Author Topic: New Audax on the way . . . .  (Read 5123 times)


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Re: New Audax on the way . . . .
« Reply #75 on: May 21, 2018, 03:26:45 PM »
Hello Geo - I only spotted this post after writing up my weekend ride, so back here now.

Bar end shifters . . . mixed, really. For me, a 37 mile / 3 - 4 hr ride as on Saturday would have been very difficult with STIs, as I reckon my arthritic hand joints and an old injury would have played up rotten. I find the twisting movement required on STIs very uncomfortable.

But there is no doubt in my mind that STIs are more convenient, and fall more easily to hand. Moving down to change gear on bar-ends can induce a slight wobble, for me anyway, and so I find I tend to 'block-shift' (i.e. 2 - 3 cogs at once rather than individually go up and down reacting to road surfaces etc as people often do with STIs).  I tend to settle down on a cog and stay there.  My shifters still feel stiff - but I think the resistance can be adjusted with the centre screw (keeping tight enough to stop it slipping) so I will experiment with that.

For me, bar ends are the more comfortable and on the longer rides I hope to do, the best solution, but I can understand people being unhappy with them. 

The Thorn brochure goes on about bar-end shifters being more reliable / longer lasting.  Why is that?  Is part of it that people change gear less frequently??  I suspect also that there are also mechanical factors - STIs, especially the ones where the gear cables follow the bars, have a lot of stressed components in small spaces, whereas the mechanics of bar end shifters look unbreakable . . . A very experienced cycling friend, he's built and ridden dozens of road bikes over the years, suggests that the more basic STIs (i.e. the gear cable coming out at right angles to the lever assembly) are more reliable, though they look less 'tidy' and make fitting a bar bag more difficult.

Are you still thinking / dreaming about an Audax??  No hesitation in recommending the bike.  My Audax was a real leap in the dark for me, no experience on drops for almost 50 years, but I feel safe and secure on it.  For urban riding, I think my Sherpa will still be first choice, larger tyres which are good on our potholed roads (despite the controversial PFI road mending deal!!), hands near brakes all the time etc . . . .but for most touring rides, I'm more or less converted to drops . . .

My last drop bar bike was a Witcombe road bike I found in a Gloucestershire junk shop in 1965.  Fitted like a glove.  5 speeds, with a downtube shifter.  I learnt how to fix / maintain it, I fitted a double chainset (called a double clanger in those days) and bar end shifters, and by accident the ratios worked out on a 'up on cassette, down on rings' or vice versa, so I steamed along on 10 close ratios. I did some long rides on it, from Liverpool where I was at University into N Wales etc. . . . . . but it was stolen a few years later.  Thereafter, the MTB craze got hold . . . .




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Re: New Audax on the way . . . .
« Reply #76 on: May 21, 2018, 05:16:55 PM »
Thanks Lewis, most informative and helpful.  Sorry to hear of the arthritic hands, must be difficult for you and I can understand why bar ends might be better.  i can also imagine wobbling while changing being so out of practice with drops.  My last drop bike was a Viking superstar 5 speed which I loved as a teenager, since then I have had flat bar bikes including my wonderful RST. My son's Raleigh cycle cross styled bike has STIs.  I do have an n+1 itch and an audax is definitely interesting as it is different to the RST.  i had previously been lusting after a mercury but I think it would overlap with the RST quite a bit.