friction thumbies

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  • friction thumbies
  • lovewookie
    Member

    bloody great.
    fitted some to my ‘hack’ bike as they were the cheapest thing I could find.
    now running them pretty much all the time, don’t have to worry about gritty shitty cables and hoping the clickety click will actually make it to the next sprocket.

    cheap, light, functional.

    Sure, it’s a bit slower to shift, but in reality I can now spend more time riding my bike than swearing at it.

    (ok, well I would if I wasn’t at work)

    Premier Icon Teetosugars
    Subscriber

    To be fair, newer Thumbies are awesome too… Love these, I’ve got on my HT & Fatbike. Great bits of kit IMHO…

    Premier Icon akira
    Subscriber

    Been looking at those for the Fatty, used thumbshifters years ago and not sure I could transition back to the slightly less ergonomic shifting position.

    Premier Icon oliverracing
    Subscriber

    I run a Dura ace friction thumby for my front mech, but a rapid fire for my rear mech – I love the ability to be able to trim the front mech, but I think I would miss the speed/ease of a rapid fire for a rear mech

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    happy thumbie user on the hardtail, and bar end shifter on the road bike (1×9) Nicely flickable with the little finger.

    Premier Icon akira
    Subscriber

    Thing is I can’t decide whether I want them just to be a bit different, no thing wrong with the shifters on the Fatty at the moment.

    lovewookie
    Member

    I guess it depends how much hassle you have with indexing, which I guess depends on how well you look after your cables…of which I’m guilty of not.

    Premier Icon akira
    Subscriber

    Running Gore full length cables so not much of an issue.

    Premier Icon BigDummy
    Subscriber

    I am a massive fan of thumbies – I have run them for years on my cargo bike (which gets left out in all weathers and gets new cables about once every 3 years or so.

    I also tried running them on my main hardtail for a while. That was a struggle: compared to a trigger shifter they are much harder to get to in the rough. Fine if you’re riding it “like a singlespeed, but with gears” but if you’re trying to change gear frequently to go as rapidly as possible it’s far from ideal.

    As with road STis, it’s easy to see why they caught on, although that doesn’t mean they’re essential. πŸ™‚

    avdave2
    Member

    I used to find that after a day out riding on a rigid bike with thumbies I’d have to grip it with my whole hand to change gear, my thumbs just hurt too much. Thankfully along came the flexstem πŸ™‚

    I was still using them into the mid nineties – I’ve never really rushed into new technology on bikes even though each time I do finally change I usually wonder why I didn’t do it years ago.

    Premier Icon Hooter
    Subscriber

    I’ve been running XT thumbies on friction on my main go-to mtb since c.94 πŸ™‚ I reckon over the years I’ve learnt perfectly how much to move the lever to make a shift, but only on 8 speed. Fortunately 10 years ago I stockpiled cheap 8 speed xtr cassettes and still have a few left. In my defence of luddite-ism the gears work maintenance free through the winter, and I do have 10spd sti on other bikes…

    Premier Icon JoeG
    Subscriber

    I was in a position similar to Hooter till late last year. I ran 8 speed Suntour XC Pro thumbshifters. These were an upgrade from Suntour 7 speed ones! I did run the rear indexed though. 8)

    Then I bought a new fatbike that came with 10 speed, and I was amazed at how much better it was. Things have actually progressed over the last 20 years! πŸ˜€

    I always had the Microshift 10 speed thumbies in mind as a backup if I didn’t like the triggers…

    OCB
    Member

    I’m a big fan of friction shifting, it’s how most of my bikes are set up. It allows for an easy mixture of all kinds of transmission components that would otherwise be horribly unusable. I also like being able to change across a big range in one go, rather than dabbing across, and that front mech micro-trimming on the fly is really useful(see the aforementioned mixed component comment).

    (Granted, I do use the bar-end versions, but that’s just a different mounting as far as I’m concerned – tho’ I do use bar-con adapters on non-drop bars).

    Big Dave
    Member

    I’ve just fitted some Pauls Thumbies and some Shimano bar end shifters to my Karate Monkey.

    I’ve been wanting to try this sort of set up for a while and have to say I absolutely love it. It just feels right in a rudimentary mechanical sort of way. My touring bike could be getting flat bars and a similar set up when I refurb it later this year.

    Premier Icon ton
    Subscriber

    thumbies…..and gripshift are ace,,,, πŸ˜†

    Premier Icon flap_jack
    Subscriber

    um…don’t you run thumbies UNDER the bars so you operate them with your thumbs ? Back in the day etc etc

    Big Dave
    Member

    um…don’t you run thumbies UNDER the bars so you operate them with your thumbs ? Back in the day etc etc

    I can always remember them being on top of the bars myself. Maybe us oldies have more flexible thumbs πŸ˜€ Be a bit tricky mounting the Pauls Thumbies units under the bars.

    Premier Icon flap_jack
    Subscriber

    I can see that indexed ones wouldn’t be ambidextrous…

    Premier Icon househusband
    Subscriber

    Got Pauls Thumbies and Dura Ace on two bikes (fat bike and 29er) and love them! I just love the simplicity, Luddite perhaps, ergonomics and interaction of it.

    Big Dave has got it in saying ‘It just feels right in a rudimentary mechanical sort of way.’

    Premier Icon flap_jack
    Subscriber

    Do 10 speed work ok or are they fiddly ? Last ones I used were 6 speed…

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    Quite grateful for this thread! Before I’d posted the indexing had gone iffy on my roadbike. Couldn’t resolve it with the barrel adjuster on the mech, thought I’d need to put up with skippy gearing until I could replace the cable and outer.

    Walked back to my bike yesterday evening and remebered this thread and the friction option on the shifter.

    Problem solved. I can order 10m of SP41 from somewhere and take my sweet time getting round to fitting it.

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber


    Reverse the mounts and they can work similarly under flat bars, but I went back to std thumbie position after a while. If I wanted perfect ergonomics I’d have stuck with triggers.. (used indexed, just liked the friction option and simplicity)

    globalti
    Member

    I’ve got beautiful Suntour XC Pro thumbies on my full-rigid and a small collection of old Suntour and Shimano thumbies in my bits box…. unfortunately on all of them the ratchet on the left hand shifter has gone, allowing the FD to drop into the small ring constantly. One day I will dig them all out and try to find a way of reviving the ratchet.

    Was in my LBS a few years ago and the owner opened a drawer to search for something…. in a corner my eyes spotted a brand new pair of XC Pro thumbies; I was unable to prevent my hand shooting out like a snake and grabbing them from under his nose, poor bloke was a bit surprised!

    retro83
    Member

    globalti – Member
    I was unable to prevent my hand shooting out like a snake and grabbing them from under his nose, poor bloke was a bit surprised!

    πŸ˜†

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Subscriber

    flap_jack – Member
    um…don’t you run thumbies UNDER the bars so you operate them with your thumbs ? Back in the day etc etc

    You can and some people did back in the day – but they were not designed to be.

    noteeth
    Member

    Apart from a very brief flirtation with Shimano Rapidfire in the early 90s, I’ve never used anything else.

    Old fashioned Deore XT thumbies are probably my fave MTB product of all time.

Viewing 26 posts - 1 through 26 (of 26 total)

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