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Old 01-03-13, 03:07 AM   #1
americansteel
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Brifters on my Centurion LeMans?

I'm curious about trying to retrofit my old LeMans with some brifters. I wasn't sure if it was possible but after looking around here I'm a little more hopeful. Does anybody have some suggestions that should work? Currently all of my components are stock. Would I need to get different derailers or a new cassette?

Edit: to be a little more specific, I'm not sure what year my bike is but it looks similar to this - http://reluctantlyfit.com/wp-content...ion_LeMans.jpg

Thanks.
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Old 01-03-13, 04:03 AM   #2
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you might want to check out this thread for inspiration and ideas: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...STI-s-or-Ergos


I'm not sure if you have a freehub or a freewheel. Chances are you will need at least a 7 speed freehub in the back to use a brifter set up.. i dont think they made 6 speed brifters

I'm not much of a brifter expert but I'm sure someone will set you straight
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Old 01-03-13, 12:18 PM   #3
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Starts with a budget. My favorite method to make such a conversion is to find a donor bike, and then I do a pretty complete transplant: wheels, cassette, shifters, derailleurs, crank, bb, etc. Much cheaper approach than piecemeal, and less likely to have any compatibility issues. Rear spacing of your bike may well be 120mm, to go with 8/9/10 speed rear means cold setting to 130mm.

Do you have the time/tools/aptitude/pile of parts/resourcefulness to do this conversion? If not, stop at this point. Doing a conversion goes well past the shift levers. The bike basically will be stripped down to the frame, and then built back up with the modern parts you are seeking. Parts on the bike that will work: seat post, saddle, pedals, stem, handlebars, headset, maybe brake calipers. Everything else will need to be replaced.

Unless you score a deal on the parts, and do all the work yourself, its cheaper to just buy a used STI bike, and sell your current ride. Even with scoring a deal on a donor bike, it will be easy to spend $200 on the conversion (if you do the work yourself).

Converting that old of a Lemans is somewhat questionable, as early Lemans were relatively low end frames (best to put your time and $$ into a good frame, regardless of age). You will also need to do some measuring on brake reach, as that bike looks like it has 27 inch wheels (if it has 700c, then ignore that point).

The bike you posted has a freewheel, not a cassette, so lots of changes required.

Just understand a STI conversion of a vintage bike is a labor of love, and rarely/never works out financially. Its all a matter of how far upside down you are willing to go. I have converted many bikes over the years, and am in midst of another conversion right now. This one started with finding a really good deal on a full nine speed Dura Ace equipped bike.

Last edited by wrk101; 01-03-13 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 01-03-13, 12:31 PM   #4
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(...) Unless you score a deal on the parts, and do all the work yourself, its cheaper to just buy a used STI bike, and sell your current ride.
OTOH, it is fun to build your own. Just check which brifters are compatible with which cassettes. There's a compatability chart on the 'net somewhere.
Looking at your bike I'd suggest finding a Shimano 7-speed wheelset and a pair of Shimano Sora brifters.
I tried it once and it was pretty straightforward.

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Old 01-03-13, 01:18 PM   #5
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Assuming you have a 6 speed with 126mm dropouts, you should be able to install a 7 speed STI freewheel and use some Shimano 7 speed brifters..Check ebay there is a seller selling the rear 7sp Sora for $37.00 free shipping!
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Old 01-03-13, 01:47 PM   #6
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I've done a number of projects like this and they've usually gone smoothly. The problem I've had have come when I tried to use a bike without forged dropouts, like yours. It just never seemed to shift smoothly. Also, it didn't have dt shifter brazeons, similar to yours, which was annoying. Overall yes, it is possible, though the frame you are starting with will take more work than a one with a few more brazeons.
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Old 01-03-13, 02:11 PM   #7
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It's very do-able. Just expensive. I upgraded a Raleigh Supercourse to 10-speed:

$50- new compact crankset and bottom bracket (on sale)
$130- new microshift brifters with cables
$30- New rear hub
$0- Cold set the frame to 130mm
$50- new rear derailleur
$30- new chain
$40- New cassette, 12-30
$30- misc grease, brake cables, cable stops, etc.
$90- spokes and rims (CR-18's and stainless spokes)

Grand total: $450. Not cheap. But the bike is exactly what I wanted.
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Old 01-03-13, 03:04 PM   #8
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I've only gone that far "back" to upgrade to Ergo/STI's, and there are just more things to consider, and overcome, most of which cost more than the original or the finished bike is worth, but if you like it, and if you'll ride it, I don't see why not. It's not like you're buying a boat.
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Old 01-03-13, 03:16 PM   #9
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Grand total: $450. Not cheap. But the bike is exactly what I wanted.
"When a man seeks the prize of his heart, he does not ask, 'how many horses.'" -- Chief Joseph.
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Old 01-03-13, 06:42 PM   #10
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Grand total: $450. Not cheap. But the bike is exactly what I wanted.
+1
I think the Lemans RS I re-fitted with 3x7 RSX brifters and compatible wheels came out to about that.
I felt it was well worth it, and still do.

I'd hoped to get more from selling off the OEM drivetrain,
but I think I ended up giving it away, to create a smiling cyclist.
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Old 01-03-13, 08:03 PM   #11
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I think it's awesome. I'm all for vintage but I didn't grow up in the DT shifter era so I don't like them. But I do like vintage frames and brifters, so why not put them together on a bike you're gonna ride? Sounds like a win-win situation to me.
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Old 01-04-13, 02:38 AM   #12
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Wow, thanks for all of the input, this is super helpful. If I decide to actually try and go the cold setting route, what do you think of this tutorial?

http://sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html
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Old 01-04-13, 08:23 AM   #13
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i think thats the one everyone usually links to.
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Old 01-04-13, 10:53 AM   #14
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Wow, thanks for all of the input, this is super helpful. If I decide to actually try and go the cold setting route, what do you think of this tutorial?

http://sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html
And before you do it, measure the current spacing first. If it is 126mm, a modern 130mm rear wheel will squeeze in just fine without cold setting. If it is 120mm, then you will need to cold set it to 130mm.
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Old 01-04-13, 11:02 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by cycle_maven View Post
It's very do-able. Just expensive. I upgraded a Raleigh Supercourse to 10-speed:

$50- new compact crankset and bottom bracket (on sale)
$130- new microshift brifters with cables
$30- New rear hub
$0- Cold set the frame to 130mm
$50- new rear derailleur
$30- new chain
$40- New cassette, 12-30
$30- misc grease, brake cables, cable stops, etc.
$90- spokes and rims (CR-18's and stainless spokes)

Grand total: $450. Not cheap. But the bike is exactly what I wanted.
Depending on the quality level of the result you are looking for there is an alternative route that's easier and cheaper. And maybe more in line with the frame you intend to use: buy a used 3x7 hybrid that's got plenty of miles left in it, and swap the complete drivetrain, maybe even including the wheels, with what you've got on your bike. Add cable stops, a pair of used brifters and you're ready to roll. I've done similar conversions a few times, and the out-of-pocket costs amounted to about $100 per bike (donor bike, brifters, misc. parts).
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Old 01-04-13, 05:47 PM   #16
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Wow, thanks for all of the input, this is super helpful. If I decide to actually try and go the cold setting route, what do you think of this tutorial?

http://sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html
I'm not one for instructions, but he's probably right.
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