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  1. #1
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    Shifters for C-Record Derailleurs.

    Working on my first geared bike and kind not sure which downtube (braze-on) shifters that would work together with Campagnolo C-Record derailleurs.

    Been looking at these Syncro II shifters as a cheaper alternative to the C-Record shifters that sell for crazy prices.. But don't know if they would work as they are 'indexed' and the C-Record ones 'Friction'...

    AND i actually have no idea how many speeds the C Record (2nd gen) derailleur was made for. 6-8spd? Would a 7 speed shifter even work?

    Help!

  2. #2
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Any friction downtube shifter will be fine. Some indexed downtube shifters have a full-friction mode that'd work too.

  3. #3
    Used to be Conspiratemus
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    ...and the Syncro II (and Syncro I) does have a friction mode that "cuts out" the indexing. So they will serve your purpose.
    You might find this blog entry helpful: http://www.tearsforgears.com/2005/11...-shifters.html

    On the other hand, what you really want are shifters with a "retrofriction" feature if you are not going use the indexing anyway. This is a design that uses a clutch or a spring to resist shifting to smaller cogs -- the spring or the clutch fights against the spring tension in the derailler coming back through the cable -- and protects against "ghost shifting". I don't know (and can't tell from the blog) if the Syncro had the retrofriction feature when set to friction mode, or whether it just worked like the old Nuovo Record friction shifters that were plagued by ghost-shifting, particularly when the frame flexed while you were stomping up on a hill.

    Campy's C-Record friction-only shifters were retrofriction, as were superb offerings from Simplex. Both of these are rare and expensive. Shimano and Suntour made some excellent dual-mode shifters which, when set to friction mode, do provide retrofriction. The only thing I don't like about the Japanese ones is that even in friction mode there is a detectable ratcheting quality to the shift -- I don't think it makes the shifting less precise, I just don't like the feel. Campy's and Simplex's are buttery smooth in both directions.

    But I wouldn't bother with the Syncro II's unless you can confirm that, in friction mode, they are retrofriction. It is unlikely that you will get them to work in index mode (unless you are lucky) so don't buy them hoping you will get lucky and find that they will index. Syncro was a stab at reducing the frustration that novice cyclists who were accustomed to Sturmey-Archer 3-speeds had with trying to get their derailler bikes to shift properly but the whole technology of chain, derailler, and cogs hadn't developed far enough to make it work reliably.
    Last edited by conspiratemus1; 04-23-11 at 09:35 PM.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by conspiratemus1 View Post
    Campy's C-Record friction-only shifters were retrofriction, as were superb offerings from Simplex. Both of these are rare and expensive. Shimano and Suntour made some excellent dual-mode shifters which, when set to friction mode, do provide retrofriction. The only thing I don't like about the Japanese ones is that even in friction mode there is a detectable ratcheting quality to the shift -- I don't think it makes the shifting less precise, I just don't like the feel. Campy's and Simplex's are buttery smooth in both directions.
    I think the early versions were "regular" friction.

    Quote Originally Posted by psee View Post
    ...AND i actually have no idea how many speeds the C Record (2nd gen) derailleur was made for. 6-8spd? Would a 7 speed shifter even work?

    Help!
    I used it with a 7 speed freewheel at the time. It was originally not meant for indexing, so 6,7 or 8 is fine. It would probably work with 10. It just needs to have enough travel between the high & low limits.
    Last edited by Homebrew01; 04-23-11 at 09:59 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by conspiratemus1 View Post
    Syncro was a stab at reducing the frustration that novice cyclists who were accustomed to Sturmey-Archer 3-speeds had with trying to get their derailler bikes to shift properly but the whole technology of chain, derailler, and cogs hadn't developed far enough to make it work reliably.
    Actually Synchro was a stab (and a less then successful stab) at matching Shimano's SIS index shifting which was already a proven performer. It took Campy three trys to get their indexing to work properly.

  6. #6
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by conspiratemus1 View Post
    Campy's C-Record friction-only shifters were retrofriction, as were superb offerings from Simplex. Both of these are rare and expensive.
    The original C-Record shifters were plain friction levers, mechanically identical to the earlier Record shifters with only cosmetic changes to the levers:



    They were decent shifters, but nothing special and were only produced for a couple years.

    The retrofriction version came after that, and IIRC were only retrofriction on the rear derailleur lever. These were better levers, but only produced for about a year, and command high prices these days.

    Your best bet is a set of Simplex retrofriction levers. They're not cheap, but less than the Campy version and more available. Both sides are retrofriction. There's no shame in using them with Campy derailleurs; many pro teams -- even those sponsored by Campy -- used them instead of Campy's levers.

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    Used to be Conspiratemus
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    The original C-Record shifters were plain friction levers, mechanically identical to the earlier Record shifters with only cosmetic changes to the levers:

    They were decent shifters, but nothing special and were only produced for a couple years.

    The retrofriction version came after that, and IIRC were only retrofriction on the rear derailleur lever. These were better levers, but only produced for about a year, and command high prices these days....
    And Homebrew01, too: Thanks for that. I didn't know about the early plain-friction C-Records. But I can confirm the retrofriction ones are retro- on both front and rear, just like Simplex's. I have three pairs. The construction of the front shifter is a mirror image of the rear. But yeah, the Simplex ones work very well and would certainly not be out of place on an Italian bike.

    I'll grant HillRider's point: Syncro was an attempt to compete with Shimano's SIS indexing that was already available on "10-speed" road bikes. I bought a pair of the last, mostly successful, 1995 version of Syncro for cheap from a bike shop that was closing out a couple of years ago. Paired with a modern derailler with a floating jockey wheel they do work very well. But I don't find that indexing on the down tube really adds anything since you still have to reach down to shift and then you have to push harder (than with a friction lever) to move it through the click. The "killer app" was putting the shifting up on the handlebars and packing it all into the brake lever. Even if it didn't index, it would still be a wonderful thing other than the cost.
    Last edited by conspiratemus1; 04-24-11 at 08:30 PM.
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    Thanks.

    I think i'll give them a try. Not as good looking as C-Record ones though.. http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...=STRK:MEWAX:IT

    You can apparently change between friction and indexing on them too. So i think/hope they'll work.

  9. #9
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psee View Post
    Thanks.

    I think i'll give them a try. Not as good looking as C-Record ones though.. http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...=STRK:MEWAX:IT

    You can apparently change between friction and indexing on them too. So i think/hope they'll work.
    I still prefer the look of the Simplex shifters:


  10. #10
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Retrofriction shifters are the shizzle and will double the thought that earlier C-Record shifters are plain old friction and if that is the way you are going, any decent friction shifter will do.

    Suntour half ratchet shifters are nicer than most and Suntour also made some very plain looking friction only dt shifters that would go well aesthetically with a C Record group until you locate the matching parts.

    You can see the Campy shifters up front and in the back there is a Shimano 600 and a Suntour... these are not for sale.


  11. #11
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Looks, shame, honor, and "correctness" aside, retrofriction is not required, and any friction levers will shift your bike, even some Asian rusty take-offs from a bottom-end dumpster bike, once you clean them inside and out. If you want it prettier, more consistent in style, or to have the retrofriction feature, get the more expensive.

    Probably top of the heap in pure friction is the Huret Jubilee - pretty, light, simple. Right up there is (IMO) the Campagnolo Nuovo Record set, close behind and more modern are the Modolo shift levers if you can find them in aluminum.

    Different levers have different cable pull for a given amount of lever pull. If you don't use the Campy levers that were contemporary with your derailleurs, you may need to try a few lever sets before you get a shifting feel that suits you.

  12. #12
    Used to be Conspiratemus
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    ..., once you clean them inside and out. If you want it prettier, more consistent in style, or to have the retrofriction feature, get the more expensive.

    Probably top of the heap in pure friction is the Huret Jubilee - pretty, light, simple. Right up there is (IMO) the Campagnolo Nuovo Record set, close behind and more modern are the Modolo shift levers if you can find them in aluminum. ...
    The classic Campy NR shifters actually work better when the sliding surfaces on their innards get oxidized and grungy. The roughness gives them just that little bit of "stiction" that resists ghost-shifting, which is the tendency of the lever to rotate backwards when the cable is tugged by frame flex (or by derailleur spring tension all by itself if the D-ring screw itself has loosened.) When new (or clean) they need a lot of fussing with the fixing screw while under way until they settle in and (mostly) stay put. Riding in the rain helps, really. Don't oil them, but do put a dab of grease on the fixing screw threads so they don't seize into their bosses and become un-tightenable. I'm going to put a pair on a bike this spring and give them a new try for old time's sake.
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  13. #13
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Actually Corse Record or C-Record had three different shifters. the Synchro II, regular friction and Doppler more popularly known as "retrofriction".

    for Synchro to work the insert in the lever need to be matched to the model of derailleur, the number of cogs (speeds). then you need the correct freewheel and chain.

    personally I recomend you look for Suntour microratchet shifters, the afore mentined Simplex or these, http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...-shifters.html

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  14. #14
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    Agree with everybody, anything will do as long is friction. Shimano, simplex, suntour are way better than the campy ones in my opinion. If you want indexed u can find the campagnolo ones, are still available.

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