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Old 09-30-10, 02:50 PM   #1
monkeybizness
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8-speed 105 shifter shot - replace or upgrade?

Hi all,

I recently bought a late 90s Team Saeco replica Cannondale on craigslist (for $400). Frame is CAAD3, in like-new condition, carbon fork, full 105 gruppo. I was having a little trouble with the rear shifter during a test ride, but I wrote it off to the derailleur needing adjusting (clearly, I'm not a mechanic). The chain and rear cog looked a little worn as well, so I figured I was in for replacing that as well, but again...no big deal.

Bring it into the shop, and the mechanic busted out the chain tool and pointed out that I'd need a new chain and cog, otherwise it wouldn't ever really shift right (as expected). He pointed out that 8-speed stuff is hard to come by, but was pretty confident he could put an 8-speed mountain cog on there, as the rear cage is pretty long. Ok, so far so good.

After some testing, the mechanic gives me a call to tell me the right (rear) shifter is shot. Says he can order a new one, but its about 150 bones (in addition to other work to be done...chain, cog, derailleur adjustment, etc), and again reminds me that 8-speed stuff isn't easy to get.

At this point it seems to me that if I'm going to be buying a new shifter, I should be just putting on a new 9-speed, especially as I'm replacing the rear cassette and chain anyway. The guy starts listing all this other new stuff I'd have to get (wheel??) and points out it's substantially more to do that.

I don't think the mechanic is trying to give me the runaround at all, isn't trying to push me into doing the repair, etc.

My questions:
1) What is really required for me to change from the existing 8-speed rear to 9-speed? How much will that set me back?
2) If I stick with 8-speed, what shifter should I be getting, and where?
3) If I'm going to spend $200 on this repair, does it really make sense to stick with this bike? Or should I try to resell it for what I paid and look for something with less headaches (not easy to find in this size/performance/weight class)?

Help is greatly appreciated - apologies for being a dum bass.
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Old 09-30-10, 03:10 PM   #2
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You can simply change to 9 speed chain, cassette, and shifters and it will work fine.

What exactly was the problem with the shifters? Sometimes (often) they can be revived.

105 quality shifters are no longer available in 8 speed. There was a non-group model available for a while - called the ST-600 I think, but I have never actually seen it for sale.
Otherwise you will wind up with Sora or 200 level components. THse work fine abut are not nearly as nice as 105.

Also, 9 speed is becoming rare in good quality road components.
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Old 09-30-10, 03:29 PM   #3
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Mechanic indicated that they were not shifting about 7-8 times out of ten when the lever was moved. They are on the older side, so his suspicion is that the internals are shot.

I think he intended to use these for the replacement - indicates that they're Tiagra level: http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-ST-R50...881988&sr=1-10

So, should I challenge that a wheel/hub/derailleur change is needed to go to 9-speed? I suppose with 10 that would be the case, but from what I've read, it seems that going to 9 isn't too hard?
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Old 09-30-10, 03:34 PM   #4
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If they are simply 'not shifting' then it is more likely that they internals are gummed up with the grease used during manufacture. This is very common and realatively easy to fix - simply flood with lots WD-40 or some degreaser while actuating the levers. Let them sit for a while and see if it has improved.. if it has not then repeat. When it comes back to life let it dry out then relube with some triflow or something.

I'll bet a box of donuts this will take care of the problem.

Bike shop mechs often don't know about this trick as they are paid to fix quickly and sell parts, and spending hours rinsing STI levers with WD40 does neither.

Edit: Oh my heavens! The shifters you linked are the ones I was thinkgin of. Your originals should still be salvageable, though.
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Old 09-30-10, 04:30 PM   #5
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There is a guy on facebook that rebuilds 8 speed 105 shifters. I think he charges $30. I would check him out.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=100856572916
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Old 09-30-10, 05:54 PM   #6
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You can buy 8 speed DT shifters from ProBikeKit for under $50. New chain, maybe cogs, but the RD is probably just fine.

Or...buy a 12/25 9 speed cassette on eBay for under $40, put on a 9 speed chain, and buy the 9 speed DA shifters from PBK for around $58. A hub that takes an 8 speed cassette will take a 9 speed cassette. If you go the DT route you'll need brake levers, but Tektro's are available for around $25 and they are SWEET!
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Old 09-30-10, 07:46 PM   #7
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you don't need a new wheel and hub. As others have said you just need to need new shifters. Do a search for Microshift on ebay, there is a guy here in NYC that sells microshift 9 speed brifters for about 140 bucks. I live in nyc and actually met him in person and bougth them. they work great, much better than sora and def a good price. $140 for brifters, $40 for casette, $20 for chain = $200 on the money. labor should be minimal. Nashbar sells microshift brifters but they are the 10 speed version. You can probalby go to 10 speed on that wheel but I'm honestly not sure.
I just looked at the link to the facebook guy, that definately seems like the cheapest option. I bet he just does the wd40 trick and charges $30 for it!
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