Silver Downtube Shifters

Well I’ve been running the Silver downtube shifters on my Surly Cross Check for a week, so and I think I can probably write a review now. I purchased these from Rivendell recently for $42 (looks like they’re $44 now). This is the first time I’ve run friction DT shifters on a bike since the mid-80s, which I was riding Campy Super Record (though I do I still have some friction Suntour barcons on my old Bonty cross bike…).

Why go back? Well, I run DT shifters on my two other bikes, but they are both index shifters with 7 speed Dura Ace. The Surly is 8 speed and I had been running it with flat bars with the Pauls Thumbies and 8 speed index shifters. But I just switched to drop bars. I was trying to decide between DT shifters and the Shimano barcons that I already have. I looked for 8 speed index DT shifters on eBay a bit but didn’t find what I wanted quickly and got impatient. Plus, I was curious about the Silvers.

These Silvers are probably the best friction shifters to come along since Simplex. But is that good enough? I definitely found myself not shifting as much with these. I remember the special overshift and correct motion you needed to do to get Campy Super Record friction to shift smoothly. You don’t have to do that with Shimano derailleurs. For some reason that made shifting a bit less satisfying for me. After a week I think I’m comfortable saying I don’t think I want to go back to friction. So I’m probably going to put those 8 speed Shimano barcons on there. Plus, I admit, a “cross” frame looks kind of weird with DT shifters… However, if you are looking for simple and dependable, you’re not gonna find something better than the Silvers. More pics after the jump!

Used for: 1 week
Price paid: $42
Purchased at: Rivendell
Rating: 3 stars!

Silver Downtube Shifters on Surly

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My Latest Rivendell Order

I’ve always had a hate/love relationship with Grant Peterson. I love him cause he helped kill off the ridiculous Biopace chainrings back in the 80s. Some of you may remember Bridgestone’s MB-2 ads proclaiming “round chainrings!” Yes! Sweet! However, Grant’s dislike of Shimano caused him to spec a lot of weird crap on his bikes, and I regularly cursed his name while building up Bridgestones back when I was a lowly wrench in bike shops. The Giants and Treks went together easily, while those B-stones with their crappy Suntour derailleurs, Ritchey cantis and crummy wheels were a pain in the ass. I think Grant was the last person on the planet to switch to the Shimano cartridge BBs. Anyway, I wasn’t sorry to see B-stone go away, and find it humorous that they have such a following today. Yes, the catalogs were cool and the colors were cool and lugs are cool and the X0 bikes were cool but for the most part Bridgestones were inferior to the garden variety Giants and Treks from the same era. Continue reading…

Rivendell Order

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