Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Mtbr Founder
Joined
·
35,126 Posts
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
 

Attachments

·
ups and downs
Joined
·
15,599 Posts
The one downside is the barrel on the barcons shifters are smaller diameter so it takes a greater lever throw to go through the gear range compared to the old XT thumb shifters. If you had smaller hands this would be a bigger problem. The shifters also sit a bit higher on the bar.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
459 Posts
I got my SLX 3-ring cranks at chainreactioncycles for $102. They're at $107 right now, same price for the 2-ring.. Free shipping on orders over $225.:thumbsup:
 

·
Mtbr Founder
Joined
·
35,126 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
robc in wi said:
I got my SLX 3-ring cranks at chainreactioncycles for $102. They're at $107 right now, same price for the 2-ring.. Free shipping on orders over $225.:thumbsup:
Holy moly, that price is lunacy. In a good way!

fc
 

·
Mtbr Founder
Joined
·
35,126 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
rockyuphill said:
The one downside is the barrel on the barcons shifters are smaller diameter so it takes a greater lever throw to go through the gear range compared to the old XT thumb shifters. If you had smaller hands this would be a bigger problem. The shifters also sit a bit higher on the bar.
Unbelievable detail. Thanks!! Can I use your photos for an mtbr review that I write?

fc
 

·
Mtbr Founder
Joined
·
35,126 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nater said:
Paul's Thumbies have been around for quite a while now...a buddy has been using them for 5 years or so.
Welcome back to the future!

fc
 

·
Mtbr Founder
Joined
·
35,126 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Here's the bike. 36 tooth in the front 9-speed bike.

It's 17.7 lbs as pictured and wants to fly away.

fc
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
I just installed a set of SLX cranks last night. They are nice - I like them better than the 770 cranks. There is a customer review on Chain Reaction Cycles that says "they should have named them SEX" because they look so good - have to agree with that!

Nice bike and pedals - my SLX cranks are also sporting Times.
 

·
Mtbr Founder
Joined
·
35,126 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Toddster said:
I just installed a set of SLX cranks last night. They are nice - I like them better than the 770 cranks. There is a customer review on Chain Reaction Cycles that says "they should have named them SEX" because they look so good - have to agree with that!

Nice bike and pedals - my SLX cranks are also sporting Times.
Now there's an idea. With some graphics, I can turn that 'L' into and 'E'.

I'm sporting Look pedals yo.

fc
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
802 Posts
I only have the SLX RD, but it has been flawless. The whole SLX group seems great and like they actually designed it for the way people will actually use it. If/when my crankset kicks the bucket, I might go to SLX for that too.

The bike looks good!
 

·
Doctor
Joined
·
264 Posts
One of my bikes has Shimano RapidFire thumb/trigger shifters, the other has XTRs, using the brake levers. Both are easy, accurate & reliable - and for years and 1000s of miles.
Why would these Paul shifters be desirable? Is this a joke? Having moved up from Shimano SIS thumb shifters, I'd never consider going back unless forced to - much less to a rig using componentry outside of it's designed purpose (bar-end shifters). ..even if these were priced reasonably (they aren't).

Ridiculous.

jeff
 

·
Mtbr Founder
Joined
·
35,126 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
noodletips said:
One of my bikes has Shimano RapidFire thumb/trigger shifters, the other has XTRs, using the brake levers. Both are easy, accurate & reliable - and for years and 1000s of miles.
Why would these Paul shifters be desirable? Is this a joke? Having moved up from Shimano SIS thumb shifters, I'd never consider going back unless forced to - much less to a rig using componentry outside of it's designed purpose (bar-end shifters). ..even if these were priced reasonably (they aren't).

Ridiculous.

jeff
Is your comment a ridiculous joke too?

It's not for everyone but no need to be rude.

It's more reliable, saves weight and allows shifting many gears up or down. Either way, it's good to have an alternative specially for folks who liked thumbshifters when they were phased out.

fc
 

·
Doctor
Joined
·
264 Posts
Is your comment a ridiculous joke too?

It's not for everyone but no need to be rude.


Well, $130 for retro, modified shifters that won't function as well as circa 1986 SIS thumb-shifters just sounds odd to me. But, to each his/her own.

As far as being rude, I didn't intend to be so, and apologize if you took it that way. Hey, if they work for you, enjoy those shifters! :thumbsup:

jeff
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,029 Posts
noodletips said:
Is your comment a ridiculous joke too?

It's not for everyone but no need to be rude.


Well, $130 for retro, modified shifters that won't function as well as circa 1986 SIS thumb-shifters just sounds odd to me. But, to each his/her own.

As far as being rude, I didn't intend to be so, and apologize if you took it that way. Hey, if they work for you, enjoy those shifters! :thumbsup:

jeff
With XT $105 at Jenson, and XTR $250... I don't think that $107 (56+51) is that far out of line for a set of Thumbies and Ultegra Bar-cons.

The shifters do work very well. They're indexed, and the throw works fine for normal sized hands. And once you've had a set of pods strip out and become unusable, or tweak a derailleur on the trail - then you see the how nice a set of thumbies can be.

I swapped over a couple of bikes from triggers to thumbies because they're as easy to use, and even if they come out of adjustment, a flick to friction and they work great.

JmZ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
618 Posts
noodletips said:
Well, $130 for retro, modified shifters that won't function as well as circa 1986 SIS thumb-shifters just sounds odd to me. But, to each his/her own.
jeff
I upgraded to Paul Thumbies with Dura Ace BarCons and an XT Shadow rear der from 2007 XT trigger shifters coupled with a Rapid-Rise rear der. The Thumbies work MUCH better than the XT trigger shifters and almost as well as my 1990 XTII thumbshifters on my old Litespeed. The shifting crispness of thumbshifters simply can not be matched by the newer style of shifter. Thumbshifters are also more reliable. When was the last time you rode a bike with well tuned thumbshifters? You might be surprised at how well they work. It is also very nice to be able to shift all the way from the small cog to the big cog in one shift instead of pulling the trigger multiple times. Thumbshifter also give a tactile feedback as to what gear you are in, which makes it nice on cold night rides when you aren't thinking straight and can't tell what cog or chainring you are in by the feel through the pedals. No need for those annoying indicator windows.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,507 Posts
Question for guys with the SLX crankset. I installed my crankset with the correct spacer setup for a 68MM shell. I have it matched to an XT shadow rear derailleur (medium cage). When in the granny gear if I shift to higher gears in the rear I get a little rub against the larger chainring. Is this normal?
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top