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Old 09-11-11, 12:10 AM   #1
Icepick Sid
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converting from friction to index shifters.

I have Campagnolo record friction shifters from the 80's. Lookiing to change over to index shifters, can it be done? and up to how many gears 8,9,or 10 ?
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Old 09-11-11, 12:26 AM   #2
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Sure, it can be done. Since you have old Campy, you'll likely need new:

Rear wheel (with new cassette)
Crankset (possibly)

See where that puts you $$$ wise. It might be more reasonable to just get a new bike. Or live with the friction shifting.
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Old 09-11-11, 01:29 AM   #3
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If you just go to 8spd, you won't need new cranks. Also, since you'd have a freewheel hub, you can just put a 7spd freewheel on it and it'll index perfectly. You shouldn't need to reset the frame, but the wheel may need re-dishing. This approach would require a set of Ergolevers and a rear derailleur (your old FD should be fine) in addition to the freewheel, and of course you should get a new chain while you're at it.

Cons: 8spd gear may be hard to find in good nick. You may need patience.
Pros: 8spd indexes a lot more reliably than 9, 10 or 11spd gear, and chains last longer. Cheapest option by far.

Or you could throw buckets of $$$ at it to put new gear on it, which as mentioned would necessitate new cranks, rear hub and resetting the frame (or using an off-centre rim). And I don't believe the newer stuff indexes as reliably, since total cable travel is the same to shift a higher number of gears. This means you can use new shifters with old derailleurs or vice versa, but it increases the amount of error caused by cable/housing ailments, making the system require frequent maintenance.
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