And The Winner Is… – Bike Snob NYC

I’ve executed numerous Actually Massive Issues in my life. I graduated highschool and faculty. I’ve put collectively a number of items of Ikea furnishings in a single day. I’ve negotiated with cable corporations and cell phone suppliers and obtained considerably profitable outcomes. But none of those feats rivals in issue and magnitude my execution of the Traditional Cycle twenty first Century Friction Shifter Shootout, the winner of which I’ll formally announce in the present day.

You’ll be able to see all of the derailleur contestants right here, and these are those I’ve efficiently examined to date:

And naturally the test-cycle began off with the common-or-garden Shimano 105 5700:

So to recap:

Then there was the Shimano 600, which was a DNS as a result of a mechanical difficulty:

In addition to the Deore XT “Deerhead,” which I DQed as a result of it wouldn’t shift into the test-cycle’s highest gear:

All of which brings us to our closing contestant, the Campagnolo Athena “11 velocity:”

It’s modern-looking, however not freakishly so in the best way just about all derailleurs are actually:

It’s additionally silver:

And aside from Potenza, which got here out just a few years later, it’s secure to say the group of which it was half represents just about the final time we’ll see something remotely “traditional”-looking out of Campagnolo:

…which in flip means it’s the final time we’ll see something classic-looking out of anyone. (Or not less than the foremost element producers.)

This explicit derailleur is the long-cage model, and it’s meant for a triple. You’d suppose that might make it heavy, however it’s lighter than each different derailleur within the take a look at aside from the Dura Ace and the 600:

It’s additionally the most recent derailleur within the take a look at, and it required a type of bizarre Torx thingies as a way to mount:

In distinction, the Altus LT had an old style hex nut for a cable anchor, that means this take a look at has borne witness to each the beginning and the dying of the Allen key period:

I can’t preserve monitor of Campagnolo’s cable pull adjustments all through the listed period and I don’t know what’s suitable with what. Will this additionally work with a 10-speed Ergo shifter, or a 9-speed? I dunno. However this can be a friction shifting take a look at so we don’t have to care. Right here’s the shifter place when in low gear, in addition to each the big cog/small chainring and huge cog/massive chainring situations:

Clearly you’d need extra chain in the event you have been going to trip it within the massive/massive, which isn’t stunning, because it’s a long-cage derailleur made for a triple–additionally one of many final we’ll ever see from Campagnolo:

After I put the Veloce on the test-cycle (all the time watch out when putting derailleurs on or close to your test-cycles) my rapid response was, “Wow, excellent.” I had the identical response to the Athena:

Easy, exact…excellent:

It truly is superb how decadent a pair of Silver shifters feels on a contemporary drivetrain, and the extra I give it some thought the extra I imagine it’s factor that the trade has deserted friction shifting, as a result of in any other case they’d be charging us a fortune for it:

As a substitute, all it takes to place an excellent one collectively is a smattering of respectable mid-range components. Actually, it’s laborious to think about a highway bike drivetrain feeling any higher than this. AND IT DOESN’T EVEN NEED BATTERIES!!!

This isn’t simply true of the Athena, both; aside from the DNS and the DQ, all of them yielded stunning shifting–although I’m undecided any of them have been quieter than the Athena, which I may barely hear in any gear mixture:

I’m undecided how a lot the oversized-and-rubberized pulleys need to do with that, however it most likely couldn’t damage:

Regardless of the motive, whereas I received good-to-great outcomes with all of them, I knew instantly that I needed to award the Athena first prize:

It’s mild, it’s quiet, it’s exact, and in contrast to a few of the different contestants it’s not on the restrict of its adjustment vary as a way to entry the complete cassette. The identical can be true of the Veloce, however the Athena can be lighter, which after all is completely meaningless, however on this case makes for a handy tiebreaker. Additionally, the long-cage Athena has the next chain-wrap capability (40) than the Veloce medium-cage (36)–additionally meaningless, because the test-cycle doesn’t want it, however it does imply you’ve in the end received wider gearing potentialities with the Athena, so it will get additional factors for versatility. Positive, the identical goes for the SunTour, however the Athena is a bit more refined, which actually solely issues somewhat, however this can be a contest and that’s how contests work.

In fact, because the curator of the shootout I get to choose one among these derailleurs to reside completely on the test-cycle, and clearly I went with…

…the Veloce?

Positive. It additionally labored completely, and it’s a greater match with the chain I’ve received on the bike now. Like, what? I’m gonna get an entire new chain simply to make use of a lighter derailleur? Please.

So there it’s. Sure, the most recent half gained, and for a friction shifter shootout that’s kinda lame. However the actual lesson is that the 40-plus year-old Altus LT that got here on a Schwinn Voyageur was nearly pretty much as good. And sure, simply since you’ve received friction shifters in your bike, that doesn’t imply you need to use each single derailleur in existence, as we noticed with the “Deerhead.” However you need to use a fuckload of them, and simply so long as you pay an inexpensive quantity of consideration to stuff like max cog dimension, chain size, and naturally chain wrap capability, you most likely gained’t be capable to inform a lot if any distinction between them.

Most significantly, after opening and shutting a quick-link chain not less than seven instances in as many days, I can let you know the simplest strategy to do it with out shopping for a particular instrument is to make use of a Channellock. Not simply any pliers, however a Channellock. You’re welcome.

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