Friday, July 12, 2013

Shifting systems

These newfangled gear shifting systems are nothing but trouble. People are so darn lazy they want to switch chainrings just by pulling a lever. Wingnuts on the rear axle aren't good enough for these prima donnas. No stopping by the roadside and lifting the chain by hand. I see nothing but trouble with this complicated mechanism.
Unfortunately, this wonderful large-radius downtube shifter is no longer attached to a matching Simplex rear derailleur. The cable goes to a 1990s-vintage cheesy sheet metal and plastic derailleur. And the freewheel, which looks like it could be original, is threaded onto a replacement wheel that's probably the same age as the rear derailleur. This frame probably had 120 mm rear spacing. Now there's a 130 axle shoehorned into the dropouts.

When it finally reaches the repair stand I can get a few shots of the handlebars and brake levers. They look like vintage. The stem looks like a later addition: too streamlined.
The owner said the bike belonged to his father, who may have bought it used. It's not exquisitely hand crafted, but it's an interesting example of a production road bike from before the 1970s influx of European, and then Japanese, lugged ten speeds that most of us think of as the oldies.

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