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Handlebar Extender, Poor Man's 1x, or something else?

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Handlebar Extender, Poor Man's 1x, or something else?

Old 06-29-20, 09:12 PM
  #1  
Digger Goreman
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Handlebar Extender, Poor Man's 1x, or something else?

The picture shows my left side handlebar (mtb): when going to trigger shifters, I had to move the white button (Airzound horn) inboard. Consequentially, if needing to sound the horn, I have to slide my hand over to the right. Doable, but takes the hand slightly off the bar to do it....

So, is there a DIY, cheap handlebar extension, or other method for literally "getting a thumb" on that button?

IF not:

What would I be giving up to go to a poor man's 1x and replacing the left trigger shifter with a standard Shimano brake lever? My middle chanline is perfectly lined up on the second chainring and middle (5th) gear of a 9 gear cassette.

The numbers from Sheldon Brown's site (Triple is 22/32/42) in meters

11: 4.1/6.0/7.9
13: 3.5/5.1/6.7
15: 3.0/4.4/5.8
17: 2.7/3.9/5.1
20: 2.3/3.3/4.4
23: 2.0/2.9/3.8
26: 1.8/2.5/3.4
30: 1.5/2.2/2.9
34: 1.3/2.0/2.6

I use a standard/generic 9 speed chain. On the middle chainring, the chain can operate (or so I think, and it feels) fine from 11-34.
My intent, if going this way, is to eliminate the left shifter and cable, while setting limit screws to maintain the middle ring and, of course, keeping the Fder in place.

Imagined benefits: ability to move the horn actuator within thumbs reach. Simplifying shifting. Not worrying about that old derailleur getting cruddy or needing replacing. Eliminating the shifter wire in front of my bike light.

Concerns: can the chain handle it? (My search fu seems to indicate "yes"). Anecdotally, or otherwise, how will it feel to lose the ends? Essentially the 3/8, 3/9, 1/3, 1/2, and 1/1. Switching the Sheldon Brown selector to mph, I would lose the potential, at 120 rpms of 7 mph (28 vs 35 mph) 2/9 vs 3/9. I think I have only gotten in that range about twice in 7 years! Am I just over/under thinking all this?!

Thanks for all helpful opinions, facts and wags
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Old 06-29-20, 10:22 PM
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I guess if you need to use the horn more often than you need to shift, then you know what to do.

You could also use a Microshift shifter pod that doesn’t have that oversized display window
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Old 06-30-20, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
I guess if you need to use the horn more often than you need to shift, then you know what to do.

You could also use a Microshift shifter pod that doesn’t have that oversized display window
An interesting thought....
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Old 06-30-20, 06:11 AM
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Wondering about the frequent use of horn. Is this a clown bike for parades or something Got to be annoying otherwise.
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Old 06-30-20, 07:42 AM
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You could also use a friction thumb shifter that costs less than $10.00 and would take up less real estate on the handlebar.
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Old 06-30-20, 07:47 AM
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You could try a handlebar extender, to free up some room on the bar: https://www.amazon.com/koeall-Handle...%2C205&sr=8-10 Still have to move your hand to it for the horn button, but would free up room on the bar, so it wouldn't feel crowded.
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Old 06-30-20, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by GeezyRider View Post
You could also use a friction thumb shifter that costs less than $10.00 and would take up less real estate on the handlebar.
Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
You could try a handlebar extender, to free up some room on the bar: https://www.amazon.com/koeall-Handle...%2C205&sr=8-10 Still have to move your hand to it for the horn button, but would free up room on the bar, so it wouldn't feel crowded.
Thank you both!
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Old 06-30-20, 10:03 AM
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On two of my bikes I mounted my Airzound partway down the drops, so that when I'm on the hoods (85% of the time) the horn button is under my left fingers. I use my third finger or pinkie to press it. Perhaps a longer bar end or some sort of bar end that sticks up and down would give you a mounting point where the horn button is under the fingers of your left hand when it is on the main grip.
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Old 06-30-20, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
On two of my bikes I mounted my Airzound partway down the drops, so that when I'm on the hoods (85% of the time) the horn button is under my left fingers. I use my third finger or pinkie to press it. Perhaps a longer bar end or some sort of bar end that sticks up and down would give you a mounting point where the horn button is under the fingers of your left hand when it is on the main grip.
That would be a possibility, BobbyG.
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Old 06-30-20, 11:02 AM
  #10  
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I'm primarily leaning toward the line of least resistance, since everything mechanically works as is. In another thread, someone pointed out that the answer is "no" if you don't ask, so:
For the cost of postage (I can paypal you) does anyone have a newish black shimano left brake lever and friction thumb shifter for mtb flat bars they can donate to me? (Really wish the co op were open.)
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Old 06-30-20, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Digger Goreman View Post
Thank you both!
You're welcome! Let us know how you decide to address this.
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Old 06-30-20, 07:33 PM
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Looking at the current unit, it seems the trigger shifter part is clam-shelled around what looks like a standard brake lever. If that is so, then removing it should be easy and, thus, not require purchase of a new brake lever. If so, then I'll only need the thumb shifter.

After my morning ride, tomorrow, I'll take a screw driver and test my theory....

Edit: a little search fu indicates that separation is possible but might involve destruction of the shifter part of the unit. I think smart money would be on acquiring the friction shifter, while doing exploratory disassembly (w/o getting destructive). At the worst, I'll have to double down for a brake lever....

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Old 07-01-20, 12:31 PM
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Since I was headed into Stone Mountain today, I stopped at Aztec Cycles. Nice tech said they hadn't any thumb shifters but that he wanted one too! So, with some closed holidays coming up, he promised to have one for me a week from tomorrow. If I don't find a donor here
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Old 07-01-20, 01:52 PM
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Opened the lever/shifter unit and it is all integral... no luck. So I'll need a brake lever too....
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Old 07-01-20, 08:13 PM
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Though this is not the final post, thanks to everyone, again, for the great responses! I'll get a pic up when finished
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Old 07-06-20, 12:50 PM
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Parts are sourced Waiting on the mail....
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Old 07-06-20, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Wondering about the frequent use of horn. Is this a clown bike for parades or something Got to be annoying otherwise.
I can't figure it out either...

Truth be told, I think most of us are "serious" roadies probably put ten times the miles in (compared to the majority of zound users) without the need for a trucker horn on our bikes.
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Old 07-08-20, 01:22 AM
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I have a bike with a flat bar shifter on the right for the 10 speed rear derailleur and a DT shifter for the front derailleur.


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Old 07-08-20, 04:21 PM
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A good setup bwilli88. While on the bar, mine will be a mix of tech also: thumb friction for the occasional front shift, and keeping my trigger, indexed shifter for the rear
Everything should be here by Saturday, so doable Sunday (I hope).

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Old 07-09-20, 09:59 AM
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Pics when you get it done.
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Old 07-09-20, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by bwilli88 View Post
Pics when you get it done.
You bet! At the same time, I am curious about your right cockpit setup. This will be my first foray into thumb shifters and the only youtube I could find had the shifter sitting just above the brake lever assembly. Your der thumb shifter is in a different attitude. Is there an advantage to having the shifter where you have it? Or, in other words, why didn't you put your shifter on top?

Thanks, bwilli88!
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Old 07-11-20, 05:05 PM
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Alright, all parts received! Looking to do the work tomorrow afternoon.
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Old 07-12-20, 04:37 PM
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For now, finished! Mechanically, love the results
Operationally, very interesting as this is my first experience. On the definite plus side, it is very easy to hit small and large chain rings, operates smoothly with fore finger and thumb, and shifts easier than the trigger shifter. Middle ring is the interesting, interesting part: somewhat easy to shift past, into another ring. Not because of the shifter, per se, but my lack of practice. And you have to kinda know where to place the lever for correct mid range. But, overall, I'm loving it!!! Mission accomplished in that my thumb reaches the horn button without having to stretch or remove from the bar.

Thanks Unworthy1

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