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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At Interbike, I saw thumbshifters on BMC's ultra high end race mtb. Then a month ago, I saw it on Jms' bling bike. "What's going on?" I said. I gotta look into this retro-chique.

What's happening is Paul Components built an adaptor to mount Shimano's barend shifters used in time-trial bikes. It lets folks get back to the age of simple thumb shifters. It's more reliable and saves weight. Oh, and I can shift up 9 gears at at time. Up or down!

So I finally got out to try it yesterday. It is awesome!! It is easy to access and shifts are flawless. The throw is a little long on the lever at about 160 degrees and the lever may get in the way when you're in in gear 5-6. Also, it requires Shimano rear derailleurs. Sram won't work because the indexing is different. The shifter allows you to go in 'friction' mode to work with Sram. But that is just tooo retro and inconvenient.

My other find is the Shimano SLX crank. All my test bikes are spec'd with Truvativ Stylo cranks and they're just not that good. So I looked around and found these SLX cranks. They are built like XTR but they're about $200. They have two versions, a triple ring and a double ring. The double ring is cool since it comes with a 36 tooth chainring and a bashguard ring.

On my bike, I replaced the Shimano bashguard with a thin Salsa, ring guide. It's lighter and that's all this bike really needs.

So there, just nerding out on parts since it's too warm to ride. Price for the shifter is not that cheap. $60 for the Paul Components adaptor and $70 for the Shimano 9-speed barcon shifters.

fc
 

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too late to die young now
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nice to see the thumb-shifters coming back ... weight to performance seems excellent; though the price tag will make it more of a fashion statement than a seed change to the 'retro' 80's, (too bad, imo - but you gotta pay to play with the Big 'P' logo)

anyway - cool stuff
ps - is that a big bash in your downtube in the last pic or just a photo illusion?
 

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francois said:
At Interbike, I saw thumbshifters on BMC's ultra high end race mtb. Then a month ago, I saw it on Jms' bling bike. "What's going on?" I said. I gotta look into this retro-chique.

What's happening is Paul Components built an adaptor to mount Shimano's barend shifters used in time-trial bikes. It lets folks get back to the age of simple thumb shifters. It's more reliable and saves weight. Oh, and I can shift up 9 gears at at time. Up or down!
You need to get out more often - or over to the VRC board. Those things have been rocking for a number of years. And they aren't just found on TT bikes, but on the ends of drop handlebars. A big feature of those levers is that you can switch out of indexing mode into friction mode and shift 5 or 6 or 7 or 8 or 9 ... gears. Welcome back to the 20th century ;)
 

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organically fed
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w00t! said:
Are those roadie cranks?
francois said:
No, but it's a roadie bike.
Now you're just being silly. :)

Are those cranks what are known as "hollowtech"? I think I need some hollowtechs for this one kind of EBB that I want to put on my bike.

I know, I know...the search feature works wonders...and I've been using it, but sometimes a guy's just gotta ax questions.
 

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Will Wonders Never Cease

francois said:
At Interbike, I saw thumbshifters on BMC's ultra high end race mtb. Then a month ago, I saw it on Jms' bling bike. "What's going on?" I said. I gotta look into this retro-chique.fc
Will wonders never cease! Next thing you know, I'll have you using square taper cranks and bottom brackets, and driving a VW Westfalia.:D

I started riding about the time the first generation of trigger shifters were showing up in shops. I used those once, and promptly decided that you could have my thumb shifters when you could pry them from my cold dead fingers. I've never used anything else in 19 years of riding. Thumb shifters have always been simpler, lighter, more durable rebuildable, etc., than all the alternatives that have come and gone. When Paul's came out with the "Thumbie" adapters, I finally went to 9 speed drivetrains [I still think the 8 speed stuff was better].

For those of you into "underbar" shifting arrangements, I've read using a rapid rise rear derailleur, you can flip it below the bar, and you're there. You can also go with 10speed thumbies - Shimano makes Dura Ace10 speed bar cons, and IRD makes a 11-34,10 speed cassette.

And the "Bling bike"? Do you mean this one FC? Why, it's just a humble little Salsa Mamasita hardtail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
MSH said:
Francis, the second pic is of a XO shifter? Not sure if that was a mix-up? I assume you meant to show the weight of the Paul setup?
You are correct sir. That's my old XO with a broken spring. Here's the right photo.

The bike got lighter. Them new Formula brakes would rock this rig. :)

fc
 

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aka dan51
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I could see it getting in the way of my Gravity Dropper lever.
Thumbies also get in the way when you flip the bike upside down for repairs.
I think they went away for a reason.
Weight Weenies will love them though.

I do miss being able to dump a ton of gears at once, instead of 1 at a time....
 

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Nice writeup. I love thumb shifters use em on my cross bike.

The slx cranks look nice on the bike. Cant wait to try em out. (Ordered a set should be here this week)

You get a weight on the slx double?

How much weight you shave with the salsa bash?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
105millimetersofpleasure said:
Holdin' out on us, FC. C'mon, you have one on your desktop right there, I know it. Post it already. I need to see what a light bike looks like. ;)
Nope. All them 17 lb. bikes look alike. Not gunna do it.

fc
 
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