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Old 10-25-07, 07:17 AM   #1
jonathan180iq
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Vintage Thumb Shifters ????

Anyone know what model these are?

I bought some just to try them out.

http://cgi.ebay.com/High-Quality-Met...QQcmdZViewItem
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Old 10-25-07, 07:48 AM   #2
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I don't know anything about them either, but I think I'll get a set. Thumbshifters are hard to come by. I hope they have a friction option. I haven't seen a set that didn't. I wonder who made them?
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Old 10-25-07, 10:00 AM   #3
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They say they are made by Shimano. But the photos aren't large enough to read the name on the bolt.

they look like they are pretty sturdy little shifters. The seller told me they were indexed, before I bought them. Like you said, I have never come across a set that didn't have a friction option.
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Old 10-25-07, 10:05 AM   #4
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They don't say they're made by Shimano. It says "Shimano comp" I'm assuming that "comp" means compatible. I ordered a set, so I'll find out for sure.
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Old 10-25-07, 10:56 AM   #5
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I have a set that I ordered off of ebay a couple weeks ago. They are a bit bulky--you don't really get a sense of scale from the photo. They are indexed--inside there's a plate/washer with indexing holes drilled into it. These key into/index with a sprung bearing. I simply removed the tiny bearing from the front shifter and it now friction shifts just fine. Because of the bulk, the next mod will be to see if regular downtube shifter levers will work with this setup. The rear indexing works fine with a Shimano 7sp cassette, so I left it alone.

I don't remember seeing "Shimano" stamped or printed anywhere on them, and I don't ever recall seeing shimano shifters this large, so I imagine "Shimano comp." translates out of ebay-ese as "Shimano compatible."
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Old 10-25-07, 11:00 AM   #6
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I have a set that I ordered off of ebay a couple weeks ago. They are a bit bulky--you don't really get a sense of scale from the photo. They are indexed--inside there's a plate/washer with indexing holes drilled into it. These key into/index with a sprung bearing. I simply removed the tiny bearing from the front shifter and it now friction shifts just fine. Because of the bulk, the next mod will be to see if regular downtube shifter levers will work with this setup.
Sounds perfect for us tinkering types. Can you post pics?

Tim
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Old 10-25-07, 11:05 AM   #7
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I just ordered a set too. It's hard to find nice thumbies for anywhere near the price - even considering shipping. Now to find a bike for them...
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Old 10-25-07, 11:08 AM   #8
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Sounds perfect for us tinkering types. Can you post pics?

Tim
Hmm. I didn't take any at the time I had them apart, but I can get a shot of them mounted on my bike.
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Old 10-25-07, 11:31 AM   #9
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I have a bunch of cheap thumb friction shifters if anyone wants them, just pay shipping
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Old 10-25-07, 11:38 AM   #10
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Hmm. I didn't take any at the time I had them apart, but I can get a shot of them mounted on my bike.
Yeah, I'd like to see them on a bike.

They'll be by new flat bar shifters. I never shift the front derailleur; so I don't need that shifter to work at all. And if the rear works well, then I may be buying another pair as back-ups.
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Old 10-26-07, 06:02 AM   #11
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bump. no photos?
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Old 10-27-07, 12:47 PM   #12
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These photos will give you an idea of what they look like on a bike.

Shipping from the seller was only 2 days.

They're nice. But I think the indexing plate inside the shifter is homemade. The distance between the smallest cog and the second smallest is different than the others and, because of that, sfifting wasn't very preise.

I took the plate out and it shifts flwlessly in friction mode.

The front shifter works very well.

If you plan on using the as mounts only to install different shifters, they are defintely worth the price.

I purchased the 3x6 pair.



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Old 10-27-07, 03:56 PM   #13
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Mine came today. They're ridiculously oversized, but that makes them a good match with some Campagnolo Euclid brake levers I have.
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Old 10-28-07, 09:48 PM   #14
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They may be Falcon shifters manufactured in Taiwan. I have never seen a pair of Shimano or SunTour shifters that looked like these.
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Old 10-28-07, 10:29 PM   #15
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I have a bunch of cheap thumb friction shifters if anyone wants them, just pay shipping

I'll take 'em if you still have 'em.
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Old 10-28-07, 10:32 PM   #16
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Mine came today. They're ridiculously oversized, but that makes them a good match with some Campagnolo Euclid brake levers I have.
Heh.
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Old 10-29-07, 06:10 AM   #17
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They say " Index VIC shifter"
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Old 10-29-07, 01:12 PM   #18
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These photos will give you an idea of what they look like on a bike.

Shipping from the seller was only 2 days.

They're nice. But I think the indexing plate inside the shifter is homemade. The distance between the smallest cog and the second smallest is different than the others and, because of that, sfifting wasn't very preise.

I took the plate out and it shifts flwlessly in friction mode.

The front shifter works very well.

If you plan on using the as mounts only to install different shifters, they are defintely worth the price.

I purchased the 3x6 pair.

Well, another Schwinn followed me home this morning. Found it in front of a house along with some other stuff marked "FREE." It's an '84 Cromolly frame with a Suntour Cyclone RD and an AJX FD. It has a 6 speed cassette. The top tube I.D. decal is gone. It might be a LeTour, but according to Tom Findley's catalogue scans, some of the components don't match up. More research is in order.

It's too small for me but I believe it might fit my 15 year old daughter, who has expressed some interest in a road bike. But--- I don't think she will adapt well to friction shifting. Do you think I could fit these thumb shifters on drop bars? They look big. Could they be mounted near the stem so she could shift from the tops? The price is right so I might buy a set. But your thoughts ahead of time are appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 10-29-07, 01:39 PM   #19
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Well, another Schwinn followed me home this morning. Found it in front of a house along with some other stuff marked "FREE." It's an '84 Cromolly frame with a Suntour Cyclone RD and an AJX FD. It has a 6 speed cassette. The top tube I.D. decal is gone. It might be a LeTour, but according to Tom Findley's catalogue scans, some of the components don't match up. More research is in order.

It's too small for me but I believe it might fit my 15 year old daughter, who has expressed some interest in a road bike. But--- I don't think she will adapt well to friction shifting. Do you think I could fit these thumb shifters on drop bars? They look big. Could they be mounted near the stem so she could shift from the tops? The price is right so I might buy a set. But your thoughts ahead of time are appreciated. Thanks!

Pastor Bob, I've got an '84 le tour. One way you can tell if that's what you have is that the bikes came with Suntour Symmetric downtube shifters. The frame should have a unique braze-on mount on the downtube for the shifters, not compatible with any other downtube shifter. I believe '85 le tours had these also, as well as other models I'm sure; but at least it's one distinctive characteristic that might help you ID yours. Also, the Suntour rear dropouts are very pretty on these bikes, bare metal and kind of shiny where the axle slides in and is secured.

Last edited by well biked; 10-29-07 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 10-29-07, 02:33 PM   #20
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Pastor Bob, I've got an '84 le tour. One way you can tell if that's what you have is that the bikes came with Suntour Symmetric downtube shifters. The frame should have a unique braze-on mount on the downtube for the shifters, not compatible with any other downtube shifter. I believe '85 le tours had these also, as well as other models I'm sure; but at least it's one distinctive characteristic that might help you ID yours. Also, the Suntour rear dropouts are very pretty on these bikes, bare metal and kind of shiny where the axle slides in and is secured.
WB, The headbadge has XXX4 as its date stamp, and what's left of the seat tube decals are mid '80s vintage. The shifters, which I believe are the Symmetric ones, are mounted on the top of the downtube, not on the sides. Not all the components point to the ones listed in Tom Findley's catalogue scan for the LeTour, but we know how Schwinn was not always exact about assembly. OR--- pieces have failed over the last 20+ years and have been replaced. The dropouts, as does the rest of the bike, needs a good cleaning, so no shinny metal just yet.
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Old 10-29-07, 02:46 PM   #21
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Pastor Bob,
As you can see, I'm running flats on the Peugeot.
I'll go ahead and tell you that these fit on the thinner section of my bars very snugly. I doubt they would fit on drops.

That being said, the metal of the clamp is very easily bent. I had to bend them all the way out to get them on the bars, as I didn't feel like taking all of my clutter off.
With a lightly longer bolt, I'm pretty certain they would fit on there. But, the bolt on there is mounted in a square tapered hole, so it doesn't move while tightening the lower bolt. The base of the shifters cover that bolt. I didn't try it out, so I don't know if it's possible. It certainly isn't welded. I can look closer if you like.

Also, now that I have these shifters and bases, I have a set of Shimano SIS stem shifters for a 6 speed that need a home. They are perfectly funtionaly, as I used them for 600 + miles. They were the standard shifters from my 1987 Schwinn World Sport.
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Old 10-29-07, 03:51 PM   #22
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Thanks for the offer. I'll let you know. Are the SIS indexed shifters? Just curious. I believe I have a pair that were on a set of bars and a stem I hauled home from the dump recently.

The first thing I need to do is to see if the frame is too big for my daughter. No reason to do anything if she won't ride this bike.
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Old 10-29-07, 04:48 PM   #23
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Here's a little more info on my '84 le tour, Pastor Bob (apologies to jonathan180iq for being off topic):

front and rear derailleurs, Suntour ARX
crankset, Sugino BT double
brakes, Dia Compe 500 sidepulls
handlebar, Sakae Road Champion
stem, Schwinn sized (21.15mm aka .833") SR branded
seatpost, fluted Laprade
wheelset, aluminum hook edged Weinmann rims laced to Schwinn Approved hubs
freewheel, six speed Atom
saddle, Schwinn branded
handlebar tape, bright golden yellow

The color of the bike is dark blue, with yellow and white decals. The words "le tour" are in very small white letters on the forward end of the top tube.

The tubing decal says:
Cro Moly
4130
Stays
Double Butted
Main Tubes
frame built in America

It does sound like you've got the unique shifter boss for the Symmetric shifters, Pastor Bob. Those shifters are kind of interesting, they have a cam inside the shifter body that connects the two levers. The cam causes the front shifter to automatically trim the front derailleur as you shift through the cogs in the rear.

I bought the bike at a yard sale for $25 a few years ago, as a parts bike for rebuilding my '83 le tour luxe. As it turned out, I didn't use it for parts after all. When I bought it, it looked like it had been ridden a couple of times and then put away in a time capsule, so I'm pretty confident all the parts I listed above are original. If your bike turns out to be an '84 le tour, you'll see what I mean about the nice looking dropouts, the shiny bare metal is very striking on the outsides of the dropouts, and it extends down the outside face of the derailleur hanger.

Last edited by well biked; 10-29-07 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 10-29-07, 07:49 PM   #24
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That bare metal on the dropouts is stainless steel. I saw that in a catalog. That's a really nice touch for a relatively inexpensive bike.
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Old 10-29-07, 07:59 PM   #25
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That bare metal on the dropouts is stainless steel. I saw that in a catalog. That's a really nice touch for a relatively inexpensive bike.
That makes sense about the stainless steel, thanks. On my bike, it shines like it's brand new, but it's not chrome.
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