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Old 02-26-06, 01:34 PM   #1
San Rensho 
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Is it possible to change brifter from index to friction?

All right, I admit it, I'm a diehard friction shifter but I realize the advantages of having the shifters where your hands are, on the brakes, rather than on the downtube(or even the bar end).

So is there any way to cinvert a brifter to friction? Thanks.
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Old 02-26-06, 01:38 PM   #2
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Only campy leftside. Otherwise, troll ebay for Suntour Command shifters. Accushift index, or nice ratcheting friction. Highly recommended.
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Old 02-26-06, 02:17 PM   #3
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No.
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Old 02-26-06, 04:34 PM   #4
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A possible solution to having the shifters right by your hands but maintaining a friction set-up (and saving money) is to use Kelly Take Offs (www.kellybike.com). These are brackets that mount inside conventional brake levers and allow you to mount downtube shifters right beside the brake levers. You can use friction or any speed indexing downtube shifters so they are a one-size-fits all.

I just installed them on my beater/rain bike and while they aren't a complete substitute for STI/Ergo, they are the next best thing.
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Old 02-26-06, 08:20 PM   #5
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If you use the lower drops alot, you may find that barcons are near-ideal. Even if you ride mostly with your hands on the brake hoods, you will find that reaching for barcons is alot easier and more secure than reaching for downtube levers.
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Old 02-27-06, 09:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HillRider
A possible solution to having the shifters right by your hands but maintaining a friction set-up (and saving money) is to use Kelly Take Offs (www.kellybike.com). These are brackets that mount inside conventional brake levers and allow you to mount downtube shifters right beside the brake levers. You can use friction or any speed indexing downtube shifters so they are a one-size-fits all.

I just installed them on my beater/rain bike and while they aren't a complete substitute for STI/Ergo, they are the next best thing.
Thanks. They look interesting. How do you like them? How do you shift? Can you shift with your thumbs while you have your hands on the hoods?
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Old 02-27-06, 11:10 AM   #7
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I like the Take-Offs very much. I wanted to be able to shift from the brake hoods and while standing but the bike didn't warrent the expense of STI's. The barcons I had on it worked fine but were impossible to use unless seated.

You shift with your thumbs, hooking them over the top of the lever to downshift (in back) and under the lever to upshift. Obviously, reverse this for front shifts. I can reach the levers from both the brake hoods and the drops.

As I said, they aren't a complete substitute for STI/Ergo brifters but are clearly the next best thing in my experience. If you want to shift from the hoods and have friction shifting, they are the only choice I know of currently available.
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Old 02-27-06, 11:23 AM   #8
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These sound JUST LIKE sontour command shifters. I wonder how the two compare. Anybody ever use both?
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Old 02-27-06, 11:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by San Rensho
All right, I admit it, I'm a diehard friction shifter but I realize the advantages of having the shifters where your hands are, on the brakes, rather than on the downtube(or even the bar end).

So is there any way to cinvert a brifter to friction? Thanks.
Yes, actually it's quite easy. http://www.kellybike.com/2nd_xtra_takeoff.html All you need is an old set of friction shifters and the "Kelly Takeoff mount" and the shifters are on the brakes. Good luck


Tim
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Old 02-27-06, 11:54 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by genericbikedude
These sound JUST LIKE sontour command shifters. I wonder how the two compare. Anybody ever use both?
Yeah, they do seem similar except the Take-Offs allow the use of any speed downtube shifter and are currently available. The Command shifters have been out of production for a long time and are strictly e-bay items.

I remember the Command shifters but wasn't paying much attention to them when they were available. Were they indexed and did they have a friction option?
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Old 02-27-06, 01:46 PM   #11
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I am expecting delivery of some Take-Offs for a bike I am rebuilding. I'll post a ride report once I have ridden with them.
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Old 02-27-06, 01:56 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by HillRider
Yeah, they do seem similar except the Take-Offs allow the use of any speed downtube shifter and are currently available. The Command shifters have been out of production for a long time and are strictly e-bay items.

I remember the Command shifters but wasn't paying much attention to them when they were available. Were they indexed and did they have a friction option?
There were two sets of the commands. One was pure friction, and the other had a 7sp accushift/friction switch. The pure friction ones are better, because they use the suntour "power-ratchet" that makes upshifts ever-so-smooth. I have a set of the indexed ones, but they dont have the right-side ratchet on friction mode. The kelly seems like a better bet if you want indexing, but the suntour seems a better option if you want to be able to shift both from the drops and from the hoods. They'll be going on the nice road bike that I'll build after I finish upgrading my geared rain bike. I can't wait for that one--friction, steel, 8sp, leather saddle, and modern ultegra everything else . If I wore sandals with socks and was 25 years older, I'd probably just get a rivendell.
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Old 02-28-06, 01:41 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by lecterman
I am expecting delivery of some Take-Offs for a bike I am rebuilding. I'll post a ride report once I have ridden with them.
I would love to hear about real world rides with these. We'll be waiting.

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Old 02-28-06, 02:19 PM   #14
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No, but I sure wish they did make one with a friction option, like DT and barend shifters are, so you can index or friction. Actually, what I really dream about for touring purposes is an STI shifter that can index and friction, but works with v-brakes, like the Dia Compe 287-V. (Yes, I know they have "travel agents," but from what I hear it's a less than perfect compromise.)
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Old 02-28-06, 03:15 PM   #15
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(Yes, I know they have "travel agents," but from what I hear it's a less than perfect compromise.)
For whatever it's worth, I've had absolutely no problems with the travel agents on my bike. They seem to do their job extremely well, in fact.
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Old 02-28-06, 07:48 PM   #16
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The front campy brifter (left side) is not a true index shifter. It has the clicks, but they do not correspond to any particular chainring, as opposed to Shimano, where one press of the lever shifts to the next chainring. With campy, you have to go through several index points to shift, hence it is more like friction shifting.
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Old 02-28-06, 08:27 PM   #17
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I just don't get this friction thing. I've been riding and wrenching for more than 35 years and I think index shifting is one of the best things to ever happen to bicycles.

Just my $0.02...
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Old 03-01-06, 09:07 AM   #18
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I just don't get this friction thing. I've been riding and wrenching for more than 35 years and I think index shifting is one of the best things to ever happen to bicycles.

Just my $0.02...
I agree completely but there are those, for whatever reason, want friction shifting. Must be the Grant Peterson influence.
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Old 03-01-06, 09:21 AM   #19
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I just don't get this friction thing. I've been riding and wrenching for more than 35 years and I think index shifting is one of the best things to ever happen to bicycles.

Just my $0.02...
As I said before, I'm a die-hard friction shifter. But after realising that I can't convert a brifter to friction, I'm ready to try index shifting on my road bike.

I don't have a lot of experience with index shifting, I have a mountain bike with index shifting that works ok, but some of the gears are a little difficult to get and some of the gears will never be perfectly adjusted and make a little noise. With friction shifting, I can always get a gear quickly and perfectly adjusted.

On the weekends I ride with a group of guys (and girls) that are hardcore and have state of the art index systems. Most of these guys are also very good, strong riders and on the one uphill, I often hear them struggling to get the bike in gear, while I can effortlessly shift, even while pedalling hard.

But I am willing to try, since I realize the advantage of being able to keep your hands on the bars as you shift. I got a used Shimano 105 9 spd group and as soon as I get a new set of wheels, I'll give it a try. I can always put the downtube friction shifters back on.
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Old 03-01-06, 09:22 AM   #20
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I agree completely but there are those, for whatever reason, want friction shifting. Must be the Grant Peterson influence.
Who's Grant Peterson?
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Old 03-01-06, 09:47 AM   #21
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Index shifting is a way for people to spend more money on bicycles. Shimano has 14-speed patented. Grant Peterson is a guy who makes bicycles. He likes platform pedals so that he can wear sandals with socks. His bikes are pretty.
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Old 03-01-06, 10:17 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by San Rensho
Who's Grant Peterson?
He was the marketing and sales manager for Bridgestone Bicycles in the late 80's and early 90's. His eccentric choice of components and models was instrumental in Bridgestone's withdrawing from the American market.

He then went on to found Rivendell Bicycle Works where he endlessly promotes friction downtube shifters, quill pedals, lugged steel frames, wool jerseys and similar items. His idea seems to be bicycle progress stopped about 1970. He has a small but vocal following.
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Old 03-01-06, 10:26 AM   #23
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Grant Peterson is a guy who makes bicycles. He likes platform pedals so that he can wear sandals with socks. His bikes are pretty.
LOL He does make really nice bikes though.

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Old 03-01-06, 02:35 PM   #24
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He has a small but vocal following.
And that is something that makes spandex wearing carbon riders with damaged pereniums feel nervous.
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Old 03-01-06, 08:05 PM   #25
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He was the marketing and sales manager for Bridgestone Bicycles in the late 80's and early 90's. His eccentric choice of components and models was instrumental in Bridgestone's withdrawing from the American market.

He then went on to found Rivendell Bicycle Works where he endlessly promotes friction downtube shifters, quill pedals, lugged steel frames, wool jerseys and similar items. His idea seems to be bicycle progress stopped about 1970. He has a small but vocal following.
I managed a pro-level shop in Santa Barbara at that time and Bridgestone was our idol for being the only manufacturer to break up "gruppos" to offer the best possible bike.

I never knew who he was (is). Of course I think he's wrong about the 1970's thing, but thanks for the info!
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