Aero Bar shifters to Drop Bar shifters



bkillam

New Member
May 17, 2011
3
0
0
I recently purchased a bike at a triathlon. It was really nice, and cheap. The only problem is that is has bull horns and aero bars. The shifters are the Shimano "switch" shifters, so when I attempt to change gear while going uphill I lose all momentum and almost come to a stop. I want to keep to aero bars, but install drop bars, and move the shifting components to the drop bars. All I need to know is the shifting overhaul process. I basically have a bike shop in my garage, so just instructions, in terms a novice bike builder can understand.
 

daveryanwyoming

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2006
3,857
190
0
Can you post a photo of your current setup?

By Shimano 'Switch' shifters do you mean 'bar end' shifters like these mounted on your aero bars?


I'm not sure why those would cause you to come to a complete stop as that's exactly what a lot of us run on time trial bikes but is that what you're talking about?

If so you've got a few options, you can remount bar end shifters from the ends of your aero bars to the ends of drop bars. Prior to shifters being built into brake lever assemblies that was a common way to get shifters up close to the handlebars. That just requires moving the shifters and wrapping the new longer shift cables and housings under the handlebar tape.

Or you can scrap those bar end shifters and mount integrated brake/shifters (a.k.a. brifters) in which case you just follow the installation instructions that come with the brifters when you buy them. Those will set you back quite a bit and you have to make sure they're compatible with your derailleurs. If you've got 8, 9 or 10 speeds in the rear then you want to match that to an 8, 9 or 10 speed set of brifters up front.

Swapping shifters isn't very difficult, but it will likely require new shifter cables and housings as the lengths will likely be different when going from aero bar ends to drop bar bar ends and you'll need to recable both shifters and brakes if you swap to integrated brakes/shifters.

BTW, you remove Shimano bar end shifters by first unscrewing the shift mechanism axles to remove the levers then you insert a 6mm allen wrench down the body of the bar end shifter to a hidden bolt that is left hand threaded (unscrews with a clockwise motion so backwards to most common bolts). Loosen the expansion bolt and the shift body slides out of the bars. This of course is much easier to do if you disconnect the shift cables from each derailleur first.

Good luck,
-Dave
 

bkillam

New Member
May 17, 2011
3
0
0
Those are exactly what I was talking about, but I sometime find myself having to change gear while going uphill (not at a fast pace because the many cars in my area). The action of pulling my hand off the bull horns and back up to the shifters and back to the bullhorns. Making me slow down, not any mechanical thing, just me going out of "attack mode" and losing my momentum.
Sorry about the size


This is the bike which I purchased for $500. It was a friend I bought it from and he let me use it for the triathlon, because the valve stem broke on my other bike. My "other bike" was from when I was a kid, and I had been shopping for a new bike.

Please use Novice terms (as if you were explaining it to a kid). I'm making my way through Zinn the Art of Road Bike Maintenance, so I know a little.

All I need to do is move the shifters from the aero bar to a set of drops, and I can't find a tutorial online.
 

daveryanwyoming

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2006
3,857
190
0
Actually those are not bar end shifters on your bike. Those are downtube shifters mounted on brackets on the aero bars. Those cannot be easily moved to the bar ends of drop bars, they can be moved down to the downtube of the bike. They were designed to be mounted on the braze on shifter mounts that are now the cable stops on the down tube just above the bike's logo where the bare cable enters the cable housing.

You can almost certainly move the shifters back to the down tube on a bike of that vintage but that won't change your shifting problem on hills. With integrated brake/shifters you can shift while standing up as long as there's not too much tension on the chain so you still don't want to shift once you bog down and run out of momentum on a steep hill. But with down tube or aero bar mounted shifters you have to (and with any shifters you want to) shift BEFORE you need to. IOW, shift while you still have some speed and momentum and spin a bit faster on the hill till the grade slows you down, don't wait until you're grinding slowly before trying to shift or yes you'll lose all your remaining momentum.

Unless you want to spend almost as much on shifters as you've already spent on your bike you should probably leave things alone or at most move the shifters to the down tube as they were designed to be used and work on proactive shifting where you make your gear changes before you've lost all your momentum. Even with integrated brake/shifters you'll want to develop that skill as no bike shifters work great when under really heavy loads (ask Andy Schleck).

-Dave
 

maydog

Well-Known Member
Feb 5, 2010
1,333
174
48
If the ends of the bullhorns are open ( not covered by the brake ) as it appears in the pics, you could buy some bar ends and place them there. This may be handy if you have your hands on the brake portion of the aerobar during a climb. You could even mount the right (rear der) bar end 180 degrees from normal so that thumbing the shifter will drop you into a lower gear. However, shifting up in gears may be a pain with barcons since the brakes may be in the way.

Bar ends can be had pretty cheap online.

Cool looking bike, do you have a higher resolution picture?
 

bkillam

New Member
May 17, 2011
3
0
0
Very bad news, when riding home I turned a corner and was nearly ran over. I managed to swoop to the side but found myself off the road and came down a bit hard. There is a pair of hairline cracks/fractures on the front fork(one on each side). This means I'll be looking at putting it on the bike stand and doing some work. I'm going to move the shifters to the downtube, and install a temp front fork from a Guerciotti frame. With the amount of parts I have and my large collection of tools I might be back on in a couple weeks. Those pictures are some I snapped with my iPhone for Dave. It's really unique with the white and purple. I wish I could find my other lenses to my camera, but for now I can only find my telescopic lens (stand 50 yards from the bike just to see it). I'll try and look for my other camera. I'm praying I can do some simple fixes and keep this from being a money pit. This is my first bike, that I purchased and plan on maintaining. So I don't think I'll plan on keeping it my whole life.
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
6,723
254
63
Originally Posted by daveryanwyoming .

...[COLOR= #ff0000] With integrated brake/shifters you can shift while standing up as long as there's not too much tension on the chain so you still don't want to shift once you bog down and run out of momentum on a steep hill. But with down tube or aero bar mounted shifters you have to (and with any shifters you want to) shift BEFORE you need to. IOW, shift while you still have some speed and momentum and spin a bit faster on the hill till the grade slows you down, don't wait until you're grinding slowly before trying to shift or yes you'll lose all your remaining momentum.[/COLOR]


... Even with integrated brake/shifters you'll want to develop that skill as no bike shifters work great when under really heavy loads (ask Andy Schleck).
Apparently, I have not said it often enough, [COLOR= #ff0000]you can downshift with Campagnolo shifters when the drivetrain is under load [/COLOR]... a severe load ... and, the only time I was not able to execute a downshift was when the chain was already on the largest cog ... whereas on those same inclines with Shimano 6500 shifters, there were occasions when the chain would briefly skate on-or-against the adjacent cog(s) before engaging due to the "dwell" which Shimano shifters have been saddled with ...

  • AND, that is with either a gappy ([COLOR= #808080]11-32 or 12-34[/COLOR]) 9-speed Shimano cassette + a 9-speed Shimano rear derailleur ([COLOR= #808080]XTR 950, hubbub'd to provide 9-speed Shimano indexing[/COLOR]) + 9-speed Shimano chain.

BTW. Schleck was, of course, encumbered with using SRAM shifters-and-derailleurs.