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  1. #1
    The bike plague MightyLegnano's Avatar
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    Broken Campagnolo downtube shifters-any idea

    Check out the pics. Those metal rings (the inner ones are glued on) connect and make a hole that the brake wire go through. Unfortunately the left ones are broken (I can't understand how that happened-I bought them off internet). Do you have any idea of a hack to fix it?

    http://i46.tinypic.com/15z1tvs.jpg
    http://i50.tinypic.com/2pzcsq9.jpg
    Last edited by MightyLegnano; 09-27-12 at 02:28 PM.
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  2. #2
    slow as I ever was Ex Pres's Avatar
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    Those are Gran Sport/Valentino shifters. The cable guide probably isn't even really needed, but it will cost more to fix than to buy another set. Hopefully you didn't pay more than ~$20. They should be cheaper than Records (although I like the knurled nut better & have a couple sets myself).

    Edit - looking at ebay, if ID'd correctly, the Valentino version doesn't even have cable guides, so they're not required. The GS has 'em.

    I'd still just buy another set and keep the levers as spares, keyfobs, or make em into earrings.
    Last edited by Ex Pres; 09-27-12 at 02:43 PM.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Lazarus Short's Avatar
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    Get yourself a pair of Retrofriction levers (French, made by Simplex and/or Huret) - I've been told they are the best non-indexing levers ever made. I used to have a pair, but a fellow traded me a frame for them - yes, they're that good.
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  4. #4
    The bike plague MightyLegnano's Avatar
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    Generally, it's a wonderful patent, I love them, so elegant, simple and effective.

    Wow, Retrofriction ones are so damn expensive! My humble old road bike wouldn't agree to wear those!

    EDIT: Everything by simplex is that good, or only those shifters?
    A guy sells this for 20 euros >>
    http://gahtha.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=0#/d4u8183
    Last edited by MightyLegnano; 09-27-12 at 02:54 PM.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lazarus Short View Post
    Get yourself a pair of Retrofriction levers (French, made by Simplex and/or Huret) - I've been told they are the best non-indexing levers ever made. I used to have a pair, but a fellow traded me a frame for them - yes, they're that good.
    GOt to be careful with those. Some of the Simplex levers only fit Simplex bosses. Campagnolo also made retrofriction levers for a couple of years, and they work really well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MightyLegnano View Post
    Generally, it's a wonderful patent, I love them, so elegant, simple and effective.

    Wow, Retrofriction ones are so damn expensive! My humble old road bike wouldn't agree to wear those!

    EDIT: Everything by simplex is that good, or only those shifters?
    A guy sells this for 20 euros >>
    http://gahtha.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=0#/d4u8183
    The shifters have a good reputation. The rest, not so much.

  7. #7
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    Those are toast. the issue isn't the cable guide which isn't needed (Campy did away with them later), but the tab is critical because it keeps the top cover from rotating. You can make these work if you file off all the damaged area and install the top plate without the anti rotation tab. That means that only the back plate will provide friction, but it's passable for a front derailleur. To keep the top plate from working the screw loose, you can distort the threads, or paint them with nylon paint, or improvise something so the screw resists the movement of the top plate.

    Otherwise, as the others pointed out there are nicer levers avaliable pretty cheap. (though maybe not in Finland). When considering what to do, keep in mind that these were pretty lousy levers at their best, with a pronounced tendency to work loose. Fixing these would an example of making a bad situation worse.
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    The broken pieces are punched and bent sheet aluminium, not exactly high tech. If they were mine, I'd take the good ones off the right hand side and make a couple of copies.

  9. #9
    The bike plague MightyLegnano's Avatar
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    The bastard fooled me and sold me useless shifters, I can't believe it

    FBinNY, thanks. I thought these were good, that's why I bought them to replace my cheap looking sunrace shifters (which work perfectly).

    I have a friend with a cnc machine, I think I will try my luck...
    Last edited by MightyLegnano; 09-28-12 at 04:43 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Find a set of Sun Tour Power Ratchet shifters and your problems are over.

  11. #11
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Find a set of Sun Tour Power Ratchet shifters and your problems are over.

    I agree you need these http://www.ebay.com/itm/Suntour-Powe...item20cba98315

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  12. #12
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    Possibly the most useful friction levers ever. The only problem is they can't pull enough cable for 9 or 10 speed. Try the new Dia-Compe Silver version. Good luck
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  13. #13
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cs1 View Post
    Possibly the most useful friction levers ever. The only problem is they can't pull enough cable for 9 or 10 speed. Try the new Dia-Compe Silver version. Good luck

    Is the OP shifting 9+spds? Also the OP seems to need a clampon shifter and these aleviate compatibility issues.
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    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '86 Bertoni (sold), '09 Motobecane SS, '98 Hetchins M.O., '09 K2 Mainframe, '89 Trek 2000, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  14. #14
    Senior Member Lazarus Short's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MightyLegnano View Post
    Wow, Retrofriction ones are so damn expensive! My humble old road bike wouldn't agree to wear those!

    EDIT: Everything by simplex is that good, or only those shifters?
    A guy sells this for 20 euros >>
    http://gahtha.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=0#/d4u8183
    I guess I got a good deal on my retrofrictions. Simplex's best was good, the rest was bad to so-so. My first Peugeot had the plastic derailleurs and I hated them. On my PX-10, I took off the Suntours, installed LJ Supers, and they were very nice.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Personally, if I really wanted to use those levers, I would remove the inner washer with the female tab. Then re-create it from some steel or aluminium plate and re-install. Would take maybe 30-minutes maximum.

  16. #16
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lazarus Short View Post
    Get yourself a pair of Retrofriction levers (French, made by Simplex and/or Huret) - I've been told they are the best non-indexing levers ever made.
    I'd be surprised if they're as good as the Suntour ones.

    But for my money, the best friction levers made are indexed levers - Shimano ones switched to friction. As good as it gets.

  17. #17
    Retro Grouch onespeedbiker's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how much you want to spend, but Rene Herse sells those Campy shifters NOS for $44. http://www.renehersestore.com/servle...t-Clamp/Detail

  18. #18
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Wow... vintage NOS heaven, that joint.

  19. #19
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
    I'd be surprised if they're as good as the Suntour ones.

    But for my money, the best friction levers made are indexed levers - Shimano ones switched to friction. As good as it gets.
    Having used them all... there is nothing better than Simplex retrofriction shifters but if you are considering a balance between cost and effectiveness, Suntour half ratchet shifters are excellent in every respect.

    Campy shifters are pretty but functionally, they are no different from just about every other straight friction lever.

  20. #20
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    But what about the Shimano ones? They're countersprung - so rather than make releasing the cable as hard as pulling it, they assist the pull.

    When switched to friction though, they have a kind of micro-index feel, similar to a left Ergolever (but much softer), so I'm not sure they'd be suitable for friction-shifting a 9 or 10spd perhaps.

    Available in a few shapes...

    Old style
    11374.jpg

    Slightly different
    Shimano_600_7-Speed_Index_Shifters_02.jpg

    Tiagra
    shimano-tiagra-r400-downtube-shifters-mdslr400.jpg

    SL-R400
    7b0143009b192ac709faff4886819646.image.300x224.jpg

    Late 80s
    1581987_s.jpg

  21. #21
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Newer Shimano levers are very nice in friction mode but there is not a shifter that can compare to retrofrictions for utter smoothness and lightness of action.

    Suntour also made power shifters at the Cyclone and Superbe level which are smoother and lighter in action and very close to the Simplex in their feel but will also come at a higher price.

  22. #22
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    Newer Shimano levers are very nice
    You mean since the early 80s?

    there is not a shifter that can compare to retrofrictions for ... lightness of action.
    I'm quite convinced any retrofriction shifter can't possibly be as light as a countersprung one.

  23. #23
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
    You mean since the early 80s?

    I'm quite convinced any retrofriction shifter can't possibly be as light as a countersprung one.
    Retrofriction shifters are countersprung... You would have to use a set to know how smooth these are.

  24. #24
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    I've used the Suntour ones pictured above; they're pretty common. IIRC, the only spring in them is the one working the ratchet.

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