SF Cyclotouring

Ride reports and other ramblings from a San Francisco cyclist.

10/10/2009

SFR Winters 200k Brevet

Rode the San Francisco Randonneurs Winters 200k with Gabe. Covered about 125 miles in around 9.5 hours. Great day of riding!

This was the first ride on the Kogswell with the newly-added DT shifters...kinda love/hate 'em -- we'll see how it goes. I like the clean lines of the bike without all the extra cable housing barcons require, the fact that there's no more shifter cable/front rack+bag interference, and enjoy the somewhat-romantic classic/retro appeal. But I haven't used them in close to ten years (and back then it was shifting a simpler 2x6 drivetrain), so there's zero muscle memory for shifting from the down tube. After 8 or 9 hours in the saddle, I started automatically reaching towards the right spot about half the time, which made the other half -- when I'd grasp for something at the handlebar end which wasn't there -- all the more frustrating. Plus, I couldn't remember which way to push the damn levers to switch to the gear I needed: forward or back? It was a humbling experience, like learning to tie your shoes all over again. And DT shifting overall takes more time, more thought, and more effort, since you need to move your hand off of the handlebars. An additional thing I really disliked is that, since these things are shifting a 3x9 drivetrain, the levers themselves must physically rotate nearly 145 degrees from lowest to highest gear. Moving them that far just felt odd, as if the cable was slipping or a derailleur's limit screw was very maladjusted. I wish the barrels on these levers had a larger diameter so they'd need to wrap less cable and only need to rotate through a smaller arc. I suppose that the next randonneuring bicycle I build up, I'll use barcon shifters with their cables routed fully under the handlebar tape, exiting near the stem.

Full set of photos here.

4 Comments:

Blogger Joe said...

I just built up a bike using DT shifters. For me it's the first time I've used them. I appreciate the clean lines too.

Coming off of barcons I wanted to shift using both right and left hands. Not good. Now I'm using just my right and it's working out much better.

I think a few hundred more miles and they'll be as natural as the barcons were.

5:38 AM  
Blogger Jim G said...

Tarik said... (and upon which I ham-fistedly clicked the 'reject' link instead of 'publish', curse you tiny iPhone screen!)

DT shifters are the devils spawn. Really no advantage in use. I hate barcons with all my soul, as they stab my knees repeatedly, but I still prefer them to DT shifters. Even people who are really good at DT shifting still mess up pacelines when they are using them. They deserve their obsolescence!

9:04 AM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Give yourself time. I just started using DT shifters this year after only having used barcons previously and while it took me a while, now i they feel normal and love the clean lines and lack of maintenance. It is true that i find i have a different rhythm to my shifting with them- i'll stay in a too low or too high gear longer (riding more like a singlespeed) until i can get to a place where i can reach down safely and not have to be braking, turning, signaling at the same time.

The only thing i hate is bumping them when i pull out a water bottle on a long climb, dropping it into a higher gear. That's a bitch.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Andre said...

Jim I built an entire bike around a right-rear DT shifter this spring.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrjoeball/3569664418/in/set-72157618768922445/
It was a tough to find 8 speed SIS shifter.
I rode the bike all summer but the easy of installation and clean lines were not enough for me to over come the inconvenience of the shifter location. The bike has hence under gone a conversion to 9speed sti but won't see much use due to lack of fenders till next years dry season. I ride in-city a lot and often with a pack of riders at night and our tempo changes often. I find I either want to be able to shift quickly with both hands on the bar or just be on a SS/fixed. Sorry DT shifters, back in the parts box.

12:23 PM  

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