Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Down-tube shifter conversion

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Down-tube shifter conversion

Old 06-16-18, 05:42 PM
  #1  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Down-tube shifter conversion

I have a 1986 Lotus Challenger SX that I fixed up and started to ride it a lot this summer. It originally came with stem friction shifters.
I have gotten used to the shifters but I feel like downtube shifters are a lot better.
The frame does not have existing mounting points for the shifters, but I have seen on ebay used downtube shifters that are attached to collar style clamps, and you fit it over the downtube and tighten down.
I had an idea was to cut off the cable housing holders that are welded on to the downtube, sand it down, and then put the downtube shifter collar in its place. Would this be a good idea in practice?
dmsc12 is offline  
Old 06-16-18, 06:17 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 17,925

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Mongoose Tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder, Stewart 650B ATB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4138 Post(s)
Liked 3,712 Times in 2,226 Posts
No. Any mod that is not reversible is a questionable idea. Do the casing stops interfere with the levers' placement/travel? If not then reconsider the removal of the stops. The way you position this bike in your life will undoubtedly change over time and you might want to try brifters, bar ends or sell the bike. Andy
__________________
AndrewRStewart
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Old 06-16-18, 06:53 PM
  #3  
SE Wis
 
dedhed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 10,452

Bikes: '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400, 2013 Novara Randonee, 1990 Trek 970

Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2702 Post(s)
Liked 3,304 Times in 2,008 Posts
just mount the band above or below the stops. You can also use new ones.

https://www.amazon.com/SHIFTER-MOUNT.../dp/B007Q4NKN2
dedhed is offline  
Old 06-17-18, 06:57 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 33,656

Bikes: '96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '20 Surly Midnight Special, All are 3x10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2025 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1,093 Times in 739 Posts
I'd reconsider the downtube shifters and think about barends instead. They will let you keep (indeed require) the downtube housing stops and are more convenient than downtube shifters too.
HillRider is offline  
Old 06-17-18, 04:09 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
dsbrantjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 8,319

Bikes: '93 Trek 750, '92 Schwinn Crisscross, '93 Mongoose Alta

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1438 Post(s)
Liked 1,091 Times in 722 Posts
Originally Posted by HillRider
I'd reconsider the downtube shifters and think about barends instead. They will let you keep (indeed require) the downtube housing stops and are more convenient than downtube shifters too.
Or look at your Gevenalle brake/shifter system; you could probably use your shifters: https://www.gevenalle.com/product/audax/
dsbrantjr is offline  
Old 06-17-18, 04:48 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 20,499

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 178 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5873 Post(s)
Liked 3,432 Times in 2,061 Posts
This is the bike?

Challenger SX & Mixte SX

It's worth fixing up. Downtube shifters are the cheapest/easiest assuming that the cable stops don't get in the way of the shifters; otherwise go with bar end shifters. You're best bet for finding vintage shifters are either a bike co-op or the C&V for sale section. Just put up a WTB ad. I just bought a set of suntour ratcheting bar end shifters. Those are great shifters and they'll do the job for you without having to modify the frame.

Some of the modern bar end indexing shifters have a friction option and will work as well but they will generally be more expensive than vintage bar end shifters. Be careful because some modern indexing bar end shifters do not have a friction option.

Friction bar end shifters are still being made. The dia compe bar end shifters are very good but not cheap at $56:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA4M57EG4763&ignorebbr=1&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleMKP-PC&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleMKP-PC-_-pla-_-Cycle+Parts-_-9SIA4M57EG4763&gclid=CjwKCAjwjZjZBRAZEiwAPeLSKy6z_xawqb3zBLyROpIQQ9u3sXJe6Es7DhtNEs9XzudZ9jX2fGZG8ho C_vAQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

They'll do the job. I've used them extensively on a vintage touring bike that I ride and they're very good.

Last edited by bikemig; 06-17-18 at 04:52 PM.
bikemig is online now  
Old 06-17-18, 07:16 PM
  #7  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thankyou everyone,
I decided to change the freewheel to a 7 speed and get Shimanos 8 speed brifters. I read that the spacing is so very similiar that it will just work, but I just have to deal with a ghost gear.
dmsc12 is offline  
Old 06-17-18, 08:40 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Kontact's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 6,649
Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4165 Post(s)
Liked 1,345 Times in 877 Posts
Originally Posted by dmsc12
Thankyou everyone,
I decided to change the freewheel to a 7 speed and get Shimanos 8 speed brifters. I read that the spacing is so very similiar that it will just work, but I just have to deal with a ghost gear.

They aren't that close. Buy some Microshift 7 speed brifters. They're cheaper and will work better.


You'll need an older style Shimano or Microshift derailleur if you don't already have one.
Kontact is offline  
Old 06-17-18, 10:13 PM
  #9  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Kontact
They aren't that close. Buy some Microshift 7 speed brifters. They're cheaper and will work better.


You'll need an older style Shimano or Microshift derailleur if you don't already have one.
i ordered a Shimano 600 tricolor RD. I got the shimanos for the same price as the Microshift, but I wasnít aware of the Microshift at the time I ordered the 8 speed.
Iíll see how it works out, but if it just isnít working that well Iíll pick up the micros.
dmsc12 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Frusti
Bicycle Mechanics
9
07-16-17 03:52 PM
cnnrmccloskey
General Cycling Discussion
53
01-19-17 08:55 AM
dcrowell
Bicycle Mechanics
6
12-05-11 10:20 AM
echo
Bicycle Mechanics
24
09-26-11 10:17 PM
bill_brasky
Bicycle Mechanics
7
07-05-11 11:06 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.