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  1. #1
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    How to replace Shimano STI shifters?

    I'm going to be upgrading my Shimano Sora STI shifters to Tiagra shifters. I have only a simple knowledge of bike mechanics and know nothing really about how the cables and such are setup. Do you think I could teach myself how to install the shifters or am I better off paying big bucks for the LBS to do it? I think it'd be fun to try, but shifters look daaaaamn complicated.

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    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    The hardest part about installing them will be setting up the indexing... the cable installation and routing is actually easier than it looks.

    Someone should have a link to an online manual...

  3. #3
    just going for a ride... lbear's Avatar
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    It's not hard. Do you know how to adjust your derailleurs? That's half the battle. Pickup Parks Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair or go to http://www.parktool.com/ or even U-tube. Just make sure you know which is the brake cable and which is the derailleur cable. Pick up a good cable cutter like Parks CN-10.
    You can do it I have replaced cables on a couple of bikes. Match the housing length to what you have know. Just don't make your final cable cuts until everything is working.
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    Number One iareConfusE's Avatar
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    I doubt you'll even need to set up the indexing... All you need to do is unwrap your current handlebars, remove the Sora shifters with the #5 allen screw from the front, install the new ones the same way,
    .

    Then just get your cables into the correct slots. That shouldn't be too hard either since the derailleur and brake cables are so different. To make sure you have the derailleur cable inside the slot properly, hold the cable taut, then shift up and down to see if the indexing is working properly, and if the cable has been mounted properly. Once thats done, you just need to route the cables and hook them up to your derailleurs (easy).

    After derailleur cable is done, you need to get the brake cable into the brifter now. Just find the hole, and poke and poke and poke til you get it in the hole, then through the housing. You'll then have to tape the housing to the front of the handlebars to route them neatly. Once you have this done, it should be self explanatory how to cable those brakes. Then, just wrap your bars properly and its all good.

    Don't forget to check your housing lengths and see if they need to be shortened or lengthened (new housing). Turn your steerer side to side all the way to make sure the housing reaches.

  5. #5
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    Question for you, Goodtimes5:

    Does your bike currently have an 8-speed cassette and 8-speed Sora levers? Are the Tiagras you plan to install designed for 9-speed? If yes, then you might have a lot more work to do to make the thing work properly.

  6. #6
    Number One iareConfusE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
    Question for you, Goodtimes5:

    Does your bike currently have an 8-speed cassette and 8-speed Sora levers? Are the Tiagras you plan to install designed for 9-speed? If yes, then you might have a lot more work to do to make the thing work properly.
    Hahaha I totally forgot about this. Well, my instructions are pretty general and can apply to most brifter installations, but since you might have trouble with the cassette + shifters, then its going to get a lot more complicated for you; or it just won't work.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by iareConfusE View Post
    remove the Sora shifters with the #5 allen screw from the front, install the new ones the same way,
    That would be a 5mm (as in 5 millimeter) hex. Keep in mind that you'll need a long 5mm hex key to reach the hidden clamp that holds the shifters to the bars. There's no need to remove the screw either. You need to only loosen it just as much as necessary to slide the brifter off the handlebar.

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    Changing and recabling brifters, particularly if there is a "speed" change, say 8-speed to 9 or 10-speed, isn't a difficult job but it's a bit adventerous for someone with little to no experience with any level of bike mechanics. It's really not an "entry level" project.

    The new brifters should have come with a detailed instruction sheet and Shimano has their installation and instruction sheets for the other involved components (derailleurs and cassettes) on-line. Read them over carefully and see if they make sense and you can follow what they are recommending.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
    That would be a 5mm (as in 5 millimeter) hex. Keep in mind that you'll need a long 5mm hex key to reach the hidden clamp that holds the shifters to the bars. There's no need to remove the screw either. You need to only loosen it just as much as necessary to slide the brifter off the handlebar.
    I've exchanged Shimano brifters without unwrapping the bars. First, remove the cables. Next, unscrew the hex bolt all the way and lift the brifter right off of the clamp, which will remain on the bar. Unscrew the clamp from the new brifter and set it aside, then thread the brake housing into the new brifter, line up the bolt with the clamp and attach. You'll want to push the brifter up snug against the brake housing (e.g. "up" the handlebar) when tightening the attachment bolt. Reinstall your cables, adjust, and you're done.

    One last step, thread the "new" clamp onto the old brifter and list on ebay.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
    Question for you, Goodtimes5:

    Does your bike currently have an 8-speed cassette and 8-speed Sora levers? Are the Tiagras you plan to install designed for 9-speed? If yes, then you might have a lot more work to do to make the thing work properly.
    Yeah, I have an 8 speed setup right now. I have experience changing out cassettes, so I was going to switch to a 9 speed cassette myself. The Tiagras I planned on installing are 9 speed. I've read that the cassette and the shifters are the only components I need to replace with the speed change

    I do have experience adjusting derailleurs (I ride with Sora components, after all). However, I have no experience with cutting cables and such. It seems like this job would involve buying a cable cutter and replacing the cables; is there any way for me to get past this installation and use the same cables?

  11. #11
    Number One iareConfusE's Avatar
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    I probably wouldn't use the same cables, just because they might either be too short to install easily, be frayed, or may become frayed when you attempt to reuse them since they no longer have the soldered tip after clipping to length the first time they were installed.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodtimes5 View Post
    I've read that the cassette and the shifters are the only components I need to replace with the speed change
    You will need a 9-speed chain also. It's narrower than 7/8-speed chains.

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