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This is not a buying question but I figured it was best suited to this section.....
I picked up a small framed road bike last night and noticed it has bar end shifters on it. When did these come out and did people find them useful being in that spot? My guess is the bike is an early 90's one.
My road bike knowledge is not that great, thus the question. I am assuming they are/were not super popular as I have not seen them on a bike before.
Just curious as the bike is almost a kids size so didnt know if I am better of changing the shifters on it before passing it on to a kid.
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There will be some adjustment for the rider going to any sort of Friction shift, but I'd leave them on there, unless you happen to have a spare Sora groupset hanging about...
How old is the kind you're planning to hand it over to? I'd imagine that said child would be used to indexed shifting on Mountain bikes if they've done any riding at all, but I reckon a few quick lessons on them in a quiet street and all will be well!
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A few people (mainly tourers) have commented that they can get knocked easily and if the bike falls over, they have been known to break.
The other thing which probably won't matter on a road bike is that you have to be down on the drops to reach the levers.
Some of the earlier models only ran in friction mode (my preferred option)
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Best way to tell their age is (if they are Shimano) is whether they have index/friction and if they have index, how many speed. The reason why people tend to bump bar end shifters is that you should cut about 20mm or so off the ends of your handlebars. This will make it so they are about the same length as a normal set of handlebars.
They are very reliable but I find them not so good in traffic so I prefer brifters. I take a bar end lever as a backup when we go on long tours.
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