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7 speed indexed thumbie advice

Old 05-26-21, 02:50 PM
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sd5782 
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7 speed indexed thumbie advice

I am redoing a 1990 Schwinn high plains mtb for a friend. It has 7 speed shimano 200 trigger shifters that are broken and more trouble than they are worth. I am putting hybrid tires on it and friction left/front shifter. I am looking for a cost effective 7 speed rear shifter to index with the 7 speed rear shimano freehub. I donít think I like the looks of the new shimano tourney 7 speed with the lever and a button. Is the Sunrace 8 speed SLM96 compatible spacing wise with this 7 speed? Older Deore are very pricey. Any advice appreciated.
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Old 05-26-21, 03:10 PM
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For cost and effective shifting that is basically vintage correct and decent budget wise I would suggest looking for some stand alone STX 7speed black triggers which can often times be had for fairly good pricing. Maybe post a WTB Shimano type 7 speeds triggers add in the WTB classic fore sale section here on the BF I have had great luck finding and selling parts there when I just need to buy or sell one specific mid level part.

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Old 05-26-21, 04:01 PM
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Triggers

Perhaps I havenít had good luck, but some vintage suntours and these stock shimano 200s have seemed problematic. That is why I was considering the simpler thumbies. I will look into those in the meantime though.
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Old 05-26-21, 09:27 PM
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Those old Shimano shifters can be fixed in about ten minutes by pulling the covers off, spraying with carb cleaner (or the solvent of your choice), working the pawls back and forth with a small screwdriver, and then re-lubricating with pretty much anything. I've never encountered a set I couldn't fix this way.
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Old 05-27-21, 01:46 AM
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Not these

Originally Posted by PatTheSlat View Post
Those old Shimano shifters can be fixed in about ten minutes by pulling the covers off, spraying with carb cleaner (or the solvent of your choice), working the pawls back and forth with a small screwdriver, and then re-lubricating with pretty much anything. I've never encountered a set I couldn't fix this way.
I did that after searching here. The left one had the plastic piece that the cable threads through broken and a bad tooth on the mechanism. The right one had a piece of metal not sitting right. It looks like it is a coil spring that is broken internally. Neither of these were really gummed up either. Iím thinking perhaps Sunrace sells a thumb indexed lever.
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Old 05-27-21, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by PatTheSlat View Post
Those old Shimano shifters can be fixed in about ten minutes by pulling the covers off, spraying with carb cleaner (or the solvent of your choice), working the pawls back and forth with a small screwdriver, and then re-lubricating with pretty much anything. I've never encountered a set I couldn't fix this way.
With plastic parts it's best to check any high power solvent compatibility. Brake cleaner and some carb cleaners will attack and melt some plastics. WD40 is usually the recommended solvent for use on Shimano STI shifter "desticking"
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Old 05-27-21, 08:05 AM
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Iíve been using Shimano SL-MC40-7R for years without issue. Available new and cheap. Same for the SL-MC40-L, though it sounds you may or may not be interested in that.

These are indexed 3x7 shift levers/pods w/o integral brake levers. These replaced the original Shimano STI MTB levers on my Ď91 Rockhopper that had similar mechanical failure of the internal watch mechanism ó not just a ďgummy greaseĒ issue.

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Old 05-27-21, 08:10 AM
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I used these to replace a set of broken trigger shifters> Work great.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/38372318540...Cclp%3A2334524
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Old 05-27-21, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
With plastic parts it's best to check any high power solvent compatibility. Brake cleaner and some carb cleaners will attack and melt some plastics. WD40 is usually the recommended solvent for use on Shimano STI shifter "desticking"
+1, I tried carb cleaner on one Shimano trigger shifter that had neat little gear indicator in a window. It attached the window, but left the rest untouched. So it still works, but isn't pretty.

Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
I used these to replace a set of broken trigger shifters> Work great.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/383723185402
Those still use pawls and springs, so technically they're trigger shifters and not thumbies. Hopefully more reliable than the old-school models.

Last edited by madpogue; 05-27-21 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 05-27-21, 09:45 AM
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If you don't want to deal with triggers while a bit more pricey and harder to find the LX 7 speed integrated levers with thunbies and on lever switch for friction trim control are about the best working of the early 90's 7 speed stuff.
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Old 05-27-21, 09:49 AM
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^^^^^^^ Friction option is definitely another advantage to true thumbies.
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Old 05-27-21, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by sd5782 View Post
I am redoing a 1990 Schwinn high plains mtb for a friend. It has 7 speed shimano 200 trigger shifters that are broken and more trouble than they are worth. I am putting hybrid tires on it and friction left/front shifter. I am looking for a cost effective 7 speed rear shifter to index with the 7 speed rear shimano freehub. I donít think I like the looks of the new shimano tourney 7 speed with the lever and a button. Is the Sunrace 8 speed SLM96 compatible spacing wise with this 7 speed? Older Deore are very pricey. Any advice appreciated.
I am using the 8 speed SLM96 with a 7 speed setup at the moment. Works just as well as it did with an 8 speed setup (cog spacing is the same after all).
Can recommend it - the shifter is well built, shifts smoothly, indexes with a nice click and is cheap above all.
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Old 05-27-21, 01:12 PM
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Thanks for all the input

Lots of good info. Yes, I was careful with the carb cleaner as my suntours of the same era didnít like it. Owner of bike is cheap, so nothing even moderately priced for him. If it was mine, I would be looking at Deore used parts. Those new 7 speed thumbies with the button are well spoken of, but look a bit cheap. I think I may try to talk him into the Sunrace. On it now for derailleur and crank testing purpose are some vintage no name friction thumbies I had. They work nice, but with that nice hyperglide 13-30 freehub index would be nice for him. It took me awhile to talk him in to spending $50 on some new Michelin Protek road tires to replace the original 1990 knobbies on it so he may want to stay friction and not spend anymore. I will let him ride my vintage upright conversion with a 6 speed Deore thumbie on it. That should convince him.

As a side note, that vintage Schwinn High Plains frame looks very nice. Nice lugs and dropouts on the Tru Temper frame. USA built I think. 2 bottle cages and double eyelets front and rear on dropouts. Researching showed people liking it for a commuter or touring conversion with the frame being better than the components. Nice to help others out when working on a worthy machine.
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Old 05-27-21, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by kpg View Post
I am using the 8 speed SLM96 with a 7 speed setup at the moment. Works just as well as it did with an 8 speed setup (cog spacing is the same after all).
They are not. According to Sheldon Brown, the 7 speed has 5.0mm cog pitch while the 8sp is 4.8mm.
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Old 05-27-21, 01:49 PM
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The 8 speed on 7 will usually work fine if you change to a nicer 8 speed slightly narrower chain. Still would suggest using the same era 7 speed shifter's with a nicer 8 speed chain if your going to mix match with stuff from different goupsets
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Old 05-27-21, 02:11 PM
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As noted, 8 speed spacing is bit less, but if you get it dead on for the middle cog, it should be tolerable out to each end (at most 0.6 mm off).

Otto
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Old 05-27-21, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
^^^^^^^ Friction option is definitely another advantage to true thumbies.
Yes the one reason I suggested these is they have the thumb tick option to switch to friction trim control. Also a couple of neat features the earlyl 90's :LX ones have is a quick brake release and easy to use on the lever shift and brake barrel adjusters.
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Old 05-27-21, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
They are not. According to Sheldon Brown, the 7 speed has 5.0mm cog pitch while the 8sp is 4.8mm.
Yeah you're right, they are not exactly the same but close enough to not notice any difference in shifting.
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Old 05-27-21, 02:41 PM
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Glad for the clarification on the Sunrace. Perhaps he will get the bike back in friction mode and I will keep an eye out for a bargain on a 7 speed. Thanks again.
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Old 05-27-21, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
^^^^^^^ Friction option is definitely another advantage to true thumbies.
The early 80's Suntour microshifters(s) are the bomb, And maybe every subsequent Suntour thumbie since. Look at that thing!
From Sheldons site.


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Old 05-28-21, 12:57 AM
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^^^^^^ +1; The nearby motorcycle-style DiaCompe brake lever completes the look. It's steampunk before steampunk was steampunk.
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