07 October, 2016

Stem Shifting

By Scott

I love fall. I love the cooler nights and the colors changing around me from day to day. Fall (autumn for those reading in the UK) is also one of the busiest times of the year for us.


In September we had the Interbike show that Igor and Clint attended to meet with suppliers and to see what is new in the bike world. Coming up in November (the 5th and 6th if you are planning your calender) is the Philly Bike Expo, which we'll be attending for the 4th year.

We get a good size booth every year, in order to show off as much as we can of our products. In the past we've used the show to introduce the Disc Pass Hunter, the Camargue, as well as show off various product prototypes.

This year we are hoping to have the Mk4 Polyvalent prototypes arrive in time to take them to the show. In our regular morning meeting, we discussed how we wanted the frames built up for the show. Chris wanted one of the two prototypes built up Porteur style - Porteur front rack, flat bar, inverse levers and a 1 x set up. We had seen a stem shifter at the Interbike show and we inquired about getting one of those in time for the show. After the meeting, I did some digging about in one of our boxes in the workshop of odds and ends and found a right thumb shifter by itself. I tried installing it on our prototype open face quill stem and it worked great. So, cancel the sample request! We'll go with this:
With the popularity of 1 x set ups, I think we'll order in just the right shifter mounts with the next PO and see how they sell. I think we'll get a lot of feedback at Philly about this and through the blog comments. So who wants one?
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16 comments:

Wrenching With Jimmy said...

Love it. We've been trying to push stem shifters at the Boise Bicycle Project for years... without a ton of luck... but that's looking awesome!

John Ellsworth said...

I like the idea of stem shifting for upright riding situations, and have cleaned up, greased up and used old stem shifters from the parts bin for several builds. Doesn't last, though -- I find that I'm constantly groin-shifting the bike into a different gear at stoplights. Sloppy technique, maybe. Ripe for vulgar comments, certainly! Regardless, for a commuter I seem to end up back using thumb shifters on a crowded handlebar top.

abrownfield said...

I'd take one for sure.

Tony Hunt said...

I use stem shifters on my touring bike as the downtube didn't have braze ons and I didn't want barcons. It's had both drop and upright set ups and has worked well for both. So long as one doesn't spend a lot of time off the saddle it's a stellar way to run shifters. I'd be interested in them for future builds but only so long as they're cheaper than the IRD mounts (my God, $50-80!). Also I know 1x is growing but I'd at least like the option of a traditional double derailleur set up.

Anonymous said...

Have you guys ever tried putting a single downtube shifter on your Grand Cru stem instead of a bell? If so, how was it? If not, why not?

Kendra said...

I like how it looks, but for convenience sake, I think I'd go with thumb shifters. I know they crowd up the cockpit, but they work.

Anonymous said...

Tried that on a build about a year or so ago....didnt really care for it....if you are not careful, your knee can hit the shifter when standing and click you into another , I am pretty sure that is why they stopped putting them on the 1970's 10 speeders...
But...you cant go wrong with a set of Paul Thumbies style mounts with shifters...and you can mount them closer to the stem to free up the space on the bar....works really well.


Russ Long Island '([:{>

JP Frey said...

My first 10-speed (literally, 1972) had them. I changed to clamp-on downtube shifters after a few years, because they fit my riding style. I might go back one day, but for now I'm still a drop-bar/barcon type.

Bike Nut said...

I like the idea of those new kleen canteen food holders - how about some of the smaller ones in both style - the insulated and non insulated - to start with? they look to be about the right size of most anything a biker would want.

VeloOrange said...

@Anon 10/7,

We have attempted it, but it does not work with standard hardware. The stem needs a square protrusion to properly function.

-Igor

Anonymous said...

There are quite a few things you can do as long as you are using a normal or vintage shifter, what you really need is one of those for the new Larger barreled Dia-Compe Shifter. I have mine Frame mounted now & I hate it. The shifter itself works fine, but I find myself shifting less because I don't like leaning down as far as it takes to shift. In a busy urban environment it is just too distracting. I am getting better at it, but a mount that can be put on the stem and/or handlebars would be awesome.

VeloOrange said...

@anonymous

We like downtube shifters for their simplicity, but there are plenty of handlebar mounted shifters available on the market!

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't anyone make a threadless spacer with shifter bosses. Always wanted stem shifting for threadless stems.

Deanaaargh said...

Please keep promoting this. I'm currently running a pauls thumbie shimmed to fit my steerer tube. Though, of course, it only works with 1x. Would love it to handle two shifters.

Dan said...

i have been customizing Sturmey Archer thumshifter clamps for years to enable stem shifting, even with shimano shifters. it is a great option for 23,8 handlebar setups! I'm happy to see it available!!

Dan said...

mission bicycle has one for Alfine 8-speed. it looks really nice.