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Thumb shifter conversion issues

Old 01-16-12, 07:38 PM
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Gyro_T
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Thumb shifter conversion issues

I have recently converted two Friction shift road bikes to thumb shifters and more upright touring bars. The shifters are Sunrace SLM 10 (Red friction disc). They do not hold well, but they were also quite inexpensive. It seems to be a combination of flexing on the clamp, and the friction system. I am not thrilled about spending $100 or so on going to Silver, or some other type, but I will if I have to. I see Sunrace makes a nicer thumb shifter which is the SLM96 (see picture). It looks much more solid and better quality. Can't seem to find them except on their website though. Anyone know a source, or know about their performance? Anyone would like to share other solutions, Paul Thumbies?, Velo Orange clamps with Shimano levers? I am very interested.

Thanks,
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Old 01-16-12, 08:24 PM
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Funny this thread should come up. For some reason, I started tucking the Old School metal thumb shifters aside, a few years ago. I have been meaning to get some pictures and tomorrow seems like a good time to do so, since I will have the camera out, anyway. For now, I know I have some Shimano, and a few sets of these two styles...


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Old 01-16-12, 09:16 PM
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I've got the SunTour Power Shifters with the ratcheting action- I really like those and I've also got a few sets of the Shimano Deore and DeoreXT thumbshifters. I love 'em.

If you're looking for new shifters... I don't think you're going to find inexpensive, new, quality, thumbshifters. The age of the thumbshifter ended around 1993. Grips and Triggers took over. Your choices for quality stuff is old stuff and pricey stuff.
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Old 01-16-12, 09:51 PM
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I installed Shimano 8 speed indexing bar end shifters on the VO thumb shifter mounts on the bike I built for my dad. They're great.



These early Deore friction shifters are pretty cool too.

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Old 01-16-12, 11:00 PM
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Sano install Colonel!
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Old 01-16-12, 11:27 PM
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These are not too hard to find on older Huffy MTB's, and work great:
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Old 01-16-12, 11:51 PM
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I like the older Suntours and they seem to work great on my Schwinn. I have not used the older Deores "Deerhead" models for very long but from what I understand they are very good.
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Old 01-17-12, 10:01 AM
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Go vintage if you're looking for quality and affordability. You should be able to pick up some nice classy looking Shimano or Suntour on ebay for under $30.
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Old 01-17-12, 12:35 PM
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this is what I have total cheapies. I am not sure what you mean by not holding well, but I have had no problems with slipping out of desired gear. I am running this as a 1x8. The derailler is a deore xt. the cable set up is: cable with housing to cable stop on top of down tube. cable only from down stop to cable stop on chainstay then the at little loop of cable housing from the stop to the derailer.


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Old 01-17-12, 12:59 PM
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I keep looking at trying the DIY hackjob version where you mount dt shifters on clamps for I think mtb thumbies, doubt that helps you any though..
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Old 01-17-12, 01:42 PM
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I reused the thumb shifters when I put drops on my winter beater. I've found them to be wonderful companions to mitten or gloved hands. As a matter of fact, when Spring comes and the beater gets hung up....I miss the thumb shifters!
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Old 01-17-12, 07:22 PM
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Ultegra 8 speed bar end shifters on some old Suntour mounts.

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Old 01-17-12, 10:58 PM
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if you can find one of this old Shimano 7 speeds sis, it can handle 8 speeds with proper indexing.


or go with Paul and a more modern Shimano bar end shifter. I find the Paul attachment screw for the right hand side shifter a little short and it can come loose.
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Old 01-17-12, 11:10 PM
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Cheap 7 speed thumb shifters on amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-Handle...6863355&sr=8-2
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Old 01-18-12, 08:44 AM
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here is a really good deal on 7-speed:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/SHIMANO-SL-T...item5891d1024d
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Old 01-18-12, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
Ultegra 8 speed bar end shifters on some old Suntour mounts.

Great idea.
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Old 01-18-12, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Great idea.
I'm full of them. Some of them actually work.
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Old 01-18-12, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
I'm full of them. Some of them actually work.
I noticed.
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Old 01-18-12, 08:09 PM
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This is on a 28 tooth cog and a Suntour Cyclone rear derailleur. It is not hard to see why the lever has a hard time holding the chain and derailleur spring with the flex in those levers.

I appreciate all the input. I do not want indexed shifers. I don't know how a single lever index shifter works. But I will check out the 7 speed on ebay. I have some nice old Suntour DT shifters I might put on the VO thumb bar mounts. I am liking that idea a lot.

Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
this is what I have total cheapies. I am not sure what you mean by not holding well, but I have had no problems with slipping out of desired gear. I am running this as a 1x8. The derailler is a deore xt. the cable set up is: cable with housing to cable stop on top of down tube. cable only from down stop to cable stop on chainstay then the at little loop of cable housing from the stop to the derailer.


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