Friction shifters with 11 speed

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open roader
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Friction shifters with 11 speed

Postby open roader » Tue Dec 05, 2023 3:56 pm

Another wacky idea I've been tossing up............

Concept of debate (and likely ridicule) :-

Running an 11 speed derailleur and cassette on a retro frame using friction shifters.

Can it be done? Can it be done simply?

If you ask "why?" I counter with "why not?" I've built up a lot of bikes in mostly conventional ways and I find myself pondering left field topics - let's call it a minor mid life crisis..........

Despite the countless hours I've burned reading up on all sorts of bicycle related matter I'm yet to see 11 speed friction shifting attempted or offered for sale. Infact 9 speed is where it seems to mostly have stopped being a 'thing'.

My guess is insufficient cable pull on the shifter lobes to get the derailleur across all 11 cogs but I don't know this for certain.

Any input most welcome.
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Re: Friction shifters with 11 speed

Postby warthog1 » Tue Dec 05, 2023 4:07 pm

I haven't done it but are these helpful?

https://velo-orange.com/products/dia-co ... t-shifters

•Designed for 11 speed, but will work with fewer speeds
•Better option for 10 speed drivetrains than our other Dia-compe levers
•Friction (non-indexed), micro ratchet design
•Right barrel is larger than the left for more cable pull

Installation with 11speed ultegra r8000, mid-cage and VO 46-30 crankset. Works really well! The front derailleur was a bit more complicated to set up


http://www.diacompe.com.tw/product/ene-11s-shifter/
Last edited by warthog1 on Tue Dec 05, 2023 4:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Friction shifters with 11 speed

Postby NASHIE » Tue Dec 05, 2023 4:18 pm

Yeh but you my struggle to get the full 11 gears. My current roadie is complete bitsa, Ken Evens with mainly old Campag chorus, Croce D' Aune rear derailleur, down tube shifters (friction) 11sp shimano cassette/chain, topped of with Ultegra brifters for hand comfort. I get 9-10 gears on the cassette. Big day in the hills just adjust to get the low gears. Love it, shifts first time every time :wink:

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Re: Friction shifters with 11 speed

Postby familyguy » Tue Dec 05, 2023 4:42 pm

I would think that if you can get 10s SIS/indexed, that it can be done. The range of travel is the same, more or less, I wouldn't think the added gear and minor difference in cassette width would suddenly render it unworkable. I've got a 10s clicky SRAM TT lever as a bar end, with one spare that I was going to de-index to run as a friction bar end on something. Maybe I try 11s instead?

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Re: Friction shifters with 11 speed

Postby P!N20 » Tue Dec 05, 2023 6:01 pm

open roader wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2023 3:56 pm
I'm yet to see 11 speed friction shifting attempted or offered for sale.

Alex Steida runs 11 speed friction:


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Re: Friction shifters with 11 speed

Postby Duck! » Tue Dec 05, 2023 9:25 pm

familyguy wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2023 4:42 pm
I would think that if you can get 10s SIS/indexed, that it can be done. The range of travel is the same, more or less, I wouldn't think the added gear and minor difference in cassette width would suddenly render it unworkable. I've got a 10s clicky SRAM TT lever as a bar end, with one spare that I was going to de-index to run as a friction bar end on something. Maybe I try 11s instead?
The main issue isn't cassette width, it's that (presuming Shimano parts) 11-sp. derailleurs need a longer cable pull to cover a given shift distance due to a different actuation ratio. Obviously indexing isn't a concern, but most friction shifters won't have sufficient stroke to move an 11-sp. derailleur across a full cassette.

SRAM use a common actuation ratio for road/MTB 10-sp + road 11-sp, but is different from everything else (but is pretty close to Shimano road 11-sp.)
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: Friction shifters with 11 speed

Postby familyguy » Wed Dec 06, 2023 9:16 am

Duck! wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2023 9:25 pm
familyguy wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2023 4:42 pm
I would think that if you can get 10s SIS/indexed, that it can be done. The range of travel is the same, more or less, I wouldn't think the added gear and minor difference in cassette width would suddenly render it unworkable. I've got a 10s clicky SRAM TT lever as a bar end, with one spare that I was going to de-index to run as a friction bar end on something. Maybe I try 11s instead?
The main issue isn't cassette width, it's that (presuming Shimano parts) 11-sp. derailleurs need a longer cable pull to cover a given shift distance due to a different actuation ratio. Obviously indexing isn't a concern, but most friction shifters won't have sufficient stroke to move an 11-sp. derailleur across a full cassette.

SRAM use a common actuation ratio for road/MTB 10-sp + road 11-sp, but is different from everything else (but is pretty close to Shimano road 11-sp.)
True, a bit of both. Purely talking outside widths, a 10s cassette is 37.2mm (via Sheldon), 11s cassette is 40.1mm. Shimano 11s have a 1.4 ratio, so a 2.9mm shift requires another c.2.0mm of cable pull. Might not quite get it with a friction shifter.

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Re: Friction shifters with 11 speed

Postby warthog1 » Wed Dec 06, 2023 2:12 pm

familyguy wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2023 9:16 am
Duck! wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2023 9:25 pm
familyguy wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2023 4:42 pm
I would think that if you can get 10s SIS/indexed, that it can be done. The range of travel is the same, more or less, I wouldn't think the added gear and minor difference in cassette width would suddenly render it unworkable. I've got a 10s clicky SRAM TT lever as a bar end, with one spare that I was going to de-index to run as a friction bar end on something. Maybe I try 11s instead?
The main issue isn't cassette width, it's that (presuming Shimano parts) 11-sp. derailleurs need a longer cable pull to cover a given shift distance due to a different actuation ratio. Obviously indexing isn't a concern, but most friction shifters won't have sufficient stroke to move an 11-sp. derailleur across a full cassette.

SRAM use a common actuation ratio for road/MTB 10-sp + road 11-sp, but is different from everything else (but is pretty close to Shimano road 11-sp.)
True, a bit of both. Purely talking outside widths, a 10s cassette is 37.2mm (via Sheldon), 11s cassette is 40.1mm. Shimano 11s have a 1.4 ratio, so a 2.9mm shift requires another c.2.0mm of cable pull. Might not quite get it with a friction shifter.
This says it is designed for 11 speed.
http://www.diacompe.com.tw/product/ene-11s-shifter/
There is another link I put up earlier, where in the feedback, people had run it successfully with shimano 11s
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Re: Friction shifters with 11 speed

Postby familyguy » Wed Dec 06, 2023 2:26 pm

warthog1 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2023 2:12 pm
This says it is designed for 11 speed.
http://www.diacompe.com.tw/product/ene-11s-shifter/
There is another link I put up earlier, where in the feedback, people had run it successfully with shimano 11s
I missed that. Simple solution, very cool. The bigger diameter rear shift lever implies more cable is pulled, easy!

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Re: Friction shifters with 11 speed

Postby warthog1 » Wed Dec 06, 2023 5:45 pm

familyguy wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2023 2:26 pm
warthog1 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2023 2:12 pm
This says it is designed for 11 speed.
http://www.diacompe.com.tw/product/ene-11s-shifter/
There is another link I put up earlier, where in the feedback, people had run it successfully with shimano 11s
I missed that. Simple solution, very cool. The bigger diameter rear shift lever implies more cable is pulled, easy!
Makes you wonder if you could run an 11 speed cassette with any old derailleur using those levers? An 11s 11-34 will fit on a 10s hub but don't know what 10s derailleurs will clear a 34? Don't need to use that cassette if you have an 11s freehub on your wheel though
Don't know if the range of an 8, 9 or 10s derailleur would let it shift far enough?
I expect an 11s chain should still be ok on older derailleur pulleys?
Anyway makes me wonder what you could achieve with older stuff, but I am no expert, hopefully Duck or somebody else knows how it may go. More gears and range is always good. :)
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Re: Friction shifters with 11 speed

Postby Duck! » Wed Dec 06, 2023 8:39 pm

Older derailleurs with 11-sp. compatible shifters are very difficult to fine tune on closer-spaced sprockets. Shimano's traditional actualion is 1.7:1, so the derailleur moves 1.7x the cable pull, vs 11-sp.'s 1.4x. if you pair a 1.7 derailleur with a long-pull shifter, a very small shift tweak will have a greater effect at the derailleur.

It's for this reason the 11-sp. actuation was reduced to 1.4. it makes the derailleur less sensitive to small adjustments, therefore easier to tune.

With the limits backed out, most derailleurs have enough travel to cover an 11-sp. cassette, however only veey recent road models have the capacity to handle 30+ T sprockets; to go bigger you need to look at the MTB family.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: Friction shifters with 11 speed

Postby warthog1 » Wed Dec 06, 2023 9:54 pm

Thanks Duck :)
Sounds like it would be a pita to shift accurately then.
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Re: Friction shifters with 11 speed

Postby Duck! » Wed Dec 06, 2023 11:22 pm

familyguy wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2023 9:16 am
Duck! wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2023 9:25 pm
familyguy wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2023 4:42 pm
I would think that if you can get 10s SIS/indexed, that it can be done. The range of travel is the same, more or less, I wouldn't think the added gear and minor difference in cassette width would suddenly render it unworkable. I've got a 10s clicky SRAM TT lever as a bar end, with one spare that I was going to de-index to run as a friction bar end on something. Maybe I try 11s instead?
The main issue isn't cassette width, it's that (presuming Shimano parts) 11-sp. derailleurs need a longer cable pull to cover a given shift distance due to a different actuation ratio. Obviously indexing isn't a concern, but most friction shifters won't have sufficient stroke to move an 11-sp. derailleur across a full cassette.

SRAM use a common actuation ratio for road/MTB 10-sp + road 11-sp, but is different from everything else (but is pretty close to Shimano road 11-sp.)
True, a bit of both. Purely talking outside widths, a 10s cassette is 37.2mm (via Sheldon), 11s cassette is 40.1mm. Shimano 11s have a 1.4 ratio, so a 2.9mm shift requires another c.2.0mm of cable pull. Might not quite get it with a friction shifter.
Easier to quote and respond separately than splice into mo my previous related post....

Shimano's long-running standard derailleur actuation is 1.7:1. Most friction shifters will be designed to this ratio. So using the quoted cassette width figures, a 37.2mm wide cassette with a 1.7 derailleur wants a total cable pull of 21.9mm. The same cassette with an 11-sp. or related very recent Tiagra /GRX400 1.4 ratio derailleur needs a 26.6mm cable pull. That's a 4.7mm difference in pull on the same cassette.

Jump to an 11-sp. cassette at (quoted) 40.1mm overall width. As noted previously, most older derailleurs should have enough adjustability to cover the extra distance, but cable pull really comes into play here. a 1.7 derailleur needs a 23.6mm cable pull to cross the cassette. A 1.4 derailleur needs 28.6mm cable stroke to cover the cassette. The vast majority of friction shifters are "geared" - excuse the unintended pun - to a 1.7 pull ratio, so although have a little bit of overshift capacity will be hard pressed to find an extra 5mm of cable pull to work a 1.4mm derailleur the whole way across the cassette; it's quite a bit more lever arc to find that 5mm of cable, and that's where the 11-sp.-compatible shifters Warty linked previously fit in.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: Friction shifters with 11 speed

Postby baabaa » Fri Dec 08, 2023 7:02 pm

11 speed to do friction AND index?
https://www.microshift.com/models/bs-a11/

Have run dura ace 10 speed bar end shifters on most of my bikes which you can "shift" between friction and index - never tested on / as 11 speed (even though most of the hubs are 11 speed) in friction or index
The sportive bike is running dura ace 11 speed on 11 speed hubs but a 10 speed cassette - can only run these in index
Also a run 10 speed microshift bar end shifter but set up as thumbies for flat bar - same, only run as 10 speed but on wider range cassette and much touring /bike packing lower front chain rings
All above are 2x and I consider microshift as good if not better to run - just get the microshifts.

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Re: Friction shifters with 11 speed

Postby DavidS » Sun Dec 10, 2023 11:44 pm

I run a friction shifter on one of my bikes, I got it from Rivendell, and it is 10 speed SRAM Apex. Can't see why a friction shifter wouldn't be able to to 11 speed, without indexing it would seem straight forward.

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Re: Friction shifters with 11 speed

Postby Duck! » Mon Dec 11, 2023 11:33 pm

SRAM is a bit less complicated, because 10- & 11-sp. road use a common 1.3:1 pull ratio; there is likely enough "overshift" in the friction shifter to pull the extra bit of cable to reach the added gear.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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