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Micro shift “Brifters”, how easy to setup with mixed Shimano bits?

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Micro shift “Brifters”, how easy to setup with mixed Shimano bits?

Old 03-22-21, 06:11 AM
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imabeliever1
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Micro shift “Brifters”, how easy to setup with mixed Shimano bits?

Looking for info from someone who has done something like this and not a keyboard technician.
Thinking about “updating” my older Univega with a hodgepodge of Shimano derailleurs from downtube friction to Microshift brifters.

Currently using a short cage Sora rear derailleur and a decent but rather generic Shimano front derailleur up front. 2 x 7 setup with freehub /cassette.
Per what I have read, these brifters are compatible with Shimano components. But am I just looking for headaches or is Shimano pretty “universal” and forgiving as far as crossing over parts and having them work?
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Old 03-22-21, 06:57 AM
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Following as I'm looking to do something similar with an old Peugeot, changing from hybrid bars to drop bars.
From what I've read the type of brake also plays into it. From most of my searching on this topic the general consensus is always "get a new bike" so I'm hoping to get some practical info.
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Old 03-22-21, 07:29 AM
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I can't speak for the 7 speed version, but I have been using the 10 speed Microshift Arsis shifters with a Shimano rear derailleur on one of my bikes for several years with no problems.
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Old 03-22-21, 07:33 AM
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If the Microshift shifters state that they are compatible with Shimano, they are.

The question is what sort of front derailleur is this? Is this a Road or MTB front derailleur? If you go with brifters, the FD needs to be a road RD that matches the crank (2x or 3x).

Last edited by Kapusta; 03-22-21 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 03-22-21, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by dsaul View Post
I can't speak for the 7 speed version, but I have been using the 10 speed Microshift Arsis shifters with a Shimano rear derailleur on one of my bikes for several years with no problems.
I have been doing the opposite, using Microshift rear derailleurs with Shimano shifters with good success. If the derailleur pull-to-motion ratio is accurate there is no other reason for the combination not to work; the derailleur has no way to "know" what brand of shifter is commanding it.
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Old 03-22-21, 07:45 AM
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Last year I built up an old miyata with new 9 speed microshift brifters and older 8 speed shimano 105 derailleurs.
It worked very well.
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Old 03-22-21, 08:19 AM
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Shimano sued Microshift because they alleged their compatibility was a patent infringement. I don't know the outcome, but I do know that compatibility is keeping a lot of old Shimano stuff in service. Beware that the old Uniglide 7-speed stuff might not be compatible.
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Old 03-22-21, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
If the Microshift shifters state that they are compatible with Shimano, they are.

The question is what sort of front derailleur is this? Is this a Road or MTB front derailleur? If you go with brifters, the FD needs to be a road RD that matches the crank (2x or 3x).
Or use a Jtek Shiftmate cable pull adapter with a MTB FD. I did that last year on my bike with Microshift R8 brake/shifters, and it works perfectly well. Putting the same system on my current build.
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Old 03-22-21, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by feejer View Post
Or use a Jtek Shiftmate cable pull adapter with a MTB FD. I did that last year on my bike with Microshift R8 brake/shifters, and it works perfectly well. Putting the same system on my current build.
So which one did you use? The 7?

For what they cost, the OP can upgrade the FD he has.
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Old 03-22-21, 01:10 PM
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What generation Sora are you using? The latest R3000 Sora groupset has the 4700/11 speed pull ratios, and are not compatible with older groupsets.
The other question is what crankset are you using? A 10 speed crankset might not work with a 7 speed chain. MTB crankset won't work well with a road FD, etc.
But in general Microshift works well with Shimano components. I replaced 9 speed Tiagra shifters with Microshift shifters and they work perfectly well.
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Old 03-22-21, 01:22 PM
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R7, R8, and R9 shifters work great with Shimano derailleurs but I would consider upgrading your rear wheel/hub/cassette to 9 speed before purchasing brifters because the selection, availability, and cost of 9-speed parts is much better. The brifters are still available on aliexpress but they might have changed the Microshift brand name to something different but similar. It's easy to find used 9 speed components for dirt cheap at your local bicycle cooperative or from ebay. On the other hand the R7 brifters are only about $35. The Arsis shifters have a weird variable pull ratio to make them compatible with newer mega-sized cassettes so don't go there.

Last edited by Clem von Jones; 03-22-21 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 03-22-21, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
What generation Sora are you using? The latest R3000 Sora groupset has the 4700/11 speed pull ratios, and are not compatible with older groupsets.
The other question is what crankset are you using? A 10 speed crankset might not work with a 7 speed chain. MTB crankset won't work well with a road FD, etc.
But in general Microshift works well with Shimano components. I replaced 9 speed Tiagra shifters with Microshift shifters and they work perfectly well.
I ran into the MTB crankset/road FD issue while working on my drop bar conversion, which is the reason for a Shiftmate if that’s the type of crankset the bike has.
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Old 03-22-21, 01:41 PM
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So I'm also looking to switch from thumb shifter/hybrid handlebar to drop bar w/ brifters. I'm building out an old Peugeot US Express women's MTB. My first time doing anything like this and I have some questions.
Here are the facts:
1. Current shifters are Shimano SIS thumb shifters 2X6.
2. Derailers are both Shimano. Rear is a Skylark, not sure what model the FD is.
3. The rear is 6spd Sunrace Index freewheel, 14-28.
4. The front is 2x, 40 & 52.
5. The rear spacing is just about 121.5mm

It seems that most threads suggest having to upgrade to 7spd as I've not seen a 6spd brifter. I don't mind changing the freewheel, I actually prefer it as it's pretty old and grimey and I'd like to do a newer chrome one. Is this possible to add the brifters, and change to a 7spd freewheel without changing derailers or any other major things? What other considerations am I looking at?

Also - Axle is currently bolt-on solid axle. How easy/hard would it be to change to a QR skewer while I'm changing all this out?

Thanks all!
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Old 03-22-21, 01:42 PM
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Clem von Jones
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Originally Posted by partyanimal View Post
Following as I'm looking to do something similar with an old Peugeot, changing from hybrid bars to drop bars.
From what I've read the type of brake also plays into it. From most of my searching on this topic the general consensus is always "get a new bike" so I'm hoping to get some practical info.
Brakes can be the most difficult issue with old mtb-drop bar conversions. Low and mid profile cantis have inadequate leverage using short-pull road levers. I used Travel Agents and full sized V-brakes but the wide profile Tektro CR720 cantis work well too, they just stick out pretty far and poise a potential hazard.
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Old 03-22-21, 01:45 PM
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partyanimal
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Originally Posted by Clem von Jones View Post
Brakes can be the most difficult issue with old mtb-drop bar conversions. Low and mid profile cantis have inadequate leverage using short-pull road levers. I used Travel Agents and full sized V-brakes but the wide profile Tektro CR720 cantis work well too, they just stick out pretty far and poise a potential hazard.
Oh, my post directly above this I completely forgot to address the brake issue. These have cantilever brakes, which I read should work well with the road-style brake lever/brifters (pic attached). thoughts on this?

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Old 03-22-21, 01:47 PM
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Clem von Jones
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Originally Posted by partyanimal View Post
So I'm also looking to switch from thumb shifter/hybrid handlebar to drop bar w/ brifters. I'm building out an old Peugeot US Express women's MTB. My first time doing anything like this and I have some questions.
Here are the facts:
1. Current shifters are Shimano SIS thumb shifters 2X6.
2. Derailers are both Shimano. Rear is a Skylark, not sure what model the FD is.
3. The rear is 6spd Sunrace Index freewheel, 14-28.
4. The front is 2x, 40 & 52.
5. The rear spacing is just about 121.5mm

It seems that most threads suggest having to upgrade to 7spd as I've not seen a 6spd brifter. I don't mind changing the freewheel, I actually prefer it as it's pretty old and grimey and I'd like to do a newer chrome one. Is this possible to add the brifters, and change to a 7spd freewheel without changing derailers or any other major things? What other considerations am I looking at?

Also - Axle is currently bolt-on solid axle. How easy/hard would it be to change to a QR skewer while I'm changing all this out?

Thanks all!
Most old mtbs will convert to a freehub 9 speed quick-release rear wheel without issue. I would go with 9 speeds and buy some vintage 9 speed Shimano derailleurs at a bike co-op or on ebay. Any old crankset will work with nine speeds.

Last edited by Clem von Jones; 03-22-21 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 03-22-21, 01:48 PM
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Those pictured cantis are pretty wide and probably will work fine with short pull levers. They're sort of mid-profile so your hands might get tired going down huge hills because of less-than-desirable leverage.
re

Last edited by Clem von Jones; 03-22-21 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 03-22-21, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Clem von Jones View Post
Most old mtbs will convert to a freehub 9 speed quick-release rear wheel without issue. I would go with 9 speeds and buy some vintage 9 speed derailleurs at a bike co-op or on ebay. Any old crankset will work with nine speeds.
Thanks, this bike is for the wife who will be mostly riding pretty flat rail trail etc so she probably won't need too many gear options. I assume the current crank will work with whatever I decide to do? Also if I go with the 7spd would I need to change out the derailers at all? I'd prefer not to change them out right now.
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Old 03-22-21, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by partyanimal View Post
Thanks, this bike is for the wife who will be mostly riding pretty flat rail trail etc so she probably won't need too many gear options. I assume the current crank will work with whatever I decide to do? Also if I go with the 7spd would I need to change out the derailers at all? I'd prefer not to change them out right now.
I think the R7 brifters would work with the current derailleurs. I doubt you can can run the rear wheel with a freewheel and quick-release skewers. Even those solid axles on the freewheel system easily bend if you hit a pothole, so a hollow axle might be worse. The weight on the freewheel bearing is situated too far inboard and is prone to issues. It might be more economical to buy a newer (20 years old) used bike at a garage sale for your wife with relatively modern components. It would weigh less and be a lot faster. I spent a lot of time perfecting an old steel drop-bar conversion but then I found a perfect frame for a new drop-bar conversion and this more recent bike makes the old one seem like a boat anchor. Bike design has come a long way in the past 40 years.

Last edited by Clem von Jones; 03-22-21 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 03-22-21, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Clem von Jones View Post
I think the R7 brifters would work with the current derailleurs. I doubt you can can run the rear wheel with a freewheel and quick-release skewers. Even those solid axles on the freewheel system easily bend if you hit a pothole, so a hollow axle might be worse. The weight on the freewheel bearing is situated too far inboard and is prone to issues. It might be more economical to buy a newer (20 years old) used bike at a garage sale for your wife with relatively modern components. It would weigh less and be a lot faster. I spent a lot of time perfecting an old steel drop-bar conversion but then I found a perfect frame for a new drop-bar conversion and this more recent bike makes the old one seem like a boat anchor. Bike design has come a long way in the past 40 years.
Thanks, i'm not set on changing the axle really. I've ridden a single speed for years with bolt on axles and it's not really an issue. I am however set on making this particular bike work. It's been a long road finding a frame that works for her, aesthetically, and especially size-wise. She has a pretty short inseam and I've been searching all over for a suitable bike and this is as close as it's come. It's not incredibly heavy as it is now so I'm not too worried about weight. Point well taken about the QR axle though. I might look to do it on the front only.
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Old 03-22-21, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by partyanimal View Post
So I'm also looking to switch from thumb shifter/hybrid handlebar to drop bar w/ brifters. I'm building out an old Peugeot US Express women's MTB. My first time doing anything like this and I have some questions.
Here are the facts:
1. Current shifters are Shimano SIS thumb shifters 2X6.
2. Derailers are both Shimano. Rear is a Skylark, not sure what model the FD is.
3. The rear is 6spd Sunrace Index freewheel, 14-28.
4. The front is 2x, 40 & 52.
5. The rear spacing is just about 121.5mm

It seems that most threads suggest having to upgrade to 7spd as I've not seen a 6spd brifter. I don't mind changing the freewheel, I actually prefer it as it's pretty old and grimey and I'd like to do a newer chrome one. Is this possible to add the brifters, and change to a 7spd freewheel without changing derailers or any other major things? What other considerations am I looking at?

Also - Axle is currently bolt-on solid axle. How easy/hard would it be to change to a QR skewer while I'm changing all this out?

Thanks all!
Are you sure the rear drop-out is 121.5mm? 6 speed hubs typically have 126mm OLD spacing. 120mm spacing is for the old 5 speed hubs. It's also very odd for a MTB to have 120mm spacing. Even 126mm spacing is rare for MTB's.
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Old 03-22-21, 05:33 PM
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I've used the older MicroShift R7 (like these) successfully with my older road bikes using Shimano 7-speed long cage Deore LX and 600 Tricolor/Ultegra 8-speed (but 7 speeds only with the brifters, of course), on wheels with 7-speed freewheels and cassettes. Great value if you can find a set, but I think they're discontinued now. The R8 is still listed by MicroShift.

The MicroShift R7 looks plasticky inside and isn't as elegant as my 8-speed Dura Ace brifters, but they ain't bad for the money. A bit loud and klunky sounding, but reliable after almost two years of regular use on two different road bikes.

For bikes other than drop bars, you'll want trigger or thumb shifters for handlebars on typical mountain bikes and hybrids -- straight, arced, riser and swept bars. No shortage of STI compatible shifter/brake combos for those.
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Old 03-22-21, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
Are you sure the rear drop-out is 121.5mm? 6 speed hubs typically have 126mm OLD spacing. 120mm spacing is for the old 5 speed hubs. It's also very odd for a MTB to have 120mm spacing. Even 126mm spacing is rare for MTB's.
I measured from inside the dropouts a few different times. Peugeot called it a MTB but 1. it's the ladies version and 2. It's a MTB from 1987/88, not sure I'd personally do much mountain biking with this thing.
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Old 03-24-21, 01:28 PM
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Thanks for the replies. A lot of good info. Have thought about it some more and decided to keep downtue shifter. This has the crazy aero Suntour shifter that does not have a clean and cheap way to do cable stops. Plus on closer examination, the Shimano front derailleur has turned into a Suntour model.
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