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What so bad about stem shifters??

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What so bad about stem shifters??

Old 01-19-12, 03:05 PM
  #51  
Oldpeddaller
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Originally Posted by Chombi
Back in the 80's when I was converting my Peugeot PH10S from stem to DT shifters, I mounted clamp-on Simplex retrofriction shifters just above the brazed on stem shifter cable stops on the DT of the bike and it worked very nicely. In fact, the guides did not get in the way of the cables going down to the derailleurs at all (cables are usually lower on the downtube than the cable stops) and worked as solid stops to keep the clamp-on band from slipping down on the DT. The situation might be slightly different with your bike, but you should just try it out to find out if it will work.

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On my budget tandem I did it the other way round - there didn't seem enough down tube in front of the brazed ob cable stops. It all works very well, the stops don't impede the levers at all. I like the idea of having the stops behind the mounting band though - that'd be really firmly anchored.

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Old 01-19-12, 08:32 PM
  #52  
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I feel unbalanced when I reach for a stem shifter, awkward, I think because I am bringing one hand so close to the other one on the bar. Going for a downtube shifter feels more balanced.
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Old 01-19-12, 08:36 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Oldpeddaller
On my budget tandem I did it the other way round - there didn't seem enough down tube in front of the brazed ob cable stops. It all works very well, the stops don't impede the levers at all. I like the idea of having the stops behind the mounting band though - that'd be really firmly anchored.

This might work for me. I just think that the shifters would be in the way on top of the stops. I'll do a trial run of this, since it won't cost me much time. Thanks for the suggestion. I only have reservations of this meaning that the shifters will be that much more out of reach. I guess it will have to be tested real time, which will NOT happen here, since we just got clobbered with 8 inches of snow!
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Old 01-19-12, 08:51 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Chombi
You can also blame it on period bicycling magazines/publications whose writers also pooh-poohed such components and added theories like "slower, less precise shifting action due to more cable legnth and housing flex"...........but they still find bar end shifters to be a great thing for some reason.
The argument was down tube shifters, particularily non-index, were much faster and precise. Bar end shifters were okay for non-race situations like touring. Stem mounted shifters were bad because .... uh...oh...no high priced bike had them
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Old 01-19-12, 09:04 PM
  #55  
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I actually did jab myself in the gut a couple of times on the stem shifters on my mixte, but I was pregnant, so I was running into everything with my belly.
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Old 01-19-12, 09:10 PM
  #56  
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Hopefully your child didn't end up with a permanent Campy or Shimano head tattoo
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Old 01-19-12, 09:57 PM
  #57  
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The thing to remember is, nobody ever forced anyone to ride stem shifters, DT shifters, or what have you if they didn't want to. You can choose freely for yourself what you like to ride.
My take on stem shifters is, they are for people that want the style of drop bars, but don't want to ride on the drops. Plain and simple. Nothing wrong with that, either.
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Old 01-20-12, 09:14 PM
  #58  
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This is a set of Huret stem shifters that I picked up for my Gitane tandem, Shifting on the tandem can be a little dicey at times with the down tube shifters and extra weight of the stoker behind you. I'm still toying with the idea of installing these on the bike, but I think that I should give the Campagnolo down tube shifters a little more riding time before I give up on them.



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Old 01-20-12, 09:35 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Rabid Koala
My Nishiki International came with them in the early 70's and I was fully prepared to hate them. They were SunTour Power Shifters, coupled to a SunTour derailleur. They worked flawlessly and I grew to like them, at least until I discovered bar end shifters.
The Suntour ratcheting stem shifters which came in a few variants over time worked really well in the pre index era. I was not a fan of them on a pro level bike, and often the operator of them could not hold a straight line while shifting, but that was probably going to happen no matter the location other than the brake levers.
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Old 01-21-12, 09:13 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by RubberLegs
I still have the old "Schwinn Approved" Stem Shifters on my renovated 79 LeTour IV. They work fine (after new cables were installed). It is a little difficult jumping back and forth between my "Modern" Felt with brifters, and the Schwinn with the Stem Shift, must make mental note! They do make for a little more upright riding style, and slower shifting...NOT good for racing...but no-one in their right mind would race a 79 Schwinn LeTour! (except to beat my 13 yr old in the sprint home!)
I race my '78 Schwinn bottom feeder. I don't win, of course.
And, I ride mostly in the drops, and use stem shifters. I rarely have to shift, however, being a flatlander.
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Old 01-21-12, 10:05 PM
  #61  
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stem shifters are A okay in my book.Especially on a townie bike,kickstands rock too
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Old 01-21-12, 11:01 PM
  #62  
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I've had 3 previous bikes with shifters on the front down tube and for me the most obvious thing is the added safety of the new rapid fire ones because you don't need to take your eyes off the road. With the old ones you not only have to look down at the lever but then you have to have a quick check of your derailer to fine tune the chain into the middle. This is normally not a problem but there could always be that one time when you miss something on the road.
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Old 01-22-12, 12:50 AM
  #63  
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STEM SHIFTERS??.......

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Old 01-25-12, 01:39 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by 009jim
I've had 3 previous bikes with shifters on the front down tube and for me the most obvious thing is the added safety of the new rapid fire ones because you don't need to take your eyes off the road. With the old ones you not only have to look down at the lever but then you have to have a quick check of your derailer to fine tune the chain into the middle. This is normally not a problem but there could always be that one time when you miss something on the road.
Fair point, but after a short time I've found it becomes instinctive. I don't look at the gear stick on my car to see which gear I'm in even though there's a diagram on top of the knob. I don't look at the DT levers on a bike either. Trimming the chain is by feel and the noise the chain makes. On a bike, your legs tell you when to change and which way to push the lever. It's academic which 'number' gear you are in, the right gear is the one you can pedal comfortably at that time. YMMV.
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Old 01-25-12, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldpeddaller
Fair point, but after a short time I've found it becomes instinctive. I don't look at the gear stick on my car to see which gear I'm in even though there's a diagram on top of the knob. I don't look at the DT levers on a bike either. Trimming the chain is by feel and the noise the chain makes. On a bike, your legs tell you when to change and which way to push the lever. It's academic which 'number' gear you are in, the right gear is the one you can pedal comfortably at that time. YMMV.
Same here. I don't ever look down at my DT shifters. my hand naturally falls to the right location from muscle memory, I guess. Shifting DT shifters should be done with the minimum of motion too so you don't end up ruining your rhythm. It's like how you play stringed instruments like violins. all by feel and physical memory.
I think some people who have a hard time getting along with DT shifters are riders that just never got enough time to get used to them and conciously convinced themselves for some reason that they could be dangerous.

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Old 01-25-12, 04:37 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by Chombi
I don't ever look down at my DT shifters. my hand naturally falls to the right location from muscle memory, I guess.
Me too, except when I switch bikes and they aren't quite in the same place!
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Old 01-25-12, 09:33 PM
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I paid attention, on my Sunday ride. I found that I shifted more easily with my other hand in the drop, as opposed to being on top. Muscle memory, of course, is the key. When I stood up, my knees did almost hit them, which could be an issue, if you stand up often. I believe it is no more difficult to use stem shifters than downtube shifters--it's just what you're used to. My 2cents.
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Old 01-26-12, 05:09 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by seedsbelize
I race my '78 Schwinn bottom feeder. I don't win, of course.
And, I ride mostly in the drops, and use stem shifters. I rarely have to shift, however, being a flatlander.
Want to buy my old Huffy?? **wink, wink**
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Old 01-26-12, 06:37 AM
  #69  
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Like the stem shifters; my son the commuter likes the ease of shifting without reaching for the downtube and I haven't noticed any shifting imprecision. BTW, I own bikes with brifters, bar-ends, down tube and stem shifters. I even converted a Windsor road bike from DT to stem shifters.
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Old 02-16-12, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven
Hopefully your child didn't end up with a permanent Campy or Shimano head tattoo
Ha, no. My husband once had a perfect imprint of the Specialized logo on his stomach after a single track accident once though. Lasted about two weeks. It's funny now...
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Old 02-16-12, 09:56 AM
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To each his own....obviously.....me, I dont like stem shifters. The units tend to be heavy, I dont like the location and they feel clunky. Oh yeah, and they have a "bike boom" stigma similar to the turkey levers.
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Old 02-16-12, 12:52 PM
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Are there decent SIS indexed stem shifters? I have a need for just such a beast on a build at the moment. Of seen a few on eBay, but they seem cheap and questionable.
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Old 02-16-12, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL
To each his own....obviously.....me, I dont like stem shifters. The units tend to be heavy, I dont like the location and they feel clunky. Oh yeah, and they have a "bike boom" stigma similar to the turkey levers.
Maybe DD can drill out a set of stem shifters to look more acceptable/beautiful(?) to most??
How's that for a special project (challenge?) DD?

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Old 02-16-12, 01:19 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by jeirvine
Are there decent SIS indexed stem shifters? I have a need for just such a beast on a build at the moment. Of seen a few on eBay, but they seem cheap and questionable.
I had some tourney 6 speed ones that indexed pretty ok. I don't know if they're available anymore (doubt it), but they did a decent job (until the plastic broke).
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Old 02-16-12, 01:21 PM
  #75  
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In my youth I had a bike with stem shifters. I remember hitting them with my knees and throwing the bike out of gear.
I converted lower end bikes with stem shifters (and other issues) to single speed bikes or stripped the bikes for fixie fodder. That works out well because the down tube cable guide (usually Suntour) fetches $10 on ebay.
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