Opinions on Downtube/Friction shifters

Xiorell

Über Member
Location
Merthyr, Wales
Just wondering what people think of them?

I've seen a few bikes that looked really nice untill I see friction operated shifters and then somehow they seem really... ancient.
What with all the indexed shifters out there it seems like a step backward. Particually on roade/race bikes.



Do any of you still use friction shift? Maybe some of you changed from index to friction? Do you people find it a pain in the arse or somewhat pleasing?
 

henshaw11

Well-Known Member
Location
Walton-On-Thames
You get the equivalent on many recumbents, as bar-end shifters (as cyclocross bikes have - or used to have, at least - I put them on my road bike years ago 'cos I couldn't get on with the downtube jobbies).
The right hand shifter's still indexed, tho'

The handy thing about the non-indexed left hand shifter is it allows you to trim the mech position - it's one less bit of indexing to setup.
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
I still use downtube shifters on the tandem. It is indexed, but I used it in friction mode the other day as we were having some "issues" with the drive train.
 
i grew up with dt levers and 5 or 6 blocks so i don't have a problem with them.i was just given a 7 speed dawes galaxy, it had bar end controls on which i don't like so it got 7 speed dt levers. this allowed me to put lo pro bars on which i prefer to drops. it made a refreshing change to ride. the 10 speed ergos would be on e bay if campag made 10 speed dt levers.:biggrin:
 

guitarpete247

Just about surviving
Location
Leicestershire
My bike is old (like me I suppose) bought in '82 and kept as an 80's bike. Friction shifters but now on the stem not the dt. I have no problems with them there or as they used to be on the dt or on the bars of my MTB (which is also old '88 model 1 indexed 1 friction).

I reckon that one day I'll have to upgrade to some thing newer and go for fully indexed but not for a while or when I come up on the lottery
whistling.gif
.
 

david k

Hi
Location
North West
Just wondering what people think of them?

I've seen a few bikes that looked really nice untill I see friction operated shifters and then somehow they seem really... ancient.
What with all the indexed shifters out there it seems like a step backward. Particually on roade/race bikes.



Do any of you still use friction shift? Maybe some of you changed from index to friction? Do you people find it a pain in the arse or somewhat pleasing?


help me whats the difference?
 

palinurus

Velo, boulot, dodo
Location
Watford
My last commuter had friction shifters, non-indexed ones. And an 8-speed cassette, strange combination- the bike was put together based on what bits I had rather than what bits I would've liked.

I didn't find it a pain in the arse at all, actually I liked it very much. I'd try to do perfect gear changes- really fast and right into gear with no trimming. Even better was going from the big ring to the small while dropping a couple of gears on the cassette simultaneously. Very simple to maintain of course, gear adjustment never required.
 
C

chillyuk

Guest
After 45 years of using DT friction levers they are totally second nature to me. It doesn't take long to work out how much to move the lever to select a gear, and smooth clean changes are no problem at all. It also means that all this nonsense about will such and such work with my setup doesn't arise. Having said that the road bike I now ride has DT indexed shifters with no friction option. That's no problem either.
 

palinurus

Velo, boulot, dodo
Location
Watford
But for ordinary use they work perfectly well. One considerable advantage is they are very cheap compared to combined brake/gear setups. All parts are of course user-serviceable.
 

pubrunner

Legendary Member
I like downtube shifters; but they ain't all the same.

I frequently read that Simplex changers are in a class of their own - something that I took with a pinch of salt.

Well, I've now got them on a bike and they are superb !
 
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