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  1. #1
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    Shifter choices?

    With bikepacking in mind, what style shifters would you choose and why?

    I've read a few like Paul Thumbies or IRD since it is simple, light and gets the shifters away from a handlebar roll.

    Most use trigger shifters (Shimano or SRAM) simply because it is the "standard". The Shimano single clamp Dual Control models seem to be popular with saving space on the bar for other mounts.

    A smaller minority use Grip-shift and IGH setups.

    Just curious about what people are using and why to help me chose a direction. I have visions of using a Jones Loop H-Bar.

    Thanks!
    Ventana El Rey
    On-One Inbred EBB SS
    Felt F35

  2. #2
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    I just put Paul Thumbies on my girlfriend's bike last night, for a trip this next weekend. You're right, they're simple, and light, but one of the best thing about them is their durability. They are the most bomb proof shifters you can get, and totally worry free in-the-field.

    I've also used the SunRace Thumb Shifters with great results. They are the lightest shifter you can buy, and the cheapest (retailing for around $9.00). It's durability has proven good as well.
    Casey Greene - Cartographer - Adventure Cycling Association
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  3. #3
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    Shifter choices?

    Shimano bar ends.... Cuz that's what came on it!


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  4. #4
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    H- bars have some unique characteristics when it comes to shifter choice. First of all, thumb shifters tend to eliminate up to two useful hand positions, grip shifters can actually create the same issue depending on how picky you are. Secondly, depending on how you arrange your controls, some trigger shifters can wind up to far away from the grip to be useful. You also have to be careful about visual indicators because they can get in the way and make it hard to wrap the bars.

    I have found that the best option is newer style Shimano mtb shifters as they can be moved closer to the grip on the clamp and the dual release is advantageous as you move your hands around the bars. Newer Srams work well too. Some may worry about field serviceability but I have never had a quality shifter fail on a ride and if you are the worring type you can simply carry a cheap thump shifter in your bag as a backup.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_papa_nuts View Post
    I have found that the best option is newer style Shimano mtb shifters as they can be moved closer to the grip on the clamp and the dual release is advantageous as you move your hands around the bars. Newer Srams work well too. Some may worry about field serviceability but I have never had a quality shifter fail on a ride and if you are the worrying type you can simply carry a cheap thump shifter in your bag as a backup.
    Please correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the newer shifters you mention (e.g. M980, M780) are only 10sp and would only integrate with Shimano hydro brake levers, right? I want to run 9sp and mechanical discs and try to keep the bar as uncluttered as possible.

    Would you recommend the ST-M970 on an H-bar?
    Shimano XTR (ST-M970) combined lever | VeloSpec - bikes and components specifications

    Thanks for the feedback!
    Ventana El Rey
    On-One Inbred EBB SS
    Felt F35

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by zanq View Post
    Please correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the newer shifters you mention (e.g. M980, M780) are only 10sp and would only integrate with Shimano hydro brake levers, right? I want to run 9sp and mechanical discs and try to keep the bar as uncluttered as possible.

    Would you recommend the ST-M970 on an H-bar?
    Shimano XTR (ST-M970) combined lever | VeloSpec - bikes and components specifications

    Thanks for the feedback!
    Isn't forced obsolescence great? I'd suggest tracking down some newer 9 speed stuff (770, 660, 970), you might even be able to find some cheap because so many are "upgrading". You don't NEED anything that will integrate with a brake lever, just something that can be positioned closer to the grip. If we are honest there isn't really anything else that can use the minimal amount space that the shifter takes up and if you do integrate you run the risk of taking out you shifter and brake lever in one shot. That's actually my same worry with the dual control levers (Times 5), as popular as they are with h-bar users.

    The one big downside with the shimano shifters is the fin some of them have to protect the visual indicators, which can poke you in the hand if not warped right, Sram has em trumped there, but nothing a file can't fix.

    For levers I just use Shimanos, older Deore in fact. I was using some Avid FR5s but found that the pinch bolt hurt my hand when riding in the "hoods". The Shimanos have a nice smooth clamp and are very comfy. I would also consider some Paul's but can't justify replacing something that works so well.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by zanq View Post
    Please correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the newer shifters you mention (e.g. M980, M780) are only 10sp and would only integrate with Shimano hydro brake levers, right? I want to run 9sp and mechanical discs and try to keep the bar as uncluttered as possible.

    Would you recommend the ST-M970 on an H-bar?
    Shimano XTR (ST-M970) combined lever | VeloSpec - bikes and components specifications

    Thanks for the feedback!
    All of my mountain bikes have H-Bars, and all with dual control except for the singlespeed. The M770 XTs and M970 XTRs are a step above previous versions, which were already really good.

    I'm normally a hydro brake kinda guy, but I did score a set of Dual Control XT cable levers and paired them up with Avid BB7s. I love the levers. The brakes, not so much. They're alright, but I really prefer hydros.

    I wanted something non-bling for this bike (and I wanted to sink as little money as possible into this but still have decent brakes), since it is likely to get city bike use. I don't want to attract the scumbags any more than I can help.

    I'm not sure how much it unclutters the bar, tho. You still have a network of super long cables when you run H-Bars regardless of your lever choice... if you wanna run front and rear derailleurs, that is. Heck, when I end up trimming a new rear shifter cable, I only end up snipping off like 4" or so.

    Oh, and you aren't going to find a whole lot out there for deals on these. THose who have Dual Controls and love 'em are hoarding them... like me. Every now and again, a cheap Buy It Now deal comes up on Fleabay. That's how I got my XT Mechanicals. That's also how I got my previous generation XT Hydros. I found a left with zero bid going for $10 ($20 with shipping). I got it, and waited about 4 months for the right to come up for $25 BIN ($30 shipped). So, I got those cheap, but it took a lot of patience. Good thing I didn't need them right away.

    Seems going rate for second generation XTR dual controls is about $200-300. First gen, more like $120-150.

  8. #8
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    Dual Controls also put the cables in a different (better?) place if you are fitting bar mounted bags.

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  9. #9
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    i run sram xo's on my 9 speed wouldnt give them up love the feel had no problems also with everyone upgrading to 10 speeds you should be able to pick up 9 speed drive train parts cheap on ebay and cragislist.

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