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Your Favorite Downtube Shifters. Post some pics

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Your Favorite Downtube Shifters. Post some pics

Old 07-28-12, 01:39 PM
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Suntour is looking outnumbered on this page, and I hate to put up too many posts to a thread like this without contributing to the procession of pictures. If for no better reason than that I have a pic handy, here's another pair, the LD-3750s IIRC, Suntour Cyclone (non-ratcheting) friction shifters, stock on my Nishiki Prestige:



Not quite as sleek and well-finished as the Superbe levers, still a very simple, clean look. Quite similar to the Sprint ones discussed above aesthetically. Very functional, if you don't mind tightening things up from time to time. I like 'em.
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Old 07-28-12, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by JML
Campy NR, hand-filed, polished, and paint-filled.


Those look great. What sort of filing did you do? Did you clean up the edges? and use a fine sandpaper?
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Old 07-28-12, 01:53 PM
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These are on a Carlton Corsair I picked up recently. The bike had been dry stored for many a year at the UK's National Cycle Museum. I doubt it's ever covered more than 100 miles in the 32 years since it was new. It's absolutely original in every way. Even the supplying dealer sticker is 100% intact. I've loaned it to a local long-established Raleigh dealership for the museum he has in the basement of his shop.
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Old 07-28-12, 02:01 PM
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I should make a photo contribution.



record on my gazelle, I am not sure if these were period pantoed or pantographed in recent years. They seem to be pretty common.
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Old 07-28-12, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by s70rguy
Chris: I have no idea really. This is a 1989 ADR-Bottecchia (yes, Lemonds team when he won the TdF, not his bike though), and I never rode the bike. To me it looked like one of those typical mechanic's mods, as in 'they seem to know best'.
Ah, thanks! I've heard of such a modification, but I've never seen it until now.
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Old 07-28-12, 03:07 PM
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These used to be on my old Super Course. Now it has thumb shifters.

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Old 07-28-12, 03:47 PM
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Does anybody use the Dia Compe ratcheting shifters available through Velo Orange? They look quite nice
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Old 07-28-12, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by vettracer
Personally, I like the symmetric look of the friction only version.


I also have a bike with Simplex retrofriction shifters, but find I prefer these due to the shape of the levers
Yup, them's the ones. Simplex's are close, but those Campy retrofric's get the nod.
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Old 07-28-12, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by hairnet
Does anybody use the Dia Compe ratcheting shifters available through Velo Orange? They look quite nice

had them in bar-end pods on a Long Haul Trucker. they work as nicely and as smoothly as they look. easily the best (although probably the only) choice for a modern friction lever. highly recommended.
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Old 07-28-12, 09:42 PM
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I found that the ratchet wheel is a big distinction among ratcheting shifters as far as how fine are the teeth.

Suntour's traditional barcons and their DT shifters from the '70's seem to have a coarse enough ratchet effect to somewhat compromise their precision when used under more-stressfull conditions, as during competitive climbs.

This is what makes retrofriction (spring wrap clutched) shifters work better, although I remember those Sprint ratcheting shifters SEEMING to have among the finest of ratchet wheel teeth.

I say "seeming" because the effect of finer ratchet-wheel teeth is affected by other variables, such as ratchet-wheel diameter, shifter hub (cable spool) diameter, and the actuation-ratio of the rear derailer.
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Old 07-28-12, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by hairnet
Does anybody use the Dia Compe ratcheting shifters available through Velo Orange? They look quite nice
My wife uses them with a campy 3x8 drivetrain. She likes them enough that she turned down an indexed set.
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Old 07-28-12, 10:34 PM
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I used to have these on my bianchi before i moved everything to brifters. WIth some mothers polish these things shined up amazingly. They worked amazing too with friction and indexed.


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Old 07-29-12, 10:50 AM
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My 81 Allez (non-3Rensho) has a bothersome "autoshifting" characteristic on maximum power sprints and hill climbing. I have Superbe LD-3250 friction-only levers on it with the friction cranked to an uncomfortable level to prevent the autoshifting. I am looking forward to replacing the Superbe shifters with some Sprint Power Shifters to see if it helps. My Sprint equipped 84 Sequoia (not the blue one in the picture with the Symmetric shifters) has no tendency to auto-shift in the same conditions.


The Symmetric shifters on the blue 81 3Rensho Sequoia are a real oddball when coupled with the under-the-bottom-bracket cable routing. The cables rub on the frame downtube. The bike came to me that way. I am looking for a set of LD-1500 Power Shifters for the blue Sequoia. So basically, the above picture shows my two most dysfunctional shifter combos. Although I have a set of good old Suntour barcon shifters sitting around I still prefer the downtube shifters far and away.
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Old 07-29-12, 11:22 AM
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The Simplex Retrofrictions on my Jeunet may be worth more than the bike. They're the very early version with the odd "nubs" on the bottom.

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Old 07-29-12, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by thirdgenbird
My wife uses them with a campy 3x8 drivetrain. She likes them enough that she turned down an indexed set.
I have my girlfriend touring and commuting with suntour bar-cons, when I "upgraded" her to a surly LHT with 9speed shimano bar-cons she hated the indexed shifting and she hated the bike... disaster.
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Old 07-29-12, 11:39 AM
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Yeah, those Suntour Symmetrics were designed for top BB cable guides. Same situation faced my good friend when he purchased a set for his Raleigh racer with under BB shell routing. After much cursing, I traded him my set of 600 EX Arabesque DTs so that he could complete his build for an event. That's how I ended up with my first pair of Symmetrics. They were great when paired to traditional cable routing.
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Old 07-29-12, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by dddd
Bear traps are way cool.

Do you have better pics of the new hoods and the suicide levers? I've been tempted to do this a couple times, but can't bring myself to actually pierce the hood. Did you need to space the lever out so it wouldn't catch on the hood?
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Old 07-29-12, 12:24 PM
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I just slid the hoods on from the front, using a spritz of alcohol, then cut the hole where the pivot stud was poking out.

I did add a thin washer under the head of the screw, very thin and with a small OD that would fit thru the center of the plastic bushing. That spaced the lever out just a half-millimeter to clear the hood iir.

Different versions of these use different washers, some like these have two bushings but no big washer at the base of the stud.
One has to just space the levers out far enough to clear the hood, but you can do this after installing and cutting he hood.

On the levers with the big-diameter washer that fits over the stud, I cut the hood around that washer, so as not to have an excessive thickness of rubber between the lever and the main lever body. Using a new Exacto or box-cutter blade is best for cutting the hood if you can avoid getting cut fingers.

Always use LocTite on the bolt threads, and pay attention to the centering of the centering of the catch that hooks on the top edge of the main lever. Usually there is a "locking spring" inside of the hollow pivot shaft which prevents the bolt from falling out if it loosens.

You can increase the travel of both levers by filing away a few millimeters from the lever body where the safety lever bumps into when you release the brake. Some lever assemblies came from the factory that way to restore the lever travel that was lost to the installation of the safety levers (because of the thickness of the catch that I mentioned in the previous paragraph).


"Bear Traps"??? Did you mean the water-bottle cage?

That's the bike that I hit all of the garage sales on yesterday morning in the hills for 3 hours. Scored 3 nicer bikes and an extra set of wheels ONLY by asking the salers if they had any old bikes 'n stuff.
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Old 07-29-12, 12:50 PM
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Bear trap = beer tap.

Don't ask me, I can't figure it out either.
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Old 07-29-12, 05:32 PM
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Thanks, Cyclotoine. I used fine files to smooth out the edges, to remove the forging marks that look like seams. Then a couple of grades of fine metal-working sandpaper to remove the filing marks, followed by Flitz metal polish to get a mirror finish. Alcohol will remove any residue from the Flitz polish, and then I fill the engraved areas with black enamel paint from a paint stick. When the paint is dry, I use a tiny bit of Flitz metal polish on a cotton cloth to remove any overfilled paint.

The paint stick technique works well to "pop" the Campy engraving on the NR/SR components. You can use any color you like.
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Old 07-29-12, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclotoine
I have my girlfriend touring and commuting with suntour bar-cons, when I "upgraded" her to a surly LHT with 9speed shimano bar-cons she hated the indexed shifting and she hated the bike... disaster.
It sounds like they would get along quite well. My wife knew nothing about bikes but was dead set on a traditional lugged frame with silver components, a white saddle, and white bar tape. The graphics on her centurion were a little modern for for her taste but she was willing to deal with it because everything else fit the bill.
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Old 07-29-12, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois
The Simplex Retrofrictions on my Jeunet may be worth more than the bike. They're the very early version with the odd "nubs" on the bottom.

I have a single of the clamp-on version going on a 1x5 Gitane TdF. Cool piece.
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Old 07-29-12, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Flog00
Huret


IMG_7373 by flog00, on Flickr

I totally love these Sachs/Huret shifters- mine are a bit more 'blued' than yours, in that they're shinier. Otherwise the action is pretty much the same as the Suntour Power ratcheting shifters that I have. They're quite comfortable to the touch and I don't find them the least bit unattractive.

Right now my 620 has Command Shifters on it- and the Sachs/Huret shifters sleep in a bin.
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Old 06-26-16, 03:00 AM
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Old 06-26-16, 04:50 AM
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Yas Bro. Ry-chus thread. Thanks. Maybe we're intrigued since the shifters are extensions of our hands - the fine touch that commands the transmission to perform magic tricks, to turn an ordinary day into a great day. Function and art, tactile and visual. A much finer thing than the shifter in our car (at least in MY car).
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