Bar end friction shifters

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Greystoke
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Re: Bar end friction shifters

Postby Greystoke » 1 Apr 2019, 12:52pm

I see Shimano do some drop handlebar mount shifters which look like they may be a better option as you can change while riding on the tops of the drops.
Anyone used them?

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freiston
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Re: Bar end friction shifters

Postby freiston » 1 Apr 2019, 1:05pm

Brucey wrote:...I've never been a long term BE shifter user; I think (for me) there is nearly always a better place to position a simple gear lever of this type, eg near the hoods, under the tops, under the stem, on the downtube. However BE shifters have the not insubstantial advantage that they are easy to fit to almost any dropped handlebar, whereas the other options usually require some kind of special fitment, meaning that there often isn't an easy bolt-on solution...

...However I do note that there is definitely a knack to using these levers; e.g. rather than grabbing the lever with your thumb and forefinger, it is probably better to grasp the handlebar and to use either the third and fourth fingers to raise the lever or the base of your thumb to push the lever downwards; this, I think, makes it far less likely that you will push the handlebar during a shift and therefore cause a wobble. Have others noticed the same thing, I wonder?

cheers

I've been using 9spd bar end shifters for a few years now (friction front, indexed rear) and really like them. On the rear,my technique is pretty much as Brucey describes - it's very much teasing or guiding the lever in the lower palm of the hand rather than an obvious push/pull. The front shifter changing is more pronounced but trimming technique is similar to the rear shifter action. I don't really think about it when I'm doing it, so I hope that I haven't misrepresented the reality through poor recall.

Other than the b/e shifters, I've only ever used d/t shifters or flat bar shifters either twist shifters or with two levers each - one for up and the other for down. I hated the twist shifter - was often changing gear by accident and the rubber irritated my skin. I'm not keen on the double lever click-click-click gear shifting either. Ideally, I would like something on the lines of "Thumbies" but as Brucey mentioned, they have their own fitting challenges (especially when bar bags are used and electronic devices are occupying handlebars).
Disclaimer: Treat what I say with caution and if possible, wait for someone with more knowledge and experience to contribute. ;)

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freiston
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Re: Bar end friction shifters

Postby freiston » 1 Apr 2019, 1:07pm

irc wrote:
Greystoke wrote:I've only used friction shifters with 5 & 6 speed where they worked fine, 9 speed may be awkward.


I've found that 8 speed bar ends indexed easily and stayed indexed. I have found that 9 speeds (Shimano and Microshift) are tricky to index. It needs to be spot on. But with downtube mounted adjusters they can be fine tuned on the move.

Other than indexing I love them. They let me use and front derailleur without compatibility issues. They let me use full size V brakes. They let me use a brake hood mounted mirror.

+1 to that
Disclaimer: Treat what I say with caution and if possible, wait for someone with more knowledge and experience to contribute. ;)

tatanab
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Re: Bar end friction shifters

Postby tatanab » 1 Apr 2019, 1:16pm

Brucey wrote:However I do note that there is definitely a knack to using these levers; e.g. rather than grabbing the lever with your thumb and forefinger, it is probably better to grasp the handlebar and to use either the third and fourth fingers to raise the lever or the base of your thumb to push the lever downwards; this, I think, makes it far less likely that you will push the handlebar during a shift and therefore cause a wobble. Have others noticed the same thing, I wonder?
I used bar end levers extensively in the 70s and 80s. Handy on trikes and very handy on tandems. I never thought about or analysed how I operated them, the method you have described just came naturally.
Campag levers (friction) I found it beneficial to strip and clean them once year probably, and the cables, or else they became very stiff in use which made fine tuning difficult. Suntour barcons (ratchet/friction) were a revelation being very light in operation and not needing the maintenance. In the 2000s I used Shimano 8 speed indexed bar ends on a hack machine for a year or so. They were very light in use. Somewhere in my box of bits I have some 70s friction bar ends, ones that became Dura Ace, which are spring assisted. I never used these so I cannot comment first hand but it seems to me they would be difficult to set up just right. I have no bar ends in current use.

robc02
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Re: Bar end friction shifters

Postby robc02 » 1 Apr 2019, 6:58pm

I use Suntour Power Ratchet (I think that is the correct name!) bar ends on one of my bikes. I use them as described by previous posters and find them to be fine. There is the occasional trimming adjustment needed but that's about it. However, I fitted them because I had them in my spares cupboard from a previous project. Starting from scratch I would probably have opted for indexed ones - especially if they could be switched to friction if necessary.

Brucey
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Re: Bar end friction shifters

Postby Brucey » 1 Apr 2019, 11:02pm

the dia compe levers would be my choice from currently available friction levers. However they are fiercely expensive for what they are; if you can lay your paws on an old set of SunTour Power Ratchet levers they will work just as well and cost a fair whack less.

There are some other options on this page

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/gear-shifters-rapidfire-trigger/

including these

Image

Dia Compe 'wing' shifters which are kind of sun tour 'command' shifters reborn in a (pricey) friction guise.

Options for a custom/DIY mount lever include (as a starting point)

a) Sun Race LH thumbshifter; this mounts to 22.2mm bars but it isn't beyond the wit of man to revise this. The action is like a suntour power ratchet, but has about half as many clicks. £17.99 each. [NB it is possible to take an indexed RH shifter and another LH shifter, and combine parts of the two to create 1) a non-indexed RH shifter and 2) 'something else' which might be a workable 9s LH shifter.]

b) Sun race R80 downtube levers. These are 8s indexed only on the right lever, and there is no cable stop built into the bracket. But for £14.99 you get bracket parts which can be cut up, welded, modified etc so that you can have gear levers mounted somewhere on the handlebars, without breaking the bank.

IIRC do check this to be sure, but the Sun Race thumbshifter cable pull is such that when attached to a shimano 'road' 11s RD and cassette, two clicks is exactly one downshift; this gives a 'semi-indexed' downshift.

Note that if you have a typical modern lever set, ie, an indexed-only RH lever and a friction LH lever, there is very little to stop you from using the LH lever to control the RD and using the indexed RH lever to control the FD; there are enough clicks in most RH levers to permit a good action (and trimming) of many FDs, and you are not stuck with the original number of sprockets at the rear.

cheers
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geomannie
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Re: Bar end friction shifters

Postby geomannie » 9 Apr 2019, 9:46pm

My venerable Raleigh Royal pimped with new(ish) bar-endies thanks to another forum member. Looking good and riding even better.
IMG_20190409_205050.jpg
geomannie

pete75
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Re: Bar end friction shifters

Postby pete75 » 10 Apr 2019, 10:36am

Brucey wrote: However I do note that there is definitely a knack to using these levers; e.g. rather than grabbing the lever with your thumb and forefinger, it is probably better to grasp the handlebar and to use either the third and fourth fingers to raise the lever or the base of your thumb to push the lever downwards; this, I think, makes it far less likely that you will push the handlebar during a shift and therefore cause a wobble. Have others noticed the same thing, I wonder?

cheers


What you describe is what I've always thought of as the normal way of using them. Never had any wobbly problems either.

Ivor Tingting
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Re: Bar end friction shifters

Postby Ivor Tingting » 12 Apr 2019, 1:05am

landsurfer wrote:
geomannie wrote:
landsurfer wrote:Don't do it their a nightmare ...

Can you be a bit more explicit? I am well acquainted with bar end friction shifters and like using them. Do you think shifters of this type in general, or specifically the models I linked to are nightmares?

Thanks


Last July i rode LEJOG with bar end shifters on my bike .... 900 miles later ( we went off route a few times ... :) ) i removed the bar shifters and threw them into the sea to dissolve back whence they came.
Compared with even the cheapest combo brake levers they are the most pointless, awkward to use component ever designed for a bicycle ... with the possible exception of the OZ Gear ....


Well I am going to stick my neck above the parapet and agree with you. Some one was having a laugh when they came up with them. I guess they are still in circulation as there are still a small but significant number of people still using them. I think they are dangerous. Nothing beats STI brake.gear levers combined or indeed flat bar rapid fire shifters with brake levers at your finger tips.
"Zat is ze reel prowoking qwestion Mr Paxman." - Peer Steinbruck, German Finance Minister 31/03/2009.

NickJP
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Re: Bar end friction shifters

Postby NickJP » 12 Apr 2019, 7:45am

landsurfer wrote:Last July i rode LEJOG with bar end shifters on my bike .... 900 miles later ( we went off route a few times ... :) ) i removed the bar shifters and threw them into the sea to dissolve back whence they came.
Compared with even the cheapest combo brake levers they are the most pointless, awkward to use component ever designed for a bicycle ... with the possible exception of the OZ Gear ....

That's just user error. I've been using them on and off for 40 years and they work fine. In fact, for a machine such as a touring tandem with triple chainrings, they work better than any integrated brake/shift levers.

To change with them you wrap your thumb and forefinger around the handlebar drop just in front of the shifter and use your third and fourth fingers to pull or push the lever to shift.

Edit: I was just looking through some Paris-Roubaix photos on Cyclingtips, and noticed that in this photo, the rider following Sean Kelly is using barend shifters:
Image
Last edited by NickJP on 13 Apr 2019, 2:36am, edited 1 time in total.

iandusud
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Re: Bar end friction shifters

Postby iandusud » 12 Apr 2019, 8:27am

My 2p worth. I have several bikes that I ride regularly. My lightweight road bikes and tandem all have combined brake/gear controls (2x shimano, 1 SRAM). The bike I ride most regularly has bar-end indexed shifters. Personally I love them, particularly for a touring oriented bike. I find that if I'm riding on the tops of the bars or on the hoods my hand falls naturally to the shifter, whereas on my bikes with the combined controls if I'm riding on the tops I have to reach forward to change gear. My bike with the bar-ends is 30 years old but if I were to build up a new touring bike I wouldn't hesitate to choose bar-ends over combined controls, both for the ergonomics and the more robust nature of them.

Ian

reohn2
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Re: Bar end friction shifters

Postby reohn2 » 12 Apr 2019, 9:33am

Marmite anyone? :wink:
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iandriver
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Re: Bar end friction shifters

Postby iandriver » 12 Apr 2019, 11:38am

If you never use the drops, you may find Bullhorns make a lot of your problems disappear. I use an index shifter for the 9 speed rear and a friction for the front tripple. It works an absolute treat.
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

CliveyT
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Re: Bar end friction shifters

Postby CliveyT » 12 Apr 2019, 2:35pm

reohn2 wrote:Marmite anyone? :wink:

It looks slightly more than 52/48 in favour but probably not enough to make a serious decision on :wink:
(ducks and runs for cover)

Brucey
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Re: Bar end friction shifters

Postby Brucey » 12 Apr 2019, 6:46pm

CliveyT wrote:
reohn2 wrote:Marmite anyone? :wink:

It looks slightly more than 52/48 in favour but probably not enough to make a serious decision on :wink:
(ducks and runs for cover)


probably we would have years of discussion about our final decision and then not be able to agree the details....?

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~