Bar end shifters - friction vs indexed?

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freebooter
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Bar end shifters - friction vs indexed?

Postby freebooter » 23 Jan 2011, 2:44pm

Looking at moving to bar end shifters from STIs. The obvious ones would be Shimano but I have seen the Dia Compe ones with their 'power ratchet'. I have seen people claim that these are very good and maybe even better than indexing and also some people using the Shimano ones in friction mode. However, I am having difficulties seeing how either friction or ratchet mode can be as quick or easy as indexed shifting.

The Dia Compe ones are attractive as they are cheaper and not tied to a certain number of gears but moving from the ease and speed of STIs I don't want to be fiddling every time I change gear.

Has anyone used the Dia Compe shifters? Also how easy/quick is it to change with them or with the Shimanos in friction mode. My memory of friction dt shifters was having to move them to change gear and then back a bit to trim.

thanks

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CREPELLO
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Re: Bar end shifters - friction vs indexed?

Postby CREPELLO » 23 Jan 2011, 3:15pm

With Shimano you just turn a switch - easy. But trimming the chosen gear may be a lot more hit or miss with a 9 speed than a 5 speed cassette; certainly to get it right first time.

reohn2
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Re: Bar end shifters - friction vs indexed?

Postby reohn2 » 23 Jan 2011, 4:02pm

After you've used indexed changers,friction isn't pleasent,after STI's, b/ends aren't pleasent either if they ever were in the first place come to think of it :?
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Re: Bar end shifters - friction vs indexed?

Postby rualexander » 23 Jan 2011, 4:11pm

I like bar-ends but have never used STIs so can't compare. I've used my bar-ends in friction mode a lot, I find that you soon get used to it and can usually change gear at the rear accurately with no need to 'trim'. At the front they don't have an indexed mode so its friction only but thats no disadvantage, maybe even an advantage because some front indexed STIs can be a bit temperamental to get spot on.

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Re: Bar end shifters - friction vs indexed?

Postby Gerry Attrick » 23 Jan 2011, 4:32pm

I have Dura Ace bar ends on my tourer which I love. I use STI's on my road bike so I have a comparison.

The bar ends I find "slicker". I like the small movement required for rear gear changes. (I have Deore mechs). The rear is indexed of course whilst the front is friction. The front shifts require a larger movement of the lever obviously, but the changes are clean and the lever positions become second nature very quickly.
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Re: Bar end shifters - friction vs indexed?

Postby AndyA » 23 Jan 2011, 5:30pm

Dia-compe silvers are a copy of suntour power-ratchet levers, they have a slight ratchet when up-shifting and are smooth on the down-shift (where up=increased cable tension). I had a set of suntour power-ratchet barcons on a dawes galaxy for a brief period. As most of my riding is city-based commuting with lots of stopping, starting and unpredictable drivers I found being unable to brake and change gear simultaneously irritating and slightly dangerous. They worked really well though, very smooth action. If I was living in an area with less traffic they would have been fine. I would prefer them to indexed bar ends, I think.

In the end I changed the handlebars to porteur bars (like north-road bars but more swept back, almost straight back) with a SRAM 8-speed MTB rapidfire shifter mounted upside-down on the left side and old MTB canti brake levers. Front shifting is a D/T friction lever. This gives an upright position with the brakes and gears where you need them.

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Re: Bar end shifters - friction vs indexed?

Postby mr riff raff » 23 Jan 2011, 5:34pm

My mate has the Dia Compe's on his TT bike.
He loves them and reckons they shift fine, but I think he loves them because they were cheaper than Campags!
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Kevin K
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Re: Bar end shifters - friction vs indexed?

Postby Kevin K » 23 Jan 2011, 6:48pm

I've used STI, Shimano bar ends and now use Dia Compe bar ends (labelled Silver shifters). I like the very direct, but extremely light feel of the Dia Compe's and don't miss the indexing at all. After a period of adjustment shifting becomes instinctive and less cluncky/clicky than Shimano (I know one can change Shimano to friction, but the feel simply isn't the same).
Kevin K. Glasgow

freebooter
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Re: Bar end shifters - friction vs indexed?

Postby freebooter » 24 Jan 2011, 11:57am

Thanks for the replies. For those people who have used STIs and bar ends how do you find the speed of changing when you have got used to the barends? What I love about the STIs is that it is so quick to change for slight variations in the road. If the road steepens slightly for 50m it is easy and quick enough to change down a gear and then back up because changing is just a quick push of the lever.

Obviously bar ends are going to slower as it involves moving the hand but I was wondering how much the friction/indexed choice adds to that delay. Does having the slower change involving moving your hand and using the bar end change the way you use gears compared to when you ride with STI levers?

Whether this is an issue probably depends what the terrain is like where you ride. At the moment I am based in Devon and it is full of short but sometimes steep hills so the road slope is constantly changing.

thanks

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Re: Bar end shifters - friction vs indexed?

Postby goatwarden » 24 Jan 2011, 12:13pm

When I changed our tandem to drop bars (from ergo bars with mountain STI levers) I had to use Vee brake compatible levers, so couldn't use STIs (didn't want to use rati changers on my disc brakes). So I used Shimano bar end shifters (operating 9-speed and triple). They are much better than the mountain STIs (no ghost shifting) and just as quick and precise as the Tiagra STIs I have on my single road bike. When riding my road bike, I have often found myself searching for the bar-end lever to shift and so, if building a new bike, would have no hesitation in using bar-ends in preferance to STIs. I use the indexing for the rear shifting; it is very good so I have never bothered trying the friction setting.

freebooter
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Re: Bar end shifters - friction vs indexed?

Postby freebooter » 24 Jan 2011, 12:19pm

Thanks for the reply gw.

One question for anyone who used the Diacompe ones, did you have any problems with the length of the lever? From what I understand they are just their dt levers stuck on a bar end mount and hence are longer than the Shimano ones.

reohn2
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Re: Bar end shifters - friction vs indexed?

Postby reohn2 » 24 Jan 2011, 12:22pm

freebooter wrote:Thanks for the replies. For those people who have used STIs and bar ends how do you find the speed of changing when you have got used to the barends? What I love about the STIs is that it is so quick to change for slight variations in the road. If the road steepens slightly for 50m it is easy and quick enough to change down a gear and then back up because changing is just a quick push of the lever.


Spot on.
I've said before on here that when I first began using STI's ('96/'97) I immediately began to use the gears more,making my cycling more pleasurable its something that stuck with me.

Obviously bar ends are going to slower as it involves moving the hand but I was wondering how much the friction/indexed choice adds to that delay. Does having the slower change involving moving your hand and using the bar end change the way you use gears compared to when you ride with STI levers?


IMo B/ends are no better than D/T levers unless the rider uses the drops a lot,D/T levers are just as close to hand as B/ends without the vulnerability during a spill and or the potential knee contact.
Friction B/ends have the same problems without the advantage indexed gears.
I'd even go as far as to say that D/T levers are better than B/ends, as a double change (front and back mechs simultaniously) with one hand left on the hoods free for braking if needs be, not so with B/ends .

Whether this is an issue probably depends what the terrain is like where you ride. At the moment I am based in Devon and it is full of short but sometimes steep hills so the road slope is constantly changing.

thanks

No contest IMO, STI's win out everytime, slick and quick!

If you're planning to change from STI's I'd suggest that Kelly Takeoffs are the next best thing with D/T levers a poor third.
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hartleymartin
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Re: Bar end shifters - friction vs indexed?

Postby hartleymartin » 24 Jan 2011, 1:36pm

I have the Dia-Compe Silver shifters as bar-end shifters and I really do enjoy them. However, I'm running an old-fashioned 6-speed freewheel with a half-step-plus-granny set of chainrings. I think friction is good for up to 8 speeds, but 9-speeds would become trickier. That said, indexed bar-end shifters can be switched over the friction mode if they are damaged or go out of adjustment badly.

I like the Silver-Shifters, but I am going to replace them with a set of old Suntour Bar-end shifters just to make my vintage tourer a little more authentic. They work on the same principle of having a ratcheting mechanism to equalise the shifting on the up and down-shifts to make things easier. If I wanted to go full-retro authentic, I even have a set of Suntour "Power Shifters" which have the same mechanism but fit to the downtube as a clamp-on set.

I would ask you how many speeds are you running on your rear wheel. 9-speeds I would recommend getting the index shifters, but for 8-speeds or less friction would be quite fine. The Dia-Compe Silver shifters work beautifully, and are excellent value for their price.
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gilesjuk
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Re: Bar end shifters - friction vs indexed?

Postby gilesjuk » 24 Jan 2011, 1:54pm

The only advantages with non-indexed shifters is that they are reusable when you change gear numbers and they aren't affected by cable stretch so much.

Other than that indexed systems blow them away. I remember my first go on an indexed road bike, it was a revelation being able to flick the gears up and down in a fraction of a second. My first racer (in the 80s) had friction shifting on the downtube and changing gear was so much of a hassle you'd rarely bother.

freebooter
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Re: Bar end shifters - friction vs indexed?

Postby freebooter » 24 Jan 2011, 2:14pm

hartleymartin wrote:I would ask you how many speeds are you running on your rear wheel. 9-speeds I would recommend getting the index shifters, but for 8-speeds or less friction would be quite fine. The Dia-Compe Silver shifters work beautifully, and are excellent value for their price.


My bike is 9sp on the rear with a triple front.