Friction shift 11 speed drive train?

jjbedford

Retro Newbie
Hi all, I was thinking of cold setting a steel frame and putting an 11 speed block on the back, adding an 11 speed chain, and a Potenza silver crankset, but shifting this with Suntour Cyclone 2 front and rear dérailleurs, and bar end friction shifters. Will this work, or should I look out for the Potenza derailleurs? The obvious answer is try it, but who has used a modern drive train on a steel frame (531 main triangle), and what is your advice?
 

mattr

Old School Grand Master
It'll work. It'll be fiddly though.
Only compatibility issue that i can think of off the top of my head is jockey wheel/cage width width and front mech cage width, the cages might be too wide to push the 11 speed chain across the cassette, or shift at the front. But, as it's friction it shouldn't be too much of an issue. And you can fettle the front mech cage.
 

pigman

Old School Grand Master
Re:

The 2 issues you might have are
1. Lack of "throw" on the mechs, ie. they might not be designed to span the full width of an 11 speed drivetrain
2. Changing gear at the rear will be fiddly, as the cogs are close together. The its-kind-of-in-gear approach won't work, it will need precision changing otherwise will skip into the next gear
 

Nob

rBotM Winner
PoTM Winner
Just get the Potenza gruppo & get it all polished & it’ll look great :)
 

hamster

Retro Wizard
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There may be an issue with thickness of the Suntour mech jockeys - you will probably find the chain won't mesh nicely, and will need to replace with modern ones.

I happily run a late 90s Chorus groupset on a 1979 Witcomb - all I did was re-space the rear to 130mm.
 

pigman

Old School Grand Master
Re:

The dia compe ones in the link look like they are friction shift, not indexed - in which case they are like any friction levers and not dedicated to 11 speed
Or am I missing something?
 

natus_est_in_suht

Retro Newbie
Re: Re:

pigman":3vf4e002 said:
The dia compe ones in the link look like they are friction shift, not indexed - in which case they are like any friction levers and not dedicated to 11 speed
Or am I missing something?

They are designed optimally for 11-speed derailleurs. Dia-Compe sells another set that works for up to 10-speeds. It will have to do with how much 'cable wrap' the shifter can manage.

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/gear-shifte ... ol-silver/

https://velo-orange.com/collections/shi ... t-shifters
 

jamesdak

Devout Dirtbag
Late to the party but I had an old 80s Orbea Cabestany setup to do this. Used the old Simplex DT shifters which worked to cover the whole 11 speed cassette. RD was an Ultegra 9 speed and had modern cables and housings. To be honest it worked extremely and was not fiddily to shift gears at all.

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