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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 03-09-14, 01:00 PM   #1
doodlebug
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Downtube Shifters

I am wanting to put downtube shifters on my Trek touring bike. I see lots of shifters on ebay, but most are for two chainrings and my bike is a triple.
Since the shifters only work in friction mode on the front derailleur, will the 2x7 shifters work with a triple chainring setup?
Thanks
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Old 03-09-14, 01:42 PM   #2
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Nothing matters when running in friction mode. Even with index, it was common to have index for the RD, and retro friction for the FD, so if you have an index RD that's also an option.
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Old 03-09-14, 01:53 PM   #3
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Nothing matters when running in friction mode. Even with index, it was common to have index for the RD, and retro friction for the FD, so if you have an index RD that's also an option.
Yes, the RD is index and the shifter is SIS. The Front shifter is friction only. So, I'm taking it that they will work fine? Also, my bike currently has STI shifters on the handlebar. I hate these shifters as they are failing on me all the time. Anyway, the cables run through a mount on the downtube that is where the shifters would mount. Can I just remove these cable mounts and mount the shifters there without any problem, or will I need something else to mount them?
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Old 03-09-14, 01:58 PM   #4
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.... Anyway, the cables run through a mount on the downtube that is where the shifters would mount. Can I just remove these cable mounts and mount the shifters there without any problem, or will I need something else to mount them?
If the frame is a bit older and has bosses for D/T shifters that have been converted to cable stops with something like these, then removing the part is all you need to do. However if the frame was built more recently, odds are it was built for HB controls, and has only cable stops brazed on. In that case you'd need band mount levers, since to my knowledge nobody makes a reverse (stop to lever boos) adapter.
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Old 03-09-14, 02:20 PM   #5
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bending over to shift and taking a hand off the bars , will get old soon enough , as you may find out..

been there done that.. long ago ..

hence the popularity of bar end shifters or the combo brifter.
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Old 03-09-14, 02:49 PM   #6
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Yes, the RD is index and the shifter is SIS. The Front shifter is friction only. So, I'm taking it that they will work fine? Also, my bike currently has STI shifters on the handlebar. I hate these shifters as they are failing on me all the time. Anyway, the cables run through a mount on the downtube that is where the shifters would mount. Can I just remove these cable mounts and mount the shifters there without any problem, or will I need something else to mount them?
The STI shifters will work better if you flush them out. If you use nearly a whole can of WD-40 solvent on them, they will clean out and loosen up all the hardened grease inside them. Then lube them with a good lube and they should work flawlessly again for a long time.

I have resurrected quite a few sets of "non" functioning STI shifters doing the flush and lube.
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Old 03-09-14, 03:24 PM   #7
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I've used downtube shifters for many years and have never had a problem. If I'm on the tops, which is where I normally ride while touring, I don't have to bend over at all. I simply reach down and shift. No body movement at all except for my right hand. I have considered barend shifters, but believe for touring the downtube shifters would be more reliable and easier to make repairs on should I need too. Of course I've never used barends, so I may be completely wrong about this. I guess I'm just going back to what I know best.
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Old 03-09-14, 03:25 PM   #8
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If the frame is a bit older and has bosses for D/T shifters that have been converted to cable stops with something like these, then removing the part is all you need to do. However if the frame was built more recently, odds are it was built for HB controls, and has only cable stops brazed on. In that case you'd need band mount levers, since to my knowledge nobody makes a reverse (stop to lever boos) adapter.
Those cable stops look exactly like the ones on my bike.
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Old 03-09-14, 03:28 PM   #9
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The STI shifters will work better if you flush them out. If you use nearly a whole can of WD-40 solvent on them, they will clean out and loosen up all the hardened grease inside them. Then lube them with a good lube and they should work flawlessly again for a long time.

I have resurrected quite a few sets of "non" functioning STI shifters doing the flush and lube.
I'll have to give that a try. Would you use the spray lithium grease or just a good bike lube?
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Old 03-09-14, 03:31 PM   #10
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I'll have to give that a try. Would you use the spray lithium grease or just a good bike lube?
I just use whatever I have, but everyone has their own choice lube. The key is to use WD40 at first to flush the snot out of the shifters. I take them off and hold them upside down and keep squirting WD-40 into them while working the ratcheting levers. They will start to feel better and better as you clean them out. Some also use an air compressor to blow the dirt and WD-40 out after cleaning them before lubing them.
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Old 03-09-14, 04:56 PM   #11
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A bike mechanic told me not to use WD 40 for flushing out shifters, but instead use boiling water. Soak for a while. Let it dry, and then oil it up. Make sense?
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Old 03-09-14, 05:08 PM   #12
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A bike mechanic told me not to use WD 40 for flushing out shifters, but instead use boiling water. Soak for a while. Let it dry, and then oil it up. Make sense?
If any mechanic ever gave me that advice, I'd find a new mechanic.

These days one has to be very careful about heat of hot water around bicycles. Hot tap water is fine, but boiling water is above the temperature which can damage many plastics.
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Old 03-09-14, 05:22 PM   #13
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Well, I had my doubts, but decided to try it anyway, nothing to loose. So, I took the bike out to the shop and sprayed it down good with WD40. I sprayed in every hole or opening I could see and within just a few minutes it started to work. Sprayed it down another time or two and it works great now. I blew it out real good with the air compressor and now I'm going to let it sit over night to air out and dry out a little. Tomorrow I think I'm going to try the white lithium grease in the spray can and see if I can't get all down in there real good.
I really appreciate the help and suggestions from everyone.
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Old 03-09-14, 07:18 PM   #14
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in your second post you said "I hate these shifters", then some stranger on an internet forum implies that with a little lube they might work, then it's "I'll have to give that a try".

you sound like my first wife. as long as i was bringing home that weekly paycheck, everything was fine and dandy. lose my job, sit on the couch in my underwear with an occasional beer for a couple of weeks, and all of a sudden i'm not good enough for her...

good to hear it's working.
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Old 03-09-14, 07:20 PM   #15
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you sound like my first wife. as long as i was bringing home that weekly paycheck, everything was fine and dandy. lose my job, sit on the couch in my underwear with an occasional beer for a couple of weeks, and all of a sudden i'm not good enough for her...
Don't let anyone tell her about WD-40
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Old 03-09-14, 07:55 PM   #16
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bending over to shift and taking a hand off the bars , will get old soon enough , as you may find out..

been there done that.. long ago ..

hence the popularity of bar end shifters or the combo brifter.

I agree with you on the brifter (combined brake and shifter) setup. What an elegant design solution.

However, I disagree with you that bar-end shifters are superior to downtube mounted shifters. I've done both (as well as stem shifters) and much prefer downtube to bar-end. Personal preference, perhaps. Best. DB
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Old 03-09-14, 08:09 PM   #17
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bending over to shift and taking a hand off the bars , will get old soon enough , as you may find out.
I've been riding DT controls for > 40 years, "soon enough" hasn't happened yet.
DT shifting is a well proven ergonomic, elegant & reliable solution, try it.

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Old 03-09-14, 09:31 PM   #18
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in your second post you said "I hate these shifters", then some stranger on an internet forum implies that with a little lube they might work, then it's "I'll have to give that a try".

you sound like my first wife. as long as i was bringing home that weekly paycheck, everything was fine and dandy. lose my job, sit on the couch in my underwear with an occasional beer for a couple of weeks, and all of a sudden i'm not good enough for her...

good to hear it's working.
Sounds like your first wife was ahellofalot smarter than you big mouth.
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Old 03-10-14, 05:17 AM   #19
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Keep your hair on, doodlebug. hueyhoolihan was on the money, and amusing to boot.

You hated the STIs, and now they're apparently fine for your purposes. BTW, I hope you didn't get WD40 on the hoods... they don't like that.

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Don't let anyone tell her about WD-40
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Old 03-10-14, 05:51 AM   #20
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Tomorrow I think I'm going to try the white lithium grease in the spray can and see if I can't get all down in there real good.
FWIW, I used spray white lithium grease on my Shimano mtn bike shifters and found that they got gummed up too soon, much sooner than I expected. YMMV. Now I flush them out with mineral spirits, blow out with compressed air then lube with DuPont Teflon Multi-Use lubricant (the new stuff without wax) from HD or Lowes or someplace. This is the same as Finish Line lube but cheaper and does not have the Finish Line panashe. A year later so far so good. I may stand alone here.
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Old 03-10-14, 08:04 AM   #21
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dont see front panniers on bandura's bike downshifting on a loaded tour bike on a hill with a touring load
is different than another day ride on a road C&V rig.
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Old 03-10-14, 10:50 AM   #22
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Keep your hair on, doodlebug. hueyhoolihan was on the money, and amusing to boot.

You hated the STIs, and now they're apparently fine for your purposes. BTW, I hope you didn't get WD40 on the hoods... they don't like that.



PMSL
Well it sure as heck wasn't amusing to me, and all of my hair (what little I still have) is intact just fine, thank you. Don't think he was on the money at all as I still am going to replace them just as soon as I can get my hands on a good set of downtube shifters. I just was tickled that I could now use the bike in the mean time. Better than sitting around waiting until it gets fixed.
As to the WD40, I was careful about not getting any on the hoods. I read somewhere else that the stuff would damage them.
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Old 03-10-14, 11:03 AM   #23
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Well it sure as heck wasn't amusing to me, .....
You need to have thicker skin here on BF. You asked about installing D/T levers, and about half the responses were about "better" alternatives. That's about par for the course. As for the "like my ex..." comment, not surprising in the context of the thread, and in all fairness it was kind of funny.

It's your bike, take the advice that you want to, ignore the rest, and don't feel obligated to justify your choices to anybody.
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Old 03-10-14, 11:19 AM   #24
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dont see front panniers on bandura's bike downshifting on a loaded tour bike on a hill with a touring load
is different than another day ride on a road C&V rig.
Too bad I don't have pics from when my International was set-up for touring ( one of it's many incarnations ) in the late 70's.
Triple crank, Crane GS rear derail all operated quite nicely w/ Campy DT controls while loaded fully, not particularly taxing when one develops the technique and keeps at it for several decades.

My Rando-ish build is being converted to a triple this spring, indexed DT controls make shifting a doddle.

To each their own,

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Old 03-10-14, 11:45 AM   #25
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You need to have thicker skin here on BF. You asked about installing D/T levers, and about half the responses were about "batter" alternatives. That's about par for the course. As for the "like my ex..." comment, not surprising in the context of the thread, and in all fairness it was kind of funny.

It's your bike, take the advice that you want to, ignore the rest, and don't feel obligated to justify your choices to anybody.
I hear what you're saying. It just seems like on every forum I've ever been on, there's always a big mouth or two or three who always hide behind their computers and try to sharp shoot everyone. If someone said something like that to me in person, I would have turned around and punched his lights out.
However, you offer good advice as I do tend to have a quick temper. My apologies to everyone for my negative reaction to hueyhoolihan's comment.
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