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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Erin, Ontario
    Posts
    194

    Brifter to Bar end?

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    The left brifter on my 2009 Specialized Dolce Elite has broken. The brake works fine but the shifter part is completely jammed. I am a little nervous to take it in to have it repaired. I pushed it pretty hard without forcing it and it made a grinding noise! I suspect they will want to replace it, and I believe they are expensive. Like $150 expensive. Plus labour and tax. That would make it cost about 1/5th of what I payed for the whole bike originally. I wish I had some mad money to pay for a repair but alas, I don't. So my questions are: firstly, can I have them leave the brifter to work the brake and install a bar end shifter for the chain rings. And secondly would that be cheaper do you think? I know it is sort of frankenbiking my Dolce but if it is cheaper...

    My next option is to not fix the Dolce this year and look into improving the gearing on my Cross Check so I can climb hills easier. Maybe a new chainring on it to give me a couple of lower gears. It has a 36/48 so I might be able to do something like a 34. I could price out changing it to a triple also.

    Anyways, I just want to sound like I know a little about what I am talking about if I suggest the bar end. So is it possible all you smart women? Any help will be appreciated.
    Lucy 2012 Surly Cross Check
    Sally 2009 Specialized Dolce Elite
    Peppermint Patty 2009 Trek 4500 WSD
    Marcie 2008 Giant Sedona
    Violet 1994 Norco Kokanee

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    337
    Quote Originally Posted by DebSP View Post
    The left brifter on my 2009 Specialized Dolce Elite has broken. The brake works fine but the shifter part is completely jammed. I am a little nervous to take it in to have it repaired. I pushed it pretty hard without forcing it and it made a grinding noise! I suspect they will want to replace it, and I believe they are expensive. Like $150 expensive. Plus labour and tax. That would make it cost about 1/5th of what I payed for the whole bike originally. I wish I had some mad money to pay for a repair but alas, I don't. So my questions are: firstly, can I have them leave the brifter to work the brake and install a bar end shifter for the chain rings. And secondly would that be cheaper do you think? I know it is sort of frankenbiking my Dolce but if it is cheaper...

    My next option is to not fix the Dolce this year and look into improving the gearing on my Cross Check so I can climb hills easier. Maybe a new chainring on it to give me a couple of lower gears. It has a 36/48 so I might be able to do something like a 34. I could price out changing it to a triple also.

    Anyways, I just want to sound like I know a little about what I am talking about if I suggest the bar end. So is it possible all you smart women? Any help will be appreciated.
    You can use the brifter as just a brake and install a bar end shifter, though I'm not sure it would actually save you much money. Switching one chain ring on your other bike would likely be cheaper, but I wonder how much you'd really notice going from a 36 to a 34. Going to a triple will cost a lot since you might need a new brifter (and cranksets aren't cheap). Personally I would look for a decent used brifter on ebay, but that's just me...
    ...never met a bike that I didn't wanna ride.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    983
    You didn't mention whether your bike was a 9 or 10 speed, so I'll assume that it is a 9 speed. If indeed it's a 9 speed, your availability of shifters is getting slimmer each year. There will come a time here in the not too distant future, that you won't be able to get a 9 speed shifter. Shimano shifters can not repaired, unless you are lucky enough to have it be a cable/housing issue. It is costly for sure, but there's also a decision to be made... do I want to keep the bike and replace parts or do I buy new? And if you buy new, what will you do with your current bike? If you want to sell it, your chances of selling are much higher if it's rideable... so I'd at least take it to LBS and see what they have to say, at least then you can make an informed decision. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,559
    I think adding a bar end shifter for your front derailleur is a good solution. You may find you like it better than a brifter.
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
    1993 Bridgestone MB-3/Avocet O2 Air 40W
    1980 Columbus Frame with 1970 Campy parts
    1954 Raleigh 3-speed/Brooks B72

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Erin, Ontario
    Posts
    194
    Well I just called the shop where I bought the Dolce and they quoted $300 for a new pair of STI shifters in Sora which work with the 3 x 9. (Tiagras are no longer available for the 9 speed). Plus install and taxes. I asked about bar end and they said $230 plus. So if I go new, I would just go with the Soras. I also called my Surly shop and asked about bumping up to a triple on my Cross Check. He thinks he can do it for $100 to $150 depending on the bottom bracket I choose. So I could probably just get by with my Cross Check for a couple of years until I save up for a new road bike. I really love both bikes but I ride the Surly 4 days a week and the Dolce just once or twice but I go on really long rides with it. Decisions, decisions. The Surly shop also mentioned they might have something for my Dolce but he wants me to bring it in to check it out. Thank goodness both shops are in the same town. Tomorrow I am off work so I will go into town and start by letting the Dolce shop look at the shifter. Best case scenario it isn't really broken. But that crunch right before it jammed didn't sound good.

    Thanks ladies for your help. I have such bad memories of being made to feel foolish when talking to a car mechanic because I wasn't as knowledgeable as he. He talked right over my head and made my questions seem silly. I just wanted to make sure when I asked my questions about the bike they were headed in the right direction. Actually the person at my Dolce shop was a young woman who said she had the same bike and she was very helpful and courteous. I really like both shops and split my business evenly between them where possible.
    Lucy 2012 Surly Cross Check
    Sally 2009 Specialized Dolce Elite
    Peppermint Patty 2009 Trek 4500 WSD
    Marcie 2008 Giant Sedona
    Violet 1994 Norco Kokanee

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,827
    Quote Originally Posted by DebSP View Post
    I have such bad memories of being made to feel foolish when talking to a car mechanic because I wasn't as knowledgeable as he. He talked right over my head and made my questions seem silly.
    This is the fault of the mechanic, not you. Find a different place to get your car fixed.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Erin, Ontario
    Posts
    194
    Update:

    OK, I lucked out. It ended up just needing a cable replaced. I was sure I heard and felt a crunch in that shifter and thought it was damaged. But they checked it all out and it was fine. Yes!

    NY, you are right that it is his problem but it is also partly mine because I let these type of people intimidate me and then go into a shell. I am trying hard to stop shutting down when I am in situations I am not confident in. I want to be able to ask questions and learn about things but I can't with people like him. I did get a new mechanic, my husband!
    Lucy 2012 Surly Cross Check
    Sally 2009 Specialized Dolce Elite
    Peppermint Patty 2009 Trek 4500 WSD
    Marcie 2008 Giant Sedona
    Violet 1994 Norco Kokanee

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    western Colorado
    Posts
    453
    Quote Originally Posted by ridebikeme View Post
    You didn't mention whether your bike was a 9 or 10 speed, so I'll assume that it is a 9 speed. If indeed it's a 9 speed, your availability of shifters is getting slimmer each year. There will come a time here in the not too distant future, that you won't be able to get a 9 speed shifter. Shimano shifters can not repaired, unless you are lucky enough to have it be a cable/housing issue. It is costly for sure, but there's also a decision to be made... do I want to keep the bike and replace parts or do I buy new? And if you buy new, what will you do with your current bike? If you want to sell it, your chances of selling are much higher if it's rideable... so I'd at least take it to LBS and see what they have to say, at least then you can make an informed decision. Good luck!
    Glad you found out it was only needing a cable.

    I still have 9 speed STIs on some of my bikes and I like them and hope they will last a long time.
    If I do need a new set of 9sp STIs in the future I know that Microshift offers 9sp Shimano compatible STIs that I want to try out someday.
    I think they are pretty inexpensive, <$200.
    http://www.microshift.com.tw/road_9s.html


    My bf has been successful at rehabbing older STIs that have gotten gummed up inside and don't work anymore. He sprays PB Blaster inside the shifter and it clears the gunk out.
    Specialized Ruby
    Gunnar Sport
    Salsa Vaya Ti
    Novara Randonee x2
    Motobecane Fantom CXX (Surly Crosscheck)
    Jamis Dragon

 

 

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