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Old 06-05-14, 08:21 PM   #1
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Does derailleur quality effect shifting feel with bar end shifters?

Looking at getting a road bike. With my gimpy carpal tunnel wrists, and some test rides, I've figured out that I can use either bar end shifters or campy. And campy probably isn't in the budget!

So now I'm wondering-with bar ends, does having nicer deraileurs give better shifting feel?

I only found one bike(novara randonee) to try with bar end shifters, so I didn't get any first hand experience. I figure the people here will have the most experience with bar end shifters, so that's why I'm here...

Along the same line of questioning, do sram vs shimano vs whoever else have a different feel to them?

Minimal effort is preferred, but a bit more force is preferable to huge throws for my wrists-it's the wide arc on brifters that I didn't like.

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Old 06-05-14, 08:38 PM   #2
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Sullalto, My experience is that premium compressionless cable housing and drawn stainless steel cables make the most noticeable improvements.

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Old 06-05-14, 08:41 PM   #3
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I never noticed a difference on various setups. There are really only three fundamental things that matter on a rear derailleur... the pulleys which have more to do with overall drivetrain efficiency, the springs (weaker springs can be problematic with narrower cassettes, and it would be the same using an indexed bar-end as it would be using a Campy Ergo, although a friction setup would give you more control over how much pressure is applied per shift), and then there's the geometry (so shifters need to match RD for indexed gears, again moot with friction).

So no, I don't think it's really a matter of derailleur quality with modern derailleurs, just a matter of derailleurs matching the shift mechanism. Things just need to be matched up correctly, unless you are in friction mode.

Personally, I run a pair of Campagnolo Athena 11 speed shifters that I got on sale on Amazon for $100 a few months ago... they work great with a Shimano LX RD and Shimano 9 speed drive train. You can get 10speed Veloce shifters if you order from Ribble for right around $100 and those will work great with Shimano 8 (or with Shimano 9, with an alternative cable routing style that is commonly referred to as "hub bub cable routing."

*edit to add* agree with brad, good cables are key as well as properly run cable, especially with 10 and 11 speeds.
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Old 06-06-14, 08:20 AM   #4
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IDK your desire for feel .. guy just left the LBS headed down the coast .. Touring,, Di2 electronics on a Ti road bike ..
bar end shifter... buttons ..

I have old stuff 80's discontinued Campag MTB derailleurs and 30 year old sun tour friction bar ends..

Shifting done in sensible reading of the terrain , things go well when not Forced ..

some people are wanting mechanical shifters to act instantly .. in the middle of a hillclimb,

Since index stuff is all klick lever in front, and action on the other end , the way the cables and housing react, in between, is important ..
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Old 06-06-14, 08:45 PM   #5
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SRAM bar end shifters are not gimpy wrist friendly when used on drop bars. They are actually intended to be mounted forward on a TT/Tri kind of a bike. Mounted rear facing on drop bars they require more effort than Shimano or Microshift bar ends. As mentioned above Campy brifters can actually be reasonably inexpensive and there are scenarios where they can be used with Shimano rear derailleurs. Depending on what range of motion aggravates your CTS you may find Retrosift better or worse in your situation.
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