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Old 09-25-11, 04:05 PM   #1
Wallonthefloor
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Switching gear shifters between 2 bikes

I just recently bought a second bike, a new hybrid/mountain bike made by cannondale. It will serve me good use for offroading and winter biking because of the thicker tires and shocks. I was wondering if I could take off its gear shifters and switch them to my Giant road bike that is 3 years old. Both bikes have shimano gear shifters that are 3 and 8 speed, but the new bike has disc brakes and the gear shifters say "Shimano V-Brake" on them, I don't know if it makes a difference. The main point is I like these shifters more and they look a lot nicer so I would like to put them on the better bike, could I switch them over or will this not work?







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Old 09-25-11, 04:23 PM   #2
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If the bar style is the same the switch is OK as far as the derailleurs are concerned. There may, or may not be an issue of cable travel and brake response ratio but that's easy to test for.

Get a dry marker, squeeze the brake lever to engage the brake, and mark the wire where it exits from the adjuster, or fulcrum. relax the lever and see how far the mark moves. Test both bikes, trying to match how far the lever is moved, and compare the cable travel. If it's anywhere close you're in like Flynn. (or Flint if you like James Coburn movies)
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Old 09-26-11, 04:41 PM   #3
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I might make the switch, but ask someone at a bike store first
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Old 09-26-11, 05:29 PM   #4
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Wait a minute, does your road bike have drop bars? If so the Cannondale's shifters won't work as the bar clamps aren't compatible with road bars since the diameters are different. Most hybrid/MTB straight bars are 22.2 mm at the point the shifters and brake levers attach while road bars are 23.8 mm.

I believe FB's leading sentence; " If the bar style is the same the switch is OK...." wasn't emphasized enough. If they are not, the switch won't work.
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Old 09-26-11, 05:33 PM   #5
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It depends on what style of levers and brakes are on the Giant now... you say it is a 'road bike...' Does it have 'drop' handlebars or straight or riser bars?

What style of brakes does it have? Are they linear-pull 'V' brakes (cable runs down to the brake, goes into a metal elbow and runs straight across to the other arm), cantilever brakes (cable makes a triangle above the brake arms), or caliper brakes ('horseshoe' shaped brake where the cable runs down to the brake, goes straight through one arm and is anchored to the other below)?

THe long and the short of it is, if the handlebars are somewhat similar to the Cannondale, and the brakes are the direct pull 'V' brakes, the conversion should be easy. If you have drop bars or brakes other than V brakes, then the conversion is more complicated.
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Old 09-26-11, 05:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Wait a minute, does your road bike have drop bars? If so the Cannondale's shifters won't work as the bar clamps aren't compatible with road bars since the diameters are different. Most hybrid/MTB straight bars are 22.2 mm at the point the shifters and brake levers attach while road bars are 23.8 mm.

I believe FB's leading sentence; " If the bar style is the same the switch is OK...." wasn't emphasized enough. If they are not, the switch won't work.
He posted pictures of both bikes. They both have flat bars.

Don in Austin
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Old 09-26-11, 06:12 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Don in Austin View Post
He posted pictures of both bikes. They both have flat bars.

Don in Austin
Good catch. I took a quick look and thought they were all pictures of the same bike!

The Cannondale has mechanical disc brakes and the Giant has V-brakes so the levers should be compatible.
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