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  1. #1
    Mr. cost-benefit analysis
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    Is a cheapo derailleur fine if I'm friction shifting?

    I've been thinking of fitting an 8 speed cluster out back on my Crosscheck for times when I want just a few gears. I'd be using an old friction thumb shifter I've got.

    So my question is: Would a Shimano Alivio derailleur work just as well as an LX as long as I'm not index shifting? Or would the LX be superior to the Alivio in other respects?

    Thanks. DanO

  2. #2
    Senior Curmudgeon FarHorizon's Avatar
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    Yes and no. The cheap derailleur will work fine with your friction shifters, BUT it will also wear out more quickly, shift more sloppily, and need more frequent adjustment. If you're willing to live with the negatives, (and they decline in intensity with frequent cleaning and maintenance), then yes, a cheap derailleur is fine.

  3. #3
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    The other thing here is that most modern Shimano products work very well. I would doubt that you'd be able to notice much of a difference between the Alivio and the LX even with indexed shifting, let alone without.

  4. #4
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bottomfeeder
    I've been thinking of fitting an 8 speed cluster out back on my Crosscheck for times when I want just a few gears. I'd be using an old friction thumb shifter I've got.

    So my question is: Would a Shimano Alivio derailleur work just as well as an LX as long as I'm not index shifting? Or would the LX be superior to the Alivio in other respects?

    Thanks. DanO
    The Alivio would be about as good as the LX even if you were using indexed shifting. Main difference is the weight. I put an Alivio RD on my wife's bike, with an eight speed cassette and indexed shifters, it's flawless. Very smooth and crisp shifting, completely troublefree. I've also got a nine speed mtb with a full XT drivetrain, as far as the smoothness/crispness of the shifting, I'd say they're about equal: both excellent-

  5. #5
    Mr. cost-benefit analysis
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    Hey thanks for the quick response folks. I figured that it would shift adequately for me. See I'm a single speeder looking for a few more gears mainly so I don't spin out quite so soon on some long down-hill sections of my new commute - as opposed to a pro mountaincross rider who needs the lightning fast, accurate shifting of a Sram XO. And I hear FarHorizon when it comes to keeping it clean, lubed and adjusted.

    DanO

  6. #6
    cab horn
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    A $20 Shimano tourney RD will shift just fine. Indexed or not.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  7. #7
    mousse de chocolat Moose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    A $20 Shimano tourney RD will shift just fine. Indexed or not.
    Blah, there isn't an uglier bicycle component on the market than the tourney rear derailer. Style still counts to most of us.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bottomfeeder
    I've been thinking of fitting an 8 speed cluster out back on my Crosscheck for times when I want just a few gears. I'd be using an old friction thumb shifter I've got.

    So my question is: Would a Shimano Alivio derailleur work just as well as an LX as long as I'm not index shifting? Or would the LX be superior to the Alivio in other respects?

    Thanks. DanO
    I have the Alivio and so does my brother-in-law on one of his bikes, and they both work fine, indexed. If you ride 200+ miles a week, then you might not get a lot of miles out of it, but then you can always upgrade later. With indexing, you need to be careful with cable stretch, but that applies to $500 derailleurs as much as it does $50 ones.

  9. #9
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I have an Alivio indexed on my Sedona, and it has never needed anything but a click or two on the adjuster in about 3 years...

    Based on my experience, low bling factor, but very functional and durable.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  10. #10
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose
    Blah, there isn't an uglier bicycle component on the market than the tourney rear derailer. Style still counts to most of us.
    The elitists come out of the woodwork.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  11. #11
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Well, I agree that the Tourney is the ugliest component I've ever seen. But they do work. Great to put on a beater...

  12. #12
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    In a couple of the posts, there's an assumption that the Alivio would be less durable than the LX. I seriously doubt that. Again, the main difference is weight, and from my experience there's no reason to think a slightly heavier component will be less durable. Sometimes to the contrary, depending on the component. Once you reach a certain level of functionality (and the Alivio reaches it), you're paying for a little weight savings and the psychological bling factor-

  13. #13
    Craig A. Lebowitz lebowitz's Avatar
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    I don't know where it falls in the product lineup, but I run an Acera RD on my road bike, with friction shifters, and it works just fine and is decently sleek

  14. #14
    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    I'll second the performance of the Alivio RD. Can't vouch for longetivity yet, but it works flawlessly mated to the 8-speed Alivio rapid-fire shifters and Sram cassette on my hybrid bike.

  15. #15
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lebowitz
    I don't know where it falls in the product lineup, but I run an Acera RD on my road bike, with friction shifters, and it works just fine and is decently sleek
    My mom has the same setup on her touring bike, and it's worked fine for her. I'm putting 7-speed indexed barcons on her bike this Christmas and it should work fine with them as well (7-speed Shimano-compatible freewheel on a 40-spoke 27" wheel).

  16. #16
    Senior Member caotropheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bottomfeeder
    So my question is: Would a Shimano Alivio derailleur work just as well as an LX as long as I'm not index shifting? Or would the LX be superior to the Alivio in other respects?
    Even a Shimano simple SIS will work perfect with a friction shifter. My derreuiller hanger was destroyed and I had to find a way to attached a derreuiller to my bicycle and the SIS gave me the answer. Works as fine as a XTR or X0. Another story almost unbelievable. I was giving assitance as a mechanic to sponsor race for an hospital and the rear campagnolo mirage derreuiller of one of the bikes came apart. The solution, a simple Shimano SIS rear derreuiller that worked fine with the campagnolo mirage ergo shifter!

    Conclusion: You can make any derreuiller work in almost any condition with friction shifters.
    Last edited by caotropheus; 09-19-06 at 02:42 AM.

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