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Do Dura-Ace shifters have optical gear display?(15 posts)

Do Dura-Ace shifters have optical gear display?Armin Tanzarian
Apr 8, 2002 8:37 AM
Do the Dura-Ace levers (ST-7700-C) have an optical gear display? I read on the shimano website ( that they do - for the rear lever anyway), but my bike shop said that they didn't think so. They thought that you needed a flight deck computer if you wanted a gear display. Just wondering if anyone out there knows - I love having that display on my mountain bike. Thanks for any help.
re: Do Dura-Ace shifters have optical gear display?KEN2
Apr 8, 2002 8:51 AM
Yes, they come with the optical display for the rear only, which you install in the housing line (you have to cut the housing at the point you want to insert the display--typically a couple inches outside the lever). I have it on two bikes and really appreciate it especially on my commuter, since I like to start from a stop from the second largest cog and this way I don't have to look back every time I roll up to a stoplight.
re: Do Dura-Ace shifters have optical gear display?gray8110
Apr 8, 2002 12:36 PM
Is this a part that we can get seperately?? My dad is a newbie to roadie stuff and was wanting one of these on our ride the other day.. Will it work right with an 8 speed shifter??

re: Do Dura-Ace shifters have optical gear display?James
Apr 9, 2002 11:06 PM
I have an extra one you can have. Email me, and I will send it to you.

re: Do Dura-Ace shifters have optical gear display?TJeanloz
Apr 8, 2002 8:52 AM
They do have an in-line gear display that is usually the second thing a mechanic throws away, after the instructions.
Apr 8, 2002 8:58 AM
I had a replacement cable set that came with 2 "bubbles" that sat in the gear cable about 2 inches from the hoods and told you what gear you were in - front and back if you wanted it. It was a little red ball that stuck to the cable in the bubble, and moved left and right as you took in/let out gear cable. The rear one was sort of useful/interesting for those tired moments where you might get lost by a cog or two. Dunno if they still make them, but I guess there must still be some on some shelves somewhere?
Fred factorKEN2
Apr 8, 2002 9:46 AM
As you can deduce from a couple other posts, these optical displays are disdained by the hard-core, because apparently you're supposed to know (or be able to sense) what cog you're in at all times. However, for those of us who just can't (or don't want to summon the mental concentration) to do that, they serve a useful purpose...
Fred factorlaffeaux
Apr 8, 2002 10:14 AM
I mostly MTB, and ever since the gear displays became standard there have been guys saying the same thing, "get rid of them; who needs them?" All the magazine say to remove them as they are not useful. Well, I've been biking for a long time and I like them. I don't use them tons, and I agree that if you look at them before every shift you're not doing something right. However, in the middle of a long descent I'll glance down to see if I'm in the large or middle ring, or when I'm coming to a stop I'll glance down to see if I'm in the smallest rear cog, and when I'm riding all out upshifting and downshifting for a while, I'll occassionally look to see approximaely where I am in the rear cluster.

Anyone that has ever looked backwards at their cluster to see what gear they're in can do it much more safely and quickly with the displays.

That said, I don't have them on my road bike. (but I look at my cluster to see where I'm at)
Merci pour votre aide.Armin Tanzarian
Apr 8, 2002 10:28 AM
Thanks for the help. Can't believe how fast the responses were! I couldn't give a rat's ass whether people look down at having optical display. I remember when Shimano came out with optical display for XT and below for mountain biking - like in 1994 or so, and people were trashing it saying it was a gimmick, and if you were hard-core you shouldn't need it (at the time it wasn't offered on XTR). I just laugh at stuff like that. Anyway, thanks again.
Merci pour votre aide.Galibier
Apr 8, 2002 12:17 PM
Right attitude. The Dura-Ace optical displays are still available and are useful. Anyone who ever looks at their cluster to confirm their gear -- which is everyone who rides any length of time -- can benefit from these. Does it look stupid? What looks stupid to me is mocking or discarding a small, nearly weightless device which provides valuable information at a glance, solely because that device "looks stupid." Levez la jupe!
re: Do Dura-Ace shifters have optical gear display?pmf1
Apr 8, 2002 11:07 AM
You can install a little indicator on the cable that shows what gear you are in (on the cassette in rear). Last time I bought a set of shifters, one was included. I have to agree with another here that it looks really goofy. An alternative would be to get a Flite Deck computer (your levers are compatible). It also shows gear position and functions like a normal computer. The best solution, in my opinion, is skip it and just shift when you need to and buy a cheap, reliable cycling computer like Sigma Sport.
re: Do Dura-Ace shifters have optical gear display?Armin Tanzarian
Apr 8, 2002 12:06 PM
I just don't get why it matters if it looks 'goofy'? Obviously you change gears when you want, but isn't it nice to know if you have another gear to shift to? It's always nice to know on a steep climb that you have one more gear if you need it, and an optical display tells you this.
Apr 8, 2002 4:43 PM
Don't you hate it when you're climbing a long steep hill and you glance down and notice that there are no more gears left (and you thought there must be).
yeap, yeap, yeap...Jekyll
Apr 8, 2002 9:30 PM
know that feeling all too well.... still glad the gizmo is there. Screw the "Fred" factor.
Not to worry...Crankist
Apr 9, 2002 10:41 AM
...use a 9 sp. gizmo with an 8 sp. cassette; you should always have a gear left to still your fears.