I have a bike in progress that will use Shimano bar end shifters, but I am putting on a Jones Loop Bar. I am ordering a set of Paul's Thumbies, but they will take over a month to reach me. In the meantime, my bike is my only vehicle.

I am looking for how I can set it up in the interim until my Thumbies arrive.

One solution I have seen is using hose clamps, one around the stem and one around the base of the shifter, to attach it to the bike.

A photo from above of a hose clamp around the stem. The bar end shifter is to the right of the stem - facing right, with the lever face up

Another option I am considering is to put the bar ends into an accessory bar like this one below. I know the external diameter is 22.2 mm but nowhere lists and internal diameter. It is on a webstore, not a local shop, so I cannot just go measure it myself. A 20 cm long bar that attaches parallel to the flat bar using two clamps

Has anyone dealt done a similar conversion and have any success?

Does anyone have other suggestions for how to get it to work for three or four weeks?

Thank you!

  • Ultimately I used the hose clamp solution. This worked ok for the time I was waiting for my thumbies to arrive. Love my Thumbies and the friction shift.
    – The_Tams
    Commented Feb 29 at 1:53

3 Answers 3


Go find a scrap donor bike - either check at the local refuse-resell shop, or a bike cooperative. You're after one with friction lever shifters.

A simple friction shifter will move as many gears as you want, and won't cost a lot. They're super-versatile and are well-worth holding onto for situations like this.

I used one to shift a quad-chainring bike, and it worked really well for that purpose.

  • 1
    I have not found anything like a dump shop or bike co-operative here (I live in China and my Chinese is not so great). I thought China would be just the place to find bike parts easily, but it turns out most people here don't bother owning a bike anymore, they mostly ride hire bikes. The ones I am using are both able to be used in Friction - Shimano Bar End Shifters in 9 speed. I know there are some others like SunRace around, but I had read reviews and such saying the bar ends and thumbies were better shifters than getting the cheaper friction only. I have Thumbies coming for the conversion.
    – The_Tams
    Commented Jul 12, 2020 at 12:36

Two options come to my mind.

Firstly, you can try to adjust the limit screws of the derailleurs to make your bike a single-speed one. However, the limit screws are designed mainly to adjust the limits, not put the derailleur to a middle gear. Thus, you might find the limit screws are not long enough, and if you install a longer screw, you might find the limit screw misses the limiter.

Secondly, you can cut your chain to make your bike a single-speed one, route it directly instead of going through the rear derailleur. Then when the components arrive, you make the chain longer again and route it through the rear derailleur. However, to cut your chain, you need a reinforced connecting pin and to make it longer again, you need another reinforced connecting pin. If using Shimano, you'll find these reinforced pins for sale. If using some other chain, I don't think you'll find any reinforced connecting pins at all -- a good reason to switch to Shimano chains as you should be carrying these reinforced connecting pins along with a mini chain tool in your emergency tool kit to be prepared for drivetrain failures.

Single speed is much less annoying than it sounds, if you choose the gear wisely. In the history, all bikes used to be single speed ones until hub/derailleur gears were invented.

  • That is an interesting thought. I could be walking quite a lot of hills, but I will keep it in mind as an option. Thank you.
    – The_Tams
    Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 7:09
  • Routing the chain without the rear derailleur would require another method for adjusting chain tension, which is a rare feature in frames nowadays. If one is present however, quick links would be more convenient in this case.
    – Wsal
    Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 7:30
  • @WaltoSalonen There is a method. Most bicycles today have at least two front chainwheels and 8-11 rear sprockets. Usually, you'll find a combination that is both acceptable as a gear ratio, and acceptable for chain tension.
    – juhist
    Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 7:45
  • To turn it into a single speed you could also select the gear by tying/clamping the shifter cable around something and then using the cable tension adjustment screw for fine tuning.
    – Michael
    Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 10:26

I wonder if it would fit inside the steerer tube? After you’ve adjusted the headset bearing preload the cap and plug serve no purpose anymore and you can just remove them.

With 28.6mm outer diameter and ~2mm wall thickness the tube would almost have a sufficiently small inner diameter. Maybe add some tape or something else around the shifters’ clamping surface to increase their diameter?

The hose clamp solution also looks feasible. You could make something nicer out of some sheet metal. Just bend it into a ring of the correct diameter, leave two attachment points sticking out and clamp those attachment points to the stem.

  • That is an interesting idea! I could fix the front on the middle ring and the rear this way to still have some options. It will take packing as the shifters are for tubes of 19-21 mm internal diameter - but that isn't too bad. Thanks!
    – The_Tams
    Commented Jul 12, 2020 at 12:52

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