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What is the point of the friction shifter?

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What is the point of the friction shifter?

Old 04-20-21, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Ambe View Post
Whats do you suggest for the gear and friction to be on for flat land, uphill and down hill? Not sure which ones i should be using
Why pick a zombie thread not really related to your question to ask?

This would be a good question for a new thread of it's own. Welcome to BF.

You want to pedal your bike in the gear combo that lets you pedal at a comfortable effort with your legs. When it's hard to pedal, shift to a lower ratio gear ( larger cog on rear) . When it's way to easy to pedal and you can't comfortably pedal faster, then shift to a higher ratio gear (smaller cog on rear). The big front will make all those rear cogs harder. The small front will make all those rear cogs easier.

Essentially, shift until you find the gear combo you can pedal very comfortably. Whether going uphill, downhill or on a flat.
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Old 04-20-21, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Ambe View Post
Whats do you suggest for the gear and friction to be on for flat land, uphill and down hill? Not sure which ones i should be using
People will be less confused if you say "front" and "rear" shifters instead of "friction" and "gear" shifters. I know what you mean only because I read the thread, and a lot of answers are addressing the wrong question.

Which gears should you use: it depends on your abilities. Generally on steep hills we shift the front down to the smallest gear ("chain ring") and then select whichever rear gear ("cog") feels best at the time.

On the flat most of us will choose the largest front gear and something in the middle in back. It varies with the individual depending on how much power he puts out, or wants to.
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Old 04-24-21, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
The index shifter is quantized, and puts the derailleur in one of several (five to 12) unique positions, corresponding to the cassette.

You can also have front indexed shifting between 2 or 3 rings, and that would have 2 or 3 unique positions. However, when the angle of the chain changes, the chain will begin to scrape on the derailleur, which people like to avoid. The simplest way to avoid this is to have a continuously variable position shifting lever, so you can trim the derailleur for each unique gear. Essentially, you use your ears to fine-tune the position of the front derailleur. Until about 1987, most if not all shifters, front and back, were continuously variable or friction shifters. Some folks still regard these as superior. The problem is the more gears you have on your cassette (or freewheel), the harder it is to use friction shifting accurately. So quantized shifting in those cases is generally regarded as better or easier.
Thank you! This was informative.
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Old 04-25-21, 11:51 PM
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There is one thing I don't think anyone has suggested. You should try to put the bike up on a stand and actually observe what happens when you turn the pedals and change the front and rear gears. If you don't have a repair stand you can turn the bike upside down but it will be easier to see what happens if it is upright. If all else fails have a friend lift the rear of the bike for you .

Start out with the chain on the largest gear in back and the smallest gear in front then slowly move the rear derailleur as you turn the pedals. The chain will move down to the smallest gear one gear at a time. With index shifting it will move one gear each click and the wheel will spin faster and faster. You may find that as the chain reaches the small gear the derailleur in front will start to drag on the chain. This is a good indication that it is time to shift the front to the larger gear. The more gears there are in back the more likely the chain will drag as you change gears. When the chain starts to drag in front you can move the front derailleur slightly and the dragging will stop . Look closely at the derailleur when you do this and you will understand what is going on.

If your bike has 3 gears(chain rings) in front try leaving the chain on the middle gear most of the time and use the rear gears for shifting into a higher or lower gear. Because it is in the middle the chain will probably not drag when it is in this position. If you get to a steep hill shift the rear till you are in the largest gear then if you still need a lower one shift the front gear to the next smallest.

If you have 2 gears in front use the smaller one all the time . Only shift to the large one if you want to go very fast down hill.

And please adjust the seat as recommended. You can really hurt yourself if you keep the seat too low. As you get older you will start to appreciate how important your knees are. Having bad knees is a real bummer.
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