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Did I do this right? Cabling rear derailleur with downtube friction shifters

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Did I do this right? Cabling rear derailleur with downtube friction shifters

Old 06-06-19, 10:35 PM
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Did I do this right? Cabling rear derailleur with downtube friction shifters

I was pretty sure I did things properly, but I have 2 related questions that stick out after testing things:

1) The shifter for the rear seems to have to go a long way backward to shift to the largest gear in the back. It's a 5 speed freewheel. Is this normal? (see pic) It won't actually go any further - which leads to my next question...


2) When the chain is on the largest gear, it never seats fully and while it stays on the gear, it just keeps making that "I'm not quite on the gear but I'm really close" noise friction shifting makes. Like I said I can't make it go any further with the lever. I tried the limit screw but it won't go anymore as far as I could tell - maybe I was doing it wrong. Would it have anything to do with the freewheel having different gearing than the original? (the original derailleur is being used). The original freewheel was 14-17-19-21-24, while the new one I got is 14-28 (because 14-24 doesn't exist anymore apparently). As of now, I don't think that last gear is useable.


Lastly, in the below pic, the chain is on the middle gear of the 5, and the front is on the big ring - do you think the shifters are in the correct spots for these?
I will say I had to move the levers a lot further to shift than I was anticipating.


Anyway, just curious what everyone might think...
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Old 06-07-19, 12:12 AM
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1) varies a lot depending on both the shifter and the derailleur. Some derailleurs require a lot more pull than others (and before index shifting, no one cared). Different shifters had different diameter drums so they pull different amounts with a given angle of lever travel.

2) The only lever position that matters is when the levers are fully thrown forward. Does the wire slacken enough that the derailleur shifts promptly? Is there too much cable slack? If the answer is yes to the first and no to the second, you are good. (Now, some shifters do not have enough takeup for the derailleur it is paired up to so you cannot get onto the largest cog. Time for a shifter with a bigger drum andmore takeup.)

3) It is what it is. There is no "right" for the middle cogs like there is no "right" for the largest.

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Old 06-07-19, 04:20 AM
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Couple of observations & things I’d be curious about?

1) Your rear derailleur appears to be a Huret Jubilee. While I never had one, I remember seeing them and reading about them in the past. This is a very beautiful, minimalist RD. Pretty sure it would be of limited range unless it is some kind of longer cage variant. If it is the standard Jubillee, then 24 tooth or maybe 26 tooth might be your max. I’ll be curious to hear what users of this actual derailleur say.

But onto your questions about the positioning of the downtube levers.

2) We really need a picture of how the lever looks pushed all the way forward into your biggest gear (smallest rear cog). This is where you start setting up a downtube lever (or really any rear derailleur vintage or modern). You mentioned the low limit screw for your big rear cog, is your high limit screw for your smallest cog set correctly? Also when in your smallest cog you do have the lever pushed forward all the way, yes? And when in the pushed all the way forward position, you should also have all excess slop pulled out of the cable.

Your shift levers appear to be nice, classic Huret friction that have a generously sized barrel on the lever to pull enough cable. So the lever, in my mind isn’t going to be the culprit. More a set-up issue (not getting the lever slammed all the way forward at the outset, and the possible rear derailleur incompatibility with the 28 tooth freewheel cog).

It is certainly understandable why you would be hoping that your set-up works - I mean your rear derailleur is one of if not the most elegant of all time, that thing only weighs like 145 grams if I recall correctly. I had always heard that they were fussy though and if you want to build a drivetrain around that derailleur, it will be worth your while to spec a proper racing ratio freewheel from the vintage world. I’m partial to Dura Ace 7400 seven speed but a SunTour Winner Pro (5, 6, or 7 speed) would also work really well.

I look forward to seeing your photo in the high gear position & getting your thoughts on what your priorities are for your build (keep it pretty and racer-esque or make it practical & be willing to put your jewelry back in the box)?

Last edited by masi61; 06-07-19 at 04:24 AM.
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Old 06-07-19, 07:32 AM
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I agree with @masi61; you're pushing the limit of that Jubilee derailleur with a 28T freewheel. I never got a Jubilee to work smoothly with anything larger than 26T. 24T freewheels are still available and will likely give more satisfactory performance.

Re: shift lever travel. You have a Huret derailleur and a Huret shift lever, so they should work fine together. Friction shifting is very forgiving. As long as you can hit all the gears, it's fine. But if the low gear is hard to reach before the lever runs out of travel, you may need to remove slack in the cable. With the lever all the way forward (highest gear/smallest rear cog), is there any slack in the cable? If so, loosen the cable anchor on the derailleur and pull the cable taut before re-anchoring the cable.
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Old 06-07-19, 08:21 AM
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...I agree about the freewheel. I have one of these rear derailleurs on a Moto Grand Jubilee and it won't take a 28 tooth rear cog at all. There's a problem in the world of freewheels now, where we're starting to see a significant drop in the used parts supply chain of closer ratio freewheels, with 24 and 26 tooth rear cogs as the largest.

And sometimes when you find such a beast, there are at least one or two of the smaller cogs that are worn out and need replacement. The pricing on older close ratio freewheels (like those by Suntour and Shimano) was exorbitant on e-bay when last I checked. I have been forced into repairing them for my own use...a task I always hated and avoided in the past. But they are out there. I occasionally stumble upon them at the bike co-op here.

There's good info on replacing cogs on the older Shimano and Suntour 5/6 freewheels on the internet. If you decide to go that route. But you need a source for cogs, like the pile of old freewheels at my bike co-op here.
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Old 06-07-19, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by masi61
Couple of observations & things I’d be curious about?

1) Your rear derailleur appears to be a Huret Jubilee. While I never had one, I remember seeing them and reading about them in the past. This is a very beautiful, minimalist RD. Pretty sure it would be of limited range unless it is some kind of longer cage variant. If it is the standard Jubillee, then 24 tooth or maybe 26 tooth might be your max. I’ll be curious to hear what users of this actual derailleur say.

But onto your questions about the positioning of the downtube levers.

2) We really need a picture of how the lever looks pushed all the way forward into your biggest gear (smallest rear cog). This is where you start setting up a downtube lever (or really any rear derailleur vintage or modern). You mentioned the low limit screw for your big rear cog, is your high limit screw for your smallest cog set correctly? Also when in your smallest cog you do have the lever pushed forward all the way, yes? And when in the pushed all the way forward position, you should also have all excess slop pulled out of the cable.

Your shift levers appear to be nice, classic Huret friction that have a generously sized barrel on the lever to pull enough cable. So the lever, in my mind isn’t going to be the culprit. More a set-up issue (not getting the lever slammed all the way forward at the outset, and the possible rear derailleur incompatibility with the 28 tooth freewheel cog).

It is certainly understandable why you would be hoping that your set-up works - I mean your rear derailleur is one of if not the most elegant of all time, that thing only weighs like 145 grams if I recall correctly. I had always heard that they were fussy though and if you want to build a drivetrain around that derailleur, it will be worth your while to spec a proper racing ratio freewheel from the vintage world. I’m partial to Dura Ace 7400 seven speed but a SunTour Winner Pro (5, 6, or 7 speed) would also work really well.

I look forward to seeing your photo in the high gear position & getting your thoughts on what your priorities are for your build (keep it pretty and racer-esque or make it practical & be willing to put your jewelry back in the box)?
Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
I agree with @masi61; you're pushing the limit of that Jubilee derailleur with a 28T freewheel. I never got a Jubilee to work smoothly with anything larger than 26T. 24T freewheels are still available and will likely give more satisfactory performance.

Re: shift lever travel. You have a Huret derailleur and a Huret shift lever, so they should work fine together. Friction shifting is very forgiving. As long as you can hit all the gears, it's fine. But if the low gear is hard to reach before the lever runs out of travel, you may need to remove slack in the cable. With the lever all the way forward (highest gear/smallest rear cog), is there any slack in the cable? If so, loosen the cable anchor on the derailleur and pull the cable taut before re-anchoring the cable.
Thanks for the thoughts.
To answer a few of your questions:
1) Yes, the lever travels all the way to the front/top end for the smallest cog - I cabled it and made the cable taut with the lever all the way forward and on the smallest cog.
2) There's a whole thread in C&V (Raleigh Super Tourer - 1st full rebuild in progress) from when I first was looking to buy the bike, through finally working on it this year. There was much excitement over the Huret components, for sure. I've come to really appreciate the quirks of this bike, and it's amazing parts. Post #95 was a big update and has links to another thread showing how nicely the parts cleaned up.
3) It's not a racing bike, it's an upright townie/touring type bike that Raleigh only made for 4 years. You can find it's original configuration in the 1974 catalog: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/retrora...talog-1974.pdf
4) I had a hard time finding 5-speed freewheels, and literally none with the same gearing as the original Maillard one (which I cleaned up and still have - but couldn't use it on the new wheels because of the threading). But I also probably didn't know what specific keyboards to search with besides "5 speed freewheel" hah!
5) If 24t is the max a Jubilee will handle correctly, looks like I'll deal with not using that gear for a while and replace the freewheel in the future. Houston doesn't exactly have a lot of hills, so....
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Old 06-07-19, 12:08 PM
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A 6-speed freewheel should also work without modification of your wheel dish and most likely no change in axle spacers either.

Type “Regina freewheel” or “Sachs frrewheel” into eBay & you should be able to find one with your specifications.
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Old 06-07-19, 05:43 PM
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https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-197...c-CUF#viTabs_0

...this will work, but I'm not sure what "practically no use" means in the listing. FWIW all of my freewheels are used takeoffs that I picked up along the way here and there. So it might be a good deal if none of the cogs are worn to the point where chain skip becomes a problem.
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Old 06-07-19, 06:49 PM
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IRD still has some 5 and 6 speed freewheels that are made to Shimano 600 standards.
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Old 06-08-19, 06:12 AM
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It looks like the top "pulley" in the RD cage is too close to the freewheel when you've shifted to the large cog. This isn't directly related to the wrap capacity of the RD, but rather to the position of the RD compared with the rear axle. Sometimes you can fine tune this by moving the rear wheel slightly forward or rearward in the dropouts. I don't know if the Jubilee has a "B" screw adjustment or not, that screw is used to adjust the distance between the top cage pulley and the freewheel cogs.

If those changes don't give you the clearance you need, you may be able to use a roadlink. This little piece of aluminum simply spaces the RD away from the axle to give more clearance between the top pulley and the cogs. A friend had clearance issues with a 32t rear cog and this little part solved them. it will not increase the wrap capacity of the RD, but just gives the RD more space to work.

It just might be the magic you need to have all of this work together.
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