Indexed Shifting on the Karate Monkey


I was having a little bit of trouble friction shifting the 9 speed cassette on the Monkey, so I ordered some of these new fangled Shimano “SIS” shifters.

Deore XT Shifters

I was afraid they were going to be hard to set up. I’ve never really had much luck with indexing before.

It took a few readings of the instruction sheet before everything made sense, but they actually work extremely well. I took the Monkey out for a ride in the woods and ran up and down the gears a few dozen times. Everything worked like magic.

Monkey in the woods.

I was also worried about not being able to trim the front dérailleur. This didn’t seem to be a problem, though. I’m not really sure how Shimano makes it so you never need to trim, but I don’t remember hearing any rubbing noises; no matter what screwball gear combinations I tried.

Anyhow, I only have 20 miles on this configuration, and I did clean and lube the chain this morning. So, this is probably the best possible scenario to test it under. That said: I like it. I really like it.

I’m going to take the 9 speed barcons I had on this bike and move them to the Trek, so I can index that, too. I’m not going to switch to STI on my touring bike. That would be ridiculous.

7 thoughts on “Indexed Shifting on the Karate Monkey

  1. You know, some people knock brifters, SIS, STI and all that, but I absolutely love the brifters on my Bianchi. Like you, I don’t think it’d make sense to put them on my LHT, but there’s a time and a place for everything.

  2. I’ve toyed with the idea of tearing all the Sturmey-Archer stuff off the Cross-Check and building it up as a go-fast(ish) bike. I have a lot of money tied up in those wheels though, so it kind of feels like admitting defeat to take them off :-/

  3. Funny. In toying with the thought of new bars for the X Bike, I’ve also been thinking about a set of indexed pods. The Marin city bike that we have has a cheap set and they work flawlessly. The fam likes them way better than the barcons I keep putting on bikes.

  4. I just might. I’m going to give the drop bars one more try, but I’m really interested in something more upright. Given that my sons also ride this bike, and they prefer upright, I might jump at it. I have an 8 speed cassette I can put on the bike.

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