Opinions on Downtube/Friction shifters

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
Me, both classic road bikes are 8 speed SIS down tube shifters, Shimano 600 and Dura Ace. Just works. The DA is still on the original cables from 30 years ago - multi thread cables - lovely to look at, fully stainless. Crisp shifts all the time.
 

Peugeotrider

Well-Known Member
Location
Northern Ireland
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 !
simplex dt shifters are probably the best ones ever made.
I had them on a peugeot many years ago,smooth as butter.
I still have an old peugeot on simplex shifters and its my no1 bike
 

tyred

Legendary Member
Location
Ireland
All but one of my derailleur bikes have friction shifters. Cheap, easy to set up, no additional maintenance required and I have never found them difficult to use.

I upgraded an old MTB to 8 speed cassette several years ago and I still use the original 6 speed shifters - I just switched them to friction mode and it works fine so never bothered to buy the correct shifters.
 
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aj101

Well-Known Member
Easier to change the cables, more reliable on long tours, and won't cause you a huge amount of problems on an all dayer if the rear mech gets gunked up.
 

Saluki

World class procrastinator
604518

My D.B. (dronfield) has friction shifters. Simplex ones, each of which are an elegant, thing of beauty. It’s fine and I love it. My other bikes have STI shifters.
It was suggested, by some blasphemous person, that I ‘updated’ my Dronfield. I no longer have anything to do with that person.
 

aj101

Well-Known Member
Just wondering has anyone tried a friction downtube shifter with a Campag 13 speed Ektar rear setup? I mean, in theory it will work, right?!
 

Sharky

Guru
Location
Kent
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 !
My Simplex DT levers were probably from an early model and not the ones you are referring to.
Mine were the white nylon/plastic levers that were popular at the time. Arrived at the start of a 25 in a hurry and in the wrong gear. Tried to change down, but the lever snapped and went into the palm of my hand. Had to do the whole of the 25 in top gear (104")! Not a pleasant experience.
 

freiston

Über Member
Location
Coventry
I use bar-end shifters in friction mode, 3x9 setup. I had 5 speed (2x5) bikes with D/T friction shifters from the 70s up until the late 90s when I bought a nightmare of a rigid mtb bike with 3x7 indexed trigger shifters (Shimano SiS). I eventually replaced that bike with my current (3x9) bike in 2014.
 

Paulus

Started young, and still going.
Location
Barnet,
I have DT levers on several of my old bikes, and recently converted my 1990's Galaxy back to indexed levers from STI's that I upgraded to some 10 years ago.
I really find DT levers easy to use, as l have used them for 50+ years.
I still have several more modern bikes with STI and Campag. ergo shifters though.
 
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