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Brake/gear levers possible on an '80s racer?

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by swee'pea99, 28 Feb 2008.

  1. swee'pea99

    swee'pea99 Legendary Member

    I've been thinking about bar end shifters, on account of finding it hard to get down tube shifters to fit my recently-acquired Vitus frame - and many thanks for the advice folks, but...it suddenly occurred to me, I've seen lots of posts from people raving about how having tried combination brake/gear levers, they'd never go back, which set me thinking...might that be an option?

    I have a seven-speed Shimano freewheel (not cassette) on the back, and a Shimano 600 mech, and a Sun front shifter on a two-ring chainset (42/52) on the front...could I get combination levers to work with that setup, and if so, what criteria should I use when searching on ebay? (Budgets are tight.) As ever, thanks a lot for any help you can offer.
     
  2. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor Man-Machine Staff Member

    Location:
    Stevenage
    Well, 7 speed STIs do exist. RSX was 7 speed, Sora was 7 speed up till a few years ago, and Byercycles have them new for £80. Other bike shops are available;).
    Your shimano rear mech ought to work, and as for the front one, might be a case of 'suck it and see'. If you get some 7 speed sti's and your rear mech won't index properly, PM me, as I think I have a redundant, nearly new Sora triple mech knocking about somewhere.
     
  3. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    If you can find some eight speed Campag shifters, they will index perfectly with a Shimano seven speed cassette provided you use a Campag mech.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    swee'pea99

    swee'pea99 Legendary Member

    Thanks chaps - very helpful and very much appreciated. I shall keep my eyes peeled for a 7 speed sti or an 8 speed Campag (these are the ergo ones with a little lever, right?). I'm guessing the cassette/freewheel distinction makes no odds? Oh, and as for using a Campag mech, I do have an old Super Record on my other bike that I could swap over - would that do? Many thanks for the Sora offer Doc - v kind. (Oh, by the way, £80 is more than twice what I've ever paid for a bike :becool:...till I got my lovely Vitus frame.)
     
  5. Zoom

    Zoom Über Member

    IMO Sora are not very nice because of the little button (although still streets ahead of Campag with their silly thumb button although I've only used Campag once) but that's probably because I'm used to the 2 lever type; I think they are all much of a muchness if you've never used them, I know Campag users don't like the pivotty brake lever set up on Shimano. You may be able to pick up old RSX or RX100 STIs which have the proper 2 lever set up like all Shimano except Sora. My old RSX shifters (still going strong 9 years later) worked pefectly with a freewheel (Sachs IIRC)

    this seems cheap; I assume it's for a pair;

    http://www.ukbikestore.co.uk/acatalog/info_ST33007DPAA.html

    Yes I've seen new 7 speed Sora shifters recently; they still fit them to really cheap 14 speed bikes like the Saracen Tour. Remember that double shifters won't work with triple chainsets and you'll need a deeper front mech (but the reverse should work, my old RSX bike was only a double and I changed it to triple as it had a triple front shifter) so make sure you buy a triple STI if you can get one.
     
  6. Landslide

    Landslide Rare Migrant

    Location:
    Called to the bar
    I was in much the same situation, running 2x7 speed.
    I bought Sora 3x8 speed shifters and used the limit screws on the mechs to block off the extra "click" on the levers. It all worked fine at the back, but needed a bit of work at the front (IIRC I set the shifters to hit the chainrings in positions 2 and 3, so dropping down to position 1 caused a slack cable).
    I've since upgraded to 8 Speed and a triple chainset.
     
  7. Zoom

    Zoom Über Member

    I don't fully understand the difference between double and triple; I've got "double" RX100 on my other bike but there is a middle position which is handy for using odd combinations of front and rear; are they both the same design or does one have a ratchet mechanism ? (I'm not taking it to bits to find out)
     
  8. simonali

    simonali Über Member

    Location:
    Wiltshire
    Can't you still buy Dura-Ace downtube shifters? Think it's coz Lance liked them on his climbing bikes?
     
  9. Landslide

    Landslide Rare Migrant

    Location:
    Called to the bar
    I think (and hope someone corrects me if I'm wrong) that your middle position may be for "trimming" the front mech. When you shift from inner to outer chainring, the mech "overshifts" i.e. goes a little too far over to ensure that the chain makes it up onto the big ring. Once your chain is happily seated on the big ring you can drop down to this middle position to minimise chainrub.
     
  10. Disgruntled Goat

    Disgruntled Goat New Member

    I've got 8 speed campag ergo levers on my 1986 Alan.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    swee'pea99

    swee'pea99 Legendary Member

    And how are they? Did you buy it like that, or change from downtube shifters? Do you find a significant difference with them? Do you find them easy to use? And to adjust/maintain? Would you recomend them? Do you have Campag stuff on the back - gears, freewheels? Thanks.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    swee'pea99

    swee'pea99 Legendary Member

  13. Zoom

    Zoom Über Member

    [quote name='swee'pea99']http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=300201709080&ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:GB:1123
    would these work with a 7-speed setup?[/quote]

    no (at least it didn't when I tried); the spacing between 7 and 8 speed is different; an 8 speed cassette isn't just a 7 speed with an extra cog they are all slightly narrower but overall the cassette is slightly wider; you may however be able to put an 8 speed freewheel on if you can yank the rear stays out a bit; but by the time you've done that (which may involve a new axle too) you might as well get the 7 speed shifters new. E bay STI shifters tend to go for near the RRP anyway.

    as I understand it 8-10 speed cassettes are all the same size; 7 speed isn't neither are the hubs for them. You can fit a 7 speed wheel into a frame designed for 8 but not vice versa although you may get away with it on a steel frame. You can fit a 7 speed cassette to an 8 speed hub but you need a spacer (you can make one by pullin an old cassette to bits. Not sure about 8 speed freewheels; I assume they exist as I believe they still fit them to very cheap bikes.

    Best to stick with the system you have and buy the correct STIs I'd say.

    Another thing; if you've got brake cables which go under the bar tape you should be able to swap over to Shimano STIs without re-doing the tape; but Campag have both the gear and brake cables under the tape.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    swee'pea99

    swee'pea99 Legendary Member

    Thanks Zoom. Darn it.