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Newbie Bar End Shifting Question (LHT)

Old 03-26-09, 08:10 AM
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Newbie Bar End Shifting Question (LHT)

I recently purchased a Surly LHT Complete (Olive Green). I have never had a bike with bar end shifters.

So, as dumb as it might sound, how does the shifting work? Meaning, will the bar end click or something when changing gears?

For the front chain rings, does the bar end work like . . . all the up for either the small or big ring and vice versa.

When a bar end shifter is up, would that be the easier pedalling gear or vice versa for cog.
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Old 03-26-09, 08:33 AM
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I'm not quite sure why you are asking. Just a few minutes of riding around will answer all your questions.

Some click. Some don't. Some do it either way depending on how you set it.

For the front, all the way up is the big ring and all the way down is the small ring. If you have a middle ring, I'll bet you can guess where the lever is for that.

Pedaling gets easier as the front (usually left) lever is pushed down and as the rear (usually right) lever is pulled up.
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Old 03-26-09, 08:39 AM
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The front shifter will not click. You just move it until the chain shifts and derailleur isn't rubbing on the chain. That type of shifting is called friction shifting. Shifting with the clicks is called index shifting.

The rear shifter is set up for index shifting. You move the lever until it clicks and then the chain shifts up or down one cog. The rear shifter can also be switched to friction shifting as well by turning a little lever on the side. Friction shifting on the rear of a 9 speed drive can be tricky because it doesn't take much lever movement to switch gears.

On my bike, I just use friction shifting on both front and back. Once you get the hang of it, it works fine. The advantage of friction shifting is that you don't have to worry much about adjustments to the shifters.
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Old 03-26-09, 10:42 AM
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How many gears can you shift at once?

Originally Posted by m_yates
The front shifter will not click. You just move it until the chain shifts and derailleur isn't rubbing on the chain. That type of shifting is called friction shifting. Shifting with the clicks is called index shifting.

The rear shifter is set up for index shifting. You move the lever until it clicks and then the chain shifts up or down one cog. The rear shifter can also be switched to friction shifting as well by turning a little lever on the side. Friction shifting on the rear of a 9 speed drive can be tricky because it doesn't take much lever movement to switch gears.

On my bike, I just use friction shifting on both front and back. Once you get the hang of it, it works fine. The advantage of friction shifting is that you don't have to worry much about adjustments to the shifters.
Thanks for the great explanation. Just what I was looking for.

Concerning rear shifting, how many gears can be changed at one time? Meaning, shift one click (index) at a time or can you shift 2, 3, 4, etc at one time?

Concerning front shifting, can you shift from the big ring to the small ring (not that there would be a need for it often) in one motion or would that cause the chain to come off?
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Old 03-26-09, 11:36 AM
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You can shift the rear several clicks at a time, as long as you keep pedaling. The front will probably shift two at a shot, but I`ve never tried to. If you`re curious about it, give it a shot and find out. Just so you know, if you want to change the front from indexed to friction, there`s a little wire bail where the lever pivots. Take a look at it and it has a little arrow that says friction and an arrow that says index. Just rotate the bail a half turn or so in the direction indicated to change from one to the other. It would be a good idea to try it out and get the feel of friction shifting so you know what to expect should you ever need to (if your cables go out of adjustment or the indexing screws up on the road, it`s easier to just switch over than try dinking with it at the time). I don`t have a LHT, but I`ve got Shimano bar end shifters on two other bikes- I love `em!
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Old 03-26-09, 12:42 PM
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You can skip as many gears as you want as long as you're pedaling. I'd advise switching slowly and not super-fast to avoid stressing the chain sideways too much.
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Old 03-26-09, 01:07 PM
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How does one go about removing the bar end shifter? IS it pretty easy to do in the field or at an airport?
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Old 03-26-09, 02:51 PM
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To take it all the way off, you`d need to unwrap the bars. To just turn it lose so it dangles (probably what you need for avaoiding transit damage), is a piece of cake. Just unscrew the little screw that goes through the pivots, pull off the lever and the little barrel thingy, and leave the mount in the bar. That`s for Shimano, anyway- I don`t know about others.
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Old 03-26-09, 02:57 PM
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Cool, thanks!
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Old 03-26-09, 03:27 PM
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My ONLY complaint with the front friction shifter is that sometimes I have to take out an earbud to hear whether or not the chain is rubbing.
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