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Your Favorite Downtube Shifters. Post some pics

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Your Favorite Downtube Shifters. Post some pics

Old 09-13-23, 10:08 AM
  #126  
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy
Mark, can you remind me of what the story is on the Campy Doppler shifters? i.e. what is unique and special about them?
I'm only familiar with the classic & basic Campy levers.
steelbikeguy Steve, it is a retrofriction shifter, I believe it has a roller cam instead of a ratchet.

they are super duper smooth, utterly sexy to operate. The later C-Record model can be had for (somewhat) reasonable prices.

if you buy a used set, MAKE SURE TO GET ALL THE LITTLE PARTS because they won't work without them.

they are cool.

/markp



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Old 09-13-23, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by esasjl
The Simplex Retrofriction mechanism is a favorite. I have a mint set of the coke spoon version for admiring, a set shifting 3x7


and the Delrin version shifting 3x10
Wow, I've never seen the delrin version!
And shouldn't the other ones more correctly be called coke-perforated-septum shifters.....?
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Old 09-13-23, 11:14 AM
  #128  
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Old 09-13-23, 11:32 AM
  #129  
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These days mrs non-fixie is the real DT shifter fan in our home.

The shifters that got her away from Shimano's EZ-Fire, no less, were these Huret shifters:



I have them on my Mann-Libertas, and I will admit that I like them as well.

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Old 09-13-23, 12:19 PM
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Modolo with Campagnolo



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Old 09-13-23, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912
steelbikeguy Steve, it is a retrofriction shifter, I believe it has a roller cam instead of a ratchet.

they are super duper smooth, utterly sexy to operate. The later C-Record model can be had for (somewhat) reasonable prices.

if you buy a used set, MAKE SURE TO GET ALL THE LITTLE PARTS because they won't work without them.

they are cool.

/markp
That does sound nice, and one would think they would have been more common and popular back in the day (although I wasn't paying that much attention to Campy then).
To be faiir, even the Simplex retro-friction levers were fairly niche items then too.

I recall SunTour's retro-friction/ratcheting levers, aka Power ratchet, were relatively well known and not uncommon, and later generations of SunTour ratchet levers were more refined and svelte. Probably hard for Campy to get the attention of folks like me who were already running SunTour ratchet shifters.
So many neat old parts out there, and so few bikes to put them on and try out (plus, I'm just too lazy to keep swapping parts around).

Steve in Peoria
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Old 09-13-23, 08:17 PM
  #132  
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I have Simplex retrofriction lever on several bikes, and prefer them over simple friction levers of any kind. SunTour ratcheting "Power Shifters" are close. Zeus "Cosmos" retrofriction levers are as nice as Simplex, but rarely seen.


Simplex held the patent on retrofriction, and though it expired in the mid-80s and other manufacturers like Campagnolo and Zeus had products ready to exploit this, that also happened to coincide with Shimano's release of its SIS indexed shifting and the associated marketing blitz that killed the market for anything that wasn't indexed.
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Old 09-13-23, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by yeslek
What's not to like?



retrofriction coke spoons? A new favorite, approved by Tony Montana. Very nice!
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Old 09-13-23, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd
Friction DT shifters are nice. I wish the Simplex Retrofriction was equipped with a D-ring bolt. One of these days I'll install one.



Indexing DT shifters are quicker and easier to shift when I'm drained, especially on the tall frames I ride.

There's no need for a D ring bolt on the Simplex retrofriction shifters. It gets all its cable pull resistance just from the internal clutch spring, and not the mounting screws seen on conventional friction shifters. A better mod is to replace the slotted mounting screws with stainless steel, allen socket type, button headed bolts. It will look cleaner and it won't rust like the chromed screws, plus you are less likely to strip them.
You can usually get the right sized ones from your local ACE hardware store.

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Old 09-13-23, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex
Wow, I've never seen the delrin version!
And shouldn't the other ones more correctly be called coke-perforated-septum shifters.....?
I had an NOS set of those Delrin Simplex Retrofrictions. Unfortunately, I gave it to a coworker who was into touring on his C&V bikes, for him to discover the joys of Retrofriction shifting. Found out later he did not even bother to try them out. And most likely it just ended up in his component stash.
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Old 09-14-23, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1
There's no need for a D ring bolt on the Simplex retrofriction shifters. It gets all its cable pull resistance just from the internal clutch spring, and not the mounting screws seen on conventional friction shifters. A better mod is to replace the slotted mounting screws with stainless steel, allen socket type, button headed bolts. It will look cleaner and it won't rust like the chromed screws, plus you are less likely to strip them.
You can usually get the right sized ones from your local ACE hardware store.
For the braze-on version, yes- but I seem to recall I tried to do that with the clamp-on version and found they use an odd French threading/pitch that isn't so easy to find.....
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Old 09-14-23, 07:22 AM
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Haven't seen these Shimano 600 6207's posted yet. My personal faves, use them happily on a number of bikes:

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Old 09-14-23, 07:29 AM
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Sachs New Success which can either be used with 8 speed indexing or retro friction….a useful feature if you took an emplacement wheel in a race that was not compatible….
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Old 09-14-23, 08:25 AM
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I'm firmly in the retrofriction camp. The Simplex models work great and I could be perfectly happy with them. But.....I think the Campy Doppler is just a hair smoother and those are my favorites, especially the "big barrel" version.

An old pic of my Doppler stash. I have since added more, including two sets of big barrels.


On the bike...
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Old 09-16-23, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex
For the braze-on version, yes- but I seem to recall I tried to do that with the clamp-on version and found they use an odd French threading/pitch that isn't so easy to find.....
The clamp can be re-tapped if you are careful. The shifter does not need much bolt tension (just sufficient to hold against the RD spring).
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Old 09-16-23, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1
I had an NOS set of those Delrin Simplex Retrofrictions. Unfortunately, I gave it to a coworker who was into touring on his C&V bikes, for him to discover the joys of Retrofriction shifting. Found out later he did not even bother to try them out. And most likely it just ended up in his component stash.
The Delrin shifters have a larger cable pull (than the alumin(i)um ones) and will shift 9/10/11 speed cassettes.
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Old 09-20-23, 02:41 PM
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Any version of the 7400 shifters. Here they are in friction mode on a seven speed freewheel with a gen one Cyclone rd.

My only minor gripe is that they wont index properly with any derailleur other than a Dura Ace 740X. But I'm not complaining.

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Old 09-21-23, 01:45 AM
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Old 09-21-23, 06:37 PM
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On my 65 Fiorelli…

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Old 09-21-23, 06:56 PM
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^^^ Earliest known wireless shifters! nice looking bike, what I can see of it. 👍
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Old 09-21-23, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie
These days mrs non-fixie is the real DT shifter fan in our home.

The shifters that got her away from Shimano's EZ-Fire, no less, were these Huret shifters:



I have them on my Mann-Libertas, and I will admit that I like them as well.

I also like the long old school Hurret's Hurret or Schwinn branded DT or stem they have a lot of pull length and are easy on smaller hands and the long levers allow for easier manual indexing likely why your wife likes them. A lot of the even nicer DT stuff is ape shift grind it tell you find it a lot of us old school guys that grew up on crappy shifting stuff bikes and cars are fine with it on vintage bike or car but it's a no go for most women which proves there smarter than most men.
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Old 09-21-23, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by chain_whipped
Modolo with Campagnolo



I just like nice spoon levers who cares if they look a bit dorky to some they give a bit more leverage each way and allow for a bit bigger max shift range with most gear set ups.
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Old 04-01-24, 08:22 AM
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I came across this & haven't posted in ages so:

1. I like the look of these weird old Suntour LD-2300 synchro-shifters (and their band clamp), and had been looking for a use for them for 15 years or so, so put them on this (see link for the other disparate but oddly fitting drivetrain parts incl. long cage Campagnolo SR rear mech)


on 1985 Woodrup Giro Touring

My favo(u)rite though are these big old Suntour ratchets - the 'oldest' bike part (that I bought new) in use on my bikes - I originally bought these in 1983 for my 'first good bike' (made on an old 531 sg ca. 1970 Dawes frame). That bike was wrecked in a car crash, and these sat unused until I swapped them (for the originals) onto my 1983 Univega Gran Turismo a couple years ago.

I don't seem to have a better picture than this at the ready:


but of course their charms can be examined in great detail elsewhere.

(note CTC transfers on both bikes)

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Old 04-01-24, 11:37 AM
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I
No better than my others , just personalized!
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Old 04-01-24, 02:27 PM
  #150  
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Can’t have too much Simplex Retrofriction. Goes with anything.
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Last edited by seagrade; 04-01-24 at 04:45 PM. Reason: typo
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