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Old 06-06-12, 07:13 PM   #1
fez_
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Upgrading components on my 2012 Giant Escape 1

I have a 9speed sora front and rear derailleur, 12-25T cassette and a FSA 50/34 compact double crankset. Apart from 2x9 flatbar shifters is there anything else I need?
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Old 06-07-12, 07:46 PM   #2
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1. FD needs to be compatible with both your shifter and your chainrings. Shimano's FD-R440 is specifically made for combining flat bar shifters and 9sp chains with road double cranksets. It's equivalent to Tiagra in quality.

2. For shifters, you can get SL-R440 shifters which are also in the same "non-series" Shimano flat bar group. Or for maybe a few dollars less, you could get Deore (SL-M590). Both are good quality. If you want to save some money, Alivio (SL-M430) is a budget 9sp shifter. Alivio probably lacks the same trim features of ththe more costly shifters. Consult a shop or Shimano tech docs.

3. Microshift also offers a full selection of shifters and derailleurs for all uses. Although I haven't heard anything directly about their flat bar goods, what has been said of their road products has been generally quite positive. For your needs, Microshift offers TS83-9 shifters and a compatible FD-R42 front dérailleur. Their products are designed for Shimano compatibility, so your Sora RD will work fine with it.

All of the shifters mentioned are 2/3 x 9 compatible. That means they will operate either double or triple cranksets; it's up to the installer to set them up whichever way. I think all 9sp Shimano flat bar shifters you'll come across will be double/triple. It's not an issue, though. Just set them up so the two highest shifts will be in use, leaving the bottom shift as a dead shift.

4. Get a compatible bottom bracket.
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Old 06-07-12, 09:19 PM   #3
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Thanks desertdork!!

My crankset is the FSA Omega compact 34/50t and I have the FSA Mega Exo external bearing BB with it. That should work right?

My current Sora front derailleur will not work with the flat bar shifters? Guess I will have to get the Shimano FD R-440 and SL-R440.

I'm still on the fence about the upgrade at the moment. Is it a good idea?
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Old 06-13-12, 08:28 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by desertdork View Post
1. FD needs to be compatible with both your shifter and your chainrings. Shimano's FD-R440 is specifically made for combining flat bar shifters and 9sp chains with road double cranksets. It's equivalent to Tiagra in quality.

2. For shifters, you can get SL-R440 shifters which are also in the same "non-series" Shimano flat bar group. Or for maybe a few dollars less, you could get Deore (SL-M590). Both are good quality. If you want to save some money, Alivio (SL-M430) is a budget 9sp shifter. Alivio probably lacks the same trim features of ththe more costly shifters. Consult a shop or Shimano tech docs.

3. Microshift also offers a full selection of shifters and derailleurs for all uses. Although I haven't heard anything directly about their flat bar goods, what has been said of their road products has been generally quite positive. For your needs, Microshift offers TS83-9 shifters and a compatible FD-R42 front dérailleur. Their products are designed for Shimano compatibility, so your Sora RD will work fine with it.

All of the shifters mentioned are 2/3 x 9 compatible. That means they will operate either double or triple cranksets; it's up to the installer to set them up whichever way. I think all 9sp Shimano flat bar shifters you'll come across will be double/triple. It's not an issue, though. Just set them up so the two highest shifts will be in use, leaving the bottom shift as a dead shift.

4. Get a compatible bottom bracket.
I'd love to see/hear something on the Microshift FB shifters. They are so inexpensive it's hard to believe they function. But, everyone said that about the road bike shifters. As we all found out they work great.
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Old 06-13-12, 08:58 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by fez_ View Post
I have a 9speed sora front and rear derailleur, 12-25T cassette and a FSA 50/34 compact double crankset. Apart from 2x9 flatbar shifters is there anything else I need?
It's a 2012 model and you are upgrading?
What are you hoping to achieve swapping components out before they wear?
If you really are going to start swapping, why not change your rear cassette to 10speed, and get a 10 speed rear shifter?
9 speed rear derailleurs are usually compatible with 10 speed cassettes, as the hubs are compatible. You just use the thin spacer which should come with the 10 speed cassette. You will also need a 10 speed chain. There should be no reason to change the front shifter and derailleur.

Edit..Sorry I've just realized that the Escape doesn't come with Sora. Have you bought that separately?
If so, ignore my post.

Last edited by giantcfr1; 06-13-12 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 06-13-12, 07:49 PM   #6
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It's a 2012 model and you are upgrading?
What are you hoping to achieve swapping components out before they wear?
If you really are going to start swapping, why not change your rear cassette to 10speed, and get a 10 speed rear shifter?
9 speed rear derailleurs are usually compatible with 10 speed cassettes, as the hubs are compatible. You just use the thin spacer which should come with the 10 speed cassette. You will also need a 10 speed chain. There should be no reason to change the front shifter and derailleur.

Edit..Sorry I've just realized that the Escape doesn't come with Sora. Have you bought that separately?
If so, ignore my post.

I already have the 9speed Sora drivetrain from my roadbike, which is almost finished with an Ultegra build. Figured I might as well put the Sora and the FSA crank on the Escape and get rid of the 8speed sram x4 and the triple crank.
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Old 06-13-12, 10:53 PM   #7
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So have you checked that the road crank is compatible on your frame. Many MTB type frames are built specifically for MTB cranks, not road. Ie. Often the stays are wider to accommodate the wider tyres, hence the road cranks hit the stays. You may be able to clear it with a wide BB, but I`d be checking first before you buy anything else.
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Old 06-13-12, 11:03 PM   #8
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I already have the 9speed Sora drivetrain from my roadbike, which is almost finished with an Ultegra build. Figured I might as well put the Sora and the FSA crank on the Escape and get rid of the 8speed sram x4 and the triple crank.
Why? This X4 is better shifting than my Tiagra or my Apex.
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Old 06-14-12, 10:02 AM   #9
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giantcfr1, I didn't even think about the road crank compatibility. darn it.

Igo, I love the x4 shifters. but i want more of a road oriented bike I guess. Plus i'm hoping i can cut down on some weight after i switch to Sora. Still on the fence about the swap though.
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Old 06-14-12, 01:14 PM   #10
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Sorry for the very late reply. Not ignoring you, just slipped by me. My comments in blue.
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Originally Posted by fez_ View Post
Thanks desertdork!!

My crankset is the FSA Omega compact 34/50t and I have the FSA Mega Exo external bearing BB with it. That should work right?

Yes, I'm confident the crankset is compatible with your frame. If your BB shell width was the wider 73mm used on many MTBs, then it would be an automatic "No," since your crankset is two piece and specifically designed for the narrower 68/70mm shell. While hybrids may vary in regard to rear dropout spacing (130 or 135), I've not seen hybrids with 73mm shells. If in doubt, you can measure.

The other concern would regard clearance between chainrings and chainstay.. If the frame had short chainstays that were constructed from fat tubes and shaped to accept fat mtb tires, then there would probably be clearance issues. But the Escape has long 455mm chainstays (as wide or wider than many touring frames), and a 42mm tire would probably be a squeeze.


My current Sora front derailleur will not work with the flat bar shifters? Guess I will have to get the Shimano FD R-440 and SL-R440.

On a double crankset, it might work. Some people have reported making a road FD function with flat bar shifters and a double crankset. It probably takes some degree of fiddling with the setup (maybe a tiny bit of slack in the cable when on the bottom ring), and there may be some compromise with shift quality or chain rub. It's worth a try if you feel confident in your mechanical abilities, but don't hold your expectations too high.

I'm still on the fence about the upgrade at the moment. Is it a good idea?

It depends on your expectations. If it's solely to save weight, then I'd just save the parts and the additional expense for another project. If you prefer compact road gearing and want tighter spacing with the extra cog, then it's a fairly low cost upgrade.
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Old 06-14-12, 07:06 PM   #11
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giantcfr1, I didn't even think about the road crank compatibility. darn it.

Igo, I love the x4 shifters. but i want more of a road oriented bike I guess. Plus i'm hoping i can cut down on some weight after i switch to Sora. Still on the fence about the swap though.
I had to evaluate my commute for awhile before had determined I was looking to tip the scales towards road riding. I only have 100 yards of hard pack in my 7 mile commute and the rest is groomed mup and very good road. You want to get some road worthiness in that bike? I was blown away at the results in this tire. Panaracer 28c T-Serv. Went from 60 psi 32c tires to a 105 psi 28c tire. Roll resistance caved. This bike moves really good now.
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