Note: We don't recommend these for 11-speed rigs or with modern SRAM derailers, which have an "actuation" ratio that's different.
We haven't tested them with those, and have no interest in those. It's kind of a matter of: Pick your solar system and stick with it, do things that others in that solar system do.
These are the best shifters you'll ever set a hand on. There's nothing
like them, and if you think your old SunTour barcons are the bee's
knees, bless you, but you're living in dreamland.
Their magic is
the Power Ratchet inside. The old SunTours had that, too, but this Power Ratchet is a big improvement over that one (and since that one was already fine, this one...must be superfine.) The shifting is smooth, light, simple, fast,
and precise. Indexing, in comparison, seems raucous and archaic. They
work with any derailleur, and freewheel, cassette, chain, etc., so you
have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you'll never be midway
between gears and powerless to do anything about it.
There's a short learning curve, but don't let that scare you. Everybody learns fast with these.
The downtubers come just the shifters, because you don't need all the other monkey business. You'll still need cables and a little piece of housing, though. You may already have them, your LBS definitely does, and we definitely do, too.
Silver shifters now include new and improved washers that are thicker and made out of UV resistant Black or Dark Grey plastic.
Silver shifters are all aluminum, guts various metals, 'cept for the two plastic washers.
NOTE: May not shift properly with SRAM's 9, 10, 11sp mountain, Sram 10 and 11sp road; Shimano mountain 10sp Dynasys, Shimano 11sp road; Campy 10/11sp rear derailers. The movement of the derailer changes dramatically from the 8th to the 9th position. Why'd they do that? Anyway -- just don't use these with those derailers. Some folks will inevitably report that they got some or one of the above to shift with Silvers; the point is we can't recommend it. That said, if you've friction chops dialed, they may work for you.
Here is an instructional video showing you how to mount them to the down-tube boss. Click here to watch.
The ratchet mechanism in my (shimano?) bar ends failed. First I couldn't reach the bottom two gears. Then I couldn't reach the bottom four gears. Then my thighs said "enough!"
Went to fix it by going friction only. No go. Thought I'd work around it by adjusting the cable to give me gears 2 - 5, better to have a limited range of low gears. But wait, all the standard shift cables I have on hand are too short for the 60cm frame I ride. Digging through the parts boxes looking for longer cable I find a set of Silver Downtube shifters intended for another bike.
Parts on hand to create a fully functional bike I go to town on installation. Then I ride and . . . wow. These are great. The shifting is so smooth and the touch to make the shift is so light. Wish I'd done it years ago.
Yay! for a great product.