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Old 09-01-08, 07:51 PM   #1
vr6tuner97
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newb question about shifters

So I have just recently gotten into biking. Road bikes specifically, and i started out buying a cheap bike because i didnt want to spend a fortune and possibly hate it. anyways i got a schwinn varsity from walmart. The bike itself isnt to bad but i cant stand the thumb shifters. Is it possible to swap out the shifters for some Shimano Sora S.T.I. shifters? If so how hard would it be? Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-01-08, 08:31 PM   #2
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It's an easy mod but according to this, it already of those shifters.

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...ci_sku=5585799

I mean hell, you might as well return the bike and get the above linked bike. But seriously you should just save the money and get an all around good bike.
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Old 09-01-08, 08:53 PM   #3
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If you stick with riding, you are going to want a much better bike in the future. You will never get your current bike anywhere near where you will want to be so save your money and by the time you have enough socked away, you'll know what you want in your next bike.
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Old 09-01-08, 10:24 PM   #4
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well i can get the shimano sora sti 7 speed shifters for 90 online with all the cables and stops so price wise its not to bad. i was just wondering if it is possible and how hard it would be
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Old 09-01-08, 11:24 PM   #5
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Unless you know what you are doing, it might turn out to be a very big headache.

And I definitely agree with the whole saving money bit. Bikes have just made the jump to 11 speed and say you want to make yours 11 speed, it would cost you somewhere around $2000, at least, give or take a few hundred.
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Old 09-01-08, 11:26 PM   #6
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Ok, well I looked it up and thought about it some more... it would cost you at least $3500.
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Old 09-02-08, 08:01 AM   #7
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According to the Walmart web site, your bike already has 7-speed Sora brifters. However, ALL Sora brifters of any "speed" have the thumb shift button so changing for newer Sora gets you nowhere.

You would have to go to Tiagra or above to avoid the thumb button and that would also require a new cassette, new rear hub and new chain since current Tiagra is 9-speed and Shimano's higher groups are 10-speed. All 7-speed groups are obsolete. It will be big $$$.

I agree that upgrading this bike would be throwing good money after bad. Ever heard the cliché about making "a silk purse out of a sow's ear"? Ride this one to be sure you like road riding and put up with the current shifters. When you are sure you do, save your money and buy a worthwhile bike from a real bike shop.
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Old 09-02-08, 09:50 AM   #8
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7 speed Sora brifters should work fine (make sure they are 2 speed for the front) as Shimano spacing is consistent. Swapping everything out will be pretty easy and making the necessary adjustments isn't difficult either. I would still encourage you to hold off and save toward a higher quality bike. Upgrading a bike piece by piece will cost you much more in the long run.
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Old 09-02-08, 10:07 AM   #9
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I made a modification to the thumb buttons so I could shift from the drops, using a couple of safety pins and a spoke. Try searching this forum for pictures.
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Old 09-02-08, 12:06 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by vr6tuner97 View Post
buying a cheap bike because i didnt want to spend a fortune and possibly hate it. anyways i got a schwinn varsity from walmart.
Definitely get the shifter u want then, 'coz if u settle, for sure it gonna make u hate it.
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Old 09-03-08, 03:26 AM   #11
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...i started out buying a cheap bike because i didnt want to spend a fortune and possibly hate it. anyways i got a schwinn varsity from walmart...
What a GREAT strategy!
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Old 09-03-08, 03:33 AM   #12
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What a GREAT strategy!
Huh? What's the problem with actually testing the waters before you jump in? There is no need to buy an expensive bike if you will shortly find you hate riding.
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Old 09-03-08, 03:38 AM   #13
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Huh? What's the problem with actually testing the waters before you jump in? There is no need to buy an expensive bike if you will shortly find you hate riding.
I know. I said it was a great strategy!
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Old 09-03-08, 03:40 AM   #14
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I know. I said it was a great strategy!
Oh, it seemed to be a bit sarcastic. Sorry about that.......
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Old 09-03-08, 04:31 AM   #15
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... The bike itself isnt to bad but i cant stand the thumb shifters. Is it possible to swap out the shifters for some Shimano Sora S.T.I. shifters? ...
What do you mean by "thumb" shifter? Is it a trigger shifter or is it like a brifter with a thumb shifter.

The reason I ask is that the SORA STI Brifter have a thumb shifter too (at least in one shift direction). Just curious has to why you are going from "hated" thumb shifter to another thumb shifter??
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Old 09-03-08, 06:27 AM   #16
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Huh? What's the problem with actually testing the waters before you jump in? There is no need to buy an expensive bike if you will shortly find you hate riding.
The down side to buying low quality equipment is that it will perform so poorly that you will "hate it" and conclude the activity is not for you. You basically set yourself up for failure.

The Schwinn the OP bought isn't really that bad but Wally World is a poor place to buy any bike. The sales staff is incompent and assembly quality is always suspect.

One more time to the OP: ALL Sora shifters have the thumb button. If you hate it with 7-speeds, you will hate it with 8 or 9 too.
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Old 09-03-08, 03:54 PM   #17
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I believe his "thumb shifters" are stem mounted shift levers.
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Old 09-03-08, 07:22 PM   #18
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Yeah, there is more than one "Varsity" out there, my brother in law has the all aluminum one with yellow trim, it has stem shifters. He doesn't know any better and loves riding it 20+ miles three times a week.
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Old 09-08-08, 06:40 PM   #19
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sorry i havent had a chance to check back lately. but i guess i was mistaken. mine are the stem mounted shifters. in the manual that came with my bike it says they are thumb shifters so that is where i was mistaken. but yes mine has the stem mounted shifters and i hate them. thats why i want to change. i have riden my friends bike and his has the brifters and i liked those much better. that is why i was asking. sorry for the confusion.
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