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Changing gear levers
#1
Hey I am new to the site and also to road bikes.

I have a Rayleigh Pro Race bike and find the gear levers on the down tube a real pain and get an occasional wobble when changing gear.

Is it possible to have the levers mounted on the handle bars, if so how do I move them and what equipment do I need to get?

Cheers
  Reply
#2
Yes; it is possible.

A great deal more information is required about your bike: rear derailleur, number of cogs on the cassette or freewheel, and pictures.

What kind of shifters do you want: stem mounted (not recommended), bar-con:
http://www.parktool.com/uploads/images/blog/repair_help/barendshift-648.jpg
thumb shifters: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5139/5440641626_fb616b2fb4_o.jpg
or STI:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f1/Shimano_105-5500_shifters.jpg/220px-Shimano_105-5500_shifters.jpg

You do not move the existing shifters, you need to replace them.
Nigel
  Reply
#3
(08-09-2013, 05:22 PM)GYBlue Wrote:  Hey I am new to the site and also to road bikes.
I have a Rayleigh Pro Race bike and find the gear levers on the down tube a real pain and get an occasional wobble when changing gear.
Cheers
Are you going to keep the drop bars or convert it to flat or low rise bars? How many rear gears? Do your shifters say Shimano, Suntour or ? on them. Here are some shifter pics too.
You'll need new shift cables & housing, starts at about $20 US for something decent.
Then you'll put two cable housing stops (screw in, where your shifters used to be), about $25 US the pair. These will capture the housing that runs from the new shift location to the old shifter area, from this point the new shift cables will continue, naked, as they were before the change.
The real money is usually in the shifters. If you keep your bars and brake levers, and you want to maintain your indexed rear shifting then the main choice will be bar-end shifters, mounted at the bar ends or on thumb mounts, like nfmisso shows in the 2nd picture. If you now have Shimano shifters you could relocate them with thumbies like these but it might look & feel awkward on your bars.
I know it doesn't look cool, but I would rather have my shifters on the stem than die messing about with drop tube shifters, you could use the IRD set up like this. I think you need IRD levers (nice) too.
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#4
Converting road bike shifters gets expensive. More low cost options available for mountain bikes. You could use MB shifters on top of the bar. Here is one example.

http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-Handlebar-Mount-speed-Shifter/dp/B001L5Y1GC/

How long have you had your bike? In looking at some Raleigh info you may have a Reynolds 501 or 531 frame with Suntour shifters. Those are good shifters.

The old school downtube friction shifters are reliable and easy to maintain. They take some practice to use but work very well. When shifting just let your hand drop down and slowly shift till you get the next gear. However do not take your eyes off the road. Maintain focus where you are going and you will not swerve...
Never Give Up!!!
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#5
George is right, if you have 7 rear gears those shifters are the way to go for the price. About $25 US.
[Image: shimano_sl-a050_shifter_levers_set_3x7sp.jpg]

[Image: th?id=H.4805906260689960&pid=1.7]
But when I looked up your bike, it was shown as a 12 speed in 1990, so 6 rear gears. I've seen guys mount twist grip shifters there too, but it looks odd & I don't know how they got them around the bar bends to install. The shifters shown might go on without a bar re-wrap.
Shimano Tech Doc image.
  Reply
#6
Yeah, I agree with GeorgeET. The downtube shifters are relatively easy to use, once you get used to them. I found that even with friction shifters I rarely misshifted, usually the chain will end up in some gear. Some people recommend trying to shift between gears as a learning experience. I found this to be harder than I thought.
I personally think that the shifters at the stem or on the flats of the drop bar are less comfortable to reach than downtube shifters.

Regarding integrated shift / brake levers for drop bars: There are good deals to be had for last- or before year's components. There are also still some mail order companies that have old 8 speed stuff. There are no integrated levers for less than 7 speeds (7 gears in the rear) as far as I know. You could try upgrading to 9 speed, but that will be expensive: new crank set, chain, cassette, rear wheel, shifters, dérailleurs, I guess in excess of 300 EUR.
Disclaimer: I did that. It made no sense financially plus the brakes are... different.
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