Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
I've got to get in shape.
Joined
·
282 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I rode today on a "heavy" steel bike with downtube shifters and (gasp!) standard, non-compact 9 speed gearing that had no electronics to measure my speed, heart rate, average speed, altitude, temperature, attitude and gas output. I guess that I don't need those intermediate gears that Campy, Shimano and Sram claim that I do.

It was fantastic! Now I remember why I started riding over 20 years ago.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,345 Posts
I rode today on a "heavy" steel bike with downtube shifters and (gasp!) standard, non-compact 9 speed gearing that had no electronics to measure my speed, heart rate, average speed, altitude, temperature, attitude and gas output. I guess that I don't need those intermediate gears that Campy, Shimano and Sram claim that I do.

It was fantastic! Now I remember why I started riding over 20 years ago.
What's weird? I find no need to gasp over down tube friction shifting even after owning 2 different kinds of briftor styles. My oldest friction shifting system is a 83 Suntour Superbe transmission that was converted from 5 speed, to 6 speed, to now 7 speed and it shifted all those gears with the same speed and accuracy of the modern stuff. The modern stuff only has convenience going for it. Sure you can miss a shift with friction if you don't know how to do it right, but I've missed shifts on the modern stuff too. But the big negative with modern stuff is the complication of the briftor and the cost to replace parts when they wear out which wear out faster then the old school stuff ever did.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,713 Posts
Your purist, retro ride has a 9-speed cassette? You have pretty much all those intermediate gears.

Try a 5-speed freewheel.

Better yet, ride a fixed gear, preferably one converted from an old, cheap road bike, with various cast-off parts; you'll think you died and went to cycling heaven.

Or not, depending on your taste.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,345 Posts
I'm quite happy to forgo all the modern improvements if I have to, but downtube shifters? You can pry my STI levers out of my cold dead hands!
Why? I've used them for over 40 years and I still do, and so did pros, in fact pros used them a lot longer then STI. So why do you hate them?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
752 Posts
I'm quite happy to forgo all the modern improvements if I have to, but downtube shifters? You can pry my STI levers out of my cold dead hands!
Why? I've used them for over 40 years and I still do, and so did pros, in fact pros used them a lot longer then STI. So why do you hate them?
Because he's EVIL obviously!

:)

EEC

(upcoming project bike: 1983 Fuji Monterey, 30lbs of lugged steel love!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
Why? I've used them for over 40 years and I still do, and so did pros, in fact pros used them a lot longer then STI. So why do you hate them?
Most of my riding is done within a hilly city, which means a lot of gear changes. Having to move my arms to do that is a distraction. It's particularly useful when having to stop unexpectedly; I can shift down quickly while still braking with both hands. It's also very nice being able to shift while out of the saddle, or while cornering.

I don't hate downtube shifters, they just aren't as good as integrated shifters (it's true that simplicity is an advantage for them, but it's not like STI levers are unreliable). I did use downtube shifters when I first started riding (friction first, then indexed for a short while), then in the 90s I got some STI levers, and I wouldn't want to go back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,713 Posts
Why? I've used them for over 40 years and I still do, and so did pros, in fact pros used them a lot longer then STI. So why do you hate them?
They did, but they don't anymore, once integrated shifters became available. The new ones are a real advance. Not essential, but a real aid. I don't hate dt shifters, and I could certainly ride with them if necessary, but I don't think you can honestly deny that integrated levers are an improvement, at least in many situations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,345 Posts
Most of my riding is done within a hilly city, which means a lot of gear changes. Having to move my arms to do that is a distraction. It's particularly useful when having to stop unexpectedly; I can shift down quickly while still braking with both hands. It's also very nice being able to shift while out of the saddle, or while cornering.

I don't hate downtube shifters, they just aren't as good as integrated shifters (it's true that simplicity is an advantage for them, but it's not like STI levers are unreliable). I did use downtube shifters when I first started riding (friction first, then indexed for a short while), then in the 90s I got some STI levers, and I wouldn't want to go back.
I hear you on that, but I use to ride into mountains with a lot of gear changes as did all cyclists back in the day and a lot of them lived in hilly cities. We did it so much it was just second nature, we never gave it a second thought. I've shifted DT's while standing and cornering, I wasn't special in that regard it was a practice we all did back then.

Like you I've used friction since about the late 60's; then index which were down tube shifters as well; and since 07 STI, but I still use all those others to this day as well. Is there a slight usability advantage, yes but only slight, but not so much that I could ever say that I would never go back because I do go back all the time and when I do ride the older bikes I don't think while riding - gee I wish this bike had STI, it never even pops up for a split second of thought.

I guess I'm weird.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top