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Old 08-20-07, 05:37 PM   #1
Butterthebean
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friction shifter set up problem

Hello all....I'm setting up a bike with Silver friction shifters and and Kelly Take offs. I have set up friction shifters before but they were always Shimano bar ends. I've never set one up like this before.

I had no problem with the rear, but the front shifter just won't hold the derailler in place when I let go. I tightened up the torque bolt on the shifter as tight as I possibly could, but it still will not hold. I feel like I'm doing something very wrong here but I don't know what. The cable is nice and tight.

I've heard of this problem before, but I always thought the main fix was to tighten up the shifter torque bolt. This time, that does not seem to be the problem.

What else can I look at???
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Old 08-20-07, 05:48 PM   #2
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Are the shifter body and base plate seated properly on the "braze-on" lug of the Take-off? You did put on a base plate didn't you? If it isn't all the way on, the retainer bolt won't hold it in place no matter how tight it is. The bolt has to compress the shifter body against a friction surface.

If everything is in place but it's still loose, add a washer at the base of the lug to give a little more thickness.
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Old 08-20-07, 06:55 PM   #3
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Are they old shift levers? The friction cups do wear-out/flatten and need to be replaced. "Oh Ya?!", you ask, "Where the hell do I get 30 year old shift lever friction plates?"

That's a good question and a real problem if you have something special. Call around to the various LBS's that service older machines and see if they have anything - you will often be surprised.

OH yeah, AND make sure that you don't have any grease or oil on the lever assembly. They are, after all... "friction" shifters.
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Old 08-20-07, 07:26 PM   #4
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Are they old shift levers? The friction cups do wear-out/flatten and need to be replaced. "Oh Ya?!", you ask, "Where the hell do I get 30 year old shift lever friction plates?"

That's a good question and a real problem if you have something special. Call around to the various LBS's that service older machines and see if they have anything - you will often be surprised.

OH yeah, AND make sure that you don't have any grease or oil on the lever assembly. They are, after all... "friction" shifters.
I have to say, I have assembled Campy and Shimano DT friction levers with and without grease in the past and had them work, but I think no grease is better. If you've greased them, take them back apart, sketch how they are supposed to go together, wash 'em, dry VERY well, and try it again.

Silvers are from Rivendell, right? Will they help?

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Old 08-20-07, 09:21 PM   #5
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I did not put any grease on them.

I may try adding a washer to see if that allows it to have more torque. The Kelly Take offs come with a torque bolt to use, but it is way too long so I just used the one that came with the shifters.
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Old 08-20-07, 10:04 PM   #6
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If they are campagnolo you might be able to find an old DT shifter and use the parts. They are the same.
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Old 08-21-07, 02:00 AM   #7
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Here is a brand new Shimano shifter lever kit fron Nashbar. $6.99. It even includes cables. You can't beat that. Problem solved?

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...s%20%2D%20Road

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Old 08-21-07, 09:35 AM   #8
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Those are some nice looking shifters for $7
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Old 08-21-07, 09:54 AM   #9
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The cables in that shifter set aren't long enough to work with Take-Offs; don't ask me how I know....
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(and I ordered 2 sets!)
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Old 08-21-07, 09:57 AM   #10
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The cables in that shifter set aren't long enough to work with Take-Offs; don't ask me how I know....
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(and I ordered 2 sets!)
Right. These cables are intended for downtube mounting. Take-Offs require the same length cables and housing as STI, Ergo or Barcon shifters.
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Old 08-21-07, 01:28 PM   #11
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That's no problem. Everytime I go to my LBS, I like to spend at least a couple of dollars. I used to buy a couple of tubes, but they soon started piling up in my garage (thanks to Mr. Tuffy's) so now I just buy a couple of cables at least. I've got about 10 of each. Good thing too, since I love to mess around with my bikes and change out the components.


BTW, adding a washer to the left shifter helped the original problem...thanks to whoever suggested that.
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Old 08-21-07, 10:17 PM   #12
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I tried those same silver friction shifters on one of my bikes a many years ago (same as suntour sprint friction shifters). I was constantly fiddling around with keeping the tension set just right, and it drove me nuts that the rear derailer would occasionally slip shift under load uphill. More hassle than I could tolerate. After a few months of messing around, I got fed up and bought some shimano bar end shifters. I can set those to friction or sis, and after many years they they have been hassle free, just change the cables every 2 years or so.
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