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  1. #1
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    DT shifters -> Brifters HELP!

    Lately, I've been wanting to change from downtube shifters to some brifters but I have no clue at how to do the conversion.

    All I know is currently, I have on some OFMEGA Quattro shifters crankset and derailleurs. 7 Speed.

    So where do I start!
    My price range maxes out at $200.00 sadly if that's too low.

    Here are the pics!






  2. #2
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    You can go 8,9 or 10 speed.

    You need:

    - shift levers (8, 9 or 10 speed)
    - Rear wheel for cassette
    - matching cassette
    - matching rear derailleur
    - matching chain

    You can probably do it pretty inexpensively with careful Ebay shopping for used parts. I did a nice switch using mid-range Campy parts for $350, but lower end Shimano should be less.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

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    You'd probably do much better selling your existing bike (let's say for $150ish), kicking in your $200 budget, and getting a nice used bike with brifters for $350. Unless you're otherwise madly in love with your frame, because you'll be replacing everything else.

  4. #4
    Senior Member bluenote157's Avatar
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    I had a friend with these quattro parts on his bianchi 14 speed. It had shimano 7 speed index shifters paired with it which makes me believe that this derailleur is completely compatible with shimano. If you can find 7 speed STIs on ebay, you are good to go. However, I dont even know if 7 speed stis even exist.

    You might want to research whether the spacing on the 8 or 9 cassette are the same. If say a 9 is the same, you can use a 9 speed STI and lock out the last two clicks???

    Then again, I can be opening a whole new can of worms for you... so proceed with caution.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
    You can go 8,9 or 10 speed.

    You need:

    - shift levers (8, 9 or 10 speed)
    - Rear wheel for cassette
    - matching cassette
    - matching rear derailleur
    - matching chain

    You can probably do it pretty inexpensively with careful Ebay shopping for used parts. I did a nice switch using mid-range Campy parts for $350, but lower end Shimano should be less.
    Not for $200.

    Op's only option with such a limited budget is $150 sora 7 speed brifters. Which are still available. You do not want to buy used shimano brifters. Maybe a new set of cable + housing and he's ready to go. Well with $200.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  6. #6
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Underbridge View Post
    You'd probably do much better selling your existing bike (let's say for $150ish), kicking in your $200 budget, and getting a nice used bike with brifters for $350. Unless you're otherwise madly in love with your frame, because you'll be replacing everything else.
    +1 That is your best option.

    Second best option is to find a deal on a used brifter bike and swap components. I have bought four brifter bikes for under $200 each this year (three seven speed, one eight speed FWIW). The good part about swapping parts is that you don't have to worry about size. You already have the size bike you need. So any size donor bike can supply the parts you need.

    Buy right and you can do the swap for free.

    I will be doing this process myself soon building up a couple of bikes to STI.
    Last edited by wrk101; 11-03-09 at 04:49 PM.

  7. #7
    Type 1 Racer rydaddy's Avatar
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    You'll need downtube housing stops too. The budget is going to make this very difficult.

  8. #8
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    Agreed, plus the 7 and 8 speed stuff is getting pricey because it's getting harder to find. 7-8speed sora and RSX brifters are fetching 50-100 dollars on ebay depending on condition.
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    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Not for $200.

    Op's only option with such a limited budget is $150 sora 7 speed brifters. Which are still available. You do not want to buy used shimano brifters. Maybe a new set of cable + housing and he's ready to go. Well with $200.

    I thought you were joking, but Shimanos are $$$$. Campy Veloce 10 speed are less than that ($127 + Shipping @ Ribble).
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  10. #10
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    So I sort of have no clue of what's going on. Yeap bluenote157, it's the Bianchi 14spd
    On the sidenote, thought maybe a 9-10 speed would be cool but i'm not sure if it'd fit my rear wheel.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by f/64 View Post
    So I sort of have no clue of what's going on. Yeap bluenote157, it's the Bianchi 14spd
    On the sidenote, thought maybe a 9-10 speed would be cool but i'm not sure if it'd fit my rear wheel.
    I'm not certain but from the pictures it appears your current rear wheel takes a freewheel, not a cassette. If so, and you need to keep that wheel for budget reasons, you are limited to 7-speed. There are no 9 or 10-speed freewheels and even 8-speed freewheels are iffy.

    RSX or early Sora were the only Shimano brifters made in 7-speed and I doubt they'd be compatible with either of your derailleurs. This is going to be a relatively expensive project if you do it at all properly.

    Frankly, selling your bike and putting the money toward a used but more modern one would be the most practical way to go.

  12. #12
    Senior Member toytech's Avatar
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    When I did mine, I used switched wheels to 130mm with cassette (cold set frame) used Shimano 105 brifters and cable stops from another bike (8speed) I was able to use the existing fd and rd even though they are non indexed (600 arabesque) they did need adjustment near limits of stops but the function is fine. I can't see it being done for 200.00 though even with used parts.

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    I didn't notice the color originally - you should get respectable coin for an older Bianchi with the downtube shifters and all intact. I'm not a vintage bike guy, but I'd bet $300 is reasonable if you clean it up. You can put that with your budget and end up with a very nice used bike. Or even a not-terrible new one.

    Just please don't turn it into a damn fixie. Those dropouts look dangerously horizontal.

  14. #14
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    Maybe this webpage will help.

    I have no idea what the shift ratio of your rear derailleur is. If it's like the pre-2001 Campagnolo derailleurs, a set of Campagnolo 8 speed brifters with 3.5mm of cable pull should put you near enough to the 5mm pitch of the 7 speed Shimano freewheel.

  15. #15
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    I don't see any reason why the current derailleurs won't work.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  16. #16
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    I'm not certain but from the pictures it appears your current rear wheel takes a freewheel, not a cassette.
    It's a freewheel, definitely. And it doesn't appear to have ramped or shaped teeth, so quality-of-function with brifters will be iffy (even if your rear derailer has the same cable-pull to travel ratio as Shimano).

    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    RSX or early Sora were the only Shimano brifters made in 7-speed and I doubt they'd be compatible with either of your derailleurs. This is going to be a relatively expensive project if you do it at all properly.
    Frankly, selling your bike and putting the money toward a used but more modern one would be the most practical way to go.
    I'll pile on to this recommendation.

    Or just say, enjoy riding with down-tube shifters. If you're used to them, they ain't bad. Especially if you're not too tall (b/c taller riders are proportionally further away from the down-tube).

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    Having done some mix-n-match builds, I'd go with either:

    A. Sell your bike and buy a new one with brifters.

    B. Buy a used bike with all parts you need and use it as a donor bike.

    Either way, good luck. You could always try to piece together a bike from parts, but that'd require a fair amount of research. If you're trying to learn from this, that'd be the way to go but its alot more work.

  18. #18
    Senior Member vredstein's Avatar
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    I'm not familiar with Quattro rear derailleurs, but if that crack running clear across the limit screw is not part of the design, it makes for one big reason why it might not be worth any component system involving that particular unit.
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  19. #19
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    Hmm. I guess i'm nowhere close to get brifters; If close, that'd just be luck.

    Bar End Shifters any good? Complicating to install?
    Tend to drop down on bars a lot.

    Thanks for the help guys by the way!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Underbridge View Post
    I didn't notice the color originally - you should get respectable coin for an older Bianchi with the downtube shifters and all intact. I'm not a vintage bike guy, but I'd bet $300 is reasonable if you clean it up. You can put that with your budget and end up with a very nice used bike. Or even a not-terrible new one.

    Just please don't turn it into a damn fixie. Those dropouts look dangerously horizontal.
    Don't think I'll ever turn it into a fixie
    Last edited by f/64; 12-13-09 at 02:03 PM.

  21. #21
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    Suntour bar end friction shifters are a snap to install. The racheting action in the levers is nice and they can be found at ok prices. I have suntour bar ends on two bike and like them a lot.
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  22. #22
    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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    Budget is the problem here.
    Bar end shifters have their own problems. Namely, conflicts with knees, the ground, etc.
    The Quattro shifters are a pain because they have no sophisticated mechanism for the friction.
    Tightening and loosening the thumbscrew on the outside is the only way to balance against deraileur tension and unplanned shifts.
    You'd do better with something like this (LINK).
    These have a friction mode that cleverly balances against cable tension.
    Then you could continue. The addition of a 7 speed thread-on Shimano freewheel (LINK) and a Shimano derailleur (LINK) would give you full-on rear wheel indexed shifting.
    Of course you'd need to figure out how to install it all. Getting the old freewheel off will be tough.

    That would leave you some money to upgrade those awful brakes (if you haven't done so already).

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metzinger View Post
    Budget is the problem here.
    Bar end shifters have their own problems. Namely, conflicts with knees, the ground, etc.
    The Quattro shifters are a pain because they have no sophisticated mechanism for the friction.
    Tightening and loosening the thumbscrew on the outside is the only way to balance against deraileur tension and unplanned shifts.
    You'd do better with something like this (LINK).
    These have a friction mode that cleverly balances against cable tension.
    Then you could continue. The addition of a 7 speed thread-on Shimano freewheel (LINK) and a Shimano derailleur (LINK) would give you full-on rear wheel indexed shifting.
    Of course you'd need to figure out how to install it all. Getting the old freewheel off will be tough.

    That would leave you some money to upgrade those awful brakes (if you haven't done so already).
    Thanks! Right now, I have some shifters where it can go into Index/Friction mode but I don't know the difference, is it where the index mode clicks and the frictions just slides smoothly? " Suntour 7spd Accushift " + the Quattro brakes are bad?
    Last edited by f/64; 11-04-09 at 02:13 AM.

  24. #24
    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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    The Accushift shifters should be better than the original ones because they effectively resist the derailleur spring.
    My experience with those brakes was scary. Flexy and weak.
    But if you never need to stop suddenly, it may not be an issue.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metzinger View Post
    The Accushift shifters should be better than the original ones because they effectively resist the derailleur spring.
    My experience with those brakes was scary. Flexy and weak.
    But if you never need to stop suddenly, it may not be an issue.
    Sometimes when biking with a pack running through reds and stops, (yes I know) the brakes aren't really helpful when i'm trying to avoid cars (shouldn't be doing that anyways lol) and when i'm cycling downhill at a fast speed and a turn is coming up, no effect really. I use them but seems like it doesn't help much. I tried tightening the brake line just a little but still didn't help. I'm stuck with just increasing my stopping distance.

    Any suggestions!

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