Strengths: Light, cheap, weird (is that a strength?), can be installed with many other gear systems.
The swivelling ferrule for the shifter housing that was in the brifter body was a nice detail.
Weaknesses: Flimsy-feeling, awkward shifting action, hard on your thumbs, strange setup.
I bought a set of these on craigslist locally, knowing full well they aren't very good. However, I was curious to try them out.
I appreciate the 'thinking out of the box' design, the fact that they bridge Campy and Shimano, the clean cable routing, the very comfortable feel of the brake hood, and the basic concept of the shifter mechanism (very simple - a cylinder in line with the bike holds the cable's mushroom head, and is moved forward or backward a certain set distance by ratcheting from the shifter levers).
As brake levers, they're actually pretty good.
All that being said, they are NOT good shifters. The shifter lever throw is insanely far, so they're hard on your thumbs and do not shift crisply at all. They're a bit like friction shifters in brifter form... you have to keep pushing until the derailleur is where you want it.
The internal mechanism feels plasticky and cheap (I have the particularly plasticky V2000 version, I understand there are aluminum versions out there).
I think it might be interesting to make a heavier, tougher version of the same mechanical action out of materials like brass and steel - but that would defeat the main advantage of these, which people seem to agree is their light weight.
I think they *might* have merit as historical and technological curiosities, but they have no place on a bike you may need to rely on (for racing or even commuting).
When setting them up, I had to whack the back of the left brifter against a tabletop to set the light plastic shifter cylinder in the right place so it could slide.
Old Suntour Command and new Retroshift shifters are much more effective, simple, and durable.
Bike Setup: I put them on a 9-speed 105-equipped aluminum road bike for one day. It was fun at the time, but I didn't go out of my way to shift a whole lot. Even so, my thumbs became very swollen and sore later that day.
Date Reviewed: April 25, 2011
Strengths: Comfortable hoods (!)
Good break levers
Possibility to break and shift at the same time (important for me when riding in the city)
Possibility to mix-and-match
Weaknesses: Poor service manual
Installation and tuning is not the easiest (especially for the front)
Need to get used to the way they shift
Bought these shifters to upgrade my commuting bike from Favorit downtube friction shifters which I used for ages. At the same moment I upgraded the deraillers from Favorit to Shimano Tiagra, so no matter how the Modolos work, there is a significant improvement.
For those 99% of you who do not know the brand Favorit - it used to be a Czech bike manufacturer (yes, I am Czech, I live in Prague), who used to make excellent road steel frames, other fairly good stuff, but extremely poor deraillers. Even the factory racing team used Campa and Simplex instead of their own... Unfortunatelly it was very hard for normal hobby riders to get anything better in Czechoslovakia back in the 80s, so I just got used to it. Than I stopped riding for some time, so the need to upgrade came just recently.
I completely agree with the thought, that these are very "Italian". You just need to approach them with having this in mind and than they are a good value-for-money thing (the price I paid might look a bit scary to you guys from the US, but it was not that bad at the time of purchase since the exchange rates were different).
My bike is a total mix-and-match, so I was actually quite surpriced to get the rear work well right away (apart from the fact that getting the cable through the hood is quite difficult). As opposite, the front does not work as I expected - downshifting is perfect, but upshifting and trimming is hard to do. Hope they will break-in a bit. Maybe it is also caused by the fact, that I am using a "7 speed" chain with the Tiagra "9 speed" front derailler which may be too narrow, but I am not sure if this is the way it works.
Bike Setup: crankset Shimano Sora (compact)
deraillers Shimano Tiagra
7 speed freewheel Sunrace (yes, a freewheel; but to be honest this will be upgraded soon, because it simply sucks)
chain Shimano HG 80
Strengths: Light weight, all cables are hidden, looks good, and economical!
Weaknesses: Set up and installation took some time, after some mess with factor, have them dialed in.
Purchased for a 9 speed set up as building a frame up road bicycle. They were very economical, purchased from Performance Bicycle new. Found that the front chain ring shifter did not work, after checking with local "wrench", who really did not know what to do, checked the internet and gained some info, was able to reset the cable shuttle inside the shifter, now works fine! Rear shifter has always worked out of the box and appears to be smooth, no problems. The two thumb shift levers feel good and work naturally, I like the way they work. They do look neat and clean with hidden cables under the wrap. Brake levers work really smooth with my Dura-ace brakes.
Strengths: Adaptable, cheap, comfortable and ergonomic, lightweight, simple design.
Weaknesses: Finicky adjustments that need to be aligned very carefully, occasional failure of mechanism to engage.
I tend to upgrade some bike component with each paycheck, so the fact that these will upgrade from my current 7 speed cassette to a 9 or 10 appealed to me. I had some hassle installing them but I have them working nicely now. I had some phantom upshifts in the rear under load (as someone else mentioned) that I fixed by re-routing the cable housing on the handlebar and taping it down tighter. It is nice to be able to shift from so many different bar positions (if your hands are strong enough you can even shift from the flats on a climb). Also, for the folks that experienced trouble upshifting except from the drops, try the 10mm lever tension bolts, a small adjustment on them helps alot.