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Bar End Shifters v Thumbies

Discussion in 'Technical Know How' started by MacB, 14 Jan 2010.

  1. MacB

    MacB Lover of things that come in 3's

    Toying with the idea of trying out some bar end shifter, looking at the Dura Ace ones. Have also seen brackets that fit on bars to allow you to mount them anywhere you want as thumb style shifters.

    Anyone give me some feedback on how easy to use and accesible the shofters are with either method. Also is it possible to change back if you try thumb option and decide you want to go back to bar end? Is there anything you do to the shifter that makes the change back irreversible?
  2. PpPete

    PpPete Veteran

    Location:
    Chandler's Ford
    Advert
    I don't know about the mounts but I can lend you some 7 speed bar end shifters if you want to experiment before buying any.
  3. yashicamat

    yashicamat New Member

    I have bar end shifters on my touring bike and they're a breeze. Not really suited for super rapid gearchanges associated with racing, but they are practical and reliable. They are also very quiet (once you get the hang of where each gear is) as there isn't any spring loaded mechanisms clanking away on every gearchange.

    I've not got any experience of using them mounted anywhere else on the handlebars though, my concern would be trying to work them in both directions as they aren't spring loaded like rapidfire gears are.
  4. GrasB

    GrasB Veteran

    Location:
    Nr Cambridge
    I have TT bar-end shifters on the end of my bullhorn bars & they work a treat there, fast & precise double shifting right where the brakes are, maybe this is one reason I don't see double shifting as an issue.
  5. mattsccm

    mattsccm Well-Known Member

    If they are for drops then the ends are the only place obviously. Otherwise go STI, If they are for floats then surely any mtb shifter is better. All bar end shipters are is old style thumb shifters mounted differntly. Not sure how you could consider two different ways of fitting one shifter type. If its drops there is only 1 way. For flats they are no use.
    What type of bars are you going to use?
  6. MacB

    MacB Lover of things that come in 3's

    It would be for On One Midge bars, flared offroad style shallow drops, they're 580mm wide at the ends. I tried normal drops with STI's and found the tops too narrow and the hoods/sides too straight, I have a left arm issue that makes this uncomfortable. The only comfy place on them was the drops themselves.

    I've just set up one bike with the Midges, Tektro RL520 drop bar levers for v-brakes and, as it's a hub gear, the shifter has an alternate mounting. So far I'm finding them really comfy and I haven't lost the wide hand climbing position from my trekking bars. I have a history of bars, shifters and mounting positions but I haven't tried bar end controls or thumbies, felt I needed to add them to the collection.
  7. MacB

    MacB Lover of things that come in 3's

    Thanks for the offer Pete but I'm only toying with ideas right now, I can nab an old one from the LBS for testing the feel.
  8. andrew_s

    andrew_s Über Member

    Location:
    Gloucester
    On One Midge with bar-end levers:
    [​IMG]

    The only problem I've had is knocking the levers when reversing the bike out of the front door.

    The shifters can be just unscrewed from the bar-end expander and screwed onto either the SJSC or Paul thumbshifter mount. You've a choice of either 26.0mm clamp size or 22.2mm.
    (Paul stuff from www.freshtripe.co.uk)
  9. MacB

    MacB Lover of things that come in 3's

    Nice looking setup Andrew and thanks for the UK link for the Pauls stuff. You seem to have the bars quite high, as they recommend for 'dirt drops'. How do you find this works for the ride positions? I know I'll be fine with sides and hoods, just about the same as sides and fronts on my butterfly bars, even the widths are almost identical. But by setting the butterfly bars up like that I lost my pootling flat bar position with controls access. Hence looking at the Midge bars plus the cross top levers, hoping to give myself that third position on the flats. Also how do you shift gear with the bar end controls, I mean the actual physicality of it? Do you need to move your hand down or can they be actuated with heel of hand and little finger? Not so important for first bike as it's hub gear, so it'll be a twist shifter. Starting out on my homemade bar mount, if that doesn't work I've got a Thorn accessory bar and, failing that, the hubbub adaptor, though that's £40 on its own.


    Why do I always seem to want an expensive option? £42.50 per cross top lever, £25 per thumb bracket and £5.50 delivery:ohmy: Then you add on the Mide bars £25, foam grips £6.30, bar tape £9, bar controls £60 and Tektro RL520's £20 - £260 for the bar setup, £210 if I skip the thumb mounts - that's up there in STI territory.

    Thanks again, pictures of setups are always appreciated, especially for those like me who lack the imagination:biggrin:
  10. andrew_s

    andrew_s Über Member

    Location:
    Gloucester
    Bar ends are easily operated with the heel of the hand and little finger.

    The bike is new, so I've not finalised the set up (observe the untrimmed steerer). Seems fine so far. There is virtually no change in body position when moving from the hoods to the drops so they may not be good headwind bars, especially considering the width.

    There are crosstop levers on there, though they seem to be doing a good job of being invisible. Midge are road size (24mm), but with a 25.4 clamp. Crosstops are available in 24mm or 26mm, so you have to mount them either side of the fairly wide central bulge, or shim them. I've got the 24mm version mounted wide: seems to work well for an on the tops riding position. There's a bit of conflict between the cable adjuster/exit on the levers and the Spacegrip with the GPS and bell on, so the levers are angled a bit lower than I might otherwise have chosen.
    What crosstop levers are you paying £42.50 each for? I got Tektro RL720 at £21 the pair.

    Thumbshifter mounts only being available in 22.2 or 26mm means that you'd have to mount them quite close to the stem, or us a fairly thick shim.
  11. andrew_s

    andrew_s Über Member

    Location:
    Gloucester
    Bar ends are easily operated with the heel of the hand and little finger.

    The bike is new, so I've not finalised the set up (observe the untrimmed steerer). Seems fine so far. There is virtually no change in body position when moving from the hoods to the drops so they may not be good headwind bars, especially considering the width.

    There are crosstop levers on there, though they seem to be doing a good job of being invisible. Midge are road size (24mm), but with a 25.4 clamp. Crosstops are available in 24mm or 26mm, so you have to mount them either side of the fairly wide central bulge, or shim them. I've got the 24mm version mounted wide: seems to work well for an on the tops riding position. There's a bit of conflict between the cable adjuster/exit on the levers and the Spacegrip with the GPS and bell on, so the levers are angled a bit lower than I might otherwise have chosen.
    What crosstop levers are you paying £42.50 each for? I got Tektro RL720 at £21 the pair.

    Thumbshifter mounts only being available in 22.2 or 26mm means that you'd have to mount them quite close to the stem, or us a fairly thick shim.
  12. MacB

    MacB Lover of things that come in 3's

    Thanks Andrew, it's the Pauls stuff that's expensive but that's the only source, I've been able to find, of crosstop levers that can work with v-brakes. They have two pivot points the one nearer the bar for short pull and the further one for long pull. My bikes all have v-brakes(linear/side pull cantis) and clearance for big tyres with guards. I have considered getting a cheap pair of regular crosstops and bending out the lever, reach allowing, or seeing if I can drill a new pivot point further out. If I want to retain the ability to run tyres of 32-60mm, with guards, then I'm limited to long pull v-brakes or short centre pull canti's. All reviews indicate that the former is superior in every respect other than compatibility with other systems. So I can:-

    change the brakes, so need new canti's, cable hangers and levers.

    or I work with the v's and use v specific levers, this negates STI/Ergo as an option

    or I use Travel Agents to alter the amount of cable pull, tried these and found them faffy to setup and wasn't happy with them.

    I've had a look at the Tektro RL520 and how it pulls the extra cable and it is just around the pivot point distance from bars, like Pauls lever. I don't get why they don't offer that as an option for STI/Ergo, but there you go. I also like hub gears but shifter mounting options can be interesting with those. There is some progress, the Alfine hub can be shifted via bar end, trigger or STI style levers(but these are short pull only:angry:).

    I'm trialling the Midge bars, with the Tektro v-brake levers on my hub gear bike. I was just exploring the other options re crosstops and if I want to put these bars on derailler geared bikes. Certainly if I go with a 1x9 setup on the 29er then I think a barcon will be enough.

    thanks for the further info.....Al
  13. MacB

    MacB Lover of things that come in 3's

    Thanks Andrew, it's the Pauls stuff that's expensive but that's the only source, I've been able to find, of crosstop levers that can work with v-brakes. They have two pivot points the one nearer the bar for short pull and the further one for long pull. My bikes all have v-brakes(linear/side pull cantis) and clearance for big tyres with guards. I have considered getting a cheap pair of regular crosstops and bending out the lever, reach allowing, or seeing if I can drill a new pivot point further out. If I want to retain the ability to run tyres of 32-60mm, with guards, then I'm limited to long pull v-brakes or short centre pull canti's. All reviews indicate that the former is superior in every respect other than compatibility with other systems. So I can:-

    change the brakes, so need new canti's, cable hangers and levers.

    or I work with the v's and use v specific levers, this negates STI/Ergo as an option

    or I use Travel Agents to alter the amount of cable pull, tried these and found them faffy to setup and wasn't happy with them.

    I've had a look at the Tektro RL520 and how it pulls the extra cable and it is just around the pivot point distance from bars, like Pauls lever. I don't get why they don't offer that as an option for STI/Ergo, but there you go. I also like hub gears but shifter mounting options can be interesting with those. There is some progress, the Alfine hub can be shifted via bar end, trigger or STI style levers(but these are short pull only:angry:).

    I'm trialling the Midge bars, with the Tektro v-brake levers on my hub gear bike. I was just exploring the other options re crosstops and if I want to put these bars on derailler geared bikes. Certainly if I go with a 1x9 setup on the 29er then I think a barcon will be enough.

    thanks for the further info.....Al
  14. andrew_s

    andrew_s Über Member

    Location:
    Gloucester
    Proper view of the bars & brake levers:
    [​IMG]