Change from SGI to Downtube Shifter For Front Gear?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by SLClimber, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. SLClimber

    SLClimber New Member

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    Has anyone had lots of trouble with their front SGI shifters and just given up? You still cannot fine tune it enough using SGI. I know that Lance uses a downtube shifter, I wonder if it's for the same reason? Has anyone changed their front gear to be a downtube shifter? What have been your experiences?
     
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  2. hd reynolds

    hd reynolds New Member

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    Its STI (for Shimano Total Integration - a gearshift system designed by Shimano) not SGI.

    Lance uses the setup only in mountain stages coz everyone says its gives him a psychological weight advantage. Having said that I have my doubts coz there is a UCI bike weight limit and anyone can set up their bikes to adhere to it regardless of whether they use STI or not.
     
  3. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    That setup was first used by Andy Hampsten in the early 90s. It was used because STI weighed a ton compared to downtube shifters. One reason to use it today is to reduce the effects of one of the stupidest inventions in cycling history: front indexed shifting, which can result in dropping your chain if the setup is not good. A better solution would be to use a campy front shifter, which is lighter and uses the superior ratcheting system.
     
  4. bobbyOCR

    bobbyOCR New Member

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    I have the 105 10spd ones and they work seamlessy. I have had absolutely no problems adjusting the front. Check the limit screws, cable adjusters and if in an extreme case, change cable position. There is no reason why it shouldn't work
     
  5. aussiejim

    aussiejim New Member

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    I,ve only had my felt f75 for a month now and sometimes have trouble shifting the front . I really have to make sure i push the lever right over or it does,nt always shift proply. The bike is due for first service in a couple of weeks so i,ll mention it to the shop.
     
  6. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    If you are inexperienced in bike maintenance go to a reputable bike shop and have them fix the shifting for you. There should be no problems at all with a well set-up and maintained STI or Ergopower system, neither with your FD or RD.

    There is no reason to get funky mixing and matching parts, unless you are convinced that you need the extra edge (psychological or otherwise) in your next uphill time trail at the TdF. :rolleyes:
     
  7. graphixgeek

    graphixgeek New Member

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    I agree, I have never had problems with a properly adjusted front STI shifter. I do like the Campys though and the new SRAM road grouppo looks promising as well.
     
  8. SLClimber

    SLClimber New Member

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    Gee. I can't believe I said SGI and twice!!! I'm at work too much.... Thanks for the informative updates. A lot of people said they had no problems etc with their setup. I know that TONS of people do fine with STI. I wasn't looking for that.

    Has anyone actually done it? Or is it just a couple of pros for reasons we cannot seem to actually nail down?

    I know about limit screws and setting up. I've had 6 attempts by LBS mechanics... I've changed Chain Rings to Dura Ace etc. I have a Dura Ace setup (although the crank is Specialized Carbon S-Works oversized BB).

    I liked the comments about Campy I had no idea they actually run on a different mechanism. Just thought it was a different company producing in essence similar designed stuff. Need to do more research on the Ratcheting you talk about.
     
  9. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    Horror! Please remember that ShimaNO is a company producing somewhat similar generic cycling-related products, while Campagnolo produces bicycle components! :p

    It is not too difficult to set up a downtube shifter for your FD (I know a couple of people who have done it) but you will then have to deal with different brake levers... and it looks rather silly unless you are Mr. Hillclimber.
     
  10. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    I used to in the early 90s. Mainly for weight and because it looked hardcore. Also because I have a philosophical objection to the way Shimano's front shifting works. I think it's stupid, especially on a MTB triple. I don't buy anything made by Shimano anymore, so I use SRAM in the dirt and Campy on the road. My main road frame does not even support downtube shifters. On top of that Campy shifters weigh a 100 grams less than Shimano and the front shifting was designed by someone who realized that everything will not always be in perfect adjustment.

    It also seems like when someone drops a chain at the base of a hill, it is more often than not a Shimano user. I think it has something to do with maladjustment combined with the way the chain is suddenly slammed from the big ring to the little one. Campy allows you to baby the shift if you want to. The ramps and pins on chainrings seem to have reduced this.
     
  11. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    Ahh, but with Campy you can get Record Carbon Aero brake levers, which look like Ergo but without the shifting mechanism. Another great reason to use Campy. :D
     
  12. DiabloScott

    DiabloScott New Member

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    Actually that's one thing that concerns me about SRAM - there's no trim at all on the front shifter, you can't push it to move the FD over a little bit because it'll shift.
     
  13. daniels

    daniels New Member

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    I could be mistaken, but I believe that a few pros like to run downtube shifters with Shimano ensembles so that they can cross their chain at big angles (e.g. big/big in the mountains) and fine tune the FD so that it isnt rubbing. I think I read somewhere that Lance did it to save weight in the mountains, but like someone else pointed out that doesn't make sense as his bike would be touching on the weight limit as it is.

    Mind you, riding with a big chain angle is generally a bad thing, and the pros only do it because they are looking for every advantage (like saving on a FD shift) and they have mechanics who care for their bikes and can afford to replace their chains after every stage.

    Campy front shifters are similar to STI, but as you push the shifting lever across instead of just going "whack" onto the big ring it goes "click click click" and the FD moves along in little increments. Same thing when you shift down to the small ring. Its really a great setup.
     
  14. PeterF

    PeterF New Member

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    In the early days of steel frames and 32 spoke wheels, weight was a concern, but I believe Lance used a downtube front because he prefered friction shifting so he could trim the front derailleur avoiding chain rub when crossed up (as previously mentioned). I switched to campy last year and I really love the 8 trim stops of the front derailleur (mine's tuned to 7 stops but it still is more than enough).
     
  15. PeterF

    PeterF New Member

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    Personally I need symmetry and would hate the look of two seperate hoods...
    But I'm nuts about stuff like that (and plenty of other things too)..
    :confused:
     
  16. bobbyOCR

    bobbyOCR New Member

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    I have no problems with shimano gear shifting on the front, but I don't change rings too much. On a hilly ride though I find the cable strectches which is where i wish it was campy. I couldn't stand looking at two different hoods. I would rather ride the extra weight than have 2 different hoods.
     
  17. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    Record Aero Carbon levers (non-Ergo) picture attached. Same look. The problem is that is that with a non-Ergo front lever, no shift cable and housing, and no downtube shifter the maximum savings are only about 50 grams for the shifter and maybe another 25 grams for the extra cable/housing. Add in the downtube shifter and the total savings might be as little as 20 or 30 grams.

    With Shimano the savings would be about 50 grams more. And you would have to get used to the different looking levers.
     
  18. graphixgeek

    graphixgeek New Member

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    Actually diabloscott, the SRAM front shifter has a trim feature similar to Shimano. Still not as handy as Campy's...but it's not Shimano either.;)
     
  19. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Why stop with just the front lever? No reason you can't switch to downtube indexed shifters for both front and rear derailleurs. A few people here use them on randoneur or touring setups because they don't want to worry about breaking an STI shifter from a bike handling incident or minor crash. Plus, you've got no shift cable housings to worry about.

    Unless you riding/racing in a tight pack, it's really not a problem to grab the old lever on the downtube for a shift. Save money, drop weight, add reliability by forgetting the race equipment and staying with the tried and true. Besides, if you can master non-indexed shifting, your friends will be impressed.
     
  20. pedalsquares

    pedalsquares New Member

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    On the whole, I don't know if it's so stupid - at least not from a product line development perspective. With the development and popularity of the triple I can see why they would go that way. Of course they'd go with ratcheting on both, just to keep it symmetrical. When it comes to a double, though, I do agree with you and the OP that there is a simplicity and precision with a dt shifter for the front.
     
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