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Converting from downtube to Stem shifters?
I'm re-bearing, lubing, and overhauling my wife's 1969-70 Gitane Grand Sport Mixte, and I'm showing here the 'status' of the re-build... Expenses so far: ! $40.00 if I split the cost of tools in half!

Overall she's happy with the improvements in bearings and lube, and she's 'buying' the improvements in the braking system that hasn't arrived yet... but..

As only a wife can do... She says: "You know, I like the location: (Stem Shifters) of what you have on 'YOUR BIKE', and wish I had the same on: "My Bike"...... I have to reach too far to change gears.... What can you do?

She has shifters on downtube of her Gitane. I have Stem Shifters on my Peugeot...

I don't need a roadmap... My next project is: "MOVE GITANE SHIFTERS FROM DOWNTUBE TO STEM"... Never done that before!!!

I'm just curious.... Has anybody attempted this, or am I off on my own here?

Sounds like this isn't a "request"... It's a "Suggestion".... (Hint... Hint!)

I'm already off on a ebay quest for a Simplex Stem Shifter.... and I hope to hell that the Local Bike Shop can provide me with extension cables.

Any suggestions or warnings???
I have purchased used stem Simplex friction shifters, and they are on their way....

Oh, Joy! Another "Project"!!!
Seller understood that an adapter will be needed to take place of existing shift lever... and is including it Gratis!!
What A Guy

Based on this, visited Local Bike Shop.. He says bring the parts in, and He'll have cables! Big Grin!
As I noted before, stem shifter and extension (suicide) levers were invented as the wrong solution to making road bikes more comfortable. They result in a less safe bike, and just riding a bike with upright bars or converting to same is the better solution. But you've made your choice, so good luck.
You point is taken.... But I must agree I understand what wife was talking about, and why she asked if it could be accomplished... (Change from down tube to stem shifters)....
When I would ride her bike, In order to change gears I'd have to: Take my eyes off the road to find the shifters; and bend over further to get to them (And now I'm only holding on with one handlebar as I twist sideways to reach for lever).... Etc.. Etc...

Whereas I agree it's not the 'intended' way of changing gears, I agree with her that the stem shifter feels safer for the very reasons that is listed above.
I agree with her it would be easier for her to shift gears without bending and twisting, and seeing the shifters in peripheral vision while looking down the road, is far better than staring downward as you grab in a hurry to change gears.... Yes, it's because we don't bend over as much as we should as we ride to fit the riding profile of a Vintage French Bike.

There was another thread here where discussion of handlebar changes was discussed, and others posted pics of handlebar changes... I showed those pics to wife, and asked it that might not be an option...

She said the same thing I had thought: That this old Vintage French Bike would then look less 'Vintage'... (I didn't explain the issues with dis-similar stem, handlebar sizes, which even I didn't know about or clearly understand when this came up last post and I went off to find a potential solution.)

I know these 2 bikes are not high end bikes, and for that very reason we're not investing heavily in modifications. This bikes have 'history' with us. We do short rides on side streets or paved bike paths; 1-2 hour rides. We do much longer motorcycle rides....

Yes there are options available; We could purchase new, or modify heavily, but we have chosen to keep it looking overall 'Vintage', but improve operations & reliability where possible, and enjoy riding these antiques.

And I believe you would agree.... Enjoy riding, bicycle or motorcycle, is what it's all about... Smile!
Yes, I agree the best thing is to enjoy. I posted more as a general caution, and also because I will eventually be using my posts on this and bikeforums.net as raw materials for a blog or website. But I want to dispel some misconceptions.

"Back in the day" many, many bikes had downtube shifters - my bikes all had them until I finally got one with brifters in 2009. I never had to look down to find the shift levers - I merely reached to the same place they always were. However, my starting point was not the top middle of the handlebars, but rather the brake hoods or more rarely the drops. My bikes were properly fit, so that merely dropping my hand to the frame put the levers within easy reach.

Riding the tops near the stem is in itself far less safe. You have less leverage and control for turning, far less ability to hold onto the bar in any kind of collision, and poor access to the primary brake levers. Beyond that the position is harder on hands, arms and shoulders, constricts breathing more, and reduces the shock absorbing action of the elbow.

The stem shifters may follow logically from adopting the top of the bar position, but that does not make it a good idea. When one shifts a stem shifter it exerts a (small) turning force on the bars, and control of the bike is even worse.

A properly fitted road bike with downturn handlebars is quite comfortable for very long distances. That is why you see that configuration on the great majority of touring bikes. It was not a sadist who designed that arrangement, but rather the result of decades of experimentation. Again, you and other are of course free to make the choices that you feel work for you. My interest is that people make informed choices.

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