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Friction shifting is for lazy folks

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Friction shifting is for lazy folks

Old 09-14-18, 05:52 PM
  #1  
TiHabanero
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Friction shifting is for lazy folks

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!
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Old 09-14-18, 06:10 PM
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And me!
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Old 09-14-18, 06:29 PM
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Me too! And bar-end shifters at that!

I'm not lazy, just practical; they're simple, reliable, and work beautifully.
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Old 09-14-18, 06:54 PM
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Di2.

Just felt like saying that.


-Tim-
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Old 09-14-18, 07:01 PM
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I have downtube mounted friction shifters on my Schwinn and generally like them. The only issue I have is "auto shifting." I really hate it when I'm mashing my way up a steep hill and my bike decides I should be working harder.
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Old 09-14-18, 07:11 PM
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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!
You are saying you never shifted? Because every shift requires some minute adjustment....
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Old 09-14-18, 07:21 PM
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I have Di2, STI and friction bar ends, and now, newly acquired down tube shifters after a 20 year gap. No preference one way or the other, service wise. Twice I had the Di2 connector come unplugged, but now that I know what to look for, it never happens. I like to maintain cadence, and with fewer gears, and friction, it's more of a challenge, where the Di2, just click, and move on down the road. Funny thing, I used to hate down tube shifters, and two of my vintage bikes have bar ends. The Legnano I've had 54 years, still with the original Campy bar ends. I recently built a Raleigh Super Course from a bare frame and went right for Suntour bar ends (better than my old Campys). I just acquired a Peugeot with Simplex down tube shift. Before I had ridden the bike 10 miles, I bought another set of Suntour bar ends. 150 miles down the road, the Suntours are still on the work bench. I'm kind of enjoying the down tube Simplex. Go figure. Bikes are fun, enjoy the differences and challenges that each variation has to offer, just ride. As for lazy, my '64 Legnano is on the original chain, never had the bottom bracket or headset apart. Now THAT'S lazy!
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Old 09-14-18, 08:33 PM
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I disagree. All but the cheapest junk index shifters requiring little to no adjustments. And when they do you just turn the barrel adjuster a tiny bit. As for cables and housings they both use the SAME parts, so no difference there.

Edit: I have seen occasions where index shifters didn't work properly because of being gummed up. But a shot of penetrating oil almost always corrected it with no fuss.

Last edited by AlmostTrick; 09-14-18 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 09-14-18, 11:10 PM
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"Crap! I forgot to charge my shifters!"

Never hear that with friction.
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Old 09-15-18, 07:40 AM
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I like friction. I also like driving a manual transmission car. I know plenty of people donít, and thatís ok.
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Old 09-15-18, 08:46 AM
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Iím not sure anything beats di2 where it counts. But I will agree that friction shifters are a damn sight better than any cable actuated indexed shifters Iíve ever tried. Sorry things never stayed adjusted. Even my DA 7900ís were terrible. Ratchet friction shifters are pretty much the best
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Old 09-15-18, 09:24 AM
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Meh




only 'indexed' shifters are on 2 IGH,*

Rohloff doesnt need it, it's sequencing selector, done in the hub itself.

* I-9 Sram, and S-A BSR 3 speed.. [In 1957 I used a friction shifter on my AW3..]

IE detents in the lever on the bars,
syncs with the cable pull distance needed at the rear hub...

Alfine 11 with Di2 kit is intriguing, over the stock shifter..

my i-9 has a grip shifter so fast to roll a big jump skip,
as i need to grab a gear out of sequence...





.

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-15-18 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 09-15-18, 09:35 AM
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I use friction non-indexed in the front and indexed rapid fire in the back. I used to have rapid fire in front and back, then I transitioned to friction in both. While I appreciated the infinite trimming that I could do when changing gears, I found the ease of shifting with indexed shifting was worth the effort of tuning the rear D. But for the FD I really see no reason to be limited by indexed shifting especially when the sound of chain rubbing is REALLY distracting to me.


BTW, I've stopped to help some cyclist who were having trouble shifting only to blow their minds by quickly tuning their derailleur using the adjustment barrels. It's strange how mystifying such a simple concept can be.
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Old 09-15-18, 09:41 AM
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I can do rear index or friction on my LHT. DA9000 on the road bike has been adjusted once in 4 years since its initial "break in" tune up a few months after the frame was built and built up.
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Old 09-15-18, 10:13 AM
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You don't have to adjust indexed shifters, you just have to learn how to get the lever to stay in the spots in between the clicks.
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Old 09-15-18, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
You don't have to adjust indexed shifters, you just have to learn how to get the lever to stay in the spots in between the clicks.
True. With my rapid fire shifters I would've been able to "step up" the shifting incrementally (the space between the clicks), moving the derailleur toward the frame could only be achieved gear by gear.

So if I needed to trim the FD, I'd need to release the shifter down a gear then find the space between gears again... Now with the friction shifter I can more easily adjust the position to quiet the FD if necessary.
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Old 09-15-18, 10:45 AM
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I put friction-shift (SunTour barcons) on ALL of my road bikes because I prefer barcons. All also have six-speed freewheels. Never tried fitting indexing shifters on any of them because why bother? So yeah, I guess I'm lazy. I go with what works with 100% reliability!

My garbage-picked BSO/MTBs have whatever shifting system they came with. I'm not going to put money into any of them other than normal consumables, since they're just sacrificial beaters. If the indexing system breaks, off to the dumpster or co-op they go... The whole bike...
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Old 09-15-18, 11:25 AM
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Some folks face their mid-life crisis by buying that exotic car they had on their walls when they were kids. Since I'm broke I chose to rescue a neglected road bike similar to the one I had back then, 27" wheels and all.

In my current MTB bike I have Shimano Rapid-Fire shifters, and I have to work them to make them work good. But these old friction ones were SO EASY! I just adjusted the limit screws and that's it! And when I first rode it, it took me only a few minutes to do the shifting as smoothly as I did when I was a kid.

I guess friction shifting is one those rare things that no matter how much time has passed, you can do it as well as you did decades ago... just like riding a bike!
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Old 09-15-18, 11:50 AM
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An advantage of friction shifting is that I cN LOOK t the shift lever and know what gear I'm is, and not look down at the cassette to see where I am.
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Old 09-15-18, 02:04 PM
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Every time I ride one of my 4 bikes with friction shifters I think about converting to indexed. Every time I ride one of my 3 bikes with indexed shifters I think about how much I like friction shifters. When I ride one of my Sturmey IGH bikes, I don't think about shifters at all.
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Old 09-15-18, 02:09 PM
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Luddites you all.
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Old 09-15-18, 03:38 PM
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I toured , several long trips, over a decade on reliable simple stuff..

I don't try to keep up with the joneses , but if they get to the Pub First ,

Buy Me the 1st one when I get there?
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Old 09-15-18, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
Luddites you all.
...and still riding!
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Old 09-15-18, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Cl904 View Post
I like friction. I also like driving a manual transmission car. I know plenty of people donít, and thatís ok.
I like driving my manual transmission car, but liken it more to riding my fixed gear... Engine breaking effect and all.
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Old 09-17-18, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
...and still riding!
We all are.
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