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I'm going back to bar cons!!(21 posts)

I'm going back to bar cons!!Marketing Dept
Jan 2, 2004 5:20 AM
I purchased a set of Ultegra STI's this summer to up-grade my cross bikes bar cons. I rode and trained on the bike a good deal through the end of summer and fall and was well pleased with the transition.

Race season!! I did my first race and they were great. The weather and course was dry. Second race, total mud sling. Covered from head to toe. I notice my rear shifting was not perfect, but no big deal. Removed the lever and cleaned it up, worked great again.

Next race, 25 degrees and wet. Half way through the race I lost the ability to shift down the cassette to smaller cogs. I had to work with the shifter to get it to work.

Took the shifter off, cleaned it, worked great again. A couple of weeks ago, snow fell. Took the bike off road. Had a blast until about the last 15 minutes then the shifter would not go down the cassette again.

I have Ultegra STI's on most of my road bikes. Love them. The will work on cx and bad weather rides, but require way too much "loving care". I am putting my 10 year old barcons this weekend, that have never been cleaned!!

Any similar experiences? Or is it just me?
re: I'm going back to bar cons!!skinl19
Jan 2, 2004 7:25 AM
Yeah, I've gone through two RH Ultegra's myself. It's usually the big lever sticking when trying to shift to the smaller cogs. I can usually get it working for a while or result to two hand shifting or get creative on how I wrap my hand around the shifter to hold the lever back. I've heard of lots of troubles with Ultegra's but that may be due to the number of people running them. I wonder if any of the other Shimano groups hold up better? In any case, I will probably switch to bar ends also, saving the STI for the road.
re: I'm going back to bar cons!!p lo
Jan 2, 2004 7:55 AM
i have a bike with ultega and one with dura ace. the dura ace works great no matter what the conditions... the ultega has always been less smooth and the few races where it was under 30 degrees they seemed to not work at all
re: I'm going back to bar cons!!dlbcx
Jan 2, 2004 8:53 AM
Yep, ruined two of shifters in muddy races. Didn't help that I crashed once, which buried the shifter into mud. Changed over to 9 spd Campy Chorus on one bike and bar cons on the other bike.
Also, remember to clean the cables and relube 'em; even if the shifter works right, the mud and grit can get into the housing, causing shifting problems. Ran into this problem at the last race I did.
re: I'm going back to bar cons!!MShaw
Jan 2, 2004 9:02 AM
Way back when, when Ergos and STI were brand new things, I used to switch back to barcons when winter came.

Racing cross in the nasties, I'd recommend doing the same thing.

Racing cross here in San Diego, it isn't a problem to keep the STI on all year.

You'll probably miss the STI when it gets nice again...

When you absolutely, positively need to cons! (nm)Dale Brigham
Jan 2, 2004 11:33 AM
do you absolutely positively need to shift?j_ryder
Jan 2, 2004 1:40 PM
I went from ergos to bar cons this spring, like them alot. never a bad shift with friction. then I went from 2x9 to 1x9 and ditched one of the barcons. then, a couple weeks ago I was reminded why I rode SS for so long when my rear derailer froze in place in 10 degree slush and snow. now, Im single again, a couple lbs lighter and happy as ever. so, I ask, do you absolutely positively need to shift? if you must, then bar cons are the way to go.
Too old to be shiftless; must settle for being shifty (nm)Dale Brigham
Jan 2, 2004 2:04 PM
do you absolutely positively need to shift?Road_Lizard
Jan 3, 2004 8:52 PM
Another way to solve the problem: run a 7 or 8 speed cassette, find some old Suntour or XT top mount thumb shiftrs, and mount them on the bar tops near the stem. This provides better ergonomics than bar cons, good indexing w/ a friction option, and nasty conditions are no problem. I won every race I entered this year (including a state title) with this setup. Everyone gets W-A-Y too hung-up on having upteen rear cogs and the latest showroom shifters. It's all about the legs and lungs, not the latest style parts!
Thumbies are a great way to go, but . . .D_man
Jan 4, 2004 1:30 PM
Will the Paul thumbies fit a road bar?
Thumbies are a great way to go, but . . .paulcomp
Jan 4, 2004 5:02 PM
I was e-mailed this forum and I would like to let you know we have Road Thumbies in stock for 26mm bars. You will have to call 530-345-4371 to order. They are not at yet, but we made about 50 pair last week. Black only. March 1 price goes up to $55.00 per pair. They work with Ultegra or Durace bar con shifters.

Have a good ride,

Paul Component Engineering
How did you manage to get those on a road bar?The Walrus
Jan 4, 2004 3:24 PM
I thought about doing this several times, but gave it up when I tried getting my Suntours on a road bar; even spreading the clamp with a screwdriver blade didn't help. As I ride on the bar tops a lot, with top-mount brake levers, the thumbies would be a perfect set-up.
How did you manage to get those on a road bar?Road_Lizard
Jan 4, 2004 7:57 PM
It takes a little "spread" to open the top mount clamps enough to fit road bars. The easiest clamp base to fit is the cheaper Shimano Deore (not XT), as it is a more ductile metal. I did have to use a longer clamp bolt. When mounted, the function is great, especially if you ride mostly on the tops and hoods. I especially like being able to grab a handful of gears up or down without multiple clicks. Old school, but functional. Some bright young mechanical engineer with access to a small CNC should "design" some updated 8/9/10 speed top mounts.
...and as luck would have it, Paul Components has relented!The Walrus
Jan 4, 2004 8:22 PM
Consider the top mount updated (for drop bars! Hallelujah!) Evidently he got tired of getting whining e-mails like the one I sent begging for a road version of his top mounts. Just gotta dip into the parts stash and scrounge a set of my old 8sp barcons and I'll be set!

...and if I ever score another pair of Suntours, I'll get a bit more aggressive with those clamps.
Well, I ordered a set of road thumbies from Paul . . .D_man
Jan 5, 2004 10:48 AM
I'm going to set them up with some WTB dritdrops and 287Vs and see how it works for me.
Ah! So you're the one who ordered just before me...The Walrus
Jan 5, 2004 12:45 PM
...this could be the best upgrade I've done since adding the top-mount brake levers. Just might be the beginning of the end for STI, at least for me.
Guess that leaves them with 48 sets, if anyone's interested. nm.D_man
Jan 5, 2004 12:54 PM
I think I was number 3....slide13
Jan 9, 2004 9:57 AM
Ordered mine begining of this week, I beleive I was the third order for them. I'm hoping they show up at the shop today (I work at the LBS) so I can get them put on. I'm really looking forward to these.
Jan 13, 2004 11:56 AM
If any of y'all are interested...MShaw
Jan 5, 2004 10:54 AM
I have one right side XT 6sp thumbie with the steel clamp that I'd be willing to trade for an AL clamp...

BTW, anyone know if barcon shifters mount to the old thumbie mounts?

not being able to shift down Right Sideatpjunkie
Jan 5, 2004 4:16 PM
it's the return spring. It will die over time on the road as well. the slop just speeds the process. It's a 2 cent part that costs $179 to replace. Absurd, my bar cons refuse to die.