drop bar to flat bar, shifter question

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kswitch
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Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 17:40 pm

drop bar to flat bar, shifter question

Postby kswitch » Mon Jul 02, 2012 17:55 pm

Hi all. I am new again to riding after 14 or so years. I am pretty ignorant so please, talk to me like I'm 4.

I just bought an 80's Schwinn Super Sport SP for commuting 17 miles daily. It is great but I can't imagine ever using the low position on the drop bars. And I don't like having to reach down to the "downtube" shifters as my balance is quite horrible. I am planning a conversion to a flat bar with bar ends, with handy lever shifters and brakes.

Now for the part where I look ignorant, please bear with me. The rear cassette/sprocket/set of gears/whatever it's called has 5 gears. The front one connected to the pedals has 3. I have no idea if any of it is original. I assume this means I have a 15 spd bike.

What do I need to look for when shopping for shifters? I assume a 5 speed right shifter and a 3 spd left shifter, is this right? What brands should I be wary of? I just know Shimano is a big name. Any brands of poor quality? Compatibility issues?

Thanks in advance for any help.

kswitch
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 17:40 pm

Re: drop bar to flat bar, shifter question

Postby kswitch » Mon Jul 02, 2012 19:02 pm

I've done a little more digging and it looks like 3x5 is not a popular gearing. Only one set of Shimano shifters for that and they look kind of cheap. And no way to tell if they would work with my bike. Hmm. I was hoping to do enough internet reading to just do it myself but that might not work here.

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nicklouse
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Re: drop bar to flat bar, shifter question

Postby nicklouse » Mon Jul 02, 2012 20:20 pm

see if you can find some friction shifters. thumb shifters.

did not have indexing till late 80s on MTBs

have fun finding some.
"Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
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kswitch
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Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 17:40 pm

Re: drop bar to flat bar, shifter question

Postby kswitch » Tue Jul 03, 2012 13:37 pm

The more I read the more I think I would need to get a completely new gear system if I wanted to switch. Bummer. Shimano has some pretty cheap thumb shifters but I am not sure they'd be that much better than the downtube shifters I have now.

MichaelW
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Re: drop bar to flat bar, shifter question

Postby MichaelW » Tue Jul 03, 2012 14:13 pm

Shimano SIS thumb shifters are OK, not nice or pretty, just OK.
You will need a DT cable stop .
You can get bar-end shifters (eg Silver), bar-end adapters for downtube shifters, and handlebar adapters for DT shifters (Pauls Thumbies).
Keeping an old transmission systems on the road can get expensive. You need to check that all the parts are compatible with regards to handlebar diameter.

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corshamjim
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Re: drop bar to flat bar, shifter question

Postby corshamjim » Tue Jul 03, 2012 17:26 pm

I have Shimano indexed thumb shifters on my old 15-speed Raleigh Mambo. You're welcome to them if you think you can use them, but if your current setup isn't indexed somehow I doubt they would work. I'll be converting the Mambo to a 3-speed hub gear.

The 5-speed Shimano SIS shifter works quite nicely. The three-speed one is very stiff - I expect it just needs a bit of lube but I've not bothered to try that. If you do think they might be useful, drop me a line and I'll check the handlebar diameter to make sure that would be compatible. In fact if you want the rear hub with freewheel, sprockets etc, you can have that too - it's a pretty cheap hub but you might find the freewheel/sprockets useful if they're compatible with your hub.

u33db
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Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:38 pm

Re: drop bar to flat bar, shifter question

Postby u33db » Wed Jul 04, 2012 14:49 pm

SJS Cycles have a good range of shifters.

They do Sunrace thumbshifters in 5 speed as per the links below;

Right;
http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/sunrace-thumbshifter-prod23294/

Left;
http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/sunrace-thumbshifter-left-hand-prod23293

Down tube stops;
http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/down-tube-stops-fittings-dept668_pg1

Sunrace are a cheaper brand but bought over Sturmey Archer along with all their tooling and some people say their indexed shiters are just Shimano copies/clones.

I have some of their rapid fire shifters on my bike and have had no problems...the thumb shifters are simpler so you'd be even less likely to have issues.

For a tenner you can't really argue?

kswitch
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Re: drop bar to flat bar, shifter question

Postby kswitch » Tue Jul 10, 2012 16:28 pm

Thank you corshamjim for the offer (and u33db for the suggestion) but I have had a chance to ride some more and I think I will just deal with my shifters for now until I can get an entirely new indexed system (or a new bike). I am in the US so I'm afraid the cost of shipping would make such a generous offer not worth it for either of us.


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