What's so special about thumb lever shifters?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by chrisgl, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. chrisgl

    chrisgl New Member

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    After several years of reasonable use my Peugeot bike's Shimano RSX shifter has packed up. Given the cost of upgrading from 7 to 9 speed, a new bike seems a good idea.

    I don't have an enormous budget and see that most of the cheaper end road bikes use a thumb lever as part of the shift system. I can only think this is for reasons of being cheap as I can see no benefit whatsoever - I'd have to take my hand off the drop to change up (or is it down?)

    I'm looking at a Specialized Allez Sport or Trek 1200 as being just about affordable with "proper" lever shifters, but wondered if I'm missing something.

    So gang, what's so wonderful about thumb levers ?


    chris :)
     
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  2. chrisgl

    chrisgl New Member

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    Hmmm - maybe it's not a called a "thumb lever".

    The mechanism I'm wondering about has a combined brake/ gear change system. The RSX and the newer, more expensive systems have two levers accessible from the drop-handles to change gear up/down.

    The cheaper(?) systems substitute a tiny lever only accessible if you have an abmormally long thumb or reach up and over the handlebars.

    I hope that's understandable - I haven't managed to locate any pictures :(

    chris :)
     
  3. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    The Sora thumb button in shimano 7 and 8 speed road groups is aimed at recreational riders that don't shift from the drops. Campy has always used a similar thumb btutton, but it is reachable rome the drops and has nothing to do with cheaper models.
     
  4. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    The Shimano Sora stuff is aimed at recreational riders that typically don't shift frim the drops. You can find shimano 8 speed(non Dura Ace) shifters on ebay that work with your 7 speed setup even tho the cog spacing between 7 and 8 is slightly different.
     
  5. chrisgl

    chrisgl New Member

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    Ah ha. I wonder (in a rehtorical sort of way) why they'd bother with drops then! Actally my local shop says they are getting requests for road bikes with no drops...

    Any way thanks for the info.

    FWIW I've opted for the Allez Sport bike, couldn't resist the idea of a new bike over upgrading the old. Sorry, me ol' faithful Peugeot.

    chris :)
     
  6. Firewalker

    Firewalker New Member

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    Actually you can reach the thumb shift from the drops. I dont have exceptionally large hands but I am able to reach the thumb shift from the drops by simply reaching up with my thumb, a few fingers slide up the drops as I reach but loss of control is a non issue. Other than the reach factor I dont see the big upsale with Tiagra, So far sora has been just fine, besides, how many gears do you really need? 8 speed, 9, 10?
    where does it end?

    QUOTE=chrisgl]Ah ha. I wonder (in a rehtorical sort of way) why they'd bother with drops then! Actally my local shop says they are getting requests for road bikes with no drops...

    Any way thanks for the info.

    FWIW I've opted for the Allez Sport bike, couldn't resist the idea of a new bike over upgrading the old. Sorry, me ol' faithful Peugeot.

    chris :)[/QUOTE]
     
  7. kvl1027

    kvl1027 New Member

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    I have used the thumb levers and I would say just fork over the little extra cash to get at a 105 group, no little thumb buttons, and not a bad group overall, especially for the price.
     
  8. capwater

    capwater New Member

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    [/QUOTE]

    Problem with Sora shifters is the nine speed upgrade path is blocked. I have Tiagra, 105 and DA and it's nice to be able to swap around wheels and cassettes. The price difference between a bike with Sora shifters and Tiagra (or even 105) isn't all that huge and you open up options for the future.

    I've seen some flat bar bikes in my LBS which seem to be aimed more at the rec rider/commuter market segment.
     
  9. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Problem with Sora shifters is the nine speed upgrade path is blocked. I have Tiagra, 105 and DA and it's nice to be able to swap around wheels and cassettes.........

    [/QUOTE]BS...You can swap things around with Sora,and Upgrading to 9 only takes shifters,chain and cassette.
     
  10. TKOS

    TKOS New Member

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    Having riden an older Trek 1200 with sora and this years model with Tiagra, I do like the Tiagra much better, but I had no problems shifting from any postion with either thumb shifters or finger shifters.
     
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