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  1. #1
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    Friction shifting

    I know that many folks touring, prefer friction shifting as do i. I also am aware that tourers in Europe tend to prefer flat bars. Many of you here have experience riding in Europe and have probably seen lots of folks touring there and can perhaps answer this question. What are the flat bar types using for friction shifters as no one really makes them any more except for very cheap Sun Race ones? Or do they just use modern index ones?
    Incidentally i use a very old nice quality set of flat bar friction shifters i got from a friend of mine that are probably 30+ years old and still going strong.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    I've been pleased with the twist grip shifters I've had on two bikes wiith flat bars. Not a bit of trouble in 5 years, tho with sweaty hands, can sometimes be a grip problem. I did use friction on my DF touring bike. Preferred them over brifters. Over all, I rate the twist grip shifters higher, both for access and precision, tho it's a close call.

    I think Paul Thumbies can be used to mount friction shifters to a flat bar, near the stem.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    A blanket statement is about an un surveyed population.. is what you want?

    Data anecdote:
    My flat bars are trekking bars, instead. I'm using a Rohloff hub,
    it has a nearly frictionless 2 cable grip shifter.

    The Thumbies do accept friction DT levers., square hole stop plate
    may be required from the DT shifter Assembly
    Last edited by fietsbob; 02-05-12 at 10:00 AM.

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    Rivendell has some options, there is one: http://www.rivbike.com/product-p/sh8.htm Or these: http://www.rivbike.com/product-p/sh5.htm

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I think velo orange sells something like that too..

  6. #6
    Steel is real, baby! frpax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    I think velo orange sells something like that too..
    VO sells Rivendell's shifters, IIRC.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    More likely, they go to the same Asian factory .. that one sells to both.

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    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    IRD also makes friction thumbshifters. They also make the mounts, like Paul Thumbies or Velo Orange mounts. The benefit of friction thumbshifters is that they rarely go bad. If this is true, then there are always used and NOS shifters on eBay. I kind of prefer the Suntour shifters, I just think they are very nice looking.
    Learn what's a platform pedal.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    I did do a sample, albeit not very scientific one, while riding on the border between France and Germany (The Rhine Route). I started by taking the next 100 touring bikes that I saw along the route and categorizing them.
    Type of touring bike (LHT, 520, etc) we generally think about on this forum--7%
    Flat bar bikes--97%
    Mountain bike/Trekking bike/suspension fork-- about 93%

    Don't have a clue about whether the shifters were friction ot not. However, being a gear head I did look over equipment pretty closely when we stopped or talked to people, and most seemed to have index type shifters.

    We stopped at the largest bike shop I have ever seen. While waiting for my wife to find a new pair of gloves and a replacement clip for one of my panniers, I checked out the "trekking bikes". Everyone that I can remeber had index shifting, even the Miyata, Koga, World Traveler. You won't see any drop bars in the "trekking" section here.






    Not quite a suvey of the population, but a perception of what I was seeing

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
    I did do a sample, albeit not very scientific one, while riding on the border between France and Germany (The Rhine Route). I started by taking the next 100 touring bikes that I saw along the route and categorizing them.
    Type of touring bike (LHT, 520, etc) we generally think about on this forum--7%
    Flat bar bikes--97%
    Mountain bike/Trekking bike/suspension fork-- about 93%

    Don't have a clue about whether the shifters were friction ot not. However, being a gear head I did look over equipment pretty closely when we stopped or talked to people, and most seemed to have index type shifters.

    We stopped at the largest bike shop I have ever seen. While waiting for my wife to find a new pair of gloves and a replacement clip for one of my panniers, I checked out the "trekking bikes". Everyone that I can remeber had index shifting, even the Miyata, Koga, World Traveler. You won't see any drop bars in the "trekking" section here.






    Not quite a suvey of the population, but a perception of what I was seeing
    Interesting. I like my flat bars with barends,guess id fit in good over there,except i use the old style friction thumbies. Wow thats some big bike shop. Thanks for that survey.

  11. #11
    Senior Member clasher's Avatar
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    I have a lovely pair of friction suntour shifters, there are many great vintage MTB shifters out there, that'd be my preference over a modern rivendell thing.

  12. #12
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I have 3-4 "touring" bikes. Friction bar ends (drop bars) , brifters (drop bars), Suntour XCM thumb shifters (butterfly bars) that can be switched between friction and index (rear runs index front runs friction for trimming), Deore XLT index (flat bars). I had a Staiger Florida which is a German trekking bike, flat bars, indexed thumb shifters.
    Favorite bike is the one with the friction bar ends.

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  13. #13
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    I just recently put the Velo Orange adapters on my Hunqapillar. I haven't made any long trips yet, but I like them so far.

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  14. #14
    Wrench Savant balindamood's Avatar
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    My personal favorite that I use on my untility and expedition type bikes are Shimano AT-50's thumb shifters from the mid 1980's. I like them better than the Deore XT's and they are much less sought after (i.e. less expensive).
    "Where you come from is gone;
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    and where you are ain't no good unless you can get away from it."

  15. #15
    Slow Rider bwgride's Avatar
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    I use Paul Thumbies with bar-end shifters. I also have older thumb shifters (1990 to 1993) on my other bikes.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #16
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    I had a set of thumb shifters that had a switch on them that would change them, on the fly from friction to indexed. They were an off-brand that I pulled off an old, big-box mountain bike.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  17. #17
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Anyhow, recent years , the stock WT is derailleur, only. But ..
    they offer the Signature custom build program ,
    and There a Menu of components is offered, including IGH,
    there you pick components, and the OEM in NL builds itup and ships it
    for pickup at your Local shop, if a Koga Dealer, [they largely dropped shipping to the US]

    My '04 Koga WT-R was already here , I got it used..

    Decades prior,I put a lot of miles on my Drop bar bikes ..
    with Sun Tour , bar end shifters.. ratchet/friction.

  18. #18
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frpax View Post
    VO sells Rivendell's shifters, IIRC.
    About three years ago I picked up a pair of Falcon thumb shifters from VO. Main in Taiwan. Friction only. I think they are still available at $12.

    Pretty basic looking, but the action is micro ratcheting and they feel really nice. I just got around to putting them on my winter bike.

    {Edit.. yep still available**


    http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...-shifters.html

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