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Changing from bar end shifters to brifters

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Changing from bar end shifters to brifters

Old 10-18-13, 08:23 AM
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xpetes
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Changing from bar end shifters to brifters

Hi there.. the 2013 Kona Sutra comes stock with bar end shifters and I would like to retrofit the bike with brifters (brakes with integrated shifters). In order to be able to put a handlebar bag on the bike (it is a touring bike after all), the brifters need to be the type that have both the gear and brake cables run along the handlebar and go under the handlebar tape vs. the ones that have the gear cables that come directly perpendicular out of the brake hoods.

The bike comes with the following:
Front gears: Shimano Deore triple crank and Shimano Deore derailleur
Back gears: Shimano Deore 9 speed and Shimano LX Trekking derailleur
Brakes (both front and back): Hayes CX5, V6 160mm Rotor

QUESTION: Which model Shimano brifters are compatible? Remember, the front is a triple and the back is 9speed, and it has disc brakes, not V-brakes, and I want both gear and brake cables under the handlebar tape.

I'm a DIY'er, and so far I've gotten conflicting answers when I've asked bike tech's.. hoping there's a Shimano expert out there with a definitive answer! (if only Shimano had a tech support line for us DIY'ers!)

PS. Lets please not debate bar end shifters vs. brifters on touring bikes, there are tons of forums on that already
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Old 10-18-13, 08:31 AM
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Why not go with Campy and a Jtek Shiftmate? The fine indexing on several Campy models will play nice with just about any front derailer, and the shiftmate will make the rear shifting pretty much plug n play.
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Old 10-18-13, 08:35 AM
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All of the Shimano brifters I'm aware of that are 9 speed have the shift cable running on the outside. If you wanted to upgrade to 10 speed then I believe that Ultegra will solve your problems.

The other solution would be one of those Campy Ergo conversions. I think there are pulleys to change the cable pull ratio? IMO that's getting complicated, I would just stick to bar-ends
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Old 10-18-13, 08:37 AM
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There should be no problems mounting a hadlebar bag with exposed derailleur cables. People have been doing this for decades before somebody calculated the drag produced by cables when touring at 30+ mph.

Save yourself some time and money. Buy the bag and mount it. You can always opt to change to brifters, if this does not prove to be satisfactory. N.B. finding a suitable mounting for a handlebar bag may be a problem because the bike is equipped with front pannier racks and not a handlebar bag support. However, this has nothing to do with the presence or absence of brake and derailleur cables.
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Old 10-18-13, 08:43 AM
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Road FD and brifters were designed to go together . MTB FD, not.

There are arguments , here, between those that think they can be used OK and others that hate it.

the 3 ka-thunk shifts of Shimano's FD-brifter rely on cage shape after the shift in front,

for all the subsequent rear shifts ... If you tweak the adjustments well

it will only start scraping at the cage edges where you get into the cross-chain no-no combinations.
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Old 10-18-13, 11:40 AM
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You can route bar-end shifter cables and housing underneath the bar wrap. See:

http://salsacycles.com/culture/my_woodchipper_set_up

If you're the DIY type stick to the bar-ends. Far easier to service than STIs. Especially for a touring bike like the Sutra.
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Old 10-18-13, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by SBinNYC View Post
There should be no problems mounting a hadlebar bag with exposed derailleur cables. People have been doing this for decades before somebody calculated the drag produced by cables when touring at 30+ mph....
True. Handlebar bags fit behind the shift cables. Exposed cables are superior IMO because they have significantly less friction and are much easier to replace/service. Contribution to air drag is utterly inconsequential.
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Old 10-18-13, 01:05 PM
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105 Integrated Brake/Shift levers. Make sure left shifter is for a triple.
105 Triple front derailleur. Brake/shifters will not play nice with mtn FD.
10sp cassette of your choice. If the LX RD is the long cage version, sky's the limit -- go 11-36 for widest gearing.
10sp chain.

Plus, probably:
At least one brake cable, maybe tandem length. At least one derailluer cable. Bar tape -- if not, bar end plugs. Der housing from shifters to cable stop. 4 cable ferrules, 4 housing ferrules.

Edit: actually, the shifters probably come with at least shift cable and housing. You may still need one tandem-length road brake cable.
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Last edited by mconlonx; 10-18-13 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 10-18-13, 01:09 PM
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If you're willing to go back to 8-speed (will require an 8-speed cassette and chain) get yourself a pair of 10 speed Campy Ergo brifters. They shift a Shimano 8S drivetrain perfectly and the many clicks in the left shifter should work fine with the triple front. I have yet to find a front derailer/crank combo they don't work with.

Or just route the bar-end cables under the tape. Or don't change anything...
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Old 10-18-13, 01:18 PM
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Ive seen V brake noodles [There is a flexible and several bends of rigid versions ..]

used as a route around the Bar bag alternative

for the flying housing brifters, as well as spending more on Nokon housing the segmented bead housing

is both compression resistant and flexible ..
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Old 10-18-13, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
If you're willing to go back to 8-speed (will require an 8-speed cassette and chain) get yourself a pair of 10 speed Campy Ergo brifters. They shift a Shimano 8S drivetrain perfectly and the many clicks in the left shifter should work fine with the triple front. I have yet to find a front derailer/crank combo they don't work with..
Really?! Interesting. Which 2 indices on the brifter are left out? Those intended for the easiest (largest/inboard) cogs or the fastest (smallest/outboard) cogs?
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Old 10-18-13, 05:48 PM
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You cetainly don't have to change out your bar end shifters if you don't want to. Route them under the bar tape and you'll be good to go. That's how I did it on both my Cannondale T1 tourer and my road bike. No friction or binding and great shifting. Al

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Old 10-18-13, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Really?! Interesting. Which 2 indices on the brifter are left out? Those intended for the easiest (largest/inboard) cogs or the fastest (smallest/outboard) cogs?
I always lock out the largest cogs so I don't get the two ghost clicks. If you do this, you have to make sure you don't try to shift into those gears. I've heard if you push the shifter too far against the low limit screw you can break something. So, you could leave out the two smallest cogs to be safe.

I've done this on 4 bikes now and I'm extremely happy with the results. It's not a kludge or a compromise, it shifts perfectly because the cable pull is the same. You can read about other Shimergo options here: http://www.ctc.org.uk/cyclists-libra...gears/shimergo
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Old 10-18-13, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
If you're willing to go back to 8-speed (will require an 8-speed cassette and chain) get yourself a pair of 10 speed Campy Ergo brifters. They shift a Shimano 8S drivetrain perfectly and the many clicks in the left shifter should work fine with the triple front. I have yet to find a front derailer/crank combo they don't work with.
I'll take Jake's idea one step further. Not exactly common knowledge, but Sachs made New Success brifters that look almost identical to Campy Ergo except for the branding. They were made to shift Shimano 8. Typically much cheaper than Ergos. I have a pair and can attest to their function. I believe you could even get a replacement disk to change from Shimano 8 to Campy 8 if you were so inclined.

Edit: Found a pic of mine before I threw them on a bike.

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Old 10-19-13, 02:42 AM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Really?! Interesting. Which 2 indices on the brifter are left out? Those intended for the easiest (largest/inboard) cogs or the fastest (smallest/outboard) cogs?
That's up to you, there are pros and cons to both.
Shifters usually pull slightly more cable on the 1st shift, to allow that derailer position to be set by the limit screw and having the cable tension free. So there's a point for leaving the two biggest empty.
OTOH, that offers the opportunity of overshifting and maybe breaking something.
My frankenbike has the two biggest positions locked out, it needed it to shift clean.
Back when I ran 8 sprockets from a 9 speed cassette on a 7-speed body I had the smallest position locked out, which worked fine on that bike.
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Old 10-19-13, 05:01 AM
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for me i go new sora 9 speed groupo for sure smoothness
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Old 10-19-13, 08:54 AM
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I use handlebar bags with standard 9 speed shimano shifters that have the exposed cables. I jsut route the cables around the bags and they work fine.
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Old 10-19-13, 10:19 AM
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If you want to use 10-speed shifters with the remainder of the drivetrain being 9-speed, then you can use the alternate cable routing trick on your derailleur to equalize the cable pull. I've done it on a couple of bikes, and it works fine. The last shift is just to slack cable on the small cog, and the llimit screw sets the travel of the derailleur.

So:
--105 or better shifters with internal shift cable routing.
--New road triple front derailleur.

When you want to change to 10-speed in the future (or never as I like the overall strength and availability of 9-speed components), you can get a 10-speed cassette and chain, and route the cable correctly.
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Old 10-19-13, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
Why not go with Campy and a Jtek Shiftmate? The fine indexing on several Campy models will play nice with just about any front derailer, and the shiftmate will make the rear shifting pretty much plug n play.
+1 this, big time. IME Campy's front shifting is the duck's guts for a triple. You can use just about any FD you want.

Also, aside from looking better than any Shimano brifter, the rear one uses a significantly longer cable pull which is far more reliable, and the Shiftmate removes some friction from the RD loop to boot.

The only downsides really are the fact it's much harder to simultaneously brake and downshift one-handed without STI's swinging brake lever (but still doable), and the minor hassle a Shiftmate adds to installing the cable. Oh, and once in a blue moon your indexing will get all messed up because the cable has come out of the groove in the pulley, but it's a freak occurrence - I only mention it because it might otherwise take you a while to realise the problem if it happens.

TL/DR - Shimergo FTW on a triple.

Last edited by Kimmo; 10-19-13 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 10-19-13, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
Exposed cables are superior IMO because they have significantly less friction and are much easier to replace/service.
The vigilant war you must wage on cable friction is only for Shimano's sake, with their dumb short pull. Never had an issue with Ergos (on my third set now) - the natural degradation of the housing liners has never got to the point I needed to swap the housing out.

This is why aero 10s STIs are the worst idea ever. They only work when the housing is fresh and you're using a really nice cable, and make sacrifices to all the right gods.

So on a sensible system like Ergo or Doubletap, housing replacement is a non-issue and it's superior because a) it looks miles better and b) you can carry a bag of stuff back from the shop without having to fuss about avoiding the cables.

Also, the aero 10s levers are pretty damn ugly; despite the hidden cables they look almost as nasty as 1st-gen STIs.

Oh, and one more fact reminding us all that Shimano have a thing or two to learn from Campy and SRAM about brifters: ever tried to replace a cable on one of these stupid things? There's a big gap where the cable just runs in a groove, often requiring you to cut into bar tape which is invariably wrapped over the section of interest... madness.

Last edited by Kimmo; 10-19-13 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 10-20-13, 10:40 AM
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You could also move the bar-ends over to Retroshift mounts:

http://www.retroshift.com/store/products/shifters/
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Old 10-20-13, 01:13 PM
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the guys talking about using campy shifters with shimano drivetrain bits is refered to as "shimergo" a quick search on google will tell you gobs of info... the 10 speed campy shifter is said to work perfectly with an otherwise stock 8spd shimano (non dura-ace) setup... if you wrap the derailleur cable different it also works with 9spd without a shiftmate (some have good luck others not)

this link has good info
http://www.ctc.org.uk/cyclists-libra...gears/shimergo

I personally am debating between dumping my old 9spd ultegra brifters and either going with barcons or shimergo...
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Old 10-21-13, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Wheels Of Steel View Post
You could also move the bar-ends over to Retroshift mounts:

http://www.retroshift.com/store/products/shifters/

Hmm... of all the replies and suggestions, this is by far the one looks the easiest (no changes of the front or back gears or derailleurs, or potential other issues, etc). With the retroshifters, do the brake cables go under the handlebar tape and the gear cables come out straight up, is that right? Will a larger handelbar bag coexist with the gear cables?

By the way, my only reason for saying I wanted both cables under the handelbar tape was to insure the handlebar bag would work.
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Old 10-21-13, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by xpetes View Post
Hmm... of all the replies and suggestions, this is by far the one looks the easiest (no changes of the front or back gears or derailleurs, or potential other issues, etc). With the retroshifters, do the brake cables go under the handlebar tape and the gear cables come out straight up, is that right? Will a larger handelbar bag coexist with the gear cables?

By the way, my only reason for saying I wanted both cables under the handelbar tape was to insure the handlebar bag would work.
Yes, brake cables under the wrap, shifter cables into space, but not horizontally inwards like regular brifters, more like maybe 30-45deg upwards. Don't know if that helps route around a handlebar bag or not. Here's a pic of my cockpit if it helps:

[/URL]

I think the cables could be smushed against the top of the bars, or pushed out around a handlebar bag, and still work fine. You might want to use a little extra housing if your bag sends the cables on a longer path.


See also my review...
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Old 10-21-13, 05:12 PM
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I have toured for decades using bar ends and front bag. Never a problem. When touring I go as simple and uncomplicated as possible, thus bar end shifters. I have never had one fail or wear out in 30+ years of use. I can trust them in the far reaches of the earth, brifters? Never.
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