Tried and Liked Dia-Compe ENE Shifters

As I am getting things going there will be quite a few components passing through my hands and onto bikes.  Some of these will be things I have used for years, some new, and some in the gray area in between.  The ones that I find remarkable will get special mention here on the blog, and may even show up in the soon to emerge online shop.

The first up for review are the new Dia-Compe ENE shifters.  These are mechanically identical to the Silver friction shifters that Rivendell helped to bring back to market a few years back.  The difference is in the look and shape.

The Silver shifters have a more modern like the later Suntour down tube shifters.  The ENE shifters shown here are styled after more traditional or older Campy style.  They offer the same silky smooth ratchet mechanism that we have grown to love over the years.  For those not familiar with friction shifting.  Unlike indexed shifting that you “click” from gear to gear, friction allows you infinite freedom to shift across the range of gears.  For the initiate thee may be a short learning curve, but once you have the control back you will not likely want to give it up.  Friction shifting allows the rider to shift smoothly across a range of gears, mix and match drive train components to you heart’s delight and trim a shift as needed without touching a barrel adjuster.

I prefer this shape to the silver model.  The slightly wider and textured tail of the lever has a better feel.   I also like the look, while not a complete retro-grouch, sometimes the classic styling just works.

The ENE shifter are available as a pair in both a down tube model and bar end configuration.  Both will be offered here for sale in the coming week.  Down Tube shifters will be $44, and Bar End $79.

Thanks for taking a look.

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3 Responses to Tried and Liked Dia-Compe ENE Shifters

  1. Michael says:

    Both the Silver and EXE bar-ends that Dia-Compe manufactures are nothing more than the down-tube levers mated sold with a bar-end mount. In my (overly-compulsive) opinion, the Silver levers are too long for bar-ends. Are the EXE levers equally long? (I note that on its website, Rivendell advertises Silver “thumbies” that do have shortened levers. I suppose these levers could be used with the bar-end mounts, but currently Rivendell is out of stock.)

    • Rob says:

      I agree to a point with the length issue. I think it depends on how long you have been using the vintage Suntour Barcons. As with many things, what you have used the most becomes familiar, and with change there is a small bit of transition time until that which is new becomes the familiar. I am not trying to sugar coat the issue, and I am still running the old set of Barcons on my No.1 test bike. They are what I have used for years, and I am only changing one variable at a time as I build things up and work through testing. I went into the shop and measured all the bar end and DT shifters I have on hand from their end to the center of the pivot (cm):

      Vintage Sun Tour BarCon – 6.0
      Vintage ST AcuShift BarCon – 6.5
      Suntour Stem Shifter 8.0
      Vintage Campy DT – 6.5
      Modern Shimano DA BarCon – 5.75
      Dia-Comep Silver – 6.5
      Dia-Compe ENE – 6.5

      So with the data in hand the Silver and ENE are both clearly DT shifter length. the ENE is a bit wider, more the shape of a campy shifter, and thus is not as pointy on the end. For the truly compulsive who want the old Barcon feel, I would say cut 6mm off the ENE, file the end round, and put on one of the NOS SunTour bump caps I have on hand. For that matter the Bump Caps I have fit the ENE shifters like a glove and I will be adding them to the store next week.

      For the non compulsive rider who is coming off of indexing, or flat bars with thumb shifters the ENE shifters have been a welcome and simple way to shift. No complaints at all as the old shifter size is not in the frame of reference.

      I am pretty sure the short shifters coming out of Merry Sales are just silver shifters that have been chopped and have a thin plastic tip on them. I have not held them, but from the look of it they are kind of skinny. While the length is there, I am not sure the skinny feel would be as nice as the chunky old BarCons.

  2. T cat says:

    Campy bar end shifters are nothing more than DT shifters with rubber covers. I’ve never heard anyone complain they were too long.

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