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Sensah Reflex (2x8) shifters w/rim brakes

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Sensah Reflex (2x8) shifters w/rim brakes

Old 11-26-23, 12:11 AM
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gilmic
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Sensah Reflex (2x8) shifters w/rim brakes

Needing new shifters. Thinking of getting the Sensah Reflex shifters (2x8) in order to stay with present Shimano 8-speed hub and cassette. However, I am concerned about brakes (presently using single-pivot). Has anyone paired the Sensah shifter with rim brakes succesfully? If so which brakes? Any other recommendations? Thanks for your input.
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Old 11-26-23, 12:54 AM
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They appear to be compatible with standard caliper brakes. Whatís your worry?
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Old 11-26-23, 11:14 AM
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Thanks for confirming. I'm just getting back into road biking and can't believe how much has changed in 20 years. Trying to upgrade my old steel Trek road bike. I'll get there, but not without a lot of reading and occasional help along the way!
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Old 11-27-23, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by gilmic
Thanks for confirming. I'm just getting back into road biking and can't believe how much has changed in 20 years. Trying to upgrade my old steel Trek road bike. I'll get there, but not without a lot of reading and occasional help along the way!
If your Trek is indeed more than 20 years old, you might want to just focus on rideability and forget about upgrades. Maybe get higher line stuff when something wears out/breaks but otherwise upgrades are seldom anywhere near cost effective. Performance improvements are minor and costs are significant. Plus you end up with a box of still-functional but pretty much worthless parts. Better strategy is to save up that money toward a newer bike.
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Old 11-27-23, 01:40 PM
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Some people are reporting bad experiences running these Sensah brifters with older brakes
https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-m...-shifters.html

Is there a reason why you chose the Sensah brifters as opposed to the more tried and true Microshift R8 or Shimano Claris R2030?
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Old 11-28-23, 01:11 PM
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Upgrading a bike is indeed a rabbit hole. That said, my steel frame is in great shape, fits me really well and rides beautifully. My drivetrain is Shimano 105 (90s) 8 speed. My intention is keeping the 8 speed setup, but upgrading to brake/shifters. I thought I might get away with an investment of under 200$ including better brakes (dual pivot likely). I'm no longer putting in the miles that would justify buying a new road bike that would cost me a least 1500$ - 2000$ to match the quality of what I have now.

Thanks for your input. It's a good reminder that it is nearly impossible to not blow through most upgrading budgets.
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Old 11-28-23, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by gilmic
Upgrading a bike is indeed a rabbit hole. That said, my steel frame is in great shape, fits me really well and rides beautifully. My drivetrain is Shimano 105 (90s) 8 speed. My intention is keeping the 8 speed setup, but upgrading to brake/shifters. I thought I might get away with an investment of under 200$ including better brakes (dual pivot likely). I'm no longer putting in the miles that would justify buying a new road bike that would cost me a least 1500$ - 2000$ to match the quality of what I have now.

Thanks for your input. It's a good reminder that it is nearly impossible to not blow through most upgrading budgets.
You can most definitely do all that for well under $200:
$37 Microshift R8 shifters:
https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256804824021156.html

Used 105 dual pivot brakes ~$30:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/256316683142

Used FD1056 (if your bike didn't already come with this) ~$20
https://www.ebay.com/itm/325901480814
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Old 11-28-23, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee
Those are MicroNEW not Microshift and slightly lesser quality.
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Old 11-28-23, 05:25 PM
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Sensah levers seem to be getting good reviews recently. And they are cheap. That said, I've read the post you mention in your reply : '' Brake calipers for Sensah shifters ''. Indeed, it raises concerns and had me thinking. I was hoping some people would be able to share info on successful Sensah lever and brake combinations. Unfortunately, rim brakes seem to be falling out of favor very quickly. Most reviews of Sensah (for that matter all other brake / lever brands have them paired with disc brakes.
Microshift 2x8 seem hard to come by. Haven't seen much on the Web for the older levers.

Claris is an option I had looked at. A little costly for the budget I had in mind. However, they are probably a better option that Sensah in this case.
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Old 11-28-23, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by gilmic
....My intention is keeping the 8 speed setup, but upgrading to brake/shifters.....
IF changing the shifters, there isn't a better time to upgrade to 9 or ? speed.
All you need in addition to the shifter, is a chain & cassette. They aren't THAT much more money.
I like 9 since you can get a wider variety of cassette combinations that may better suit your needs, while avoiding the confusion about compatibility of >9.
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Old 11-29-23, 01:14 AM
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Your 8 speed hub will accommodate 9 or 10 speed cassettes no problem.

But there's no problem staying with 8 speed if that's your thing. But, I have to ask, do your current 8 speed shifters not work? That would be the only reason to get new shifters. It's not an "upgrade" just a change.
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Old 11-29-23, 08:39 PM
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I'm quite happy with my 8 speed cassettes. True, the jump form one sprocket to another is sometimes a bit wider than I want, but it isn't enough of an issue to move to 9 or 10 speed. I'd also have to go from 130mm to 135mm dropout spacing. These changes add up quickly. And as a previous poster indicated, I'd have a boxfull of unused parts that would have been removed from the bike.

I have the downtube shift levers...they work. However, I want to move to brake/shift levers. Quite enjoy riding with them.
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Old 11-30-23, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by gilmic
I'm quite happy with my 8 speed cassettes. True, the jump form one sprocket to another is sometimes a bit wider than I want, but it isn't enough of an issue to move to 9 or 10 speed. I'd also have to go from 130mm to 135mm dropout spacing. These changes add up quickly. And as a previous poster indicated, I'd have a boxfull of unused parts that would have been removed from the bike.

I have the downtube shift levers...they work. However, I want to move to brake/shift levers. Quite enjoy riding with them.
Your hub would take a 9 or 10 speed cassette without respacing anything. Iíd check how worn the current drivetrain is, and consider this if itís time for replacement.
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Old 12-05-23, 04:13 PM
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If you're changing shifters, I'd go 9 speed... and my two bikes are an 8-speed MTB and a 6x3 half-step + granny sport-touring road bike (that I built up two years ago, from a bike I bought as a singlespeed, and I feel no desire to change it... great bike, great gearing.)

First, if your 8 speed 105 drivetrain is original to the bike, it's likely that the cogs, chain, and chainring have worn together in such a way that changing anything is going to result in at least poor shifting, if not outright chain skipping in your most-used gears.

Brifters are indexed on the front, and indexed front shifting is notoriously finicky. Chainring and chain wear that a friction front shifter wouldn't even notice, and would laugh at if it did, will give an indexed front shifter screaming fits. This is much less true on the rear, for reasons that we're going to ignore. So you're likely to need a new chain, at minimum, if not a new inner (or middle, for triples,) chainring. And guess what... point #1 is going to bite you on the keister. You're gonna need a new cassette.

At which point, staying 8-speed doesn't really pay off. The price gap is almost nil these days, and there's a lot more choice in 9 speed cassettes than in 8. Used 9 speed brifters, Ultegra and even Dura-Ace, are plentiful and cheap. Or, if you don't want to mess around with used parts, Microshift R9s are cheap and work great. Only downside is that they're side-exit shift cables, and that bugs some people.

Plus, for gear nerds like me, the spacing of 9s mimics the spacing of 6s... they tend to be more even across the range, which many legs prefer. Mine sure do, hence the gearing on my road bike.

FWIW, 14-16-18-20-23-26 x 45/42/30, for 13 evenly-spaced, ~7% gears from 87 to 40 inches, (43" on the 42x26, and then an 8% drop to the 30/20,) and then two more ~14% drops down to a 31" low. If I ever converted the bike upward, I'd go with a 9 speed setup, with the 12-34 cassette. Everything I already have, plus an additional 94" and 100" gear on top, and 4 additional ~7% low gears, down to 33", without going to the granny. On the granny, I'd be at 23.5" or so.

With a 130 BCD crank, your existing 8-speed 105 parts, and just playing around with the gear calculator, I'd probably go with 50/39 chainrings, (ramped & pinned for best front shifting with brifters,) a 13-28 cassette, a 9-speed chain, and the 9 speed levers of your choice. Gives a nice spread of gears from ~103" down to 37", with one overlap. (39x15 & 50x19.) Everything should just work.

--Shannon
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Old 12-05-23, 05:50 PM
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Wow! Thank you Shannon...Super complete answer. Although my 105 drivetrain components date to the 90s they are not overly used. However, your (and previous posters') logic makes a lot of sense. I'll look into Microshift 9 speed brake / shifters. (A few cables in the front don't bother me at all. In fact those cables will allow for easier and more straightforward routing to the downtube.)

You mentioned running 50-39 on the 130bcd 105 cranks. This is a change I was going to make. As I age, I am seeing very little use for a 53 t chainring.
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