Late 1980s vintage Italian steel bike with Campy Athena mech (7 spd rear derailleur). Need to replace rear derailleur (because of weak spring not taking up chain slack in small ring). My thinking is to replace the rear mech with a Shimano 7 spd cassette and chain as well as a Shimano 7 spd rear derailleur (Shimano Tourney RD-A070).

Will the existing Campy down tube shifter (which has both index and friction mode) work with the Shimano 7 spd rear derailleur (Shimano Tourney RD-A070)? Or do I need to replace it? And If so, what are the options?

  • Are you after function or aesthetics? Modern tourney parts look quite different, and stand out visually.
    – Criggie
    Commented Apr 26, 2022 at 23:14
  • 1
    Just function. This is being used as a trainer only bike. Commented Apr 27, 2022 at 3:33

2 Answers 2


If you are comfortable operating in friction mode, your existing lever should be fine.

IMO friction mode with a 7-speed cassette is still reasonable. I wouldn't want to use e.g., a 12-speed cassette with a friction shifter.


From what I have read, all 7 speed freewheels have similar spacing. (see first green table: http://www.cornant.uk/info/rear.html )

If you wanted to preserve the indexing, you would need a 7- or 8-speed Shimano downtube shifter which you would have to obtain on the used market, where they are generally plentiful and inexpensive. It would be a direct replacement assuming your frame has the brazed-on shifter mount.

Some options include the Shimano RX100 lever (SL-A550), Shimano 600 (eg SL-6400), Shimano 105 (SL-1055/1056 etc), amongst others.

  • Thanks for the reference. The Sunrace SLR30 7 spd clamp on shifter is more readily available..It says Shimano 7 spd compatible. Will try this. Commented Apr 30, 2022 at 18:42
  • @MathDilettante certainly a good option. I just found a box of old exage 7-sp shifters. They are going free!
    – Noise
    Commented May 2, 2022 at 13:19
  • Where do I pick them up?!! Commented May 3, 2022 at 15:29
  • A secret location in Wales @MathDilettante
    – Noise
    Commented May 3, 2022 at 16:25

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