Friction shifters with modern 10 speeds...

Just got a road project rolling, about to organize the gears ( you guys remember gears dont you? usually accompanied by those fiddly brake things… )

Has anyone used downtube friction shifters with a modern 10 speed rear derailleur and cassette?

thanks for your help…


you could do it but it wouldn’t work very well.
the very narrow chain, and small increments between gears would make it difficult to select a gear properly.
better to use either 7 or 8 speed with friction shifters, and use indexed shifters for 9 or 10.
shimano make indexed 10 speed for tri bars… you could probably get those to work with minimum effort.

shimano? tri? …oh no, i dont like the sound of either of those things…

thanks for the heads up mate. may have to chase down an 8spd modern derailleur…
do you think you can shim a 10speed hub to suit?

i’d give it a go.
get 10sp jockey wheels if you think it’ll help, use whatever RD you like 8,9,10 and see how it goes. i dont think it’d be much different to an 8sp shift, once you feel it “in” its in… may take an extra ride to get fine adjustment good enough.
i’d be interested to hear how it goes.

Oh! and if you have any old (80s) campy RDs floating around, i’d love one :slight_smile:

I recently built up a bike with indexed downtube shifters, got new 9spd Dura Ace shifters, put it with O7 model Dura ace FD and RD, works perfectly.

You can get 10 spd downtube shifters too, don’t need to use barend controls suggested by Lupine.

I agree that old friction shifters might be hard to tune in with 10 speeds. On the other hand friction survived up until 7 speeds became the norm so 10 may not be too bad.

Give it a go with some recycled shifters and if it’s too hard buy some indexed shifters. Mine were about $60US the 10spd were a little more.

Yep. It’s good because if you’re not quite in a gear, you’re still in one. Bad if you like changing gears lots cause they’re kinda fiddly to get right.