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Friday, October 12, 2018

Long Term Review: Rivendell Silver Shifters

I've had the Rivendell Silver shifters on my custom road bike(s) since 2009, and on the tandem since 2017. The internal ratchet mechanism is the old-style suntour power-ratchet style, and that makes shifts reliable and also compatible with any speed deraileur and cassette. By the way, people have contended that it's impossible to friction-shift 9 speed and 10 speeds, but I've never had any problems and rarely miss a shift. One of the nicest features of these shifters is that as the cable frays, you can feel it when you shift, and that tells you you need to buy new cables and install them. Brifters just break with no warning whatsoever, and many once broken are impossible to repair. In recent years, my friends have all switched to brifters, but I'll note that none of them has kept a bike for as many miles as I have.

The plastic washer on the outside of the shifter is a bit fragile, cracking and breaking at the drop of a hat. But it doesn't seem to affect performance: I just turn the screw a bit tighter and what's left of the washer keeps working. I do keep a set on hand just in case things go really wrong, but given how much abuse I give my bikes these show no signs of ever wearing out.

You can buy them as part of the Bar-End kit which includes the Shimano pods, or if you're replacing the indexing shifters on a Shimano bike you can just buy the downtube kit for a lot less. These don't ever seem to go on sale but I'm happy to pay full price for them, because they're so very good.

Highly recommended.

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