Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

gear change on down tube or all in one with brakes ?

merliemerlie Posts: 276
edited November 2009 in Road beginners
I'm after a 1st roadie ... in the old days I had a racer with gears on the down tube ... now they come as all in ones on the brake levers. Which is better ?

whilst I'm here can someone list the order of better brands of running gears etc etc

if you have some to fit me - 5'10" around the £200 mark let me know
«1

Posts

  • sicknotesicknote Posts: 901
    For that money I would look at second hand and as I have used both I would say all in ones are better when you get use to them.

    Got back to a road bike this year and love it :D
  • NuggsNuggs Posts: 1,804
    In comparison to STIs/Ergopowers (the integrated systems), downtubes are horrible!
  • ProssPross Posts: 34,839
    Integrated every time - one of the best innovations in cycling over the past 20 years.

    Is the £200 for gears or a bike?

    The 3 main makes are Shimano, Campag and SRAM. Basically any of their gear systems will be light years better than anything you used in the past. Don't let anyone try to convince you one make is better than the other though, it's just personal choice :wink:
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    IMO downtube shifters are fine. Benefits are that they are dirt cheap to replace (as opposed to list price of something like £130 for a pair of basic Shimano Sora brifters) and are very simple so don't go wrong or break very often anyway.

    On the other hand it is very convenient to be able to shift down and brake at the same time as you approach a junction or whatever. At £200 all in though, you're unlikely to get integrated brifters as they cost almost that on their own anyway!
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • sicknotesicknote Posts: 901
    IMO downtube shifters are fine. Benefits are that they are dirt cheap to replace (as opposed to list price of something like £130 for a pair of basic Shimano Sora brifters) and are very simple so don't go wrong or break very often anyway.

    On the other hand it is very convenient to be able to shift down and brake at the same time as you approach a junction or whatever. At £200 all in though, you're unlikely to get integrated brifters as they cost almost that on their own anyway!

    It can be done if you are a little lucky ( I was, as the road bike I ride now has them on ) but it did need some work, like a new chain, brake blocks, tyres and inner tubes.

    So it has cost me about £120-£140 at the moment, so it can be done, plus it did London to Cambridge this year too.
  • bicebice Posts: 772
    I use downshifters for preference on my commuter as they are virtually maintenance free and so simple. For this price, it is what you should go for and cheap STIs could be worse.
  • Smokin JoeSmokin Joe Posts: 2,706
    bice wrote:
    I use downshifters for preference on my commuter as they are virtually maintenance free and so simple. For this price, it is what you should go for and cheap STIs could be worse.
    I've been using Ergos for years and apart from a squirt of WD40 once in the blue moon I've never done any maintenance on them.
  • geoff_ssgeoff_ss Posts: 1,201
    Smokin Joe wrote:
    bice wrote:
    I use downshifters for preference on my commuter as they are virtually maintenance free and so simple. For this price, it is what you should go for and cheap STIs could be worse.
    I've been using Ergos for years and apart from a squirt of WD40 once in the blue moon I've never done any maintenance on them.

    I'm sure they're long lasting and reliable and I found them excellent when I used them but a minor tumble can be very expensive.

    There is the half way house of using bar-end levers which still allows gear changing whilst still holding the handlebars.

    Geoff
    Old cyclists never die; they just fit smaller chainrings ... and pedal faster
  • Smokin JoeSmokin Joe Posts: 2,706
    Geoff_SS wrote:
    Smokin Joe wrote:
    bice wrote:
    I use downshifters for preference on my commuter as they are virtually maintenance free and so simple. For this price, it is what you should go for and cheap STIs could be worse.
    I've been using Ergos for years and apart from a squirt of WD40 once in the blue moon I've never done any maintenance on them.

    I'm sure they're long lasting and reliable and I found them excellent when I used them but a minor tumble can be very expensive.

    There is the half way house of using bar-end levers which still allows gear changing whilst still holding the handlebars.

    Geoff
    I've had more than a minor tumble with Ergos and never had a problem, neither do I know anyone who has. If you crash hard enough to destroy the mechanism inside the shifter I would suggest not being able to change gear would be the least of your problems.

    Having used bar ends in the past, I think they give the worst of both worlds. Can't change gear out of the saddle same as dt and the first thing to touch down when you go over.
  • sicknotesicknote Posts: 901
    The bike I got come with veloce ergo shifters, older ones but have been fine with a little WD40.
  • Just out of interest then, can someone explain what my shifters are as they are neither downtube shifters or ergos. I have two levers right by each brake - one for up and one for down. I can shift when braking.

    T
  • PS its all Veloce bits - 2009
  • blorgblorg Posts: 1,169
    Campagnolo has a paddle and a thumb shifter with a non-moving brake lever.
  • rakerake Posts: 3,204
    edited March 2010
  • sheffsimonsheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    Geoffrey Butler cycles has got Veloce Ergo shifters at £99 plus loads of other cheap, new Campag front and rear mechs.

    Downtube shifters were OK in their day, but that day has been and gone, all that sitting down to change gear, looking down to see which gear your in. Never had an ounce of trouble with Ergos.
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    Smokin Joe wrote:
    Geoff_SS wrote:
    Smokin Joe wrote:
    bice wrote:
    I use downshifters for preference on my commuter as they are virtually maintenance free and so simple. For this price, it is what you should go for and cheap STIs could be worse.
    I've been using Ergos for years and apart from a squirt of WD40 once in the blue moon I've never done any maintenance on them.

    I'm sure they're long lasting and reliable and I found them excellent when I used them but a minor tumble can be very expensive.

    There is the half way house of using bar-end levers which still allows gear changing whilst still holding the handlebars.

    Geoff
    I've had more than a minor tumble with Ergos and never had a problem, neither do I know anyone who has. If you crash hard enough to destroy the mechanism inside the shifter I would suggest not being able to change gear would be the least of your problems.

    Having used bar ends in the past, I think they give the worst of both worlds. Can't change gear out of the saddle same as dt and the first thing to touch down when you go over.

    I love integrated shifters but as you have pointed out, they're expensive to replace after a crash! I crashed earlier this year and damaged my right Sora shifter. It was only Sora but list price for a pair was something like £120-130!! I bought the whole bike 2nd hand a year ago for about £70!
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • eheh Posts: 4,854
    Don't crash then :wink:

    Seriously though both STi and Ergos are now very mature products and are very reliable, my Sora shifters have done well over 5000 miles (probably double that) and work fine.

    For me downtube shifters are just pointless unless you are touring in the complete back of beyond. And even then I'd still be tempted to run STi/Ergos.
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    eh wrote:
    Don't crash then :wink:

    Seriously though both STi and Ergos are now very mature products and are very reliable, my Sora shifters have done well over 5000 miles (probably double that) and work fine.

    For me downtube shifters are just pointless unless you are touring in the complete back of beyond. And even then I'd still be tempted to run STi/Ergos.

    Reliable until they come sharply into contact with a solid object like the ground, a car or street furniture! Then you're stuck with an enormous bill...
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    eh wrote:
    Don't crash then :wink:

    Seriously though both STi and Ergos are now very mature products and are very reliable, my Sora shifters have done well over 5000 miles (probably double that) and work fine.

    For me downtube shifters are just pointless unless you are touring in the complete back of beyond. And even then I'd still be tempted to run STi/Ergos.

    Reliable until they come sharply into contact with a solid object like the ground, a car or street furniture! Then you're stuck with an enormous bill...

    I got like new Record shifters off ebay for £100. Hardly an enormous bill.
    I like bikes...

    Twitter
    Flickr
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    eh wrote:
    Don't crash then :wink:

    Seriously though both STi and Ergos are now very mature products and are very reliable, my Sora shifters have done well over 5000 miles (probably double that) and work fine.

    For me downtube shifters are just pointless unless you are touring in the complete back of beyond. And even then I'd still be tempted to run STi/Ergos.

    Reliable until they come sharply into contact with a solid object like the ground, a car or street furniture! Then you're stuck with an enormous bill...

    I got like new Record shifters off ebay for £100. Hardly an enormous bill.

    You were lucky! I don't think bargains like that crop up everyday....
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    eh wrote:
    Don't crash then :wink:

    Seriously though both STi and Ergos are now very mature products and are very reliable, my Sora shifters have done well over 5000 miles (probably double that) and work fine.

    For me downtube shifters are just pointless unless you are touring in the complete back of beyond. And even then I'd still be tempted to run STi/Ergos.

    Reliable until they come sharply into contact with a solid object like the ground, a car or street furniture! Then you're stuck with an enormous bill...

    I got like new Record shifters off ebay for £100. Hardly an enormous bill.

    You were lucky! I don't think bargains like that crop up everyday....

    New Type Veloce or Centaur (alloy) shifters are only like £100 brand new too.
    I like bikes...

    Twitter
    Flickr
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    eh wrote:
    Don't crash then :wink:

    Seriously though both STi and Ergos are now very mature products and are very reliable, my Sora shifters have done well over 5000 miles (probably double that) and work fine.

    For me downtube shifters are just pointless unless you are touring in the complete back of beyond. And even then I'd still be tempted to run STi/Ergos.

    Reliable until they come sharply into contact with a solid object like the ground, a car or street furniture! Then you're stuck with an enormous bill...

    I got like new Record shifters off ebay for £100. Hardly an enormous bill.

    You were lucky! I don't think bargains like that crop up everyday....

    New Type Veloce or Centaur (alloy) shifters are only like £100 brand new too.

    Still a lot more than tube shifters. List price for Shimano Sora shifters was £130 about 6 months ago.
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • NuggsNuggs Posts: 1,804
    Still a lot more than tube shifters. List price for Shimano Sora shifters was £130 about 6 months ago.
    On that logic, there's no point in buying a decent frame either, as that would also be expensive to replace in the event of an accident.

    In fact, may as well only buy a studio flat as a larger house may be expensive to replace if there's a fire*.




    *please don't point out the obvious shortcomings in this argument by directing me towards home insurance. That's expensive too.
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    Nuggs wrote:
    Still a lot more than tube shifters. List price for Shimano Sora shifters was £130 about 6 months ago.
    On that logic, there's no point in buying a decent frame either, as that would also be expensive to replace in the event of an accident.

    In fact, may as well only buy a studio flat as a larger house may be expensive to replace if there's a fire*.




    *please don't point out the obvious shortcomings in this argument by directing me towards home insurance. That's expensive too.

    Well of course there are millions of arguments like that - may as well never buy a Ferrari (even if I could afford one) and just buy a 10 year old banger in case you have a crash etc. But choosing something like a house or a car etc does not always come down to simple economics, you have to consider size of family, aesthetics etc etc.

    All I'm saying is that with regard to shifters, tube shifters are very effective, very reliable and inexpensive. Integrated shifters are even more effective perhaps but less reliable and much, much more expensive.

    The decision as to whether to plump for them or tube shifter is up to the individual. I was just pointing out a few facts.
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Tom_d100 wrote:
    Just out of interest then, can someone explain what my shifters are as they are neither downtube shifters or ergos. I have two levers right by each brake - one for up and one for down. I can shift when braking.

    T

    You got a flat barred bike by any chance? Sounds like MTB type shifters to me.

    Not an option for drop handlebars
  • NuggsNuggs Posts: 1,804
    I was just pointing out a few facts.
    Facts have no place in an internet debate.
  • eheh Posts: 4,854
    Integrated shifters are even more effective perhaps but less reliable and much, much more expensive.

    1) You have no evidence they are less reliable. Crashing isn't normal usage in my book.

    2) As for expensive well a quick Google came up with Sora downtube shifters at £30 compared with STI at £80 and I could find campag ergos from £65. So by the time you bung in a set of ~£30 brake levers to go with the downtube shifters then the total difference is minimal.
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    eh wrote:
    Integrated shifters are even more effective perhaps but less reliable and much, much more expensive.

    1) You have no evidence they are less reliable. Crashing isn't normal usage in my book.

    2) As for expensive well a quick Google came up with Sora downtube shifters at £30 compared with STI at £80 and I could find campag ergos from £65. So by the time you bung in a set of ~£30 brake levers to go with the downtube shifters then the total difference is minimal.

    OK, OK you win!
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • John.TJohn.T Posts: 3,698
    edited November 2009
    I do not and never will spec my bike so I can crash it. I spend rather more time riding it so spec accordingly. Having riden in the 50s and 60s with friction D/T levers. I never want to see them again. I think they are dangerous and always used bar end ones. STI / Ergo are far superior.
    If you are that worried about crashing you should look at your riding skills. I know it may happen but you can do a lot to prevent it.
  • sheffsimonsheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    Dont have facts and figures but I would guess there is more chance of a crash with down tube levers, having to look down to change, or at least having only one hand on and hitting a bump or pothole.

    Just cannot see why you want to use em when ergos are so reliable.
Sign In or Register to comment.