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Im looking to get a set of thumbies to replace my Xt trigger shifters. Id like to hear some success stories. I know I can get the paul mounts with dura ace levers but I was looking at some older Suntour Power shifters. Any problems using them with a M900 Derailleur. Any other models of Suntour I should be aware about that would work well?
 

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rider
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How many cogs on the rear cassette are you wanting to shift? Are you talking non-indexed Suntour Power ratchet thumbies? If so, non-indexed shifters can be a PITA when used on 9 speed cassettes. Ok with 8 speed and less.

8 speed indexed Suntour shifters were not really fully compatible with Shimano rear mechs. Not that it was not done, but the results were not perfect.

I say, if you want to stick with 9 speed, get the Paul's thumbie setup and be done with it.
 

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Santa Clauz said:
Im actually running an 8 speed set up with an older Xtr M900 derailleur and 12-32 cassette.
Suntour 8 speed XC Pro shifters work perfectly with Shimano 8 speed. Those are probably the best thumb shifters I have ever used, but theyre pretty hard to find. You can also just get the Shimano XT M732s 7 speed shifters; they have an extra click which allows you to run 8 speed.

The Pauls have a huge amount of throw which I dont like personally. Thumbshifters are cool and all, but there is a reason why they went away back in the day... Some people still love them though. And on the other hand, I think some people use them now cause theyre currently a bit trendy. I much prefer the ergonomics of shifters being under the bar. Mavic made an under bar shifter and WTB's drop bar shifter mounts essentially put them under the bar as well. Under the bar is much better for me, in fact my favorite bike to shift has Suntour friction shifters mounted under (essentially under, as theyre on drop bars) the bar. If you want to try something unique, try some friction shifters under your bars, theyre great. Friction shifting is 10X better under the bar since you can trim much easier.

Ok, I'll stop rambling now. :)

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When did you get here?!?!
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one vote here for the Pauls

When my bike is set up geared I use the Paul's Thumbies and Ultegra barcons. I know, I know, I don't have answers for your M900 / Suntour questions except that I seem to remember them not playing well together unless you leave the shifter on friction all the time. Fillit has different info though, so, I agree you may want to ask the vintage guys. Anywho, the Paul/Shimano combo works well and looks nice, too.

On a side note, I'm sure folks are asking 'Why thumbies?' when we've got so many other options now. Well, I like the friction option for when my drivetrain is acting up and I like the mechaniclly simple design of a lever. I also battle numb hands after hours and hours on the bike and like the conveinenece of being able to still shift once my hands becomes as usefull as a lobster claws.

How 'bout you?

~E
 

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Witty McWitterson
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I've run that XC-Pro/XTR set for years with raging success. IF you can find some of the shifters, you'll be fine. XC Experts worked just as well, but aren't finished as nicely as the XC Pro's.
 

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Paul Thumbies rock, I use them on all my geared bikes( MTB, Cross,Road) 8 speed. It seems to be a more user freindly way to go IMHO. Plus 8 speed parts cost less and last longer.
 

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I used to run 8 speed Suntour XC Pro shifters with Shimano 8 speed components and Gore Tex cables. The spacing on the Shimano cassette is slightly different than Suntour. I don't know about the rear derailleur, but I assumed they (Suntour and Shimano) were interchangeable. While it shifted OK, it had to be exactly dialed in to keep from skipping or clattering. Eventually, I switched to RapidFire+ shifters and it shifted much better.

My recommendation is, if you want to go thumbshifters, go with the Paul's mounts and all Shimano components. While the ergonomics of the Suntour shifters may be better, it just doesn't shift as good with the mismatched components.

I even tried Shimano XT 7 speed thumbshifters with a Phantom 8 that was supposed to correct the cable pull. I don't think I was too keen it it either, because I went to the Suntour 8 speed thumbshifters after that.

I like thumbshifters and you can save a little weight with them and they are mechanically simpler so they should last longer; plus they have friction mode which works if you bend your derailleur hanger on a ride, which does happen now and again.
 

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suntourXCpro +XCR m950 Flawless...............

This is my prefered setup after trying all the new stuff. You are limited to 8 speed, but I don't get the 9 speed thing anyway. I can run this all year and never need to touch it to keep it in tune. I also prefer friction-only for the front to trim the chain on the move. Very light, very easy to use, virtually maintanence free.
 

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This guy has some........

Santa Clauz said:
Im looking to get a set of thumbies to replace my Xt trigger shifters. Id like to hear some success stories. I know I can get the paul mounts with dura ace levers but I was looking at some older Suntour Power shifters. Any problems using them with a M900 Derailleur. Any other models of Suntour I should be aware about that would work well?
http://www.mmba.org/viewtopic.php?t=57542&sid=61b34bae00b092777a801c62d1d8bb71
And have no association with Him/Her!
 

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I've used both Shimano and Suntout thumbies, almost exclusively in friction mode. While I much prefer the minimalist look of the Suntours, the Shimanos have a smooth, pure friction mode that is much nicer to use. The Suntours have a sort of ghost detent in friction.

Eric
 

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All 26.5" all the time!
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I've been around....

Used and abused many thumbshifters.....

--just some of what I've collected over the years--



Overall, I like the Paul/Shimano bar-end setup the best. Lever throw is a bit longer than most. At first I was put off by this, but I've adapted to it and love the thumbies most of all.
 

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i like to bicycle
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still using xt thumbs

i'm still using xt thumbs on my gearey. 8spd xtr cassettes and newer (but not the newest) xtr rear der. if i was forced to go 9spd at some point i'd do the pauls option but until then i'm set. i've never used another type of mtb shifter since my stock exage rapid failure detonated after a few months back in 92.
 

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@adelorenzo
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Thumbies rule!

I'm running the original Suntour Power Thumb friction shifters, circa 1983. Best shifters ever, most people won't part with them for any amount of money. I was lucky: LBS recycles a lot of old bikes and had one lying around in his backyard, I swapped him a case of beer for it. Simple to set up and you basically never have to worry about adjustments. I'm running an 8-speed cassette, single front ring.

I'm also hoarding a couple sets of index shifters: a set of used XT 8-speed thumbies and a set of NOS 6-speed Suntours, in case this guy bites the dust. I somehow doubt it -- this is a totally bombproof unit that has been going strong for 25 years now.

I'll admit that other shifters are more effective when it comes to actually shifting, but I want something that doesn't need adjusting all the time and will get me home when I'm 50 klicks out in the bush. I hate that plastic crap that passes for shifters nowadays. I'll live with the downsides of thumbies.

Oh yeah, thumbies are also a big plus when temps hit 40 below and you need some serious mittens:



Try shifting your rapid fires with those babies on your hands!

Regards,
Anthony
 
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