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Why bar end shifters?

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Why bar end shifters?

Old 06-10-13, 07:59 AM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
EIGHT SPEEDS? YOU HAVE EIGHT SPEEDS?.... hangs his head in shame as he mounts his ancient bike with a 6 speed rear cluster....

I don't even claim to understand the rush to add more cogs to the rear of a bike, I have ridden 3 speeds for so long that a bike with 8 speeds is a luxury. FWIW my first transcontinental tour in 1977 was on a 10 speed, I did swap out the front chain rings to drop the overall gearing a bit. Sucked going across Kansas with a tailwind though, I was spinning out at 22mph.

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Ha ha.

I was telling a friend that if you really want to go cheap, get 8 speed.
I see 8 speed chains on the Internet for $10 and MTB cassettes for $15.
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Old 06-10-13, 12:09 PM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by GeoKrpan View Post
Ha ha.

I was telling a friend that if you really want to go cheap, get 8 speed.
I see 8 speed chains on the Internet for $10 and MTB cassettes for $15.
I have a couple of three speed Raleigh bikes, chains are ~$3-$4 rear cogs ~$4, chains last 10,000 miles cogs can go 25,000. Something to be said for an IGH driveline.

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Old 06-10-13, 04:29 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
I have a couple of three speed Raleigh bikes, chains are ~$3-$4 rear cogs ~$4, chains last 10,000 miles cogs can go 25,000. Something to be said for an IGH driveline.

Aaron
I don't have any IGHs but I do have an SS. Never saw a chain for $3-4 tho.
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Old 06-11-13, 04:40 AM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by GeoKrpan View Post
I don't have any IGHs but I do have an SS. Never saw a chain for $3-4 tho.
Walmart, Niagara Cycles, local Ace Hardware...

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Old 06-11-13, 05:59 AM
  #80  
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$3-4 chains are now $6-8 from what I've seen.
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Old 06-11-13, 06:55 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by GeoKrpan View Post
Ha ha.

I was telling a friend that if you really want to go cheap, get 8 speed.
I see 8 speed chains on the Internet for $10 and MTB cassettes for $15.
the nice thing with barcons is you can run 5,6,7,8,9, and 10 speed drivetrains all from the same shifter.

and, they are tough, easy to service, easy to see, and you can run the cable routing any number of ways to get around a bar bag.

I'm currently running a lot of my barcons with cables up as shown, this allows most any handlebar bag mount without cable interference while preserving smooth cable runs and velvety shifting.
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Old 06-11-13, 09:46 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
the nice thing with barcons is you can run 5,6,7,8,9, and 10 speed drivetrains all from the same shifter.

.
I have never run more than nine speed with bar ends, but do swap out wheelsets, freewheels and cassettes often enough to really appreciate the ability to just set some limit screws after the swap and forget it.
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Old 06-11-13, 04:32 PM
  #83  
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Really? I've never heard of someone trashing "brifters" (hate that term) by just dropping a bike. On the other hand, I did break a bar-end shifter once when the bike just fell over. However, I'm now running Suntour friction downtube shifters on my bike and loving it. I have a pair of used ultegra STI on my workbench waiting to put on and just can't think of a reason to do it.

Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Brifters are uber expensive and relatively easy to trash if you drop the bike; bar end shifters are cheaper and can more readily survive a fall. Indexing over a triple can be problematic; a friction option is a plus with a triple.
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Old 06-11-13, 05:04 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by kesroberts View Post
Really? I've never heard of someone trashing "brifters" (hate that term) by just dropping a bike.
Me neither. I have seen them crashed pretty hard with only cosmetic damage. I won't name names, but I also know of someone who drove two bikes on the roof rack into a garage and then repeated the trick into an overhanging carport a few weeks later. Both times the brifters were slammed really hard, both times cosmetic damage only. I think their susceptibility to damage is mostly theoretical.

To be fair I have never seen anyone break a brifter in a crash either.
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Old 06-11-13, 05:36 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Me neither. I have seen them crashed pretty hard with only cosmetic damage. I won't name names, but I also know of someone who drove two bikes on the roof rack into a garage and then repeated the trick into an overhanging carport a few weeks later. Both times the brifters were slammed really hard, both times cosmetic damage only. I think their susceptibility to damage is mostly theoretical.

To be fair I have never seen anyone break a brifter in a crash either.
They are a lot more complicated inside and if Shimano and if it fails, it's an expensive fix as there aren't many things to do except replace. So in that respect bar-cons can be more reliable as they can run in friction.

But bottom line there's nothing wrong with using either in about any application.
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Old 06-11-13, 07:45 PM
  #86  
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if you distill shifters down to their functional elements, a barcon is far more true to the ideal than the brifter.
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Old 06-11-13, 08:55 PM
  #87  
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And if you distil cycling down to its functional element, there is no need for any more gears than one.
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Old 06-11-13, 09:26 PM
  #88  
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Author and adventure cyclist Dervla Murphy simplified her bike to 1 speed ,
as mentioned in her book Full Tilt, about the trip from Ireland to India..

she went via the traditional trade route thru Afghanistan ..
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Old 06-12-13, 01:23 AM
  #89  
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In my experience, most of the brifter damage I have encountered tended to be internal rather than due to external forces, like a crash. Usually, something in the shifting mechanism lets go under extreme load or torque...what part wouldn't under those circumstances?

Bar Cons, on the other hand, have less moving parts than a brifter but are much more exposed so they're more susceptible to being bent or possibly broken in a crash.

Three of my bikes have Bar Cons, and one has old school 600 Tri Color brifters. The brifter equipped bike still shifts nice and crisp, but I do have a set of Bar Cons in reserve should the brifters go south.

Honestly... it comes down to personal preference; shifting performance, durability, the 'look', etc.
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Old 06-12-13, 08:05 AM
  #90  
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When my 105 STI shifters permanently jammed at maybe 25,000 k, I decided to switch to bar-cons, but mounted on the bar-top next to my cross brake levers on Paul Thumbies. It was really nice having the brakes and shifters together but independent. Having brakes and shifter both on the bar top is especially nice on long steep descents and riding single track. As I remember, the price for the Dura Ace barcons, Thumbies and Dura Ace brake levers was pretty close to the replacement price for STI shifters, but well worth it.

I wouldnít go back to STI, but I have gone forward. It dawned on me that my solo touring is mostly a very long time trial - albeit a very slow speed TT. I clipped on a set of aero-bars and have seen a 2 kph increase in speed at no increase in output. The problem was the Thumbie position was difficult to use with the aero bars (I have the flip up kind of arm supports.). I have found that to ride in the aero position requires a lot of shifting to keep rpms up and with triple chain rings and 11/34 cassette it takes a lot of shifting and double shifting to keep spinning. I positioned the BC shifters at the ends of the aero-bars, TT style. Of course this is ideal when I am in the aero position. The rest of the time it is about as inconvenient as down tube shifting or with the shifters mounted on the ends of the drop bars. The most challenging situation is going to be on really steep single track where one needs to keep all oneís weight back but having to reach forward to shift. One possible solution would be to mount the sifters on the inboard end of the aero-bars or devising a system to easily switch shifter location fore or aft on the aero-bars depending on the days ride. (I havenít tried them inboard yet.) For now itís Fabian Cancellara with panniers.
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Old 06-12-13, 05:00 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
$3-4 chains are now $6-8 from what I've seen.

Niagara Cycles $4.11 Last ones I bought were $3.58. I usually put a big order in for a bunch of small stuff and get free shipping. Haven't been in WM in a while so no clue what theirs are going for these days, probably 500% markup as usual.

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Old 06-12-13, 05:20 PM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
They are a lot more complicated inside and if Shimano and if it fails, it's an expensive fix as there aren't many things to do except replace. So in that respect bar-cons can be more reliable as they can run in friction.

But bottom line there's nothing wrong with using either in about any application.
I won't disagree, but will mention that in the relatively unlikely event of a busted brifter there a simple fix to get through the rest of the tour. Just pick up a down tube or bar end shifter to finish the trip. If going really remote or if really paranoid just carry a spare down tube shifter.
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Old 06-12-13, 06:09 PM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I won't disagree, but will mention that in the relatively unlikely event of a busted brifter there a simple fix to get through the rest of the tour. Just pick up a down tube or bar end shifter to finish the trip. If going really remote or if really paranoid just carry a spare down tube shifter.
Carrying a set of bar-cons is probably cheap insurance, though if I owned a set, I'd probably just install them prior to the tour.
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Old 06-12-13, 06:33 PM
  #94  
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I thought about taking a set of bar-end shifters with me on our recent travels, but despite loading and unloading from trains, planes and automobiles a LOT, and riding in all sorts of conditions, I wouldn't have needed them anyway... the Ultegras performed flawlessly on both bikes.

One very real and distinct advantage for me with STIs is being able to shift when standing to pedal. Plus I can shift and brake at the same time when coming up to traffic lights or junctions or simply to a stop.
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Old 06-13-13, 06:38 AM
  #95  
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Spare barcons would work if you like them, but if I were to carry spare shifters (I never have), they would be down tube shifters if the bike accepted them. Especially since I'd likely never use them they might as well be as light as possible. Also I actually prefer them.
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Old 06-13-13, 06:55 AM
  #96  
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I had the bar-ends already. The bikes had downtube braze-ons, too, but in this case it would have been easier to use the bar-ends. IF I had taken them, and IF I had had trouble with the STIs, which I did not.

I also agree, that downtube shifters are nice to use. I had a Merida 900 with them.
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Old 06-13-13, 08:13 AM
  #97  
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I had a crash with integrated shifters and the shift cable and housing were ground completely off the shifter. It didn't ruin the shifter tho.
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Old 06-13-13, 08:24 AM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I won't disagree, but will mention that in the relatively unlikely event of a busted brifter there a simple fix to get through the rest of the tour. Just pick up a down tube or bar end shifter to finish the trip. If going really remote or if really paranoid just carry a spare down tube shifter.
It's funny you mention the spare DT shifter... on a tour down the West Coast back in the 80's, I leaned my bike up against a picnic table. The bike shifted slightly on the edge of the table and fell against the bench of the table, making contact right at the RH down tube shifter and breaking it off its clamp on mount; I ended up having to wrap the cable around the top tube to keep the rear DR in trim!

It was a good thing we were about 15 miles from our last stop of the day; I went to the LBS and scored a replacement set of SunTour Power Ratchet shifters, and installed them after dinner that evening.

You never know what's going to happen on the road...
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Old 06-13-13, 08:29 AM
  #99  
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Jig-a-loo

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jig-A-Loo

I use this stuff to spray into the innards of my trigger shifters, and have used sparingly (at beginning or end of season) to spray into the innards of my Tiagra brifters. Its not a gummy sort of lube, and I figure it helps keeps things from getting sticky over time (even if I dont ride in dusty muddy conditions)

This stuff helped immensely with my very old Manitou forks on my mtn bike, they were always very stiff and grabby, and decided against taking them apart, but tried spraying some of this on the stanchion tubes (after wiping everything down well to remove dirt) and the slippiness of this stuff took away the grabbiness of the forks. I do it once in a while and it works great.

Initially saw this stuff being used by someone else to help sliding windows slide in their tracks (simple back deck windows) and it was amazing how it helped, so I figured it would be good for internals of shifters. Have used it on my trigger shifters for years, and these are 15 yr old shifters, with no ill effects.
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Old 06-13-13, 11:07 AM
  #100  
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I was actually a little surprised to come back to touring in the 2000s and find that the basic ride was the same as when I was touring in the 70s. Cash wise though, they can deliver that bike at a price point that is more what cheap tourists will pay than they could if they had to add brifters to the bike. I actually bought a bike that included brifters in the base price but had them switched out for bar ends and a Brooks saddle.

My LBS in Toronto has rack after rack of 3-4K MTBs, I don't know who rides them around here as I never see them on the road. If tourist wanted to spend that kind of money I think the solutions would look a little different.

One of the places that I do prefer bar ends is when grinding up a hill at speeds so slow the bike is about to fall over, with a soft shoulder to one side trucks to the other. I prefer the control of being able to keep my hands on the bars. I don't so much like having them that low, but I usually just have the one hand there.

Basically the more frantically you can shift gears the better. The more gears the companies shove onto bikes the more we need an efficient way to get through them. That said, one does not on normal terrain need to shift as much touring as in racing, offroad or traffic. I have ridden the whole afternoon in very nearly one gear while touring, that just never happens in those other uses.

Most of the negatives of brifters can be solved with deep enough pockets, and not all tourists are using their allowances to pay for their rides. For people who are willing to spend the same amount on their touring bikes as other catagories of riders are on theirs, most of the negatives of brifters can be dealt with, and they have positives. But there remains the fact that they are complex, excessive, and not in fact designed for our use, so some compromise is still there. And that makes the financial arguments decisive for most people.
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