Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Cycling...disruptive! MeanTara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Upgrade from Simplex shift levers?

    I just acquired a Raleigh "Grand Sports", circa 1970.
    The shifter handles are located on the downtube. "Simplex" with tiny letters that say "Modele Depose". Made of aluminum; black plastic levers.

    What can I upgrade to? Do the new ones have to be Raleigh- or vintage- specific, or are there other options?
    Any advice is much appreciated.

  2. #2
    <3s bikes Re-Cycle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    CA
    My Bikes
    lots
    Posts
    1,048
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Any downtube shift levers should work. Simplex actually makes some of othe nicest shift levers I've used BTW:

    A wild man once explained to me how bicycles came from sailboats.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sykerocker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Montpelier, VA
    My Bikes
    The keepers: 1960 Raleigh Lenton Grand Prix, 1968 Ranger, 1969 Magneet Sprint, 1971 Gitane Tour de France, 1973 Raleigh Tourist, 1973 Lambert, 1973 Schwinn Super Sport, 2 - 1988 Rossins
    Posts
    3,807
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Mechanically, you can put any brand or style of friction shifters on the bike, and they'll probably work at least as well as the Simplex Prestige levers you've already got - the biggest weakness of the Prestige design is the take up spool on the lever is awfully small in diameters, so you've got to move the lever a lot to change the gear. As you've probably noticed.

    What Re-Cycle is suggesting is the Simplex Retrofriction lever, which has the reputation of being the best friction lever ever made. (Can't back that up, since I've never owned a set - yet.) They're great, but such is their reputation that you'd better plan on spending close to $50.00 for a set if you're bidding eBay.

    Simplex made a set of levers in between those two possibilities. I've heard them called Criterium's, installed a set on my Gitane Tour de France (originally came with the Prestige levers even through it had Criterium derailleurs), and found the action to be much better than the stock setup, due to larger diameter cable spools. You can usually find them for about $15.00.

    If you don't mind mixing brands, I swear by the 70's SunTour Power Shifters - they're a rachetting friction shifter (pull back on the lever and a rachet controls the action, push forward and it's pure friction). Of the friction shifters I've used, I consider these the absolute best. So you know what I'm talking about, here's a current eBay auction for a set:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Suntour-Power-Sh...QQcmdZViewItem

    They're quite common, quite inexpensive, and excellent quality for the money. I like them enough that I'm using them on my Trek 460 with a pair of Alpha 5000 derailleurs, even though they're about 10-15 years older than the derailleurs.
    Syke

    "No wonder we keep testing positive in their bicycle races. Everyone looks like they're full of testosterone when they're surrounded by Frenchmen." ---Argus Hamilton

  4. #4
    Cycling...disruptive! MeanTara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Oh, my goodness! I am so very glad I asked.
    I will definitely check out both kinds- I had no idea Simplex was still around, much less made nice levers.
    I very much appreciate your help...thank you for helping a true newb. : )

  5. #5
    If I own it, I ride it CV-6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Cardinal Country
    Posts
    3,300
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by MeanTara View Post
    Oh, my goodness! I am so very glad I asked.
    I will definitely check out both kinds- I had no idea Simplex was still around, much less made nice levers.
    I very much appreciate your help...thank you for helping a true newb. : )

    The nice levers referred to are Simplex retrofriction. They are not often cheap to buy. BTW, Simplex is no longer with us...just the leftovers.
    Lynn Travers

    Photos

    ISO: Lejeune Champion du Monde Ultra Leger Reynolds 753, 53-55cm

  6. #6
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Pinole, CA, USA
    Posts
    14,740
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I much prefer the Simplex Retrofrictions over the Suntours because the Retrofrictions don't ratchet. The action is perfectly smooth in both directions.

  7. #7
    Gear Hub fan
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Reno, NV
    My Bikes
    Civia Hyland Rohloff, Swobo Dixon, Colnago, Univega
    Posts
    2,830
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have a set of Simplex retrofriction levers on my about 1983 Colnago Super Record bike. Per what I have read lots of riders and racers of that era replaced the Campy levers with the Simplex units due to their better feel. Never seen a pair finished in black like those pictured. Have they been powder coated?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •