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Old 06-26-07, 10:44 PM   #1
bigdufstuff
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need advice on sti shifter upgrade

I have a old Bianchi Limited that is a six speed double chain ring with DT friction shifters. I currently investigating what it would take to upgrade to STI type shifters.

I assume I will need more components than just the brifters. From the online shops that I've looked at brifters tend to only come in 7+ speed arrangements. So will I need a new wheel set? Rear derailer? Front derailer? Chain ring?

Thanks for any help.

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Old 06-27-07, 03:58 AM   #2
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If you want to modernize, you would want a rear hub (so.. wheel) that is a hyperglide (shimano) free hub (7,8,9,10s all fit), a cassette, a chain, a RD, cables/housing, probably bar tape, and most likely a frame that is 125mm wide in the back.. I think.. mayeb it is 130mm. All I know is that my roommates old Bianchi 6s with friction downtube shifters is 5mm too skinny in the rear dropouts for a modern system - although a LBS owner into older bikes said it would work, but pricey.

A lot of folks and sources say that you would need a new crank and FD, but I think the old FD would work with maybe a little work on chainline and trim and stuff. I am not sure why a new crank would be needed since my roommates old Bianchi/Ofmega crank on his bike can work with my nine speed 105 system, but that is what they say....
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Old 06-27-07, 05:54 AM   #3
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At the price of all that, you probably just want a new bike.
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Old 06-27-07, 05:54 AM   #4
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I'll measure the distance between dropouts when I get home from work. Hopefully it'll be enough.
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Old 06-27-07, 05:55 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by tellyho
At the price of all that, you probably just want a new bike.
That is kind of what I was afraid of. This is why I am still investigating at the moment.
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Old 06-27-07, 06:06 AM   #6
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I'll take the Bianchi off your hands. No..., really, I will. Let me help you with that.
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Old 06-27-07, 06:15 AM   #7
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I'll take the Bianchi off your hands. No..., really, I will. Let me help you with that.
Haha. Well I love the bike, it rides great. I just am not the biggest fan of downtube shifting.
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Old 06-27-07, 06:36 AM   #8
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If that is your only issue a pair of barend shifters is your cheapest way out. If you have SIS now Rivendell has a converter set to use your existing shift levers and indexing. If you are shifting friction they are all the same.
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Old 06-27-07, 06:59 AM   #9
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No reason to even consider this unless you go to at least 9 speed
1. Your rear spacing is 126mm, you can fit a 130mm hub in there, you just have to stretch each time.
2. You need to change the rear hub (or wheel) as yours won't take a 9s cassette
3. Your rear derailleur is non-indexing so you'll have to buy an indexing one
4. Front derailleur will probably work
5. Buy 9 speed cassette
6. Buy 9 speed chain
7. Buy 9 speed shifters
8. Crankset - your rings are thicker than 9s ones. They also are not ramped and pinned. It will probably work but not shift as well. You can just swap out to 9s rings if you find them cheap.
(If you swap out the crankset you will need a new bottom bracket as yours is square, 9s is Octalink or X)

Barcons are a lot cheaper if you just want the shifters off the DT.
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Old 06-27-07, 07:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronp6
If that is your only issue a pair of barend shifters is your cheapest way out. If you have SIS now Rivendell has a converter set to use your existing shift levers and indexing. If you are shifting friction they are all the same.




Actually...a set of stem shifters is much cheaper than the Rivendell adapters, and works just as good and looks pretty clean. Alot of people have hangups with stem shifters because it was standard on alot of cheap bikes back in the 70's and 80's...but it works great. It's not different than downtube or barend shifting, just a different location for the shifters.

http://www.biketoolsetc.com/index.cg...m_id=SU-137A/6
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Old 06-27-07, 09:08 AM   #11
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I went from DT shifters to shimano 105 9spd and its the best thing I ever did. You can get away with just the brake/shifters, front and rear ders and a rear wheel and cassette. I found a used 105 gruppo for $50, new rear wheel and cassette from Nashbar for about $70.
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Old 06-27-07, 04:48 PM   #12
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Ok I just measured my dropouts and they are 126 mm apart from each other when measureing on the inside of the of dropouts. So it looks like even if I wanted to spend all the money to get this upgraded it wouldn't fit.

After reading about this on sheldon's page it seems that people do bend steel frames to accomadate larger hubs. Should I consider this or is this something only experts should try?

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Old 06-28-07, 09:36 AM   #13
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I don't think its worth it. I think my roommate's bike I mentioned is the exact same as yours and when he considered all his options, including making the Bianchi 9s, he opted to build his own bike which was cheaper than upgrading.
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Old 06-28-07, 02:36 PM   #14
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Guy a "group" from bikesdirect (basically buy a bike, sell everything but the group).
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Old 06-28-07, 10:10 PM   #15
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$10 bucks and up.

I have converted several 6-speed 126mm bikes to 7 speeds on the same wheels, or higher, on new cassette rear wheels. Don't recommend 8 speed freewheels (axles stressed).

The cheapest option is the $10 to $15 7 speed freewheel, which you should be able to friction shift with your current downtube shift levers. The next step up would be an indexing shift lever, or bar levers.

Cheapest STI option would be the Sora 7 speed STI shifters, using your current wheels and a 7 speed freewheel. The black plastic Sora models work great, with crisp shifting up and down. My last Sora set cost under $40 at a bike swap meet. You'd need $5 downtube cable stops, new derailleur cabling, maybe a new $10 chain, probably a Shimano rear derailleur for proper indexing (if you don't already have Shimano). Any old Ultegra or 105 rear would index and work with most freewheels (up to 30t-39/53 front or 32t-42/53). Avoid the old DA rears which had different cable pull and only index properly with older DA sti shifters.
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Old 06-29-07, 02:06 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dural
$10 bucks and up.

I have converted several 6-speed 126mm bikes to 7 speeds on the same wheels, or higher, on new cassette rear wheels. Don't recommend 8 speed freewheels (axles stressed).

The cheapest option is the $10 to $15 7 speed freewheel, which you should be able to friction shift with your current downtube shift levers. The next step up would be an indexing shift lever, or bar levers.

Cheapest STI option would be the Sora 7 speed STI shifters, using your current wheels and a 7 speed freewheel. The black plastic Sora models work great, with crisp shifting up and down. My last Sora set cost under $40 at a bike swap meet. You'd need $5 downtube cable stops, new derailleur cabling, maybe a new $10 chain, probably a Shimano rear derailleur for proper indexing (if you don't already have Shimano). Any old Ultegra or 105 rear would index and work with most freewheels (up to 30t-39/53 front or 32t-42/53). Avoid the old DA rears which had different cable pull and only index properly with older DA sti shifters.
+1 if all you want is indexing on the cheap. 7 sp will fit right into your current ride. Good luck

Tim
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Old 06-29-07, 08:51 AM   #17
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There's also the Kelly Take off.

http://www.kellybike.com/2nd_xtra_takeoff.html
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Old 06-29-07, 11:35 AM   #18
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There's also the Kelly Take off.

http://www.kellybike.com/2nd_xtra_takeoff.html
That's brilliant...
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Old 06-29-07, 06:48 PM   #19
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I've thought it over and I think I'm going to convert the bike to a fixie. That'll give me a project to have fun with and will make something new out of the bike.

Thanks for all the advice though. It helped me learn a lot about how the drive train fits together.
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