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    • CommentAuthorpolitburo
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2010 edited
     
    Hi all.

    I am trying to make an informed choice as to what shifters to put on my Gitane. I have all these shifters in my possession and could swap out relatively readily. The bike is getting back from getting a powdercoat tonight, and a new crank is on its way, so before I completely rebuild it, I want to consider the choices and weigh pros/cons.

    option 1: shimano sti 8 speed. I was using these with the bike in the 'proof of concept' stage (ie, after i built it to make sure i liked it and before i tore it apart again for a powdercoat) and I was pretty happy with them. The convenience of all the controls at your fingertips is a pretty good combo.

    Cons of this approach - not very vintage-y looking, and the reach is a little too long. The reach situation will hopefully be remedied by a new set of bars that I am picking up tonight, and a shorter stem coming from France within the next 2 weeks. Fucking goofy french sizes.

    option 2: suntour stem shifters. Left is friction, right is micro indexed. Pros: I'd be able to use dia-compe vintage levers with this set up, for a nice old school look. Cons: the shifters are pretty big and clunky looking, and I dont like the idea of having two dull knives aimed directly at my crotch.

    option 3: downtube mounted shifters. I have some very nice NOS shimano shifters that have never been mounted before. Pros: same as above - vitange brake levers, old school look. Cons: I do a lot of city riding and commuting, and I dont know how comfortable I will be with reaching down to the shifters when I need to shift, and I tend to use my gears quite a bit.


    I have never used downtube shifters before, and I admit that I am a little scared of not being able to control everything with my hands out on the bars. Both downtube and stem shifters I think are not optimal in this sense; but I am saying this having never used anything but handlebar mounted shifters.


    I know that bar end shifters are an option, but at this point I would just like to stop spending money and go with an available option. Perhaps this is something to try in the future.

    So - what are your thoughts, experiences, advice with using stem or downtube shifters? Take the responsibility of decision out of my [email protected]#
    • CommentAuthorbobdol3
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2010
     
    Downtube shifters aren't that hard to get used to, but since you are doing city riding and commuting, i would kinda suggest going with brifters. IMO downtube shifters look much more better though=)
  1.  
    Yeah, I'm with the erectily dysfunctional there. The STIs are going to keep your eyes on the road better.

    I love me some barcons (see Tyger Tyger and Jet Jaguar for pics thereof), but I can appreciate not wanting to spend more money on a project. You should know, though, that Rivendell makes shifter pods that you can mount downtube shifters to — they're knockoffs of the Dura Ace ones.



    They're not as attractive as the genuine Dura Ace ones, but a little steel wool will put a nice finish on them.

    http://www.rivbike.com/products/show/bar-end-shifter-pods-mounts-pair/17-068
    • CommentAuthorlatron
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2010
     
    For retro + greater proximity to your hands, there are always vintage Suntour barcons:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4177536175/#/photos/[email protected]/4177536175/

    They're easily found and micro-ratcheting (kind of retro-friction) left and right -- work pretty well.
    • CommentAuthorpolitburo
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2010 edited
     
    Posted By: Joshua A.C. NewmanYeah, I'm with the erectily dysfunctional there. The STIs are going to keep your eyes on the road better.

    I love me some barcons (see Tyger Tyger and Jet Jaguar for pics thereof), but I can appreciate not wanting to spend more money on a project. You should know, though, that Rivendell makes shifter pods that you can mount downtube shifters to — they're knockoffs of the Dura Ace ones.



    They're not as attractive as the genuine Dura Ace ones, but a little steel wool will put a nice finish on them.

    http://www.rivbike.com/products/show/bar-end-shifter-pods-mounts-pair/17-068



    Man, that would be the magic solution here, but they are out of stock.

    I have to wonder though, if modern bar end shifters will work with a french handlebar. I'm not sure what the size is at the ends, I'll have to measure it.

    Also, to use these, do you have to drill holes into to the handlebars to feed the wire through, or how would that work?
    • CommentAuthoreaglerock
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2010
     
    Posted By: Joshua A.C. NewmanYou should know, though, that Rivendell makes shifter pods that you can mount downtube shifters to — they're knockoffs of the Dura Ace ones.

    The downside of the Rivendell widgets is that they don't work with everything. In the old days, a lot of braze-on shifter levers used brand-specific/model-specific washers to place the shifters correctly, and (according to Rivendell) most of those shifters aren't adaptable to the Riv pods. Their recommendations are Campagnolo/Suntour DTs, and some Shimano stuff can be used with a special washer that they also sell. I've been wondering if it's possible to attach Simplex Retrofriction DT shifters (the ones with the loopy levers) to the Riv pods, but I've hesitated to spend all that money to find out.

    And Rivendell are retro-fascists: They say the pods can only be used for friction levers, not for indexed; it's hard to know whether they say that because they've tried and failed to adapt indexed levers, or whether they haven't tried because Indexing Is Bad. I'd really like to hear/read a report of someone adapting indexed DT shifters to these pods, just to see if it's feasible.

    Generally, I agree with JACN: I also like barcons, which give me the ability to shift without taking my hands off the bars. I use a lot of half-step gearing, which means a lot of double-shifting (shifting both derailleurs almost at once) to find the optimum close-ratio gear. I'm a little scared to attempt that with downtube shifters: Either you shift two levers with one hand (reaching across your downtube); or you use both hands, taking your hands off the bar entirely. But that scenario is much less likely to come up with standard road chainrings (39/53, 42/52).
    • CommentAuthorlatron
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2010
     
    Posted By: eaglerockyou shift two levers with one hand

    Not that tough, actually, and kind of fun, at least with a double front. You just move left lever all the way up or down (thumb) while nudging the right lever one notch either way (fingers). A triple front would complicate things, however.
  2.  
    Posted By: politburoMan, that would be the magic solution here, but they are out of stock.


    Crap!


    Posted By: eaglerockAnd Rivendell are retro-fascists: They say the pods can only be used for friction levers, not for indexed; it's hard to know whether they say that because they've tried and failed to adapt indexed levers, or whether they haven't tried because Indexing Is Bad. I'd really like to hear/read a report of someone adapting indexed DT shifters to these pods, just to see if it's feasible.


    They work fine for me on with my 7s SIS.
    • CommentAuthorpolitburo
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2010
     
    I just talked to Rivendell, the pods will be back in stock later this month. In the mean time, the nice gentleman on the phone offered to sell me his shimano adapters. They need a 19mm opening, so assuming my dumb french handlebars have the same size ends, I think I've found my solution, in a much more elegant way than any of my original options. Thanks for the idea, JACN!

    On the topic of retro-fascism, what is the big deal with friction shifting vs index? Indexing is super convenient. The way I will have this set up will be friction only, but I dont really see that as being superior to indexed in any way.
    • CommentAuthorjburnha
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2010
     
    Hey Politburo,
    Once you get the feel of the barcon friction shifting there is nothing like it (its the same for DTs too). There are moments when you shift and you are so in tune with it that it feels like you took your fingers and held the chain and carefully set it down onto the next cog. There is nothing like those shifts in my opinion. You learn by touch how the bike responds to different loads and stresses. Indexed shifting feels clunky in comparison and its kind of like driving a manual (friction) over an automatic (Indexed)--and STIs are like using paddle shifters: fun but not the real deal. STI clicking and flicking can give you amazing response time and accurate shifts, but there is no muscle memory involved (the mechanism always returns to fixed position regardless of gear) and it has its place, just depends on what type of ride-experience you want.
    Good luck which ever way you go!
    • CommentAuthorper.k
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2010
     
    I'd agree with the friction experience. It took a little figuring out, but now that I am familiar with the set-up it's a pretty satisfying and efficient process. And my eyes only leave the road long enough to see the lever, it's all feel/hearing from there.
  3.  
    What about Paul mounts for bar end shifters?
    • CommentAuthorheadphone
    • CommentTimeOct 11th 2010
     
    sell 'em all. buy rivendell's silver shifters & pods.
  4.  
    I'm glad it was helpful! I don't know why barcons aren't a bigger thing. The cables can run under the tape, they're much easier to fix and adjust, and they cost less than brifters.
  5.  
    Posted By: CanadaSteepWhat about Paul mounts for bar end shifters?

    I used Thumbies on my drops for a minute, but they're really not a good solution for anything but CX. They can't be run too close together, and are a PITA to shim anywhere else. I mounted them on my Syntace base bar with more success, but only when I used internally routed inverse levers.

    I agree on the barcons. My BS77s work well, replacement parts are cheap and easy to get a hold of, and they sell for ~$50 used. I would, however, buy a set of brifters in a second if they were cheap. I haven't had a personal set in several years and miss them.
    • CommentAuthorheadphone
    • CommentTimeOct 12th 2010
     
    why would you want to run paul thumbies close together...or anywhere else on the bars? at the end of the bulge/sleeve works fine.
    • CommentAuthorwes m.
    • CommentTimeOct 12th 2010
     
    http://www.kellybike.com/2nd_xtra_takeoff.html

    Buy those and tell us if you liked them. I need an informed opinion before I buy myself a pair.
  6.  
    Posted By: headphonewhy would you want to run paul thumbies close together...or anywhere else on the bars? at the end of the bulge/sleeve works fine.

    Comfort, experimentation, need, etc.

    Posted By: wes m.http://www.kellybike.com/2nd_xtra_takeoff.html

    Buy those and tell us if you liked them. I need an informed opinion before I buy myself a pair.

    Seconded.
  7.  
    PM me if you want some Riv bar end pods. I have 1 pair.
    • CommentAuthorCanadaSteep
    • CommentTimeOct 21st 2010 edited
     
    I'm planning to run Paul thumbies on my road frame at the top, with cross levers (by paul).
    Mostly because of the way I ride, and partly for clean drops, I'm going to try it out.
    My "road" bike is going to be for city riding, and some scenic pathways, so not too much shifting,
    and nothing too crazy. So I figure a tidy cockpit might be nice. If it's a fail, no biggie.

    FYI - when the Ultegra shifters show up, my Pinarello will be done.
 
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