Surprise: nicer without indexing

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ncutler
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Surprise: nicer without indexing

Postby ncutler » 24 Jul 2016, 10:28pm

I have a very ordinary setup with 9-speed bar end levers and Shimano Deore components. Ten days ago I replaced the gear cables, adjusted everything to work fine on a stand, and off I went.

The rear derailleur, as usual, wasn't quite right. I fiddled with it a bit, made it worse, fiddled a bit more, and then decided that I'd rather just ride than poke it about again, and switched the lever to friction instead of SIS.

Surprise. It's quieter, easier, nicer to use, dead easy to change four cogs at once ............. I think I'm going to leave it alone and stick to friction.

Anyone else found this ? Have I been wasting my time for years getting the index to index ?
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MikeF
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Re: Surprise: nicer without indexing

Postby MikeF » 24 Jul 2016, 10:49pm

I've found the best way to set up derailleur alignment is to remove the chain and then make sure the top jockey wheel aligns exactly with the sprockets at several click positions. Push the derailleur so the top jockey wheel nearly touches the sprocket. As long as the derailleur isn't worn or bent it should be possible to get the adjustment "spot on". The top jockey wheel will have slight sideways movement so you need to make sure it's central. You can also check the limit screws on the largest and smallest cogs.
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AaronR
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Re: Surprise: nicer without indexing

Postby AaronR » 25 Jul 2016, 7:04am

Surly Troll came with thumbshifters, front is friction and rear is indexed, setup as 3*10, and to be honest I think across a typical range of gear use on the rear that the front would suffer if it was indexed! Takes no time at all to get used to where the shifter has to be for each gear

Rear can be switched to friction, which is reassuring should I ever find myself having to replace a gear cable while out I can use that and worry about indexing when I have time!

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Re: Surprise: nicer without indexing

Postby pliptrot » 25 Jul 2016, 8:43am

On my road bike I put some old retrofriction levers on when the right Ergo lever started to malfunction. I found the same effects - a pleasant surprise. I have now fitted a 5-speed freewheel (old hub, new, longer axle, I think that makes me a true retro-grouch) with wider sprocket spacing and this is even better in use. For a while in friction mode I was a bit leery of standing up, but I've overcome that, too.

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Re: Surprise: nicer without indexing

Postby robgul » 25 Jul 2016, 8:55am

Friction is the ONLY way for me with derailleur gears - 3 machines with bar-end changers, 1 with a stem mounted old-style friction lever.

No issue with cable stretch, chain ailgnment/rubbing on front mech ... just "trim" the lever as you ride to move the chain across - the amount of lever to move for changes becomes second nature - and as suggested changing 3 or 4 cogs at a time is quick and easy.

Rob

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Re: Surprise: nicer without indexing

Postby mark a. » 25 Jul 2016, 9:18am

I tried it when my bike still had bar-end shifters. It was a pleasant intellectual exercise, but for me the benefits of indexing won out. In friction mode I could change gears quickly or accurately, but not both at the same time, especially in the pressure of dealing with traffic on my commute. So I moved back to indexing and now have STIs.

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Re: Surprise: nicer without indexing

Postby mig » 25 Jul 2016, 9:22am

no no no no no. you definitely need electric shifting.

(yeah.....friction shifting....it just works doesn't it? :) )

robc02
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Re: Surprise: nicer without indexing

Postby robc02 » 25 Jul 2016, 9:54am

I built my LHT using, as far as possible, a collection of parts I had "hanging around". This included Suntour Powershift bar end shifters. These have a very fine ratchet in one direction and friction in the other - all to help compensate for the derailleur spring tension. The bike has a triple chainset/ Sora front mech. and 9 speed cassette / 105 mech.
I fully expected to want to swap to indexed shifting before long - in fact I had some Campag Ergos waiting, just in case. But I was wrong, the friction shifters are a delight!

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Re: Surprise: nicer without indexing

Postby Mick F » 25 Jul 2016, 10:27am

We were discussing friction vs indexing vs "brifters" vs 'bar ends vs DT levers, some time back, and for an experiment, I fitted my DT friction levers to Mercian (and tied back the gear outers out of the way) and went for a ride.

I was utterly gobsmacked that 10sp Triple Campag worked so well and easily with the "old fashioned" DT friction system.
Utterly gobsmacked.
If or when my Ergos pack up, I won't be replacing them.

Meanwhile, the awful Tiagra STIs on my Moulton still annoy, but in order to do anything to get some other system costs money. It's not so simple on those bikes. Yes, I could fit friction 'bar ends, but I love my 'bar end mirror. I suppose I could get a different mirror instead ........... but it still requires purchasing 'bar ends and brake levers ............. and me to get used to yet another system, so I'll stick with the STIs.
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mig
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Re: Surprise: nicer without indexing

Postby mig » 25 Jul 2016, 10:39am

it's not so easy now to get a frame with DT bosses if you want to position the levers there. something of a shame that.

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Re: Surprise: nicer without indexing

Postby robgul » 25 Jul 2016, 12:48pm

mig wrote:it's not so easy now to get a frame with DT bosses if you want to position the levers there. something of a shame that.


Easily remedied - an old-style band-on pair of levers - readily available in indexed and friction (and the hybrid "ratchet" type too)

Rob

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Re: Surprise: nicer without indexing

Postby Tiberius » 25 Jul 2016, 6:15pm

I would like 'Half N Half'......You MIGHT have known that..... :!:

My self built Van Nicholas Amazon.... 2 X 105 mechs and 105 brifters.....10 speed Tiagra cassette.....Stronglight triple up front.

Up and down the rear block is just perfect...and I mean PERFECT. Front end, I'm always 'trimming' and the (indexed) trimming is regularly not QUITE as I would like it (EVERYTHING adjusted to death) I would much prefer the front mech to be operated without indexing and left to yours truly to suss......

So, can I buy a 10 speed right hand indexed brifter, with a triple left hand friction brifter ?......The 10 speed 105's don't SEEM to allow this option....I may be wrong of course, but Shimano instruction leaflets are a challenge to my patience and my eye sight.... :mrgreen:

I like the bike so much that I might just throw a Rohloff in......THAT was always part of the plan...... :wink:

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Re: Surprise: nicer without indexing

Postby Bmblbzzz » 25 Jul 2016, 6:54pm

What the OP seems to have discovered is that friction shifting is 'nicer' than badly set up indexing.

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ncutler
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Re: Surprise: nicer without indexing

Postby ncutler » 25 Jul 2016, 7:09pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:What the OP seems to have discovered is that friction shifting is 'nicer' than badly set up indexing.


Well .......... what I think I have discovered, remembering what the clicky index thing was like before I messed with the cables and it indexed ok, what i think I have discovered is that, for me, friction shifting is just nicer.

Perhaps it all depends on the way one cycles:

I can quite see that roadies rushing about in a hurry might like having everything indexed, and braking while gear changing might be quite a cool way to ride. But for myself, ambling about, the difference between a gear shift in .5 of a second and a gear shift with a bit of trimming in two or three seconds isn't terribly significant. So I could spend the evening taking the rear mech off the bike, and cleaning it carefully, and putting it back and adjusting the cable and end stops and all ........... but I think I'll just go for a gentle ride ............
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Re: Surprise: nicer without indexing

Postby Bmblbzzz » 25 Jul 2016, 7:27pm

I rediscovered friction shifting in 2011 after over a decade of indexed gears. I was apprehensive, not so much about the shifting itself but about getting used to downtube levers again. In fact I found both aspects much easier than I had imagined. Whether I would have found them so easy if I had never used them in the past, I can't say. But for me, having all controls at my fingertips and being able to shift front and back simultaneously beats the friction way, regardless of whether I'm hurrying or pootling. And I do a lot of pootling!

None of which is meant to convince you or anyone else to change their mind - each to their own and may we all enjoy our own style of cycling.