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Derailleur spring tensions

Old 07-29-21, 04:28 PM
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mdarnton
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Derailleur spring tensions

My experience with shifting is very limited to the Campagnolo NR shifters on my 1970 Raleigh. Now I have had my first new bike since then, a Trek FX1, and am really amazed by the amount of spring resistance in the shifting mechanisms. Is it this way now, or is it just the way that low-end shifters are, and why does that have to be? Really, the amount of muscle it takes is absurd! If that's the way it has to be now, I hear about how great equipment is now compared with the past, but I'm not convinced, if this is an example.

Or is it as it is in so many other fields--they intentionally build low end equipment poorly to convince us to spend more bucks? If I were to tear all of this down and replace the springs with something that didn't break my thumbs, would shifting really come to an end? I can't believe that 50 years later this has to be a problem even at the bottom end.

Genuinely curious if this is the best they can come up with for the bottom end after all these years.
???
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Old 07-29-21, 05:55 PM
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Do they have a period where you can return it? I doubt you'll have any luck trying to modify the shifter. Maybe try something with a twist grip if that would suit you better.
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Old 07-29-21, 08:50 PM
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I can handle it. My question is more if this really is the norm that such a simple problem should have such a poor solution. It seems like there's a lot of room for improvement.

On the other hand, the disc brakes are quite a miracle of efficiency.
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Old 07-29-21, 09:01 PM
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This is your first experience with indexed shifting? Assuming the NR shifters are circa 1970.
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Old 07-29-21, 09:34 PM
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Low end flat bar front indexed shifting is clunky, loud, and requires much thumb effort. Rear shifting should be considerably much smoother. Are your cables lubed/in good shape?
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Old 07-30-21, 02:26 AM
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Yes, this is my first indexed shifting experience, and they certainly do seem clunky and inelegant. I am a fossil, yes. :-) I guess my amazement is that the low end has moved so little in 50 years, or maybe gone backwards, even. Maybe I would be happier with friction shifters?

The bike is a few months old now, but I will certainly try lubing the cables anyway, thanks. it can't hurt.

After a decade or so away from riding my thought was that I would put money into a new bike rather than replacing the tubular-tired wheels on the old one, but perhaps that was the wrong decision. That's still an option.
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Old 07-30-21, 05:43 AM
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This doesn't sound right. I have a similar drivetrain on my hybrid and the shiftiing is rather smooth on both derailleurs. Can you take it back to the lbs and have them take a look?
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Old 07-30-21, 06:38 AM
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The shifting is smooth. I am referring to the resistance in the system. I remember a similar thread a while ago where people were referring to getting thumb joint problems from these systems, so I don't think it is a problem specific to my bike.
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Old 07-30-21, 07:10 AM
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It’s been at least a couple of decades since I used downtube friction shifters but I do remember they required less hand/digits movement/effort than the twist shifters and trigger shifters I’ve used since then. Of course, I don’t have to reach down to shift.
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Old 07-30-21, 07:44 AM
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Yes, and I think I have reasoned it out.... a delicate derailleur, one spring, six inches of cable housing at the back, vs a big (cheap) derailleur with a big spring compensating for precision and to drag cable through several feet of higher resistance housing going around a lot of bends (none of that on downtube shifters), and a mess of mechanics at the hand end with a big spring there to keep that in order. All of this so that people don't have to think or learn a skill. Modern times, no gain.
Forget I asked. :-)

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