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Stem Shifters good or not?

parrot1553parrot1553 Posts: 8
edited August 2015 in Road buying advice
Hello,I recently bought a bike and because I dont have much knowledge in this area,I got a bike with stem shifters,friends are telling me they are old school and I should have gotten another bike.The left lever (front derailleur)is friction based while the right one(rear derailleur) is indexed so it clicks.I only use the right one because its indexed.I find it slightly time consuming every time I need to change gears,very hard to do if I am on a bumpy road...Its not too bad tho,as I don't switch gears too often,maybe every 5min or so.My question is should I do something about it?(upgrade the gear system or get a new bike,or just stay with the stem shifters?)I have never used Brifters before,its my first bike in 10 years.If I can upgrade them to brifters,can you link me some that will be compatible and also must be cheap(less than 40pounds)
this is the bike:


  • stevie63stevie63 Posts: 481
    Unfortunately those sort of bikes are really not that great. However my recommendation would be not to spend any money upgrading gears as it is not worth the money or hassle to do this. Instead I would say to ride this bike for the next few months while you build up your fitness and save up some money for something else. You will probably get back £70-£100 back for this bike which can be put towards something better (Some of the Halfords bikes are alright, Decathlon do some nice bikes and Merlin does the PR7 which is good for the price)
  • your friends are right, if it's recently bought? as in within 7 days then return the bike?

    if not maybe sell it and get something like this?

    bikes with stem shifters are fairly horrible as you've found out, bikes with integrated brakes/shifters are a lot easier/nicer I have a bike with same shifters as the halfords in the link. work fine a bit clunkly maybe.
  • I was thinking about any advantages of stem shifters over brifters,and there are 2 that I found while googling.Its easier to switch gears when I am riding with my hands on the top of the handlebar.Switching several gears at a time with the friction lever is actually faster than indexed..hmm
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    The cost of upgrading the transmission to integrated shifters would require a whole new transmission and wheels, probably exceeding the price of the bike. Problem is, you've bought a BSO- Bike Shaped Object with the lowest grade of components and few economic ways of upgrading - as said, ride it as is and save your money to buy something with a better specificiation.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • rafletcherrafletcher Posts: 1,235
    parrot1553 wrote:

    I personally don't get on with bar-end shifters, but downtube is where it was at for decades before combined shifter/brakes. It was good enough for Hinault :)
  • igaiga Posts: 155

    Don't worry about it. Any bike is better than no bike and riding anything, anywhere is better than not. If £170 has got you back out on the road then it's money well spent. Enjoy riding your new bike and if cycling is for you take your time planning your next purchase.
    FCN 7
    Aravis Audax, Moulton TSR
  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,175
    I get on quite well with stem shifters and bar end shifters, but you need a good setup where you are not supporting your body weight with your hands or bumps make changing gear a little hazardous.

    Having said that, your bike is overpriced for the equipment level IMO and will not be robust anyway. I bought a similar bike a few years ago and spent the next 12 months replacing most of the parts. I think the brakes lasted less than 3 months before the spring tension stops wore out (V-brakes)! Don't expect much from it.
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 11,406
    Wow, I had heard about companies paying people to write reviews, surely this can be nothing else:
    I have only recently started serious road cycling and decided to buy a new training bike, looking for something that is lightweight, quality and overall would meet my needs. I cant even begin to sing the praises of this bike. Not many people have heard of the brand woodworm so i was skeptical at first expecting it to be a one of product by a relatively unknown company in the cycling world. But how wrong could i be! Ordered the bike on Thursday morning and it had arrived by Friday afternoon (Express delivery but still only an extra £3). Delivered by yodel i have to admit they didnt let themselves down, it was prompt and delivered by a cheerful man, however one of the reflectors (front) had smashed, but that is something that costs about £1 to replace. Now onto the bike. The price is incredible for a bike like this, unlike other makes like Viking which seem to be constantly discounted and appear a bargain, this bike is considerably better quality! The bike comes with the frame, gears, breaks and rear wheel ready assembled so all you have to do is fit the handle bars, pedals, seat and front wheel, a task which may seem hard but actually is incredibly straight forward! The breaks need a small amount of tweaking and i have to admit the instructional manual is not at all great but nothing common sense cant fix! The bike is incredible smooth on the road and is a true stripped down racer, perfect for entry/intermediate. The brakes are responsive and the gears (Stick shifters on the main frame) are light and quick. With this bike it is easy to reach speeds of 20mph without breaking a sweat. I cannot praise it high enough and i hope this review will persuade you to buy this excellent bike at an amazing price from a quality seller.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • frisbeefrisbee Posts: 691
    parrot1553 wrote:

    I personally don't get on with bar-end shifters, but downtube is where it was at for decades before combined shifter/brakes. It was good enough for Hinault :)

    Yep. People were using downtube shifters for decades.

    I've got them on my winter bike and I find they are fine.
  • Alright,thank you for the comments guys,I guess I will just stick with it for now.Apart from the shifters( have to be very careful when switching gears)I like the bike,its very quiet,rides comfortably,and can go quite fast.
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