This Space for Rent

Short shameful confession

After approximately 20 years of religiously using downtube shifters on my (two) bicycles (I’ve ridden bikes with thumb shifters, which were okay, and bikes with twist shifters, which were absolutely horrid,) I became curious about how brifters would work. I spent some time doing lowball bids on ebay (none of which actually worked, funnily enough) until a friend of mine loaned me a pair of them to try out.

So I dug out an old pair of handlebars (Ava handlebars, off the junker frame I recovered from a trashpile), lashed the brifters to them, then wrapped the bars up in a couple of layers of inner tube with cloth tape over the top, and replaced my normal handlebars and shifter (1×9 – I’ve got two brifters, but only one of them is actually in use) for a brief test interval.

Holy goodness. The levers are right there, so I can actually do ridiculous things like shift when I’m standing up or honking (slowly) up a steep ramp. And they’re about as intuitively obvious as a bicycle component can get; I’ve gotten a pretty good feel for how far to shove friction shifters to get the gearing to where I want, but there’s still a certain degree of having to deliberately trim the gears to cut back on the annoying grinding when the chain starts cuddling up to the next highest gear. But with brifters, I just push the button and I’m there, with no fuss, muss, or bother.

The only problem is that this means I’m going to have to go out and buy a pair of brifters (or two.) I wonder if I can sell the pair of Silver shifters, the Arabesque shifters, and the single shifter that was on the mlcm for enough money to buy a pair or two of used ones?