6 Speed index shifter - Suntour

Rabbit

Regular
Location
Hampshire
Hello, I'm trying to restore a 1980s Dawes Galaxy mixte for my daughter. It has a Suntour Cyclone Mk 2 rear mech and six speed Suntour freewheel. The question is - can I replace the friction shifters with indexed gears? I have seen some 6 speed Suntour Accushift shifters on ebay, and a couple of Shimano types but not sure if they will work! Thanks.
 

TheDoctor

Europe Endless
Moderator
Location
Stevenage
Hi! and :welcome:
The Cyclone rear mech pre-dates indexing, so it's not likely to work.
If you're wanting indexing, your best bet would be to go Shimano.
New freewheel, rear mech and shifter shouldn't be too pricy - my LBS has freewheels at £12-13 (six or seven speed), rear mechs from £9 and shifters from £10 a side. Even cheap modern-day stuff is light-years ahead of 1980s components.
 

RecordAceFromNew

Swinging Member
Location
West London
Hello, I'm trying to restore a 1980s Dawes Galaxy mixte for my daughter. It has a Suntour Cyclone Mk 2 rear mech and six speed Suntour freewheel. The question is - can I replace the friction shifters with indexed gears? I have seen some 6 speed Suntour Accushift shifters on ebay, and a couple of Shimano types but not sure if they will work! Thanks.
The Mk2 is too early to be indexed. See this. However it is probably worth keeping in the bottom of a drawer. I suspect when The Dr. said that cheap modern stuff is light years ahead of 1980s components he only mean in terms of indexing... or else semi-decent Campag's SuperRecord rear mechs c1980s wouldn't be selling for £70+ a piece, or their sheriff star hubs a few hundred notes a pair. Some vintage components are literally works of art, while others have jewel like build compared to modern stuff etc. etc. In the present case as the above link indicates the Cyclone Mk2 is 164g. That is only matched by the most expensive current carbon/titanium encrusted rear mechs.

If your rear sprockets are 5.5mm centre to centre then you do not need a new freewheel for indexing purpose. If you need a new freewheel it might be difficult (or expensive) to remove it yourself if it doesn't have Shimano splines.

For 6 speed imho indexed down tube shifters don't really offer that much over friction. What might be worth considering, for a significant improvement in control and convenience while you are at it, is to get shifters (such as the Sunrace ones) for the top of the handlebars, or bar end shifters.
 
OP
R

Rabbit

Regular
Location
Hampshire
Thank you both very much - very helpful. For your info I was looking at these shifters on ebay - Suntour SL3040 Accushift 6 speed (sorry, don't know how to paste the link - Newbie), but I may not bother now! I think bar ends may be a better idea. Basically my daughter is still quite young and fairly new to cycling and I thought indexed might just give her more confidence on the bike. Is the opinion that bar end levers are easier/lighter to use than down tubes?
 

RecordAceFromNew

Swinging Member
Location
West London
Basically my daughter is still quite young and fairly new to cycling and I thought indexed might just give her more confidence on the bike. Is the opinion that bar end levers are easier/lighter to use than down tubes?
The advantage of bar end is you are still holding on to your handlebars when you shift, and your hand is never far from the brake levers. Most, though not all, allow friction shifting on the right so for those #speed doesn't matter. If you are running a double chainset it also doesn't matter whether the left one is indexed or otherwise.
 

sidevalve

Über Member
Many people have no problem [and even prefer friction shifting] however when I got my first indexed bike [too many years ago now] there really was no contest. A bit like buying a car with an old crash gearbox. If as you say she is still inexperienced I suspect she might not thank you for giving her something else to worry about when riding. Indexed downtube shifters are no real problem as the shift is more or less sorted for you, click and there it is, easy, simple and requires no more skill than thet needed to take a hand off the bars [as when giving a hand signal, although I admit not many seem to bother with them anymore]. All the kit is as you have spotted,available on E bay and for old bikes it is cheap. One thought, it may be easier to buy a cheap "donor" bike and simply transfer the parts over.
 
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