn't use STI on front. Luckily the rear indexing is promised to jive perfectly between road and MTB derailers.

3) The bike has mech. disc brakes, so I needed long pull V-brake compatible levers. The $20 Tektro RL520 are perfect for this. STI brake levers require a ~$20 travel agent gizmo.

4) This is a heavy bike anyhow, with a big gear range. I'm unlikely to accelerate enough to need STI quickness. My front gearing is 46/36/26, which matches the steep terrain and heavy loads I take.

5) I commute year round and this bike gets som abuse. The ability to switch into old fashioned friction mode may be handy when it's pouring cold rain after dark and I don't feel like adjusting my derailer on the road side.
smurf hunter is offline  
Old 06-23-08, 10:30 AM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 11,888
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1257 Post(s)
Liked 768 Times in 568 Posts
Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
Also, a stock STI setup won't work with large handlebar bags. Small ones are usually ok though.
I have read this quite a few times, but my experience has been different. The Nashbar Elite Handlebar Bag is large by my definition at 420 cu. in. and I have mounted one on two different STI equipped bikes. That was with standard width bars and no special changes. Just shove the cables down and to the side. The cables wind up with a sharper than normal bend, but I have not found that to be a problem. The bike still shifts fine.

The bag would be a problem by being in the way of my hands before I would worry about it being an issue with STI.

I wonder if folks are just bashful about shoving the cables out of the way or if something else is different about their bikes or handlebar bags.
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 06-23-08, 10:38 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 11,888
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1257 Post(s)
Liked 768 Times in 568 Posts
Originally Posted by smurf hunter
2) The bike was stock w/ MTB drive train parts, so I couldn't use STI on front. Luckily the rear indexing is promised to jive perfectly between road and MTB derailers.
Good points except I disagree with #2. Most STI equipped touring bikes use Tiagra brifters with MTB rear dérailleurs and cassettes. They work fine together. The Tiagra Brifters also work fine with MTB cranksets.

Edit:
I see that I misread and that you knew it would work on the rear. I have found that they work fine on the front with the same chain ring sizes you mentioned.

Last edited by staehpj1; 06-23-08 at 10:44 AM.
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 06-23-08, 10:47 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Downtube shifters. Yeah, baby.

I went from Dura-Ace barends on my Trek 520 to Rivendell Silver downtube shifters. I dig the reduction in cabling on the front of the bike; I can get more creative with what I cram up front on the rack/handlebar bag. Shifting is more crisp too, with that much less length of cabling/housing to pull.

I don't like indexed shifting, so barend/downtube/thumb shifters for this guy.
FKMTB07 is offline  
Old 06-23-08, 11:00 AM
  #13  
Professional Fuss-Budget
 
Bacciagalupe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 6,494
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked 24 Times in 14 Posts
Originally Posted by staehpj1
I have read this quite a few times, but my experience has been different... I wonder if folks are just bashful about shoving the cables out of the way or if something else is different about their bikes or handlebar bags.
Well.... The last person I saw who had STI's and "shoved their cables out of the way" actually broke their shifter cable. And yes, it was definitely the bag. So, I'm gonna stand by my statement.

I believe you can get some kind of special end that bends more for the shifters, although I assume that too much bending will degrade the shifting a little bit.
Bacciagalupe is offline  
Old 06-23-08, 11:08 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: England
Posts: 12,948
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
The main problem solved by friction-mode is using any available replacement derailleur rather then the x-speed you need for indexing. I solve that by carrying a cheap, light plastic rear downtube lever that fits onto my downtube shifter bosses.
MichaelW is offline  
Old 06-23-08, 12:43 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Manhattan KS
Posts: 431

Bikes: 2001 Giant OCR w/105-10spd, Schwinn High-Plains Built for Commute plus 3 Others in Various Stages of Rebuild/Repair

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by staehpj1
Good points except I disagree with #2. Most STI equipped touring bikes use Tiagra brifters with MTB rear dérailleurs and cassettes. They work fine together. The Tiagra Brifters also work fine with MTB cranksets.
I personally use ultegra 9spd on my LHT and it works just fine.

Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
I believe you can get some kind of special end that bends more for the shifters, although I assume that too much bending will degrade the shifting a little bit.
Depends on how you do it, the degradation is generally quite minor if done correctly. My system uses a pair of metal noodles off of v-brake calipers to point the cable down when it leaves the shifter, I'll post a couple pictures when I get the chance.

The other option (which I intend to try out before my first long tour next summer) is to use nokon segmented cable housing to bend the cable back around and under the bar ala erik zable (see https://velonews.com/article/6575)
Halthane is offline  
Old 06-23-08, 02:49 PM
  #16  
deleteme
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: PNW lifer
Posts: 582

Bikes: deleteme

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Handlebar bags + STI = bad

I use Ergo on my bling and cross bikes (26 wheels + dropbars) but when it comes to touring it's all about the downtube friction.

I've never tried bar end so I can't comment.
escii_35 is offline  
Old 06-23-08, 03:27 PM
  #17  
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 27,443

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, a black and orange one, and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 153 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6262 Post(s)
Liked 4,285 Times in 2,402 Posts
Originally Posted by escii_35
Handlebar bags + STI = bad
Not necessarily. It's easy to move the cables out of the way by using a v-brake noodle. Doesn't have an negative effects on shifting either.





__________________
Stuart Black
Plan Epsilon Around Lake Michigan in the era of Covid
Old School…When It Wasn’t Ancient bikepacking
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!



cyccommute is offline  
Old 06-23-08, 03:28 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 11,888
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1257 Post(s)
Liked 768 Times in 568 Posts
Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
Well.... The last person I saw who had STI's and "shoved their cables out of the way" actually broke their shifter cable. And yes, it was definitely the bag. So, I'm gonna stand by my statement.

I believe you can get some kind of special end that bends more for the shifters, although I assume that too much bending will degrade the shifting a little bit.
Different strokes... I rode all the way across the country on the Trans America and put in lots of miles around home with absolutely no problems. Undoubtedly a tighter bend has some effect on the shifting, but it wasn't enough that I noticed it.
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 06-23-08, 06:34 PM
  #19  
Its only pain
 
dannwilliams's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Hammond, WI
Posts: 930

Bikes: '18 Salsa Marrakesh, '14 Salsa Colossal, '89 GT Timberline

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by staehpj1
I have read this quite a few times, but my experience has been different. The Nashbar Elite Handlebar Bag is large by my definition at 420 cu. in. and I have mounted one on two different STI equipped bikes. That was with standard width bars and no special changes. Just shove the cables down and to the side. The cables wind up with a sharper than normal bend, but I have not found that to be a problem. The bike still shifts fine.

The bag would be a problem by being in the way of my hands before I would worry about it being an issue with STI.

I wonder if folks are just bashful about shoving the cables out of the way or if something else is different about their bikes or handlebar bags.
On my Kona Sutra, with mech disc brakes and sti, I cannot upshift three gears with the large Topeak bag on as I can when it is not on. It will only go up two gears. Not a BIG deal, but when used to being able to go up three and only getting two....
dannwilliams is offline  
Old 06-23-08, 07:08 PM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Montréal, QC (Canada)
Posts: 409

Bikes: 2008 Surly LHT complete & 1988-ish fuglyfixed Specialized RockHopper

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I love my DA barends. I love the way they CLICK.
jpmartineau is offline  
Old 06-23-08, 09:10 PM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Reno, NV
Posts: 839
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 120 Post(s)
Liked 43 Times in 35 Posts
Originally Posted by FKMTB07
Downtube shifters. Yeah, baby.
I went from Dura-Ace barends on my Trek 520 to Rivendell Silver downtube shifters. I dig the reduction in cabling on the front of the bike; I can get more creative with what I cram up front on the rack/handlebar bag. Shifting is more crisp too, with that much less length of cabling/housing to pull.
I agree. The less cable housing the better. Not a big fan of bar-ends. My order for touring would go:
1) downtube
2) bar ends with Paul Thumbies
3) STI
4) bar ends
niknak is offline  
Old 06-24-08, 05:20 AM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
onbike 1939's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Fife Scotland
Posts: 2,053

Bikes: Airnimal Chameleon; Ellis Briggs; Moulton TSR27 Moulton Esprit

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3291 Post(s)
Liked 827 Times in 583 Posts
If you are using a Ortlieb bar-bag then it's possible to buy an extension to the fixing plate which solves the problems of STIs by moving the bag forward.
onbike 1939 is offline  
Old 06-24-08, 09:27 AM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
smurf hunter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 622

Bikes: 2006 LeMond Croix de Fer, 2005 Kona Dew Deluxe

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
On the topic of Shimano barends, has anyone else found that the included cable and housing seems a tad short?

I actually did not cut ANY housing. The rear der housing was just long enough and the housing from the shifter had to exit the tape just before the first bend in my drops. I suppose my Kona Dew has some MTB geometries, but thought it odd these just barely worked with my frame and handlebars.
smurf hunter is offline  
Old 06-24-08, 10:59 AM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 177
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I used an Arkel Small Handlebag bag and had absolutely no problems with my shift cables interfering
Muttsta is offline  
Old 06-24-08, 12:51 PM
  #25  
dbg
Si Senior
 
dbg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Naperville, Illinois
Posts: 2,669

Bikes: Too Numerous (not)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 10 Times in 8 Posts
So if field repairs is the issue... (I love my ultegra brifters) I carry a spare downtube lever set. If the brifters ever fail I can always shorten the cables and run with downtube levers until I can get replacements. Problem solved!
dbg is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.