Derailleur for friction shifters


Just about surviving
Can I put any rear derailleur on my old road bike with friction changers:wacko:.
I just got bike back from my dads. I've not ridden it for about 10 years but it had a new chain, new freewheel block (6 speed) not long before I stopped riding it. I now see that the reason I stopped riding it was the poor rear derailleur which I put on as temp measure when my brother wrecked original requiring the rear wheel to be rebuilt and I couldn't afford a better derailleur.
That's a long way round saying. I want to put a new derailleur on it but only have friction changers. I know the indexed derailleur works in friction setting on my old Saracen is it the same with newer indexed changers. Are there any that I should avoid.


Mancunian in self imposed exile in leafy Cheshire
Isn't it the shifters that index the gears rather than the rear mechanism? I bought a MTB one for an old steel frame bike i did up with friction shifters and it worked fine. You need to know what cage length you need to accommodate the max gear ratios though.


Europe Endless
If the largest rear cog is 28T or less, you could fit a road mech. If it's bigger, fit an MTB mech.
Avoid the very cheapest of the Shimano ones and you'll be fine. Even Acera (MTB) and Sora (Road) work very well. Either way, it'll cost about £15.


Über Member
Friction shifters will shift any rear mech. The mech movement for the amount of cable pull just isn't a problem with gears that aren't indexed. There is one issue to watch out for though - an old 6 speed freewheel is narrower than a current 8, 9, 10 or 11 speed cassette and the high and low stop screws on the mech need to be long enough (mainly the low stop) that they can be screwed in far enough to stop the mech in the right place. You could always change the screws for longer ones if necessary.
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