Bar end shifters

Danny

Legendary Member
Location
York
Are there any advantages to bar end shifters which are still often supplied with some touring bikes?

Are they just cheaper than STI changers, or do they work better with the dérailleurs that are used for touring?
 

domtyler

Über Member
I have them on my bike but that is only because my bike has V Brakes and so I had to buy DiaCompe brake levers. I have Dura Ace ten speeds, they do work very well, the advantage for touring though is that there is nothing to really go wrong with them, you can even turn the indexing off on the rear shifter so that they are both just friction shifters.
 

domtyler

Über Member
Bigtallfatbloke said:
Could you explain what this means to me? ...apologies I'm just a mere cycledork
The indexing makes them click into each gear, you can turn that off and then they kind of turn from digital to analogue if that makes sense. :smile:
 

vernon

Harder than Ronnie Pickering
Location
Meanwood, Leeds
Dannyg said:
Are there any advantages to bar end shifters which are still often supplied with some touring bikes?

Are they just cheaper than STI changers, or do they work better with the dérailleurs that are used for touring?
They are robust and less likely to break/fail than STI levers. If indexing on bar ends fail then they can be swapped over to friction setting allwing the gears to be selected 'by feel'. Bar end changers enforce a relaxed gear change operation whereas STI levers are better suited to being on the drops and mixing it in race mode. A simplistic differentiation I know but it might do.

FWIW.

I enjoy using the STIs on my road bike and attempt to use phantom bar end changers on it for the first few miles. Equally I try to change gear with my brake levers on my Galaxy if I've spent some time on my road bike beforehand. I'm equally happy with both types of gear change.
 

andrew_s

Guru
Location
Gloucester
It's not so much that they are more resistant to damage than STI shifters (tho' they are), but that the ability to turn the indexing off means that you can still use all your gears when there's damage that makes indexing not work, most likely a bent gear hanger after a crash, or airline damage.

Other advantages:
You can tell what gear you are in in the dark
You are less prone to numbness or tingling in the hands (ie nerve damage) as you move your hands about more. With STIs there's a tendency to ride for long periods on the lever hoods.
 

Tony

New Member
Location
Surrey
For the benefits of the Bonjine amonst us, there are times when you can be rather a long way from a bike mechanic. As has been said, the ability to run unindexed is great, in the same vein as being able to get a steel frame repaired.
Vernon....I know exactly what you mean. Galaxy, and Allez Sport, and my hands are always going to the wrong place
 
Everyone else has already made the points I wanted to make.:blush:
But I'll make them anyway. Turning the indexing off can be useful, and not having to look down at your derailleurs just to see what gear you're in - you can do it by feel with bar end shifters - is very handy. I'd never have anything else on a tourer (except possibly down tube levers). But the STIs on my Cannondale are great.
 
U

User482

Guest
I much prefer the ergonomics of STIs. But if was going touring in really remote places, I'd still fit bar end shifters, or at least keep a set in the pannier.

I actually have Dura Ace bar end shifters on my MTB - they have a special bracket that allows them to be used as a normal thumbshifter. They've been very reliable, and are nice and light too.
 

jay clock

Massive member
Location
Hampshire UK
I think the reliability issues are overstated. I have two bikes with STI type levers and over many thousands of miles they have never gone wrong. Getting bar end levers for reliability is like getting a car with a starting handle to avoid the starter motor going wrong.

As for being easier to fettle after airline damage, they are very susceptible to airline damage as they stick out
 
Bar-end shifters have a lot going for them; they are lighter, mechanically less complex and loads cheaper. STIs do fail, Ive witnessed it with my own eyes I tells thee. Bar-end shifters are more reliable and thats a fact.
 
Top Bottom