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Old 02-27-09, 09:19 PM   #1
Muttleyone
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Changing over to Brifters

I am looking to change the wife's bike to brifters. It now has Shimano 600 rear derailer. Can I still use the 600 or will I have to get a newer derailer. Another question is the bike had a 6 speed. Would I be able to move up to an 8 or 9 speed with that Shimano 600 derailer? This will be my first attemp at trying something like this. Is this something that a rookie mechanic can do?

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Old 02-27-09, 09:57 PM   #2
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It's my understanding that all Shimano INDEXED derailleurs, excepting the older Dura-Ace ones, use the same ratio of cable-pull to derailleur-movement. So as long as it's an RD-6208 (that's the 600EX SIS, the first 600 meant for indexing) or later, it should work.
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Old 02-27-09, 10:00 PM   #3
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I had some issues converting my 91 Paramount to brifters. Originally I used RSX 7 speed brifters with a triple front brifter on my 600 double FD and it worked fine. When I went to 8 speed 600 brifters I had to get a more recent model 600 FD. Now it works just fine.
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Old 02-27-09, 10:01 PM   #4
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It's a 600 derailer not the 600EX, so it's friction.

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Old 02-27-09, 10:10 PM   #5
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What's your budget? You will need new wheels to start with, but beyond that, what are you planning on spending?
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Old 02-27-09, 10:17 PM   #6
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If you want to stay friction, you will be fine. I just did the same thing, and it was suuuper easy. Order from Jenson, they have the best perice on the shifters.
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Old 02-27-09, 10:23 PM   #7
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What's your budget? You will need new wheels to start with, but beyond that, what are you planning on spending?
The standard, as little as possible. The wife has really gotten into riding. I started her out with a Miyata 110 to see if she would stick with it with the promise of a better bike if she enjoyed riding. So now I got her an '85 Paramount. It's got a full Shimano 600 group. I'm going to convert it to 700c wheels and brifters. I guess I'm also going to have to switch out the rear derailer, so I'm guess a 105 or better would be good for her. I guess the real answer is I'll spend what I need to get her bike "right".

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Old 02-27-09, 10:27 PM   #8
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I don't see how he could stay with friction and yet use brifters...lol.

You'll need a new rear hub to go from 6sp to 8-9sp, and will probably need to spread your dropouts, as the old hub is 126mm, and the 8-9sp is 130mm.

I'd say there's a good chance that you could use the old RD with 8sp, you'll just have to adjust the limit screws to allow for the wider cassette.
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Old 02-27-09, 10:30 PM   #9
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You need to plan this carefully.
If you upgrade to 7 speed brifters here's what you'll need. Seven speed brifters, some cable housing, new cables (at least one brake and one shifter cable), a seven speed freewheel (granny gear not larger than 28 teeth) and some new bar tape. If your thinking about a new chain, now's the time. You will not need new wheel(s) and you'll not need to make any frame changes. You will need to have your rear wheel re-dished with the 7 speed freewheel. BTW, that's a freewheel, like your six speed, not a cassette and freehub. Keep in mind, 7 speed only needs 126mm between the dropouts.
If you go to an 8 speed, instead of a freewheel, you'll need a new rear wheel with a 8/9/10 speed freehub and a eight speed casstte plus all the other stuff I said for a seven speed. If your thinking about a new chain, now's the time. You'll probably have to make a decision about your frame. You probably have a frame with 126mm between the dropouts. All 8, 9 or 10 speed hubs with freehubs need 130 mm spacing. So you'll have to spread the stays each time you mount the wheel or cold set the frame using Sheldon Brown's method of cold setting the stays. With an eight speed you might have to replace your rear derailer, the travel is further and could be a concern. I think there's a good chance the derailer will work with a seven speed, but I might be wrong.
If you go to 9 speed, you'll need all the eight and seven speed stuff plus now you'll have to buy a new chain.
If all you want is brifters, the least expensive way, by far, is a seven speed set up. But that's only an increase of one speed. However, a nice set of RSX brifters can make a very nice ride.
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Old 02-27-09, 10:31 PM   #10
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Sheldon (RIP) says you go from 126 to 130 with out a cold set so I'm going with that, and getting new (or new to me) wheels. I'm doing the 27 to 700c conversion.
You think I could use a non-indexed rear derailer with brifters?

Mutt
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Old 02-27-09, 10:40 PM   #11
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It's a 600 derailer not the 600EX, so it's friction.

Mutt
You need to look at the back of the old derailleur, the model number (6207 or 6208 or some such) will be marked. I think what we're saying here is if its a 6207 it won't work where if its a 6208 it will or might.
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Old 02-27-09, 10:42 PM   #12
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Thanks Rocco, I'm going to a swap meet tomorrow so I'm trying to get my shopping list straight. It's getting new tape, chain and cables no matter which way I go. So I thought now would be a good time to switch to brifters. It sounds like a 7 speed is the way to go.

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Old 02-27-09, 10:49 PM   #13
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You need to look at the back of the old derailleur, the model number (6207 or 6208 or some such) will be marked. I think what we're saying here is if its a 6207 it won't work where if its a 6208 it will or might.
Well crap! It's 6207. Guess I'll add a derailer to the list. LOL

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Old 02-27-09, 10:50 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Muttleyone View Post
Sheldon (RIP) says you go from 126 to 130 with out a cold set so I'm going with that, and getting new (or new to me) wheels. I'm doing the 27 to 700c conversion.
You think I could use a non-indexed rear derailer with brifters?

Mutt
I'm not too familiar with how robust the hubs you are using are, but there is another benefit to getting the frame cold set, and it only costs around $40. The dropouts should be turned a bit to align with the locknut faces and eliminate a bending torque on the axle. This bending torque could affect bearing wear or even damage an axle. Bending the frame chainstays to achieve this does not damage them. It will for aluminum or Ti, but it will not damage a steel frame.
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Old 02-27-09, 11:04 PM   #15
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Food for thought, Thanks

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Old 02-28-09, 08:01 AM   #16
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You can get a complete Sora grouppo for under $300.
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Old 02-28-09, 08:10 AM   #17
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Muttleyone, if you're going to replace the wheels, then you might as well go for 8 or 9 speed. The seven speed option I proposed is only a good way to go if you intend to stay with the original wheels. If you upgrade to a 700C that has a freehub, might as well go for the extra gears in my opinion. BTW, there should be no difference in price between a set of RSX seven speed brifters and RSX, RX100 or 105 eight speed brifters. The truth is, so many folks want to upgrade sevens speed bikes, they've stablized the price on ebay at about $70 to $80 a set. Lower level eight speed brifters can actually be had for slight less. Ultegra/600 eight speed will sell for a little more and are really nice performing brifters (IMHO). Once you say "9 speed", bring out the bigger bucks, easily over $100.
I found a set of 105, 9 speed triple at a yard sale for $60. I couldn't get the money out of my wallet fast enough! They're now on my 96 C'dale.
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Old 02-28-09, 03:40 PM   #18
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Can I still use the 600 or will I have to get a newer derailer? Yes, No
Would I be able to move up to an 8 or 9 speed with that Shimano 600 derailer? Yes
Is this something that a rookie mechanic can do? Yes. If I can, anyone can.

Thanks
Mutt
1984 Centurion Comp TA. 6-sp Shimano 600 group. Mavic CXP-23 9-sp rear, shifters on friction.
No other changes to the drive train. Sometimes, not knowing any better is the way to go...
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Old 02-28-09, 07:37 PM   #19
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I bought a Shimano 105 RD-1050 that will not work with my suntour 7 rear triple group. It works with 6 or 7 speed index SIS or friction. Would that work for you?
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Old 02-28-09, 09:56 PM   #20
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Thanks Rocco, I'm going to a swap meet tomorrow so I'm trying to get my shopping list straight. It's getting new tape, chain and cables no matter which way I go. So I thought now would be a good time to switch to brifters. It sounds like a 7 speed is the way to go.

Mutt
You going to Richmond?
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Old 03-01-09, 08:37 AM   #21
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David at Southwest quoted me $50 to cold set, adjust, and align a frameset using a jig.

I was worried about the hanger alignemnt. I may have been overly concerned, but what the heck.
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Old 03-01-09, 09:14 AM   #22
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David at Southwest quoted me $50 to cold set, adjust, and align a frameset using a jig.

I was worried about the hanger alignemnt. I may have been overly concerned, but what the heck.
Watch CL or your local boards and be patient. The deals are out there.

I just picked up a 2 year old set of Tiagra Brifters, 105 long cage, Tiagra FD, 11-26 Cassette, Octalink triple crankset for $135 from a guy upgrading to a Ultegra 10speed set up.
Back wheel was tweaked so I already had a Shimano Deore hub/ Weinmann 8/9 speed wheel I scored for $35 from a REI Scratch and dent sale. $30 for a chain.

Al also missed a complete cannondale bike without wheels but had the Brifters and derailleurs for $100.
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Old 03-01-09, 09:53 PM   #23
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Ha - sorry, I thought that he was talking bar end shifters.
Whoops!
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Old 03-01-09, 10:39 PM   #24
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5 years ago I converted my 91' Trek 2300 from 7 to 9 speed by building a new rear wheel and spreading the fork. I upgraded to the 9-speed ultegra Brake/Shift levers. It works to this with the Ultegra 600 (6400?) rear derailleur. Indexing never skips a beat
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Old 03-02-09, 02:01 PM   #25
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Here's a complete Campy Xenon 10 speed group for $231 delivered. All you'll need is a set of wheels and you're good to go.

http://www.probikekit.com/display.php?code=L0220
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