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STI in 1990(8 posts)

STI in 1990Walter
Jun 27, 2002 7:28 AM
Was STI available commercially in 1990? I was looking at a book of the '90 Giro and most of the bikes were what you'd expect--downtube shifters and aero brake levers, a few holdouts still using clips and straps on their pedals. As I was looking at a BW photo of a young Cipo taking 2nd at stage 7 I notice the gear cables of the 3rd place rider and they sure look like STI but the rider's in glare and somewhat out of focus. After looking at some other photos more closely I see at least a few STI set-ups.

OK, I've been around roadbikes since the 1970s but was sorta "dormant" in the early 90s but I thought the STI stuff came out closer to the mid-90s. I didn't even think Shimano had a real presence in the Euro peloton then. Was this new stuff that Shimano supplied to some pros for proving or was it commercially available as early as 1990?
I think STI was released either in 90 or 91. nmelviento
Jun 27, 2002 7:41 AM
re: STI in 1990pmf1
Jun 27, 2002 7:49 AM
I'm pretty sure it was around at that time. It first came out in Dura Ace and filtered down to Ultegra a year or so later. I bought a bike with Ultegra STI in 1993.

Shimano definitely had a presence before 1990. I have an old copy of Bicicsport from the mid/late 1980's with Andy Hampsten in a Dura Ace ad. I went on one of his bike tours and had him sign it a couple years ago. He was amused by the picture -- its a little goofy looking. He was getting ready for a time trial and had some goofy little hat on he referred to as a beanie.

One of the guides on the trip also raced in Europe at that time. I asked him if DA was considered a joke back then. He said no, in fact everyone wanted it because it was so much more dependable than Campy. He said the Campy slogan at the time was "Campy, feel the emotion". The peloton joke was the emotion was -- shift, oh sh-t. Apparently Campy improved their components out of competition from Shimano.

I don't write this to try to flame Campy, just to share some interesting stuff I learned while riding around Tuscany.
Ah the dark days of Synchrograndemamou
Jun 27, 2002 8:58 AM
That was Campy's first attempt at indexed shifting. They tried to make it compatible with all their groupos. They were hugely successful. It shifted poorly regardless of the set up. It was basicly useless. Most of the people that used it flipped the lever and used it friction style. It was my one and only experiment with Shimano.
I had STI on my bike in summer of '91...biknben
Jun 27, 2002 7:55 AM
I would expect that it would have been in the pro peleton a year or two prior to that.
re: STI in 1990grandemamou
Jun 27, 2002 8:52 AM
Yep I had it on a Peugoet that I bought in 90,91?
re: STI in 1990RC28
Jun 27, 2002 11:36 AM
1990 for general availability sounds correct.Back in late 88 or 89 there were a couple of spy shots of Andy Hampsten using STI prototypes in Bicycling and Bicycle Guide and he complained that they were too heavy for climbing.In another (some time later) review, Davis Phinney said that he liked the way he could shift instinctively with STI. The proto run was mostly limited to 7-Eleven, just as it was when they first started using 8 speed (in 1988 for the Giro and Tour).Like somebody else said here, it was Dura Ace but trickled down to Ultegra in '92. Ohhh, and they were mega expensive when they first came out.The upgrade kit (STI levers, freehub(for people going from 126mmto 130 mm rear spacing),casette,and derailleur) retailed for about $600plus.
re: STI in 1990brider
Jun 27, 2002 12:24 PM
Sounds right. I remember Davis Phinney coming to Seattle and doing a clinic (actually a talk and Q & A on Friday night, and a ride on one of the San Juan islands on Saturday), and every one was drooling over his STI levers. I think they were available to the general public the next year. One of the most memorable things of that ride was watching Davis take off his jacket (over a cast he had on his hand) riding no-handed uphill. Damn impressive. Nice guy, but I think he was getting irritated by the end of the ride with all the guys trying to test him out.