Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

friction or index

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

friction or index

Old 03-01-12, 04:26 PM
  #1  
blamester
Blamester
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Ireland
Posts: 927

Bikes: Peugeot teamline

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 222 Post(s)
Liked 80 Times in 67 Posts
friction or index

Hi
I have brifters and i don't like them so i am definitely going with dts.
My last bike had dura ace index dt shifters and i loved them but they are pricey.
So how good are friction shifters.I had them as a kid and my mtb has friction thumb shifter and they work very good on it.
blamester is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 04:35 PM
  #2  
Preynmantis
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southern Colorado
Posts: 163
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
All a matter of preference. Some love them, some don't

On a bike I intend on riding spiritedly, I prefer index, no guessing. On my touring bike, I am ok with the friction, but it helps that it is a nice set up.

You'll find people with everything you need to go indexed and it won't break the bank. I have a full setup of Shimano 600 tricolor for indexed just sitting here.
Preynmantis is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 04:44 PM
  #3  
Oldpeddaller
Senior Member
 
Oldpeddaller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Maidstone, Kent, England
Posts: 2,630

Bikes: 1970 Holdsworth Mistral, Vitus 979, Colnago Primavera, Corratec Hydracarbon, Massi MegaTeam, 1935 Claud Butler Super Velo, Carrera Virtuoso, Viner, 1953 Claud Butler Silver Jubilee, 1954 Holdsworth Typhoon, 1966 Claud Butler Olympic Road, 1982 Claud

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Well I'm happy to use them, but then again index hadn't been invented when I raced as a junior! I find that trimming the change is a whole lot easier with the flexibility of derailleur position that friction shifters provide. If you're accustomed to using index shifting then they do take a little getting used to, but in my experience it's instinctive; after all, how many people look at the gearstick on their car to see which gear they are changing to? On a bike the correct gear is the one you can pedal best in at that time so you feel through your legs which way to push the lever and if the chain grates, move it back a tiny bit until the noise stops. You can also fit a wheel with a different number of sprockets and it'll work - might have to adjust the limit screws but that's usually all.

I also like brifters and index DT shifters on more modern bikes in my collection but slightly prefer friction DT shifters over both. Still to try out stem shifters though!
Oldpeddaller is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 04:47 PM
  #4  
blamester
Blamester
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Ireland
Posts: 927

Bikes: Peugeot teamline

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 222 Post(s)
Liked 80 Times in 67 Posts
Thanks for that i'm leaning toward index, i should have checked out the friction setting on my last bike to know.
I need 9 spd index and it is nearly a hundred euros here where as you can get some friction shifers for 20.
Tricolor doesn't go 9 spd but i will need levers.
Cheers
blamester is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 04:58 PM
  #5  
Chombi
Senior Member
 
Chombi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 11,138

Bikes: 1986 Alan Record Carbonio, 1985 Vitus Plus Carbone 7, 1984 Peugeot PSV, 1972 Line Seeker, 1986(est.) Medici Aerodynamic (Project), 1985(est.) Peugeot PY10FC

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 145 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 14 Times in 14 Posts
In the end, Friction is like a violin while indexed is like a piano. One has keys that you use to get you the right notes and chords while the other depends mostly on the player's tactile and muscle memory. Both can play great music but just in different ways. I suspect though that there were a lot of cyclist that went into Indexed shifting when it first came out and never looked back as it does have its advantages.
I stay with friction with my bikes because that's just what I'm used to and I try to stay away from using indexed in case............I also end up not coming back to friction because I'd like it so much. I just always preferred the idea of the most minimalist approach in shifting that comes with friction..........it does not help too that I love weight weenie builds, so the simpler the system is, the better it is for me.

Chombi
Chombi is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 05:02 PM
  #6  
Oldpeddaller
Senior Member
 
Oldpeddaller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Maidstone, Kent, England
Posts: 2,630

Bikes: 1970 Holdsworth Mistral, Vitus 979, Colnago Primavera, Corratec Hydracarbon, Massi MegaTeam, 1935 Claud Butler Super Velo, Carrera Virtuoso, Viner, 1953 Claud Butler Silver Jubilee, 1954 Holdsworth Typhoon, 1966 Claud Butler Olympic Road, 1982 Claud

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
In the end, Friction is like a violin while indexed is like a piano. One has keys that you use to get you the right notes and chords while the other depends mostly on the player's tactile and muscle memory. Both can play great music but just in different ways. I suspect though that there were a lot of cyclist that went into Indexed shifting when it first came out and never looked back as it does have its advantages.
I stay with friction with my bikes because that's just what I'm used to and I try to stay away from using indexed in case............I also end up not coming back to friction because I'd like it so much. I just always preferred the idea of the most minimalist approach in shifting that comes with friction..........it does not help too that I love weight weenie builds, so the simpler the system is, the better it is for me.

Chombi
Well explained Sir!
Oldpeddaller is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 05:17 PM
  #7  
norskagent
car dodger
 
norskagent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: garner/raleigh nc
Posts: 3,428
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 64 Times in 36 Posts
7 or less, friction
8 or more, indexed
__________________
1989 Schwinn Paramount OS
1980 Mclean/Silk Hope Sport Touring
1983 Bianchi pista
1976 Fuji Feather track
1979 raleigh track
"I've consulted my sources and I'm pretty sure your derailleur does not exist"
norskagent is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 05:19 PM
  #8  
blamester
Blamester
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Ireland
Posts: 927

Bikes: Peugeot teamline

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 222 Post(s)
Liked 80 Times in 67 Posts
I get the deal with dts over brifters you can feel the chain catching the teeth of the next gear and the cable tension thru lever,but with 9spd will the throw on the lever be too small for each gear and trimming too delicate for comfort.
I was still typing when you answered norskagen
Exactly what i was thinking

Last edited by blamester; 03-01-12 at 05:24 PM. Reason: slow
blamester is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 05:20 PM
  #9  
zukahn1 
Senior Member
 
zukahn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Fairplay Co
Posts: 8,243

Bikes: Current 79 Nishiki Custum Sport, Jeunet 620, notable previous bikes P.K. Ripper loop tail, Kawahara Laser Lite, Paramount Track full chrome, Raliegh Internatioanl, Motobecan Super Mirage. 59 Crown royak 3 speed

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 496 Post(s)
Liked 364 Times in 203 Posts
I have found that with modern freewheels/cassetes and chains that better quality friction shifters works great. Yet if your used to index shifting and haven't done a lot of riding on friction shifters the transition could be a little difficult. For those of us that started out riding old school friction shifters with unramped freewheels it doesn't seem to matter much if the bike is well setup.
zukahn1 is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 05:28 PM
  #10  
auchencrow
Senior Member
 
auchencrow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Detroit
Posts: 10,327
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
I'll admit I am a dyed in the wool friction fan: I have one indexed Shimano 600 on one bike and don't like it at all.

The thing about friction is that if you ever have a problem shifting, it's the shifter on the saddle, not the DT, that's the problem.
__________________
- Auchen
auchencrow is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 05:39 PM
  #11  
zukahn1 
Senior Member
 
zukahn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Fairplay Co
Posts: 8,243

Bikes: Current 79 Nishiki Custum Sport, Jeunet 620, notable previous bikes P.K. Ripper loop tail, Kawahara Laser Lite, Paramount Track full chrome, Raliegh Internatioanl, Motobecan Super Mirage. 59 Crown royak 3 speed

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 496 Post(s)
Liked 364 Times in 203 Posts
+1 After working in a bike coop for while now I have found that the majority of shifter problems are related to the shifter in the saddle.
zukahn1 is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 05:46 PM
  #12  
Bill Kapaun
Really Old Senior Member
 
Bill Kapaun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Mid Willamette Valley, Orygun
Posts: 12,768

Bikes: 87 RockHopper,2008 Specialized Globe. Both upgraded to 9 speeds.

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1369 Post(s)
Liked 597 Times in 446 Posts
Originally Posted by blamester View Post
...,but with 9spd will the throw on the lever be too small for each gear and trimming too delicate for comfort.
...
I went from 7 through 9 speed with "good" friction thumb shifters.
In my case, my shifting got more precise due to the ergodynamics of my particular thumb and shifter locations.
With 7, I pushed and than had to push more. 8 speed I'd push and then push a bit more. On 9, I hit the gear about 95% with just the push.

Then I got a 2nd bike with good index shifting and my friction shifting got ridiculously bad.
I put identical index shifters on the 1st bike so I didn't have to remember how to shift each time I climbed on the "other" bike.
Bill Kapaun is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 05:47 PM
  #13  
Sirrus Rider
Velocommuter Commando
 
Sirrus Rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 2,676

Bikes: '88 Specialized Sirrus, '89 Alpine Monitor Pass, two '70 Raligh Twenties, '07 Schwinn Town & Country Trike, '07 Specialized Sirrus Hybrid

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Liked 19 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by norskagent View Post
7 or less, friction
8 or more, indexed

Norsk, I'm mostly with you my caveat that I'd add is "Any bike from '87 onwards that came with 6 or 7 Indexed leave indexed. " Now if this is a custom build then yeah I can't fault the logic of 7 and below friction.
Sirrus Rider is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 06:05 PM
  #14  
blamester
Blamester
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Ireland
Posts: 927

Bikes: Peugeot teamline

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 222 Post(s)
Liked 80 Times in 67 Posts
Well i just checked and it seems i have paid my utilities and i didn't realise , also wiggle have dura ace 9spd index with friction option for 60 euro
which i can afford.
So i can have both but i'm sure to use only index.
blamester is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 06:52 PM
  #15  
r0ckh0und 
Senior Member
 
r0ckh0und's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Plano, IL.
Posts: 1,492
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 51 Posts
Trail riding on my MTB I could'nt live without the indexing. On the road or paths I prefer the friction as it is easier to ride by the seat of your pants.
__________________
They say I'm lazy but it takes all my time.
r0ckh0und is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 06:59 PM
  #16  
cpsqlrwn
OldSchool
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 1,169
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 63 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by blamester View Post
but with 9spd will the throw on the lever be too small for each gear and trimming too delicate for comfort.
I just assembled a 10 speed Campy friction setup using Simplex retrofriction shifters with an IRD 12-28 cassette for a better range both lower and upper (Campy does 13-29) and it works beautifully, just enough cable pull to comfortably make the whole range of gears. I found the touch on the shifters to be a very quick adjustment (going to the closer spaced 10 speed) and the shifting is very clean.
cpsqlrwn is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 08:08 PM
  #17  
Bianchigirll 
Bianchi Goddess
 
Bianchigirll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Shady Pines Retirement Fort Wayne, In
Posts: 27,494

Bikes: Too many to list here check my signature.

Mentioned: 146 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1997 Post(s)
Liked 834 Times in 510 Posts
Except for a classic 3Spd shifter and gripshift I have just about everything. Personaly I think DT index is the greatest thing since slice bread (which I learned something interesting about lately). I have 3 bikes with "brifter" and while I like the convience of them I can't but help to think I am shifting too much.

I remember when I got into cycling seriously in '87 and the guys I rode with talking about how they shifter more often because on indexing, making it sound like a bad thing. I am still not sure whether those statements were for better or worse but I find myself wondering if I am shifting too much simply because I have brifters and I don't have to reach for a shifter.

If your going to go to DT shifter get "Retrofriction" or get index shifters and run them in friction.
__________________
Bianchis '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, '93 Reparto Corse SBX

Others but still loved; '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape SLX Bertoni "Speckled Trout"
Bianchigirll is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 08:12 PM
  #18  
RobbieTunes
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 27,297
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 378 Post(s)
Liked 1,374 Times in 888 Posts
Originally Posted by blamester View Post
Thanks for that i'm leaning toward index, i should have checked out the friction setting on my last bike to know.
I need 9 spd index and it is nearly a hundred euros here where as you can get some friction shifers for 20.
Tricolor doesn't go 9 spd but i will need levers.
Cheers
Sunrace 9sp indexed for Shimano and SRAM.
$20 shipped, maybe extra for across the big water....

Last edited by RobbieTunes; 09-24-20 at 10:24 AM.
RobbieTunes is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 08:19 PM
  #19  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 22,838

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 134 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2683 Post(s)
Liked 1,395 Times in 866 Posts
Originally Posted by cpsqlrwn View Post
I just assembled a 10 speed Campy friction setup using Simplex retrofriction shifters with an IRD 12-28 cassette for a better range both lower and upper (Campy does 13-29) and it works beautifully, just enough cable pull to comfortably make the whole range of gears. I found the touch on the shifters to be a very quick adjustment (going to the closer spaced 10 speed) and the shifting is very clean.
Those are probably the ideal friction shifters for that setup. Not only are they great shifters, but the small Simplex barrel means they pull less cable than most other friction shifters and thus give you better adjustment over a 10-cog cluster.
JohnDThompson is online now  
Old 03-01-12, 08:51 PM
  #20  
ThermionicScott 
working on my sandal tan
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 20,699

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers), All-City Space Horse (hers)

Mentioned: 92 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3012 Post(s)
Liked 1,055 Times in 721 Posts
Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
In the end, Friction is like a violin while indexed is like a piano. One has keys that you use to get you the right notes and chords while the other depends mostly on the player's tactile and muscle memory. Both can play great music but just in different ways.
Such an elegant analogy!
__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is online now  
Old 03-01-12, 09:46 PM
  #21  
Giacomo 1 
Senior Member
 
Giacomo 1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Queens NYC
Posts: 3,175

Bikes: Colnago Super, Basso Gap, Pogliaghi, Fabio Barecci, Torelli Pista, Miyata 1400A

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 315 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 10 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
I'll admit I am a dyed in the wool friction fan: I have one indexed Shimano 600 on one bike and don't like it at all.

The thing about friction is that if you ever have a problem shifting, it's the shifter on the saddle, not the DT, that's the problem.
While I do like friction shifting, and my Shimano 600 provides both friction and index, I normally ride urban and way to often I simply don't have the time to trim a friction shift. It's just to dangerous. Heck, there are times I don't even have time to reach down and grab another gear with index shifting. So I think the type of riding you do is important when trying to figure out what DT shifter to use.

Oh, I love my Shimano 600!
__________________
It never gets easier, you just go faster. ~ Greg LeMond
Giacomo 1 is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 09:56 PM
  #22  
Chrome Molly 
Senior Member
 
Chrome Molly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Forksbent, MN
Posts: 3,271

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 301 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 13 Posts
I have found that friction shifting with the modern hyperglide style cassettes and freewheels doesn't give much away to indexing. I'm happily surprised at how friction shifting can give you that perfect "nailed it" sound and feel that indexing does (about 95% of the time) with the modern design cogs.
Chrome Molly is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
cpsqlrwn
Classic & Vintage
15
02-23-19 02:14 PM
SamSpade1941
Classic & Vintage
27
12-01-16 09:41 PM
tarwheel
Bicycle Mechanics
7
05-16-16 06:42 PM
psee
Bicycle Mechanics
13
04-25-11 08:23 PM
Old Apollo
Bicycle Mechanics
2
07-11-10 09:15 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.