Thursday, December 3, 2009


In preparing for the First Annual Fall Forty-Mile Country Path Ramble, I decided to make some changes to my Takara to make the ride a little more comfortable. I cannibalized some parts from my son's Trek, specifically the bars, stem, brake lever, cables, and grips. My son has just about outgrown the Trek. I've got plans for the Trek which I'll discuss sometime in the future.

I'll be dusting off the Brooks and installing it later this evening.

I forgot to buy a cable hanger so I'm stuck with the relector for now.

I've been having problems with my current shifters. Instead of replacing them with the same thing I've come up with another option. I pulled these stem shifters off of a junked bike some time ago. I've never seen a really nice set of stem shifters, probably because they were used mostly on lower end bikes, at least that's what I've read. I thought about pulling the cheap rubber and plastic levers off of the mount and replacing them with something a little more aesthetically pleasing. The mount is nice and shiny.

When I removed the shifter the other day, I noticed that the mount was set up specifically for Shimano shifters. I was hoping that there would just be a generic block similar to a brazed-on downtube shifter boss.

I picked up a pair of used 105 downtube shifters today from a local bike shop. They need some cleaning but they'll look nice after I polish them up a bit.

This is what I'm going for.

These are the shifters that my bike is equipped with now.

Since my bike is equipped with Suntour Symmetric shifters, I don't have the traditional double shifter bosses on both sides of the downtube, just one on the top side of the downtube (see the photo above). Finding Symmetric cable stops is almost impossible. I picked up this Shimano clamp-on cable stop from the same shop that I purchased the shifters from. These stops aren't that easy to find either.

I'll be mounting the shifters tomorrow after I pick up some cables and housing. I'll post the photos when I'm done.


  1. So is this ride on the 12th or ??? That would be a useful clarification.

    I think this shifter obsession is fascinating. I do have an extra pair of Suntour stem shifters if your project doesn't turn out as you wish. They're 70's vintage. On a drop bar bike, stem shifters are an inconvenience compared to downtube shifters. It's an entirely different matter with a tourist-style handlebar setup.

  2. The ride is scheduled for the 19th.

    Nice work, Myles, on the shifter. What tires are you planning to use?

  3. Steve A-Thanks for the offer. Hopefully these shifters will work out. If I like these shifters I may buy the Suntours from you for my other bike.

    Christopher-I've got a set of Schwalbe Marathon, 27"x 1 1/4. I believe they are actually 32c. That seems to be the widest 27" tires still available. I think they'll be okay on the unpaved roads.

  4. The Trek520 project that has stalled out for now has downtube shifters, but since it'll be drop bars I'm tempted to try barcons (never had 'em before). Thoughts?

  5. The ride is looking really nice.

  6. Yeah, your bike looks great! Love the look with those other handlebars. That ride is going to be a lot of fun, too.

  7. Rantwick-I had barcons on my LHT. I liked them until I had to do some climbing. My thighs would hit them and cause unwanted shifts. It may have just been the way I climb, like I'm racing. I throw my bike from side to side. I could have trimmed the ends of the drop bars and solved the problem.

    Thanks DD and Apertome. I think it's coming along.

  8. Nice.

    I just bought a new old frame myself. Pictures at 11:00 - or when it shows up on the UPS truck.