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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:19 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:57 pm
Posts: 4074
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
I'm in the process of converting the Schmolke from Shimano M770 to Microdrive thumb shifters (keeping it 3x10).
The angle of the right-hand shifter in this photo (I have put them on the opposite extremes) bothers me. It's actually difficult to reach it without moving my hand to the very inside of the grip.

Image

I'd rather have the levers set up so that the lever is pointing more backwards when on the small chainwheel or cog instead of pointing this far inwards.
It appears to me that you only need to rotate the assembly a bit to achieve that, but I have no idea if that's actually possible.
I know that moving them will make them point more towards the front on the other end of their throw, but I'm not really having a problem there. My index finger seems long enough to cope with another 5mm.

Despite looking rather simplistic, these are index shifters so I'm not sure what to expect if I completely undo the top screw. I don't want to see springs and steel balls flying through the room, so I thought I'd ask for advice first.

Has anyone ever taken a set of these apart? What can I expect? Would it be possible to change the angles?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:36 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 10:35 pm
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Location: The desolate flats of Cambridgeshire
Funnily enough I was thinking the exact same thing this morning. They do require enormous thumbs to shift out of that position. I have not taken any apart but have seen guides on here on how to strip mod and service the old XT thumbies. I suspect there will be strong similarities. The indexing is all very simplistic iirc. A small ball nearing and a disc with holes in giving the index position.

I can't see mine from here (on the train and the bikes down the end of the carriage) but I think the cable stop is what is going to cause issues. You will need a certain amount of rotation to get the full range of travel on the rear derailleur, the available travel is x degrees rotation from the cable stop. In a clockwise motion. You may be able to remove material from the point where the lever stops against the cable stop, and create a new index disc to take advantage of the additional rotation, but it isn't that simple, and that's assuming there is enough meat to start shaving off in any meaningful manner in the first place.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:49 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:57 pm
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Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Haven't ridden the bike yet with them (awaiting larger chainrings, so it'd be stupid to connect them to the mechs already), but it struck me immediately that this could become a problem. The first few attempts to move the shifter confirmed this.

The main problem is that I ride mine mostly on the road, which means that on longer trips I spend a lot of time near or in the top gear. Having trouble to reach it in those circumstances is not really what I had envisioned.

I know that these are designed as bar end shifters and then converted for MTB use, which is probably the reason why they rotate have this much. If they were designed as MTB shifters to begin with, they would have had a slightly larger diameter, giving as much cable pull in less rotation.

Also, the angle of the right shifter means that it interfered with the default position of my fork's poplock. I had to turn that downwards to stop the levers from hitting each other.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:03 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2006 10:02 pm
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Location: the south east, UK
I have the 10 speed Microshift thumbies with a 9 speed Saint derailleur across a Shimano 11-36 10 speed block.

I have the same problem with the ergonomics of the shifters. You can safely undo the red tension bolts to remove the shifters from the clamps but there is no way to adjust the start position of the shifters. You would have to cut and file bits off the mounting clamp. The base of the shifter is square and sits in a square hole in the clamp.

My setup does work but it is not perfect, the setup is very sensitive across the 10 speed block. I think these are fine for road and light trail use but I am finding the extreme top gear position of the shift leavers while riding on rough ground is not ideal.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:47 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:57 pm
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Location: Antwerp, Belgium
I'm afraid I'll have to stick with the M770 shifters then. Meh

Why is it so hard to find a set of shifters that looks good, shifts good and is somewhat decent too? The 3x10 generation of XT and XTR shifters all look like ... ermm ... "manure" with all that grey. These are seriously flawed from an ergonomic point of view, SRAM is out of the question ...

Am I really going to have to design a better set of thumbies myself?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:32 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 8222
Location: New Forest, UK
Try using the SJS cycles thumb shifter bases. The have the cable exiting in line with the bar. The good point is that the shifter is better placed. The bad bit is that the cable then gets in the way of lamps, computers etc on the bars.


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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 1:33 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:50 am
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Location: on the mothership with a probe up my aaa..
i am using the sjs mounts with ultegra 6400 shifters, 8s, as you can see there isnt much difference


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 11:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2014 10:36 pm
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I know this is an old thread. I found this when I was googling for a solution on how to change the position of the Microshift thumbies. I couldn't find much, so I thought I'd report my solution here so that others may find it.

The shifter mount is square. In principle, rotating the shifter by 90° is therefore possible. However, the screw sleeve holding the shifter prevents this. The part of this sleeve which protrudes into the shifter mech has two flat chamfers on opposite sides, and the mounting hole of the shifter mech matches this shape. It's therefore possible to mount/rotate the stock shifter by 180° only. My solution was to file down the round bits of the sleeve until its cross section was a square -- et voila: rotating the shifter by 90° worked perfectly.

If you find this description a little tricky to understand, just disassemble the shifter and take a look at the screw sleeve and you'll understand what I did. Good luck!

----
velopflock.ch – Velos überall und rund um die Uhr!


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:28 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Location: Moomin Valley
These are road levers - either down tube or bar end and were never really meant to be 'thumbies'

The old DX and XT thumbies have wider barrels that pull more cable per indexed click so have less travel around the handle bar mount.

Road shifters seem to travel miles further and leave you with these wild angles


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:30 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:57 pm
Posts: 4074
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Didn't expect this thread to resurface.

Anyway, the shifters were indeed the road version and didn't work with the MTB mech. The 10-speed shifters only managed to cover between 7 and 8 gears.

I now have a set of the correct MTB levers on order ... but am a bit worried that those will not work either because I replaced the Formula brakes with a set of the new XT ones, which have a reservoir sticking out on top. Clearance might be an issue.


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