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  1. #26
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foggydew
    don't want to admit that there may be technology that is better. Let's move on...
    PS -- I'm NOT a retrogrouch ---- at least not until someone disses my older bikes or accuses me of being grouchy.

  2. #27
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Price: D/A brifters= $400+ = Over-engineered, pricey, too many itsy-bitsy parts.
    D/A barcons under $100 = simple, efficient, w-a-y less $$.
    Your choice . . .

  3. #28
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    Thanks, Wildwood, not to mention a smooth, buttery feeling ... no magic to it any more than thoughtlessly flushing the toilet. But that simplicity and close connection to the derailleur which in turn links to legs and heart does feel right. Good to have both, but wouldn't want to lose that thoughtless ease, and for me personally, wistful reminders of when I started riding with N.R. shifters. Nothing retro-elitist or old time brotherhood about it. And it doesn't take much to train the fingers. And the parts are relatively cheap on ebay. You might even feel like one of those sepia toned old road warriors in antique Tour prints.



    *** Next post let's celebrate fig newtons and YooHoo. 8-)

  4. #29
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrannyGear
    My Question::: ANYBODY ELSE OUT THERE STILL DOING FRICTION BY CHOICE ?
    Heck ya!!! I'm only 23, and I'm friction shifting by choice on my commuter bike With good derailers and a good cassette, it's the smoothest shifting in the world. Plus I paid all of $12 for my shifters, a pair of good ol' SunTour barcons from the 80s. Should last forever.

    I switched my racing bike from downtube shifters to STI, and man what a pain they are to get them adjusted properly. Especially the indexed front shifting, I really don't like it. But I grudgingly accept the STIs because when they're set up right, I can shift faster in a race...
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  5. #30
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    Suntour barcons on my Centurion roadbike, Sun Race thumb friction on my recumbent, and index on my Sturmey Archer 3 speed equipped bikes :>)

    Simple is as simple does and these work well for me.

  6. #31
    Hauja
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    I am 42 and have friction shifters on my Bike friday.I am tempted to retrofit them to my comfort bike.Wildwood you are not a retrogrouch .You are a user of appropriate technology.I wear wool to ride in the winter.
    Last edited by James H Haury; 07-26-05 at 10:02 AM.

  7. #32
    wildjim
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    I use friction shifting and 9 speed cassettes by choice on several bicycles. There are no problems at all shifting with the 9 speed setup, actually the shifting seems better with the 9 speed setup. I'd like to try 10 speed but there doesn't seem to be much advantage with one more cog.

  8. #33
    Newbie DeltaBravoRomeo's Avatar
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    I went from friction to STI mainly for the ability to keep my hands on the brakes and not at the on downtube shift levers. Also found out that I shifted more into lower gears when I really needed to just because it was easier -- made the hills go a lot better!!

    I'd say the advantage would be away from friction...
    "Always Do Right. This Will Amaze Some People and Astonish the Rest." - Mark Twain

  9. #34
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    Hey Granny:

    I ride my 1971 Raleigh 10 speed every day. In 1988 I trashed the Huret junque it came with and put some Shimano 600-EX equipment on it, including the friction shifters and it's been great ever since. You ain't alone, young lady.

    Dave

  10. #35
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    Lady? Lady !? I should have gone for a screen name like TurboJock or something. Anyway Raleigh, thanks for the encouragement....strange how people begin coming out of the woodwork admitting to bucking trends. I savor the fact that olde stuff (without worshipping it simply for its cachet of "ye oldeness") keeps going and going and going. And without a lot of time spend tweaking, adjusting, tensioning, etc. I've blown shifts, but my shifters have never failed me.
    David, too.

  11. #36
    Gammal cyklist Reynolds's Avatar
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    I have downtube shifters but the right one lets you choose between indexed or friction. I use indexed because it works flawlessly that way.

  12. #37
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaBravoRomeo
    I went from friction to STI mainly for the ability to keep my hands on the brakes and not at the on downtube shift levers. Also found out that I shifted more into lower gears when I really needed to just because it was easier -- made the hills go a lot better!!

    I'd say the advantage would be away from friction...
    You can use friction shifters and still keep your hands on the handlebars... bar end shifters I do it every day on my touring bike, and it is so smooth to shift that I use pretty much every one of possible gear combinations. It's just a few inches from the tops or the drops to the shifters, and it doesn't throw off your balance like DT shifters do. Bar end shifters are cheap, rock-solid reliable, and I can switch to indexing if I ever feel so inclined.
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  13. #38
    Powered by Borscht ovoleg's Avatar
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    I have a 8 speed friction shifter front and back. I am liking it more and more everyday. Except using some of the mid gears is kind of a PITA sometimes. I still love it. Has a unique feeling to it

  14. #39
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    I've been using friction shifters for my whole life - hadn't even tried the new indexed shifters until 2 weeks ago when I tried them on a buddy's bike. I now have a new bike on order with index shifters. I can't believe I resisted trying them for so long.

  15. #40
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    What is friction shifting? I don't want to appear clueless, but I guess I am because I just don't know. And if I can't ask on this thread without some wiseass remark then I must be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Please keep in mind that I'm a 61-year old newbie who has gotten the bug! I love my bike but I don't think it has friction shifting since that sounds like an old bike thing, but I might be wrong. Who knows? Certainly not moi!

  16. #41
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    Mary Ann,
    I'd like to think you can ask anything here. Most posters at 50Plus only get wiseass when it matches the intent or content of the question. I think people try to avoid what happens commonly in other places.

    Friction shifting is what used-to-be before indexed shifting arrived in the late 80's. Indexing uses detents or little "stops" inside the shifter that puts or removes just enough tension on the shifter cable to move it to the next detent-- and as it does so, it moves your derailleur just the right distance so your chain can neatly (if all is adjusted adequately) engage the next cog or chainring. shift/click, shift/click, shift/click... each click is your shifter stopping at or passing a detent and causing the chain to land on the next gear.

    Friction shifting had and has no detents or stops in the shifter. The shifter moves freeling back and forth and so it is up to you manually by touch and "feel" to move the derailleur back and forth to where the chain lands on the right cog or freewheel. If you misjudge, your chain rattles a bit and you "trim" by moving the lever a tad to get that chain to mesh with the gear teeth.

    In practice, it becomes second nature and can be very satisfying to get a solid ka-chunk and feel you are directly connected to your bike. OTH, missing a shift on a steep hill or with that vicious rottweiller vectoring on you can be frustrating.

    A few olde fartes and young individualists hang on to friction because it is elegant, retro, shifters on e-bay are cheap or out in the garage because they last almost forever w/o wearing out.....and it simply feels good.

    In the end, its no big deal.
    Last edited by GrannyGear; 08-06-05 at 05:08 PM.

  17. #42
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    Thank you so much for answering my question and for all the information. I had a Centurion LeMans (I think) in 1971 that was a 10-speed I think. Whatever, I used to go from Laguna Beach, CA to work as a waitress when I was a 20-something to Newport Beach, CA. I used my Centurion. I either went in one gear or used the gears or whatever. I have no recall about the gearing of that bike. I just got on the bike and rode it. I don't even know if I ever shifted....probably not! I think I probably just used it as a fixed gear bike and I was probably in great shape and didn't care. Isn't that something to ponder? I wish I had it so I could see what I actually did to ride it that far for that long. When you're young you can do anything, and so I did. I wish I had that bike to look at it. I don't. I'm really sorry about that.

  18. #43
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    I have indexed/friction on my downtube shifters, but I literally never use the index option. I just like friction better. If you know how, it's much smoother than all but Ultegra/DA level STI. Just my opinion, no flames please.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bikeforums
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  19. #44
    Senior Member sewupnut's Avatar
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    Interesting discussion. Up to this year I raced 6sp Regina's with Suntour Superbe Pro, arguably the best friction shifting setup there is. Suntour shift levers are downright elegant. Got a new bike this year with DA STI. No comparison! Seems pointless now to ride the old stuff. But I still feel like a traitor.

    sun

  20. #45
    Senior Member Cassave's Avatar
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    I like this thread, of course this discussion has been going on in one form or another since bronze speartips began to replace those retro obsidian things.

    Two bikes, both simple downtube friction shifters because they're the simplest, lightest and most reliable method of gear selection and since I'm not racing there's no need to throw microsecond timed shifts while my hands stay on the bars.

  21. #46
    Jim Shapiro
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    There is one area where friction shifters have a decided advantage over indexed shifters and that is when you want to move from a large cog to to a smaller one several gears away. As far as I know, very few indexed shifters and none of the more recent indexed systems can jump more than 3 gears at a time "pulling" and only 1 gear at a time "slacking off". One of my bikes is a 15 speed Centurion with friction shifting (both front and back). When I am in the largest cog pulling a hill and reach the summit, all I have to do is move the right downtube lever all the way forward and, voila, I'm in my highest gear. On either of my indexed Bianchis it's here-a-click, there-a-click until I finally reach the desired gear. Or is there a way around this one-at-a-time shifting that I don't know about?

    Jim

  22. #47
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    The only thing that looks better to me than friction shifters is the internally-geared multi speed hubs. Anyone tried them?

  23. #48
    Riding a bitsa
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    I'm new to bicycling. I am currently on an older borrowed bike and just learned from this thread that I'm a dinosaur using friction shifters. I also have a mtn bike with those click to shift triggers. Up until this thread I thought road bikes use the downtube 'friction' shifters while mtn bikes use the triggers.

    So I suppose I'm backwards road rider as well as being a newbie. Doesn't seem to hinder my enjoyment of riding the sun up each morning.

  24. #49
    Powered by Borscht ovoleg's Avatar
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    yea the friction shifting doesn't take anything away from it. I like the fact that you can shift to the right gear really fast without clicking away at it. It does get annoying when you want to pop it into one smaller cog on the back(takes a bit of adjusting for it not to make any noise) but its definately worth it. I love the design and I never had a chain slip off or fall.

    Dinosaur? I like the the classic look .

  25. #50
    Senior Member
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    as someone who just starting riding again after roughly 20 years off, I've found it a joy to use the new indexed shifting.

    I was accustomed to the friction shifting, and always used shifting at the end of the bars (we used to call them goodie-levers), and was adept at shifting. But the index shifting is much quicker and I like the click of getting set in the right position.

    That being said, I agree with Jim Shapiro after I bought a new bike with Shimano 105, I was frustrated by having to shift a cog at a time on the rear cassette. (I was also frustrated by the difficulty of trimming the front derailleur).

    So my LBS graciously (but at a price) stripped out the 105 and replaced it with Campy Centaur, which will shift multiple cogs up and down and trim the front. (though I can't do all 10 cogs at a time)

    I'm very happy and don't miss the friction shifting at all. Sometimes so-called improvements are real improvements after all.

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