John Thompson, Chuck Schmidt, and Lynn Travers have exchanged some nice thoughts about the Simplex Retro-friction DT shift levers (below).
At a fairly recent swap meet, a chap walked over and gave me a set of NOS Shimano "L422" down-tube shift levers with a rather fine ratchet mechanism and much more elegant appearance than my favorite SunTour ratcheters. Does anyone know what these are and from when? They are pretty good eye-candy, with simple elegance and a slight twist to the levers themselves. But, I haven't had a chance to try them (no appropriately kitted out bike). I could send pix if there is interest in seeing them or knows something about them.
>> Lynn Travers wrote:
>>>> I believe these are Simplex retro-friction levers. Yea or nay?
>>>>While obviously broken, I believe they can be repaired. The *backing
>>>>plate* for the detached lever is missing. Anyone have some spare
>> Yes, Simplex Retro-Friction (same as Mavic). I've used these on quite a
>> few of my bikes since they became available in the mid-1970s.
Also may be labeled as "Spidel" -- all the same thing; all wonderful.
-- John (email@example.com) Appleton WI USA