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Thread: 2x7 Brifters?

  1. #1
    MondoSam
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    2x7 Brifters?

    I have a 1990 Raleigh Technium Supercourse w/ Shimano Exage and downtube shifters. I'm contemplating switching to brifters. I don't want to change out any other part of the drivetrain, so I've been searching eBay for 2x7 brifters, and have been having a hard time locating. Are they that rare?

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    Look for RSX or Sora brifters. If they are labelled 3x7, they'll still work just fine with a double.

  3. #3
    MondoSam
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    Thanks! I did update the wheelset to Mavic Aksiums, still using my old cassette (with a spacer), so if I want to upgrade the drivetrain I can. If I look for, say, 3x8 or 3x9 brifters, will they still work with my 2x7 setup until/unless I decide to upgrade the drivetrain?

  4. #4
    MondoSam
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    Oh... and 3x7 works ok with 2x7 because the FD isn't indexed (I never experienced brifters before, so I don't know)? Or do I just do a barrel adjustment to keep the chain from falling off?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MondoSam View Post
    Thanks! I did update the wheelset to Mavic Aksiums, still using my old cassette (with a spacer), so if I want to upgrade the drivetrain I can. If I look for, say, 3x8 or 3x9 brifters, will they still work with my 2x7 setup until/unless I decide to upgrade the drivetrain?
    8/9 shifters do not shift 7.
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    old athena
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    Quote Originally Posted by MondoSam View Post
    Oh... and 3x7 works ok with 2x7 because the FD isn't indexed (I never experienced brifters before, so I don't know)? Or do I just do a barrel adjustment to keep the chain from falling off?
    They work because the cable pull to get from one chainring to the next does not differ from a double to a triple (at least for most set ups). Have you ever set up a front derailler before?

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    Senior Member Steev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
    They work because the cable pull to get from one chainring to the next does not differ from a double to a triple (at least for most set ups). Have you ever set up a front derailler before?
    And the limit screws will stop it shifting the chain right off.

  9. #9
    Low car diet JiveTurkey's Avatar
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    The parts that need to match in speed are the right-shifter, cassette, chain, and (to a lesser extent) the front derailleur. (And, as others have already said, since you're keeping a double crank, a double or triple left-shifter will work.)

    For rear shifting, the FD matters only because as the number of speeds increases, the width of the chain decreases, which calls for a narrower FD (or else the chain won't shift as crisply up front). Fortunately, since 6, 7-, and 8-speed chains are all the same width, your current FD should work with 8-speed.

    If you're going to go with an 8-speed shifter, you'll definitely need a cassette. I suggest also replacing the chain because it is likely worn and will only prematurely wear the cassette.

    If your cassette and chain are worn, now is the perfect time to go to an 8-speed setup as you'll want to replace the cassette and chain anyway and you've already got an 8-speed compatible rear wheel.
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    So does that mean I can use an ultegra 3-spd to replace my failing 600 2-spd (which would make it match the upgraded ultegra 9spd rear brifter)?

  11. #11
    headtube. zzyzx_xyzzy's Avatar
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    Funny fact: FD's got wider going from 7 to 8 speed because the width of the cassette increased while the width of the chain remained the same. When going from 8 to 9 speed the cassette remained the same width but the chain narrowed, so the FDs got narrower again. So (in my experience) 9 speed FDs work pretty well on 7sp systems.

    Look into Campy shifters- campy 10 will shift a shimano 8 drivetrain pretty well. See here for more detail on shifter intercompatibility--

    http://www.ctc.org.uk/desktopdefault.aspx?tabid=3946

  12. #12
    MondoSam
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    Quote Originally Posted by JiveTurkey View Post

    If you're going to go with an 8-speed shifter, you'll definitely need a cassette. I suggest also replacing the chain because it is likely worn and will only prematurely wear the cassette.

    If your cassette and chain are worn, now is the perfect time to go to an 8-speed setup as you'll want to replace the cassette and chain anyway and you've already got an 8-speed compatible rear wheel.
    My cassette and chain aren't worn (at least I don't see the 'shark-tooth' pattern yet). But I *have* read that if you replace the cassette you should replace the chain. I've also read that you should replace the front rings also. Any truth to that?

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    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    You don't have to look at the cassette teeth to judge wear. Measure the chain.

    In general, unless the cassette you're replacing is new, you should replace the chain. Chains are cheap. Unless the old chain is dangerously worn, keep the old chain and cassette together in case you want to use them somewhere else.

    Front rings do not wear as fast as cassette sprockets since there are more teeth to share the load. Rings are replaced on their own cycle.
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  14. #14
    MondoSam
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    Quote Originally Posted by MondoSam View Post
    My cassette and chain aren't worn (at least I don't see the 'shark-tooth' pattern yet). But I *have* read that if you replace the cassette you should replace the chain. I've also read that you should replace the front rings also. Any truth to that?

    Ah. Never mind. Answered my own question. According to bicycletutor.com: "Your front chainrings generally won’t need replacing. Because of the larger diameter, the front chainrings usually take twice as long to wear. If worn they are very easy to spot, as they’ll start looking like shark teeth. "

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    Quote Originally Posted by MondoSam View Post
    My cassette and chain aren't worn (at least I don't see the 'shark-tooth' pattern yet). But I *have* read that if you replace the cassette you should replace the chain. I've also read that you should replace the front rings also. Any truth to that?
    Cassettes and chains tend to wear together. Chainrings not so much. Cassettes can be very worn yet look just fine if you aren't looking close enough or at the wrong spot. You'll find out soon enough if you fit a new chain as it will slip on every worn cog. Chainrings wear much slower and even when badly worn won't slip. you will experience shifting issues and potentially chain suck.

  16. #16
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MondoSam View Post
    "...If worn they are very easy to spot, as they’ll start looking like shark teeth. "
    Don't bet on that. I've had front rings that really didn't show the classic shark tooth - or perhaps only on a few teeth. It's hard to know that it's time until the front starts to skip - a very different thing from skipping at the rear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ottothecow View Post
    So does that mean I can use an ultegra 3-spd to replace my failing 600 2-spd (which would make it match the upgraded ultegra 9spd rear brifter)?
    9-speed Ultegra shifters are exactly the same for double cranksets and triple cranksets. The left shifter actually has 4 main positions plus a trim position for the granny ring.

    They will not work with 7-speed or 8-speed cassettes due to the difference in cog spacing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
    9-speed Ultegra shifters are exactly the same for double cranksets and triple cranksets. The left shifter actually has 4 main positions plus a trim position for the granny ring.

    They will not work with 7-speed or 8-speed cassettes due to the difference in cog spacing.
    I've already got 9s ultegra in back (original 600 8s group with ultegra brifter, derailleur, cassette). I think I can get a hold of an ultegra front brifter from a triple that is working at least better than my completely dead 600

  19. #19
    Low car diet JiveTurkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ottothecow View Post
    I've already got 9s ultegra in back (original 600 8s group with ultegra brifter, derailleur, cassette). I think I can get a hold of an ultegra front brifter from a triple that is working at least better than my completely dead 600
    Yes, the triple will work with your double setup. Ergonomics sometimes changes between models. I know that it changed between 9-speed and 10-speed Ultegra. So if you want to match the feel of your 9-speed right shifter, get a matching 9-speed model for the left, not the newer 10-speed version.
    Quote Originally Posted by slopvehicle View Post
    Not wearing a helmet makes me more aware of my surroundings. I find myself anticipating the hardness of concrete 50 or 100 feet in front of me, it's almost a zen-like connection between my face and the pavement.

  20. #20
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ottothecow View Post
    my completely dead 600
    Have you tried soaking in WD-40? Apparently the assembly grease on these congeals over time and can be "dissolved" back to usability...
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