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Converting a 5x2 downtube shifter setup to dropbar brake shifters

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Converting a 5x2 downtube shifter setup to dropbar brake shifters

Old 11-23-22, 04:39 AM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by austinbikebill View Post
Now that I've made a decision to stay friction/analog and go with bar-end shifters (decision now is whether vintage suntour or shimano), as I am in the process of working on the handle bars, are there any thoughts/advice on brake levers?

The bike has the original cable-out-of-top brake handles with the original 40 year-old aqua blue hoods that are showing their age.

Should I keep it simple and just buy new hoods (and replace the 40-year old cables as well while I am at it) or should I go for a set of the newer style levers with hidden cable housing routing (not sure what you call those: aero brake handles maybe?)
It all depends on what you like in aesthetics as well as functionality. Another advantage that aero brake levers have, over the older style of brake levers that you have, is that you can also add "interrupter brake levers to the top of the handlebar for those times you'd like to sit up more to rest or look around better. I have them on one of my drop-bar MTBs as well as on one of my MIELE road bikes.

Drop-bar MTB


MIELE road bike.


You might find some decent aero brake levers for not too much money at a bicycle co-op. Maybe even interrupter levers too.

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Old 11-23-22, 09:20 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
That was going to be my advice. Give up the idea of indexing and just get friction bar ends. It's a good idea for touring, where reliability and serviceability are everything, to keep shifters as simple as possible. Like down tube friction shifters, bar ends are bulletproof and reliable, nothing to adjust or fiddle with. I toured many miles on my '83 Trek 720, with that setup.

I have these DiaCompe ENE levers on two of my bikes. They're maybe a bit expensive, but I expect that they will last forever. There are certainly less expensive bar ends though.

https://velo-orange.com/products/dia...r-end-shifters
Its 2022- being scared of indexed shifting really needs to end as its been around for over 35 years. Even for touring, this fear of indexed shifting suddenly crapping out is laughable. Just check your cables before starting(while checking everything since thats simple common sense), and then bring an extra cable just like you would even with friction shifting. Hand wringing over whether or not an indexed drivetrain will hold up is about 60th on the list of what should be important when planning a loaded tour.

With all that said, indexed bar end shifters have a friction mode so if somehow the bar end shifter's indexing mechanism breaks mid-ride, just change the setting to friction and you can keep riding. There is no downside at all to indexed then.

By all means, you continue to ride in unfounded fear, but dont push that fear on others.
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Old 11-23-22, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
It's 2022- being scared of indexed shifting really needs to end as it's been around for over 35 years.
Fun fact: Sturmey-Archer introduced index shifting in 1903.
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Old 11-23-22, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Its 2022- being scared of indexed shifting really needs to end as its been around for over 35 years. Even for touring, this fear of indexed shifting suddenly crapping out is laughable. Just check your cables before starting(while checking everything since thats simple common sense), and then bring an extra cable just like you would even with friction shifting. Hand wringing over whether or not an indexed drivetrain will hold up is about 60th on the list of what should be important when planning a loaded tour.

With all that said, indexed bar end shifters have a friction mode so if somehow the bar end shifter's indexing mechanism breaks mid-ride, just change the setting to friction and you can keep riding. There is no downside at all to indexed then.

By all means, you continue to ride in unfounded fear, but dont push that fear on others.
Nobody said anything about "fear" or "hand-wringing". I have indexed shifting on almost half of my bikes and sure, they're all pretty reliable. But for an unsupported tour with limited or no access to bike shops or parts along the way, the simplicity of friction shifters has the advantage. The choice between "rarely fails, things usually stay adjusted" (indexed) and "never fails, nothing to adjust" (friction) might be more important to some than to others, and of course it depends on where you're going.

Last edited by Jeff Neese; 11-23-22 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 11-23-22, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
Nobody said anything about "fear" or "hand-wringing". I have indexed shifting on almost half of my bikes, and they're all pretty reliable. But for an unsupported tour with limited or no access to bike shops or parts along the way, the simplicity of friction shifters has the advantage. The choice between "rarely fails, things usually stay adjusted" (indexed) and "never fails, nothing to adjust" (friction) might be more important to some than to others, and of course it depends on where you're going.
Its just a commonly mentioned fear for touring- that indexed shifting will suddenly fail in the middle of some high desert and you will be stranded. It is typically associated with STI levers instead of a fear of indexed bar end shifting.
Again, indexed bar end shifters have a friction mode so your concern isnt even applicable in that context as it places them in the 'never fails' category.

Those ENE shifters are nice looking though, and that does go far in decision making.
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Old 11-23-22, 11:57 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Fun fact: Sturmey-Archer introduced index shifting in 1903.
Yes, but that was in Europe (whatever the Brits may think), the First World when it comes to cycling. But if I were in America, I'd be extra careful.

Just kidding. Just kidding!

IME the only thing you really want when using an indexed system is some form of cable tension adjustment in the system. At the RD will do nicely, and at the DT cable stop is even nicer as it enables adjustments without losing momentum. Both are pretty much standard. If not unavoidable.
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Old 11-23-22, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
...

By all means, you continue to ride in unfounded fear, but dont push that fear on others.
...if you're not fearful riding a bicycle on the roadways of America, you're not paying attention to the fatality statistics.
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Old 11-23-22, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
...

I have these DiaCompe ENE levers on two of my bikes. They're maybe a bit expensive, but I expect that they will last forever. There are certainly less expensive bar ends though.

https://velo-orange.com/products/dia...r-end-shifters
...I bought two sets of the downtube version of these, when they got them back in stock. But I have not yet installed and tried them. I anticipate a pleasurable experience. For some inexplicable reason, VO had them for a while, then they went out of stock for a year or two...this was pre-pandemic, so that was not the reason.
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Old 11-23-22, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...if you're not fearful riding a bicycle on the roadways of America, you're not paying attention to the fatality statistics.
Stop it.

The fear I referred to is clearly the fear of having an indexed shifter break.
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Old 11-23-22, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Stop it.

The fear I referred to is clearly the fear of having an indexed shifter break.
...I have experienced the failure of at least one or three of them. What really frightens me, though, is your suggestion that indexing is the answer here.
If I had to convert everything I own to indexing, it means most of the really interesting rear derailleurs, that I run on different bikes, would end up in the junk box.

That would require a much larger junk box, and it would also make me unhappy.
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Old 11-23-22, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...I have experienced the failure of at least one or three of them. What really frightens me, though, is your suggestion that indexing is the answer here.
If I had to convert everything I own to indexing, it means most of the really interesting rear derailleurs, that I run on different bikes, would end up in the junk box.

That would require a much larger junk box, and it would also make me unhappy.
The OP suggested indexing and increasing the drivetrain cogs. It's right there in the first post of this thread. I didn't suggest indexing, I have just responded.
And the indexing shifter Ive recently discussed has a friction setting, as mentioned in multiple posts, so you could still use your interesting derailleurs, even if they don't perform ideally with a touring setup(cue some 3x5 setup now).
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Old 11-24-22, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
...
And the indexing shifter Ive recently discussed has a friction setting, as mentioned in multiple posts, so you could still use your interesting derailleurs, even if they don't perform ideally with a touring setup(cue some 3x5 setup now).
...why do you suggest that my interesting old derailleurs perform less than ideally ? That's a needlessly hurtful thing to say. New Record rear mech with indexed cable housing and Simplex retrofriction shifters is a hot setup. I'm expecting similar results with those EVE downtube shifters.

Here is a very nicely performing Peugeot:





And here is something that also works pretty well, sans indexing, that has a wider range gearing:





I have indexing bicycles, and I ride them here. But I rode a lot of years without indexing, and I can't remember anything bad happening to me because of the lack.* Now toe clips and straps...I've fallen over a couple of times in the initial stages with those.

True story: I sold a mid 80's Trek 400 series with Campy Victory stuff on it today. The guy who bought it said, and I quote "I'm sorry, but I'm not paying that much for a 30 year old bike with friction shifting." I sold it to him anyway, but I still feel badly about how misinformed you people are about the practical uses of friction shifting. It's like you think that everything before indexed shifting suddenly became obsolete, once Shimano came out with Dura Ace indexing.

I hope you live long enough to need to sell your old bikes to some kid who says to you, "I'm not paying that kind of money for anything that is so old it doesn't have Di2, old fellow."


*insert favorite rant about the younger generation, and how entitled they are.
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Old 11-24-22, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...why do you suggest that my interesting old derailleurs perform less than ideally ? That's a needlessly hurtful thing to say. New Record rear mech with indexed cable housing and Simplex retrofriction shifters is a hot setup. I'm expecting similar results with those EVE downtube shifters.

Here is a very nicely performing Peugeot:



And here is something that also works pretty well, sand indexing, that has a wider range gearing:



I have indexing bicycles, and I ride them here. But I rode a lot of years without indexing, and I can't remember anything bad happening to me because of the lack.* Now toe clips and straps...I've fallen over a couple of times in the initial stages with those.

True story: I sold a mid 80's Trek 400 series with Campy Victory stuff on it today. The guy who bought it said, and I quote "I'm sorry, but I'm not paying that much for a 30 year old bike with friction shifting." I sold it to him anyway, but I still feel badly about how misinformed you people are about the practical uses of friction shifting. It's like you think that everything before indexed shifting suddenly became obsolete, once Shimano came out with Dura Ace indexing.

I hope you live long enough to need to sell your old bikes to some kid who says to you, "I'm not paying that kind of money for anything that is so old it doesn't have Di2, old fellow."


*insert favorite rant about the younger generation, and how entitled they are.

Oof, this missed the mark hard.

I currently have 3 fully built working bikes that are friction shifting- just finished up a 531 Peugeot on Sunday. 3 frames hang because I don't know what to do with them- a Gitane TDF, a Schwinn Premis, and a 531 Bringheli frame. I have 2 more friction drivetrains, but not enough fully working wheels and really don't need this many bikes to fill a specific need.

I don't own a bike with electric shifting and only 1 of mine is even disc brake. My most ridden bike is a steel frame I built. My second most ridden bike is steel from '89.
Between frames and built bikes, I have 8 in my garage from the 70s and 80s and 75% of my parts drawers are for friction drivetrains.


As for the comment that your older stuff wouldn't be ideal, I've seen multiple of your Campy and hadn't seen anything that I would say would handle a wide range triple. Your 600 6207 long cage RD is cool and could handle a wide range drivetrain, yes.
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Old 11-24-22, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post


As for the comment that your older stuff wouldn't be ideal, I've seen multiple of your Campy and hadn't seen anything that I would say would handle a wide range triple. Your 600 6207 long cage RD is cool and could handle a wide range drivetrain, yes.
...this would, If I needed it to. But the original crank is too pretty to replace, and I don't need another wide ratio bike.




Besides, the best results for friction shifting wide ratio gearing come either from the old Suntour long cage stuff, or from Crane derailleurs.







Can we at least agree that some of these mechanisms are too pretty to consign to the dustbin of obsolescence ?
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Old 11-24-22, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post


My inner adolescent is thinking of many funny comments regarding the name of that derailleur.

And thinking about it, I was about that age when that derailleur was manufactured.
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Old 11-25-22, 12:41 PM
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Nice vintage bikes.

Now that I've decided to go with friction/analog bar-end shifters to match my 2x5 non-indexed drivetrain, I am trying to cut thru the fog of indexed, racheting and pure friction.

It's confusing to me: some models claim to be indexed that can be converted into friction, others are racheting claiming to a type of friction shifter, etc.

And the vendors, new and vintage: suntour, dia compe, shimano, microshift. etc.

Can anyone me me make sense of this category, e.g., can a microshift be both indexed and firction, does dia compe racheting mean friction (or indexed), etc.?
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Old 11-25-22, 01:58 PM
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...Microshift (and many other brands, like Shimano) indexing shifters usually have an alternative setting, where you can dial out the indexing stops. The ratcheting shifters, like Suntour and the now new and available from VO Dia Compe ENE shifters, have very tiny ratchet stops, so they don't index, but are much more precise in action than an average old school friction shifter. Simplex made something called "Retrofriction", that also works well, because more precise in action. But they are too expensive to buy used now, and not available any more new.

I'm hoping that the ENE shifters I bought will work similarly to Simplex retrofriction, or at least as well as Suntour ratchets. But I have not yet installed and tried them. They got rave reviews on VO.

Many of the rear derailleurs I use on old bikes are still in good shape, and they won't work with indexing, because the upper pulley has no float. I am not going to replace them, just for indexing, which is just not that important to me. Also, if you have an older French bicycle, or anything with a Simplex dropout, it's harder to find and fit an indexing rear derailleur to them.
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Old 11-25-22, 02:38 PM
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Thanks for sharing all that information.

I was looking at those Dia Compe as well but the "racheting" and friction in the description threw me off, and I couldn't find any explanation anywhere of exactly what ratcheting was.

Was going to buy some vintage Sun Tours, but given how little the difference is in cost bet. the used sun tours and new dia compe, think I am going with the dia compe.
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Old 11-25-22, 07:21 PM
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Ratcheting shifters are friction shifters but with a ratcheting mechanism in them that makes it a lot easier to use the shift lever as the bolt holding the shifter to the shift pod or boss doesn't have to be as tight. It's like having a nice light action instead of a heavy one. Ratcheting shifters are not indexed.

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