Downtube Friction shifters with ratchet mechanism for the drive side.


Dirt Disciple
I wondering what Downtube Friction shifters had a ratchet mechanism for the rear sprockets driveside.

I know that Suntour power shifters, Simplex retrofriction, microShift and Dia-Compe Silver have ratchet mechanism for the driveside.

Do you know of any others?


Bin Monkey
BoTM Winner
PoTM Winner
GT Fan
he's asking about 'ratchet' not indexing!

You've pretty much covered who does what as many brands were rebadged.

The current Dia-Compe are nice but expensive for what they are and they are quite fragile

Suntour made just about the best with their 'click click click click click click'


Senior Retro Guru
Simplex Retrofriction was mentioned by the Op and they don't index or ratchet, the Campagnolo I have shown are similar in action. I have used Suntour and they ratchet when pulling back on both left and right sides. I currently use Shimano 7 Speed switched to non indexed setting and there is a 'click click' both directions and it's only on the driveside as requested by the Op....l guess it all depends on what you're into really..a bit of 'click click' in one direction..or you could go both ways ...or just a bit of 'light action' only..😋...l don't mind a bit of indexing now and again..😮
Last edited:


Devout Dirtbag
Technically the Campy Syncros, even though designed for indexing, were "retrofriction" if you used them in that manner.


Devout Dirtbag
Technically the Campy Syncros, even though designed for indexing, were "retrofriction" if you used them in that manner.
No wishing to split hairs or be argumentative, but I don’t this statement is quite correct. Syncro 1 and 2 could be swapped between indexed and friction mode but the friction mode wasn’t ‘retrofriction’.


  • 0AA81AEC-585C-4750-8576-8D4FB8D3C4C2.gif
    78.3 KB · Views: 5
  • 2D4F5C7E-85BA-40A7-896B-EAE04E794CD6.jpeg
    381.8 KB · Views: 5
  • 619D3F83-EF1E-42BD-BFD0-3638A91B24FD.jpeg
    372.6 KB · Views: 5


Senior Retro Guru
I mistakenly said that my Shimano 7 Speed switched to friction has a 'click click' drive side only...the left side has a permanent 'click click'. Never got my hands on the Campagnolo Synchros so can't say if they have a 'clickity click' in friction mode..?


Retrobike Rider
BoTM Winner
Gold Trader
rBoTM Triple Crown
rBotM Winner
98+ BoTM Winner
Claud Butler Fan
VCC Claud Butler ME
Just out of interest, can someone explain the definition or difference for Ratchet & Retrofriction?

I’ve been happily bobbing along with both friction & indexed and really didn’t know there was anything else 🤷🏻‍♂️