Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

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Mick F
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby Mick F » 5 Jul 2016, 8:01pm

Ian,
I sympathise with you.

I've found that the system is very very VERY touchy with cable adjustment.
When it's spot on, it's fine, but if you tweak the cable adjusters even a little tiny bit, it's rubbish.

We've had folk on here talking about cable stretch and how if they fit a new inner cable it takes ages before it's stretched and "run in".
I've never ever ever had a problem with Campag indexing. Fit a new cable, adjust it, end of story.

I've had no end of issues with my Shimano indexing. Set it right, tomorrow it rubbish, but eventually it's ok ................. but do not touch anything. EVER.
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby MikeF » 5 Jul 2016, 10:29pm

If you use bar end or DT levers then most of the above problems of gear changing are solved, but then you can't have your hands on the hoods or brakes at the same time. I've never used Ergos so know nothing about them, but Tektro RL341 brake levers I find extremely comfortable and easy to use. Kellys sound good, but I've not tried them either.

As for gearing, I'm glad I have a 20" - I used it today. :) But even with that most 1in 5 hills defeat me, even without any extra carrying weight. However, in contrast, in Low Weald flatlandia I haven't any need for the granny chainring.
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby bigjim » 6 Jul 2016, 3:32pm

Regarding the OPs problem/query. I am a bad consumer. I don't buy new bikes and anyway, at a long legged 6'2" I prefer 25" steel frames if I can get them. I tour every year in Europe. Last year I had to scrap my frame and purchased for £125 a very nice 25" dawes Galaxy from this forum. It had downtube shifters, triple chainrings and a 32 on the rear. I serviced it and took it to France with me. It rode superbly and I had no problems. It is still in regular service as a winter day ride. I, and yes that is just me, do not see the reason to purchase a new bike, especially as the OP has not toured loaded before.
Regarding STIs. One of my bikes has Sora STIs coupled with long drop calipers. The braking is dreadful. I have another bike with the same long drop calipers but sporting simple aero levers. The braking is fine. Another bike [too many bikes] has Tiagra STIs with short drop calipers and again braking is fine. I've come to the conclusion that STIs are fine braking with short drop but as soon as you go longer the efficency drops off alarmingly.
I also find that STIs need constant fettling to keep them sweet. I like them when they are running ok but they are not a patch on DT levers when it comes to running a quiet and smooth drivechain.
I wonder what the difference is with that touring double from Spa and a cheapish triple off the bay? It just appears to be a triple with the outer replaced. You may as well keep the outer chainring as you have to use a triple BB as well.
I find running triples with STIs a pain whereas with a DT lever no problem. If I remember rightly Armstrong rode with a DT for the front.
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby hamster » 6 Jul 2016, 5:04pm

bigjim wrote:If I remember rightly Armstrong rode with a DT for the front.


Only for mountain stages.

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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby bigjim » 6 Jul 2016, 5:15pm

hamster wrote:
bigjim wrote:If I remember rightly Armstrong rode with a DT for the front.


Only for mountain stages.

What might be bumps in the road for him are mountain stages for me, so I'm quite happy to follow his example. :)
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby reohn2 » 6 Jul 2016, 5:56pm

bigjim wrote:
hamster wrote:
bigjim wrote:If I remember rightly Armstrong rode with a DT for the front.


Only for mountain stages.

What might be bumps in the road for him are mountain stages for me, so I'm quite happy to follow his example. :)


:shock: :shock: :shock: :wink:

Regarding STI's and 57mm drop DP calipers*(I'm assuming you mean those by long drop?),I've run RSX 7sp,105 and Ultegra 9sp with them and found braking to be fine,especially with BBB Techstop and Koostop pads,though the BBB's were better in the wet.I've never owned short reach calipers


*RX100 dual pivot calipers.
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby foxyrider » 7 Jul 2016, 9:39am

For my two pennath, Shimano STi's all (except for the very rare women's levers) are overly large compared to Ergo's etc. If you have smaller hands this can have a serious impact on your comfort and ability to operate the brakes.

As previously mentioned the pivot point position is also very important, the Shimano positioning gives less force and hence power for a given effort. If used with Shimano calipers this can often lead to a 'spongy' braking experience, dunno why but i've always found Shimano calipers to be less effective than other brands - you don't see many Shimano calipers on new bikes.

I've used a wide variety of combinations (having worked in bike shops for a couple of decades) so this isn't casual tyre kicking comment of possibly badly set up bikes. I prefer Ergo (10/11 speed currently across four bikes) but in terms of longevity i've had Tiagra on a high mileage bike that still worked when I sold the bike after best part of 20k miles - the gear change was still slick but the braking was always spongy.

Thousands of Shimano users are happy with this but there again most of them have never tried an alternative. Some even prefer the brakes to not work before most of the lever travel is used (go figure) - if i'm not locked up with 5mm travel i'm unhappy and I want 2 finger effort, grabbing a fistfull of lever on the drops to stop is a sure sign your brakes are poor/badly set/you are riding too fast for the situation.

So, that was nothing to do with gear inches which I agree the actual range for heavily laden touring is important but 2 gear inches probably isn't. I would suggest a smoother jump between the gears is more beneficial as you can maintain a smoother cadence which makes it easier to climb than a sudden big jump (if the gears will even make it under duress!)
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby reohn2 » 7 Jul 2016, 11:04am

Thousands of Shimano users are happy with this but there again most of them have never tried an alternative... ..... - if i'm not locked up with 5mm travel i'm unhappy and I want 2 finger effort, grabbing a fistfull of lever on the drops to stop is a sure sign your brakes are poor/badly set/you are riding too fast for the situation.


5mm of travel is,for me,far too 'keen' and leaves no room for error IMO especially in an ES situtation.


Some even prefer the brakes to not work before most of the lever travel is used (go figure)

I prefer a bit of free lever play with plenty modulation,and have never,ever bottomed the lever out on the 'bars or,got anywhere near that situation.
I never,ever needed more than one or two fingers on the lever of STI's/Shimano DP brakes.

I think we're discussing brake lever play preferences rather than braking power,though I do take your point that people with small hands may have problem braking from the hoods with STI's,though if the problem was so bad I think we'd hear more about it.
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Mick F
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby Mick F » 7 Jul 2016, 11:15am

reohn2 wrote:
..............though if the problem was so bad I think we'd hear more about it.
I don't think it's as simple as that.

(Not picking on you personally) There are millions of cyclists out there who have never tried anything other than Shimano STI, so wouldn't know what other makes would be like.

I was in Evans in Plymouth on Saturday - like I said - and they could have had 100 bikes in there with easily 50% of them dropped bar bikes. 99% of those were Shimano STI.
There were three or four with Tektro levers.
No Sram or Campag at all. They didn't even sell components for them.

So I reckon it's a situation that what you've got, you get used to.
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby reohn2 » 7 Jul 2016, 11:25am

Mick F wrote:So I reckon it's a situation that what you've got, you get used to.


I think you're right,and if I can lock up either wheel with one or two fingers no more is required,in fact juusstt less is required as once locked up a brake is too good.
We are then left with modulation,if it's good all's well,if the brake is on or off ie;bad,there's potential for problems but even that can be got used to it's just there more chance of being caught out.
What I'm saying is brakes can be too good as much as they can be bad.
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby Mick F » 7 Jul 2016, 2:12pm

Yep.
Agree.

It's not that the STI brake lever is less powerful, it's just not as easy to squeeze.

Little story ...............
Some years ago ......... May 2007 .......... I was supporting some LEJOG riders doing it in five days.
Each evening, myself and the other supporter with me, would check over the riders' bikes and lube them up, check the tyres, and maybe adjust the brakes if they wanted.
One chap always wanted his STIs so when he braked, the lever was pulled way in. Far too far IMHO, but when he was quizzed about it, he said it was because he had small hands and needed them in so he could pull properly. I just shrugged my shoulders and said OK.

I've never given that story any thought since then, but now the subject is here, it's reminded me of it. Had I known then what I know now, I'd have taken more notice and perhaps advised him to get more appropriate brake levers on his next bike. Campag would have been better for him, and far safer too.
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby MikeF » 7 Jul 2016, 5:12pm

Mick F wrote:One chap always wanted his STIs so when he braked, the lever was pulled way in. Far too far IMHO, but when he was quizzed about it, he said it was because he had small hands and needed them in so he could pull properly. I just shrugged my shoulders and said OK.
Having relatively short fingers I can relate to that. Considering we all have as much variation in hand shapes and sizes as we have body shapes and sizes, it seems absurd that when it comes to brake levers there is a one size fits all approach. "Small hands" is a another misnomer, which is a generalisation that doesn't consider hand shape or proportions; that chap may well have had quite wide hands ie big, but relatively short fingers.
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby Mick F » 7 Jul 2016, 5:36pm

Good point.

I wonder that the Japanese people have smaller bodies and shorter limbs? Moe diminutive than AngloSaxon folk?
You would think that they would produce smaller brake levers?

Are the Italians different in this?
Why is Campag easier and lighter and smaller in operation than Shimano?

I find my Tiagra STIs quite chunky and big, but the Campag Ergos slim and light and small.
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby reohn2 » 8 Jul 2016, 9:55am

Mick F wrote:Good point.

I wonder that the Japanese people have smaller bodies and shorter limbs? Moe diminutive than AngloSaxon folk?
You would think that they would produce smaller brake levers?

I must admit that thought did cross my mind,but then Shimano sells world wide,so there has to be some sort of middle way one size fits all sort of strategy,they do supply 'wedges' for people with small hands.

Are the Italians different in this?
Why is Campag easier and lighter and smaller in operation than Shimano?

Mamby pamby,Italian delicate handed fashion followers :wink:

I find my Tiagra STIs quite chunky and big, but the Campag Ergos slim and light and small.

Shimano for real men & woemen who know how a brake lever should feel :D
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Re: Gear inches - Is 2" Difference Significant

Postby RickH » 8 Jul 2016, 3:24pm

I'm in a minority - I've only ever used Campag Ergos & not STIs (back in the 90s I fitted 8s Ergos on my 7s Shimano geared bike) - but I've read somewhere (but can't remember where) that STIs are broader so need a bit more finger stretch even if the distance from the hood to the lever is the same as you've got more of your hand wrapped round the hoods.

Rick.