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Old 04-03-12, 01:08 AM   #1
eschlwc
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how do you install downtube friction shifters?

i'm concerned here with how you install and maintain downtube friction shifters on vintage 10-speeds. i like the idea of lubing all components (washers and surfaces) with the exception of the screw, where i use blue loctite or a similar non-destructive threadlocker. how do you do it?

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Old 04-03-12, 01:40 AM   #2
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I use a small amount of grease on everything, even the screw. So far no problems.
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Old 04-03-12, 02:09 AM   #3
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I just lightly grease any touching surfaces that need to move against each other. I've never put thread locker on, but I'm going to start on future flip bikes(no more friction DT for me). I've had two instances now of bolts that loosen with shifting over time and then my bike wanting to drop to the smaller cog in back. It was a bit of an issue once when I was ~10mi and many hills from home after already riding ~20mi.

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Old 04-03-12, 06:22 PM   #4
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Grease is correct. Don't use threadlocker; you need to be able to adjust the screw to control the friction.
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Old 04-03-12, 06:52 PM   #5
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Grease is correct. Don't use threadlocker; you need to be able to adjust the screw to control the friction.
i had to use threadlocker on my ofmega shifters or the screw would back out as you shifted. with grease (attempt #1) it would come loose enough to slip in a few shifts. dry, (attempt #2) it would last 10 miles or so before it needed tightened. with very low strength (purple) loctite the screws stay put and the bike shifts great.
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Old 04-03-12, 08:13 PM   #6
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I wonder if linseed oil on the screw threads would help stiffen them up, same as we do with spoke threads.

With the old-style Campy DT shifters, the pre-retrofriction ones, I found they worked better without any lube on the plastic washers and bushings that bore against the aluminum shifter drum. Eventually the aluminum parts would get a little rough from oxide buildup and the "stiction" tended to combat the ghost-shifting problem. When new and clean they were very prone to slippage, especially when standing on the pedals and flexing the frame.
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Old 04-04-12, 01:58 AM   #7
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i've read online people sometimes cut up tiny pieces of rubber, like pencil eraser, for the threads. others use that thin teflon plumbers tape in lieu of grease. someone else used a condom. not a used condom. and not just any new synthetic condom, but the lamb intestine ones. or is it lamb skin? no, it couldn't be the actual skin. speaking of lamb, i wonder if cyclists in scotland have ever used haggis in their threads? any scots here?
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Old 04-04-12, 04:52 AM   #8
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Erasers? Teflon? Lamb gut condoms? Man, no offense but I believe you're over-thinking this. Lightly lube the moving parts, put them together and go. Tighten the screws before every ride.
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Old 04-04-12, 05:31 AM   #9
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hmm. hmm. so ... you're saying just use lube and not haggis? hmm. well, i'll think about it, but that sounds kind of crazy.
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Old 04-04-12, 07:01 AM   #10
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I don't know. Maybe haggis skins are the new Phil lube! You may be on to something here.

Oh, and, much as I hate to channel the spirit of RIV ...but a smear of beeswax on the screw threads might help.
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Old 04-04-12, 06:06 PM   #11
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i had to use threadlocker on my ofmega shifters or the screw would back out as you shifted. with grease (attempt #1) it would come loose enough to slip in a few shifts. dry, (attempt #2) it would last 10 miles or so before it needed tightened. with very low strength (purple) loctite the screws stay put and the bike shifts great.
Sounds like an anomaly, but whatever works. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-04-12, 07:12 PM   #12
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this is an area where beeswax makes sense.
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Old 04-04-12, 07:16 PM   #13
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Sounds like an anomaly, but whatever works. Thanks for sharing.
i would guess it to be an anomaly as well. it had me pretty frustrated for several weeks.
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