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  1. #1
    Junior Member eicca's Avatar
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    Noob wants to install trigger shifters

    Alright. So I've got a Motiv CA-480, I'm living on a college student budget and don't want to spring for an entire new bike just for trigger shifters and rear suspension. I can live without the rear suspension for now but I HATE MY GRIP SHIFTERS. I can get a 21-speed set of Shimano trigger shifters from Amazon for $30. How hard would it be to install them? Is it as simple as "disconnect old, connect new, adjust cable at derailers?"

    I'm also possibly looking at a rear disk brake adapter setup (and maybe a new front fork). Although I'm debating how much modification to do before I end up spending enough to have gotten a better bike...

    So if anyone could shed some light, that would be most appreciated.

    Thanks!

    Oh and here's a pic of my ride. Not the best, but got it for free, so I can't complain.

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    look for some cheap thumb shifters , set you back under $20.
    friction shifting..
    indexing will dig a deeper hole in your pocket.
    anything more , like disc brakes, that the frame is not set up to take at all,
    save the coin for a new bike..

  3. #3
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    "Is it as simple as "disconnect old, connect new, adjust cable at derailers?"" If you have Shimano drailleurs, that should be the case. My suggestion would be to forget the rear disk brake; most of your braking work should be done by the front wheel. I'd advise saving your pennies for a new bike and just enjoy riding this one.

  4. #4
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    Neither disk brakes nor a different fork will be worth it.

    As for the shifters, you will likely have to remove the grips; you may have to replace and cut new cables; and you may need different length housing but I am not sure of that. Have you worked on bicycles before?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    It's never as simple as "disconnect the old, connect the new".

    First, look at how your brake levers attach to the handlebar. Do they share a clamp with the grip shifters? If they do, that's a complication.

    Second, you'll want new wider handgrips to go with your new trigger shifters so add some to your shopping list. Give them a hit of hair spray and they'll slide right on and, after cureing overnight, they'll stay put.

    If that's a Shimano derailleur (I can't tell for sure from the picture) The actual shifter swap should be pretty straight forward. New in the box shifters generally come with new shift cables and I'm betting you'll abe able to reuse your existing cable housings. I'm going to disagree with the poster who said that indexing will dig a deeper hole in your pocket.

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    simplest is drop it of at the LBS and say 'Make IT So'..

  7. #7
    Junior Member eicca's Avatar
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    Alriiiight. Lots of info. You guys rock.

    The brakes and shifters are separate units. No worries there. The grips, if they're too short, will allow me to put bar-ends on I'll forget about the disk brake, aaaaand the shifters come with cables and housings! I'm likin' this.

    As for working on bikes before, I've lubed, replaced tires and wheels (both of them), and tuned derailers (am I even spelling that right?). So I've "kinda" worked on bikes. But, that's how I was when I started on cars, so I anticipate no trouble... I'm a very DIY-oriented guy.

    I'ma put those suckers on.

    Thanks for all the help!
    Motiv CA-480, 21-speed Shimano w/DIY trigger shifter installation, aluminum frame

  8. #8
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    eicca: Since you have decided to go ahead with the shifters, invest in some good cable cutters; Felco are considered the best, Park and Shimano are good, too. Don't forget to take the inner wire out before you cut the outer housing (don't ask how I learned this) and to grind or file the housing ends flat after cutting and ream open the liner with a pointed tool. Use the proper ferrules on the ends. When you are done adjust your shifting, I suggest you follow the directions on the Park Tools Web site. Go step by step from the beginning and do not skip any steps. Be careful and take your time and you should do fine.

    Even with bar ends I think you will find the old grips are too short and need replacing.

    I didn't like twist shifters either. I think you will be happy with your trigger shifters. Good luck.

  9. #9
    Junior Member eicca's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips. I printed out your post for reference.

    Now I just have to find a complete set of instructions on how to actually replace the shifters........
    Motiv CA-480, 21-speed Shimano w/DIY trigger shifter installation, aluminum frame

  10. #10
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    Change little things like shifters to make the bike suit you and the way you want to ride.

    But disk brakes, new forks, etc... these will cost you more than a better quality used bike. Change tires, brake pads, grips, saddles as they wear out and save for a better quality bike. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

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