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Downtube Shifters

Old 07-15-19, 04:44 PM
  #26  
79pmooney
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southpier, 1) elementary school summer camps crafts. A Turk's Head ring around the down tube to hold the cables off. Might require two. My Mooney has been sporting that knot for 35? years. (It's on its second.) I put mine just above the top DT bottle cage boss.

Sweet down tube shifters are the SunTour Power Rachets. A few million were made so finding them is not hard. How well it operates isn't an issue. (Probably has seen zero attention since it was made. You can find the exploded drawings on-line and they dis-assemble and clean up beautifully.)

Ben
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Old 07-16-19, 12:48 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by southpier View Post
wow; lotsa input and I appreciate everyone's opinion & advice.

just got back from a ride (usual 22 - 24 miles on bike path & local streets). I tried to mimic the downtube shift motion and found myself kneeing my arm. I have had downtube shifters in the '70s & '80s, but never rode "seriously" and don't remember much of those years anyway . . . .

I think the least dork-some solution for me is going to be lengthening the shift cables between the bar end levers and frame bosses. I don't mind the grasshopper antennae look. aero cables vex me to no end and I tend to lean toward the retro-grouch school of cycling whenever possible.

and not to flog a dead mule . . . but obviously I will . . . if I could "cross cables" wouldn't that do two 'negative' things?

to wit:

#1 . if my downtube frame bosses are located at 9:00 & 3:00 o'clock, how would I get them under the tube without scraping the paint off?

yes; I really am this dense.

#B . wouldn't this allocate the "right" lever to my front derailleur? and "left", rear?

since this would be contradictory to how things are now, it might likely put me 'round the bend trying to remember which switch to shift!

thanks all, again.
#1 . Cables that cross under the downtube and go UNDER the bottom bracket don't touch the downtube.

#2 . Crossing the cables does NOT change which cable goes to which derailleur. Crossing the cables under the downtube is done simply to allow one to gain a greater radius to the cable housings by having the RIGHT cable housing seated into the LEFT cable housing stop at the headtube end of the downtube. It's an old trick that was often used to get bare-end or Brifters/Ergos to have a less tight radius.

Cheers
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Old 07-16-19, 01:00 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Jon T View Post
I'm 64 yo. All I have ever used is DT friction shifting. After awile it becomes like playing the trombone--you just know where it is.
Jon
I'm 60. My only bike is a 32 year old Cannondale I bought new in 1987 with Indexed Shimano 105, and DT shifters. It works. I am used to it. That being said a new or much newer bike is definitely in my future.
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Old 07-16-19, 01:14 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Pilot321 View Post
I'm 60. My only bike is a 32 year old Cannondale I bought new in 1987 with Indexed Shimano 105, and DT shifters. It works. I am used to it. That being said a new or much newer bike is definitely in my future.
Got'cha beat--my one and only bike is an '84 Pug that I bought new. Still running the Helicomatic drive and friction shifters it came with. No plans to retire or replace it or add any more. It ain't broke so no need to fix it.
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Old 07-16-19, 04:45 PM
  #30  
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ok, ok. I looked for pictures and so many youtubes my scroller was smoking. then I went to the master:

Sheldon Brown on cables -



https://sheldonbrown.com/cables.html


"Criss-Cross" Cables







Most bicycles with handlebar-mounted shifters run the rear cable on the right, the front on the left. This causes some awkwardness in routing the length of housing from the shift lever to the frame stops. Due to the need to allow these housings to be long enough to permit the bars to be turned all the way back and forth, the housings often wind up making a reverse bend--for instance, the rear will go from the shifter, which is on the right, swing forward and cross over past the centerline of the bicycle, then back over to the right side of the top tube, before heading down the down tube. These extra bends increase friction, and the fairly forcible contact between the housing and the side of the top tube can damage the finish.

A neat solution to this is to run the cables "criss-cross" style: The rear runs from the lever, (on the right) around the top tube, and to the cable stop on the left side of the downtube! The front cable crosses over similarly from the left side of the handlebar to the right side of the down tube.

The bare cables then cross one another under the middle of the downtube, making an "X". The cables may touch where they cross, but they will do so very lightly, since they are both straight...the tiny bit of friction at this crossing is more than offset by the reduction in friction in the smoother-flowing cable housings.


much easier to understand now that I read this as actually crossing twice (my interpretation).so I fiddled around with the bike on the repair stand today. seems there were a couple of things going on. at the left shifter, a strand of the cable had come free at the factory blob end and for about 3" had made itself accordion around the remainder of the cable hence the need to shift up before shifting down (I think!)I stripped and section of cloth/ twine/ shellac which covered the cable housing and replaced it with a new shimano cable & housing cut about 45 mm longer than the old one. i took a tip and ran some Pro Gold or something or other chain lube on the cable & drizzled into the housing. oiled the other shift cable too since the bike was on the rotisserie and I could get the cables vertical in relationship to their housing ends. wiped down the chain & oiled it too. adjusted the front derailleur the best I knew how and went for a ride. the front shift cable now can be tucked under the handlebar bag.

after about 18 miles the chain wouldn't get onto the big ring. I took up about 5 mm slack and adjusted the limit screw a bit. seemed okay the rest of the way home. shifts easy, runs quiet. I noticed once there seemed to be an auto-shift but i'm not going to freak out unless it happens a few times.

the only bummer is that not only do I not have any newbaum's yellow cloth tape, I tossed the new quart of amber shellac I bought last week since I did the Peugeot bars and gave my surly bars another coat. shellac gets hard quick in the can (there's a joke in there somewhere) and I saw no use for it until next spring.so I just wrapped the new cable section (about 110 mm) in black 3m electrical tape and went over the whole section in heavy, hard finish (no fuzzy), twine. I pulled the end "whipping style", tied them off with a clove hitch, and rubbed beeswax on the hanging ends. now I have a repair, busage, & beeswax = the retro grouch trifecta. I hope Grant will be proud!

Last edited by southpier; 07-16-19 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 07-16-19, 06:17 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Kovkov View Post
For me, friction downtube shifting is the only way that ever worked properly on a derailleur drivetrain.
+1000
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Old 07-16-19, 09:28 PM
  #32  
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The more i ride my different bikes, the less mistakes I make when time to shift. When I rarely rode with brifters, I found myself reaching down for levers that did not exist, missing shifts because I had to come back up to the brifters. Now that I spread my time around more bikes, I make fewer boo-boos. Same thing has happened with toe-clips vs. clipless. I remain somewhat teachable at 61. I find this reassuring. I do take a certain amount of satisfaction in shifting my friction levers smoothly, and occasionally noting surprise on the faces of other riders... Apparently, I'm some sort of daredevil, taking a hand off my bars just to change gears. It's that, or they're laughing at the primitive technology.



OP: Go for it, short smooth cable runs make DT shifting precise and a pleasure after a bit of practice.

Cheers, Eric
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Old 07-17-19, 02:20 PM
  #33  
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Personally, I wouldn't ever want to go back to DT shifting. Sounds like you're going down another path anyway, but I would definitely recommend trying out a DT bike before you change to it on your bike. I tried a DT bike last year for the first time in decades, and I just plain hated it. I was good at it back in the day, but I really didn't want to relearn the skill.

There was a thread on here a few months back where someone was trying to argue that DT shifting was due for a comeback, and anyone who dard disagree was subjected to a barrage of "your not a real bicyclist" type nonsense.

I'm all for people who like it using it, I just don't think there are many such people left.
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Old 07-17-19, 08:39 PM
  #34  
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I like the idea, just not how it transfers into practice. this is my first bike with bar end shifters and I was very skeptical and even went so far as thinking the ends would snag (on what? I don't know) and throw me off the bike!

now I would love a lever mounted on the seat tube and a single downtube double cable (push-pull: can't remember what they are called) all retro and chit, but the bar ends are what I feel comfortable with at the moment.

i'll never be, or aspire, a "real" cyclist. but there are some that sneak up behind me and say "hey" or make a little polite conversation before picking up their cadence and tootling off.

good enough for me.
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Old 07-18-19, 08:12 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by southpier View Post
I like the idea, just not how it transfers into practice. this is my first bike with bar end shifters and I was very skeptical and even went so far as thinking the ends would snag (on what? I don't know) and throw me off the bike!

now I would love a lever mounted on the seat tube and a single downtube double cable (push-pull: can't remember what they are called) all retro and chit, but the bar ends are what I feel comfortable with at the moment.

i'll never be, or aspire, a "real" cyclist. but there are some that sneak up behind me and say "hey" or make a little polite conversation before picking up their cadence and tootling off.

good enough for me.
You're a person riding a bike. That's a real cyclist.

I ride 5-6000 miles a year. More than many, but less than some. Sometimes acquaintances will ask a cycling question and preface it with "well I don't do anything like you do" as if I'll look down on them. Hey I'm all for people being on bikes regardless of style or distance ridden. You want to ride a beach cruiser 5 miles down the MUP? Cool! You want to ride a DT shifting touring bike across the country? Cool!

Except recumbents. (Joking! Mostly.)
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Old 07-19-19, 12:21 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by southpier View Post
I like the idea, just not how it transfers into practice. this is my first bike with bar end shifters and I was very skeptical and even went so far as thinking the ends would snag (on what? I don't know) and throw me off the bike!

now I would love a lever mounted on the seat tube and a single downtube double cable (push-pull: can't remember what they are called) all retro and chit, but the bar ends are what I feel comfortable with at the moment.

i'll never be, or aspire, a "real" cyclist. but there are some that sneak up behind me and say "hey" or make a little polite conversation before picking up their cadence and tootling off.

good enough for me.
.
I believe the criteria for being a real cyclist is whether what you do and have matches with the practices and equipment of people who take themselves way too seriously.

In that thread, I was accused of not being a real cyclist because I liked brifters and on-handlebar trigger shifters, and said I really don't want to relearn using dt shifters. I've also been accused of it (the horror!) for not wearing padded pants, using platform pedals, not using the "correct" cadence and/or gearing, saying that I would find timing my cadence in my head too distracting, and saying I don't want to wear a heart monitor.

To me a real cyclist is someone who rides regularly, but I really see no point in getting specific about even that. It's not a terribly important title. You ride and you like to talk about bikes? That's serious enough for me.
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Old 07-21-19, 08:54 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by southpier View Post
I like the idea, just not how it transfers into practice. this is my first bike with bar end shifters and I was very skeptical and even went so far as thinking the ends would snag (on what? I don't know) and throw me off the bike!

now I would love a lever mounted on the seat tube and a single downtube double cable (push-pull: can't remember what they are called) all retro and chit, but the bar ends are what I feel comfortable with at the moment.

i'll never be, or aspire, a "real" cyclist. but there are some that sneak up behind me and say "hey" or make a little polite conversation before picking up their cadence and tootling off.

good enough for me.
I think that the push-pull you're thinking of might be the old Shimano Positron system.

Cheers
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Old 07-22-19, 08:35 AM
  #38  
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maybe the Shimano system is the same principle - I am not familiar.

this is the system I meant: https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...l#post21039090
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Old 07-22-19, 08:57 AM
  #39  
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Downtube shifters

My son is riding my 78 Pagnini with downtube friction shift and I think he is very cool at 12...
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Old 07-22-19, 09:08 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by southpier View Post
ok, ok. I looked for pictures and so many youtubes my scroller was smoking. then I went to the master:

Sheldon Brown on cables -



https://sheldonbrown.com/cables.html


"Criss-Cross" Cables







Most bicycles with handlebar-mounted shifters run the rear cable on the right, the front on the left. This causes some awkwardness in routing the length of housing from the shift lever to the frame stops. Due to the need to allow these housings to be long enough to permit the bars to be turned all the way back and forth, the housings often wind up making a reverse bend--for instance, the rear will go from the shifter, which is on the right, swing forward and cross over past the centerline of the bicycle, then back over to the right side of the top tube, before heading down the down tube. These extra bends increase friction, and the fairly forcible contact between the housing and the side of the top tube can damage the finish.

A neat solution to this is to run the cables "criss-cross" style: The rear runs from the lever, (on the right) around the top tube, and to the cable stop on the left side of the downtube! The front cable crosses over similarly from the left side of the handlebar to the right side of the down tube.

The bare cables then cross one another under the middle of the downtube, making an "X". The cables may touch where they cross, but they will do so very lightly, since they are both straight...the tiny bit of friction at this crossing is more than offset by the reduction in friction in the smoother-flowing cable housings.


much easier to understand now that I read this as actually crossing twice (my interpretation).so I fiddled around with the bike on the repair stand today. seems there were a couple of things going on. at the left shifter, a strand of the cable had come free at the factory blob end and for about 3" had made itself accordion around the remainder of the cable hence the need to shift up before shifting down (I think!)I stripped and section of cloth/ twine/ shellac which covered the cable housing and replaced it with a new shimano cable & housing cut about 45 mm longer than the old one. i took a tip and ran some Pro Gold or something or other chain lube on the cable & drizzled into the housing. oiled the other shift cable too since the bike was on the rotisserie and I could get the cables vertical in relationship to their housing ends. wiped down the chain & oiled it too. adjusted the front derailleur the best I knew how and went for a ride. the front shift cable now can be tucked under the handlebar bag.

after about 18 miles the chain wouldn't get onto the big ring. I took up about 5 mm slack and adjusted the limit screw a bit. seemed okay the rest of the way home. shifts easy, runs quiet. I noticed once there seemed to be an auto-shift but i'm not going to freak out unless it happens a few times.

the only bummer is that not only do I not have any newbaum's yellow cloth tape, I tossed the new quart of amber shellac I bought last week since I did the Peugeot bars and gave my surly bars another coat. shellac gets hard quick in the can (there's a joke in there somewhere) and I saw no use for it until next spring.so I just wrapped the new cable section (about 110 mm) in black 3m electrical tape and went over the whole section in heavy, hard finish (no fuzzy), twine. I pulled the end "whipping style", tied them off with a clove hitch, and rubbed beeswax on the hanging ends. now I have a repair, busage, & beeswax = the retro grouch trifecta. I hope Grant will be proud!
I forget what it is, but there is a super easy solvent for shellac. I think musical instument makers used to literally buy it in chunks, not all that long ago.
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Old 07-22-19, 10:00 AM
  #41  
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denatured alcohol
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Old 07-22-19, 07:29 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by southpier View Post
maybe the Shimano system is the same principle - I am not familiar.

this is the system I meant: https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...l#post21039090
I get a page not found message.

Cheers
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