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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 07-09-12, 09:46 PM   #1
ColinL
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converting hybrid to cyclocross - shimano RD compatible with sram rival shifter?

The project bike is a 2010 Cannondale Quick CX Ultra, which has a 9 speed Shimano Deore rear derailleur. Is the cable pull compatible with a SRAM Rival shifter?

If not, I guess I'll put a new x7 or x9 on there. But I'm trying to build this as cheap as possible, and I already will need to convert to mechanical discs, I think. It has pretty basic Shimano hydraulics, probably replacing with Avid BB7.
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Old 07-09-12, 09:57 PM   #2
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I think I found it. God, it's a pain to find the real model number for anything Shimano. My derailleur is a RD-M530.

And it does have 1:1 actuation ratio. Woot!


If anyone has any tips or suggestions on this project, fire away...
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Old 07-09-12, 10:19 PM   #3
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i don't have any tips, but i am very interested to see how the build works out. I've got a slew of hybrid bikes at my parent's house and would love to turn one into a cross bike if it's cheap and effective.
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Old 07-10-12, 05:34 AM   #4
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If anyone has any tips or suggestions on this project, fire away...
It sounds like you are planning on putting drop bars on this bike? I strongly recommend don't. Hybrid and mountain bike frames are not built for drop bars, their top tubes are too long. Drop bar conversions almost always work out wrong, and there are plenty of examples of this on this very forum. (BTW conversions in the other direction, drop bar to flat, are also weird, but at least you can put a 14cm stem on a cross/road bike to get it in the ballpark of workability.)

I would just take the bike you have, and strip it down as much as possible. Maybe convert to singlespeed or single chainring. Whatever you can do to shed weight without spending much $$$. If you really want a cross bike, then start saving your money, while riding the snot out of this one.
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Old 07-10-12, 07:43 AM   #5
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Actually, the top tube on this bike is overly short compared to my road bike, even accounting for the different (more upright) riding position. It has a 140mm stem and reach is still significantly shorter. (I have the details written down at home.)

But the main issue is that I find dropbars far more comfortable and versatile over longer rides. I commute with dropbars. I only want flatbars on a MTB.
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Old 07-10-12, 08:30 AM   #6
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Fair enough. I'll be curious to see a photo when the conversion is complete.
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Old 07-10-12, 09:30 AM   #7
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If this is the bike you are talking about, the disc brakes are hydraulic. The rival brifters are not compatible and you will have to change out the brakes for a cable-pull disc system.
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Old 07-10-12, 10:34 AM   #8
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That was in fact mentioned in my original post.
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Old 07-10-12, 11:04 AM   #9
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I think I found it. God, it's a pain to find the real model number for anything Shimano. My derailleur is a RD-M530.

And it does have 1:1 actuation ratio. Woot!
Really? I've never heard of a Shimano rear derailleur that is compatible with SRAM shifters other than the SRAM MTB shifters that are meant to be Shimano compatible.

What's your plan for the crankset/front shifting? That can be a problem with this kind of conversion.

If you're planning to make the leap to SRAM I guess you'll be switching to a two ring setup. If you just remove the small ring from your current crank your chainline will be sub-optimal but probably tolerable. The cable pull on the front derailleur may be a small problem. I don't know how Shimano MTB FD's work with SRAM, but they don't play well with Shimano road shifters. Having a double setup makes things much easier but it still might not feel good.

Going to a 1x10 setup would definitely simplify things.


What's your intended use for this bike?
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Old 07-10-12, 11:28 AM   #10
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Really? I've never heard of a Shimano rear derailleur that is compatible with SRAM shifters other than the SRAM MTB shifters that are meant to be Shimano compatible.

What's your plan for the crankset/front shifting? That can be a problem with this kind of conversion.

If you're planning to make the leap to SRAM I guess you'll be switching to a two ring setup. If you just remove the small ring from your current crank your chainline will be sub-optimal but probably tolerable. The cable pull on the front derailleur may be a small problem. I don't know how Shimano MTB FD's work with SRAM, but they don't play well with Shimano road shifters. Having a double setup makes things much easier but it still might not feel good.

Going to a 1x10 setup would definitely simplify things.


What's your intended use for this bike?
Shimano, Campy and SRAM were all using 1:1 cable pull ratios in the 9 speed era. Shimano moved first with the 10 speed Dura Ace. SRAM still has 1:1 on all road and MTB. I can't speak for latest model Campy but I have a buddy riding older Campy Chorus shifters on his Ultegra 9 speed derailleurs no problem.

The FD and crankset definitely will be a huge compromise at best, if I can even get it to work reliably. as you said, I would remove the granny ring and mess with the limits and cable tension in order to get the SRAM shifter to move the Shimano triple FD between the middle and big ring. If this doesn't work, I'm not a very good climber so I doubt I'd do a 1x9 / 1x10 and I'd get some kind of double crankset and FD.
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Old 07-10-12, 11:32 AM   #11
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Whoops, forgot intended use.

- tons of gravel roads in Kansas, don't enjoy MTB flatbars >20 miles
- commuting
- touring
- curious about trying cross racing this fall/winter
- rain & backup bike
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Old 07-10-12, 01:24 PM   #12
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Shimano, Campy and SRAM were all using 1:1 cable pull ratios in the 9 speed era. Shimano moved first with the 10 speed Dura Ace. SRAM still has 1:1 on all road and MTB. I can't speak for latest model Campy but I have a buddy riding older Campy Chorus shifters on his Ultegra 9 speed derailleurs no problem.
I don't think that's true. Check out this link: http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=3946

It indicates that the "old Dura-Ace" shift ratio was 1.9:1 but that virtually everything else Shimano has put out has been 1.7:1 (or 1.6:1 with modified routing). The other caveat is that the new Dyna-Sys 10-speed MTB shifters use a different pull ratio, though I don't know what it is exactly. Note that this link also explains how Campy/Shimano interaction works.

As I understand it, SRAM road shifters won't work with anything other than 10-speed cassettes and SRAM rear derailleurs, at least not without a cable pull adapter.


That issue aside, the proposed build sounds pretty good for most of your intended uses. The sloping top tube will be inconvenient for racing, but you can work around that with various carrying techniques. If you were building it just for racing, I'd push more for 1xN gearing, but for your purposes I might lean toward getting some 9-speed Tiagra or Sora shifters (or even old Ultegra if you can find them) and sticking with the triple.
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Old 07-10-12, 02:10 PM   #13
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If you were building it just for racing, I'd push more for 1xN gearing, but for your purposes I might lean toward getting some 9-speed Tiagra or Sora shifters (or even old Ultegra if you can find them) and sticking with the triple.
thanks for all the info. the original plan absolutely was Shimano 9 spd road shifters, and I better go back to that. looking on fleabay, I'm quite annoyed at what some people call "lightly used" and "very good condition." most of that stuff looks like my dog chewed on it.
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Old 07-10-12, 02:31 PM   #14
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Bar end shifters might also be a good option for you. The friction mode in front completely solves any cable pull issues there and the rear indexing is very good. I built a bike this winter with 8-speed Shimano bar end shifters and I've been extremely impressed with how cleanly it shifts (front and rear).
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Old 07-10-12, 02:45 PM   #15
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PM sent about shifters.
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Old 07-11-12, 07:17 PM   #16
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I converted an older Trek Multi Track to a CX bike with drop bars.

Basically I started with just the Trek frameset and swapped over the parts from a modern road bike I picked up cheap with Sora group.

If you put a road crank and road FD on a hybrid with 135mm rear spacing you will have to make up the difference in the bottom bracket and shift it over a couple of mm or the small ring will rub on the large ring when on the smaller cogs. Either shim it over with a couple of Sturmey-Archer 3-speed cog shims or get a wider BB to get the chainline right again.

Road FD's work OK if you are running a couple more mm's over but are a tiny bit more finicky to tune. The Sora FD is working well. MTB FD's don't work well with drop bar brifters. It's possible to put on a MTB shifter onto a drop bar but you will have to fiddle with the clamp a bit to get it to fit. It's doable but might take some cutting/bending or refabricating the clamp.

The issue with the long top-tube and drop bars is not universal with all Hybrids. Some have longer top-tubes than others. If you are running a smaller hybrid frame (mine is a 54 and I usually run a 56-58) and a longer quill the problem sort of works itself out too. I'm using a long threaded->threadless quill adapter and a shorter threadless stem and it's fine for me.

I can't give you any help on the disc brake. I'm running Avid shorty cantis and love the power and feel off-road. They set up very easily. I don't like to fiddle with disc brakes on bicycles. The added complexity isn't worth it to me.
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Old 08-19-12, 09:39 PM   #17
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I finished the bike and rode it about 25 miles on the road, and about 3 miles in grass and dirt in the park. I'm doing some gravel rides soon.

Cynikal sold me his 9spd Ultegra brake/shifter levers cheap, and they look as good as any used ones I've seen. Thanks man! I'll post pics later. I'm using Avid BB7s and the Ultegra levers have a pretty long pull with them, because they move more than a rim caliper, but I can lock up the brakes no problem. I might be able to tune further by backing out the pads and then pulling more cable.

Oh, I also put new tires on the bike, since it was running some monstercross tires to pretend it was a MTB. It took me about 5 hours spaced over ~3 days to get Hutchinson tubeless CX tires working on my crappy stock wheels which aren't tubeless in any way. They hold air great now thanks to stans sealant. I ran them at 38F/41R today and they roll really well, and I bet I can go way lower for better traction in dirt & mud... low 30s, maybe.
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Old 08-19-12, 09:47 PM   #18
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Also, I left the rest of the bike alone besides what I mentioned in the previous post. It has internal cable routing and I didn't want to mess with fishing it through the downtube, so I actually just put in my inline barrel adjusters where the original housing stopped and then put in 2 short pieces of housing to the brifters. Brilliant!

The bike has a Deore 48/36/26 triple, Deore FD & RD, 11-32 9spd cassette. The Ultegra shifters are a huuuuuge upgrade from the Deore triggers.
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