Sunday, October 26, 2008

Nothing exceeds like excess

By my count, there are currently 22 shift / brake lever options currently on the market for your drop bar bike:

Microshift Arsis 10 speed (seriously, you named it Arsis?)

Has there ever been more selection? Will the economy force bike manufactueres to streamline their product portfolio? Do all these options make sense? Should the big two keep selling 4 different gear number options (8,9,10,11 speed)? Will this explode into consumer confusion with electronic shifting?

Did I miss any?



-d said...

Disclaimer: The majority of my riding is on a singlespeed.

I do think it's funny that 8,9,10,11 gear options are available. It just increases inventory and unique parts to manufacture and manage, thus increasing the cost to the consumer. I'm a fan of standardization and (at the least) modularity. Then again, if it weren't for these "breakthroughs in shifting technology", the companies may not have anything to show at next year's Interbike.

-p said...

Yeah, you need something to get people into your booth. For example, the engineers from Cannondale are going to drool over Shimano electronic shifters which may result in them spec'ing Shimano 9 speed shifters on a $1200 bike. The only people who end up running the electronic shifters are pro racers who get the stuff for free. I guess we should look at the "breakthroughs in shifting technology" as engineering based marketing.

Dingbat said...


I'm also a majority-singlespeed rider. And no wonder--too many options, and too much expense!

The thing I'd like to see on the market is a DT friction option in all of these series--and a selection of clamp-on shifter bosses for oversized down tubes. Hey, if Lance can friction-shift his front derailleur for climbing stages (see lovely photos here), you'd think the Sramagnolo execs would realize that they could make a market in this stuff.

Not to mention the fact that I'm sure bike shop mechanics and salesfolk would be able to pitch it: If your brifter breaks, we can upgrade you to DT friction!

I have two frames now that I'm running ss or fixed because the frames weren't built with DT shifter bosses, and I can't afford brifters.

Dingbat said...

Oh, almost forgot to say: One bonus from your post--following the links, I found that Shimano does still make an aero brake(-only) lever, which may make a nice part of an eventual 1x9 drivetrain (the Tektro aero levers have a very different hood shape).

-p said...

I am using the Cane Creek / Tektro aero brake lever in combo with my 9 speed brifter on my 1x9 cyclocross bike. The hood shape is different but I spent a lot of time on the bar tops (with bar top brakes) or on the verge of puking so I don't notice.

Kraytwin said...

There are also Miche components. For road and track.

Ben said...

Nashbar has a shifter set out now too.

-p said...

Ben -

Good observation. I believe it is just a rebadged Microshift.