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Old 06-24-10, 09:02 PM   #1
BLD25
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90's trek 1200 brake shifter question

hello all, I have been enjoying reading and researching here for awhile(through google searches), and I finally picked up my first road bike today. It is a early 90's trek 1200, and I picked it up with clipless pedals for $125, so it seems like a good deal. It shifts well, rides nice, and I am pretty happy with it so far. I haven't gotten used to the downtube shifters, and i just seem unstable shifting while riding so far. I know that I might get used to that someday, but I am just curious how hard/expensive it might be to add the brake/shifters, or "brifters" to this. It just seems safer and more convenient, and if I can pick up some used parts and do it myself, it might be worth it.

So, anyone have any useful information about my bike? It has the shimano rx100 group, and I am impressed with how it shifts even being almost 20 years old. Much better in some ways than my friend's nearly new trek 7.2fx.

any other advice?

Thanks!
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Old 06-24-10, 09:21 PM   #2
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I was considering getting the Modolo Morphos brifters. They are designed to work with non-brifter shifting systems.

Otherwise, I think you'd need a new rear wheel and cassette as well as the brifters themselves and a new front derailleur. I don't know if the chainrings need pins and ramps or if those just help you shift smoother, but you might need new rings.
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Old 06-24-10, 09:30 PM   #3
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It is relatively expensive. I've done it several times, but I am always on the lookout for good used brifters at an attractive price. But even in that case, I have found even better deals more modern bikes that already have brifters. So financially, thats the best way to go. When you want to make the move to brifters, just sell your 1200 and buy a brifter bike. Look for a really good deal, as in the meantime, you have a nice vintage bike. Assuming you do all the work yourself, you will probably spend about $150 making this change. Look for Shimano RSX seven speed brifters.

Go to the vintage Trek site, and they have all kinds of information on your bike. And of course, most of the bike manufacturers had models with RX100 components, so those are not unique to the brand or bike model.
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Old 06-25-10, 07:15 AM   #4
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Agreed, much work and expense when it's better to buy already equipped. Safer? I'm not sure that's much of a factor, and used brifters are a crapshoot.
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Old 06-25-10, 07:44 AM   #5
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I would depend on how good a deal you can find on the brifters, is it 7 or 8 speed?
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Old 06-25-10, 07:44 AM   #6
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There are some ways to move your shifters to your bars.

Kelly TakeOffs is one way to go.

http://www.kellybike.com/2nd_xtra_takeoff.html
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Old 06-25-10, 07:55 AM   #7
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If you can find some lightly used Sora or RSX 7 speed brifters, you could make the swap pretty cheaply. You won't need new deraillers or a rear wheel as mentioned above. Your original parts will work just fine. You will need downtube cable stops that replace your downtube shifters and give you an adjustable stop for the derailler housing (necessary for derailler adjustment). They are included with new brifters but a used set might not come with them. Your LBS is a good source.

As for feeling unstable while shifting, the reach of your new bike could be too much causing that unstable feeling. If you feel like you are having to stretch way out to reach the bars, that could be a large part of the problem. A shorter stem or moving the saddle around might help. You might also just need to get used to the riding position on a road bike.
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Old 06-25-10, 04:35 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I am new to road bikes, and I rode for a 16 mile ride today, and I am already getting used to them. I still don't feel comfortable going fast downhill and taking one hand off the handlebars to shift and pedal, but I can do two of the three at once now. The kelly shifters look cool, and If i could find those used then it might be worthwhile. Thank you everyone!
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Old 06-26-10, 04:50 AM   #9
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Look for a set of bar-end shifters. easy to use and set up and your hands remain on the bars when shifting.
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Old 06-26-10, 05:18 PM   #10
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I would suggest that you work on your bike handling skills in a safe environment before you make any changes. It's a simple matter to drop your hand straight down to the shifter without looking just as you would remove or replace a water bottle. Also practice looking over your shoulder without turning the bike or get a mirror.
I hope you don't take offence, but I have seen a lot of riders who don't have good skills on the bike and they can be a danger to themselves and others.
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Old 06-26-10, 08:05 PM   #11
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Agreed that you should work on your bike handling skills...

One tip: Before you take your hand off to reach for the shifter, move both your hands to the very centre of the bar next to the stem - it is easy to ride with one hand next to the stem but less easy to ride with one hand on the brake hood or drop.
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Old 06-27-10, 07:57 AM   #12
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no offense taken. I definitely have a lot to learn. I have put almost 45 miles on the bike in the last few days, and i have really gotten used to it.
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