Dura Ace SL-7700 DT shifters to Sora RD/FD - will work?

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mikeymo
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Joined: 27 Sep 2016, 6:23pm

Dura Ace SL-7700 DT shifters to Sora RD/FD - will work?

Postby mikeymo » 30 Mar 2020, 6:31pm

Before I buy.

My bike's 9 x 3. Current Sora FD and RD, R3000 and R3030. 11-34 cassette, 48-38-28 chainrings.

Will Dura Ace SL-7700 down tube shifters work with those gears? The bike's got DT braze ons.

The rear shifting will be indexed, yes? But with the option of friction?

Front shifting will always be friction, yes?

TIA

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Dura Ace SL-7700 DT shifters to Sora RD/FD - will work?

Postby Brucey » 30 Mar 2020, 6:47pm

I think the (indexed) rear shifting will be fine, and yes, the front shifting will be non-indexed. If you want one, do double-check that you will get a friction mode with the RH lever; it is possible that some versions of this lever do not have this option.

cheers
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mikeymo
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Joined: 27 Sep 2016, 6:23pm

Re: Dura Ace SL-7700 DT shifters to Sora RD/FD - will work?

Postby mikeymo » 30 Mar 2020, 6:53pm

Brucey wrote:I think the (indexed) rear shifting will be fine, and yes, the front shifting will be non-indexed. If you want one, do double-check that you will get a friction mode with the RH lever; it is possible that some versions of this lever do not have this option.

cheers


Thanks. As you can tell from the umpteen questions, this is all new to me. But for my sort of cycling it might well work. And I'm certainly attracted to simplicity and longevity. And a lack of faff. Dura-Ace is quality stuff, yes?

What's the advantage of friction shifting? Or to put it another way, when would you use it? Is it that you can bang any cassette you like on the back?

Thanks.

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Dura Ace SL-7700 DT shifters to Sora RD/FD - will work?

Postby Brucey » 30 Mar 2020, 7:01pm

the advantage of having a friction mode is that

1) if the indexing goes out of adjustment or the bike gets knocked you can 'turn it off'
2) like you say you can use any cassette in the back.

When I first saw shimano levers with index and friction modes I expected both modes to be compromised in some way. However this appears not to be the case; both work well and are reliable, IME.

FWIW if you like the shift levers but not the mounting position, it is often possible to attach DT levers to brackets such as Pauls thumbies or Kelly's take offs and have the shift levers somewhere on dropped handlebars instead.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

slowster
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Re: Dura Ace SL-7700 DT shifters to Sora RD/FD - will work?

Postby slowster » 31 Mar 2020, 7:26pm

I think the version of the levers with the facility to switch the right hand lever from indexed to friction might now be difficult to buy new. According to a reply on its website which SJS gave to a customer in 2016 asking about this, all of the shifters they were then receiving from the distributor were indexed only with no friction option on the RH lever. Personally, much as I would like the option, I would happily buy indexed only RH levers.

I may be imagining it, but I vaguely recall reading a thread on the forum which suggested that the Shimano 9 speed bar end shifters might still have the index - fiction feature.

Another option for someone wanting to try indexed 9 speed down tube levers are Sunrace levers. However they are nowhere near as nicely finished as Shimano's Dura Ace levers and the RH shifting doesn't feel as nice (albeit that that is based on my experience of the 7 speed version of the lever), by which I mean it's a rather agricultural 'thunk - thunk' as opposed to the more refined 'click- click' of Dura Ace and other Shimano down tube levers. The Sunrace LH lever similarly uses quite a beefy ratchet, which is also a bit agricultural/noisy. Given the price difference, I would pay the extra for Shimano levers.

mikeymo
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Joined: 27 Sep 2016, 6:23pm

Re: Dura Ace SL-7700 DT shifters to Sora RD/FD - will work?

Postby mikeymo » 31 Mar 2020, 10:11pm

slowster wrote:I think the version of the levers with the facility to switch the right hand lever from indexed to friction might now be difficult to buy new. According to a reply on its website which SJS gave to a customer in 2016 asking about this, all of the shifters they were then receiving from the distributor were indexed only with no friction option on the RH lever. Personally, much as I would like the option, I would happily buy indexed only RH levers.

I may be imagining it, but I vaguely recall reading a thread on the forum which suggested that the Shimano 9 speed bar end shifters might still have the index - fiction feature.

Another option for someone wanting to try indexed 9 speed down tube levers are Sunrace levers. However they are nowhere near as nicely finished as Shimano's Dura Ace levers and the RH shifting doesn't feel as nice (albeit that that is based on my experience of the 7 speed version of the lever), by which I mean it's a rather agricultural 'thunk - thunk' as opposed to the more refined 'click- click' of Dura Ace and other Shimano down tube levers. The Sunrace LH lever similarly uses quite a beefy ratchet, which is also a bit agricultural/noisy. Given the price difference, I would pay the extra for Shimano levers.


I think you're right. Current Shimano docs don't mention friction:

https://si.shimano.com/pdfs/si/SI-6J50B-000-ENG.pdf

I think the non-friction-option ones might be called just plain 7700, without the "SL" but I can't be sure. Just that a couple of retailers have those as being "out of stock". Lots of index only ones available. I think there are some NOS friction-option ones around, mainly overseas, and sometimes maybe incorrectly labelled as SL-7700. I've got a feeling that the way to identify them is by the font of the "Dura-Ace". I think I may have found a used one in the UK.

It would be nice to have the friction option, but if I can't find any, never mind. There's no rush to do this, I'm waiting for my R317 disc calipers to arrive, first. One thing at a time here, otherwise I risk spending a fortune "trying things out".

Cheers.

PS. I just read the SJS question and answer. Seems the photo is old, so my theory about font may be wrong. But why did the questioner think they had the friction option, what in the photo told him there was a friction option? Do you know how you change from index to friction? Is it the D ring? If not, what are the D rings for, just assembly?

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Dura Ace SL-7700 DT shifters to Sora RD/FD - will work?

Postby Brucey » 31 Mar 2020, 11:20pm

SL is a prefix that is used with most shimano gear levers. It just stands for 'Shift Lever', and all EV techdocs for gear levers were to be found under the 'SL' heading. Bar end shifters are usually SL-BS** model numbers. There is only one 7700 model DT gear lever and that is SL-7700. Shimano list only one techdoc for SL-7700

https://si.shimano.com/pdfs/ev/EV-SL-7700-1663.pdf
(BTW the 'alloy frame' parts are the ones you need if you want to fit these levers to a thumbie or bar-end mount, I think)

The EV techdoc clearly dates from when the groupset is new. It shows the friction/index switch. I've also failed to find any photos of Dura Ace 9s levers which don't show the switch.

Image

In this lever design the slotted screw holds the lever on the frame boss and the D-ring changes the mode.

Possibly the SJS reply is based on confusion with the SL-7900 (10s) model lever which has never had a friction mode or a D ring on the RH lever....?

Image

cheers
Last edited by Brucey on 31 Mar 2020, 11:59pm, edited 1 time in total.
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mikeymo
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Joined: 27 Sep 2016, 6:23pm

Re: Dura Ace SL-7700 DT shifters to Sora RD/FD - will work?

Postby mikeymo » 31 Mar 2020, 11:51pm

Thanks. So:

1. It's the D ring on the SL-7700 (right hand) that switches from index to friction, yes?

2. The D ring on the left hand shifter is just the fixing screw, probably. Whereas on the right hand side there's a slot head fixing screw.

3. Every photo of the SL-7700 shows two D rings. As does the current Shimano installation doc. But perhaps that's because the installation doc covers TWO models, the 9 speed and the 10 speed. And the 10 speed hasn't got the friction option. A bit sloppy that, and somebody with the 10 speed might think they've got a part missing:

https://si.shimano.com/pdfs/si/SI-6J50B-000-ENG.pdf

So perhaps this is a myth started by a misunderstanding at SJS, as you said. I'll email them.

I can't find any other info saying the friction option has been dropped. And why would they? With such a simple piece of kit it seems like a bizarre change to make. And presumably (?) they would change the model number if they did change the lever. I guess Brucey would know better how careful Shimano are with keeping their part numbers precise.

But I have found:

2 years ago: https://bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/52564/how-to-increase-friction-on-a-shimano-sisfriction-rear-shifter-when-it-is-in-fr

6 years ago: https://bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/19072/downtube-friction-shifters-for-11-speed

I also found a product review from 2014 which specifically mentioned the friction option. I haven't found anybody (apart from the SJS Q&A) saying the friction option has been removed.

But wait:

https://store.biketouringnews.com/shimano-dura-ace-sl7700-double-9-speed-braze-on-shifters/ no RH D-ring.
but then, the same retailer:
https://store.biketouringnews.com/shimano-dura-ace-sl7900-double-10-speed-braze-on-shifters/ also no RH D-ring. In fact identical photo. Also identical UPC!
So could be the same confusion as at SJS.

mikeymo
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Joined: 27 Sep 2016, 6:23pm

Re: Dura Ace SL-7700 DT shifters to Sora RD/FD - will work?

Postby mikeymo » 1 Apr 2020, 12:25am

Oh, wait:

https://www.wiggle.co.uk/shimano-dura-ace-7700-9-speed-down-tube-road-lever-set/reviews/

review in 2014 says:

" Used to upgrade and tidy up an old bike, look great and are easy to setup, miss the ability to swap between SIS and friction shifting that was available on older versions of the down tube shifter that make for easy playing around with weird and whacky gearing arrangements. look as good as the old ones! "

but the actual advert says:

"Precision-engineered Dura-Ace 9-speed index down tube braze-on shift levers. Shimano's Dura Ace downtube shifters offer lightweight performance, they can be used in index or friction mode and will run on both double and triple systems."

They can't both be right.

Brucey
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Re: Dura Ace SL-7700 DT shifters to Sora RD/FD - will work?

Postby Brucey » 1 Apr 2020, 8:28am

mikeymo wrote:
review in 2014 says:

" Used to upgrade and tidy up an old bike, look great and are easy to setup, miss the ability to swap between SIS and friction shifting that was available on older versions of the down tube shifter that make for easy playing around with weird and whacky gearing arrangements. look as good as the old ones! ".....


you could read that as meaning 'I really miss this feature that I have with these levers I've just bought and don't have on newer (10s) kit'.

cheers
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mikeymo
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Joined: 27 Sep 2016, 6:23pm

Re: Dura Ace SL-7700 DT shifters to Sora RD/FD - will work?

Postby mikeymo » 1 Apr 2020, 10:23am

I asked SJS - "Are you absolutely sure this hasn't got the friction option? Are you confusing it with the 10 speed?"

and they replied - "Hi, We have checked the item & the Shimano instructions & confirm that these shifters are indexed only.
Regards. 01/04/20"

So I really don't know.

I suppose I could try Shimano directly. I've usually found that huge companies don't reply at all.

Or as I've not bought them yet, just accept that it will be index only (which is probably fine). Otherwise I'm in some netherworld of trying to source NOS/used and wondering if they will be index only.

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Dura Ace SL-7700 DT shifters to Sora RD/FD - will work?

Postby Brucey » 1 Apr 2020, 11:53am

you could always order from a vendor/site that describes the levers as having the index/friction control. If they are not as described then you can always return them.

cheers
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mikeymo
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Joined: 27 Sep 2016, 6:23pm

Re: Dura Ace SL-7700 DT shifters to Sora RD/FD - will work?

Postby mikeymo » 1 Apr 2020, 12:08pm

Brucey wrote:you could always order from a vendor/site that describes the levers as having the index/friction control. If they are not as described then you can always return them.

cheers


Yes, I suppose that might work.

One thing that could very well happen of course is that I get sent the 10 speed by mistake, as even some vendors seem confused. Presumably there are some actual bits of metal I can count, on the inside, to verify?

You might know, how punctilious are Shimano about keeping their product numbering system up to date? If they changed the spec slightly would you expect them to rename the SL-7700 (with friction option) to SL-7701 (without friction option), or similar.

This is definitely an edge case, when it comes to information. It's presumably a low volume, low cost product. Mainly sold to people who are only really interested in the indexing option, so a vendor attitude that matches that. And an almost identical (or actually identical, depending) appearance to a very similar product, which shares some manufacturer information. Even if it DOES have the option to change to friction shifting, it may well be that Shimano would like to keep that a little quiet, so that there weren't howls of protest when they dropped it in the 10 speed. Interesting that the Stack Exchange link I gave included a comment that a poster's shifter DID change to friction, but that it wasn't marked up on the shifter. Presumably because that part is the same for 9/10 speed.

It would be nice to know, but I'm not sure I ever will, without buying.

Cheers.

mikeymo
Posts: 1350
Joined: 27 Sep 2016, 6:23pm

Re: Dura Ace SL-7700 DT shifters to Sora RD/FD - will work?

Postby mikeymo » 1 Apr 2020, 12:27pm

One thing that definitely HAS changed is the numbering of the 10 speed Dura Ace DT shifters.

From SL-7800 (when they shared documentation with the 9 speed):
http://www.sjscycles.com/Instructions/Shimano/Shimano_SLA7700_Gear_Levers_Instructions.pdf from the SJS site
and
https://si.shimano.com/pdfs/si/SI-6J50B-000-ENG.pdf directly from Shimano's site.

to SL-7900
http://www.sjscycles.com/Instructions/Shimano/Shimano_Dura_Ace_7900_Down_Tube_Shifter_Instructions.pdf (SJS)
and
https://si.shimano.com/pdfs/ev/EV-SL-7900-2872.pdf (Shimano). In this document there clearly is a change from the 10 speed SL-7800 (in the "interchangeability") column.

Which implies to me that the SL-7700 may well be the same as it ever was. Of course it's perhaps a bit arrogant of me to even dare to suggest that SJS might be wrong (except to bear in mind the occasionally misplaced confidence of the expert), but there's certainly confusion around this, not helped by the linking of 9 and 10 speed DT Dura-Ace, and a change in numbering of the 10 speed, and it's past association with the 9 speed.

Searches for SL-7800 don't bring up many results, but here's one. No D ring on the RH shifter and an interesting comment from the vendor. Well, probably only interesting to me:

https://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?t=129174

mikeymo
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Joined: 27 Sep 2016, 6:23pm

Re: Dura Ace SL-7700 DT shifters to Sora RD/FD - will work?

Postby mikeymo » 1 Apr 2020, 12:44pm

Oh look, Spa sell them.

https://spacycles.co.uk/m2b0s108p2145/SHIMANO-Dura-Ace-9spd-down-tube-shifters

I'd email, but I don't think they've ever replied to an email. I've always got on fine with them, but if there's one thing that will damaged their business it's their sometimes poor communication.

I could go over and have a look, they're only 15 miles away.

Might be difficult to explain at the moment though:

"Well, officer, there is some ambiguity about whether the 9 Speed Down tube Shimano shifters, the Dura Ace ones, I'm sure you are familiar with them, can be changed to friction mode. And I needed to come over to Harrogate to check. Of course it's an "essential journey"