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Rear gears - does the brand matter when used with friction shifters?

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Rear gears - does the brand matter when used with friction shifters?

Old 10-10-07, 05:14 PM
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Rear gears - does the brand matter when used with friction shifters?

I'm sorry if this is a noob question but I keep seeing references to having to change the whole group when changing hubs and want to double check before I get in over my head.

I have three bikes, none of exceptional quality but they get me where I have to go (when they work) faster than walking, great exercise and cheaper than any transportation method. One mtb (6 sp, bad weather and backup), one Nishiki Sport road bike (6 sp, longer distances & exercise), and one Downtube folding bike (9 sp, quick jaunts).

Been having problems with the rear wheels (I'm a Clyde at 280#) of all three and will probably have one or more rear wheels built. I'm debating about going over to cassettes (2/3 have freewheels). If so I'd keep them Shimano compatible - seems cheaper with more flexibility in parts. Also would keep it at 8 speeds or less to avoid moving over to a thinner chain (which I seem to keep breaking).

I use friction shifters on all three. If I move over to cassettes on the mtb and Nishiki do I need to worry about anything with the rear deraileurs or shifters? Personally, out of the three I dislike the way the cassette shifts the most but I keep reading about how cassettes are better especially because they support the rear axle better than freewheels and shift better. I do like how much easier it is to get the cassette off than the freewheel though.
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Old 10-10-07, 06:55 PM
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Friction shifters will shift everything. Don't need new derailleurs.
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Old 10-10-07, 07:30 PM
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That's what I thought, danka! Like I said, noob but everyone kept talking about changing groups with hubs and wanted to make sure there wasn't something I was missing.
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Old 10-10-07, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
Friction shifters will shift everything. Don't need new derailleurs.
Not quite. It's safer to stick with Shimano derailleurs. Your friction shifters will not have enough throw to move a SRAM derailleur through all the cogs. Different actuation

- and don't feel bad asking "newb" questions, that's what the forum is for...
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Old 10-11-07, 10:51 AM
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I'm sure he was assuming that the shifter and RD are correctly matched.
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Old 10-11-07, 11:53 AM
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Well - no, that's actually really useful to know. I was thinking of getting a different deraileur for the folding bike since I read about others who noticed a remarkable change in shifting - I know what to keep my eyes open for.

Thanks!
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Old 10-11-07, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by fiver View Post
Not quite. It's safer to stick with Shimano derailleurs. Your friction shifters will not have enough throw to move a SRAM derailleur through all the cogs. Different actuation

- and don't feel bad asking "newb" questions, that's what the forum is for...
I actually have direct experience using suntour bar-end shifters with a SRAM MTB derailler. it shifted all the gears and continues to work fine. different actuation, but not enough to matter.
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Old 10-11-07, 12:10 PM
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MTB RDs aren't the issue. SRAM road uses a 1:1 pull ratio.
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Old 10-11-07, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by genericbikedude View Post
I actually have direct experience using suntour bar-end shifters with a SRAM MTB derailler. it shifted all the gears and continues to work fine. different actuation, but not enough to matter.
Sorry. I was assuming Shimano barcons since they are currently available. I have never used the Suntour barcons with a Sram derailleur, but it's good to know they're compatible.
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Old 10-12-07, 12:10 AM
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One other advantage of friction shifters, as quoted from CV NOTD: they're clickless!

Originally Posted by cmdr View Post
[...]

"Also available in a 'special' FRICTION-ONLY version where any and all clicks of any sort have been eliminated ....allowing you to run ANY rear wheel you may desire with 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 or 10 cogs ! ....Rivendell riders really love this 'special click-less' version ! ....simply let me know that you wish to have "friction-only" and I will ship these to you upon your winning bid ...."

HEE HEE!
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Old 10-16-07, 06:55 AM
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FYI: 7 Speed Suntour Accushift Barcons set on friction will only pull an XT derailler across an 8 speed cassette. I couldn't get it to work with 9 speed.
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Old 10-16-07, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by xB_Nutt View Post
FYI: 7 Speed Suntour Accushift Barcons set on friction will only pull an XT derailler across an 8 speed cassette. I couldn't get it to work with 9 speed.
That's odd since 8 and 9-speed (and 10 for that matter) Shimano cassettes are the same width and fit on the same width freehub.
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Old 10-16-07, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
That's odd since 8 and 9-speed (and 10 for that matter) Shimano cassettes are the same width and fit on the same width freehub.

I was thinking the same thing, and I went to Sheldon's site to check the center to center spacing between Shimano 8sp and 9sp cogs, added it all up, and it does turn out that 9sp is just barely (1.12mm) wider than 8sp from the center of the largest cog to the center of the smallest cog.

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Old 10-16-07, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by DMF View Post
MTB RDs aren't the issue. SRAM road uses a 1:1 pull ratio.
SRAM X.7, X.9 and X.0 MTB rear derailleurs also use a 1:1 ratio. All others use the same ratio as Shimano

Last edited by blamp28; 10-16-07 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 10-16-07, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by well biked View Post
I was thinking the same thing, and I went to Sheldon's site to check the center to center spacing between Shimano 8sp and 9sp cogs, added it all up, and it does turn out that 9sp is just barely (1.12mm) wider than 8sp from the center of the largest cog to the center of the smallest cog.
That's not much difference. I wonder if adjusting the limit screws would help or just being sure ALL of the slack is out of the shift cable when in the smallest cog would make it work.
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