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Bar End Shifters vs Stem

Old 10-09-09, 07:30 PM
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metalchef87
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Bar End Shifters vs Stem

What do you think? I have used both and think I prefer bar-ends...
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Old 10-09-09, 07:39 PM
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The only bike that I have with bar ends works well. I just haven't quite gotten used to them. They're friction and don't miss or anything, I guess I never gave them a chance. Seems family members and such that borroww it when they visit have no problem with them. The same individuals who find DT shifters very difficult.
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Old 10-09-09, 07:46 PM
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I like the crispness of down tube shifters, and I like the way very little of the cable run requires housing. I think index barends work better for anything over 6 cogs.

I think the Ultegra indexed 8-speed barcons, available for as litte as $56 including cables, housing, and cable guides, are a tremendous bargain. The Rivendell pods are also great, if you already have compatible shift levers.

If you are upgrading a bike that came with stem-shifters, the built-in downtown cable guides on many stem-shifter equipped bikes are bar-con ready.
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Old 10-09-09, 07:50 PM
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[quote=Whit51;9831169]I like the crispness of down tube shifters, and I like the way very little of the cable run requires housing. I think index barends work better for anything over 6 cogs. ]

but DT shifters are not stem shifters! I have a pair of Suntour barcons on a bike and just set up a Nexus with a bar end. I love the 'retro' look of the barends.

I have not used stem shifters since my Royce Union was stolen. they work but are perceived as cheap since they usually adorm lowend bikes.
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Old 10-09-09, 08:02 PM
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Didn't read the original question correctly.. for me, bar-ends are far superior to stem-shifters. I've only seen one really good bike with stem shifters--- a Centurion Pro Tour. I'm sure stem shifters are a good choice for some riders who like to stay more upright, though.
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Old 10-09-09, 08:04 PM
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i prefer thumb.
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Old 10-09-09, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Whit51 View Post
. I'm sure stem shifters are a good choice for some riders who like to stay more upright, though.
Thats the way I feel. I like the big horkin old Schwinn stem shifters with an upright seating position...they're like freakin stick shifts, they're HUGE!

I've never had barcons but I don't particularly like the looks of the cable runs for them.
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Old 10-09-09, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Whit51 View Post
I like the crispness of down tube shifters, and I like the way very little of the cable run requires housing.
You have my vote for president of the DT Shifter Club!

I love the 105 shifters on my Portland but, I find myself shifting perhaps too much.
With DT shifters, you have to put some thought into which gear you want to be in and stay in it longer.
You tend to look further down the road. And, once you get used to them, you reach down without even looking anymore. I have indexed DT shifters on my '95 Le Tour and that RD just snaps into gear in a split second, up or down. It's all about the cable tension isn't it?
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Old 10-09-09, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Whit51 View Post
I'm sure stem shifters are a good choice for some riders who like to stay more upright, though.
stem shifters are usually the wrong solution to that problem.
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Old 10-09-09, 09:51 PM
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friction bar ends.. get some suntour retro friction or diacompe silvers and mount them to shimano pods.. these rock! and feel oh so good! veloorange.com
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Old 10-09-09, 09:56 PM
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I think I've removed probably about 5 times as many stem shifters from old bikes than ridden a bike with stem shifters. They're just awful. Since you don't have anything to push on to counteract the force you're exerting on the shift lever, you end up pushing or pulling your handlebars off course. Also, they move when you steer, so you end up chasing them around the stem trying to get into the right gear.

I love the barends on my touring bike. I can just switch my hand to the lower grip and shift away.

Sorry to hijack the thread a bit, but can anyone think of some decent 7-speed indexed barends off the top of their head? And for extra credit, where to pick them up?
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Old 10-09-09, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Weasel9 View Post
I think I've removed probably about 5 times as many stem shifters from old bikes than ridden a bike with stem shifters. They're just awful. Since you don't have anything to push on to counteract the force you're exerting on the shift lever, you end up pushing or pulling your handlebars off course. Also, they move when you steer, so you end up chasing them around the stem trying to get into the right gear.

I love the barends on my touring bike. I can just switch my hand to the lower grip and shift away.

Sorry to hijack the thread a bit, but can anyone think of some decent 7-speed indexed barends off the top of their head? And for extra credit, where to pick them up?
Shimano used to make 'em. I may have a pair knocking about. PM me if you are interested.
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Old 10-10-09, 12:43 AM
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Initially I found the stem shifters on my Motobecane difficult to use for all the reasons described by Weasel9, plus the fact that they were quite stiff and difficult for me to move. However, now I have gotten quite accustomed to them and enjoy the feeling of using them. Still, if I were putting a bike together from scratch, I would go with bar-ends because of the danger of impaling yourself on stem shifters during a fall.
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Old 10-10-09, 04:04 AM
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The only bike I have with stem shifters is a Sxhwinn Suburban that I cruise around on - but if I'm riding "fast" I don't like taking my hands off of the bars to shift. Bar ends solve the problem. I don't care for DT shifters either, for the same reason.
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Old 10-10-09, 04:29 AM
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I've ridden with everything but brifters and rod controlled derailleurs: DT, Bar-ends, Stem, Twist, Thumb, Rapidfire

I don't care for any more than another. They all serve their intended purpose, they pull your derailleurs. And each has a different purpose for each person and the kind of bike they're building/riding.
-Gene-
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Old 10-10-09, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Weasel9 View Post
Sorry to hijack the thread a bit, but can anyone think of some decent 7-speed indexed barends off the top of their head? And for extra credit, where to pick them up?
an 8 speed shifter should work, and they are readily available.
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Old 10-10-09, 06:51 AM
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Bar ends are cooler. My stem shifter bike has Northroads bars and they (the shifters) are no problem to use. They've got that nice little chroms Schwinn "S" on them so they've got some class. Bar ends are still cooler, though.
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Old 10-10-09, 08:41 AM
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Bar ends, by far. When perusing Craigslist or ebay, the second I see stem shifters I move on.
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Old 10-10-09, 08:44 AM
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Wonderful posts! Thanks for the input...next question

Does anyone have an extra set of bar ends they would pass on to me?
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Old 10-10-09, 12:00 PM
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Shifter preferences are quite personal and subjective, who's to say what is the best?

Me, I voted with my wallet and got a bike with Shimao 105 STI's. They are simply awesome.

On the vintage side, I like DT shifters for the precision and coolness factor. I also think there are a lot of stem mounted shifter haters out there. That puzzles me because I've had quite a few very nice bikes that had stem mounted shifters. I especially love the large Schwinn shifters with the big S on them, they are beautiful. Sure, there were a lot of cheap bikes with stem shifters but that was the standard shifter of the day back then. Most sport bikes were made with ergonomics in mind, not everybody races.

As far as bar end shifters are concerned, I know they are the preferred shifter for touring bikes because they are simple, cheap, reliable and easy to repair on the road. However, I think you lose some precision due to the length of the cable and housing and over time, that becomes even more of a factor.
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Old 10-10-09, 12:03 PM
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I like the bar ends better than the stem.
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Old 10-10-09, 01:45 PM
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Shimano bar ends, the old style that have counter springs like the Simplex Retrofriction.

Best barcons ever!
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Old 10-10-09, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by snappy View Post
an 8 speed shifter should work, and they are readily available.
+1

I was looking for 7 speed barend shifters for a while, couldn't find any, then someone told me that 7 and 8 speed shifters pull the same amount of cable, so 8 speed barend shifters will index no problem, and they're quite easy to find on ebay.

Somebody mentioned ultegra 8spd barends + cables and housing for under $60? Where are those?
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Old 10-10-09, 03:20 PM
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I think it would depend on whether you spend more time on the tops or in the drops.
Tops - use stem shifters
drops - use bar ends

That said, my personal bias is for bar ends (I have them on 2 out of three road bikes and love them).

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Old 10-10-09, 03:38 PM
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Somebody mentioned ultegra 8spd barends + cables and housing for under $60? Where are those?

Jenson USA
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