Raison d'etre for STI

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Dick Durbin, Jan 22, 2003.

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  1. Dick Durbin

    Dick Durbin Guest

    In another thread, Jobst Brandt postulated: "Fear of riding with only one hand on the bars got us
    away from downtube shifters...."

    Is that why most folks went to STI or Ergo shifters? Safety was not a consideration in my switch. I
    was just looking to be able to shift more quickly.

    I am wondering if other riders share Jobst's opinion on the reason that most riders switched to STI
    or Ergo shifters.

    Dick Durbin Tallahassee
     
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  2. Dmgatti

    Dmgatti Guest

    Dick Durbin wrote:
    >
    > In another thread, Jobst Brandt postulated: "Fear of riding with only one hand on the bars got us
    > away from downtube shifters...."
    >
    > Is that why most folks went to STI or Ergo shifters? Safety was not a consideration in my switch.
    > I was just looking to be able to shift more quickly.
    >
    > I am wondering if other riders share Jobst's opinion on the reason that most riders switched to
    > STI or Ergo shifters.
    >
    > Dick Durbin Tallahassee

    I had someone go into a long speech about how important STI ss for safety. They said that it's
    dangerous to ever have one hand off of the bars. And they argued that "you have to look down to
    shift" with downtube shifters. Hence, they thought that no bike should have downtube shifters for
    safety reasons. But when I mentioned that most bikes have a water bottle just below the downtube
    shifters and that involves looking down, taking one hand off of the bars, reaching down and tilting
    your head back to drink, they just looked at me with disgust and walked away.

    So I stuck with my downtube shifters! :)
     
  3. Dick Durbin wrote:
    >
    >> In another thread, Jobst Brandt postulated: "Fear of riding with only one hand on the bars got us
    >> away from downtube shifters...."
    >>
    >> Is that why most folks went to STI or Ergo shifters? Safety was not a consideration in my switch.
    >> I was just looking to be able to shift more quickly.
    >>
    >> I am wondering if other riders share Jobst's opinion on the reason that most riders switched to
    >> STI or Ergo shifters.

    Back in the early '50s, front derailers wern't cable operated. The rider had to reach down to
    the _seat_ tube and push a lever sideways to shift. This was a perfectly satisfactory system for
    any Real Cyclist. There was only one moving part, no cables to stretch, a great system,
    elegantly simple!

    However, by the late '50s, the sport had been overrun with newbies and poseurs who were scared to
    get their hands that far away from the handlebars, so new-fangled, namby-pamby cable operated front
    derailers were introduced, where you only had to reach to the top of the down tube.

    You might think this wasn't a big deal, just another choice--but just _try_ to find a lever type
    front derailer anymore! The Evil Parts Cartel has conspired to remove this wonderfully simple option
    from the marketplace and to force us all to use their Rube-Goldbergesque remote-controlled front
    derailers instead. Harumpf! Bah! Pfooey!

    Carapace Completed Umber St. Petersburg, Florida
    +----------------------------------------------------------+
    | The people who live in a Golden Age usually go around | complaining how yellow everything looks.
    | | -- Randall Jarrell |
    +----------------------------------------------------------+
     
  4. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    "Dick Durbin" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In another thread, Jobst Brandt postulated: "Fear of riding with only one hand on the bars got us
    > away from downtube shifters...."
    >
    > Is that why most folks went to STI or Ergo shifters? Safety was not a consideration in my switch.
    > I was just looking to be able to shift more quickly.

    More quickly definitely, and also more comfortably. It's not to do with _fear_ of riding with only
    one hand for most people, I would suggest, it's just that having the shifters on the bars is more
    convenient.

    With progress, we get luxury - dirty words to those who think cycling should be as hard as possible.
    I find Ergos especially good when frequently shifting a close-ratio block, and being able to change
    gear, brake and swerve sharply with precision all at the same time or within tenths of seconds of
    each other is at least fun, if not safe. Brifters are obviously not so useful for those riders who
    only change gear once every half hour.

    I've used down tube levers (friction & indexed) for over twenty years and have had quite enough of
    them! I expect to soon fit an alternative to the old bike I still have them on.

    ~PB
     
  5. Doug Taylor

    Doug Taylor Guest

    [email protected] (Dick Durbin) wrote:

    >In another thread, Jobst Brandt postulated: "Fear of riding with only one hand on the bars got us
    >away from downtube shifters...."
    >
    >Is that why most folks went to STI or Ergo shifters? Safety was not a consideration in my switch. I
    >was just looking to be able to shift more quickly.
    >
    >I am wondering if other riders share Jobst's opinion on the reason that most riders switched to STI
    >or Ergo shifters.

    How about a combination of ease, quickness, and safety. In other words, a utilitarian and successful
    technological advancement that v ritually everybody (except retrogrouches and Lance on the front
    derailleur of his climbing bike a few TDF's ago) uses, so end of discussion. --dt
     
  6. I have used downtube shifters exclusively, that is until a recent trip to the wine country. We
    didn't want to haul our bikes up there so we found a LBS and rented some, VERY HEAVY, road bikes.
    Within about 5 minutes of riding, I absolutely fell in love with these shifters. It is incredible
    how fast one can shift, and at the precise instant that a different gear is actually needed. I have
    plans to buy a new bike in the spring, I can't wait to use these shifters again, and it has nothing
    to do with fear.

    Speaking of renting bikes, here's a question, why don't more LBS rent good quality road bikes? And
    if anyone knows of one near downtown Los Angeles does, please advise.

    Michael

    > In another thread, Jobst Brandt postulated: "Fear of riding with only one hand on the bars got us
    > away from downtube shifters...."
    >
    > Is that why most folks went to STI or Ergo shifters? Safety was not a consideration in my switch.
    > I was just looking to be able to shift more quickly.
    >
    > I am wondering if other riders share Jobst's opinion on the reason that most riders switched to
    > STI or Ergo shifters.
    >
    > Dick Durbin Tallahassee
     
  7. The reason STI shifting became so popular so quickly had nothing to do with safety; it's simply a
    more convenient way to shift. You don't have to even think about moving your hands anywhere- when
    you're in a situation where you might be required to shift (rolling terrain, sprinting, etc) you'll
    most likely have moved your hands to the tops of the levers and can shift at any time without any
    real thought. I think there are safety benefits to them (which was part of a long drawn-out thread
    that doesn't need to be rehashed) but that's just icing on the cake. Even if there were no
    possibility of them being safer, the convenience alone is enough (and that's what made them popular
    initially; I don't ever recall selling them back in 1990-92, when they were catching on, as being a
    safer way to ride).

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com

    "Dick Durbin" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In another thread, Jobst Brandt postulated: "Fear of riding with only one hand on the bars got us
    > away from downtube shifters...."
    >
    > Is that why most folks went to STI or Ergo shifters? Safety was not a consideration in my switch.
    > I was just looking to be able to shift more quickly.
    >
    > I am wondering if other riders share Jobst's opinion on the reason that most riders switched to
    > STI or Ergo shifters.
    >
    > Dick Durbin Tallahassee
     
  8. Mike Demicco

    Mike Demicco Guest

    On Fri, 10 Jan 2003 04:35:38 -0800, Dick Durbin wrote:

    > In another thread, Jobst Brandt postulated: "Fear of riding with only one hand on the bars got us
    > away from downtube shifters...."

    TThat's why I switched (and why I also switched to bar end shifters). I fdidn't feel comfortable
    removing one hand to shift on downhills. Also, ttrimming the front derailler on a triple was a pain
    with downtube sshifters.
     
  9. On Fri, 10 Jan 2003 07:35:38 -0500, Dick Durbin wrote:

    > In another thread, Jobst Brandt postulated: "Fear of riding with only one hand on the bars got us
    > away from downtube shifters...."
    >
    > Is that why most folks went to STI or Ergo shifters? Safety was not a consideration in my switch.
    > I was just looking to be able to shift more quickly.

    This is one of Jobst's pet topics. It's more a reaction to people who are literally afraid to take a
    hand off the bars than anything specifically against these shifters.

    I have ridden with people who are afraid to take even one hand off the bar. One guy, I rode up next
    to, introduced myself, and extended my hand to shake. He stared at my hand in disbelief and muttered
    how he never took even one hand off the bars. My turn for disbelief. I think he stops to take a
    drink from his water bottle.

    So, maybe there are such folks in abundance, and for them the STIs might be the only way they
    can ride. However, that certainly isn't the reason they were made, nor the reason that most
    folks buy them.

    IĀ think it's easier to get a good shift with indexing, and the push-button type of indexing that
    Ergo or STIĀ gives is more accurate than downtube indexed shifters. It's also a bit quicker. I
    have occasionally shifted while out of the saddle, which would have been impossible with
    downtube shifters.

    Of course most people buy them because that is what comes on the bike.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | Become MicroSoft-free forever. Ask me how. _`\(,_ | (_)/ (_) |
     
  10. Dick Durbin wrote:
    >
    >
    > I am wondering if other riders share Jobst's opinion on the reason that most riders switched to
    > STI or Ergo shifters.
    >
    >

    Not me. I broke an STI lever in a crash last summer. I rode with an Ultegra indexed downtube shifter
    on one side for a few weeks until I replaced the STI shifter. I _really_ missed the ability to
    quickly change gears, and got a solid understanding of why STI is so popular.
    <G> For me, it just works better. I'd never go back!

    Barry
     
  11. [email protected] (Dick Durbin) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > In another thread, Jobst Brandt postulated: "Fear of riding with only one hand on the bars got us
    > away from downtube shifters...."
    >
    > Is that why most folks went to STI or Ergo shifters? Safety was not a consideration in my switch.
    > I was just looking to be able to shift more quickly.
    >
    > I am wondering if other riders share Jobst's opinion on the reason that most riders switched to
    > STI or Ergo shifters.
    >
    > Dick Durbin Tallahassee

    I was still racing when STI and then Ergo came out. Everyone I knew was getting them because they
    thought they would offer faster shifting while racing; a performance advantage. Safety wasn't their
    concern. I was working at a shop also, and as I recall, most customers just thought they seemed more
    convienient. I finally switched after I no longer raced, mainly because I was no longer concerned
    about wasting an astronomically expensive set of levers in some podunk crit. Does one need brifters?
    No. To be competitive? No. Are they more convienient, faster to shift and possibly offer some safety
    advantages? Yes. Also, with fewer and fewer frames coming with shift bosses, some folks just don't
    have a freakin' choice! --Jim
     
  12. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, "David L. Johnson" <David L. Johnson
    <[email protected]>> writes:
    > On Fri, 10 Jan 2003 07:35:38 -0500, Dick Durbin wrote:
    >
    >> In another thread, Jobst Brandt postulated: "Fear of riding with only one hand on the bars got us
    >> away from downtube shifters...."
    >>
    >> Is that why most folks went to STI or Ergo shifters? Safety was not a consideration in my switch.
    >> I was just looking to be able to shift more quickly.
    >
    > This is one of Jobst's pet topics. It's more a reaction to people who are literally afraid to take
    > a hand off the bars than anything specifically against these shifters.

    I think I've noticed that too. I've also noticed how he tends to be right.

    And, dilletante that I am, I've also noticed how when I take _one_ hand off the bars, there's always
    a little, miniscule, squirrel-action. Not much, but it's there. In a critical situation, maybe it
    would be too much?

    Funny thing is, if I take *both* hands off at once and ride no-hands, that squirreliness
    isn't there.

    One hand, IME, is squirrelier than no hands, or both hands.

    Weird, eh?

    cheers, Tom

    --
    -- Powered by FreeBSD

    remove NO_SPAM. from address to reply
     
  13. W K

    W K Guest

    "dmgatti" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > I had someone go into a long speech about how important STI ss for safety. They said that it's
    > dangerous to ever have one hand off of the bars. And they argued that "you have to look down to
    > shift" with downtube shifters. Hence, they thought that no bike should have downtube shifters for
    > safety reasons. But when I mentioned that most bikes have a water bottle just below the downtube
    > shifters and that involves looking down

    Not always. When you get used to a bike you don't look down.

    Although after much summer touring on a tandem I discovered that it has the bottle in more or less
    the same place as my other bike has front spokes.

    STIs are hard to use when covered in blood BTW.
     
  14. John Everett

    John Everett Guest

    On Fri, 10 Jan 2003 08:47:38 -0800, "Mike DeMicco" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Fri, 10 Jan 2003 04:35:38 -0800, Dick Durbin wrote:
    >
    >> In another thread, Jobst Brandt postulated: "Fear of riding with only one hand on the bars got us
    >> away from downtube shifters...."
    >
    >TThat's why I switched (and why I also switched to bar end shifters). I fdidn't feel comfortable
    >removing one hand to shift on downhills. Also, ttrimming the front derailler on a triple was a pain
    >with downtube sshifters.

    Probably a good reason for someone with poor hand-eye coordination such as that evidenced by your
    typing skills. ;-)

    jeverett3<AT>earthlink<DOT>net http://home.earthlink.net/~jeverett3
     
  15. On Fri, 10 Jan 2003 12:35:02 -0500, Mike S. wrote:

    > While STI wasn't marketed as a safety innovation, I've found that when riding in a pack, you
    > definitely don't get as many "near misses" because the guy next to you is reaching down to shift
    > any more. Then again, it was ALWAYS the other guy making the mistakes...

    It's amazing that we survived, I guess.... You learn quickly to shift without looking at the lever,
    and we managed to do this without running into people any more than they do now. But we did miss
    more shifts, even though we shifted less often.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | "Business!" cried the Ghost. "Mankind was my business. The _`\(,_ | common welfare was my
    business; charity, mercy, forbearance, (_)/ (_) | and benevolence, were, all, my business. The
    dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!"
    --Dickens, "A Christmas Carol"
     
  16. Matt O'Toole wrote:

    >
    > <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >
    >> It is amazing how the bicycle weight aficionados ignore the weight of these levers and
    >> extra cable.
    >
    > I don't think the weight difference is as much as people assume. Last I looked, brifters were only
    > a couple of ounces heavier than plain brake levers from the same group. I don't know what 2-3
    > extra feet of cable/housing weighs, but I doubt it's all that much either.

    A couple of ounces is a lot to the sort of people who start drilling holes in things to make
    them lighter.

    --
    Benjamin Lewis

    Don't take life so serious, son, it ain't nohow permanent. -- Walt Kelly
     
  17. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    "Michael James Anderson" <[email protected]> wondered in message
    news:p[email protected]...

    > Speaking of renting bikes, here's a question, why don't more LBS rent good quality road bikes?

    People invariably ride them "like rentals".

    I can barely keep up the maintenance on heavy mountain bike rentals with fat tires.

    Road bikes have a life of between 30 and 60 days in our experience. Won't try that again.

    --
    Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
     
  18. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    snip <To be competitive? No> Heaven forbid you came out of the last corner of a crit in the wrong
    gear with DT shifters! If you come out of the corner to accelerate, you needed to sit down, shift,
    then reaccelerate. If you came out in the top end gear, you were forced to turn over this huge gear
    till you got the speed back up again.

    Now all you do is move a little lever, ease off on the pedals slightly and keep on sprinting!

    Too bad Zap was so finicky. I had one of the shift buttons under my index finger when standing. I
    didn't even have to move anything to change several gears in a sprint!

    Mike "Meccanico di Bici" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > [email protected] (Dick Durbin) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > In another thread, Jobst Brandt postulated: "Fear of riding with only one hand on the bars got
    > > us away from downtube shifters...."
    > >
    > > Is that why most folks went to STI or Ergo shifters? Safety was not a consideration in my
    > > switch. I was just looking to be able to shift more quickly.
    > >
    > > I am wondering if other riders share Jobst's opinion on the reason that most riders switched to
    > > STI or Ergo shifters.
    > >
    > > Dick Durbin Tallahassee
    >
    > I was still racing when STI and then Ergo came out. Everyone I knew was getting them because they
    > thought they would offer faster shifting while racing; a performance advantage. Safety wasn't
    > their concern. I was working at a shop also, and as I recall, most customers just thought they
    > seemed more convienient. I finally switched after I no longer raced, mainly because I was no
    > longer concerned about wasting an astronomically expensive set of levers in some podunk crit. Does
    > one need brifters? No. To be competitive? No. Are they more convienient, faster to shift and
    > possibly offer some safety advantages? Yes. Also, with fewer and fewer frames coming with shift
    > bosses, some folks just don't have a freakin' choice! --Jim
     
  19. Kapers

    Kapers Guest

    "dmgatti" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Dick Durbin wrote:
    > >
    > > In another thread, Jobst Brandt postulated: "Fear of riding with only one hand on the bars got
    > > us away from downtube shifters...."
    > >
    > > Is that why most folks went to STI or Ergo shifters? Safety was not a consideration in my
    > > switch. I was just looking to be able to shift more quickly.
    > >
    > > I am wondering if other riders share Jobst's opinion on the reason that most riders switched to
    > > STI or Ergo shifters.
    > >
    > > Dick Durbin Tallahassee
    >
    > I had someone go into a long speech about how important STI ss for safety. They said that it's
    > dangerous to ever have one hand off of the bars. And they argued that "you have to look down to
    > shift" with downtube shifters. Hence, they thought that no bike should have downtube shifters for
    > safety reasons. But when I mentioned that most bikes have a water bottle just below the downtube
    > shifters and that involves looking down, taking one hand off of the bars, reaching down and
    > tilting your head back to drink, they just looked at me with disgust and walked away.
    >
    > So I stuck with my downtube shifters! :)

    Good Answer! (and decision). I wonder if anyone here remembers Suntour Command Shifters??? I had a
    set on my old Roberts for 4 seasons.... I recall an ad from back then stating that some team manager
    for a US team loved them because he could outfit an entire team for the price of one set of DA
    Sti's...... Ah, the good old days. There seems to be a myth circulating around that Barcon's are
    unsafe because you can accidently trigger them with your knees..... That may have contributed (a
    little) to their falling out of favour. (except, why are they still spec'd on quite a few Touring
    bikes???? seems like a miss-shift would be more of a concern to someone with 100lbs of gear split
    60/40 on front and rear racks going down a lengthy grade.....than a racer with lightning fast
    reflexes.... hmmm). OT: Does anyone here remember Proctor Townsend (or just Townsend) Frames???? Any
    tales to tell? Take care All. Keith.

    *------------------------------------------------* < > < "The knack lies in learning to throw
    yourself > < -at the ground and miss" >
    < D. Adams. > < > *------------------------------------------------*
     
  20. On Fri, 10 Jan 2003 12:48:11 -0500, David Damerell wrote:

    > I was wondering if anyone was going to mention bar ends. They're cheaper, they're not as fiddly,
    > you can maintain them,

    Ergo shifters are not "fiddly" and you can maintain them, even upgrade them to handle more cogs.

    > they have a friction option (especially important in front when compared with Shimano's offering),

    Ergo has a ratcheting left shifter that trims nicely.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not _`\(,_ | certain, and as
    far as they are certain, they do not refer to (_)/ (_) | reality. -- Albert Einstein
     
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