Touring - Friction vs indexed shifting?
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07-03-05, 10:20 PM
Friction vs indexed shifting? which do you prefer and why?
My bike currently has bar-con friction. My uncle (who is a cyclist) says I should upgrade it to index shifting.
My other bike is my fast race bike and it does have STI so I know what that is like.
But for touring and commuting which do you think is better and why.
07-03-05, 11:31 PM
Index rear, friction front.
07-04-05, 10:24 AM
When I built up our last touring bike I could not find a set of 9-speed Shimano bar ends anyplace, or even a set of 8-speeds to use in friction mode untill I could get some. I tried new and used, E-bay, Gregs list etc. with out luck. What I did find was a N.O.S. pair of Sun Tour bar ends, and I installed them. Thinking I would just swap them out with a pair of indexed bar ends when I could get them.
But I don't miss the indexing, so Im not going to bother. The old shifters work fine with the 9 speed so why bother.
Friction front and back. When I got my Atlantis built by Riv it came set indexed rear and friction front. That was cool and I rode with it for a while. Maybe it was the shipping, maybe cables stretch but pretty quickly I grew tired of the index not being perfect for each gear. So a switched to friction rear as well and now I always have perfect trim.
07-04-05, 01:46 PM
Ye olde skool of friction !
Less is always more !
07-04-05, 01:59 PM
I've got index on my MTB/commuter, downtube friction on my touring bike. Well, it's actually index/friction, but I never use the index option, and I don't miss it. Even if I wanted to use it, it's a 6 speed shifter with an 8 speed cassette shoved on the back, so I doubt it'd work! I've never had a problem finding the gear friction-shifting, and I've found that I have less problem the more cogs are on the rear, I assume because they're closer together. I've owned bikes with STI, and it's fine, but I like stuff I can fix in my garage if anything goes awry, instead of having to make an LBS trip. So disc brakes and STI are really not my cup of tea.
07-04-05, 04:37 PM
Index... friction... no right answer. So much depends on your style of travel, destination(s), and mechanical savvy. My touring bike has STI brifters, and they are reliable for the kind of touring that I do (carrying credit card and one change of clothing), accurate and a pleasure to use. But I would want something more serviceable if I were heading out into the heart of darkness — in other words, more than a few hours away from a bicycle mechanic.
07-04-05, 07:23 PM
On the rear, I have a slight preference for indexed. Indexed is better on the tandem or when travelling on gravel roads because I can't hear whether or not I am on gear.
07-04-05, 09:30 PM
I tend to use index, but see no strong preference. I like barcons best because they can do both in case index usually doesn't work. I think whatever you like is okay, there is no solid argument for either.
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