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trying to find a good solution for 9sp Downtube shifters

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trying to find a good solution for 9sp Downtube shifters

Old 04-16-16, 07:18 AM
  #1  
scuzzo
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trying to find a good solution for 9sp Downtube shifters

i have just bult up my dream modern road bike.. but i have always said that i miss the downtube days.. downtube shifter days, friction shift,. that is..
im building a 1970/1990s cannondale flat bar 18speed.. and i need to know something about downtube shifter compatibility..
the best think i can find out there is some suntour friction sp6.. but im not sure if the range is wide enough.. so..
building up a 9speed downtube friction shift bike... what is the best option... needs to have the range in back for a 9speed modern shimmano cassette?

any ideas..
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Old 04-16-16, 07:35 AM
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There are dura-ace 9spd downtube shifters available. I don't know where you're looking. Even Amazon sells them. They sell anywhere from $70 to $100.
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Old 04-16-16, 07:37 AM
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Aren't the 10 sp Dura Ace shifters switchable from friction to SIS?
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Old 04-16-16, 08:00 AM
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[QUOTE=The Golden Boy;18694974]Aren't the 10 sp Dura Ace shifters switchable from friction to SIS?[/QUOTE

yes thats an option, but since im going friction shift i thought that any friction shifter would provide the throw required for the 9 gear span on the back cassette..
but im not so sure now.. i know 126mm is for 6sp and 130mm is for 8,9,10.. but can a vintage 6sp friction ****er be used on a 130mm spacing? i can find some 6sp shifter super cheap.. and i am on a real shoe string with this one..
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Old 04-16-16, 08:05 AM
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Dura-Ace DT shifters are excellent. They are indexed, which I like, but I think you can also run them in friction mode. I also like the DA bar-end shifters for the same reasons.
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Old 04-16-16, 08:09 AM
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rivendell sells a great set of friction DT shifters. i have them on my black mountain and they shift a shimano-9 rear flawlessly and effortlessly. shown here with 48x34 and 12-32 in the back.

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Old 04-16-16, 08:14 AM
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I'm all for mixing it up a little. I've built dropbar mountain bikes and flatbar road bikes. But I've gotta ask What is the point of having downtube shifters on a flatbar bike? This seems almost dangerous. I've never tried it so I could be missing something.
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Old 04-16-16, 08:25 AM
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I can see a personal preference for flat bar/DT combination and don't think it is any more "dangerous" than drop bar/DT combination. I often have my hands on the top of the DB and shift DT. In fact, I do that more often then in the drops which I rarely use. What is a challenge is being on the hoods and shifting DT. Managing force on an longer lever is a little more sensitive than a short one. The lever being the handle bar not the shift lever.
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Old 04-16-16, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by scuzzo View Post

yes thats an option, but since im going friction shift i thought that any friction shifter would provide the throw required for the 9 gear span on the back cassette..
but im not so sure now.. i know 126mm is for 6sp and 130mm is for 8,9,10.. but can a vintage 6sp friction ****er be used on a 130mm spacing? i can find some 6sp shifter super cheap.. and i am on a real shoe string with this one..
As the more modern shifters are made for the throw of that length- they'll work. I've read that shifters like Simplex Retrofriction don't have a barrel big enough to reliably handle that range. Seeing as how @AngryScientist has the Riv (I assume the Silver/DiaCompe) shifters working on 9 speed- there you go!
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Old 04-16-16, 08:52 AM
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[QUOTE=scuzzo;18695010]
Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Aren't the 10 sp Dura Ace shifters switchable from friction to SIS?[/QUOTE

yes thats an option, but since im going friction shift i thought that any friction shifter would provide the throw required for the 9 gear span on the back cassette..
but im not so sure now.. i know 126mm is for 6sp and 130mm is for 8,9,10.. but can a vintage 6sp friction ****er be used on a 130mm spacing? i can find some 6sp shifter super cheap.. and i am on a real shoe string with this one..
Any old Friction shift levers off ebay should work fine. I have two bikes with 10 speed cassettes and friction shift. On one I use simplex retrofriction shifters and on the other some old Campy friction shifters.
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Old 04-16-16, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Aren't the 10 sp Dura Ace shifters switchable from friction to SIS?
Yes
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Old 04-16-16, 08:58 AM
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I'd recommend any 8sp and up DT shifters that also go friction, but I've used Shimano 600EX shifters on a 9-sp rear and it worked, in friction.

8sp and up should have the "throw" you need guaranteed, though, as they're designed for that cassette width.

9-sp indexed are hard to find, but Sunrace 9-sp DT shifters are index-only (on the R) and work well with any Shimano 9-sp system.

Overall, I'd find the 9-sp DA DT shifters. That way you can index, friction, hokey pokey, hula, whatever, all with the same shifters.
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Old 04-16-16, 09:26 AM
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The Dura-Ace 9-speed DT shifters are excellent. I run them indexed 9-speed in the back, friction in front on a triple. I paid around $75 for them brand new from Chain Reaction Cycles last year. There's a couple of sets on ebay presently for $80 and $87 respectively.

New Shimano Dura Ace SL 7700 2 3x9 Speed Downtube Shifter Set Lever Right Left | eBay

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Old 04-16-16, 11:45 AM
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Please note that only 7850 series ten speed down tube shifters and bar ends will work either friction or indexed. The much more commonly found 7900 series shifters are index only. Same with the non-series specific 8 speed Shimano shifters (R400?).

Of course 7700 9 speed down tube shifters and all prior ones will swing either way, assuming they are from the indexing era.
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Old 04-16-16, 12:04 PM
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I have two sets of 10S DA shifters (ba ends and DT) and they are index only and I have 2 sets of 9S (again bar end and DT) and they are both index/friction.
I also used Suntour, older deore thumbies and RX100 DT shifters with 9s and 10s cassettes - no problem at all.
The only catch with newer groups/friction shifters is with Shimano DynaSys:
- Pretty much any friction shifter will have enough pull to cover 10S dynasys cassette with 9S RD
- Same shifter will only pull 10S DynaSys specific RD through 8 cogs on 10s cassette
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Old 04-16-16, 12:14 PM
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I was using 7 speed 105 DTs in friction to shift 9 speed; it was a bit of pain when I was tired or it was raining. A much gentler touch is needed to get the desired gear with 9 sprockets instead of 5 or 6... not impossible by any means but I've come to love the indexing. I ended up buying the 9 speed DA shifters and they are pretty sweet looking on my miyata 1000. You can still switch to friction if you want (or if the RD gets bent) but I haven't used that feature yet.
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Old 04-16-16, 12:23 PM
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I'm running old Campy shifters (the bumpy ones) with an Ultegra 6600? RD. It shifts a 9 speed cassette quite effectively, using a full 180° shifter travel on the right. I never have troubles finding gears.

I personally find the 9s is easier to shift than 5s, and there is rarely any grinding/jumping sounds, no matter where I drop the derailleur.
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