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Going from friction shifters to indexed - how difficult?

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Going from friction shifters to indexed - how difficult?

Old 09-01-10, 03:02 PM
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Malvoe1
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Going from friction shifters to indexed - how difficult?

I'm looking at an older steel frame bianchi for my wife. However, it has friction shifters, which she is not comfortable with. How difficult is it to make the switch to index shifters? Can I just change out the shifters or will it require a new RD too? Thanks.
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Old 09-01-10, 03:08 PM
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mazdaspeed
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It mainly depends what freewheel or cassette it has.
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Old 09-01-10, 03:35 PM
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Hello Malvoe1 welcome to the forums. hold old is the Bianchi your looking at and the model? odds are if it is still in factory trim it has a freewheel type rear hub. depending how ambitious you wish to get and what you want to spend it can be easy or it can be expensive.

depending on the model of the bike you will most likely need a pair of downtube 7spd shimano shifters, a 7 spd shimano or falcon freewheel and a shimano index compatible rear deraileur. of course putting 'brifter type shifters will be more expensive as well as putting a 8,9 or more wheel set on the bike.
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Old 09-01-10, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
depending on the model of the bike you will most likely need a pair of downtube 7spd shimano shifters, a 7 spd shimano or falcon freewheel and a shimano index compatible rear deraileur.
+1 Thats a good route to go where you can be pretty sure of not running into much difficulty.

I'd add that SunRace also makes good and inexpensive freewheels and shifters. Both are interchangeable with any Shimano 7 speed stuff. Any Shimano 6, 7 8 or 9 speed index rear derailleur will work with 7 speed (Except Dura-Ace....Just stay away from Dura-Ace on this one)
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Old 09-01-10, 05:38 PM
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All you have to do is swap out the rear drivetrain - a Shimano freewheel, Shimano shifter (make sure it's compatible with the number of gears), and shimano derailer. You're set. YOu can honestly do it really cheaply - a new Tourney RD costs about $12, you can get a pair of shifters for $30 on Ebay, and the freewheel is about $20.
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Old 09-01-10, 06:13 PM
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I've indexed 6 speed and 7 speed bikes without going with an 'indexed' derailleur. You can get a set of 6 speed Shimano indexed stem shifters for $12, then replace the freewheel with a 6 speed SIS freewheel for $13, and it should work fine.

There's a complex grid of compatibility issues somewhere on the web, but if you stick to 6, or perhaps 7 speed you have a lot of room to let slop do the brainwork for you.

Perrsonally, I would suggest you pop $12 for the stem shifters and try that first.
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Old 09-02-10, 10:10 AM
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Thanks for all the replies! Sounds like it isn't a big deal. I would definitely keep it 6 or 7 speed.

I'm not sure if it is original components - it is advertised with Suntour stuff. Unfortunately, I can't access the ad here at work and can't remember the specifics. I'll check it out this weekend.
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