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Old 07-10-09, 12:51 PM   #1
vledaD
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Please school me on STI/Brifters conversion.

Hi, so i really like STI shifters and especially how they look on lugged steel frames. I have a Univega Ital Sport with nice campy stuff on it. What i want to know is exactly what is needed to to an STI shifter swap?

My wheelset has a 6speed cassette. Now its a bit old and ive been thinking of replacing it, rather than rebuilding it, and in the process going up to an 8 or 9 speed cassette. The wheels are Mavic 22's.

Can i just simply swap on a higher speed cassette? Or do i need to rebuild the wheel for it. Now i also hear this thing about how most older bikes are 126mm spaced, and going STI i would need 130? I not that versed in technical bike talk and all that stuff.

Now i looked at STI's for sale, and most are 10 speed. Now does this mean i HAVE to have a 10 speed cassette out back? OR does it mean that its 10 speed at most. What if i have 8speed and use a 10 speed brifter, would that work?

These are the kinds of questions I have, and also what i would need to modify.
I also noticed that Nashbar just came out with their own STI system, and it looks nice and they sell it for only $179. might give that a try.
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Old 07-10-09, 01:13 PM   #2
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Couple of things off the top...
You should be able to squeeze a 9/10 hub onto 126 as long as it is a steel bike and not an aluminum... or something like that..

I suspect that your rear hub right now is a freewheel hub and not a cassette. You will have to get a cassette hub if you want to go 9/10...which means a new rear wheel.

I'm not sure if campy derailleurs have differnt pull ratios for their various generation derailleurs?
If you have a more modern rear derailleur, i think that you might be able to pick up some campy ergo shifters and make it work. Campys are completely servicable and some are upgradeable... You can purchase ergos designed for 8 and buy the cam and upgrade that shifter to work with a 10. I think i'm getting a bit ahead of myself. Lets start with your derailleurs??
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Old 07-10-09, 01:28 PM   #3
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I would first recommend you do a search as there is a large STI thread where lots of people posted pics of their conversions.

I am always looking for a thrifty way to do such a conversion. Buy all the parts new, and you rapidly exceed what a nice used STI bike would cost you. I am currently doing a conversion on a Miyata, I will be going with 8 speed. The key to controlling the cost is I bought basically a complete 8 speed STI bike with a broken frame at a low cost. So I will be swapping out all the components: derailleurs, wheels, chain, crankset, cassette, brifters, even the brakes. This will free up the mishmash of oddball components now on the Miyata: Campy, Shimano, Galli, Simplex, and two mixed wheels. Total cost of the conversion will be about half the cost of the Nashbar brifters alone, and the parts I free up should offset almost the total anyway.

I have a friend that got a similar/better STI deal from a guy that drove his carbon frame bike on top of his roof rack into his garage. Keep an eye out and such component sets pop up on C/L from time to time. I got mine off the Atlanta C/L where it sat for about a week before I bought it. 90% of the C/L buyers out there are looking for complete bikes.
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Old 07-10-09, 01:49 PM   #4
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Im not sure which route I'm going to take. Right now im just trying to learn the process it will take. I looked through that huge thread and got inspired, but it talks little on the actual process and what it takes.

My bike has a whole Campy Triomphe group. I read its kind of the mid grade, or was at the time.

My plan is to source a smaller frame, something nice with pretty lugs, but not over the top, and swap over all my components and gearing, and in the process give it an STI makeover, so im trying to figure out what that would take.

I understand now that i would need new wheels. I really like my wheels though, but the two sets i have are both freewheel 6 speeds. The ones i'm on now are Mavic mv 40's, and the others are Mavic CD 4's. maybe i can sell the both sets and get some nice cassette rims.
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Old 07-10-09, 02:07 PM   #5
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Wait does this mean i need to get campagnolo compatible wheels? Should i just scratch this idea and hunt for a used STI bike? Not a lot lugged steel ones for sale.

Is there a way to rig Shimano/Sram to a campy derailleur? stupid question im sure, but i wanna know if im way over my head and should just start over by finding a nice frame, and then slowly picking up components.
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Old 07-10-09, 02:50 PM   #6
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Picking up a frame and going from there is going to cost you the most. Financially, you usually are better off finding a bike equipped the way you want. As far as finding one, if you start hunting, you will find a nice one.

There is a lot more Shimano STI stuff out there, at least that is what I have been seeing. So if you want to stick with Campy, the search (particularly used) will be more work. STI started rolling out near the time the mfrs were transitioning from lugged steel to non-lugged, and then to aluminum. So that is cutting your selection further.
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Old 07-10-09, 02:55 PM   #7
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I dont know so much about the Triomphe group to know if what you are trying to do is possible. The guys are branfordbike.com seem to be the experts on campy stuff.

To answer your question about shimano sti to campy deraillieur, yes there is a way. Jtekengineeing.com makes the shiftmate which is a device that changes the pull ratio to pull the proper amount of cable. Have a look at their website. They have a table with the different scenarios. Also, i think that they claim that their device can be campy ergo, campy derailleur, and shimano cassette?? or something like that.
You keep mentioning STIs. Are you not interested in campy ergos. In my opinion they are much prettier.. no wires out the front as they are all routed beneath the tape.

I'm actually going to be doing the opposite. I'm doing a campy 10speed ergo, ultegra rear, ultegra 9 cassette.
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Old 07-10-09, 03:45 PM   #8
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I personally have not tried them but the Modolo Morphos shift/brake levers are supposed to be adaptable to almost any rear wheel between five and ten speeds and any double or triple front.
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Old 07-11-09, 02:56 PM   #9
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I dont know so much about the Triomphe group to know if what you are trying to do is possible. The guys are branfordbike.com seem to be the experts on campy stuff.

To answer your question about shimano sti to campy deraillieur, yes there is a way. Jtekengineeing.com makes the shiftmate which is a device that changes the pull ratio to pull the proper amount of cable. Have a look at their website. They have a table with the different scenarios. Also, i think that they claim that their device can be campy ergo, campy derailleur, and shimano cassette?? or something like that.
You keep mentioning STIs. Are you not interested in campy ergos. In my opinion they are much prettier.. no wires out the front as they are all routed beneath the tape.

I'm actually going to be doing the opposite. I'm doing a campy 10speed ergo, ultegra rear, ultegra 9 cassette.
Ok i was under the impression that "STI" just mean shifters within the breaking system, i wasnt sure if it was ONE of a type of them. I basically just want that set up.

So i guess i should just look for a new bike, one that fits better and has brifters.

But yea, finding one thats a lugged steel frame with brifters is gonna be tough. I just love how they look though. And i like the feel of steel. However i havent ridden much aluminum road bikes.
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Old 07-11-09, 03:17 PM   #10
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Since you seem to need a new frame, wheels, and brifters, it looks like you need to look for a whole new bike. Look for something in 1992 - 1997 range and you should be able to find a nice lugged steel frame with STI or Ergo (STI is Shimano's system, Ergo is Campagnolo's). Unfortunately such a bike is like to have an ugly unicrown fork but you could always change that.

If you really wanted to convert a Triomphe equiped bike to Ergo, I would guess you would need a new rear hub, casette, chain and the matching Ergo levers and rear derailleur. I would stick with 9-speed as it will be easier to find used, cheaper, and probably work better with your Triomphe front chainrings which really aren't designed for that system. As for mixing and matching, I wouldn't unless you have a very good reason (and there are such reasons like using Shimano derailleurs for wide range gearing on a tandem with Campagnolo Ergo shifters so that it matches your other bike for example). It's just asking for trouble. If you insist however, if can be done, at least Shimano/Campagnolo mixes. I'm not sure about SRAM not because of any technical reason but just because I don't know if anybody makes the adapter parts but they might.
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Old 07-11-09, 04:13 PM   #11
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yea bike it is.
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Old 07-11-09, 09:02 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by vledaD View Post
Hi, so i really like STI shifters and especially how they look on lugged steel frames. I have a Univega Ital Sport with nice campy stuff on it. What i want to know is exactly what is needed to to an STI shifter swap?

My wheelset has a 6speed cassette. Freewheel. Swap it out for a 7-speed Shimano freewheel, or go with newer wheels that handle a freehub. This gives you 8/9/10 capability.

Can i just simply swap on a higher speed cassette? Or do i need to rebuild the wheel for it. Now i also hear this thing about how most older bikes are 126mm spaced, and going STI i would need 130? I not that versed in technical bike talk and all that stuff. Not a problem. Steel gives 2mm on each side easily.

Now i looked at STI's for sale, and most are 10 speed. Now does this mean i HAVE to have a 10 speed cassette out back? OR does it mean that its 10 speed at most. What if i have 8speed and use a 10 speed brifter, would that work? There are 7-sp and 8-sp that will work with a 7-speed freewheel. If you go to a new wheelset with 8, 9, or 10, then get an 8, 9, or 10 speed STI set. I like 7 and 8.

These are the kinds of questions I have, and also what i would need to modify.
I also noticed that Nashbar just came out with their own STI system, and it looks nice and they sell it for only $179. might give that a try.
You'll need downtube cable stops, STI cable housings, new shifter cables, and you need to make sure your RD will travel the required range to upgrade. It will handle 7-sp no problem, but may lack the range to go 8/9/10. I recommend if you go with the Nashbar, go with Nashbar's 10-sp RD.
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Old 07-12-09, 05:25 AM   #13
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Buy a new bike. It'll cost less.
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Old 07-12-09, 05:34 AM   #14
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Buy a new bike. It'll cost less.
+1, If not a new bike, at least a used one that has STI or Ergo shifters already installed. I like conversions and have done this several times but it is only economical if you are doing all the work yourself and if you pick up parts used for cheap. Usually, it is way less expensive to just shop ebay and CL for an existing bike designed the way you want it.
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Old 07-12-09, 05:59 AM   #15
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One thing that I would like to add to this discussion is that all of the Campy stuff seems to play together nicely. I recently went this route, buying the components from a wrecked bike. I needed to go cheap, and got a complete build kit--a whole bike save the frame, fork and headset--for $200.

Nothing matched. Mirage 8sp brifters, Chorus 9 spd rd, Athena fd, dura-ace cassette with spacers to match Campy distances, and a Suntour crank.

Amazingly, it all works. The shifting works great. I'm not sure that you could do that with Shimano.

Mike
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