A few days ago I was given a vintage Basso gap frame and I’m beyond excited to be riding again, however, I’ve only ridden modern trail bikes until this point. Naturally, I’ve been researching and trying to learn more about downtube shifting but the bike only has the right lever (pictures attached). The bike also doesn’t seem to want to shift at all and I’m lost as to where to begin with it as this type of bike is new to me. I don’t know if I need to order new levers or if there’s more of an underlying problem.
Beautiful bike. I'm afraid there could be any number of problems behind this:
- Cable is seized in the housing. Disconnect cable from derailleur and see if you can rotate the shift lever back and forth while keeping a little tension on the cable end. If seized, replace cable and cable housing.
- Shift lever bolt is overtightened. Easy fix: loosen it
- Derailleur is seized. With cable disconnected, will the derailleur swing in/out? If seized, replace. Finding a suitable vintage derailleur might take some looking.
Those are the most obvious problems.