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Oddball Question

Old 02-08-19, 12:15 AM
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Oddball Question

Hi folks,

Looking for a bit of assistance here. I just got a set of Retro-friction shifters for my Eisentraut Limited that I'm redoing. One small problems, the shifters are for braze-on mounting, which the Eisentraut doesn't have. Does anyone know what other clamp-on bands would work with these shifters? I have some cheap, crudy Simplex bands and a nice Huret band. Plus, access to a lot of different ones at the co-op where I volunteer. Any inputs would be greatly appreciated, since it would save me a lot of time.

Thanks and regards,

Van
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Old 02-08-19, 01:47 AM
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I reckon the Huret band will work. If not, the Simplex Retrofriction levers will adapt to quite a range of bands. I fit my retrofriction levers to Campagnolo bands. Great choice in levers by the way.
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Old 02-08-19, 02:10 AM
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Simplex made clamp on bands with standard type bosses and stops.
You can just buy one of those to mount your retrofrictions on your bike. Just make sure you get the clamps with the standard pivot shafts and a square section at the pivot base where the retrofriction's lever stop plate will need to fit over.
Simplex did sell their retrofrictions with a clamp-on band included too, but this is where it gets strange.
Even though the levers look identical to the ones they sold that mounts directly on to brazed on bosses, the internals were slightly different. On the clamp-on version, the pivots had a step on it where the diameter of the pivots get bigger where they attach to the clamping band, so, the levers had a larger than usual hole at their back sides to go over this larger section of the pivots. Also strange was they used mounting bolts for the levers that had a different thread pitch than what is usually used for mounting levers on to brazed on bosses. So you cannot just take off retrofriction levers from their clamp-on bands and mount them on to brazed on bosses. you will need to get different mounting bolts with "standard" threading to do that.
When I first heard about this weird design incompatibility with their clamp-on retrofriction levers with brazed on bosses, I could not believe it and thought it was ridiculous, but then I bought a set a clamp-on retrofrictions, and i confirmed that was indeed the case. I think they did this because they were trying to protect their design from other manufacturers copying them, so they built in these design quirks......but maybe it was just because they were French??
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Old 02-08-19, 03:40 AM
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So interesting Chombi1 - I reckon it must be a 'French" thing too - haha. Come to think of it, I used old Campy bolts to mount the levers to the Campy band.

Last edited by Gary Fountain; 02-08-19 at 03:45 AM.
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Old 02-08-19, 04:17 AM
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Pretty sure it was because they were French, the derailer hanger, braze-on and DT braze-on designs we now recognize as standard were Campagnolo/Italian back then. You will notice many of the French DT bands lack the anti-rotation flats because many of the designs used a sort of wraparound anti-rotation washer instead. And then the French had their metric sized things because they refused to suffer perfidious Albion adding random decimals to diameters.
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Old 02-08-19, 06:37 AM
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Van,

Those shifters fit onto a standard suntour band. 5mm threads. Unfortunately the band went along with a bike that I sold so I couldnt include them in the package.

Enjoy them!

Joe
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Old 02-08-19, 06:41 AM
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Also you can remove the screws and put in most any size or configuration you want.

Just be careful when removing the screws, there is a little white/clear plastic washer on the threads inside that holds the screw on the shifter that is very easy to lose (speaking from experience here)
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Old 02-08-19, 06:49 AM
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Those huret shifter clamps on fleabay will work, but you will need to sort out the threads, they arent std 5mm

i got one at one point and just jammed in a 5mm screw - self tapping as they say
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Old 02-08-19, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by jcb3 View Post
Also you can remove the screws and put in most any size or configuration you want.

Just be careful when removing the screws, there is a little white/clear plastic washer on the threads inside that holds the screw on the shifter that is very easy to lose (speaking from experience here)
The plastic washer is just to retain the lever mounting screw on to the lever when it is not installed on the bike, so it does not get lost. Otherwise, it does not have any other real function towards shifting. Makes it easier to install the lever, as you just put the whole assembly against the shifter boss and screw it in with a big, flat tipped screw driver.
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Old 02-09-19, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
Simplex did sell their retrofrictions with a clamp-on band included too, but this is where it gets strange.
Even though the levers look identical to the ones they sold that mounts directly on to brazed on bosses, the internals were slightly different. On the clamp-on version, the pivots had a step on it where the diameter of the pivots get bigger where they attach to the clamping band, so, the levers had a larger than usual hole at their back sides to go over this larger section of the pivots. Also strange was they used mounting bolts for the levers that had a different thread pitch than what is usually used for mounting levers on to brazed on bosses. So you cannot just take off retrofriction levers from their clamp-on bands and mount them on to brazed on bosses. you will need to get different mounting bolts with "standard" threading to do that.
When I first heard about this weird design incompatibility with their clamp-on retrofriction levers with brazed on bosses, I could not believe it and thought it was ridiculous, but then I bought a set a clamp-on retrofrictions, and i confirmed that was indeed the case. I think they did this because they were trying to protect their design from other manufacturers copying them, so they built in these design quirks......but maybe it was just because they were French??
I had the same experience~!
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