The future of shifting???

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Jon Isaacs, Jan 22, 2003.

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  1. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    Ok so we've been through the fact that STI is "not a big deal" (or why it is a big deal), the
    various theories about why STI was developed and why it became popular.

    Pretty much every knows where everyone stands so I believe it is time to move on.

    I say that this group has a potential to actually make some contribution to the advancement of
    cycling, more than just helping out the occasional newbie and then mostly just arguing the
    unarguable. I think that this group has a great many resources, people like to Andrew Muzi, Sheldon,
    Mike J., Jobst, and many others (sorry if I forgot your name.) We have riders, racers, bike shop
    people, engineers, a great pool of talent here that could hash this thing out and at least provide
    some creative thinking and potential solutions.

    So I say lets hash the future of shifting out right here and in a responsible and reasonable manner.

    I suggest we move away from the current technology. I would like to move past brand allegiances and
    address this problem from the stand point of coming up with a new design that supercedes the current
    existing designs. Certainly a new design can encorporate the features of the old designs and may
    even be based on older technology.

    But the lineage can be broken.

    To address this problem, I ask the following question:

    What would define the "ideal" shifting system, what are the basic goals here. I suggest the
    following.

    1. Shifter for rear derailleur would be indexed.
    2. Shifter for the front derailleur would be quasi-friction, ie continuously adjustable.
    3. Reasonably lightweight.
    4. Simple and/or Repairable (hopefully by the owner.)
    5. Durable
    6. Reliable
    7. Economical
    8. Mounted on the handle bars and allow shifting from the hoods, drops and tops of the bars.
    9. Friction bail out mode.
    10. Capable of large shifting several cogs with one motion, hopefully all of them if needed.
    11. Easy to shift.

    I am sure others can add more. But I also hope that this does not deteriorate into a bunch of
    petty arguments about, for example, whether it is really necessary to be repairable of whether
    the front derailleur needs to be "quasi friction" or not. The fact is that the ideal system would
    be repairable and it is clear from the Shimano experience that a quasi friction front derailleur
    is superior.

    I have been considering the previously available options, STI, Ergo, Barends and Command Shifters
    (CS) and will now repeat my list, however this time, I will include along side the shifting systems
    which currently have these features:

    12. Shifter for rear derailleur would be indexed. (STI, Ergo, CS, Barends)
    13. Shifter for the front derailleur would be quasi-friction, ie continuously adjustable. (Ergo,
    CS, barends)
    14. Reasonably lightweight. (STI, Ergo, CS, Barends)
    15. Simple and/or Repairable (hopefully by the owner.) (Ergo, CS, Barends)
    16. Durable (STI, Ergo, CS, barends)
    17. Reliable (STI, Ergo, barends)
    18. Economical (CS and Barends)
    19. Mounted on the handle bars and allow shifting from the hoods, drops and tops of the bars. (CS)
    20. Friction bail out mode. (Barends, CS)
    21. Capable of large shifting several cogs with one motion, hopefully all of them if needed.
    (CS, barends)
    22. Easy to shift, (STI, Ergo, Barends)
    --------------------------

    So coming out the bottom it is interesting to see that of the qualities I have suggested, that the
    Suntour Command shifters actually seems to have the most things going for them, only the stiff
    shifting and the fact their questionable compatibility made them unreliable shifting, at least in my
    experience.

    Could a new design indeed be based on an improved Suntour design, one that actually was properly
    executed??

    Or Is there something about the brake lever/shifter combination that makes it superior to the
    Command shifter type approach?

    Anyway, I am just throwing this out there, I hope it is taken in the spirit it is given, this is a
    challenge to work as a group and avoid entanglements and flame wars.

    Jon Isaacs
     
    Tags:


  2. I wouldn't even know where to start, but I suspect the drivetrain to be a limiting factor in
    developing any ideal shifting system that met all of your criteria. Ultimately, some form of
    electro-mechanical shifting would seem to make sense, as well as indexing that occurs at the
    derailleur, rather than the shifter. That one's always puzzled me. Wouldn't it be more reliable if
    the indexing were tied to the derailleur, and the cable simply provided a +/- input, telling it
    which direction to go (instead of precisely how far)?

    Yes, I know, the old Positron worked that way. Horrible cheap junk, but not so sure the concept was
    flawed, just the execution.

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

    "Jon Isaacs" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Ok so we've been through the fact that STI is "not a big deal" (or why it
    is a
    > big deal), the various theories about why STI was developed and why it
    became
    > popular.
    >
    > Pretty much every knows where everyone stands so I believe it is time to
    move
    > on.
     
  3. Jon Isaacs wrote:

    > I suggest we move away from the current technology. I would like to move past brand allegiances
    > and address this problem from the stand point of coming up with a new design that supercedes the
    > current existing designs. Certainly a new design can encorporate the features of the old designs
    > and may even be based on older technology.

    Hi Jon,

    on one hand you are proposing to move away from current technology and come up with a new design. On
    the other hand you are still sticking to the old gearing solution using cogsets, chainrings and
    derailers. basically the old trusted and true technology.

    Even if I support your ideas like
    - reliable
    - economical
    - field maintainable (touring background)
    - leightweight why not start from the ground up and start with some functional analysis what
    gearing is supposed to do. In my opinion that is important aspect, technical solutions coming
    in second.

    So, what is gearing there for? Basically, the function of gears is to provide the rider with an
    option to adapt the force which has to be put on the cranks and which depend on many environment
    conditions to a level the rider is willing and physically able to apply.

    As environment conditions we do have i. e.:
    - resistance (wind, road conditions, bike related stuff)
    - terrain (uphill / downhill)
    - weight (bike + rider)

    On the riders side:
    - physical fitness
    - mental fitness (How fast do I want to ride today?)
    - preferences regarding cadence and loading

    (Not necessarily complete)

    All or most of these conditions are highly unsteady / transient. Each off them is influenced by a
    number of factors (see e.g. resistance).

    My personal dream would be some gearing, that simply does the job to my satisfaction without me
    having to do any manual shifting (and thinking) without maintenance, with a high efficiency. Just
    like an automatic transmission in cars. You press the gas pedal and accelerate, the rest is done by
    the cars mechanic and electronic system.

    And how can this be done?

    No, I don't have a solution but think:
    - electronically controlled (reliability?, field maintenance?
    - hubs with internal gears (or however they are called in english)
    - infinetly variable transmission

    Ok, we are not the first humans on earth thinking about this problem. And still, after some dozens
    of years, no one has come up with a better solution. That makes for a tough goal to find a better
    solution as the current one.....

    cu, Michael

    ----------------------
    | [email protected] |
    ----------------------
     
  4. Jon Isaacs wrote:
    >
    > Ok so we've been through the fact that STI is "not a big deal" (or why it is a big deal), the
    > various theories about why STI was developed and why it became popular.
    >
    > Pretty much every knows where everyone stands so I believe it is time to move on.
    >
    > I say that this group has a potential to actually make some contribution to the advancement of
    > cycling, more than just helping out the occasional newbie and then mostly just arguing the
    > unarguable. I think that this group has a great many resources, people like to Andrew Muzi,
    > Sheldon, Mike J., Jobst, and many others (sorry if I forgot your name.) We have riders, racers,
    > bike shop people, engineers, a great pool of talent here that could hash this thing out and at
    > least provide some creative thinking and potential solutions.
    >
    > So I say lets hash the future of shifting out right here and in a responsible and
    > reasonable manner.
    >
    > I suggest we move away from the current technology. I would like to move past brand allegiances
    > and address this problem from the stand point of coming up with a new design that supercedes the
    > current existing designs. Certainly a new design can encorporate the features of the old designs
    > and may even be based on older technology.

    I'm not sure that makes it a "new design."

    > But the lineage can be broken.
    >
    > To address this problem, I ask the following question:
    >
    > What would define the "ideal" shifting system, what are the basic goals here. I suggest the
    > following.
    >
    > 1. Shifter for rear derailleur would be indexed.
    > 2. Shifter for the front derailleur would be quasi-friction, ie continuously adjustable.

    I suppose indexing is okay too if it can be made to work well (I don't index the front). I guess I
    haven't been paying attention because you imply below that current front indexing doesn't work all
    that well.

    > 3. Reasonably lightweight.
    > 4. Simple and/or Repairable (hopefully by the owner.)
    > 5. Durable
    > 6. Reliable
    > 7. Economical
    > 8. Mounted on the handle bars and allow shifting from the hoods, drops and tops of the bars.

    Almost sounds like electronic, because 3,4,5,6 would likely be violated if it were all mechanical.
    Many people seem pessimistic that electronic can work, but I'm not so sure about that. That said,
    the existing mechanical system represent substantial cost, reliability, and lightweight hurdles for
    e-systems to overcome. In other words, the current systems are quite well refined, IMO. STI/ERGO
    pretty much does 2 of the 3 already (hoods & drops).

    > 9. Friction bail out mode.

    I've used indexed bar-ends for over 10 years and there has always existed this feature claim of for
    indexed bar-ends and DT's. But I've *never once* needed this so-called feature. Has anyone? (I like
    the idea, but it hasn't seemed to matter in practice.)

    > 10. Capable of large shifting several cogs with one motion, hopefully all of them if needed.
    > 11. Easy to shift.
    >
    > I am sure others can add more. But I also hope that this does not deteriorate into a bunch of
    > petty arguments about, for example, whether it is really necessary to be repairable of whether the
    > front derailleur needs to be "quasi friction" or not. The fact is that the ideal system would be
    > repairable and it is clear from the Shimano experience that a quasi friction front derailleur is
    > superior.
    >
    > I have been considering the previously available options, STI, Ergo, Barends and Command Shifters
    > (CS) and will now repeat my list, however this time, I will include along side the shifting
    > systems which currently have these features:
    >
    > 1. Shifter for rear derailleur would be indexed. (STI, Ergo, CS, Barends)
    > 2. Shifter for the front derailleur would be quasi-friction, ie continuously adjustable. (Ergo,
    > CS, barends)
    > 3. Reasonably lightweight. (STI, Ergo, CS, Barends)
    > 4. Simple and/or Repairable (hopefully by the owner.) (Ergo, CS, Barends)
    > 5. Durable (STI, Ergo, CS, barends)
    > 6. Reliable (STI, Ergo, barends)

    Not CS? Why STI and maybe even ERGO? I've _never_ "maintained" bar-ends because they don't seem to
    break. But I've heard reports here about failed STI and to a lesser extent, ERGO.

    > 7. Economical (CS and Barends)
    > 8. Mounted on the handle bars and allow shifting from the hoods, drops and tops of the bars. (CS)

    Maybe Tops.

    > 9. Friction bail out mode. (Barends, CS)
    > 10. Capable of large shifting several cogs with one motion, hopefully all of them if needed. (CS,
    > barends)
    > 11. Easy to shift, (STI, Ergo, Barends)

    Not CS? Why not?

    > So coming out the bottom it is interesting to see that of the qualities I have suggested, that the
    > Suntour Command shifters actually seems to have the most things going for them, only the stiff
    > shifting and the fact their questionable compatibility made them unreliable shifting, at least in
    > my experience.

    I don't know if CS is viable if they aren't "11. Easy to shift." That would be a killer.

    > Could a new design indeed be based on an improved Suntour design, one that actually was properly
    > executed??

    (Re?-)Educate us on what was wrong with them. Aren't they just big wing nuts mounted inside the
    brake levers? Why couldn't existing index levers (for example bar-dends) simply be made with a
    different lever and "special mounnting bracket? That is, the index/friction cyclinder would be
    essentially unchanged.

    > Or Is there something about the brake lever/shifter combination that makes it superior to the
    > Command shifter type approach?

    Geez, how many people have experience with both? Too bad, I doubt there is many. I really wonder if
    folks would drop brifters for CS.

    > Anyway, I am just throwing this out there, I hope it is taken in the spirit it is given, this is a
    > challenge to work as a group and avoid entanglements and flame wars.

    Oh, we're just a big lovey-dovey family that likes to stick our forks into the same piece of pie.
     
  5. x

    x Guest

    RE/
    > 1. Shifter for rear derailleur would be indexed.
    > 2. Shifter for the front derailleur would be quasi-friction, ie continuously adjustable.
    > 3. Reasonably lightweight.
    > 4. Simple and/or Repairable (hopefully by the owner.)
    > 5. Durable
    > 6. Reliable
    > 7. Economical
    > 8. Mounted on the handle bars and allow shifting from the hoods, drops and tops of the bars.
    > 9. Friction bail out mode.
    >10. Capable of large shifting several cogs with one motion, hopefully all of them if needed.
    >11. Easy to shift.

    12. Not subject to breakage when hitting rocks or stumps.

    13. Won't swallow weeds, vines, or grass - or at least won't stop functioning when same become
    entangled in it.

    14. When in relatively high gear, rider able to select a very low gear when stopped. (i.e. rider
    came around a corner and found something they couldn't negotiate at speed)

    15. Not able to throw chain into the spokes.

    16. Easy to adjust.

    17. Stays in adjustment for long periods of time.
    -----------------------
    Pete Cresswell
     
  6. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    Jon Isaacs wrote:

    > Ok so we've been through the fact that STI is "not a big deal" (or why it is a big deal), the
    > various theories about why STI was developed and why it became popular.
    >
    > Pretty much every knows where everyone stands so I believe it is time to move on.
    >
    > I say that this group has a potential to actually make some contribution to the advancement of
    > cycling, more than just helping out the occasional newbie and then mostly just arguing the
    > unarguable. I think that this group has a great many resources, people like to Andrew Muzi,
    > Sheldon, Mike J., Jobst, and many others (sorry if I forgot your name.) We have riders, racers,
    > bike shop people, engineers, a great pool of talent here that could hash this thing out and at
    > least provide some creative thinking and potential solutions.
    >
    > So I say lets hash the future of shifting out right here and in a responsible and
    > reasonable manner.
    >
    > I suggest we move away from the current technology. I would like to move past brand allegiances
    > and address this problem from the stand point of coming up with a new design that supercedes the
    > current existing designs. Certainly a new design can encorporate the features of the old designs
    > and may even be based on older technology.
    >
    > But the lineage can be broken.
    >
    > To address this problem, I ask the following question:
    >
    > What would define the "ideal" shifting system, what are the basic goals here. I suggest the
    > following.
    >
    > 1. Shifter for rear derailleur would be indexed.
    > 2. Shifter for the front derailleur would be quasi-friction, ie continuously adjustable.
    > 3. Reasonably lightweight.
    > 4. Simple and/or Repairable (hopefully by the owner.)
    > 5. Durable
    > 6. Reliable
    > 7. Economical
    > 8. Mounted on the handle bars and allow shifting from the hoods, drops and tops of the bars.
    > 9. Friction bail out mode.
    > 10. Capable of large shifting several cogs with one motion, hopefully all of them if needed.
    > 11. Easy to shift.
    >
    > I am sure others can add more. But I also hope that this does not deteriorate into a bunch of
    > petty arguments about, for example, whether it is really necessary to be repairable of whether the
    > front derailleur needs to be "quasi friction" or not. The fact is that the ideal system would be
    > repairable and it is clear from the Shimano experience that a quasi friction front derailleur is
    > superior.
    >
    > I have been considering the previously available options, STI, Ergo, Barends and Command Shifters
    > (CS) and will now repeat my list, however this time, I will include along side the shifting
    > systems which currently have these features:
    >
    > 1. Shifter for rear derailleur would be indexed. (STI, Ergo, CS, Barends)
    > 2. Shifter for the front derailleur would be quasi-friction, ie continuously adjustable. (Ergo,
    > CS, barends)
    > 3. Reasonably lightweight. (STI, Ergo, CS, Barends)
    > 4. Simple and/or Repairable (hopefully by the owner.) (Ergo, CS, Barends)
    > 5. Durable (STI, Ergo, CS, barends)
    > 6. Reliable (STI, Ergo, barends)
    > 7. Economical (CS and Barends)
    > 8. Mounted on the handle bars and allow shifting from the hoods, drops and tops of the bars. (CS)
    > 9. Friction bail out mode. (Barends, CS)
    > 10. Capable of large shifting several cogs with one motion, hopefully all of them if needed. (CS,
    > barends)
    > 11. Easy to shift, (STI, Ergo, Barends)
    > --------------------------
    >
    > So coming out the bottom it is interesting to see that of the qualities I have suggested, that the
    > Suntour Command shifters actually seems to have the most things going for them, only the stiff
    > shifting and the fact their questionable compatibility made them unreliable shifting, at least in
    > my experience.
    >
    > Could a new design indeed be based on an improved Suntour design, one that actually was properly
    > executed??
    >
    > Or Is there something about the brake lever/shifter combination that makes it superior to the
    > Command shifter type approach?
    >
    > Anyway, I am just throwing this out there, I hope it is taken in the spirit it is given, this is a
    > challenge to work as a group and avoid entanglements and flame wars.

    Jon- I note that you included me in your "resources" list even though I'm the only person who hasn't
    yet been in this thread!

    I think you may be on to something with a "command-like" shifter that would include friction mode
    but more modern ( and fit hands better?)

    But I have three further thoughts:

    Ergo is pretty darn affordable ( a nick over $100 for MIrage Ergos which have the exact same
    internal working bits as Record)

    An omitted "feature" is the ability to swap format, both 8-9-10 and across brands. Commands didn't
    have that feature that but Modolo and Ergos do. Campagnolo dropped the Shimano-compatible Sachs
    insert but it was proof of concept. Imagine a third-party Ergo insert for Suntour or for a
    SRAM/Sachs Super Seven!

    I agree it would be nice if Ergo included a friction mode. Sounds interesting and if it could be
    done simply would be a neat "upgrade".
    --
    Andrew Muzi Yellow Jersey, Ltd http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April, 1971
     
  7. On Tue, 21 Jan 2003 16:57:17 -0500, Jon Isaacs wrote:

    A few corrections:

    > 5. Durable (STI, Ergo, CS, barends)
    > 6. Reliable (STI, Ergo, barends)

    Huh? The biggest issues earlier were the lack of reliability/durability of STI

    > 7. Economical (CS and Barends)
    > 8. Mounted on the handle bars and allow shifting from the hoods, drops and tops of the bars. (CS)

    Command shifters are not really shiftable from the drops. I've used them, and while you can shift
    cogs up (smaller cogs) and chainrings down, you can't go the other way without bringing your hands
    up to the tops.

    They are also only marginally shiftable from the hoods. Basically, command shifters are meant to be
    shifted from the tops, the one place where you can't shift Ergo or STI

    > 9. Friction bail out mode. (Barends, CS) 10. Capable of large shifting several cogs with one
    > motion, hopefully all of them if needed. (CS, barends)

    Ergo also allows shifting several cogs with one motion.

    > Could a new design indeed be based on an improved Suntour design, one that actually was properly
    > executed??

    Perhaps, but the shifter location and operation is key. CS have some limitations here. Something
    like a continuous-mode racheting STI/Ergo for the front might be the best idea. But shifting from
    any bar position is probably impossible without electronics, which IMO blows the rest of the points.

    However, there are situations when you are on the drops and you really don't want to sit up to shift
    -- such as battling a headwind, or a long downhill. On out-of-the-saddl;e climbs you are probably on
    the hoods, and again don't want to move the hands to shift. Moving your hands from the tops is the
    least likely to cause trouble, so if one goes, it should be that.

    >
    > Or Is there something about the brake lever/shifter combination that makes it superior to the
    > Command shifter type approach?

    Just in shifter location. No real need for the brake lever to be the shift lever. But they need to
    be usable on the drops and the tops.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | Enron's slogan: Respect, Communication, Integrity, and _`\(,_ | Excellence. (_)/ (_) |
     
  8. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Jon Isaacs writes:

    > I suggest we move away from the current technology. I would like to move past brand allegiances
    > and address this problem from the stand point of coming up with a new design that supersedes the
    > current existing designs. Certainly a new design can incorporate the features of the old designs
    > and may even be based on older technology.

    I don't think I have any idea what future shift mechanisms should do, because satisfaction with what
    is being currently offered makes me think there might be mechanisms for "everyman" and a mechanism
    for racers although, as we see, everyman wants to use what the racers use.

    There are different ways of assessing the "needs" of bicycling and I think that just as some riders
    cannot imagine riding without a CamelBak others get by with a single 1/2 liter bottle. Similarly,
    some avocational riders operate in a narrow RPM range and shift constantly while others shift
    rarely, a style seen more often among professionals.

    The answer to what system would be ideal is a moving target and as long as professional racers make
    their money promoting equipment that is bought by the millions it will be difficult to assess what
    is useful and what is fluff.

    As an example, professional racers did not wear eye protection until Greg Lemond used glasses for
    which he was sponsored by Oakley. Today, all riders are sponsored by one eyewear company or another
    and most people do not question why they wear goggles. I see that as the start of the market that
    governs bicycle equipment today.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  9. Ian S

    Ian S Guest

  10. Jeff Wills

    Jeff Wills Guest

    [email protected] (Jon Isaacs) wrote in message
    > I have been considering the previously available options, STI, Ergo, Barends and Command Shifters
    > (CS) and will now repeat my list, however this time, I will include along side the shifting
    > systems which currently have these features:
    >
    > 1. Shifter for rear derailleur would be indexed. (STI, Ergo, CS, Barends)
    > 2. Shifter for the front derailleur would be quasi-friction, ie continuously adjustable. (Ergo,
    > CS, barends)
    > 3. Reasonably lightweight. (STI, Ergo, CS, Barends)
    > 4. Simple and/or Repairable (hopefully by the owner.) (Ergo, CS, Barends)
    > 5. Durable (STI, Ergo, CS, barends)
    > 6. Reliable (STI, Ergo, barends)
    > 7. Economical (CS and Barends)
    > 8. Mounted on the handle bars and allow shifting from the hoods, drops and tops of the bars. (CS)
    > 9. Friction bail out mode. (Barends, CS)
    > 10. Capable of large shifting several cogs with one motion, hopefully all of them if needed. (CS,
    > barends)
    > 11. Easy to shift, (STI, Ergo, Barends)
    > --------------------------
    >

    Jon, where do the Kelly TakeOffs (http://www.kellybike.com/2nd_xtra_takeoff.html) fit in this mix?

    Jeff
     
  11. John Dacey

    John Dacey Guest

    On 21 Jan 2003 21:57:17 GMT, [email protected] (Jon Isaacs) wrote:

    >I ask the following question:
    >
    >What would define the "ideal" shifting system,

    In the New Utopia, shifters will be controlled hydraulically or pneumatically, with pods to increase
    or release pressure in the system (to actuate the derailleurs) located at various places in the
    handlebars. To minimize the excursions the derailleurs will need to make to accommodate 10+ rear
    sprocket options (and the physical space they occupy), 10mm pitch chains will make a comeback.

    >Anyway, I am just throwing this out there, I hope it is taken in the spirit it is given, this is a
    >challenge to work as a group and avoid entanglements and flame wars.

    Fat chance.
    -----
    http://www.businesscycles.com John Dacey Business Cycles, Miami, Florida
    -----
    Now in our twentieth year. Our catalog of track equipment: seventh year online
     
  12. Terry Rudd

    Terry Rudd Guest

    Jon,

    I think there is a fundamental flaw in starting the discussion this way. I think rather than having
    a bunch of smart bicycle folks just work the next generation of shifting, it might do well to
    identify all the problems real people have with existing systems.

    Let's start with: axiom #1- that indexed shifting is better for most users axiom #2- that indexed
    shifting integrated at brake levers is better for most users.

    Then lets start a list of common complaints for requirements gathering:
    1) No adjustability in ergo/STI lever dimensions for radically different hand sizes between riders.
    2) While modern ergo/STI units are pretty reliable, malfunctions are beyond most people to
    field repair
    3) System's inherent complexity insures that drive train remains a sizable component of the cost of
    bicycles today.
    4) Maintenance is a time consuming job with the complexity of the drive train.

    This is just a start to work from. But regardless, Requirements and technology should be applied to
    the problems bicycles riders identify today, in a prioritized means.

    Terry

    Jon Isaacs wrote:
    > Ok so we've been through the fact that STI is "not a big deal" (or why it is a big deal), the
    > various theories about why STI was developed and why it became popular.
    >
    > Pretty much every knows where everyone stands so I believe it is time to move on.
    >
    > I say that this group has a potential to actually make some contribution to the advancement of
    > cycling, more than just helping out the occasional newbie and then mostly just arguing the
    > unarguable. I think that this group has a great many resources, people like to Andrew Muzi,
    > Sheldon, Mike J., Jobst, and many others (sorry if I forgot your name.) We have riders, racers,
    > bike shop people, engineers, a great pool of talent here that could hash this thing out and at
    > least provide some creative thinking and potential solutions.
    >
    > So I say lets hash the future of shifting out right here and in a responsible and
    > reasonable manner.
    >
    > I suggest we move away from the current technology. I would like to move past brand allegiances
    > and address this problem from the stand point of coming up with a new design that supercedes the
    > current existing designs. Certainly a new design can encorporate the features of the old designs
    > and may even be based on older technology.
    >
    > But the lineage can be broken.
    >
    > To address this problem, I ask the following question:
    >
    > What would define the "ideal" shifting system, what are the basic goals here. I suggest the
    > following.
    >
    > 1. Shifter for rear derailleur would be indexed.
    > 2. Shifter for the front derailleur would be quasi-friction, ie continuously adjustable.
    > 3. Reasonably lightweight.
    > 4. Simple and/or Repairable (hopefully by the owner.)
    > 5. Durable
    > 6. Reliable
    > 7. Economical
    > 8. Mounted on the handle bars and allow shifting from the hoods, drops and tops of the bars.
    > 9. Friction bail out mode.
    > 10. Capable of large shifting several cogs with one motion, hopefully all of them if needed.
    > 11. Easy to shift.
    >
    > I am sure others can add more. But I also hope that this does not deteriorate into a bunch of
    > petty arguments about, for example, whether it is really necessary to be repairable of whether the
    > front derailleur needs to be "quasi friction" or not. The fact is that the ideal system would be
    > repairable and it is clear from the Shimano experience that a quasi friction front derailleur is
    > superior.
    >
    > I have been considering the previously available options, STI, Ergo, Barends and Command Shifters
    > (CS) and will now repeat my list, however this time, I will include along side the shifting
    > systems which currently have these features:
    >
    > 1. Shifter for rear derailleur would be indexed. (STI, Ergo, CS, Barends)
    > 2. Shifter for the front derailleur would be quasi-friction, ie continuously adjustable. (Ergo,
    > CS, barends)
    > 3. Reasonably lightweight. (STI, Ergo, CS, Barends)
    > 4. Simple and/or Repairable (hopefully by the owner.) (Ergo, CS, Barends)
    > 5. Durable (STI, Ergo, CS, barends)
    > 6. Reliable (STI, Ergo, barends)
    > 7. Economical (CS and Barends)
    > 8. Mounted on the handle bars and allow shifting from the hoods, drops and tops of the bars. (CS)
    > 9. Friction bail out mode. (Barends, CS)
    > 10. Capable of large shifting several cogs with one motion, hopefully all of them if needed. (CS,
    > barends)
    > 11. Easy to shift, (STI, Ergo, Barends)
    > --------------------------
    >
    > So coming out the bottom it is interesting to see that of the qualities I have suggested, that the
    > Suntour Command shifters actually seems to have the most things going for them, only the stiff
    > shifting and the fact their questionable compatibility made them unreliable shifting, at least in
    > my experience.
    >
    > Could a new design indeed be based on an improved Suntour design, one that actually was properly
    > executed??
    >
    > Or Is there something about the brake lever/shifter combination that makes it superior to the
    > Command shifter type approach?
    >
    > Anyway, I am just throwing this out there, I hope it is taken in the spirit it is given, this is a
    > challenge to work as a group and avoid entanglements and flame wars.
    >
    > Jon Isaacs
     
  13. On Tue, 21 Jan 2003 16:57:17 -0500, Jon Isaacs wrote:

    > Ok so we've been through the fact that STI is "not a big deal" (or why it is a big deal), the
    > various theories about why STI was developed and why it became popular.
    >
    > Pretty much every knows where everyone stands so I believe it is time to move on.
    >
    > I say that this group has a potential to actually make some contribution to the advancement of
    > cycling, more than just helping out the occasional newbie and then mostly just arguing the
    > unarguable. I think that this group has a great many resources, people like to Andrew Muzi,
    > Sheldon, Mike J., Jobst, and many others (sorry if I forgot your name.) We have riders, racers,
    > bike shop people, engineers, a great pool of talent here that could hash this thing out and at
    > least provide some creative thinking and potential solutions.
    >
    > So I say lets hash the future of shifting out right here and in a responsible and
    > reasonable manner.
    >
    > I suggest we move away from the current technology. I would like to move past brand allegiances
    > and address this problem from the stand point of coming up with a new design that supercedes the
    > current existing designs. Certainly a new design can encorporate the features of the old designs
    > and may even be based on older technology.
    >
    > But the lineage can be broken.
    >
    > To address this problem, I ask the following question:
    >
    > What would define the "ideal" shifting system, what are the basic goals here. I suggest the
    > following.
    >
    > 1. Shifter for rear derailleur would be indexed. 2. Shifter for the front derailleur would be
    > quasi-friction, ie continuously adjustable. 3. Reasonably lightweight.
    > 4. Simple and/or Repairable (hopefully by the owner.) 5. Durable 6. Reliable
    > 7. Economical
    > 8. Mounted on the handle bars and allow shifting from the hoods, drops and tops of the bars.
    > 9. Friction bail out mode.
    > 10. Capable of large shifting several cogs with one motion, hopefully all of them if needed.
    > 11. Easy to shift.

    Sounds a lot like you're describing indexing bar end shifters, which you can buy today - in
    fact, on sale!
     
  14. "Jon Isaacs" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > So I say lets hash the future of shifting out right here and in a
    responsible
    > and reasonable manner.
    >
    > I suggest we move away from the current technology.

    Being new in cycling as a sport I suppose I don't have any subjective views on current and past
    equipment. The one thing that strikes me as odd is that we here in this modern age still have
    indexed shifting, be it in the shifters or the deraillers. It seems to me the ideal setup would be a
    minimum gear and a maximum gear with any stepless combination you wan't inbetween. Just slide your
    shifter up and down.

    So how can we do this. Imagine one front ring and one cog that can both increase or decrease in
    size. So how do we handle the integral numbers of teeth. Does it have to have teeth? As long as
    the chain doesn't slip for any reason. Does it even have to be a chain. Maybe it can be a wire
    that is built into the ring in such a way that it cannot slip. Yep here we go. A wire built into a
    stepless expandable ring. ShimCampy, are you reading this? I am open for offers and expect a
    generous royalty.

    --
    Replace the dots to reply

    Perre
     
  15. Bluto

    Bluto Guest

    [email protected] (Jon Isaacs) wrote

    > So I say lets hash the future of shifting out right here and in a responsible and
    > reasonable manner.
    >
    > What would define the "ideal" shifting system, what are the basic goals here. I suggest the
    > following.
    >
    > 1. Shifter for rear derailleur would be indexed.
    > 2. Shifter for the front derailleur would be quasi-friction, ie continuously adjustable.
    > 3. Reasonably lightweight.
    > 4. Simple and/or Repairable (hopefully by the owner.)
    > 5. Durable
    > 6. Reliable
    > 7. Economical
    > 8. Mounted on the handle bars and allow shifting from the hoods, drops and tops of the bars.
    > 9. Friction bail out mode.
    > 10. Capable of large shifting several cogs with one motion, hopefully all of them if needed.
    > 11. Easy to shift.

    I don't think we are likely to see substantial functional improvements by these criteria in
    derailleur systems. Refinements, sure. Questionable "enhancements", certainly. Leaps in improved
    function? I wouldn't bet on it.

    I believe that the greatest potential for improved shifting function lies in gearhubs. Rohloff's
    Speedhub is the best so far, and IMO equals the best derailleur systems in overall function. That is
    to say, for every complaint one could make about it compared to
    DA/Record/XTR, it bears an unarguable advantage in some other respect.

    But good as it is, the Rohloff hub is the result of a lilliputian development process compared to
    those that gave us derailleur systems as we know them. If some major manufacturer were to put a
    Shimano-sized amount of engineering resources behind a like design, I am convinced that all
    derailleurs could become obsolete overnight.

    I have heard that a university team set some HPV speed record recently, using a Rohloff hub that had
    been extensively run-in to reduce internal friction. (Wish I knew more details.) So frictional
    losses vs. derailleurs may not be an issue in the long term, and are probably resolvable. For my
    part, I don't notice any drag in the drivetrain over what I have come to expect from derailleur
    bikes, though it's not as free at the pedals as a single speed.

    I will note that the Rohloff hub has betrayed no distress at dealing with my twice-normal pedal
    loads on the hills of Seattle. While I've no doubt that the thing can be broken, it's certainly not
    easy to break, or I'd have busted it by now. If it holds up over time, I'll not consider it a
    serious liability that it can't be repaired at home.

    The issues that need to be addressed before it can be unequivocally proclaimed Best Bike Drivetrain
    Ever are as follows:

    --
    Shifts require a firm twist. Easier would be better.

    Too expensive for mass-market bikes. Mass production would help.

    Shifter should be available for all handlebars, not just 22.2mm.

    It's a little heavier than the lightest derailleur systems, and its mass is concentrated in a lump
    that's easier to notice. Weight equal to a lightweight derailleur system would put that issue to
    rest for good.

    It's a little draggier than it might have to be. Significant improvement would make it superior to
    derailleurs in this regard.

    Hiccup between gears 7 & 8 engages gear 14 when shifted under heavy pedal load. Solution probably
    demands more engineering than Rohloff can afford.
    --

    That's all. The noise doesn't bother me a bit, and it seems to get quieter with each ride anyway.
    It's no more obtrusive to my ears than metal derailleur pulleys.

    The unequivocal advantages of the Rohloff hub's shifting over derailleur shifting are as follows:

    --
    Shifts uniform intervals across a proportionable overall range.

    Shift detents are in hub; gear is still selectable if shifter fails.

    Gear is fully engaged instantly and does not skip when shifted under load.

    Any number of ratios may be jumped across at once, even at a standstill.

    Shifting is unrelated to the state of chain and sprockets.
    --

    There are other advantages that do not correlate to qualities of conventional shifters, but those
    have been addressed elsewhere.

    The fact that the best gearhub is _so good_, and has such obvious room for improvement, makes it the
    surest starting point for improving shifting function IMO. If gearhubs fail to predominate over
    derailleurs over time, it will only be because manufacturers believe they hold less potential for
    profit. This may already be the case.

    Chalo Colina
     
  16. Derral

    Derral Guest

    Sounds like you are describing bar end shifters except for the ability to shift from the hoods.

    "Jon Isaacs" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Ok so we've been through the fact that STI is "not a big deal" (or why it
    is a
    > big deal), the various theories about why STI was developed and why it
    became
    > popular.
    >
    > Pretty much every knows where everyone stands so I believe it is time to
    move
    > on.
    >
    > I say that this group has a potential to actually make some contribution
    to the
    > advancement of cycling, more than just helping out the occasional newbie
    and
    > then mostly just arguing the unarguable. I think that this group has a great many resources,
    > people like to Andrew
    Muzi,
    > Sheldon, Mike J., Jobst, and many others (sorry if I forgot your name.)
    We
    > have riders, racers, bike shop people, engineers, a great pool of talent
    here
    > that could hash this thing out and at least provide some creative thinking
    and
    > potential solutions.
    >
    > So I say lets hash the future of shifting out right here and in a
    responsible
    > and reasonable manner.
    >
    > I suggest we move away from the current technology. I would like to move
    past
    > brand allegiances and address this problem from the stand point of coming
    up
    > with a new design that supercedes the current existing designs. Certainly
    a
    > new design can encorporate the features of the old designs and may even be based on older
    > technology.
    >
    > But the lineage can be broken.
    >
    > To address this problem, I ask the following question:
    >
    > What would define the "ideal" shifting system, what are the basic goals
    here.
    > I suggest the following.
    >
    > 1. Shifter for rear derailleur would be indexed.
    > 2. Shifter for the front derailleur would be quasi-friction, ie
    continuously
    > adjustable.
    > 3. Reasonably lightweight.
    > 4. Simple and/or Repairable (hopefully by the owner.)
    > 5. Durable
    > 6. Reliable
    > 7. Economical
    > 8. Mounted on the handle bars and allow shifting from the hoods, drops and
    tops
    > of the bars.
    > 9. Friction bail out mode.
    > 10. Capable of large shifting several cogs with one motion, hopefully all
    of
    > them if needed.
    > 11. Easy to shift.
    >
    > I am sure others can add more. But I also hope that this does not
    deteriorate
    > into a bunch of petty arguments about, for example, whether it is really necessary to be
    > repairable of whether the front derailleur needs to be
    "quasi
    > friction" or not. The fact is that the ideal system would be repairable
    and it
    > is clear from the Shimano experience that a quasi friction front
    derailleur is
    > superior.
    >
    > I have been considering the previously available options, STI, Ergo,
    Barends
    > and Command Shifters (CS) and will now repeat my list, however this time,
    I
    > will include along side the shifting systems which currently have these features:
    >
    > 1. Shifter for rear derailleur would be indexed. (STI, Ergo, CS,
    Barends)
    > 2. Shifter for the front derailleur would be quasi-friction, ie
    continuously
    > adjustable. (Ergo, CS, barends)
    > 3. Reasonably lightweight. (STI, Ergo, CS, Barends)
    > 4. Simple and/or Repairable (hopefully by the owner.) (Ergo, CS,
    Barends)
    > 5. Durable (STI, Ergo, CS, barends)
    > 6. Reliable (STI, Ergo, barends)
    > 7. Economical (CS and Barends)
    > 8. Mounted on the handle bars and allow shifting from the hoods, drops and
    tops
    > of the bars. (CS)
    > 9. Friction bail out mode. (Barends, CS)
    > 10. Capable of large shifting several cogs with one motion, hopefully all
    of
    > them if needed. (CS, barends)
    > 11. Easy to shift, (STI, Ergo, Barends)
    > --------------------------
    >
    > So coming out the bottom it is interesting to see that of the qualities I
    have
    > suggested, that the Suntour Command shifters actually seems to have the
    most
    > things going for them, only the stiff shifting and the fact their
    questionable
    > compatibility made them unreliable shifting, at least in my experience.
    >
    > Could a new design indeed be based on an improved Suntour design, one that actually was properly
    > executed??
    >
    > Or Is there something about the brake lever/shifter combination that makes
    it
    > superior to the Command shifter type approach?
    >
    > Anyway, I am just throwing this out there, I hope it is taken in the
    spirit it
    > is given, this is a challenge to work as a group and avoid entanglements
    and
    > flame wars.
    >
    > Jon Isaacs
     
  17. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

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

    > So coming out the bottom it is interesting to see that of the qualities I
    have
    > suggested, that the Suntour Command shifters actually seems to have the
    most
    > things going for them, only the stiff shifting and the fact their
    questionable
    > compatibility made them unreliable shifting, at least in my experience.

    That's probably a fair assessment.

    > Could a new design indeed be based on an improved Suntour design, one that actually was properly
    > executed??

    I think so.

    > Or Is there something about the brake lever/shifter combination that makes
    it
    > superior to the Command shifter type approach?

    Well, there are packaging challenges, and having the brake lever do double duty as a shifter
    probably saves weight.

    Ergonomically speaking, it's been so long since I've wrapped my hand around a Command that it's hard
    to say. As someone pointed out, they worked well from the brake hoods but not the drops. You could
    nudge them OK from the drops, but STI/Ergo are certainly better for this. I'm sure the basic design
    could be improved, but without one in front of me it's hard to say how.

    I have some other ideas which I'll post shortly, as well as what I think are the pluses and minuses
    of the usual designs.

    However, I will say now that I think Shimano has almost got STI right with Sora -- if only they'd
    move the upshift button back to where you could reach it from the drops, like with Ergo. I do like
    using the brake lever instead of an inner one, though, and a separate button to shift the other way.

    Matt O.
     
  18. lisated

    lisated Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, "(Pete Cresswell)" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > RE/
    > > 1. Shifter for rear derailleur would be indexed.
    > > 2. Shifter for the front derailleur would be quasi-friction, ie continuously adjustable.
    > > 3. Reasonably lightweight.
    > > 4. Simple and/or Repairable (hopefully by the owner.)
    > > 5. Durable
    > > 6. Reliable
    > > 7. Economical
    > > 8. Mounted on the handle bars and allow shifting from the hoods, drops and tops of the bars.
    > > 9. Friction bail out mode.
    > >10. Capable of large shifting several cogs with one motion, hopefully all of them if needed.
    > >11. Easy to shift.
    >
    > 12. Not subject to breakage when hitting rocks or stumps.
    >
    > 13. Won't swallow weeds, vines, or grass - or at least won't stop functioning when same become
    > entangled in it.
    >
    > 14. When in relatively high gear, rider able to select a very low gear when stopped. (i.e. rider
    > came around a corner and found something they couldn't negotiate at speed)
    >
    > 15. Not able to throw chain into the spokes.
    >
    > 16. Easy to adjust.
    >
    > 17. Stays in adjustment for long periods of time.
    > -----------------------
    > Pete Cresswell

    Each of those that Pete added would be addressed quite handily by tossing the front and rear
    derailleurs, an option that Jon Isaacs ignored completely.

    Internally geared hubs such as the Rohloff aren't really on the radar screen for most riders, but
    they do eliminate many problems relating to chainline, chainsuck, shifting at a stop, redundant
    gears, etc.

    I'll be the first to state that they are relatively costly and relatively noisy (in some ratios),
    but they definitely deserve a larger market share than they now have. The geekazoid factor can be
    obviated somewhat because of their cleaner appearance, something like a single-speed.

    Ted Bennett
     
  19. Nick Payne

    Nick Payne Guest

    Sounds pretty much like a Rohloff hub to me. If one of the large manufacturers applied sufficient
    R&D to the present hub to lighten it a bit, provide a decent shifter for drop bars, and get rid of
    the noise that's
    psesent in the bottom gears, it would be pretty well ideal.

    Nick

    "(Pete Cresswell)" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > RE/
    > > 1. Shifter for rear derailleur would be indexed.
    > > 2. Shifter for the front derailleur would be quasi-friction, ie
    continuously
    > >adjustable.
    > > 3. Reasonably lightweight.
    > > 4. Simple and/or Repairable (hopefully by the owner.)
    > > 5. Durable
    > > 6. Reliable
    > > 7. Economical
    > > 8. Mounted on the handle bars and allow shifting from the hoods, drops
    and tops
    > >of the bars.
    > > 9. Friction bail out mode.
    > >10. Capable of large shifting several cogs with one motion, hopefully all
    of
    > >them if needed.
    > >11. Easy to shift.
    >
    > 12. Not subject to breakage when hitting rocks or stumps.
    >
    > 13. Won't swallow weeds, vines, or grass - or at least won't stop
    functioning
    > when same become entangled in it.
    >
    > 14. When in relatively high gear, rider able to select a very low gear
    when
    > stopped. (i.e. rider came around a corner and found something they
    couldn't
    > negotiate at speed)
    >
    > 15. Not able to throw chain into the spokes.
    >
    > 16. Easy to adjust.
    >
    > 17. Stays in adjustment for long periods of time.
    > -----------------------
    > Pete Cresswell
     
  20. On Tue, 21 Jan 2003 18:30:25 -0500, The Pomeranian wrote:

    > Almost sounds like electronic, because 3,4,5,6 would likely be violated if it were all mechanical.

    IMO 3-6 would be violated if it were electronic. It's not like sitting on a desk, or even behind the
    firewall of a car. The dirt and water exposure on a bike makes electronics fundamentally unreliable.

    >> 6. Reliable (STI, Ergo, barends)
    >
    > Not CS?

    They are quite reliable.

    Why STI and maybe even ERGO? I've _never_ "maintained"
    > bar-ends because they don't seem to break.

    Friend of mine has gone through several (mostly ST). For him, the lever itself breaks. He may hang
    on it too hard, but...

    B
    >> and tops of the bars. (CS)
    >
    > Maybe Tops.

    For CS, IMO, on the tops.

    > Not CS? Why not?

    I've only used command shifters in friction mode, and the usual problems of shifting accuracy that
    friction is prone to still applies. Trimming is needed for the rear derailleur all the time, and for
    the front also.

    > (Re?-)Educate us on what was wrong with them. Aren't they just big wing nuts mounted inside the
    > brake levers? Why couldn't existing index levers (for example bar-dends) simply be made with a
    > different lever and "special mounnting bracket? That is, the index/friction cyclinder would be
    > essentially unchanged.

    Kelley take-offs are essentially that.
    >
    >> Or Is there something about the brake lever/shifter combination that makes it superior to the
    >> Command shifter type approach?
    >
    > Geez, how many people have experience with both? Too bad, I doubt there is many. I really wonder
    > if folks would drop brifters for CS.

    I used command shifters for about a year, coming from DT friction shifters. They were a step up --
    literally. Shifting while out of the saddle and all, but you had to be careful and sometimes do the
    back-and-forth to get it right. When I got Ergo it was a huge improvement.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | Let's not escape into mathematics. Let's stay with reality. -- _`\(,_ | Michael Crichton
    (_)/ (_) |
     
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