DRF aka Thrifty Bill
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The NC Mountains
Bikes: 86 Katakura Silk, 87 Prologue, 87 Cimarron, 14 frame school custom, 73 Paramount
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Shifters aren't cheap?? Depends what you can cheap. I have used the 7 speed tourney trigger shifters (SL-TX30) from Niagara for several rehabs, they cost $12.73. And for that price, they come complete with all SIS housings and cables. To me, that's pretty cheap.
As far as adjusting what you have, go to the park tool site. They have an excellent tutorial on derailleur adjustment.
+1 Before you replace anything, I would look at technique, cable condition, etc.