Using modern Derailleurs w/friction shifters?
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  1. #1

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    Using modern Derailleurs w/friction shifters?

    Can I use a modern indexing style derailleur with a traditional bike that has downtube friction shifters? I know that the indexing is done in the brifters, not the derailleur, but are there any other problems retrofitting say, a new Campy rear derailleur on a bike with a five or six speed freewheel, and using the original downtube friction shifters?

    Phototone

  2. #2
    LC
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    Friction shifters can do anything.

  3. #3
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    Should work, but

    The challenge may be that the gears are quite close together and your "hand dexterity" could be the limit in getting quick shifts. If you remember the old shifting technique, you would overshift slightly and then drop back in order to get a quick shift and then line up the derailleur. This procedure could result in overshifts with 10s. Also, since the cogs are closer together, your ability to align the derailleur might be an issue. All that said, I have seen one report of someone doing this and saying that their shifting skills were up to the task. Given that some people never seemed to master 5 speed non-index shifting, YMMV.

  4. #4
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    With time it just feels normal.

    I found that, at least with bar-ends in friction mode, I got the feel of shifting a 9 speed pretty quickly. I missed once in a while like I did with a 5 speed, but not that often. Adjustment was not an issue at all.
    We have nothing to lube but our chains.

  5. #5

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    I want to shift 5 and 6 speed freewheels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons
    The challenge may be that the gears are quite close together and your "hand dexterity" could be the limit in getting quick shifts. If you remember the old shifting technique, you would overshift slightly and then drop back in order to get a quick shift and then line up the derailleur. This procedure could result in overshifts with 10s. Also, since the cogs are closer together, your ability to align the derailleur might be an issue. All that said, I have seen one report of someone doing this and saying that their shifting skills were up to the task. Given that some people never seemed to master 5 speed non-index shifting, YMMV.

    I won't be shifting 9 and 10 speed cassettes, but rather 5 or 6 speed freewheels. The question was whether current higher quality derailleurs would work OK on older bikes as replacements for broken or worn-out derailleurs. I will not be changing out the rear hub for a 9 or 10 speed cassette.

    Phototone

  6. #6

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    Simple answer

    Quote Originally Posted by phototone
    I won't be shifting 9 and 10 speed cassettes, but rather 5 or 6 speed freewheels. The question was whether current higher quality derailleurs would work OK on older bikes as replacements for broken or worn-out derailleurs. I will not be changing out the rear hub for a 9 or 10 speed cassette.

    Phototone
    Yes. But if you like older stuff there is plenty of it on ebay.Alot of it can be pretty cheap.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Coggs
    Yes. But if you like older stuff there is plenty of it on ebay.Alot of it can be pretty cheap.
    Will a 5-6 speed chain fit through a 10sp derailleur cage?

  8. #8
    toomanybikes
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    Probably - but you are going it difficult to buy a chain these days made for less than 8 speed.


    I find that chain works just fine on a 6 speed freewheel with a Veloce 9 spd rear derailleur. So you should be fine.

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