Gears - friction levers with index mech

secretsam Posts: 5,117
edited July 2008 in Commuting chat
Hi all, have asked a similar question on the 'road technical forum' but they were all too obsessed with carbon underpants conversations to give me a decent answer.

I've an old hack with friction (non-index) shifters, have just bought a pair of second hand wheels which have a 9 speed Shimano cassette.

1. Can I use my clapped out old non-index rear mech (have got the appropriate chain)
2. If my old rear mech is U/S, can I fit an index job (eg Sora, Tiagra) but still use the friction set up?
3. Am I right in thinking I can use any set of gear levers, as long as they have the right number of 'clicks' (eg dura ace bar ends)


It's just a hill. Get over it.


  • dondare
    dondare Posts: 2,113
    I mix and match and it works fine. A very old mech might not have the full range of movement to cover a nine speed cassette but friction shifters mean that you can use any cassette you want and not bother about indexing at all.
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • attica
    attica Posts: 2,362
    The indexing works by allowing the mech to be set only in roughly the right place, the top jockey wheel then moves along it's axle to compensate (axle is longer than the jockey wheel is wide) it's naturally pulled there by the action of the chain..

    Hope this helps.
    "Impressive break"


    ...I can taste blood"
  • secretsam
    secretsam Posts: 5,117
    OK, thanks, sounds like I'm OK, if I did go indexed, which I may, are there still down tube shifters available, or will I have to spend £6M on the combination brake / gear lever jobbies? (Could do with some new brake levers, mind...and some new brakes...)

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • nicklouse
    nicklouse Posts: 50,675
    Mechs are dumb and only do what they are told by the shifter. as long as the mech can move the required total distance then you will have no problems.

    re part 2 sorry no idea.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown