Author Topic: What makes a smoother shift  (Read 4012 times)

onb

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What makes a smoother shift
« on: April 15, 2008, 03:48:51 pm »
Is it the ergos or is it the mechs or is it a combination of the 2
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Re: What makes a smoother shift
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2008, 03:50:54 pm »
A skilled hand and plenty of lubrication.  Oh ...   :o

Biggsy

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Re: What makes a smoother shift
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2008, 04:10:32 pm »
The condition and length of the cables and the way they're routed make a huge difference.  There may be something less than ideal about the cables if shifting feels very stiff.  Check the bottom bracket cable guide as well.

With certain models of Ergos at least, shifting action gets lighter as they wear in.

The mechs won't be relevant unless there's something very wrong with them.
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Jacomus

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Re: What makes a smoother shift
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2008, 04:14:57 pm »
A trick from the pros is to time the shift when your preferred leg is at the bottom of its stroke.

Click it when your crank gets to about half past 5, and you will have a lovely smooth shift clicked into the next gear with minimal interrupting of your power delivery.
"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity." Amelia Earhart

Re: What makes a smoother shift
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2008, 04:19:30 pm »
Dirt in the cables, particularly the last loop to the mech, is often the problem when shifting gets tricky.

Re: What makes a smoother shift
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2008, 04:34:57 pm »
Cables are more important for good shifting than anything else.  An ungreased or dirty mech will make shifts feel heavy, but won't cause them to be inaccurate.  Shifters are rarely a problem unless the bike has been left to stand for a long time. 

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: What makes a smoother shift
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2008, 04:43:23 pm »
And a clean, slicppery, un-worn chain too.
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rower40

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Re: What makes a smoother shift
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2008, 05:06:13 pm »
Another benefit of recumbents!  Under-seat steering means both cable runs are quite short, so the shifts are really smooth, quick and direct.
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Zoidburg

Re: What makes a smoother shift
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2008, 05:55:27 pm »
A smooth pedaling style and learning to change gear before you hit an incline

I have seen some overly keen riders who effing murder the drive train with shifts under pressure

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: What makes a smoother shift
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2008, 05:56:42 pm »
Friction shift!
Getting there...

onb

  • Between jobs at present
Re: What makes a smoother shift
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2008, 07:17:48 pm »
The reason I asked is having just started riding best bike with moe expensive gpset the difference is tangible ,especially on the chainrings.
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Re: What makes a smoother shift
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2008, 07:28:00 pm »
Fixed.

OK, OK I know... but someone had to say it...

Re: What makes a smoother shift
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2008, 07:34:17 pm »
I have been thinking about this and thinking which of my three geardos shift the best. I can't determine it. Two have Ultegra 9 speed rear mechs; one is actuated by a Dura Ace lever the other by a 105 lever. The fronts on these bikes are Dura Ace and 105, the Dura Ace front shifter is easier as it is spring assisted. The third bike has 105 front and rear mechs and Dura Ace/106 shifters, even this combo, shifts as well as the others. In conclusion I this good shifting is achieved by good components that are clean and not damaged. I have never used Ergos and my downtube shifters have always shifted better than STis, shorter cables, less cable outer, fewer curves in the cables.

Jacomus

  • My favourite gender neutral pronoun is comrade
Re: What makes a smoother shift
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2008, 08:35:05 pm »
Maybe I am the exception here, but my STI's, lowly but cared for Tiagra shift MILES better than my dt shiftered bike (which is also very well cared for btw).

Instantly accurate.

I don't have to take my hands off the bars, so don't reduce my control over the bike.

I can click through gears as I accelerate, instead of go, shift, go, shift, scrunch scrunch oops missed a gear!

I can shift gears constantly to keep my cadence in the sweet spot right near 100 so that my irritable knees don't get grumpy.

How are your d=DTs better than STI/Ergo and unless they are indexed, I don't see how they can be as accurate  ???
"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity." Amelia Earhart

Re: What makes a smoother shift
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2008, 08:43:40 pm »
My downtube shifters are indexed for the rear. Front isn't, no need to be.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: What makes a smoother shift
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2008, 08:44:21 pm »
Changes are always smoother and more accurate if they're not indexed.  You go to exactly where the chain should be, not where the spacing expects it should be...
Getting there...

Re: What makes a smoother shift
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2008, 08:46:22 pm »
I'll never go back to non indexed for rear through choice nor would I use indexed for front. One could say a double chainset is indexed in friction mode, one end of the other, but I don't have any doubles atm.

Re: What makes a smoother shift
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2008, 08:55:34 pm »
Maybe I am the exception here, but my STI's, lowly but cared for Tiagra shift MILES better than my dt shiftered bike (which is also very well cared for btw).

Instantly accurate.

I don't have to take my hands off the bars, so don't reduce my control over the bike.

I can click through gears as I accelerate, instead of go, shift, go, shift, scrunch scrunch oops missed a gear!

I can shift gears constantly to keep my cadence in the sweet spot right near 100 so that my irritable knees don't get grumpy.

How are your d=DTs better than STI/Ergo and unless they are indexed, I don't see how they can be as accurate  ???

Are you comparing like with like, does your other bike use the same mech and cassette and chain type ? There is something wrong with your downtube shifter if it isn't as good or better IYO.

As for taking hands of handlebars, well that's not relevant to smooth shifts. With linear changers I can go click, click, click, click instead of push, release, push release,push release, push release. ( am I there yet ?)  I can use either hand to change gear front or rear.  They last longer, believe me, even if you don't crash. Removing hands from bars isn't a bad thing, I do it all the time to signal, scratch my nose, drink, expel snot, it really isn't a problem. My handlebars are much more comfortable without STis, I found the hoods too fat and the levers too far away from the drop, they rattled. I can switch the indexing off if I suffer cable stretch or some other problem which makes it go out of sync. which has never happened

Biggsy

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Re: What makes a smoother shift
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2008, 10:15:27 pm »
With linear changers I can go click, click, click, click instead of push, release, push release,push release, push release.

This is also possible with the Campag Ergos I use.  They can change several gears at once with one single push*.  And not having to take my hand of to shift really is a nice convenience.  Yes I take a hand off to do other things, but not as often as I would to change gear.  I used indexed DT levers for twice as long as I've been using Ergos and I have no desire to go back to them.

You're in the minority of road bikers who still prefer DT levers.  A perfectly respectable minority!, but I don't think you'll be persuading many cyclists to switch to down tubies.

Ergos have smaller bodies than STIs, btw.

* This is now only true for Chorus and Record; previously other models too.
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andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: What makes a smoother shift
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2008, 08:54:13 am »
Maybe I am the exception here, but my STI's, lowly but cared for Tiagra shift MILES better than my dt shiftered bike (which is also very well cared for btw).

Nothing lowly about Tiagra - keep it clean and slick and it shifts like a dream.  I race on it. 

This thread's drifting into a dt/sti index/free holy war.  For smooth shifts the principle is the same for all derailleur technologies: everything clean and slippery and well-adjusted, shift at the low-power part of the stroke and while maintaining cadence. 
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Re: What makes a smoother shift
« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2008, 09:26:18 am »
You're in the minority of road bikers who still prefer DT levers.  A perfectly respectable minority!, but I don't think you'll be persuading many cyclists to switch to down tubies.


I couldn't give a damn about what others use. I will defend my choices though.

Mr Larrington

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Re: What makes a smoother shift
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2008, 10:07:41 am »
You're in the minority of road bikers who still prefer DT levers.  A perfectly respectable minority!, but I don't think you'll be persuading many cyclists to switch to down tubies.


I couldn't give a damn about what others use. I will defend my choices though.

If I've still got the 7-speed down-tube levers I took off the Romany when converting it to fixed, I shall likely convert the Ken Rogers to drops and down-tube shifters.  It currently has Rabidfires, which are the Work of  :evil:
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Re: What makes a smoother shift
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2008, 10:24:43 am »
Other things being equal, a close ratio block and short-arm mech will always be slicker.