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  1. #1
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    Indexing 7-speed shifter options

    I figured this would be a good place for this question.

    I have a 1990 road bike that has Shimano XT freewheel and derailleurs and bar end shifters that are jacked up. I want to convert it to a flat bar anyway, so I have a question about my 7-speed options.

    Does anyone know if "modern" Altus M310 trigger shifters have the same cable pull as the old days? Will they index with my old setup? Are they total crap?

    I actually would rather have thumbshifters, but the vintage Shimano 7-speed thumbshifters on eBay are expensive. Are there any "modern" indexing 7-speed thumbshifters that are less than $50 or so?

  2. #2
    Team Brooklyn
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    There are a few Deore DX Thumbies as well as Suntour XC 7 speed thumbies on the bay right now under $40. Can't answer re the Altus stuff.
    Wanted: more of the same ... but different

  3. #3
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    Any Shimano indexed MTB rear derailleur less than 10 speed and road up to 10 speed R/D will work with any MTB shifter less than 10 speed and road shifter up to 10 speed - you can mix and match (except for old DuraAce). And of course the shifter has to match the cassette/freewheel.
    MTB front derailleurs don't work with indexed road shifters - or the other way around. The Altus shifters should work OK depending on the front derailleur.

  4. #4
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    You can still get grip shifters for 6-11 speed. Sram also makes XO1 downhill shifters, but you'll also need to change the rear mech. I know JensonUSA.com carries them.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by phattruth View Post
    You can still get grip shifters for 6-11 speed. Sram also makes XO1 downhill shifters, but you'll also need to change the rear mech. I know JensonUSA.com carries them.
    I'm not a big gripshift fan. I also found some NOS Shimano XT integrated brake/shift levers from 1989 or so when they were "push-push". I had a bike with that exact setup and my thumbs still ache when I think about a race I did in the mud with those things!

    I'm not in a hurry, so I'm going to keep an eye on eBay and craigslist for a pair of XT or Deore thumbshifters or SunTour XC thumbies that are not completely thrashed. I missed a pair Sunday night, but holy crap, they got $91 for for them. The ones on there right now look like they sat outside in a junk pile for a decade or so.

  6. #6
    Desert Rat
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    Shimano 7spd spacing does not equal Suntour 7spd spacing. You need to stay consistent with your shifter/freewheel brand.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winans View Post
    Shimano 7spd spacing does not equal Suntour 7spd spacing. You need to stay consistent with your shifter/freewheel brand.
    According to Sheldon's website, Shimano and SunTour 7-speed freewheel spacing between the cogs is exactly identical, as is the cable pull on the derailleurs. For some reason the small cog spaces out .4 mm further on a Sun Tour, but I can deal with that I'm sure. I doubt they accommodated that slight difference in the shifter anyway, it was probably an artifact of the the Sun Tour derailleur being at the end of its throw that caused them to do that.

    I found some NOS 7-speed Sun Tour Accushift thumbshifters for $45 on eBay, so I'll give them a shot. Hopefully they aren't a Hong Kong rip job, since that is where they are coming from.

  8. #8
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    I ran a 7 spd freewheel shimano freewheel with an 8spd XC Pro shifter for years on my Willits in conjunction with a Schlumpf Speed Drive. There was an extra click at the top end but it shifted fine and provided me with all the gears I ever needed.
    A bike by any other name is still a bike.

  9. #9
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    I would troll your local craigslist, look for old 90's bikes....GT, DB, TREK. I have found many Deore DX/XT parts that way, you pick up the whole bike for about $75.

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