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Switch from bar con shifters to brifters

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Switch from bar con shifters to brifters

Old 10-10-19, 11:17 AM
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jrickards
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Switch from bar con shifters to brifters

Hi:

I have a 2012 Kona Sutra which has a 9-speed Shimano XT Shadow SGS rear derraileur, a 3-speed Shimano Tiagra front derailleur and it came with Shimano Bar Cons.

I'm toying with the idea of switching from bar cons to brifters but I don't know if there are any special considerations I need to take into account. For example, I found some 2/3x9 Ultegra shifters on eBay but I think of Ultegra as a road (racing) drive train so I don't know if it would work with my derailleurs. I don't want to consider a full drive train change up, I'm hoping to find compatible brifters.

In addition to Shimano models, if there are any other brands I could consider, please don't hesitate to share.

Oh yes, I need to consider braking as well. Mine are Avid BB mechanical.

Many thanks,

Jules
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Old 10-10-19, 11:39 AM
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Kapusta
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Originally Posted by jrickards View Post
Hi:

I have a 2012 Kona Sutra which has a 9-speed Shimano XT Shadow SGS rear derraileur, a 3-speed Shimano Tiagra front derailleur and it came with Shimano Bar Cons.

I'm toying with the idea of switching from bar cons to brifters but I don't know if there are any special considerations I need to take into account. For example, I found some 2/3x9 Ultegra shifters on eBay but I think of Ultegra as a road (racing) drive train so I don't know if it would work with my derailleurs. I don't want to consider a full drive train change up, I'm hoping to find compatible brifters.

In addition to Shimano models, if there are any other brands I could consider, please don't hesitate to share.

Oh yes, I need to consider braking as well. Mine are Avid BB mechanical.

Many thanks,

Jules
Since you are dealing with Shimano 9speed, mountain and road shifters and rear derailleurs are interchangeable. So a shimano 9 speed brifter (such as the Ultegra you are looking at)will shift that 9 speed XT fine.

Front derailleur should also be fine, as Tiagra is a road derailleur.

As far as the brakes, it depends on whether your bike has the “road” or “mountain” version of the BB7, and that would depend on the levers being used currently.
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Old 10-10-19, 11:43 AM
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Gevenalle's Audax line may allow you to move your barcon shifters to their modified brake levers, https://www.gevenalle.com/product/audax/ avoiding compatibility issues.
Look into Microshift's offerings. https://www.microshift.com/en/
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Old 10-10-19, 11:46 AM
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Shimano 9 speed brifters (road) are compatible with Shimano 9 speed mountain RD. I run Shimano Sora 3503 brifters with a 9 speed (non-shadow) Deore RD.

FD is Tiagra, it is a "road" model.

You need to check if your brakes use long ("mountain") or short ("road") cable pull. Most of the drop bar brake levers use short pull, but there exist some with long pull (Tektro RL520 in particular). Shimano brifters use short pull.
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Old 10-10-19, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Since you are dealing with Shimano 9speed, mountain and road shifters and rear derailleurs are interchangeable. So a shimano 9 speed brifter (such as the Ultegra you are looking at)will shift that 9 speed XT fine.

Front derailleur should also be fine, as Tiagra is a road derailleur.

As far as the brakes, it depends on whether your bike has the “road” or “mountain” version of the BB7, and that would depend on the levers being used currently.
Ah, sorry, I should have looked at the specs on the brakes too. They are Avid BB7 Road.
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Old 10-10-19, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by jrickards View Post
Ah, sorry, I should have looked at the specs on the brakes too. They are Avid BB7 Road.
Then it sounds like you are good to go with any 9 speed shimano Brifters.

Yes, Ultegra is a technically a road group, but thats what “brifters” are. IMO, if they are in good shape, those would be perfect.
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Old 10-10-19, 12:01 PM
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I changed rear derailleur Tiagra to Deore, 9 speeds, and no issues with the compatibility. Also made the same change with the cassette. I like having the wider gears on that particular bike.
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Old 10-10-19, 02:01 PM
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Another suggestion: Shimano's most recent R3000 (Sora) 9 speed brifters have hidden shifter cables, if that matters to you. The cables do not interfere with the handlebar bag then.
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Old 10-10-19, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by csport View Post
Another suggestion: Shimano's most recent R3000 (Sora) 9 speed brifters have hidden shifter cables, if that matters to you. The cables do not interfere with the handlebar bag then.
Be aware that those under-the-tape cables have a tendency to fray the center wire due to the relatively sharp bends they undergo, so inspect them frequently.
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Old 10-10-19, 08:39 PM
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Two points- One is that all the Shimano (and to a lesser degree other) brifters tend to stress/fray the cable about 1/4" from it's head (out of sight and hopefully not out of mind too). This isn't limited to the current under bar wrap cable routing. Second is that the road shifter and ft der really want a road crankset. There's no subtle trimming of cage position so mixing MtB cranks and road rest can be a frustrating combo of chain rubs in some cases. Andy
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Old 10-11-19, 10:44 AM
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I did the same with my touring bike. Originally swapped out a downtube Campy setup to barends XTs, then to SRAM 9 spd with butterfly bars, then 9spd 105 with XT derailleurs, but now on 10 spd Ultegra triple with Cowbell bars. The latter has been my setup for the past two years which is really comfortable with the newer ergo hoods and cleans up the cockpit quite a bit.
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Old 10-12-19, 04:34 AM
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I have a Trek that’s all Ultegra with brifters and triple front. The rear shifter works great, i don't care for the front. I would put a bar-end friction shifter on the front if I had one. It’s easy to miss shifts/half shifts.
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Old 10-12-19, 08:35 AM
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This is the beauty of the first couple of generations of Campy (and Sachs) Ergo brifters. The left/front lever isn't a true indexed one. It just has a number of stepped points of movement and one just moves through the steps until the shift is done, maybe trim either way as needed. Andy
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