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Downtube shifters with no braze-on?

Old 01-03-18, 06:35 AM
  #1  
tonyfourdogs
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Downtube shifters with no braze-on?

Hi folks

I want to change the bars on this bike to drop bars, but I'm not sure if the downtube shifters I have are going to work on this frame.

As you can see in the pictures, there are cable guides at roughly the same place you'd expect to find a braze-on, but I don't know if they'll hold the (clamp on) shifters securely and whether they'll allow the cables to move freely.

I wondered about putting the shifters on the stem, but the stem is quite a bit narrower than the downtube, so I don't think my shifters will fit. Short of splashing out on brifters or bar end shifters, does anyone have any suggestions about how I can do this?

Thanks in advance. Mods - feel free to move to C&V if it's a better fit there.
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Old 01-03-18, 06:42 AM
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I have successfully used clamp-on shifters with nothing to keep them from sliding down the tube. Also, if you're using clamp-on shifters, they are probably friction so a little movement isn't going to affect your ride-ability.

If you are converting to drop bars you will probably not like stem mounted shifters anyway because they force you to sit up and change your riding position every time that you shift.
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Old 01-03-18, 08:55 AM
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If you are replacing flat bars with drop bars you are going to need new brake levers too so there is an alternative that will let you use your downtube shifters and provide the convenience of brifters without the expense or jury rigging a clamp-on arangement. Gevenalle (gevenalle.com) sells dropbar brake levers that have brackets to mount either downtube levers or the levers from barend shifters. They position the shifters right on the brake levers and work extremely well. Give them a look.
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Old 01-03-18, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by tonyfourdogs View Post
I want to change the bars on this bike to drop bars, but I'm not sure if the downtube shifters I have are going to work on this frame

I was upgrading a an old Motobacane from 7 to 8 gears. I ordered Shiman clamp-on 8-speed shifters. But...I never have liked the clamp that comes with those things. So, I ordered one of these.
https://www.modernbike.com/product-2...BoCp4cQAvD_BwE

It's good, quality construction, works well, and can be used on a few various size downtubes. The problem that I had with it is that the levers are mounted much farther off the tube than with the clamp included with the shift levers. I didn't like that so I ended up using the clamp included with the shifters. But...in your case...with the cable stops...that extra space might be just what you need.
You could also grind those cable stops off so that they don't interfere with the shift levers/cables. If you did grind them...you could leave just a bit of it remaining to act as a block to keep the clamp from sliding. My old frame (and many old frames) has a small stopper brazed on specifically for that purpose.

Dan

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Old 01-03-18, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_ View Post
You could also grind those cable stops off so that they don't interfere with the shift levers/cables.
Agreed - this project has Dremel written all over it.
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Old 01-03-18, 12:22 PM
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Another option is to use bar-end shifters. They would work with the existing cable stops. I use them on all my non-brifter bikes.
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Old 01-04-18, 02:54 AM
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Thanks everyone, plenty of useful suggestions here.

Since I'm flat broke and already have the brake levers, bars and shifters, I'm going to follow grouch's suggestion first. Failing that I may borrow my mate's grinder.

Will post back if it all goes wrong!
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Old 01-04-18, 05:37 AM
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Take the hardware out of the cable stops, then brace the downtube clamp against the cable stops. The cable stops look low enough to me to not interfere with the shifters or the wires.

If they are, just put the shifter below the stops to where they clear.
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Old 01-04-18, 11:40 AM
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I like bar end sifters fine.. the friction ones best.. get those and you don't need drastic frame bodging..
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Old 01-05-18, 06:55 AM
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Depends on he line up the down tube shifters could rest against the present cable stops, stop them sliding down, very much a trail & error here, leaving the present cable stops allows the option of changing back, but may look bit odd. of just clamp below them about an 1."

To me: don't cut the present cable stops off.
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Old 01-05-18, 07:47 AM
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Noting that the OP is, by his own admission flat broke, bike Recyclery should have some clamp on shifters.
-Tim-
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Old 01-05-18, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Noting that the OP is, by his own admission flat broke, bike Recyclery should have some clamp on shifters.
-Tim-
Yeah, the flat broke statement does eliminate the Gevanelle option. However, your link to bike Recyclery isn't going to be much help either. The "HIGH END" part of their description is certainly accurate. If he has a local Co-Op or "Bike Kitchen" he can do a lot better.
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