Downtube Friction shifters with ratchet mechanism for the drive side.

vcballbat

Senior Retro Guru
The Simplex Retrofriction shifters have an internal spring which is under tension when the shift lever is fully forward and not under load. When pulling back to load the lever the spring releases tension to lighten the shift. The operation is smooth with no ratcheting or clicking and the effort required to up and down shift is similar because of the assistance of the loaded spring. I would say that shifters similar in action and operation to Simplex Retrofriction shifters could be described or labelled as 'Light Action' Shifters... hope this makes sense..☺
 

Peachy!

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The Simplex Retrofriction shifters have an internal spring which is under tension when the shift lever is fully forward and not under load. When pulling back to load the lever the spring releases tension to lighten the shift. The operation is smooth with no ratcheting or clicking and the effort required to up and down shift is similar because of the assistance of the loaded spring. I would say that shifters similar in action and operation to Simplex Retrofriction shifters could be described or labelled as 'Light Action' Shifters... hope this makes sense..☺
Ah yes… got it
 

pigman

Old School Grand Master
I seemed to break a few springs on those simplex (mine were Mavic) shifters, leaving you with no gears, as it just drops forward into the highest cog. In the end I changed to shimano 6400 and never looked back
 

badgermat

Dirt Disciple
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 🤷🏻‍♂️

Ready to be corrected, but as I understand it ratchet shifters are a half-way house between pure friction and indexed. Rather than a clear single position for each gear they have many detents or ridges (not sure what they're called) which allow lighter shifting but still positive engagement at a given spot.
 

GuyBoden

Dirt Disciple
I seemed to break a few springs on those simplex (mine were Mavic) shifters, leaving you with no gears, as it just drops forward into the highest cog. In the end I changed to shimano 6400 and never looked back
Is the ratchet mechanism on the Shimano 6400 in friction mode strong, my Shimano 7 speed SIS seem weaker compare to Suntour Power shifter.

Suntour Power shifter diagram showing ratchet mechanism.
suntour-power-shifter-diagram-png.614476



Thanks for all the response.
 

pigman

Old School Grand Master
Dunno. As I had 7 speed, I used indexed rather than ratchet. Still regularly using those levers in index mode, not bad for 30 years plus
 

c_record

Dirt Disciple
Campagnolo went through various iterations as they developed and refined the product. Syncro 2 arrived in 1991 I think and only had an 8-speed ratcheted wheel inside the right shifter mechanism. The left side was always friction. The 1992 model was easily identifiable by the curved levers and local barrel adjuster. In 1991 the levers were flat and without the barrel adjuster but still had the solid click. Mine are 29 years old and still work like they did in 1992. HTH
 

tedhodson

Old School Hero
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Rivendell sell their own Silver brand "power-ratchet" shifters in downtube, bar end, stem, or top mount configurations. I use their top mount shifters and like them a lot.
 

GuyBoden

Dirt Disciple
Rivendell sell their own Silver brand "power-ratchet" shifters in downtube, bar end, stem, or top mount configurations. I use their top mount shifters and like them a lot.
Great price on these Dia-Compe shifters at the moment. I’ve got these on my Rourke and I’ve been very impressed so far. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dia-Comp...p2349624.m46890.l6249&mkrid=710-127635-2958-0
I've had a pair of the Dia-Compe silver shifter for a few months on one of my bike, yes, i'm impressed too, they seem to work extremely well, with plenty of cable pull.

The Rivendell and the Dia-Compe silver shifters look very, very similar, I would be surprised if they are not the same product.
 
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