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Dura-Ace w/ Thumbies Comparison to Microshift & Sunrace Friction Style Shifters?

Old 05-11-19, 12:43 AM
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michaelm101
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Dura-Ace w/ Thumbies Comparison to Microshift & Sunrace Friction Style Shifters?

I have grown to love my Dura Ace bar-end conversion to Paul Thumbies during my drop to flat bar swap.

I'm thinking of doing the same on another bike. Can anyone comment on the current friction shifters by Microshift and others in terms of overall reliability and shift quality?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-11-19, 02:48 AM
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i've got microshift shifters on several of my bikes. good quality, reliable. equal to or better than shimano at a lower price. i have chinese production. you may get shifters made in taiwan factories.
https://gd3.alicdn.com/imgextra/i1/6...!679338497.jpg


most recent build has sunrace/sturmey thumbshifters. left friction, right index. excellent quality, work well with shimano deraillers.
https://gd2.alicdn.com/imgextra/i2/1911657936/TB23N5gapXXXXbFXXXXXXXXXXXX_!!1911657936.jpg]
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Old 05-11-19, 11:48 AM
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I have Microshift 9 speed on my Gevenalle units, but given that I have only ridden dura-ace 9 speed bar end shifters for a short time on a friends bike, I can't give an exact comparison. Mine feel fine shifting, the front friction shifter has a smooth, easy action to it, no different than my dt shifters from back in the day.
The rd indexed shifter works fine, but I think its realistic to say that without having a back to back comparison, the small differences in quality feel cant really be felt, and then you get into the whole "writing on the internet and joe blows opinion vs someone else" factor.

remember also, how your cable tensions, rd adjustment in general, housing cleanliness and routing, all this stuff affects how shifting can feel also, aside from the actual shifter device, so not an easy answer.

I guess I'll finish by saying that for me, the tactile feel of shifters on a bike is important to me for part of the riding pleasure, and my Gevenalle shifters with the microshift units on them still give a nice feel whenever I shift, and I have spent months on that bike touring, riding day after day for a month, month and a half, so any niggling little sloppiness or whatever that would be excessive or obvious would bug the heck out of me, and it hasn't.

Given that you have lots of hands on feel for your shifters, I figure the only way for you to know is to try to source a bike with microshift shfters on it and try it out. Surly Trolls, Ogres, come stock with the thumbie Microshift, so maybe thats your best hope, at a dealer with them in store.
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Old 05-11-19, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by michaelm101 View Post
I have grown to love my Dura Ace bar-end conversion to Paul Thumbies during my drop to flat bar swap. I'm thinking of doing the same on another bike. Can anyone comment on the current friction shifters by Microshift and others in terms of overall reliability and shift quality? Thanks in advance!
Surly has used Microshift bar end shifters on their Long Haul Trucker Complete bicycle for the last 7+ years. They started out with DA but switched to Microshift to mitigate cost/price increase. Microshift bar end shifters are also used on Disc Trucker, Troll, and Cross Check models. This likely translates to thousands of bike sales with probably thousands of satisfied customers, otherwise they would no longer be using Microshift.

Nashbar and Performance have sold rebranded Microshift brifters for past 6+ years. I have Microshift 9s brifters, fully Shimano compatible, they work fine for 1/3 the price of Shimano 105 brifters.

If you want 10s thumbshifters then take a look at the model used on Troll, Microshift SL-M10 - this should save you ~$120 compared to the cost of DA barcons + Paul thumbies, and work the same (friction or indexed mode on the rear).

Microshift makes shifters, derailleurs and cassettes:
https://www.microshift.com/en/produc.../mtb-shifters/
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Old 05-11-19, 12:39 PM
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michaelm101
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9 spd friction should work with 8 speed drivetrain???

Thanks, all. I'd like to leave the option open to perhaps, in the future, convert this 8spd bike (one I'd never sell, a 2000' Cdale T2000) to 9 spd. So, if I installed 9 speed friction Microshifters, would they work with the current 8 speed drivetrain?
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Old 05-11-19, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by michaelm101 View Post
Thanks, all. I'd like to leave the option open to perhaps, in the future, convert this 8spd bike (one I'd never sell, a 2000' Cdale T2000) to 9 spd. So, if I installed 9 speed friction Microshifters, would they work with the current 8 speed drivetrain?
yup, but remember that the microshift work in both friction and index mode, so yes in friction they will shift your 8 spd cassette properly, but heck, if your rear wheel freebody or whatever its called, the thing the cassette sits on, is wide enough for 9 speed cassettes (it should be perfectly fine) then slap on a 9 spd cassette and your beloved T2000 will be a nice 9 speed bike.

those are nice bikes btw, and 9 spd will give you slightly smaller jumps between shifts compared to the 8 spd, and you should easily be able to put a 11-34 on it with the existing xt or lx derailleur.
I have a good friend who has a T also, they are nice bikes, worth keeping, and imo, worth going to 9 speed indexed.
cost--shifters, cassette and new chain.
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Old 05-11-19, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
yup, but remember that the microshift work in both friction and index mode, so yes in friction they will shift your 8 spd cassette properly, but heck, if your rear wheel freebody or whatever its called, the thing the cassette sits on, is wide enough for 9 speed cassettes (it should be perfectly fine) then slap on a 9 spd cassette and your beloved T2000 will be a nice 9 speed bike.

those are nice bikes btw, and 9 spd will give you slightly smaller jumps between shifts compared to the 8 spd, and you should easily be able to put a 11-34 on it with the existing xt or lx derailleur.
I have a good friend who has a T also, they are nice bikes, worth keeping, and imo, worth going to 9 speed indexed.
cost--shifters, cassette and new chain.
Won't I need to replace the chainrings on the crankset to accommodate the thinner chain? or, if that's not feasible, replace the whole crankset? Incidentally, I think this bike originally came with 9 spd setup, according to the website. I bought it in a relatively bad neighborhood right next to a cemetery. It was in great condition, had Phil Wood hubs, and 36 spoke Alex Adventurer II wheels. The leather seat is still the most comfortable seat I've ever sat on. I'll post it for identification purposes soon...
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Old 05-11-19, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by michaelm101 View Post
Won't I need to replace the chainrings on the crankset to accommodate the thinner chain? or, if that's not feasible, replace the whole crankset? Incidentally, I think this bike originally came with 9 spd setup, according to the website. I bought it in a relatively bad neighborhood right next to a cemetery. It was in great condition, had Phil Wood hubs, and 36 spoke Alex Adventurer II wheels. The leather seat is still the most comfortable seat I've ever sat on. I'll post it for identification purposes soon...
you know, the dead are known for switching out parts, stuff they get from estate sales and so on......

the way you describe it, you make it sound like you bought a stolen bike...which brings up ambivalent feelings to be honest.

Yes, my friends is a 9 speed, and even if it was a 8 speed, I have taken an old 28t granny I had kicking around since the early 90s with 7 speed and put it on a 9 speed bike with no issues, so to my knowledge it wouldnt be a problem, but that would be easy for you to find out.
These bikes were sold then with sti shifters, well my friends is anyway, 9 speed Tiagra shifters, so someone has changed parts at some point, bar end shifters, expensive hubs and if those really are Alex Adv 2 hubs, those are recent hubs, the Alex Adventure hubs have been around a while, but the 2 is more recent, only a few years.
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Old 05-12-19, 10:40 AM
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FWIW, brand names..

Microshift is a brand of Sun Race, who also own Sturmey Archer, now..
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Old 05-12-19, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
the way you describe it, you make it sound like you bought a stolen bike...which brings up ambivalent feelings to be honest.
Generally speaking, I understand your point. However, it was around 2013/14---IMHO, an old (2000) touring bike in a "bad" neighborhood doesn't necessarily mean that it's stolen. In addition to needing some TLC, the lady (seller) mentioned that the former husband did bike tours in SE Asia. It was very apparent from the types of bikes and items up for sale, that everything was legitimate.

On a similar note, I recently bought a like-new 2006 Specialized Roubaix Pro (originally $4,500) for $300 from a person in a "very good" neighborhood. He was a triathlete and the bike's original owner was his elderly father, who attempted to get into cycling back then. He unfortunately, ran into health complications. and the bike sat in the garage all these years...
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Old 05-12-19, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by michaelm101 View Post
Generally speaking, I understand your point. However, it was around 2013/14---IMHO, an old (2000) touring bike in a "bad" neighborhood doesn't necessarily mean that it's stolen. In addition to needing some TLC, the lady (seller) mentioned that the former husband did bike tours in SE Asia. It was very apparent from the types of bikes and items up for sale, that everything was legitimate.

On a similar note, I recently bought a like-new 2006 Specialized Roubaix Pro (originally $4,500) for $300 from a person in a "very good" neighborhood. He was a triathlete and the bike's original owner was his elderly father, who attempted to get into cycling back then. He unfortunately, ran into health complications. and the bike sat in the garage all these years...
I'm glad to hear that it was clearly legit, as with the other one too, great finds btw.

re the T2000, they really are great bikes. A bit harsh, but when loaded they are solid bikes that don't get wiggley.
re shifters, if you do like using sti shifters, Microshift makes sti type shifters, and or the newer iteration of Sora sti shifters are 9 speed and took the trickle down technology of the 9 spd Tiagra shifters, ie they use paddles, and no longer the thumb trigger system from before, and are very good shifters.

but yes, it all comes down to budget and what you want to do with the bike.
have fun with it no matter the shifters.
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Old 05-13-19, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
yup, but remember that the microshift work in both friction and index mode, so yes in friction they will shift your 8 spd cassette properly, but heck, if your rear wheel freebody or whatever its called, the thing the cassette sits on, is wide enough for 9 speed cassettes (it should be perfectly fine) then slap on a 9 spd cassette and your beloved T2000 will be a nice 9 speed bike.
That's what I thought but Microshift only offers friction on the left and indexed on the right. So you will always be switching shifter if you move from 8-speed to 9-speed. VO or Dia Compe's offerings do come in friction shifting versions.

I can probably comment on the usability of Sunrace's indexed shifter soon enough though as I am building a bike like that at the moment.
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Old 05-13-19, 08:04 AM
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Sorry, I didn't specifically mention, but the microshift units have a little dial at the base of them that when twisted, changes to friction if you want. On my gevenalle microshift units they do anyway.
I've actually never done this myself, haven't ridden a friction shift bike in probably 35+ years.
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Old 05-13-19, 08:35 PM
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I didn't want to like them at first but they seem to be a decent choice for some odd ball set ups. I want thumb shifters but I want to use a wide range cassette and unfortunately Shimano doesn't do bar end/downtube shifters that are DynaSys compatible and I know ScRAM cannot make a front derailleur to save their lives (except maybe the eTAP?) and you cannot use the R2C shifters on the new Paul Thumbies (which is what I would want to do) and I think ScRAM would have a similar cable pull issue as with DynaSys anyway. So Microshift it is, and after using them briefly on a similar bike to the one I am building (I helped spec it out for the customer) I liked them and know I don't really want to do trigger shifters on this build (I don't dislike them though).
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Old 05-13-19, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by JaccoW View Post
That's what I thought but Microshift only offers friction on the left and indexed on the right.
The 10 speed thumbshifter I linked in #4 is F on L and F or I on R. They have a 10s bar end shifter that works the same, used on the Surly Disc Trucker Complete. They have the same products in 9s too, one used on LHT Complete.

I also linked to their website - their shifter offerings are fairly extensive.
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Old 05-14-19, 12:55 PM
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I have 11sp microshift bar ends on my Gevenalle shifting gravel bike. Love em. They do exactly what they should- move the cable the correct amount.
My touring bike has 9sp DA bar ends. They work fine too.

If I were building a bike that needs bar end shifting, I would decide what to buy between the two options only on price since quality is equal for me.
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Old 05-14-19, 01:10 PM
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michael, I didnt ask specifically, but are you thinking of changing the cannondale from drops to flat bars also like your other bike?

I just reread your opening question and realized that maybe that is what you want to do.

I know this isnt what you are asking, but if you do a flat bar conversion, have you ever considered using Deore trigger shifters? They are reasonably priced, super reliable and have a really nice, light action to shifting.
I did the opposite on a bike for my wife, it came with 10 spd microshift thumb shifters, and I replaced them with some 10spd Deore trigger shifters, which is just nice because not having to move your hands from the grips to shift.

again, not what you asked, but they are excellent from a value/performance/reliability view, and its not hard to find new 9 speed sets also for triples.
Seems to me I was able to get the set for 60 bucks maybe?
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Old 05-14-19, 02:12 PM
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I've got the Microshift 10s barends on my Mazama, and the Dura-Ace 9s barends on a Trek 520. I'd be hard pressed to tell a difference in quality or functionality. Dura-Ace looks a bit nicer aesthetically, that's about it.
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Old 05-15-19, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
michael, I didnt ask specifically, but are you thinking of changing the cannondale from drops to flat bars also like your other bike?

I just reread your opening question and realized that maybe that is what you want to do.

I know this isnt what you are asking, but if you do a flat bar conversion, have you ever considered using Deore trigger shifters? They are reasonably priced, super reliable and have a really nice, light action to shifting.
I did the opposite on a bike for my wife, it came with 10 spd microshift thumb shifters, and I replaced them with some 10spd Deore trigger shifters, which is just nice because not having to move your hands from the grips to shift.

again, not what you asked, but they are excellent from a value/performance/reliability view, and its not hard to find new 9 speed sets also for triples.
Seems to me I was able to get the set for 60 bucks maybe?
Thanks for your post. I already converted my Cdale T2000 to flat bar. After being injured in a high speed car wreck, I converted all my bikes...About index vs friction---I'm not in a hurry anymore and reliability/maintenance has become a primary concern....
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Old 05-15-19, 04:38 AM
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Originally Posted by michaelm101 View Post
Thanks for your post. I already converted my Cdale T2000 to flat bar. After being injured in a high speed car wreck, I converted all my bikes...About index vs friction---I'm not in a hurry anymore and reliability/maintenance has become a primary concern....
I see. Understand.
Re friction vs index and reliability, don't be concerned about index not being reliable, my old downtube shifting touring bike from 90 or 91 has never missed an indexed shift since then.
I still ride it on a trainer indoors during the winter and was on it just a few days ago, and the shift levers are essentially the same as thumbies.
Other than the handful of times over 28 years that i had to make a tiny rear derailleur barrel adjuster turn after a cable change, the index shifting has just worked and it shifts with the same quick, precise regularity as when I was touring on it back then.
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