Bar end levers - why?

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Big T
Posts: 2105
Joined: 16 Jul 2007, 1:44pm
Location: Nottingham
Contact:

Re: Bar end levers - why?

Postby Big T » 1 Nov 2013, 5:33pm

And what if the light changes 2 yards from the line? You can brake or change gear but you can't do both. I can.

And who goes touring in India?
My JOGLE blog:
http://www.jogler2009.blogspot.com
twitter: @bikingtrev

hamster
Posts: 3175
Joined: 2 Feb 2007, 12:42pm

Re: Bar end levers - why?

Postby hamster » 1 Nov 2013, 6:00pm

Big T wrote:And who goes touring in India?


Clearly not you. :wink:

If you go tootling round Western Europe on tarmac then STIs are absolutely fine. However if you are riding further off the beaten track then reliability and repairability become more serious considerations. There is no single perfect answer. I'm not saying that bar-ends are uniquely better than STI, but that they have their place.

alpgirl
Posts: 164
Joined: 30 May 2012, 10:22pm

Re: Bar end levers - why?

Postby alpgirl » 1 Nov 2013, 6:37pm

I love my bar end shifters. Far easier to use than the STIs on my non tourer. Great in cold weather as easy to change gear with thick gloves or mitts!

phil parker
Posts: 1005
Joined: 31 Dec 2009, 5:09pm
Location: Hants/Wilts

Re: Bar end levers - why?

Postby phil parker » 1 Nov 2013, 10:42pm

I fitted my recent build Genesis Croix de Fer with bar end levers for the following reason:

1. Reliability, simplicity and ease of use.
2. To use drop bars with disc brakes (I used Mtb cable operated disc brakes for extra power)
3. Flexibility for the interchange ability of road and Mtb gears for touring.

Nothing else would do!

It took a bit of getting used to, but I'm quite happy with my choice!

User avatar
Si
Moderator
Posts: 15020
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 7:37pm

Re: Bar end levers - why?

Postby Si » 2 Nov 2013, 9:47am

Big T wrote:And what if the light changes 2 yards from the line? You can brake or change gear but you can't do both. I can.

And who goes touring in India?



Well, if you can stop in two yards then you are going pretty slow anyway and thus won't need to change gear. If you can't stop in two yards then you carry on, and thus don't need to change gear. Simples.
And, of course, following your logic for justifying STIs, you'd have to admit that STIs are for dinosaurs compared to hub gears which let you change gear after you have stopped, thus making things much more simple :D .

Seriously though, I'm not saying that STI are rubbish, and if you are involved in competition then they can give a real advantage, but they are far from the be-all and end-all for every day riding - they have some good points and some less good points, just like BEs and DTs, and anything else. To attempt to justify one particular type as the ultimate just won't work as everyone rides in a different style, does different types of riding and is a different size and shape....so experiences will never be totally transferable between all riders. Really you have to narrow down the scope of your requirements and say what are the best shifters for this particular set of contexts...and even then you probably won't get a clear winner.

User avatar
fausto copy
Posts: 2455
Joined: 14 Dec 2008, 6:51pm
Location: Pembrokeshire

Re: Bar end levers - why?

Postby fausto copy » 2 Nov 2013, 2:09pm

Apart from our Thorn Ravens with Rohloff, we've got bar ends on all our other (5) bikes.

I don't need to change gear and brake at the same time and I also don't need to honk up hills and bang my knees with the shifters.
I've got low enough gears to sit and twiddle thanks to being able to use virtually any combination of mountain, road or touring gears.

And on my proper tourer, with the bars higher than the saddle, I can spike my knees with the levers without standing up. :mrgreen:

User avatar
meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Bar end levers - why?

Postby meic » 2 Nov 2013, 2:15pm

phil parker wrote:I fitted my recent build Genesis Croix de Fer with bar end levers for the following reason:

1. Reliability, simplicity and ease of use.
2. To use drop bars with disc brakes (I used Mtb cable operated disc brakes for extra power)
3. Flexibility for the interchange ability of road and Mtb gears for touring.

Nothing else would do!

It took a bit of getting used to, but I'm quite happy with my choice!


I would have thought that down tube levers would do quite well.
They also score added points for reliability and simplicity over bar-ends.
Yma o Hyd

wilfster
Posts: 6
Joined: 14 May 2012, 8:57pm

Re: Bar end levers - why?

Postby wilfster » 3 Nov 2013, 5:49pm

Thanks for all the input and advice, I think I might just have to try them for myself! At present I can't see myself going outside of Europe, although even up 'til now have been to some lonely spots! - so might be able to get by on STI's. I like things that are built to last though, and bar end levers may well take the day on this front.

phil parker
Posts: 1005
Joined: 31 Dec 2009, 5:09pm
Location: Hants/Wilts

Re: Bar end levers - why?

Postby phil parker » 3 Nov 2013, 9:22pm

meic wrote:I would have thought that down tube levers would do quite well. They also score added points for reliability and simplicity over bar-ends.


Ah yes, I remember down tube levers...perhaps not as fondly as some other good folk on this forum - I used to race with down tube levers in the mid-80s and when I first used STI's in about 2002 there was literally no turning back for me!

I have often wondered what it would be like going back to down tube levers again, especially for touring - and you're right, who could argue against the potential for reliability and simplicity?

Alas, most new frames [off-the-peg] no longer have the braze-ons for down tube levers - and I remember converting the braze-ons for in-line adjusters when upgrading friends' bikes in recent years!

Image

Big T
Posts: 2105
Joined: 16 Jul 2007, 1:44pm
Location: Nottingham
Contact:

Re: Bar end levers - why?

Postby Big T » 3 Nov 2013, 10:24pm

wilfster wrote:Thanks for all the input and advice, I think I might just have to try them for myself! At present I can't see myself going outside of Europe, although even up 'til now have been to some lonely spots! - so might be able to get by on STI's. I like things that are built to last though, and bar end levers may well take the day on this front.


I've got 8 speed Ergo levers that are 16 years old and until recently were doing sterling service on my wife's winter bike. They've never even had the springs replaced. I've also got 9 speed Ergo's that are 12 years old and still in service. I've only been using Shimano STI's for about 5 years so can't comment on their longevity, but i do know people who have 9 speed dura-ace levers that are 15 years old.

Bar end levers are mechanically simpler, so less to go wrong, but don't think that Ergo's/STi's are unreliable because they aren't.

Choice of levers doesn't affect gear choice either. My STI equipped tourer has 46/36/26 and an 11-34 cassette. I can get up virtually anything on that, standing up or sitting down.

I do have bar-end shifters on my TT bike, though, for the same reason I have STI's on my road bikes - because I can change gear without having to move my hands to another part of the bars.

If STI's are prone to damage in transit, then aren't road brake levers too? So shouldn't we all be touring with flat bars and MTB levers?

I'm not trying to persuade anyone to use STI's over BES's. Just trying to debunk a few myths about STI's and provide a bit of balance
My JOGLE blog:
http://www.jogler2009.blogspot.com
twitter: @bikingtrev

Barrenfluffit
Posts: 797
Joined: 20 Oct 2009, 5:31pm

Re: Bar end levers - why?

Postby Barrenfluffit » 4 Nov 2013, 9:06am

These days bikes have a lot of gears and the number has been increasing for some time. The revelation about mountain bikes for me was that twist grip shift meant your hand were always on the lever and as a consequence you changed gear almost constantly. Which meant spending more time in the right gear and a much easier riding experience. I'm now back on downtube shifters and find that taking my hands off the bars means I do tend to delay changes.

Which suggests that levers close to to your usual hand position are the most effective. Its a shame you can't put twist grips on the tops.

Barrenfluffit
Posts: 797
Joined: 20 Oct 2009, 5:31pm

Re: Bar end levers - why?

Postby Barrenfluffit » 4 Nov 2013, 9:10am

Also to say that you can mix the approaches for different levers; maybe the front lever in a less convenient position.

LWaB
Posts: 121
Joined: 26 Nov 2010, 5:33am

Re: Bar end levers - why?

Postby LWaB » 4 Nov 2013, 7:45pm

With bar end shifters, I know what gear the bike is in at night. Judging by the amount of cross-chaining I see on other bikes after dark, STI and similar have a major disadvantage.

RonK
Posts: 190
Joined: 17 Sep 2011, 1:56pm

Re: Bar end levers - why?

Postby RonK » 6 Nov 2013, 4:24am

I seen some wacko justifications for bare-ends in the past but that one ^ takes the cake... :lol: :lol: :lol:
The theory is simple: a) cycling is inherently fun, and b) the less weight you carry, the more fun it is.

Tour Journals, Articles and Blog: Whispering Wheels

User avatar
Si
Moderator
Posts: 15020
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 7:37pm

Re: Bar end levers - why?

Postby Si » 6 Nov 2013, 8:44am

RonK wrote:I seen some wacko justifications for bare-ends in the past but that one ^ takes the cake... :lol: :lol: :lol:


You must have a weird understanding of 'wacko' then. For those of us that ride at night a lot, especially in mixed terrain with little or no street lighting, this can be a major advantage if you want your chain to last.