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Old 07-02-07, 09:20 AM   #1
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Add index shifting to old bike??

I would like to add bar end shifters my my wifes 87 Bianchi Brava and can get new Shimano 8 speed/friction bar end shifters for $60, all needed parts included. Right now the bike has Suntour Sprint derailleurs and down tube shifters. I bought the bike new way back when and then kids and jobs etc. kept the bike virtually unridden untill recently. She is not a strong rider yet and I think it is safer to keep her hands on the bars while shifting. I have just put a nice set of old campy wheels with an Athena 126 mm threaded rear hub on it and have a new 28T 7 speed freewheel on order.

1. Will the Shimano bar end shifters index-shift with this set up?

2. If I were to buy a long cage rear derailleur, will either a Shimano or Campy 8 speed (or earlier) rear derailleur work with the Shimano bar end shifter indexing?

Many thanks for any info.
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Old 07-02-07, 11:02 AM   #2
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It will probably work. A modern freewheel will have even spacing between cogs that might match the indents of the bar end shifters. The Suntour derailleur might travel the correct distance for each gear change so don't buy a new one just yet. The worst that can happen is you have to opt for friction which takes about one day to get used to.

Give your wife some credit, she might do perfectly well with downtube shifters. Millions of new and not strong riders learned to use them in the seventies without complete loss of control when they took one hand off the handlebars. Bar ends still require that you move one hand; and for double shifts she has to move both hands. If downtube shifters don't fall within easy reach of her hands then bar ends would still be more convenient.
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Old 07-02-07, 03:31 PM   #3
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How about just using the barcons in friction mode?
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Old 07-02-07, 03:50 PM   #4
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I put 700c wheels with a freehub on an old frame and matched them up with some Shimano bar-ends. I use them in friction mode and it shifts great - it's very easy to control. I think you'd find that the friction shifters on the downtubes, if they can pull enough cable, will work just fine.
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Old 07-02-07, 08:25 PM   #5
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It will work as long as the freewheel, derailer and shifters are non-Dura Ace Shimano. No need to use friction mode unless you want to. You don't need a long cage derailer unless you are running a triple chainring.
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Old 07-02-07, 08:33 PM   #6
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I have a bike with 105 7 speed barends, dura-ace eight speed derailleur and a hyperglide cassette and it shifts perfectly.
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Old 07-02-07, 08:50 PM   #7
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Some Dura Ace derailers require a different amount of cable pull than the rest of of the Shimano line. You find that the 8 speed bar end shifters have a tag on them that says they're not for Dura Ace derailers. The point is that those 8 speed bar end shifters will work for 7 speed indexing.

Dura Ace parts are overpriced, anyway.
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Old 07-02-07, 08:51 PM   #8
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The derailleur will not be the issue. The question is whether the Shimano shifters index the same as the spacing between the cogs on the Campagnolo Athena freewheel. I don't know the answer to that (perhaps someone else does), but as some have already said, it will definitely work in friction mode - and perfectly too after the high and low stops on the derailleur are properly set.
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Old 07-02-07, 08:52 PM   #9
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You can probably get this to work, but you might have to replace the rear derailer.

I've been looking at doing the same thing, and here is what I know. According to Sheldon Brown's site, 8 speed Shimano has center-center cog spacing of 4.8mm, while 7 speed Shimano is 5mm. With the rear derailer adjusted for perfect rear derailer alignment in the 4 cog, the maximum misalignment would only be 3 * 0.2mm, or 0.6mm total, in either the first or seventh cog. If you don't think metrically, that is about 0.024", or not very much. Still out of spec, but workable. Depending on where you spend most of your time, you might bias the gear you adjust on plus or minus one cog.


There is one other option that put the shifting console on the bars. If you look carefully, you can still find the Shimano Sora 2X7, and 3X7, brifter sets. I think you can get them through Harris, although I've seen them about $20 less at some other reputable vendors. A little more expensive, but she might like them.
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Old 07-02-07, 08:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USAZorro
The derailleur will not be the issue. The question is whether the Shimano shifters index the same as the spacing between the cogs on the Campagnolo Athena freewheel. I don't know the answer to that (perhaps someone else does), but as some have already said, it will definitely work in friction mode - and perfectly too after the high and low stops on the derailleur are properly set.
The hub is Campagnolo Athena, not the freewheel. I don't believe I've ever seen a Campagnolo Athena freewheel.

Last edited by Grand Bois; 07-02-07 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 07-02-07, 09:00 PM   #11
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Eight speed Ultegra bar end shifters converted to thumbshifters. Seven speed Shimano cassette. Shimano 600 tricolor derailers. It indexes beautifully.
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Old 07-03-07, 05:21 AM   #12
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"You don't need a long cage derailer unless you are running a triple chainring."

Wouldn't I need a long cage rear derailleur to handle a >= 28T freewheel, even with a double crankset? It seems that most of the specs for short cage rear derailleurs say 24-26 max...Thanks.
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Old 07-03-07, 06:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sced
"You don't need a long cage derailer unless you are running a triple chainring."

Wouldn't I need a long cage rear derailleur to handle a >= 28T freewheel, even with a double crankset? It seems that most of the specs for short cage rear derailleurs say 24-26 max...Thanks.
Someone with more specific knowledge of the Suntour Sprint group may be able to tell you for certain, but I'd be surprised if an RD from 1987 is NOT capable of handling a 28 cog. The "short" cages from that era were mostly longer than today's. My '87 Trek 400, for instance, has a "short" cage 105 RD, which works fine with the 14-28 OEM cogset.
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