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Thread: The Lounge of Terrestrial Wheelmen

  1. #111
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    Went to go finish off working on the Surly. Brake cables run and hooked up, which is a nightmare with these cantilever brakes, I hate trying to tighten them down without losing tension on the brake cable. Rear derailleur hooked up and shifting nicely. Brifters just where I want them. The only thing left is to hook up the front derailleur and put new bar tape on.

    Motherfucker if the head of the pinch bolt on the front derailleur didn't just shear off as I tightened it down, leaving the rest of the bolt in the derailleur. I was like 10 minutes away from having the bike rideable, now it's probably just easier and cheaper to buy a new front derailleur than try to repair it. Cheap ass bolts...

  2. #112
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    Feeling quite stupid. Realized today that the bolt just attached a nut inset on the other side of the derailleur, there's no actual threading on the derailleur itself. Poked the rest of the bolt with a presta valve on an old tube and it fell right now. Just need a new bolt and washer at the hardware store and I'm good to go.

  3. #113
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    Tom Servo, would be interested in your thoughts about bar end shifters vs. brifters if you're ever so inclined to ramble on about them.

    Cam, das a lotta bikes!

  4. #114
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    I don't know that I have particularly great thoughts about them, but I can tell you what I see as their advantages and disadvantages.

    They tell me that the Surly touring bikes tend to come with them because they're reliable, easy to repair, and cheap to replace. I haven't had to try to repair one, but they are certainly cheaper to replace - I see a set of top-of-the-line Dura Ace bar end shifters available for about $90, while the nearly bottom-of-the-line Sora brifters seem to start somewhere around $160. I also know that even if my indexing gets knocked out of whack on my rear derailleur, I can just change it out to friction mode and still get myself home.

    I definitely see the benefit if you're out on a long tour and have a problem. Definitely easier to replace, and since most do the friction mode you don't even have to find the exact right one at the shop, doesn't matter if it's indexed for a 10 speed cassette but you only have an 8, just switch to friction mode and enjoy the ride.

    When it comes to urban riding though, I find them to occasionally put me in bad situations that I don't find myself in when I'm riding on my Roubaix with the brifters. Too many times where I have to brake hard to avoid some idiot doing something stupid and then find myself in way too high of a gear, or finding myself hitting some sort of pothole or whatever while I have one hand off the bars trying to fiddle with the shifter. Also, for whatever reason, when I stop at a light they like to smack me in the legs, and sometimes that can really hurt. I'm also noticing they like to beat up on my top tube a lot when the bars turn sideways.

    I figure that I'm never that far from a bike shop or my second bike, so the ultimate reliability thing isn't quite as important to me. Certainly not as important as making it easier to shift with both hands on the bars, either in the drops or up on the hoods. Also, both of them require me to remove bar tape to change out cable housings, so no real advantage there. Also, the Tektro brake levers the bike came with suck and the hoods were already starting to have chunks fall off of them, so it seemed high time to me to upgrade to something a little nicer.

    Who knows, maybe a month from now after installing the new brifters, I'll decide I've made a terrible mistake and that I should go back to the bar ends.

  5. #115
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    Thanks. I've been haunting a bike forum since last summer and I think people don't take the time to go into details like bruised legs and dented top tubes because it's all been discussed a million times before.

    I asked because the Shimano RSX brifters on my Specialized are just fantastic, from the couple of short test rides I've done, and I also see guys replacing straight bars on MTBs with drop bars, road brakes, and bar-end shifters. And I fully admit to being a lemming about stuff that "everyone" seems to be doing, even if in fact it's just a small group on the internet somewhere.

    The trigger shifters on my MTB shift really well, and I don't ever have...

    ...times where I have to brake hard to avoid some idiot doing something stupid and then find myself in way too high of a gear, or finding myself hitting some sort of pothole or whatever while I have one hand off the bars trying to fiddle with the shifter.
    Still, when I've gone on "long" rides (10-20 miles was long for me in 2013; we'll see about this year), I'm miserable on straight bars after maybe five miles. I just can't get comfortable. I'm really temped to do something like this with my MTB, or maybe with my n+1 craigslist find.




  6. #116
    What fresh hell is this? overpowered's Avatar
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    I've got bar ends on my Parabola (touring bike). I'm not a huge fan. Brifters are far more convenient. As Tom notes, you need to be on the drops to use them and that may not be good timing wise in combination with braking.

    I have also noticed more bar ends and I think it's becoming fair to say that they are trendy. If you're really doing long tours where being able to do road side repair or go into friction mode as a backup is an actual priority, then maybe you have a real justification. I'm not even sure about it then. Modern brifters are very reliable. Their only real down side is cost.

  7. #117
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    Keep in mind, the frames for MTB bikes and road bikes are designed with the bars in mind. Road bike frames tend to be a little shorter on the top tube because your hand positions tend to be actually forward of the end of the stem, whereas with straight bars you're about even with the end of the stem. I've never tried it myself, but I've heard doing a straight-to-drop-bar or drop-bar-to-straight conversion tends not to work out as well as one would hope because the frame just wasn't designed for that kind of layout. Adding bar-ends for a straight bar to give yourself more hand positions is probably a better bet than trying to do a full conversion. Again, I've never tried it myself, but I've heard many people ask the same question and always get the answer that it's not a good idea.

    Also, keep in mind that different types of brakes need different types of brake levers. I'd love to explain it all, but it leaves me totally mystified. I've been told that, for instance, I'm okay putting brifters on the Surly because it has cantilever brakes, if it had v-brakes, I'd have to get some sort of adapter. That one is complicated enough that when it comes to any sort of brake lever change, I figure I'd just go to my LBS and ask.

  8. #118
    Subaru Unimpreza SportWagon's Avatar
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    Presumably you should at least buy a longer or shorter stem along with the handlebars?

  9. #119
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    Finished up with the Surly (mostly) this morning, then took it to work today. I knew it was supposed to rain, so I really wanted to get it out of the garage.

    The good news:
    Brifters work and so do the brakes. Stopping power in the dry seems much better. Do not miss the bar ends at all, don't miss them hitting me in the legs, don't miss them smacking into the top tube, don't miss them at all, except...

    The bad news:
    I'm having a hell of a time getting the front derailleur sorted. I *think* that there might actually be some crush damage on the housing for the front derailleur cable that, along with maybe needing to clean and lube up part of the FD, is making it tough for it to retract back when downshifting. I just can't seem to get it to go from the big ring to the middle ring, and when I let off some of the tension from the cable, the derailleur doesn't really move until I let go of *all* the tension. Going to replace the housing and clean up the derailleur in the hopes that that fixes it. I also should have checked the brifter positioning *before* putting on bar tape, I had to bring them up a lot after trying to ride, so now there's this nasty gap where there's no tape just below them. Also, the electrical tape that came with my bar tape is already coming off, so I need to replace that. The salmon kool-stops actually seem to really struggle in the wet, I was having a tough time stopping today. That surprised me, I thought they were supposed to be good with wet weather. And, finally, I'm getting some sort of low frequency vibration that I can feel through the pedals, but only under load, and it appears to get worse the more load I put on the pedals. I'm thinking that it could be due to the derailleurs not being adjusted quite right, though there's also a chance that the new chain and the old cassette just aren't playing nice and I should replace the cassette too. Going to do the once over and make sure everything's tight this weekend to see if that helps.

    Why, oh why, don't I just replace one thing at a time so at least I know what causes what issue? You'd think I'd learn.

  10. #120
    What fresh hell is this? overpowered's Avatar
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