pre STI shifters for racing

Now we have something / quite-a-lot to discuss and celebrate.
Tompsk
Posts: 40
Joined: 6 Nov 2014, 9:35am

Re: pre STI shifters for racing

Postby Tompsk » 3 Dec 2017, 7:12pm

My experience and comments on the 3 systems:

STi / Ergo / Tap needs different cable outers so the pull does not change when the handlebars are turned, if using brake cable outers there is a small change in length which leads to the mech moving slightly. This probably didn't matter with 5 speeds, but with more speeds (9/10/11) may mean a noisy drive chain or inadvertent gear change. Multi cog changes can be a pain as multiple pushes are needed to go across the cassette - I often need this due to wide spacing between the 2 front chainrings, to maintain cadence a double and multi shift is required.

Bar end changers have some advantages / disadvantages (at least for me): In friction mode you can use whatever number of sprockets you like at the back, this is quite useful if your bike is multipurpose, e.g commuting / fast day ride / touring in flat, hilly and mountain areas. Banging your knees on them is an additional hazard as you start / stop. A double shift can be more tricky than the other systems as two hands are definitely required at the same time. Braking and shifting is not so easy. Shifting across as many cogs as you like is easy and just one move, rather than many taps or pushes.

Down tube shifters are lighter, easier to maintain, cheaper and allow any combination of gear shifts simultaneously with one hand - I regularly shift both front and rear mechs with my right hand with the rear shifter in the crook of the first finger and thumb and the front changer operated at the same time with either of the said digits - this does not take long to master.

As for pros the current STi / Ergo / Tap systems are a must for speed as others have said.

JohnW
Posts: 5570
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: pre STI shifters for racing

Postby JohnW » 4 Dec 2017, 11:57am

Tompsk wrote:My experience and comment.............Down tube shifters are lighter, easier to maintain, cheaper and allow any combination of gear shifts simultaneously with one hand - I regularly shift both front and rear mechs with my right hand with the rear shifter in the crook of the first finger and thumb and the front changer operated at the same time with either of the said digits - this does not take long to master.

As for pros the current STi / Ergo / Tap systems are a must for speed as others have said.


I can understand that the various STI type gear changing systems are de rigueur for racing men because when properly adjusted they change fast, and the guys your racing have them and if you don't you're at a disadvantage. I'm not sure that they'll have the same disadvantage for time-trialists - except they're better posing-tackle........it's a good few years since my time trialling days - I always rode friction down-tube levers and I never came last! Otherwise I have always used friction down-tube levers - I don't think that even indexing gives any r4eal, practical advantage and as Tompsk says - they make everything compatible with everything else...............none of yer' worrying about 'will groupset X accept groupset Y's bits', and none of yer' worrying about the cost of replacing a major part of your groupset because one bit's worn out and no-one stocks it anymore.

I'm really heartened to read your post Tompsk.

I now expect a tirade of "your drum's worn out, stop banging it" - "get out of the dark ages" - "keep up with the times"............etc etc

Each to their own though - but so many of my cycling friends now have to take their bikes to one of the decreasing number of bike shops for repairs/readjustment/servicing/replacement of their increasingly sophisticated tackle. What's like gonna be like for them when we'll need a PhD in electronics to fit a rear gear changer? For me it's stick to simple.