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  1. #1
    Dawgwalker
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    STI vs. barend shifters

    What are your preferences and/or perceived pro and cons of the two shifting systems on dropbars?
    2011 Vassago Jabberwocky
    2008 Turner Sultan
    2007 Dean Colonel 29r SS
    2003 Titus Switchblade 650b
    1995 Litespeed Obed

  2. #2
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    I'm a total fred and use interrupter levers and paul thumbies on my cross bike. I like it, but I can totally see it would be annoying if you were used to shifting from the hoods.

  3. #3
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    Barend Shifters:

    Pros:
    1. Barends & brake levers are Less expensive than Brifters.
    2. Barends & brake levers are more durable than Brifters.
    3. Barends & brake levers are much less prone to crash damage than Brifters.
    4. Barends & brakelevers are lighter than Brifters. [If not, they are very close to the same weight - I'm sure someone will pipe up with accurate info]
    5. Barend shifters can provide a visual clue for what gear one is in if they forget.
    6. Barend shifters allow for one to "feather" the front derailer so as to cut down on chain rub when running the chain from a large chain wheel to one of the larger cogs.
    7. Barend shifters work easily as well for a 2 x 9 [or 10] set up as a 3 x 9 [or 10] drivetrain set up.
    8. Barend shifters are not as susceptible [as brifters] to loss of function due to gunk build up in the shifter.


    Cons:
    1. Shifting gears from a barend is not as convenient as from the brake hood. But much more convenient than say a downtube shifter.
    2. It's possible to bump a barend shifter with one's knee when standing to climb in extreme situations.


    I've used barend shifters for 18 years now on my road bike, and I've got them set up as thumbies on my mtn bike and commuter.


  4. #4
    Bearded highlighter
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    Seems like bar end for the front derailleur and Brifter for the rear would be a good combo?

  5. #5
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    I like bar end shifters. Impossible to shift from the hoods, but easy to shift from the drops. Also has the friction mode for reliability.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by EHCRain
    Seems like bar end for the front derailleur and Brifter for the rear would be a good combo?
    I always wanted to set this up using a kelly takeoff for the front (haven't come across the need yet) I've only broke a right brifter so far.
    \

  7. #7
    formerly Giantxc
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    Given Avid makes trail worthy discs for brifters I think their ergonomic advantages make them superior to any older technology or band-aids. With bar ends you have to move your hands from the curved part of the drops to shift. With brifters you don't and can brake and shift simultaneously.

    After years of using them for cyclocross and the occasional trail ride, I've found them to be no more prone to corruption from dirt, etc than standard mtb shifters (and in cross they get exposed to much worse than an average trail ride). Bar ends and thumbies (the same shifter except for the mount) may be bomb proof but the lack of any ergonomic design isn't worth the trade off to me.

  8. #8
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    I have Paul Thumbies on my Salsa La Cruz but I am seriously considering switching to STI shifters. In rough terrrain it is really hard to move from the drops to the tops to shift gears. The same would be true if I had to slide my hand from the bend all the way to the end of the bar for barend shifters. Unfortunately, 9 speed STI shifters seem to be in short supply right now...

  9. #9
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    Are you racing? If you're racing, brifters are really nice on drop-bar equipped bikes, if you're trying to compete and worried about easy access to shifting while actively braking. If you're JRA, i'd go with the barcons, as they're just way more durable/tunable/cheap/retro.

    Then again, i ditched the triggers on my geared mtb for some thumbies with barcons. The delicious goodness of friction-shifting up front was too alluring, and i can keep it indexed in the rear, if i want. (and i do.)

    -rob

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