pre STI shifters for racing

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Si
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pre STI shifters for racing

Postby Si » 10 Nov 2017, 3:03pm

Here's a thing...in the days before STI shifters why did pro racers prefer DT shifters to bar end shifters? You'd have thunk that bar end would be better as it would mean less time with hands off the bars and thus quicker shifts..?

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Re: pre STI shifters for racing

Postby rjb » 10 Nov 2017, 4:59pm

Many pro riders were using them in the 1960's.
Google the likes of Tom Simpson. The outer cables back then were the standard coiled variety with no super slippery lining and most riders had them under the handlebar tape all the way from the end of the drops to the top of the bars adjacent the stem. The increased friction caused some problems which were overcome by having stronger springs in the rear mech, which in turn meant that the lever had to be a lot tighter than the more modern d/t light action shifters. I tried them back then, the Campag ones but always reverted to D/T levers.

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Si
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Re: pre STI shifters for racing

Postby Si » 12 Nov 2017, 2:11pm

Akes sense. I am converting one of mine back to drops with the choice of dt or be....which got me musing as to why most of the non-sti racers id seen had dt rather than be.

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Re: pre STI shifters for racing

Postby drossall » 12 Nov 2017, 7:31pm

Bar-end shifters were popular with cross riders, because you didn't have to take your hands off the bars. However, as rjb says, the gears did not respond as crisply, because of the longer cables. Also, there was great emphasis on weight, especially in time trialling, and longer cables are more weight.

The other thing is that down-tube shifters are nowhere near as much a disadvantage as you might think. Since, with a little practice, you know exactly where the lever is without looking, and exactly how much to move it to get the next gear, you can get a really quick change. This is not to deny the benefits of STIs/Ergos, but rather to say that those who have grown up on the modern equipment will probably overestimate how much difference it makes.

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Si
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Re: pre STI shifters for racing

Postby Si » 13 Nov 2017, 7:11am

Yep, i grew up with dt and am familiar with how easy they are to use for touring and day to day riding. But can see why bar based shifters can be preferable for racing and off roading. Still not sure what to use for the 'gravel bike'.

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Re: pre STI shifters for racing

Postby pete75 » 14 Nov 2017, 10:15am

Si wrote:Here's a thing...in the days before STI shifters why did pro racers prefer DT shifters to bar end shifters? You'd have thunk that bar end would be better as it would mean less time with hands off the bars and thus quicker shifts..?


In the sixties/seventies when I raced it was not uncommon for the more competitive to accidently nudge an opponents barcon in a close sprint
thus putting them in the wrong gear or derailing the chain altogether. The latter generally led to uncomfortable contact with the crossbar. A lot of us avoided them because of that. They were also a lot more expensive than downtube levers and there wasn't so much money about back then.

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Re: pre STI shifters for racing

Postby drossall » 14 Nov 2017, 6:59pm

Friends of mine, in social riding, used to lean across on steep hills, and nudge each others' DT shifters into top :D They never did it to me, because I was already way behind in spite of still being on low gears :lol:

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Re: pre STI shifters for racing

Postby Pneumant » 18 Nov 2017, 5:29pm

There is no disadvantage to using DT shifters at all. I much prefer DT levers as they have a snappy and positive feel compared to STI levers. Reaching down to change gear is really no bother at all. In fact if you are on the drops it is a superior set-up as no reaching forward to change gear. DT levers also encourage you to commit to the gear, especially riding uphill, as you do have to be sat down to change gear. This is not quite the hindrance you might imagine as riders of fixed wheel bikes will confirm. So less gear changing but that also equates to less lever / derailleur wear and so on. Other benefits include a very neat appearance, levers unlikely to be damaged in a crash, a lighter bar set-up with less cable and IMO more comfortable brake levers. As mentioned you can also easily see which gear you are in plus you can operate both levers together with either hand. Just try attempting that with STI's!

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Re: pre STI shifters for racing

Postby thirdcrank » 18 Nov 2017, 5:48pm

I think it may also have something to do with servicing. The more modern Shimano type of bar end lever fits onto its mount not unlike a d/t lever. The original Campag set up had a slot into which the lever fitted, along with a couple of springy washers each with a central slot. What I can only describe as a very deep nut - a sort of threaded tube went through the middle of all that and was tightened up with a bolt. Replacing a cable meant that the whole lot had to be dismantled then put back together. A bit of a faff for a mechanic servicing all a team's bikes in a stage race. I'd agree with the comments about cable drag: I reduced that a bit on mine by running the cable direct from the lever to the d/t stop.
==================================================
Since posting, I've found this with some detailed pics and some explanation

http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/ca ... -ends.html

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Si
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Re: pre STI shifters for racing

Postby Si » 19 Nov 2017, 12:29pm

There is no disadvantage to using DT shifters


for most day to day riding or touring no, but for racing and off roading sti type shifters do offer an advantage......assuming they are set up right.

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Re: pre STI shifters for racing

Postby pete75 » 19 Nov 2017, 4:18pm

Si wrote:
There is no disadvantage to using DT shifters


for most day to day riding or touring no, but for racing and off roading sti type shifters do offer an advantage......assuming they are set up right.


Do STI type shifters offer any real advantage over Campag Ergos or Sram double tap?

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Si
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Re: pre STI shifters for racing

Postby Si » 19 Nov 2017, 8:16pm

pete75 wrote:
Si wrote:
There is no disadvantage to using DT shifters


for most day to day riding or touring no, but for racing and off roading sti type shifters do offer an advantage......assuming they are set up right.


Do STI type shifters offer any real advantage over Campag Ergos or Sram double tap?


dunno, i was using the phrase ' sti type' to mean the integrated brake/gear lever from any maker.

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Re: pre STI shifters for racing

Postby pete75 » 19 Nov 2017, 8:21pm

Si wrote:
pete75 wrote:
Si wrote:
for most day to day riding or touring no, but for racing and off roading sti type shifters do offer an advantage......assuming they are set up right.


Do STI type shifters offer any real advantage over Campag Ergos or Sram double tap?


dunno, i was using the phrase ' sti type' to mean the integrated brake/gear lever from any maker.


OOOOh be careful the Big S will be onto you for trademark violation :wink:

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Re: pre STI shifters for racing

Postby Gattonero » 26 Nov 2017, 1:47pm

Pneumant wrote:There is no disadvantage to using DT shifters at all.

It's actually the opposite.
Simple situation: steep downhill and sharp left (or right, assuming you have full visibility) turning on a lane that reveals been steep uphill. You hands are on both brakes and you may be signaling the change of direction.
With STI's you can brake AND change gear with the hands in the same position. With DT shifters you have to take one hand off the brake, or leave the shifting at the last moment, likely being already on the uphill thus stressing the chain and sprockets.
This is a very typical scenario when negotiating with uneven terrain, not just off-road but also bridleways, loose road surface, tight hairpins at speed, and the likes.

I do agree about some of the advantages, and I'll add that DT shifters make for packing a bike a lot easier, especially "rinko style"https://janheine.wordpress.com/2016/07/08/how-small-is-a-rinko-bike/ 8)

Pneumant wrote:IMO more comfortable brake levers.

Very debatable. Maybe for people with small hands, but the ones with medium hands would already find the cross section of the hoods -in a brake only lever- very thin, this creates a pressure point on the hands. No surprise that STI type levers have gone to a much different shape during the years, modern ones being very forgiving about this.

Pneumant wrote:plus you can operate both levers together with either hand. Just try attempting that with STI's!

That would take a lot of skill and well-adjusted DT shifters, because the Lh and Rh would often have a different ratio in regards of the FD or RD so they end up being stiffer or lighter in one of the two. In a typical scenario of approaching a hill, with DT shifters the Lh lever goes down to the front (to drop in the small ring) while the Rh lever goes to the back (to engage bigger sprockets), the span between the two can be too big to be operated with one hand.
While on the other hand (pun intended) with STI's you have everything on hand already, i.e. with Ergopowers push the buttons on both sides and voilà, small ring and two or three bigger sprockets are engaged in one second.

It is no surprise that STI became popular almost right away, especially during the heated moments of a race, being able to change gear without the obvious movement of the hands down on the frame, is a great advantage both climbing and sprinting.

p.s.
I do use DT shifters, and very happy with them, but certainly won't use them in all situations, STI's/Ergo's do offer a no-brainer approach because the hands would not leave the bars and the brake levers in critical situations.
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best,
since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.
Thus you remember them as they actually are...

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Re: pre STI shifters for racing

Postby amediasatex » 28 Nov 2017, 11:49am

There is no disadvantage to using DT shifters at all. I much prefer DT levers as they have a snappy and positive feel compared to STI levers. Reaching down to change gear is really no bother at all


For racing? Against other riders not using STI/Ergo/DoubleTap?

As others have said, for touring, utility riding, training and just 'normal' riding they're no bother at all, and I use them on several bikes, but for racing? no thanks! I'd be spat out the back of the group in no time! Even on some of our faster training rides and chaingangs it's a disadvantage.

Do not under estimate the advantage of being able to shift without moving your hands, standing climbing, braking into turns, sprinting out of them or on the flat, trying to hold onto a break etc. It might only be moments but those are the moments that you lose the wheel in front, and it's nothing to do with skill or lack of familiarity, I'm very familiar with my DT levers, and adequately skilled in operating them, but by the time I've got my hand halfway off the bar...everyone else will have shifted and already be pulling away.