Re: [CR] A question about Simplex retro-friction shifters

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From: "cmontgomery" <cmontgomery15@cox.net>
To: Peter Rogers <pjrogers@rogers.com>, <Stronglight49@aol.com>, <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
References: <cf0.665806fc.380ee2de@aol.com> <9541F9C184F94C04BC189CED085787A1@PeterPC>
Date: Tue, 20 Oct 2009 20:55:30 -0700
Subject: Re: [CR] A question about Simplex retro-friction shifters


I still have a pair of this model. They were originally on a Ludo Van Isghem (betcha never heard of that one!) I had in 1978-79. It was used when I got it.

Craig Montgomery Tucson


> Hi Bob,
> I am not sure of the earliest date of manufacture, but I have an identical
> pair of these levers. I purchased them new in 1977 for a PRN10 Peugeot and
> moved them onto a PX10 this summer. They were on display at Allin's cycle
> shop in the UK and may have been in stock for a while before I purchased
> them. So, although this is not an accurate date of manufacture, it at least
> informs us that this variation existed at that time.
>
> I have a later pair of retrofrictions and I did not notice the difference
> until I read your email!!
>
> I hope that this helps.
>
> All the best,
> Peter Rogers
>
> Barrie, Ontario, Canada
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <Stronglight49@aol.com>
> To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 5:54 AM
> Subject: [CR] A question about Simplex retro-friction shifters
>
>
> > Here are three photos from a recent eBay auction (Item number:
> > 310174417074). Excellent photos by eBay seller "driftwares" and
> > for this reason perhaps deserving of the very high $129 final bid.
> >
> > http://i368.photobucket.com/albums/oo126/driftwares2/ebay3/shi1.jpg
> >
> > http://i368.photobucket.com/albums/oo126/driftwares2/ebay3/shi2.jpg
> >
> > http://i368.photobucket.com/albums/oo126/driftwares2/ebay3/shi3.jpg
> >
> > These show a Simplex retro-friction shifter set with less commonly
> > seen "feet" at the bottom edges of the lever arms. These were
> > supports for slots which held the ends of the internal springs. Most
> > models had slots cut into the upper sides of the lever arms, just above
> > the mounting bolts, which serve the same purpose.
> >
> > Placing the slot at the bottom minimized the potential for moisture
> > and dirt to fall into the spring chamber. Perhaps a nice idea, although
> > not as graceful in overall appearance.
> >
> > Would this be the very earliest version? Can anyone give the correct
> > production date for this particular variation?
> >
> > I would love to see any catalog images which show this minor feature.
> > Perhaps Daniel Rebour observed these in an early trade show and
> > presented them in "Le Cycle"? My earliest US catalog illustrations
> > show the "final" version - although forged with the same lever arm
> > design pattern.
> >
> > I believe the retro-friction levers were first introduced in 1973,
> > although they were rarely if ever seen in the US for perhaps
> > another 2 years.
> >
> >
> > BOB HANSON, ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, USA