Survey: Do people still want Thumbshifters?

Survey: Do people still want Thumbshifters?

Post by Kristan Roberg » Thu, 04 Jul 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

> Hi, I'm just doing a little market research on a possible American-Made
> CNC Topmount thumbshifter. I already have a prototype design and want to
> see if there is a market for this product. I know we've entered into a
> world of high-tech Shimano/GS/Sachs, etc., but I feel that there are still
> riders out there that swear by the topmount and would love to have a
> sweet, USA-made, CNC masterpiece. Let me know what you think?

Let's see... I use XC-Pro thumbshifters on one bike, and have a spare
set of Deore XT thumbshifters in my tool box...
 
 
 

Survey: Do people still want Thumbshifters?

Post by Nick Wil » Thu, 04 Jul 1996 04:00:00


->: Hi, I'm just doing a little market research on a possible American-Made
->: CNC Topmount thumbshifter. I already have a prototype design and want to
->: see if there is a market for this product. I know we've entered into a
->: world of high-tech Shimano/GS/Sachs, etc., but I feel that there are still
->: riders out there that swear by the topmount and would love to have a
->: sweet, USA-made, CNC masterpiece. Let me know what you think?
->
->As much as I love thumbshifters and hate RapidFires (I rode good old
->Sundtour XC Pro thumb shifters right up until two years ago when I got
->my Spec M2 with Grip Shifters, which I also love!), I think you'd have
->to do something "trick" and new to the thumbshifter design in order
->for it to survive in the market today. Thumb shifters have come and
->gone, and though they had great sucess for many years, people are
->looking for "the next thing" so I don't know how sucessful they'd
->be...

Not necessarily - if you can stand being a player in a niche market, lots of
us love thumbies precisely because they do work well and we've never felt
a great desire to look for the "next best thing."

I do think the CNC, rainbow-anodized, hi-zoot crowd is looking for that
next thing though, so they're not the crowd you're trying to sell to.
Better to
market something solid and reliable in the Lx price range to pick up the
thumbie-lovers..

If you want to market something with value added, a *neat* engineering trick
would be to build a thumbie (or other shifter) that pulls a user-settable
amount of cable and has up to 10 clicks available. That way you could use
it with all varieties of derailleurs past, present, and in the likely
future :)

- Nick

--------------------------------------------------------------------
Nick Wilde                            Dept. of Computer Science

(406) 243-4975                        Missoula, Montana 59812-1008
http://ftp.cs.umt.edu/CS/FAC/WILDE/wildepages.html

 
 
 

Survey: Do people still want Thumbshifters?

Post by Matt O'Too » Thu, 04 Jul 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

>I recently had the pleasure to ride a mint condition
>1983 Stumpjumper. Wow! It weighed over 30 lbs,
>had upright bars with the "V" style stem, Suntour
>LeTech front der., Suntour brakes, Shimano something
>or other rear der., and a gusseted cro-mo frame.

>The wheelbase was much longer than what's hot
>now, and the geometry was more relaxed, esp. the
>banana-style front fork with a huge bend in it.
>The bike was awesome down hill, as expected, but
>ascents were laborious, and with only 5 cogs in back,
>I just couldn't find the right gear! It had machined
>aluminum thumbshifters, which were slow but smooth.
>The brake levers were similar to a trail bike, with
>round knobs at the ends, and very long to boot.

>It was the kind of bike we'd call a cruiser now. Very
>comfortable and plush, not nimble. I was glad to
>have the chance to ride it for a week and it made
>me appreciate my own bike that much more. I wonder
>if there's a market for early "classic" MTB's. Another
>friend has a Ritchey frameset from 1985 that's probably
>worth something...

>Does anyone else here have experience with old MTB's
>at least 10 years old? Let me know

I see ads for bikes like these often, in The Recycler, a
free classified paper we have in southern California.  The
ads always say "classic Ritchey" or whatever, and the asking
prices seem to hover around $600.  I have no way of knowing
if that's really what they're going for.  There are many
passing fads and "collectable" trends here, and this may or
may not be one of them.

Old "beach cruisers" are really hot and always have been,
and the older and rustier, the better, as long as it's
original!  These often sell for over $400, and even real
pieces of junk can fetch $250 or $300.  

An old Stumpjumper worth money?  Probably, if you can find
someone who happens to want one!

Matt O.  

 
 
 

Survey: Do people still want Thumbshifters?

Post by A. Dyke » Thu, 04 Jul 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

> I recently had the pleasure to ride a mint condition
> 1983 Stumpjumper. Wow! It weighed over 30 lbs,
> had upright bars with the "V" style stem, Suntour
> LeTech front der., Suntour brakes, Shimano something
> or other rear der., and a gusseted cro-mo frame.

> The wheelbase was much longer than what's hot
> now, and the geometry was more relaxed,
(snip)
> I wonder if there's a market for early "classic" MTB's.
(snip)
> Does anyone else here have experience with old MTB's
> at least 10 years old? Let me know

  I have an old Stumpjumper Sport,from early '84, as well as a
Stumpjumper,from early '86 (the red one with the Prestige frame and XT,
the same year they made the hot pink Team Stumpjumpers!!).  The Stump
Sport sounds VERY similar to the Stump described above.  
  I also would like to know if these have any collector value, because it
would make a difference in whether I keep using them as cruisers or put
them away and attempt to preserve them. Does it lower their value if you
have upgraded some of the parts, as I have on the shifters on the newer
one??
  Also, does anyone have any suggestions on how to prevent and/or treat
rust on old bike frames??  I have run out of room in my apartment for my
bikes and some are living in a damp ba***t....
 
 
 

Survey: Do people still want Thumbshifters?

Post by M » Fri, 05 Jul 1996 04:00:00



Quote:
>Hi, I'm just doing a little market research on a possible American-Made
>CNC Topmount thumbshifter. I already have a prototype design and want to
>see if there is a market for this product. I know we've entered into a
>world of high-tech Shimano/GS/Sachs, etc., but I feel that there are still
>riders out there that swear by the topmount and would love to have a
>sweet, USA-made, CNC masterpiece. Let me know what you think?

>Thanks for yo

If the price is right, and the thing is bombproof it will sell, you may
have a problem with some of the fasion victim riders who change parts with
every time something new and improved comes along:-)

MO

 
 
 

Survey: Do people still want Thumbshifters?

Post by Frank Bobb » Fri, 05 Jul 1996 04:00:00


:
:->: Hi, I'm just doing a little market research on a possible American-Made
:->: CNC Topmount thumbshifter. I already have a prototype design and want to
:->: see if there is a market for this product. I know we've entered into a
:->: world of high-tech Shimano/GS/Sachs, etc., but I feel that there are still
:->: riders out there that swear by the topmount and would love to have a
:->: sweet, USA-made, CNC masterpiece. Let me know what you think?
:->
:->As much as I love thumbshifters and hate RapidFires (I rode good old
:->Sundtour XC Pro thumb shifters right up until two years ago when I got
:->my Spec M2 with Grip Shifters, which I also love!), I think you'd have
:->to do something "trick" and new to the thumbshifter design in order
:->for it to survive in the market today. Thumb shifters have come and
:->gone, and though they had great sucess for many years, people are
:->looking for "the next thing" so I don't know how sucessful they'd
:->be...
:
:Not necessarily - if you can stand being a player in a niche market, lots of
:us love thumbies precisely because they do work well and we've never felt
:a great desire to look for the "next best thing."
:
:I do think the CNC, rainbow-anodized, hi-zoot crowd is looking for that
:next thing though, so they're not the crowd you're trying to sell to.
:Better to
:market something solid and reliable in the Lx price range to pick up the
:thumbie-lovers..
:
:If you want to market something with value added, a *neat* engineering trick
:would be to build a thumbie (or other shifter) that pulls a user-settable
:amount of cable and has up to 10 clicks available. That way you could use
:it with all varieties of derailleurs past, present, and in the likely
:future :)
:
:- Nick
:
What would be neat would be thumbshifters that act sort of like Rapidfires in
that the lever would return to the same position but still be able to go into
friction mode. It would still also have to be able to go through all the gears
in one turn if needed too.  For example, you would push the lever whatever
number of clicks forward  with your thumb, the bike would of course change
whatever gears, but when you let go, the lever returns to the same position on
handlebar. Same for shifting the otherway. If your derailleur index were to go
out of adjustment, flip a small lever and instant friction mode and shift lever
locks and twists for  gear change like normal thumbies on friction mode. Dont
know if possible, but something like this, I would seriously consider.

Hirby

 
 
 

Survey: Do people still want Thumbshifters?

Post by Pasig » Fri, 05 Jul 1996 04:00:00

Nawww...<I> don't want to go back to thumbshifters.
Frankly, grip shifters are the future. Despite the advances
Shimano's made with RF, soon you'll see twist
shifters that work better in ALL conditions.

How many road bikers want to go back to downtube
shifters after you've tried integrated brake/shifters?

Thumbshifters were an improvement on stem mounts,
but I think their time has come and gone...but don't
stop inventing. How about machining a better
brake brace for Judy's? :-<

 
 
 

Survey: Do people still want Thumbshifters?

Post by Dave Fan » Sat, 06 Jul 1996 04:00:00

My dad used to have an old 83/84? Raleigh Elkhorn with all the slack
angles and a really long chainstay.  It wantn't much fun on the hills,
but it was good on flats and downhills.  It had all original parts,
even the grease in the bearings.  The bike was almost in perfect
condition.  Some jerk stole the bike.  If anyone ever sees a stolen (in
the Palos Verdes area) 83/84 Green Raleigh Elkhorn (19"), e-mail me so I
can rip their spleen out...

 
 
 

Survey: Do people still want Thumbshifters?

Post by Edward WJ Lipma » Sat, 06 Jul 1996 04:00:00

Quote:
> Does anyone else here have experience with old MTB's
> at least 10 years old? Let me know

I still have my first mountain bike, a 1985 Redline. It is still going
strong, with only the usual replacements -- chain, cables, blocks, BB, etc.

It is rather like the Stumpy you mentioned, but much lighter -- I'd say
26-27lbs. Similar geometry; great downhill, irritating on ascents -- not
enough traction on the rear wheel.

It has a full Suntour XC-Pro grouppo with the original roller-cams, Ukai
rims, Sugino chainset, and Avocet touring II saddle. I must confess I
replaced the old XC pro levers, similar to those you mentioned, with a set of
Ritchey logics last year.

The parts show no sign of wear. The bike will keep on going forever, I think.
I must disagree slightly about how much MTBs have improved. Index shifting
encourages bad shifting technique which is *** the drivetrain. I rather
like the geometry; especially if you are off-road touring, you stick a set of
panniers on the rear and you solve the rear-wheel traction problem. It's a
very pleasant bike to ride; you could change half your clothing and eat a
bowl of cereal riding with no hands on a normal fire-road.

But what worries me is this: I bought the bike at the end of 1985, for cash,
for $575 (as a fif*** year-old, you remember numbers like this!). Top end
bikes still cost now what they did then, but the dollar is of course worth
less. You get more features, hi-tech, etc. But if you want to spend less,
your only option is to go for less durable, inferior equipment on the bike.
I.e., you can go for Alivio or STX instead of XT. But there is no option to
go for a low-tech version of XT that would be cheaper, but have similar
durability. Sure, at the moment there is enough old Suntour XC Pro and
old Shimano XT stuff about to build such a bike. But you can't buy one. And
that, I think, is a pity.

My 2 cents.

Edward

--
_____________________________________________________
Edward WJ Lipman, Research Fellow in History,
Peterhouse, Cambridge. CB2 1RD. England                            
Tel: (44) 1223 339 780 Fax: (44) 1223 337 578                  

Any opinions expressed herein are mine alone expressed
solely as a private individual.

 
 
 

Survey: Do people still want Thumbshifters?

Post by ROGER W GLA » Sat, 06 Jul 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

> > Hi, I'm just doing a little market research on a possible American-Made
> > CNC Topmount thumbshifter. I already have a prototype design and want to
> > see if there is a market for this product. I know we've entered into a
> > world of high-tech Shimano/GS/Sachs, etc., but I feel that there are still
> > riders out there that swear by the topmount and would love to have a
> > sweet, USA-made, CNC masterpiece. Let me know what you think?

i think that you should be able to make a sweet, usa-made, cnc masterpiece
thumbshifter set for a rather reasonable price - versus your previous statement
of an xtr comparable price.  i mean, there are only like five or six pieces in
each of my xc-pro shifters, while there are quite more than a few in xtr pods.
if you price it reasonably, and don't make it look to techno, it might go over
well.  you might want to look into the legality of a full friction/index
design.  i think i heard that shimano has a patent on that feature, and that is
why many of the suntour ones do not get complete friction in the rear shifter.  
keep in mind that many people who still use thumbies lean towards retro, though
not all and not all the way.  
  roger
 
 
 

Survey: Do people still want Thumbshifters?

Post by M » Sun, 07 Jul 1996 04:00:00



Quote:


>|>                                            but I feel that there are
still
>|> riders out there that swear by the topmount and would love to have a
>|> sweet, USA-made, CNC masterpiece. Let me know what you think?
>|
>|Judging from the responses the last time this subject came up, I'd say
>|there are quite a lot of us who would welcome a good topmount unit.

>But would those who would buy a thumb shifter be more interested in
>good one at the Deore LX / STX RC / SRT600 price range, or a "CNC
>masterpiece" at an XTR price?

basically what i want is a bombproof shifter, none of this fragile stuff
that seems to be around all to often now, if it is a matter of drilling a
few holes to save weight but sacrifice strength, sod the holes....

MO