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Bicycle Repair/12 speed vintage bike question



i bought a 2nd hand bike from a guy last summer, a mountain bike with the old 12 speed gear shifters on the handle bars thumb gear shifters, and i don't like them because I can't see the numbers. I would like to change them, is there any way? do they still sell the 12 speed shifters?

  Sorry, but I am not aware of any more modern 6 speed shifters. Your old "thumb-style" devices were the only option for shifters  of that era. Current replacement 6-speed variants may be" indexed", that is, having specific click-stops for each gear position, but they will still be of the "above-the-bar" ergonomics style, with no visual cues other than the lever's position.
  It may be possible to adapt a 7speed shifter to your present rear derailer setup, however. Many replacements from SRAM, Shimano, etc., have indicators. The only drawback is that you'll have to ignore the "7" position on your shifter, as your derailer will only go to "6".
  An obvious resolution to this is to swap out the 6-speed freewheel/cluster to a 7-speed version, matched up with a more ergonomic 7-speed "under bar" shifter.  A decent shop should be able to set you up this way for about $50-$60.

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James Novak


I can answer most inquiries with respect to bicycle assembly, repair, tuning and maintenance. I am less than inclined to speak on such questions as "What kind of bike should I buy?", &/or "What is this bike worth?", etc. Any answers to these types of questions may correlate poorly to an acceptable "fact/sarcasm" ratio.


7 seasons of "Professional" bicycle service/repair, etc. 4 seasons as Instructor, Professional Bicycle Mechanic training college. n-1 seasons of riding, cracking, crushing, mutilating and breaking bikes of any & all varieties, and thus requiring intense and at-hand skills development, etc.

Certified Professional Bicycle Mechanic; Winterborne Bicycle Institute/Conestoga College

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