Gear Combo Guru
Join Date: May 2007
Bikes: Spec' Tarmac (road), Ridley Fenix (commuter & fast tourer), Salsa Mamasita (MTB), CoMo Speedster (tandem), Surly Big Dummy (cargo), Airnimal (folder)
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I knew that the 105 shifter that I had wasn't officially compatible with the SRAM X-9 grip shift that I wanted to use for it (the SRAM has the same cable pull as Shimano MTB front shifters), however since I had the parts, I figured that I'd give it a go. I set the derailleur position to be correct with the shifter in the middle position, I then used the inner limit screw to get it in the correct place for the inner position (even though the shifter releases more cable than needed). I figured I'd have problems with the outer position, but somehow that also worked fine by setting the outer limit screw to keep it from over-shifting. So, I was surprised by how successful it was, and that's been the setup on wife's commuter bike for a few months now.
Having said that, I now need the 105 FD for another project, and I have a MTB FD to replace it with, so it will make me happy to soon have properly compatible components on that bike.
Anyway, the lesson is that if you already have the components, then why not give it a go and see what happens. I think the big secret is setting the cable tension to get the position in the middle ring correct, then use the limit screws to control the other two positions.