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Friction shifting is for lazy folks

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Friction shifting is for lazy folks

Old 09-17-18, 09:29 AM
  #26  
Bill in VA
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I use both.

I find indexed to be fast, and easy when properly set up. I have not had any problems. I do find the little gear indicators on the levers (Shimano) to be a bit much and of little help. Friction is just as fast if they are set up right, especially since you quiickly learn to fine adjust by sound and habit that is instinctive. Ratcheted friction shifters like the old Suntour DT and barcons are a true joy. Admittedly I have not tried friction above 7 speeds.

The key for all shifting is being set up right..
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Old 09-17-18, 07:04 PM
  #27  
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Muscle memory is the key to consistent shifting when using friction shifters. Been doing it since 71 and think I have it mastered now. Only use Suntour Barcons as they hold the gears the best and never ghost shift. Does not matter what brand der out back or how many cogs, they all shift reliably with the Barcons. Gads, I really am a lazy son of a gun as I don't have to think about component compatibility, just install parts and go. Too much figurin' using indexed systems.
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Old 09-17-18, 08:57 PM
  #28  
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How about friction shifting for a 10 speed system ? With the sprockets so close together, is it more difficult ? I love the friction shifting on my old touring bike which has a 5 speed freewheel and bar shifters. I am thinking about trying friction on one of my 10 speed road bikes for fun to see how it does. Crazy idea ?

Last edited by frogman; 09-17-18 at 09:27 PM. Reason: wrong information
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Old 09-17-18, 09:14 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by seamuis View Post
I’m not sure anything beats di2 where it counts.
Price. Pretty much everything beats Di2 on price.
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Old 09-17-18, 09:43 PM
  #30  
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FWIW, friction has some very distinct advantages over Di2, or any indexed system. Gear dumping and greatly reduced physical shifting. No matter how many gears you are changing, it is always one movement of one lever or 1 movement of both levers. Electronic/indexed can dump some gears, but not even close to 2 movements total each time. For me it becomes a safety issue as well. After an extended period of whacking STI levers, my forearms get pumped up/tight. I lose the ability to close my hands/make a fist. Which means I can't effectively use the brakes/stop the bike. That is a dangerous situation to be in. Friction for me.
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Old 09-17-18, 10:53 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by frogman View Post
How about friction shifting for a 10 speed system ? With the sprockets so close together, is it more difficult ? I love the friction shifting on my old touring bike which has a 5 speed freewheel and bar shifters. I am thinking about trying friction on one of my 10 speed road bikes for fun to see how it does. Crazy idea ?
I run a Campy 9-speed with a SunTour shifter (the top-mounted racing style DT shifter, not the shifter with auto- FD adjust). Shifting is simply what all of us would have died for 40 years ago. I can't imagine 10-speed would be much worse (than superb). Now the shifter does fold all the way back in the big cog, but finding a given cog is easy. I personally will stay away from Shimano cassettes with this many speeds or more based on my 7-speed experience of often having the chain jump back and forth between cogs, usually after I have done a big dump and not fiddled to get the derailleur "right". Campy has given me far less issue here. If I really miss, the Campy will do one shift to the better matching cog and stay there but never go back.

I just finished Cycle Oregon riding a 3 X 9, 52-42-28 Shimano 105 to the Campy 12,14-19,21,23 9-speed with the above shifter, Dura-Ace triple FD and Campy Mirage RD. Absolutely loved it! Haven't changed anything in the drive train (except chains and cog sizes) the past 8 years, so this isn't a surprise, but I've been riding my other bikes so this was a very pleasant reminder.

Ben
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Old 09-17-18, 10:56 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
Price. Pretty much everything beats Di2 on price.
I don't think I have ever paid more than $30 for a DT friction shifter, Are you telling me these Di2 shifters cost more?

Ben
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Old 09-18-18, 05:44 AM
  #33  
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And I am in love with down tube shifters, both indexed and friction. I never developed a liking for bar end shifters.
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Old 09-18-18, 08:12 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by frogman View Post
How about friction shifting for a 10 speed system ? With the sprockets so close together, is it more difficult ? I love the friction shifting on my old touring bike which has a 5 speed freewheel and bar shifters. I am thinking about trying friction on one of my 10 speed road bikes for fun to see how it does. Crazy idea ?
In some ways, it is easier the more gears there are because the throw required to change gears is shorter. I’ve done 10 and won’t hesitate to go to 11 if and when I can get the cassettes and chains at close out prices. Look at it this way, if you skip a gear by accident, the gap is no worse than what it was on your 5 speed so no big deal.
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Old 09-18-18, 09:03 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I run a Campy 9-speed with a SunTour shifter (the top-mounted racing style DT shifter, not the shifter with auto- FD adjust). Shifting is simply what all of us would have died for 40 years ago. I can't imagine 10-speed would be much worse (than superb). Now the shifter does fold all the way back in the big cog, but finding a given cog is easy. I personally will stay away from Shimano cassettes with this many speeds or more based on my 7-speed experience of often having the chain jump back and forth between cogs, usually after I have done a big dump and not fiddled to get the derailleur "right". Campy has given me far less issue here. If I really miss, the Campy will do one shift to the better matching cog and stay there but never go back.

I just finished Cycle Oregon riding a 3 X 9, 52-42-28 Shimano 105 to the Campy 12,14-19,21,23 9-speed with the above shifter, Dura-Ace triple FD and Campy Mirage RD. Absolutely loved it! Haven't changed anything in the drive train (except chains and cog sizes) the past 8 years, so this isn't a surprise, but I've been riding my other bikes so this was a very pleasant reminder.

Ben

Ben,
Thanks for the info. I want tor try the Suntour top mounted shifters. I can easily replace my Campy cassette from 10 speed to a 9 speed cassette, as a matter of fact I have a 9 speed cassette. Now I need to order the Suntour shifters. Can you give me more specifics on the Suntour shifters you are using ? I will mount them on my road bike bar and the grip area where I will mount them is about 25mm I think.
Bob
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Old 09-18-18, 09:10 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by L134 View Post


In some ways, it is easier the more gears there are because the throw required to change gears is shorter. I’ve done 10 and won’t hesitate to go to 11 if and when I can get the cassettes and chains at close out prices. Look at it this way, if you skip a gear by accident, the gap is no worse than what it was on your 5 speed so no big deal.

Thanks for the info. I will try with 10 speed at first then and see how it goes. I see what you mean about the gap. Now I need to find Suntour shifters I can mount on top of my 25mm road bars.................
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Old 09-18-18, 10:28 AM
  #37  
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I've tried to keep a bike with friction shifters, I really have. First I had a beautiful Raleigh with 531c steel and 6sp Shimano 600. Darn thing shifted beautifully but I loved the ride so much that I wanted to faster, so it got upgraded to brifters. Next, I've got this great Schwinn Passage, beautiful friction shifters on the downtube. I tell myself that it's gonna stay friction as some great testament to retro. Then a few too many rides where I'm not quite getting the shift right while climbing and I switch it to index. Now, I can shift quickly and accurately, but I have to sit down to shift, so again... It now has Campy Ergopower. The thumb button isn't perfect, but no regrets. Great thing is it's 8sp Campy, so it's still retro!

I guess I've finally just given in and downtube shifters aren't a thing for me, except for their minimalist beauty. I always lusted after Campy Ergopower as a kid so there it is. I find I actually prefer the action on SRAM Doubletap to the thumb button, but the Campy is so very direct in its shifting that I can love it on every bike but the ones I want to go the fastest on.
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Old 09-18-18, 10:49 AM
  #38  
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Went from down tube, as supplied on the mid 80's SBI Expedition, as my Touring Bike

To Sun Tour Bar end shifters , back then , and rode it through many countries
like that ,

for decades..






..
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Old 09-18-18, 11:01 AM
  #39  
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For the lazy and shrewd... friction thumbies forever
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Old 09-18-18, 12:15 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by av1 View Post
For the lazy and shrewd... friction thumbies forever

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Old 09-18-18, 04:11 PM
  #41  
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Since putting new cables on my bike about a year and a half ago, I've made one small adjustment to the front derailleur using the barrel adjuster. About 3k miles over that time and I made the adjustment while riding so no big deal to me. And this is with 9 year old Ultegra shifters, 105 derailleurs and a triple.
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Old 09-18-18, 04:28 PM
  #42  
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Ogsarg, you are motivated! I would have just lived with the slight miscalculation in shifting. Unfortunately you won't get away with such low maintenance over the next decade, however I will and will be riding while others are fixing. It is good to be a bum.

One thing to note, as others have, I too find the barcons work exceedingly well with Campy 9 speed. Very efficient movement of the lever. Shimano seems to be a bit more noisy on the shift, but also works.
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Old 09-18-18, 06:17 PM
  #43  
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Hey guys, help me find Sunrace top mount shifters that will clamp on my road bike 24mm bars. I can't find any, they all seem to be for 22.2 mountain bike bars.
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Old 09-19-18, 07:30 AM
  #44  
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Found that I can use Paul's Thumbies to mount the shifters. I think I will try these Suntours on the Thumbies
https://www.amazon.com/SunRace-SLM96...KYET4F794913FS
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Old 09-24-18, 02:31 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by skidder View Post
they're simple, reliable, and work beautifully.
+1
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Old 09-24-18, 08:48 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by frogman View Post
How about friction shifting for a 10 speed system ? With the sprockets so close together, is it more difficult ? I love the friction shifting on my old touring bike which has a 5 speed freewheel and bar shifters. I am thinking about trying friction on one of my 10 speed road bikes for fun to see how it does. Crazy idea ?

I've had a beat up old mid 80s Orbea for a couple of years now that's setup for friction shifting over a 10 speed Campagnolo cassette. The DT shifters are the original Mavic shifters. The RD is actually a "modern" shimano Ultegra 9 Speed RD. I have a lot of other friction systems on various bikes yet this is the best. I'm sure part is due to the freeplay of the jockey wheel on the RD. Anyway, all I can say is do it. I think the limiting factor is just having a DT shifter that can pull enough cable.




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Old 09-24-18, 08:58 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by frogman View Post
How about friction shifting for a 10 speed system ? With the sprockets so close together, is it more difficult ? I love the friction shifting on my old touring bike which has a 5 speed freewheel and bar shifters. I am thinking about trying friction on one of my 10 speed road bikes for fun to see how it does. Crazy idea ?
I have 10 speed friction shifting on my Miyata 912 and KHS Aero Turbo. I am delighted with the fact I could even do this and the results would be so good. They do have modern RD's. Not so long ago as I begun my journey of taking bikes to bits and putting them together I took apart an early faulty STI shifter, wow what a big mistake that was, straight to the good for parts bin. Like many of you here I love the design and simplicity of DT friction shifters that allow for the perfect mesh by feel and sound. I like the way you can see the cable wrap around the shifter. I ride a modern bike with SRAM red and enjoy not taking my hands of the bars (The KHS has sticky out TT bars on it....that is an exciting combo with DT shifters) and the speed of change as I pretend to be a competitive cyclist. But actually I am an old dufus who likes to fiddle with bike stuff and hear the woosh of perfectly engaged friction gears tuned by self.
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Old 09-25-18, 01:59 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
I hate to service stuff. Takes up my time which is in short supply, and I am a bit lazy, naturally. Every bike I ride and have on display runs friction shifters. Got to thinking about it today and realized not one of them has had to have the gears "adjusted" in 10 years. My main bike sees 2000 miles a year, touring bike about 300, and the cruiser about the same. The touring bike has a split in the housing for the rear derailleur and it still works perfectly. Indexed shifting won't put up with that. The cables and housing are old, but still performing. Zero maintenance on all the bikes up to now. Friction shifting is perfect for folks like me!
I like micro-indexed front gripshifters for the same reason.
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