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Friction shifters for internal-geared hubs?

Friction shifters for internal-geared hubs?


Old 11-14-11, 11:07 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 12
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Friction shifters for internal-geared hubs?

Hi all,

My bike knowledge isn't very extensive, so I was hoping somebody could help me out with this one.

I'd like to put an internal-geared hub on a bike (ala SA 3- or 5-speed, Shimano 7- or 8-spd) but I can't seem to find info on whether or not I can use friction shifters to run it. . . To think that Sheldon Brown's bible doesn't have a few verses on this!!!

Ideally I'd like to be able to use the shifters I have currently (old suntour downtubes); if I absolutely have to go to indexed then I guess I'll just have to deal with it, however I've always liked being able to adjust trim as necessary. Not sure if "adjusting trim" is even necessary/possible with an internal hub now that I think about it. . .

Any advice?

Gracias in advance.
- j
Old 11-14-11, 04:34 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,524
Received 37 Votes on 34 Posts
Hi J,
The last ones I worked on were SA-3 speeds and much better to have indexed. If you were to just barely in gear and apply a lot of pressure, think standing up while pedaling (:, the extremely small surface carrying the load could fail. By having an indexed shifter, hopefully all gears are fully engaged when selected. That's not saying you couldn't use a friction shifter, just that I prefer to adjust them once and know they will be right for awhile. As for the 5 and 7 speeds, I have never touched the beasts. Can't imagine what is inside.

Now, as for gear range and efficiency I can't imagine all of these internal workings being anywhere near a traditional derailleur system. What's your application?


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