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Old 11-04-09, 08:02 PM   #51
John E
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Not all friction shifters were created equal. I have Suntour Sprint downtube shifters on one of my bikes and they are really much better than the Campy friction shifters I have on another. They somehow center the RD about the cog automatically. Only when really off is there any grinding.
That may be a function of side-to-side play in your respective jockey wheels. Indexed shifting really took off after someone figured out precisely how much lateral slop the jockey wheel needed -- tight enough for good response and control, but loose enough to auto-align the last mm or so.

Also, if you are comparing a slant planograph SunTour derailleur against a conventional parallelogram Campagnolo, the former will win every time, unless it has gotten sloppy from wear.
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Old 11-04-09, 08:03 PM   #52
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I have a 78 raleigh pro with full campy nouvo record and a hyperglide 7speed freewheel. It shifts so nice, I'm only asking it to go up to 24 teeth but it does that just fine. Back 25 years ago, in my bike racing days I used simplex retro-friction shifters. I liked them but the spring in the rear derailluer shifter would always break. They were easy to get back then and cheap too, not anymore.
When shimano came out with index shifting a old girlfriend had that set-up, every time she dropped her bike the indexing would be off and I would have to tweek her derailluer hanger back. I guess that ruined me for life on index shifting.
My old alan cyclocross bike is sporting 30 year old suntour bar ends and a 7speed hyperglide feewheel, I love it!
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Old 11-04-09, 09:50 PM   #53
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I started riding seriously in 1975, so I'm completely used to friction shifting. I have two friction bikes and two indexed bikes, and I really don't care what type of shifting I have at my fingertips.

I have a fixed gear bike, too, with no shifting.
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Old 11-04-09, 11:59 PM   #54
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Speaking of hyperglide freewheels, I just got one and put it on one of my friction shifting bikes. I'm not sure it's hyperglide, but it's Shimano, with twisted teeth. What's a good chain for this? I'm using an old Sedisport chain which is not worn out. The Sedisport was an excellent chain, in its day, but I'm figuring there was no meeting between Sedis and Shimano to work out optimum shifting between their products.
Hey Tom, I think the basic KMC Z chain will work fine. I use that chain on a 7 speed hyperglide freewheel with STI shifters and have no complaints. If you feel like getting something a bit nicer, the sram pc-850 or Shimano hyperglide chains will work. The z-chain comes with a removable link, I think the sram chain does too.
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Old 11-05-09, 12:54 AM   #55
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I ride friction on both my bikes, it had not crossed my mind for several months until this thread. Oh yeah, my MTB and my road bike are friction.
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Old 11-05-09, 06:16 AM   #56
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What's the most dramatic shifting your friction shifters can do?

I've set my Paramount up with Suntour Power Ratchet shifters, Campy SR FD, SR RD, Suntour 13-23 6spd, and a 50-34 Campy Veloce crankset. I catch all the gears except for the small-small(34-13)

I've seen new bikes with triple cranks(52-39-30) and cassettes with a 34T bailout gear. That would be some kind of push on a downtube shifter to hit that gear. Or do you sacrifice hitting the higher gears in order to get the lowest one?
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Old 11-05-09, 07:33 AM   #57
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mkeller234, thanks. I see those chains are quite inexpensive, but I'll stick with this for now. I didn't expect a freewheel to be so quiet WHILE PEDALING but the bike is quieter than ever. I love the fact that it also is silent while freewheeling.

I guess, in the end, those SunTour freewheels, while reliable, were not that great, compared with the competition.

bbattle, I don't follow your question. Every bike I have had, and I've had many, can get into every gear. I wouldn't settle for less.
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Old 11-05-09, 09:20 AM   #58
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That may be a function of side-to-side play in your respective jockey wheels. Indexed shifting really took off after someone figured out precisely how much lateral slop the jockey wheel needed -- tight enough for good response and control, but loose enough to auto-align the last mm or so.

Also, if you are comparing a slant planograph SunTour derailleur against a conventional parallelogram Campagnolo, the former will win every time, unless it has gotten sloppy from wear.
I'm running the Sprint shifter with a Nuovo Record RD with normal pulley sideplay. Apparently the Sprints are of a "retrofriction" design.
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Old 11-05-09, 10:32 AM   #59
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I'm running the Sprint shifter with a Nuovo Record RD with normal pulley sideplay. Apparently the Sprints are of a "retrofriction" design.
Got pix?
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Old 11-05-09, 12:50 PM   #60
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The last time I used friction shifting was in the eighties on my then new Schwinn World Sport. A really lost art that once you fine tune, it can help a lot (esp. because you can "jump" gears if necessary pretty fast). Pretty similar to driving a manual transmission car.
You are quite correct... friction shifting in general is easy... whereas fast and accurate friction shifting takes practice.

But if you haven't used friction shifting in the last 25 years, don't give people faulty advice like the following:

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Oh, yeah...
you gotta be fairly meticulous about cleaning and lubricating your drive train with friction... ghost shifting is one thing, a dropped and stuck chain at 35 mph downhill is another
Friction shifting drivetrains are MUCH more tolerant of grungy dirty conditions and shoddy maintenance than are the modern indexed systems. You can run a friction drivetrain for a loooooong time in between cleanings or adjustments compared to brifters or even indexed downtube systems. Meticulous cleaning required? Wrong!

Ghost shifting? OK. I'll give you that one. Much ghost shifting is caused by dirty cable guides... but most ghost shifting is often a product of a whippy frame and a powerful rider.

But dropping a chain at speed? C'mon... quit trying to scare people. That has everything to do with drivetrain adjustment... not drivetrain type. Because it allows you to finesse your shifts, friction shifting is probably less prone to chain drop than modern brifter systems. Brifters or indexed shifters just go "click" and you get what you get. Either system... friction or indexed... will drop the chain if they're badly adjusted.

That said... I wish that more people rode bikes with friction shifters. That way more people would appreciate the fact that I can shift through the rear cogs and switch chainwheels simultaneously with one hand. Not many people appreciate that type of skill anymore.

*sigh*

I'm a dinosaur...
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Old 11-05-09, 06:40 PM   #61
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i'll never forget the sound of everyone in the peloton trying as stealthily as possible to shift into the 12 or 13 tooth cog in the last 1/2 mile of a road race. once one guy did it, we all did. time to SPRINT!!
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Old 11-05-09, 07:04 PM   #62
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bbattle, I don't follow your question. Every bike I have had, and I've had many, can get into every gear. I wouldn't settle for less.

Small/small won't go because there's too much chain. Remember, this is with a 50-34 compact, not a 52-42. Everyone says you shouldn't crosschain anyways. Although on new gear, this is no longer as big a deal.
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Old 11-05-09, 07:15 PM   #63
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For the distance drivers, hehe. Before dark on the third day, Portland Oregon to Cincinnati Ohio. This was in a 302 powered dual tank 1986 Econoline luxury van that was a handful while ALERT, lol. 2500 miles IIRC, whew.,,,,BD

My friction bikes outnumber indexed by a huge margin. Including but probably not limted to....

73 Volkscycle Mark100
73 World Voyager
79 Trek 510
84 Club Fuji(mistakenly been calling it an 85 lately)
84 Le Tour
80's Miyata 1000(never found the exact year, but has deer head Shimano) 1985 or 86??
85 Peugeot PH10LE
70 or 71 Falcon San Remo(Am I ever going to build it?? lol)
74 or 75 Motobecane Grand Record(same status as the Falcon)

You know what, I should just stop here, and only list the indexed bikes...
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Old 11-05-09, 08:08 PM   #64
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Oh, yeah...
you gotta be fairly meticulous about cleaning and lubricating your drive train with friction... ghost shifting is one thing, a dropped and stuck chain at 35 mph downhill is another
Actually, I think they are more tolerant than indexing. I don't have any more dropped chains now that I've adjusted my front cage limits as tight as possible. If you watch the chain traverse from the top, you can see it overshoot and come back when the cage is pushing too far out.

Clean is better than dirty, but it takes a lot of chain dirt to cause real problems.
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Old 11-05-09, 08:09 PM   #65
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What's the most dramatic shifting your friction shifters can do?

I've set my Paramount up with Suntour Power Ratchet shifters, Campy SR FD, SR RD, Suntour 13-23 6spd, and a 50-34 Campy Veloce crankset. I catch all the gears except for the small-small(34-13)

I've seen new bikes with triple cranks(52-39-30) and cassettes with a 34T bailout gear. That would be some kind of push on a downtube shifter to hit that gear. Or do you sacrifice hitting the higher gears in order to get the lowest one?
My bike currently has a 7 speed 13x28 Shimano HG freewheel and a triplized NR 53/42/32 crank. Campagnolo C-Record retrofriction downtube levers move Racing T front and rear derailleurs to shift a SRAM PC-870 chain. I can run on any combinations of chainwheels and cogs, but I avoid cross-chaining.

I guess the reason you can't run the small-small combination is that the SR RD does not have enough chain wrap, but I have used a SR RD on this 13x28 freewheel with a 42/52 crankset.
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Old 11-05-09, 08:14 PM   #66
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What's the most dramatic shifting your friction shifters can do?

I've set my Paramount up with Suntour Power Ratchet shifters, Campy SR FD, SR RD, Suntour 13-23 6spd, and a 50-34 Campy Veloce crankset. I catch all the gears except for the small-small(34-13)

I've seen new bikes with triple cranks(52-39-30) and cassettes with a 34T bailout gear. That would be some kind of push on a downtube shifter to hit that gear. Or do you sacrifice hitting the higher gears in order to get the lowest one?
There were a few rear mechs that could wrap all the chain necessary to handle the gearing you're talking about. The Sachs-Huret Duopar and the Duopar Ecopar are probably the best ones. Perhaps the early Deore as well. If you can keep the chain tensioned and have the skill of adjusting your derailleur travel limits carefully and precisely, you can get into every gear on every bike.
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Old 11-05-09, 08:26 PM   #67
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I started out on mountain bikes, with indexed thumbshifters (friction front) and I can't stand brifters. On our tandem I actually removed the high zoot left Shimano brifter and use a barcon for front derailleur trim, and a 'real' brake lever on the left. Oh my goodness do 'real' brake levers work better than brifters for actual braking.

As for rear indexing or rear friction I really don't have a particular preference, but I hate friction mode on a mountain bike. To much going on and too technical of riding to constantly be fine tuning the thumbshifter.

On the road bikes (tandem, touring/BOBish, and road) I use downtube shifters but I mount 'em up on Kelly Take-Offs. On a Cannondale frames that measure 73cm and 66cm to the top of the seat collars you do not want to have to reach down to that massive downtube.

I think integrated controls are kind of stupid. Not only are they heavier, but more finicky, and they provide poorer brake control.

I'm suprised more people don't use Take-Offs. I think taking one hand off the bars to shift isn't particulary safe (with downtube shifters mounted on downtube), but with the Take-Offs your hands don't leave the handlebar.

Rivendell Bicycles also sells bar end pods allowing you to mount the downtube shifter as a bar con. I don't know why you wouldn't just use a regular bar end, maybe to mount colnago panto'd shifters perhaps?
Shifting downtube safely involves building the wrist and forearm strength to control the bike with one hand on the hood or drop, or moving the free hand to the grip area right next to the stem to reduce hand control leverage, since your body is unbalanced on the handlebars. Due to the unbalance, hitting a small bump while one hand is off the bars can result in rotating the bars, making the bike do an S swerve. In a peleton or dual paceline it can be a nasty moment. It also takes special care when eating, drinking, or finding that handkerchief. We won't even talk about cellphones or setting Ipods ...
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Old 11-06-09, 12:01 AM   #68
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I never had any issue with friction shifting back when I was running a Campagnolo 7 speed system with a Sedisport chain but I've since put an HG-90 8 speed cassette on the back with an HG-70 chain and it made quite a difference. It shifts beautifully and near silently, but if you miss a gear, particularly in the larger rear cogs the chain will skate over the cogs and shift back and forth until properly trimmed. Can be quite disconcerting if you've just started climbing a hill.

I have some SL-R400 DT shifters to try and I'm going to see if they work with the SR (Pat 82) rear derailleur. If not I'll throw an Ultegra SL RD on and that should work for sure.

I've been out of the game for about 25 years and it's amazing how far the technology has come. I just switched out my old Dura Ace AX levers and Suntour Superbe brakes for R600 levers and Ultegra 6600 brakes and ... OMG ... the bike stops on a dime now ... I have never felt anything quite like it!
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Old 11-06-09, 12:09 AM   #69
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Friction is freedom from the man. The man tries to make you buy all his parts, and upgrade everything together. Down with the man.
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Old 11-06-09, 12:41 AM   #70
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My first road bike was a 1985 Colnago Super with Campy friction shifters. I still have the bike and have lately taken it to the Rose Bowl Thurs. night crits. Sure, I'm the only one with friction shifting in the peloton, but the point is with 25-year-old tech, I am still in the peloton.
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Old 11-06-09, 12:43 AM   #71
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What's the most dramatic shifting your friction shifters can do?

I've set my Paramount up with Suntour Power Ratchet shifters, Campy SR FD, SR RD, Suntour 13-23 6spd, and a 50-34 Campy Veloce crankset. I catch all the gears except for the small-small(34-13)

I've seen new bikes with triple cranks(52-39-30) and cassettes with a 34T bailout gear. That would be some kind of push on a downtube shifter to hit that gear. Or do you sacrifice hitting the higher gears in order to get the lowest one?
I have a couple that I think of as being dramatic... whether or not they actually are... I am not sure.

My Raleigh gran sport has a triple that I think is (52-48-30) and a 32 or 34 low gear in the back. The 5 speed freewheel has a 6 or 8 tooth jump right in the middle of it! Nothing a Suntour VGT luxe can't handle

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Old 11-06-09, 06:20 AM   #72
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What's the most dramatic shifting your friction shifters can do?

I've set my Paramount up with Suntour Power Ratchet shifters, Campy SR FD, SR RD, Suntour 13-23 6spd, and a 50-34 Campy Veloce crankset. I catch all the gears except for the small-small(34-13)
My wife and I both have new Sunrace 14-28 7spd freewheels with Veloce 50-34 cranks and 8spd chains. This is a very good setup for our hilly surrounds. Her 86 Bianchi's RD is a 1st gen Chorus w/ Ultegra 8spd barcons in friction mode. My 93 Viner's RD is a 1st gen Athena with Athena friction downtube shifters. The shifting on both bikes is very smooth and hits every gear combo without fuss, though there is some ghost shifting on my bike when pedaling hard out of the saddle.
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Old 11-06-09, 06:30 AM   #73
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Got pix?
I read that the shifters sold by Rivendell are licensed copies of the Suntour shifters that I am using.

http://www.rivbike.com/search/run?qu...product=17-101

They are on my 73 Holdsworth with a 52/42 Record, Nuovo Record RD, and mid 80's Shimano ?-26 6spd freewheel.

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Old 11-06-09, 09:09 AM   #74
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Friction is freedom from the man. The man tries to make you buy all his parts, and upgrade everything together. Down with the man.
Word.

It really really really pi**es me off that any routine drivetrain upgrade on a bicycle should cost hundreds of dollars. And that is exactly what you get with the new "super indexed" brifter crap. It's stupid that replacing something as simple as a broken shifter should cost an arm and a leg and take a rocket surgeon to swap it out.

The MAN has convinced most of you that you absolutely have to have his newest autoshifting 33-speed drivetrain on your bike if you have any hope of riding more than 10 miles without dieing.

Friction wins.

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Old 11-06-09, 10:15 AM   #75
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What's the most dramatic shifting your friction shifters can do?:



But I don't expect to ever use this 52/30 setup!

I was rumaging around Recylery and found this 7Spd SunTour freewheel for $10. Given I don't have any other cogs for it and I need a low gear, the 42/30 works for my hill til I get into shape post accident.
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