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Old 12-30-12, 08:58 PM   #1
hybridbkrdr
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Who would buy Shimano Deore 8 speed friction shifters?

I don't know if I asked this before, but I know people say at gminsidenews.com that GM apparently does read the messages. So, if a manufacturer were to read this, would you ever get an 8 speed Shimano Deore trekking groupset with Deore 8 speed friction shifters and a chainguard?
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Old 12-30-12, 09:19 PM   #2
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"Friction" and "8 speed" are not exactly compatible. Maybe you mean 8-speed with the option to switch to friction, ala some of Shimano's downtube and barend shifters? If that's the case, why not try to score some NOS 8-speed DT or BE shifters? They're not really that rare on eBay but I'll hazard a guess that the sales rate is low enough that big-time manufacturers like Shimano really wouldn't be interested. Smaller companies like IRD may be interested, but their current offering only has a 9-speed only barcon.
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Old 12-30-12, 09:20 PM   #3
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I do like how my commuter set works as described but it is indeed doubtful that it would go back into production...
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Old 12-30-12, 10:23 PM   #4
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I bought a pair of 8-speed bar-ends so I could use one to control our drum brake. Works good, but I wish it had more friction in friction mode. I rather think they would work fine for 9 and 10 speed uses in friction mode. Don't see why not.
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Old 12-30-12, 11:05 PM   #5
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I use 7 speed thumb shifters to move an 8 speed drivetrain with friction; I also use bar-end shifters and thumb shifters in friction mode on another bike. I'd like to see a return of thumb shifters.
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Old 12-31-12, 12:55 AM   #6
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Count me in - I'd like to see a return to simpler, standardized, quality components across the board. The specialty stuff that's 'cutting edge' this year is obsolete two years down the road, impossible to get parts for in five years, and prospective landfill shortly afterwards.
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Old 12-31-12, 01:20 AM   #7
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another yes.

i love them old suntour and deore thumbshifters, the kind you can sometimes find on ebay.
good solid stuff that would last 50-100,000 miles. stuff you could take apart in the middle
of inner mongolia and repair. simple, robust, minimal moving parts.

few, if any, tiny plastic parts that wear out every six months or so.

i'd like to see a series of simple thumbshifters with indexes for 7,8,9 speeds, with the option
for friction. but jinkies, we can even do without the indexing. i figger after a couple days of
riding, you should have figgered out where your gears are.

i'm touring on a bike. i'm not racing in the tour de france, i don't need crispy, split-second
shifting. and while we're at it, let's get rid of those damn ramps and pins on the chain
wheels. go back to simple, standardized, five-arm rings.
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Old 12-31-12, 07:46 AM   #8
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I have several sets of Suntour Barcons use them on a variety of drive trains, they pre date indexed shifters by several years. As long as the cable pull is there they will work with just about anything.

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Old 12-31-12, 09:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Fly View Post
"Friction" and "8 speed" are not exactly compatible. Maybe you mean 8-speed with the option to switch to friction, ala some of Shimano's downtube and barend shifters? If that's the case, why not try to score some NOS 8-speed DT or BE shifters? They're not really that rare on eBay but I'll hazard a guess that the sales rate is low enough that big-time manufacturers like Shimano really wouldn't be interested. Smaller companies like IRD may be interested, but their current offering only has a 9-speed only barcon.
Can you explain what you mean by 8 speed is not compatible with friction shifting? I read many comments from people saying the thinner chain on a 9 speed drivetrain made it more difficult to change speeds. And on a 10 speed drivetrain, it was questionable whether you wanted to use friction shifting.

This is not about the Deore thumb shifters selling on eBay for $250. I am impressed though by the thinking of the other posters here. I'm relieved to see other people sharing my general point of vue on friction shifting. And I appreciate the variety of ideas expressed here.
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Old 12-31-12, 09:34 AM   #10
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Friction shifting works well with lower # gears / wider cog spacing, because you're shifting by feel and sound. The more cogs, the narrower the cogs, the more difficulty one experiences in adjusting the shifter lever to the exact right center-of-cog position. You'll find yourself going back and forth on adjustments pretty often on anything above 7spd, which is mostly why Shimano introduced indexed shifting during the 7 spd era (early 1990s).

There is no good reason why anyone can't use modern indexed shifters for any bicycling application. Typically when people talk about friction shifting, it is only in the context of having the capability as backup in the rare event that the indexing capability of your shifters/brifters fail. Some folks cannot adjust derailleurs, they're too cheap or stubborn to visit the LBS for help, so they settle on the mediocre solution of friction shifters. The problem is not the equipment - it is the users.
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Old 12-31-12, 09:34 AM   #11
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If we are talking new 8 speed friction stuff on a new bike then count me as a big no. I do still tour on 7 speed stuff a lot of the time, but it is all indexed and it is on an old frame that doesn't easily accomodate newer components (aluminum frame with narrow dropout spacing). My 7 speed stuff does have the ability to use friction mode, but I have never needed or wanted to do so.
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Old 12-31-12, 10:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr View Post
Can you explain what you mean by 8 speed is not compatible with friction shifting? I read many comments from people saying the thinner chain on a 9 speed drivetrain made it more difficult to change speeds. And on a 10 speed drivetrain, it was questionable whether you wanted to use friction shifting.

This is not about the Deore thumb shifters selling on eBay for $250. I am impressed though by the thinking of the other posters here. I'm relieved to see other people sharing my general point of vue on friction shifting. And I appreciate the variety of ideas expressed here.
Sorry I wasn't clear. I meant 8-speed shifters are indexed and therefore are not friction shifters, although some 8-speed shifters can be switched to be friction shifters.

I actually use friction shifters on my commuter on an almost daily basis. The ones I use are designed by Suntour, revived by Rivendell for their purpose as "Silver" shifters and manufactured by Dia Compe. I shift an 8-speed cassette with them and they've been trouble-free since day 1. I actually tried friction shifting with a 9-speed cassette and didn't like it as much because the shifting was a bit more finicky to get right. Modern cassettes with their shift gates and ramps narrow the working range, making the chain more "jumpy", so it is more challenging with friction shifting.

On another bike, I got some Shimano 9-speed DT shifters. If I have a 9-speed cassette on that bike, it gets switched to index mode. If I have anything else (8, 7, etc), it gets switched to friction. This way, I have a good compromise and flexibility of drivetrain mix-n-match. The Shimano shifters in friction mode don't nearly feel as nice as the Dia Compe's Power Ratchet mechanism though.
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Old 12-31-12, 10:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Fly View Post
"Friction" and "8 speed" are not exactly compatible. Maybe you mean 8-speed with the option to switch to friction, ala some of Shimano's downtube and barend shifters? If that's the case, why not try to score some NOS 8-speed DT or BE shifters? They're not really that rare on eBay but I'll hazard a guess that the sales rate is low enough that big-time manufacturers like Shimano really wouldn't be interested. Smaller companies like IRD may be interested, but their current offering only has a 9-speed only barcon.
Quote:
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Can you explain what you mean by 8 speed is not compatible with friction shifting? I read many comments from people saying the thinner chain on a 9 speed drivetrain made it more difficult to change speeds. And on a 10 speed drivetrain, it was questionable whether you wanted to use friction shifting.

This is not about the Deore thumb shifters selling on eBay for $250. I am impressed though by the thinking of the other posters here. I'm relieved to see other people sharing my general point of vue on friction shifting. And I appreciate the variety of ideas expressed here.
I first opened this link because I wanted to see what was meant by "8 speed" and "friction" because you either use friction or you use an indexed shifter. (Or, perhaps friction front mixed with indexed rear.) Some, like Shimano bar end shifters can be selected to use friction or indexed. But, I fail to understand how a friction indexed shifter works.

I could have used nine speed when I built up my last three bikes, but I built them up with eight speed instead. All three use Sram 11/32 cassettes. The only difference between the 11/32 eight speed and nine speed cassettes is that teh nine speed has 24 and 28 tooth sprockets whereas the eight speed has a 26 tooth sprocket instead. I am almost always in the 14 to 21 tooth range on the cassette. I am rarely on the part of the cassette that has than many teeth, thus I only rarely would have an advantage of that extra gear.

Since I almost never am on a nine speed bike, I do not know if the shifting is that much smoother with an eight over a nine, but if it is I would rather have the smoother shifting that comes with a greater distance between the sprockets and greater amount of cable pull per gear. Plus, eight speed was a bit cheaper.

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Old 12-31-12, 10:46 AM   #14
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Friction shifting works well with lower # gears / wider cog spacing, because you're shifting by feel and sound. The more cogs, the narrower the cogs, the more difficulty one experiences in adjusting the shifter lever to the exact right center-of-cog position. You'll find yourself going back and forth on adjustments pretty often on anything above 7spd, which is mostly why Shimano introduced indexed shifting during the 7 spd era (early 1990s).

There is no good reason why anyone can't use modern indexed shifters for any bicycling application. Typically when people talk about friction shifting, it is only in the context of having the capability as backup in the rare event that the indexing capability of your shifters/brifters fail. Some folks cannot adjust derailleurs, they're too cheap or stubborn to visit the LBS for help, so they settle on the mediocre solution of friction shifters. The problem is not the equipment - it is the users.
I have Suntour XCM indexed on a a rear 6 speed, came factory stock in 1987/88 model year.

Aaron
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Old 12-31-12, 10:50 AM   #15
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I run Suntour barcons on my 9-speed rain bike. They work great. After I've been on it for a few weeks, I start to prefer them to brifters because they shift many gears so quickly. Not an issue.
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Old 12-31-12, 10:57 AM   #16
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I personally love it when a shifter is designated with a number of speeds and has a friction mode. At least in Shimano's case, that means the friction mode is that micro-ratchet version which is a joy to use and doesn't require so much friction to hold the setting that you have to fight with it to shift.
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Old 12-31-12, 10:57 AM   #17
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Can you explain what you mean by 8 speed is not compatible with friction shifting?
I'd call it a terminology conflict , a friction shift lever has no fixed "Speed" number count..
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Old 12-31-12, 12:31 PM   #18
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I have Suntour XCM indexed on a a rear 6 speed, came factory stock in 1987/88 model year.

Aaron
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Old 12-31-12, 06:40 PM   #19
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I'd call it a terminology conflict , a friction shift lever has no fixed "Speed" number count..
My 8 speed idea was based partly on the fact it's easier to find quality hubs that take 8 speeds and that 9 speed is more challenging to shift in friction mode from the comments I saw.

Besides, I don't know if I will succeed in the financial markets, but I was thinking if I did make it, would it be realistic to pay Shimano to make an 8 speed Deore groupset. I mean there were 8 speed Alivio cranksets but now even Alivio went to 9 speed.

I understand the above comment that some people don't know how to adjust derailleurs. But, in the end, a personal choice to me is a personal choice.
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Old 12-31-12, 09:35 PM   #20
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I too would love an ultra low tech group. 6 spd, friction, etc. I bought one of the last US made low end Cannondale road bikes back in the 80's. An SR400 I believe. It had the last of the Shimano 105 non indexed setups that were mounted to brazons on the down tube. I think that Dura Ace was already indexed at that time. Very clean and worked flawlessly.
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Old 12-31-12, 11:08 PM   #21
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If you are just wanting a new set of friction shifters, get the "Silver" shifters from Rivendell.
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Old 12-31-12, 11:28 PM   #22
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If you are just wanting a new set of friction shifters, get the "Silver" shifters from Rivendell.
Yes! They rock. I've a set sitting on Paul Thumbies. I'm thinking about putting them on another bike of mine.

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Old 01-01-13, 07:16 AM   #23
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My 8 speed idea was based partly on the fact it's easier to find quality hubs that take 8 speeds and that 9 speed is more challenging to shift in friction mode from the comments I saw.

... ...
The Shimano hubs on my bikes take eight or nine speed cassettes and the rear derailleurs work with both eight and nine. The cassettes, shifters and chain are the difference between eight and nine speed systems.
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Old 01-01-13, 09:59 AM   #24
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Considering that Shimano has removed the friction option from their latest 10 speed down tube shifters, I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for this.
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