I'm curious about trying friction shifters out for my commutes – especially since I had a shifter cable mishap recently that cost me a lot more time than it should have.
My commuter is a '70s road bike on which the previous owner upgraded the stock downtube shifters to STI shifters. In other words, the frame accepts downtube shifters already, but they aren't there. As far as I understand it, the basic procedure would for a permanent conversion would then be to
- Install a pair of friction shifters on the frame again.
- Remove the bar tape to be able to
- Replace the STI shifters with regular brake levers.
- Install (??) the shifter cables in the friction shifters.
- Cut the shifter cables shorter.
- Reapply bar tape.
If I just want to try this out, could I skip step 2, 3, 5 and 6? And just have the friction shifters pull the cable when it's still attached to the STI shifters? (With full knowledge that this will make the integrated shifters ineffective.)
Would this be a lot of work to just try it out? (Assuming I am able to get a hold of a pair of friction shifters.)