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What so bad about stem shifters??

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What so bad about stem shifters??

Old 02-16-12, 01:24 PM
  #76  
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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.
Yes. Shimano Light Action.
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Old 02-16-12, 01:55 PM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd
Yes. Shimano Light Action.
Indeed even low end SIS indexed stem shifters work pretty well. However if you push down the little tab to revert them back to friction they aren't so smooth. Or maybe it's because the ones I've tried that on have been set as indexed for their lifespan of 20+ years. Plans to use 6spd indexed in friction mode for a 7spd freewheel didn't turn out too great.

The only real functional issue I've had is that on my old commuting bike my knees would bang into them while doing a full on sprint to catch a string of green lights. Unexpected gear changes are NOT GOOD when you're trying to maintain speed with yellow cabs on a busy avenue during rush hour.
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Old 02-16-12, 02:24 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd
Yes. Shimano Light Action.
Cool, i'll start looking for a pair.
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Old 02-16-12, 02:52 PM
  #79  
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Probably a stupid question, but can you just find clamp on downtube mounts for dt shifters that'd fit around a stem? Then you could put whatever dt shifter you wanted on the stem, right?
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Old 02-16-12, 03:07 PM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by himespau
Probably a stupid question, but can you just find clamp on downtube mounts for dt shifters that'd fit around a stem? Then you could put whatever dt shifter you wanted on the stem, right?
Stem small.....DT big....no workey...
Plus DT shifters usually do not have cable casing stops like stem shofters do.....

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Old 02-16-12, 03:22 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by Chombi
Stem small.....DT big....no workey...
Plus DT shifters usually do not have cable casing stops like stem shofters do.....

Chombi
Yeah, that was kinda what I was figuring, but didn't know if there were some clamp ons for really small downtubes that would work with a really fat stem or with a lot of shims, but given most DT's are like 6 mm bigger in diameter than a stem, that's really a no go. Like I said, a stupid question.
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Old 02-16-12, 03:33 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by himespau
Like I said, a stupid question.
Well, the old adage is true, because the answer (with a qualifier) is yes. Here is a shim to go from 22.2 (O.D. of stem) to 28.6 (I.D. of DT shifter clamp). However, as Chombi points out, you're limited to shifters with housing stops.
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Old 05-12-17, 11:52 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by QStorm
I love old steel bikes (even new steel bikes for that matter). I see alot of bar end shifters and even down tube shifters, which seem really dangerous imho, but it seems that stem shifters are seen as unbearably low end. What is the difference, isn't a friction shifter a friction shifter, and what is so bad about stem shifters?
I love my stem shifters on my bike. I guess I have a low end bike but hey it's a bianchi I got for 25 bucks at a thrift store. I am rolling at 18 mph and shift fine. I don't feel weird or off balance when in the drops.
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Old 05-13-17, 05:58 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by noglider
There's nothing wrong with them at all. Folks who ride high end bikes look down on them and come up with reasons to dislike them, but it's only because they came on low end bikes. They never came on high end bikes. All of the technical explanations are untrue. They're fine.
Incorrect. You could get stem shifters on a P-15 Paramount in 1971-1972.
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Old 05-13-17, 06:12 AM
  #85  
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There's always an exception to the rule. noglider should have said you almost never, EVER get stem shifters on a high end bike.

And didn't those P-15s come with a Gran Tourismo rear gear (shudder)

Last edited by clubman; 05-13-17 at 06:22 AM.
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Old 05-13-17, 11:19 AM
  #86  
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@clubman is right. I should never say never.
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Old 05-13-17, 12:31 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by clubman
There's always an exception to the rule. noglider should have said you almost never, EVER get stem shifters on a high end bike.

And didn't those P-15s come with a Gran Tourismo rear gear (shudder)
Yes, mine did. It was soon replaced with a Shimano Titlist, and when that wore out (got all floppy at the pivots in a year or so) it was replaced by a SunTour VGT. That lasted around 19 years, until the bike itself was stolen.
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Old 05-13-17, 01:57 PM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by palincss
Y That lasted around 19 years, until the bike itself was stolen.
Now that's a bloody shame.
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Old 05-14-17, 07:06 AM
  #89  
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I'm trying hard to buy in to the downtube is better mindset, cause I love this new to me Lotus with Shimano Light Action, but it's still not as comfortable as the stem shifters I've had on my other C&V bikes. Part of my problem may be the 10½" long head tube makes for a pretty long reach on a 27" frame.

I've always liked the "cockpit" look of stem shifters
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Old 05-14-17, 10:36 AM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by Deal4Fuji
Part of my problem may be the 10½" long head tube makes for a pretty long reach on a 27" frame.
That is a real good reason for stem shifters.
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Old 05-14-17, 10:37 AM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by Deal4Fuji
I've always liked the "cockpit" look of stem shifters
+1 on the cockpit look. I also have that on a Fuji. Seems right, in it's own way. Very well matched in height to the Nitto stem. Also cleans up the downtube, with no metal protuberances.

Last edited by tbo; 05-14-17 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 05-14-17, 11:40 AM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by clubman
There's always an exception to the rule. noglider should have said you almost never, EVER get stem shifters on a high end bike.
Also, you do see pictures of old bicycle races where some people are using bar end shifters... not prominently used, but sometimes. I would think bar end shifters, within the realm of racing usage and their pro's and cons, would be quite similar to stem shifters.
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Old 05-14-17, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by uncle uncle
Also, you do see pictures of old bicycle races where some people are using bar end shifters... not prominently used, but sometimes. I would think bar end shifters, within the realm of racing usage and their pro's and cons, would be quite similar to stem shifters.
I get what your saying and I see why stem shifters are attractive to casual riders but no pro racer EVER used a stem shifter in a race (@noglider, see how easy it is to fall into the trap). I think the bar cons allow much greater control of the bars because of their location at the ends. Riding in a pack and trying to finesse steering from the middle of the bar is frightening, to me.
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Old 05-14-17, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman
I think the bar cons allow much greater control of the bars because of their location at the ends. Riding in a pack and trying to finesse steering from the middle of the bar is frightening, to me.
I don't have extensive experience with bar end shifters, but with stem shifters, apparently I've been doing it wrong.. the left hand stays on the handlebar, albeit, somewhere between the left brake caliper and stem, with the pinky and thumb in a "surfer hang ten" splay. At the same time with the right hand, while the outer two or three fingers of the right hand remained curled around the top of the handlebar, the remaining fingers and thumb do the shifting and fine tuning.
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Old 05-14-17, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Deal4Fuji
I've always liked the "cockpit" look of stem shifters
Tight. That's done right.
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Old 05-15-17, 05:53 PM
  #96  
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I just don't like the look of stem shifters, and I doubt I would like using them either. I mostly stay in the drops though and its nice having my DT shifters right there. I do like the look of bar ends though...don't know if I would like using them or not, but I plan to try them someday.
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Old 12-06-20, 09:23 AM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by frpax
Tom hit it on the head. They shift fine. It's just that it's a sign of a low end bike that usually has low end components. IMO, said components usually require more attention to keep them shifting well.
I stiil ride my vintage 10 speed with stem shifters. They work fine after 41 years. Never even had to adjust them. My bike has the somewhat rare shimano positron derailleur. The rear derailleur is indexed rather than the shifter, and the cable is solid like piano wire not stranded. Works great.
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Old 12-06-20, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by lfod
I stiil ride my vintage 10 speed with stem shifters. They work fine after 41 years. Never even had to adjust them. My bike has the somewhat rare shimano positron derailleur. The rear derailleur is indexed rather than the shifter, and the cable is solid like piano wire not stranded. Works great.
What brings you here @lfod ?
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