Down tube shifter deviancy

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  • I have DA 7900 shifters on a bike, indexed. The double ring at the front is friction - always perfect trim :)

    For a rain/touring/audax bike I actually prefer it to anything (or at least anything this side of Di2). It’s snappy, completely consistent, reliable and with shorter, cleaner cables and fewer along the bars.

    Shifting whilst out of the saddle can get spicy.

  • I have (Suntour band-on - the frame has a little triangular stop for them under the DT) friction shifters, with an 8-from-9 cassette on the back. Works fine for me and my CTC-pootling ways; the only time I've wished I had the shifters closer to hand is when rough-stuffing, where being able to keep your hands on the bars and crash down through the gears is sometimes handy.

  • Gears was new-fangled when I were a lad, so downtube were cutting edge. Still have Simplex retrofrictions on the '82 Gios and my 70s tourer, anything else would be heresy. Besides, they are totally intuitive after one ride and were good enough for Merckx.

  • I really wanted to go with dt shifters on one of my retro hybrid-to-gravel builds, but it had some ridiculously obscure dt diameter that wouldn't allow it... Looking forward to build something around friction downtube shifters one day!

  • The last time I built a bike with gears, downtime shifters was all there was...


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    • Rourke.jpg
  • I use dt levers on a couple of bikes. I enjoy the simplicity and 'modern 'indexing works so well. I find that I'm not changing gear a lot rather it's a case of anticipating gradients and the gear I need. I really like the uncluttered handlebar set up and besides I'm not sure I could manage to cable a modern brifter set up. Imagine on tour, if you dropped your bike and had a brifter break! What on earth would you do? I think i'll stick with a technology I'm familiar with.

  • I have a pair of DA downtube shifters sat in the shed, just waiting for the day my brifters give up the ghost. I enjoy using them, simplicity, and tend to shift less.
    Hmmmm, may put em back on this weekend, while I'm putting the mudguards back on ready for the inevitable Cheshire monsoon season.

  • Having downtube shifters and a Black and Decker allow you to lighten your bike considerably :)

  • Impressed by this . Picked the bike up from Racer Rosa in Walthamstow at lunch time, pics on their Instagram account.
    Only ridden it home from the shop but feels smooth with positive changes. There will be a longer ride and a 2nd fit from Guiseppi on Sunday. This bike will be a life companion.

  • Have a look at the Henry Wildeberry /Ms Cools videos on YouTube. She,Ms Cools, is riding a Poly Valent with discs and DT shifters.

  • My first race bike had downtube shifters. My second had barcons. My third had STI levers. Never to return!

    If you want simplicity, have you considered fixed or singlespeed? I know this forum...

  • Yes, I'd heard of that.

  • Supposed to be a warm and friendly place, good to visit if you want a rest from Twitter.

  • Is that a full left hand sturmey thumby? It's not a downtube shifter on a Sturmey mount is it?

  • Probably one of these

  • Aye, I was getting confused as I didn’t think Sturmey shifters came in a friction option but I see the left hand ones do.

    They seem to be out of stock everywhere though.

  • Exactly what MisterMikkel said.

  • I have a set - left and right, and I wasn't too impressed with it.
    I ended up changing the shift levers to some old shimano down tube shifters instead, as the mounts themselves are great. It is not a perfect setup and I am wondering if I should get a couple of power ratchet shifters to put on them instead.

    Rivendell has a little guide for modding the mounts on their page

  • Ah that’s useful. I thought I’d tried using the Sturmey mount with a dt shifter before and there having been a problem I thought it was the angle the shifter sat at or something but might just have been that nubbin getting on the way.

  • Someone at work having a clear out passed me a drillium Huret Jubilee. Made me think again about a build with dt shifters. It's got a different shifter cable pull to Shimano SIS, Campag etc but I wondered about indexing if there was a possible combination of indexed dt shifter and cassette spacing that worked.

    Started here: http://blog.artscyclery.com/science-behi­nd-the-magic/science-behind-the-magic-dr­ivetrain-compatibility/

    Asked the question over on Retrobike and this turned up: http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtop­ic.php?f=23&t=349836

    On that Klein, SRAM 10-speed indexed to 9 cogs of a Shimano 11-speed. Assuming that actually worked, shifter cable pull is 3.1mm, Shimano 11-speed gear spacing is 3.69mm so the derailleur pull/shift ratio is about 1.19. I stuck that in a spreadsheet with all the other indexed dt shifter cable pulls and cassette spacings and looked for the closest matches.

    The following combinations are close:
    -Shimano 6-speed shifters are close to Shimano/SRAM 10-speed road, Shimano 10-speed mtb and SRAM 11-speed mtb cassettes
    -Campagnolo Syncro 8-speed shifters are close to Campagnolo 10-speed cassette
    -Campagnolo Syncro 9-speed shifters are close to Campagnolo 11-speed cassette

    All assumes the Klein worked, of course. I can check some of the above, though, because I have some indexed Shimano 6-speed shifters in my drawer and a Shimano 10-speed cassette. Only thing I don't have at the moment is a frame that can take downtube shifters.

  • That sounds like it could be the case.
    My current setup has the Shimano DT shifters sat on a spacer that came with the Sturmey shifter - which I had to modify - and now the shifter is sits too tight against the spacer/mount making it quite hard to shift the front derailleur.

    Also I like shiny things and I think these would look nicer than the current 90's shimano shifters.

  • Hello, bike collected from Racer Rosa, some pictures are coming

    All works beautifully, running a Strong light Impact chainset with 48/33 and the gear range is just right. Compared with Brifters you do change gears less and , when I climb a hill, I need to remember to plan for the gear changes.

    However, what doesn't work on the build is the brake levers. They aren't flat enough.

  • Which bars are those? Nice shape

  • Remember my first ride with a new cycle club when i moved area, turned up on a classic bike running gen 1 dura ace (6 speed, non index) in very good shape (in a mechanic), several of the 40 to 55 yo guys commented sort of jokingly that i couldn't ride with them on my "grandpa" bike because taking my hands off the bars would be risky and I could cause a crash.
    I laughed as they seemed to be joking, just guys being guys, but then one piped up and changed his tone to "no, your actually not riding with us, dt shifters are dangerous and should be banned from the roads"
    An even older guy then "allowed" me back onto the ride so long as i stayed on the tail of the bunch.
    The entire 3 hours I rode with them was a clatter of clunking and grinding gears from their very badly setup modern bikes.
    Offered several times to adjust them. Two of the bikes had totally burst outer cabling.
    Never rode with that lot again.

    As a mechanic, good friction shifters are hard to beat and pretty industucble

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Down tube shifter deviancy

Posted by Avatar for Peter_Carter @Peter_Carter

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