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

Barcon shifters to downtube shifters

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.

Barcon shifters to downtube shifters

Old 09-15-11, 05:57 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
echo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 230
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Barcon shifters to downtube shifters

I've recently been given an '87 Cannondale touring road bike that I'm turning into my winter project. It has all Suntour components including barcon power ratchet 6 speed indexed or friction shifters. I'm not much into that setup and am used to downtube friction only shifting, which I like. My question is: what will I need to convert to downtube shifting?
Thank you-
echo is offline  
Old 09-15-11, 06:28 PM
  #2  
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 1,089 Times in 736 Posts
Basically all you need is downtube shifters assuming the frame has the necessary standard mounting bosses on the downtube. If it only has "braze-on" cable housing stops, not the standard bosses, you are out of luck as no one ever made band-on shifters with a clamp big enough to fit a C-dale downtube.
HillRider is offline  
Old 09-15-11, 06:32 PM
  #3  
Constant tinkerer
 
FastJake's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 7,954
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 184 Post(s)
Liked 92 Times in 75 Posts
+1

Your frame needs to have things that look like this: (not the best picture because I think that boss is actually broken. But you get the idea.)

FastJake is offline  
Old 09-15-11, 06:50 PM
  #4  
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Grid Reference, SK
Posts: 3,768

Bikes: I never learned to ride a bike. It is my deepest shame.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
As above, I think you need to find a set of downtube shifters... if you were hoping to find some way to convert bar cons to downtube shifters I think you are going to be disappointed.

Have you ridden much with the bart end shifters? Many people prefer them. I suppose on a winter bike the extra run of cable housing might add one more small maintenance headache, but I've never had a problem with it.
LarDasse74 is offline  
Old 09-15-11, 09:01 PM
  #5  
747 Freight Pilot
 
bicycleflyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 458

Bikes: Rivendell, Bike-Friday Pocket-Rocket and one home made fixed gear

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'd love to have those barcons when your done with them I even have a set of shimano 7 speed downtube shifters I would be willing to trade.
bicycleflyer is offline  
Old 09-15-11, 09:17 PM
  #6  
Constant tinkerer
 
FastJake's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 7,954
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 184 Post(s)
Liked 92 Times in 75 Posts
Yeah, those are the bosses you need. You can run downtube shifters on those.

But I must also ask: why? I greatly prefer bar-ends to DTs. The cable routing is always a little awkward, but it's worth it not to have to take your hands off the bars to shift.
FastJake is offline  
Old 09-15-11, 10:20 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
echo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 230
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by FastJake
Yeah, those are the bosses you need. You can run downtube shifters on those.

But I must also ask: why? I greatly prefer bar-ends to DTs. The cable routing is always a little awkward, but it's worth it not to have to take your hands off the bars to shift.
I suppose I'm a bit old school and downtube shifters are cleaner looking from an aesthetic factor. (in my opinion) My Fuji has downtube shifters and I'm used to those for a road bike, my Univega Alpina has grip shifters and I like those for what I use that bike for.
echo is offline  
Old 09-16-11, 08:44 AM
  #8  
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 1,089 Times in 736 Posts
As mentioned, those bosses are the right ones. You can use any downtube lever you can find. The ne plus ultra downtube shifters were the old Sun Tour Power Ratchets but they are very hard to find. Any Shimano downtube shifter will also work as they all have a friction option except, IIRC, the latest 10-speed version.
HillRider is offline  
Old 09-16-11, 09:20 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
echo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 230
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Thanks everyone! I'll be looking locally here for some shifters, the LBS's around here seem to be into the newest of stuff only though, I ask about older parts and they look at me like I'm from another planet or something, so it's tough to just come across parts like this, sometimes CL has a posting for bike parts so I'll have to keep my eyes peeled there to, as I always do (hoping to see that one in a million rare bike for sale that never happens). I think I'll keep the barcons for now, I may want to change it up a bit later on when I get bored.

bicycleflyer, I'll keep you in mind if I decide to let these go, thanks for the offer!
echo is offline  
Old 09-16-11, 09:34 AM
  #10  
In the right lane
 
gerv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Des Moines
Posts: 9,565

Bikes: 1974 Huffy 3 speed

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by echo2011
Thanks everyone! I'll be looking locally here for some shifters, the LBS's around here seem to be into the newest of stuff only though, I ask about older parts and they look at me like I'm from another planet or something, so it's tough to just come across parts like this, sometimes CL has a posting for bike parts so I'll have to keep my eyes peeled there to, as I always do (hoping to see that one in a million rare bike for sale that never happens). I think I'll keep the barcons for now, I may want to change it up a bit later on when I get bored.

bicycleflyer, I'll keep you in mind if I decide to let these go, thanks for the offer!
echo2011, you could check the shifter bin at your local bike co-op. They usually have lots of DT shfiters.

Unfortunately mine did not. Only clamp-ons. So I researched a good DT shifter and, as HillRider say, the Suntour Power Ratchets are the best.

There is an outfit in New Jersey called bikeshack.com or somesuch that has NOS versions at $28. You can search the forums here for the correct URL.

I never ordered from these guys, so I bought a pair of the Rivendell Silvers, which are a knock off and cost $42 (at Velo Orange).

I just installed them on my Fuji and they are nice. Feels like you are indexed actually. Clicky.
gerv is offline  
Old 09-16-11, 09:43 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
echo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 230
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Thanks gerv, so these suntours will work with my bolt through boss I have? Saw these on ebay for like $25 and free shipping.

**I do like the ones at Velo Orange you mentioned better, these will bolt right up to my existing frame boss?
https://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...-shifters.html

Last edited by echo; 09-16-11 at 09:55 AM.
echo is offline  
Old 09-16-11, 09:54 AM
  #12  
In the right lane
 
gerv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Des Moines
Posts: 9,565

Bikes: 1974 Huffy 3 speed

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
I can't see your attachment on my browser for some reason. But any boss with a square protrusion should work. Like you, I have a Fuji frame (87 Palisade) and it worked fine.
gerv is offline  
Old 09-16-11, 10:39 AM
  #13  
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 1,089 Times in 736 Posts
Originally Posted by echo2011
Thanks gerv, so these suntours will work with my bolt through boss I have? Saw these on ebay for like $25 and free shipping.

**I do like the ones at Velo Orange you mentioned better, these will bolt right up to my existing frame boss?
https://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...-shifters.html
I'm not sure. A lot of band-on downtube shifters had unique fittings that only worked with their band clamp, not frame bosses. The ones you show came OEM on my '85 Bridgestone and while they worked well, they were HEAVY. When I had the frame repainted, i had the builder add braze-on bosses and replaced them with much lighter Sun Tour Cyclone shifters.

The Velo Orange shifters will work directly on your frame bosses.
HillRider is offline  
Old 09-17-11, 02:50 PM
  #14  
In the right lane
 
gerv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Des Moines
Posts: 9,565

Bikes: 1974 Huffy 3 speed

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Just to clarify something I said earlier.

There's an outfit in New Jersey called BikeStash who sell NOS vintage parts. They seem to have the (non-clamp-on) power racheting Suntours. https://www.bikestash.com/product_inf...roducts_id=104..


Price is $27.50. I would have ordered these, but... having never dealt with them before, I decided to play it safe with VO at $42 for the Silvers. There are a couple of C & V members who seem to use them though.
gerv is offline  
Old 09-17-11, 03:53 PM
  #15  
Bianchi Goddess
 
Bianchigirll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Shady Pines Retirement Fort Wayne, In
Posts: 29,480

Bikes: Too many to list here check my signature.

Mentioned: 189 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2804 Post(s)
Liked 2,477 Times in 1,329 Posts
I agree with Gerv get the VO micro ratchet shifters.

If your plan is to run friction you can run almost any shifter friction or index set in friction. with shimano you do need the correct flat backing plate.

OH carefully put the shifter boss back on the frame before it gets lost.

these are not real sexxy but they work great! https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Sach...item336b9376ea



these are the classic Retro friction DT shifter but can be pricey https://www.ebay.com/itm/Simplex-1983...item1c1f0045f9

__________________
One morning you wake up, the girl is gone, the bikes are gone, all that's left behind is a pair of old tires and a tube of tubular glue, all squeezed out"

Sugar "Kane" Kowalczyk
Bianchigirll is offline  
Old 09-17-11, 06:25 PM
  #16  
Thrifty Bill
 
wrk101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mountains of Western NC
Posts: 23,538

Bikes: 86 Katakura Silk, 87 Prologue X2, 88 Cimarron LE, 1975 Sekai 4000 Professional, 73 Paramount, plus more

Mentioned: 96 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1226 Post(s)
Liked 928 Times in 608 Posts
If you go with more modern Shimano shifters, just realize that you will need flat mounting plates. 99% of the old Shimano shifters meant to mount onto braze ons had curved (concave) bases. Cannondale requires a flat base. I picked up several at one of the nearby LBS. If you want to scrounge parts (like I do), you need to figure out what shops keep the old takeoffs. A lot of them toss that stuff. There's a Coop in this area, it keeps the craziest hours so I never seem to get there at the right time.

FWIW: I am in the process of doing a similar conversion from barcons to DT shifters on one bike, then I will put the barcons on a touring bike I picked up that strangely came with DT shifters. Those shifters you pictured above are meant for a bike without mounting bosses. Won't work on your Cannondale.
wrk101 is offline  
Old 09-17-11, 07:30 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
echo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 230
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Bianchigirll
OH carefully put the shifter boss back on the frame before it gets lost.
Not to worry, when I dis-assembled this bike I used individual Tupperware type containers with lids for all the different groups of parts.

Thanks again everyone, I've decided to get the Velo Orange set...these will work with my stock bosses so I'm all good in that department, now to find some of those darn plastic rear brake cable guides I broke when removing before I did my paint prep. I emailed Cannondale and they informed me those are no longer available and my local bike shops don't have any either, hate to use zip ties as it will no doubt look cheesy with all the work I'm putting into this.

Last edited by echo; 09-17-11 at 07:34 PM.
echo is offline  
Old 09-17-11, 08:45 PM
  #18  
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 1,089 Times in 736 Posts
Originally Posted by wrk101
If you go with more modern Shimano shifters, just realize that you will need flat mounting plates. 99% of the old Shimano shifters meant to mount onto braze ons had curved (concave) bases. Cannondale requires a flat base.
About 5 minutes with a piece of fairly coarse sandpaper on a flat surface will make curved bases into flat ones.
HillRider is offline  
Old 09-18-11, 03:33 AM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
Michael Angelo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Hurricane Alley , Florida
Posts: 3,910

Bikes: Treks (USA), Schwinn Paramount, Schwinn letour,Raleigh Team Professional, Gazelle GoldLine Racing, 2 Super Mondias, Carlton Professional.

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 22 Posts
I'll trade you Shimano 105 SIS front and rear derailleurs, with clamp on SIS downtube shifters, for those suntour barcons....
Michael Angelo is offline  
Old 09-18-11, 08:25 AM
  #20  
Bianchi Goddess
 
Bianchigirll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Shady Pines Retirement Fort Wayne, In
Posts: 29,480

Bikes: Too many to list here check my signature.

Mentioned: 189 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2804 Post(s)
Liked 2,477 Times in 1,329 Posts
Originally Posted by Michael Angelo
I'll trade you Shimano 105 SIS front and rear derailleurs, with clamp on SIS downtube shifters, for those suntour barcons....
the clampons won't work on the Cannondale frame. the shifters may with the correct backing plate. are they 7spd?
__________________
One morning you wake up, the girl is gone, the bikes are gone, all that's left behind is a pair of old tires and a tube of tubular glue, all squeezed out"

Sugar "Kane" Kowalczyk
Bianchigirll is offline  
Old 09-18-11, 12:33 PM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
KDC1956's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 671

Bikes: Surly LHT 52cm Nice Bicycle I think.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by echo2011
Thanks everyone! I'll be looking locally here for some shifters, the LBS's around here seem to be into the newest of stuff only though, I ask about older parts and they look at me like I'm from another planet or something, so it's tough to just come across parts like this, sometimes CL has a posting for bike parts so I'll have to keep my eyes peeled there to, as I always do (hoping to see that one in a million rare bike for sale that never happens). I think I'll keep the barcons for now, I may want to change it up a bit later on when I get bored.

bicycleflyer, I'll keep you in mind if I decide to let these go, thanks for the offer!
If you want friction shifters only then go to Velo-Orange.com they have them.I have 2 sets of down tube shifters and 3 sets of there barend friction shifters they have.Both are great shifters I think.
KDC1956 is offline  
Old 09-26-11, 09:29 PM
  #22  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
echo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 230
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Resurrecting this thread for a quickie question: There's a member here selling these:
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...inmann-Shimano. (Shimano 600 DT Shifters)
These will work with my bosses, correct?
echo is offline  
Old 09-26-11, 09:34 PM
  #23  
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Posts: 27,272

Bikes: See my sig...

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)
Liked 126 Times in 95 Posts
Originally Posted by HillRider
As mentioned, those bosses are the right ones. You can use any downtube lever you can find. The ne plus ultra downtube shifters were the old Sun Tour Power Ratchets but they are very hard to find. Any Shimano downtube shifter will also work as they all have a friction option except, IIRC, the latest 10-speed version.
I must have all the Suntour power shifters stashed here... hence the shortage.
Sixty Fiver is offline  
Old 09-26-11, 09:40 PM
  #24  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
echo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 230
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
I must have all the Suntour power shifters stashed here... hence the shortage.
TY for posting that from HillRider, I completely spaced that out.
echo is offline  
Old 09-26-11, 10:17 PM
  #25  
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Posts: 27,272

Bikes: See my sig...

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)
Liked 126 Times in 95 Posts
Originally Posted by Bianchigirll
I agree with Gerv get the VO micro ratchet shifters.

If your plan is to run friction you can run almost any shifter friction or index set in friction. with shimano you do need the correct flat backing plate.

OH carefully put the shifter boss back on the frame before it gets lost.

these are not real sexxy but they work great! https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Sach...item336b9376ea



these are the classic Retro friction DT shifter but can be pricey https://www.ebay.com/itm/Simplex-1983...item1c1f0045f9

Those Sachs shifters work beautifully... have an indexed variant (Aris) on my wife's townie and a set of the open lever Simplex retrofrictions on my Garlatti and they are indescribably nice.

Also have a set of the closed Retrofrictions and have to make sure I have all the bits as they came disassembled.
Sixty Fiver is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
dmsc12
Bicycle Mechanics
8
06-17-18 10:13 PM
leicanthrope
Classic & Vintage
4
10-06-13 07:05 AM
dcrowell
Bicycle Mechanics
6
12-05-11 10:20 AM
dinkjs
Bicycle Mechanics
16
09-09-11 01:07 PM
ph4nt0mf1ng3rs
Road Cycling
67
09-26-10 04:26 PM

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 - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.