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Show Your Oddball Shifter/Brake Configurations

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Show Your Oddball Shifter/Brake Configurations

Old 10-21-19, 01:29 PM
  #1  
steelrider58
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Show Your Oddball Shifter/Brake Configurations

I searched a good long while on BF and couldn't find a thread devoted to modified, weird or "inverted" shifters and/or brakes. If you're like me, you think it's so cool when someone uses their ingenuity to solve a problem...without having to resort to buying all new parts (although that doesn't sound too bad).

So, if you've found that "sweet spot" with your bike's shifters or brakes (but it's not how the manufacturer intended), show them off here.

Here's mine...underbar mounted thumb shifters, a la Rivendell. Mine are Deore DX thumbies swapped left to right and mounted below the handlebar. The right side shifter still controls the rear and the left side controls the front. Of course, this only works in friction mode, which is fine by me. I did this so I could free up the top of my handlebar for resting my arms down (when grabbing the bar ends). Seems to work OK for now.



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Old 10-24-19, 10:43 AM
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A roommate of mine who is mostly into MTB riding decided to get into road(ish) biking and configured the following setup:

A threaded quill stem and aluminum bullhorn bars are the foundation for all this. Reverse pull brake levers, which are common on bullhorns. At the 90 degree angle in the bullhorn he put some MTB bar ends (cut short) to mimic the feel of flat bars when not in pursuit position. Then flanking the stem on either side are interruptor levers to enable braking when in the "flat bar" position, a la MTB. Wrapped around the stem is a set of Shimano friction shift levers, also cut short.

Once I reach my 10 post minimum, I'll see if I can get a picture to really show off this one-of-a-kind setup. Oh, and the bars are a bright, deep blue anodized color which makes it that much more unique
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Old 10-24-19, 11:00 AM
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Old 10-24-19, 12:20 PM
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I also used the "Rivendell mount" for some Suntour thumbies:



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Old 10-24-19, 01:17 PM
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Does the Riv mount interfere with grip space when the shifter is pointed straight to the grip? My Paul thumbies have to be be spaced back when top mounted so the shifter doesn’t stab me when it’s pointed out. I’m curious if the bottom mount helps at all with this?
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Old 10-24-19, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by amillhench View Post
Does the Riv mount interfere with grip space when the shifter is pointed straight to the grip? My Paul thumbies have to be be spaced back when top mounted so the shifter doesn’t stab me when it’s pointed out. I’m curious if the bottom mount helps at all with this?
For me, since mine is a city bike, I shift the rear often enough that I like having my fingers hover over the shifter. So, even though the shifter is in the field of contact, I don't perceive it as obstructive. Even on the left/front, which does not move as often, the shifter only juts as far as my index finger and thumb in the "straight out" position, so I can let my fingers hover comfortably as well. It is a different feel from push/pull trigger shifters, which stay where your finger/thumb rest and provide a comfortable platform, but I am getting to really enjoy friction now that I have learned how to tune shifting and am using high quality friction derailleurs and shifters.

Last edited by noobinsf; 10-24-19 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 10-24-19, 02:03 PM
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The brake lever configuration on my mountain bike is not unusual, but I do like the ability to operate the long motorcycle-style 4-finger brake levers with my 4th and 5th fingers while my hands are on the extensions.
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Old 10-24-19, 02:43 PM
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I wish I had a picture of the set-up I rode with my left arm in a sling: 3x7 drivetrain with a brifter on the right to shift the rear and a DT shifter mounted on a Kelly Take-Off to shift the front with the right thumb. Actually worked pretty well.

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Old 10-24-19, 02:57 PM
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Here's my early 1990s Univega Via Carisma that's in a continuous state of flummox. I keep modifying and tweaking it every few months.

It began with a cockpit like this mixte version (not my photo), same flat bar and modular shifters that mounted to a metal plate on the brakes, rather than directly to the handlebar. The bike's component group was Shimano Exage (most of which later morphed into Deore -- the earlier Exage 500 CX long cage rear derailleur and later Deore LX are nearly identical, including model numbers).

But I'm not sure about the brake/shifter group -- it's Shimano but there's no model designation. Both sides indexed, thumb operated only. Unfortunately both shifters failed the same way about a year apart -- wear to pins and holes prevented reliable shifting. Disassembly, cleaning and relubing didn't help.

I used cheap SunRace SLM-10 friction thumb shifters for about a year, then switched to Shimano bar-end shifters -- friction for the front derailleur, index or friction for the rear. With the original 7-speed rear derailleur it'll cover an 8-speed 11-32 cassette in friction mode only, but won't hold the last click securely in indexed mode. With a 30T small chainring and 28T cog I rarely need the 32T cog anyway, even with the bike loaded with groceries.

I kept the brakes but the metal mounting plate for the original shifter no longer serves any purpose. I considered mounting lights to the plates but would need an adjustable mount like a ballhead to make it work. Eventually I'll replace the brakes with more streamlined levers.

***



Original setup, with indexed thumb shifters mounted to a plate attached to the brakes. That flat bar would be considered too narrow nowadays.


First variation back in 2016-2017, riser bar, same brake/shifter combo. The left shifter failed after a few months and was replaced by a friction shifter. Later I used the SunRace SLM-100 friction thumbies on both sides.


More or less the current setup since 2018. Nitto Albatross bar, original brakes, now with Shimano bar-end shifters. Very good setup for this bike, with long top tube and stretched out riding position with the original bars.


More or less the current setup since 2018. Nitto Albatross bar, original brakes, now with Shimano bar-end shifters. Very good setup for this bike, with long top tube and stretched out riding position with the original bars.


More or less the current setup since 2018. Nitto Albatross bar, original brakes, now with Shimano bar-end shifters. Very good setup for this bike, with long top tube and stretched out riding position with the original bars.


More or less the current setup since 2018. Nitto Albatross bar, original brakes, now with Shimano bar-end shifters. Very good setup for this bike, with long top tube and stretched out riding position with the original bars.
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Old 10-24-19, 05:37 PM
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Nothing odd. but i really like thumb shifters on top (I have a 1x8 setup) totally easy to use very natural
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Old 10-25-19, 02:31 AM
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I have one bike with wide bars, an Ultegra 10 speed flat bar rear shifter and brake levers with a Dura Ace DT front shifter.
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Old 10-25-19, 02:52 AM
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Not too oddball (to me) but you don’t see this arrangement all that often on a road bike:



This is the Accushift Command 7/8 speed shifter mated to an 8 speed cassette (all SunTour BTW) - shifts great. Also I mounted mine below, not above the brake lever for a racier look/feel and they are fine.


The housing was re-done by me, then had to be re-done again since it was about 1.5” too short, arghh!


I do like the Cane Creek aero levers and how positively they brake with the re-built 7403 dual pivots.
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Old 10-27-19, 04:07 PM
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I finally remembered to post my oddball shifter config. When I did the drop bar conversion on my Trek 850 I decided to mount the thumbies on the drops - sort of a compromise between DT shifters and bar ends. I do have to reach a bit for them but I'm still right on the bars. I've ridden this bike a lot over the past couple of years and this position really works for me. I've not seen another like this.



These are 3x7 Deore indexed. Someone had pitched them into the garbage so I snagged em and restored. They work just fine, real well actually.

Lovely to be out in the Pennsylvania woods these days, hmmm? Oh, like my kids bike "clown horn"? It sure does get folks attention. I honked a women yesterday who jerked her head up and scanned the sky. I assume she thought it was a hawk or something. Dogs love this horn.
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Old 11-02-19, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf View Post
I also used the "Rivendell mount" for some Suntour thumbies:



Thanks for sharing this. I wasn't sure how this particular shifter would work as undermount. I am considering switching to the old power ratchets.
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Old 11-02-19, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
Nothing odd. but i really like thumb shifters on top (I have a 1x8 setup) totally easy to use very natural
Nice. 1x8 setups are underrated, IMO.
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Old 11-02-19, 02:23 PM
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Suntour wishbone shifters, out on the barends, making the barends the main position.


controls on barends view from the saddle by Lester Luallin, on Flickr


controls on barends viewed from front of bike by Lester Luallin, on Flickr
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Old 11-02-19, 04:55 PM
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I've got a few bikes with Command Shifters as well- these have been modified to 10s.


IMG_2402 by Dave The Golden Boy, on Flickr
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Old 11-02-19, 06:05 PM
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This is starting to come together, Dura Ace/Gevenalle Audax levers.

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Old 11-02-19, 06:17 PM
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Does Mavic Mektronic wireless shifters working with a Zap derailleur count?

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Old 11-02-19, 06:26 PM
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Well, there's no telling what Sheldon Brown would have achieved by now, were it not for his very untimely passing. This contraption is a bit of a tribute to his inspiration, and to my roots. The refinished 81-speed SuperCourse (with remarkably few duplicate gearing combination as a 3x3x9) is a reality.






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Old 11-02-19, 11:27 PM
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I put a pair of downtube or stem mount shifters onto modified Suicide Brake lever protrusions where the Suicide Brake lever used to go.










Cheers
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Old 11-03-19, 10:10 AM
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This has nothing unusual about the shifters, but here is a bike with a quirky brake setup. It might be hard to notice, so see if you can figure it out. The picture is from about 1982. The bike is a 70s Atala Competizione, repainted by Cyclart and built up by me.

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Old 11-03-19, 10:22 AM
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This is as odd as I got and how I done got it...





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Old 11-03-19, 10:42 AM
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From an old build. I've dealt with a pinched nerve in my neck for a long time, when I got back into cycling I used upright bars exclusively - holding my head up on rides would cause my arm to go numb. This on an early 70's Raleigh International:



As I rode more I found that the pinched nerve to somehow start "healing." It's interesting that the cure and rehab for most injuries the past few decades is to get on my bike, and everything got drop bars from then on. I'd always been intrigued by SunTour Command shifters, but putting them below the brake levers meant having to bend over into the drops to shift. If you put them above the brake levers, they're right at your fingertips when riding the hoods, but interfere with aero cable routing. No problem, there's a solution for that:

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Old 11-03-19, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
From an old build. I've dealt with a pinched nerve in my neck for a long time, when I got back into cycling I used upright bars exclusively - holding my head up on rides would cause my arm to go numb. This on an early 70's Raleigh International:



As I rode more I found that the pinched nerve to somehow start "healing." It's interesting that the cure and rehab for most injuries the past few decades is to get on my bike, and everything got drop bars from then on. I'd always been intrigued by SunTour Command shifters, but putting them below the brake levers meant having to bend over into the drops to shift. If you put them above the brake levers, they're right at your fingertips when riding the hoods, but interfere with aero cable routing. No problem, there's a solution for that:

Do you ride that bike with the quick-release on the brake lever engaged like in your photo?

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