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Old 01-11-19, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by vtchuck View Post
I have 3 sets of shifters described as retro friction, with differing characteristics. I find myself confused.

Sun Tour Bar Cons: Clearly a ratcheting shifter, like the Power type down tube levers.

Sachs Huret braze on down tube shifters. Also ratcheting, but subjectively more refined

First generation Simplex SLJ clamp on: No ratchet. Lighter feel on the up stroke. Smooth feel.

So what gives? Are ST & Huret characterized incorrectly? Or do all 3 qualify?

All 3 shifters use a mechanism to disengage the friction plate in the cable-pull direction, and so the pure meaning of the phrase "retrofriction" can be intelligibly applied to all three. However, Simplex sort of adopted "Retrofriction" early on as a description of their spring-clutch mechanism, so to avoid a small amount of confusion and a large amount of inexplicable anger, it's usually best to refer to ratcheting shifters like the SunTour as simply "ratcheting."
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