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Brifter conversion questions (for SWIMPAL's bike)

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Brifter conversion questions (for SWIMPAL's bike)

Old 09-06-15, 10:33 PM
  #1  
Ed.
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Brifter conversion questions (for SWIMPAL's bike)

I've done some reading, the reviews seem mixed.

Bike: SBDU, 753, 126mm spacing
Current setup: Campag NR rear, Campag front with Suntour Ultra6 7-speed freewheel.

Been there, done that, here's what you do... (answers, please)

Thank you!
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Old 09-06-15, 11:05 PM
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There is a long thread for brifter upgrades for classic bikes.
https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...i-s-ergos.html

I've added brifters onto a couple of bikes. But, it has been building frames up.

I converted to a 9s cassette on my old Colnago (126 spacing, Off Center Rim), but chose to keep the downtube shifters for now.

A couple of brands including DNP Epoch do 7, 8, 9, and 10s freewheels, although the DNP does have a bit more backspacing than other brands. I stopped at 7s with my freewheels, then jumped to a 9s cassette (with 126 spacing and an OC rim).

Anyway, it would seem like there are a lot of variables, and you need to decide what your ultimate goals are before plunging into the project.
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Old 09-07-15, 07:15 AM
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Campy SR on my Cyclops...



Now upgraded to Shimano ten speed - yahoo..!



Cost a doner bicycle and a wee bit for consumables.
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Old 09-07-15, 07:19 AM
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Look for a Sora 7 speed setup - I didnthat with an already 7 speed Fuji and it worked out very well.
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Old 09-07-15, 07:37 AM
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custermustache is right, and work101 is too kind.

Even though you have a Suntour freewheel, it's an Ultra, so it's spaced the same as the Shimano freewheel.
This is good.

For a conversion with the least fuss, 7-sp:
Shimano RSX 7-sp (metal, repairable) or Shimano Sora (lighter, not repairable).
Simply swap in and go, which I've done several times when someone wanted "modern" with low expense.
I'd try the NR RD, just in case it works, but a Shimano 7-sp RD is really the way to go.

When you "upgrade" to STI, generally it's easier to match 3 things: cassette/freewheel=RD=shifters.
I like this method for any speed. Other options work. This method has fewer obstacles.

Last edited by RobbieTunes; 09-07-15 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 09-07-15, 09:28 PM
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Thank you, but old fogy that I am, I'm still confused, LOL. These 'recent developments'.

By mixed, I didn't mean like/dislike, but issues of fitting them to older bikes, esp with 126mm spacing.

RT, I've emailed you further questions.

SwimPAL has never been terribly comfortable having to take her hands off the bars to shift, especially after my recent escapade, so fitting her bike with brifters seems a good idea to me.

At the suggestion, I did review the 'STI ergo*' thread, but it seemed long on photos and short on real detail (It's mighty long and I did just give it a pretty brief over-view) *Foreign terms to me.
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Old 09-07-15, 09:38 PM
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PS: Shimano Sora St 3300 33003 3x8 Speed Dual Control Shift Brake Lever Set | eBay

This is a link to a Sora listing for 3x8. Can I assume that the limit stops on the derailleurs are 'boss', and that these would work OK with our 2x7 setup? Thanks!
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Old 09-07-15, 10:14 PM
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I would reccomend your friend at least try a bike with brifters before investing a ton of time and money into the update.

Originally Posted by Ed. View Post
PS: Shimano Sora St 3300 33003 3x8 Speed Dual Control Shift Brake Lever Set | eBay

This is a link to a Sora listing for 3x8. Can I assume that the limit stops on the derailleurs are 'boss', and that these would work OK with our 2x7 setup? Thanks!
You could assume that.
However, it may not be a valid assumption though.

Actually, you may be half right, just with the wrong shifters.

See Table 1 on this page.
https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Bicycl...et_Stack_Width

Shimano changed from a 5mm pitch to a 4.8mm pitch with the jump from 7 spd to 8 spd. So, all their shifters would expect a 4.8mm spacing from cog to cog.

Campagnolo, however, kept the 5mm pitch for their 8s cassettes.

So, if you chose 8 spd Campagnolo shifters with an 8s or EARLY 9s Campagnolo rear derailleur, then you would be fine with most 7s freewheels.
Vintage 1992 Campagnolo C Record 8 Speed Ergopower Shifters ? | eBay
Campagnolo Record Titanium 8 Speed Ergopower Shifters Carbon BB | eBay
Campagnolo Athena 8 Speed Ergopower Shifters | eBay
Campagnolo Chorus 8 Speed Ergopower Shifters Carbon BB CA 1995 | eBay

All Campy 8s derailleurs would work, plus only those 9s derailleurs with a B-Screw at the derailleur attachment point (and no cage tension adjustment).

You could also calculate your pull ratio and pick up a Jtek Shiftmate.... I think.

Cable Travel Adapter Cribsheet

So... Say your shifters are designed for a 4.8 pitch cassette, and you wish to use a 5.0 pitch freewheel. I think you can just divide 5.0/4.8 = 1.042

Hmm, so the Shiftmate #1 is listed for a pull ratio of 1.051, giving a pitch of 5.0448. Better than without it, but not perfect.
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Old 09-07-15, 10:21 PM
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Oh,
Here are some 7 speed brifters.

https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-ST-A07.../dp/B007Q4MM1I

You might not have to do a full Campy conversion after all.
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Old 09-07-15, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
I'd try the NR RD, just in case it works, but a Shimano 7-sp RD is really the way to go.
A while ago on a whim I worked out a huge table of Shimergo-type stuff. I unfortunately don't have any Suntour in it. But I can tell you that a NR RD has a much higher gain taking much less cable than an SIS for equivalent movement. You can see this by looking at the spools on SIS indexing shifters compared to the little spools on the NR shifters. I measured the cable pull by making a mark on the cable and worked out a ratio of about 2.2 (1cm pull vs 2.2 cm across a 5-speed cassette). You can therefore work out that a Shimano 10x shifter, which has the tiniest pull of all (2.3 mm cable per shift), might do a NR RD on Ultra or 7s cogs (2.3 x 2.2 = 5.1 where the cogs are 5.0). I sure haven't tried it, though, especially since I don't have the shifters. I also have no data whatsoever on how much tension each RD makes in its cable and whether the RD's spring might be too much or too little for the shifter.
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Old 09-07-15, 10:30 PM
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Thank you! My head is spinning... Going to bed!

PS: Appreciate the 'have her try them first' comment. Other than our daughter in Montana, I don't know anyone with a teenie tiny frame with brifters for her to try.
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Old 09-07-15, 10:37 PM
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A store?

You don't have to buy it.

Maybe a local cycling club.

I suppose I do like to just try things too. I have heard of issues with proper reach adjustment with brifters, but there usually are ways to adjust them a bit.
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Old 09-08-15, 05:47 AM
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I'm not clear on what's being asked. Apparently missed the initial thread.

I've set up a few bikes with 9 speed brifters - including an SDBU Team Pro. It works pretty well, imo.

I have two or three 9 speed rear derailleurs sitting around. Two Campagnolo road derailleurs for certain. No sure if I have a Shimano or not. Would be happy to see one of them be able to advance a worthy project.

edit... a triple on an SDBU frame? I am relatively accepting of build ideas, but that one might cross my line.
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Old 09-08-15, 08:13 AM
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I just completed my first go at this, @Ed. It was easier than I thought, but you're right, there's not a lot of top-down overview information out there. Here are the basic considerations:

1. Wheelset/speeds. The only way to keep the current wheelset is to use a 7 speed setup. As others have mentioned, you can go with Shimano RSX, older Sora, Tourney, or Microshift. The latter setup is really affordable. You can get the brifters, FD, and RD for about $90 on Amazon. Shimano 7 speed freewheels are also insanely inexpensive for how well they work. Like $12 on Amazon.

If you change the wheelset, that opens up a whole world of possibilities of 8, 9, 10, or 11 speed groups. Velomine.com has great prices on wheels, or the forum classifieds, obviously. Shimano 9 speed stuff seems very easy to find used at good prices. Ribble in the UK has the best prices on new groupsets. Be aware that Campagnolo 8 speed is not compatible with 9, 10, or 11 speed wheelsets and vice versa. Likewise, Shimano 11 speed is not compatible with 8, 9, and 10 speed wheelsets and vice versa.

2. Spacing. If you stay with 7 speed, the 126 spacing will be right on. If you go to 8+ speeds, the spacing will be 130mm. This is not a big deal. You can cold set it if you like, but really you just need to spread the stays a tiny bit when getting the rear wheel in and out. It's only 2mm per side.

3. Cable stops. Does the frame have downtube braze ons? If yes, you'll need some basic downtube barrel adjusters to route the shifter cable. If not, you'll need a clamp on stop.

4. Brakes. Is the frame drilled for nutted or recessed calipers? If you are switching the brakes for dual pivots to match the groupset, you may have problems with recessed brakes. There are workarounds, or you can drill the frame. There are also nutted options available ala Tektro or Dia Compe.

5. Fit/reach. Modern brifters are really long, so modern handlebars have compensated by having shorter reach with drops that sweep back farther. You might try something like the Soma Highway One bar -- comes in silver with a 26.0mm clamp area, so quill stems fit.



Overall, I was surprised how idiot-proof the whole process was. You just have to route the cables and use the RD's barrel adjuster to make sure the indexing matches up, and off you go.
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Old 09-08-15, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by icepick_trotsky View Post
I just completed my first go at this, @Ed. It was easier than I thought, but you're right, there's not a lot of top-down overview information out there. Here are the basic considerations:

1. Wheelset/speeds. The only way to keep the current wheelset is to use a 7 speed setup. As others have mentioned, you can go with Shimano RSX, older Sora, Tourney, or Microshift. The latter setup is really affordable. You can get the brifters, FD, and RD for about $90 on Amazon. Shimano 7 speed freewheels are also insanely inexpensive for how well they work. Like $12 on Amazon.

If you change the wheelset, that opens up a whole world of possibilities of 8, 9, 10, or 11 speed groups. Velomine.com has great prices on wheels, or the forum classifieds, obviously. Shimano 9 speed stuff seems very easy to find used at good prices. Ribble in the UK has the best prices on new groupsets. Be aware that Campagnolo 8 speed is not compatible with 9, 10, or 11 speed wheelsets and vice versa. Likewise, Shimano 11 speed is not compatible with 8, 9, and 10 speed wheelsets and vice versa.

2. Spacing. If you stay with 7 speed, the 126 spacing will be right on. If you go to 8+ speeds, the spacing will be 130mm. This is not a big deal. You can cold set it if you like, but really you just need to spread the stays a tiny bit when getting the rear wheel in and out. It's only 2mm per side.

3. Cable stops. Does the frame have downtube braze ons? If yes, you'll need some basic downtube barrel adjusters to route the shifter cable. If not, you'll need a clamp on stop.

4. Brakes. Is the frame drilled for nutted or recessed calipers? If you are switching the brakes for dual pivots to match the groupset, you may have problems with recessed brakes. There are workarounds, or you can drill the frame. There are also nutted options available ala Tektro or Dia Compe.

5. Fit/reach. Modern brifters are really long, so modern handlebars have compensated by having shorter reach with drops that sweep back farther. You might try something like the Soma Highway One bar -- comes in silver with a 26.0mm clamp area, so quill stems fit.



Overall, I was surprised how idiot-proof the whole process was. You just have to route the cables and use the RD's barrel adjuster to make sure the indexing matches up, and off you go.
Is that your bike? It looks outstanding! Honestly, I'm tempted to do this -- thanks for the thorough write-up.
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Old 09-08-15, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by leegf View Post
Is that your bike? It looks outstanding! Honestly, I'm tempted to do this -- thanks for the thorough write-up.
I wish! I pulled it from google image as an example of the Soma Highway 1 bars. I seem to remember this Colnago belonging to a forum member, though. Anyone know who?
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Old 09-08-15, 09:03 AM
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You should totally go for it, @leegf. It was a fun project and the parts can be had for a song if you're patient. Someone just let go of a complete 9 speed Dura Ace group on the classifieds for like $200 recently. I went with 10 speed Campy, and it's dead gorgeous.
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Old 09-08-15, 09:44 AM
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I recently completed this full conversion to a modern drivetrain. Mine is a 531C frame from the Lightweight Unit in Nottingham (not SBDU). The only parts I kept from the original build are the Campy Record Seatpost and the Campy Record headset. I have close to 300 miles on her now, and all is fine. Mine had 125mm dropout spacing, and I did not have to cold set it, I just manually spread the dropouts by hand when I mounted the rear wheel. If your frame is 753, and you want to use a 130mm hub on it, you need to research carefully because I read that 753 cannot be cold-set, and I heard that some people had problems manually spreading it to accept a 130mm hub so proceed with caution.

I chose to use mostly Campy 10 speed Centaur Red/Black groupset, except I wanted to use an Ultra Torque crankset instead of the Red/Black group's Power Torque one. Feel free to PM me with any other questions you might have.

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Old 09-08-15, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
So, if you chose 8 spd Campagnolo shifters with an 8s or EARLY 9s Campagnolo rear derailleur, then you would be fine with most 7s freewheels.
Vintage 1992 Campagnolo C Record 8 Speed Ergopower Shifters ? | eBay
Campagnolo Record Titanium 8 Speed Ergopower Shifters Carbon BB | eBay
Campagnolo Athena 8 Speed Ergopower Shifters | eBay
Campagnolo Chorus 8 Speed Ergopower Shifters Carbon BB CA 1995 | eBay

All Campy 8s derailleurs would work, plus only those 9s derailleurs with a B-Screw at the derailleur attachment point (and no cage tension adjustment).
+1, Campagnolo 8 speed indexes a 7 speed freewheel perfectly. I ran this setup recently on my Rivendell, with:
8 speed Athena brifters
8 speed Racing T rear derailleur
7 speed DNP 11-30 freewheel

I liked the rear shifting action, it was solid and precise. However, I didn't like the front shifting on my Campy triple crank. I changed the bike back to bar-end shifters because I prefer them for a triple crank.

If you're interested in the Athena brifters and RD, PM me. I'm not using them on anything, and they're in good shape.

Or, get Shimano 7-speed brifters. Go with used, or try the Tourney ST-A070 brifters. They are reported to work fine, and are cheap.
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Old 09-08-15, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Warren128 View Post
I recently completed this full conversion to a modern drivetrain. Mine is a 531C frame from the Lightweight Unit in Nottingham (not SBDU). The only parts I kept from the original build are the Campy Record Seatpost and the Campy Record headset. I have close to 300 miles on her now, and all is fine. Mine had 125mm dropout spacing, and I did not have to cold set it, I just manually spread the dropouts by hand when I mounted the rear wheel. If your frame is 753, and you want to use a 130mm hub on it, you need to research carefully because I read that 753 cannot be cold-set, and I heard that some people had problems manually spreading it to accept a 130mm hub so proceed with caution.

...
Very nice.

With respect to 126mm spacing, etc. Yes, 753 and it will remain as GOD and Mike Mullett delivered. I still chuckle when I think of GOD's comment, "Well, Ed, we'll make it as small as we can and then give it a hot wash."

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Old 09-08-15, 03:55 PM
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Messing with 753 spacing is bad mojo. The derailleur offer remains, if it would be helpful.
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Old 09-08-15, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
Messing with 753 spacing is bad mojo. The derailleur offer remains, if it would be helpful.
Thank you, Sir. Let's see how things fall out.
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Old 09-09-15, 08:06 PM
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So I've spilled the beans. She's liking the idea.
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Old 09-09-15, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by icepick_trotsky View Post
I just completed my first go at this, @Ed. It was easier than I thought, but you're right, there's not a lot of top-down overview information out there. Here are the basic considerations:

1. Wheelset/speeds. The only way to keep the current wheelset is to use a 7 speed setup. As others have mentioned, you can go with Shimano RSX, older Sora, Tourney, or Microshift. The latter setup is really affordable. You can get the brifters, FD, and RD for about $90 on Amazon. Shimano 7 speed freewheels are also insanely inexpensive for how well they work. Like $12 on Amazon.

If you change the wheelset, that opens up a whole world of possibilities of 8, 9, 10, or 11 speed groups. Velomine.com has great prices on wheels, or the forum classifieds, obviously. Shimano 9 speed stuff seems very easy to find used at good prices. Ribble in the UK has the best prices on new groupsets. Be aware that Campagnolo 8 speed is not compatible with 9, 10, or 11 speed wheelsets and vice versa. Likewise, Shimano 11 speed is not compatible with 8, 9, and 10 speed wheelsets and vice versa.

2. Spacing. If you stay with 7 speed, the 126 spacing will be right on. If you go to 8+ speeds, the spacing will be 130mm. This is not a big deal. You can cold set it if you like, but really you just need to spread the stays a tiny bit when getting the rear wheel in and out. It's only 2mm per side.

3. Cable stops. Does the frame have downtube braze ons? If yes, you'll need some basic downtube barrel adjusters to route the shifter cable. If not, you'll need a clamp on stop.

4. Brakes. Is the frame drilled for nutted or recessed calipers? If you are switching the brakes for dual pivots to match the groupset, you may have problems with recessed brakes. There are workarounds, or you can drill the frame. There are also nutted options available ala Tektro or Dia Compe.

5. Fit/reach. Modern brifters are really long, so modern handlebars have compensated by having shorter reach with drops that sweep back farther. You might try something like the Soma Highway One bar -- comes in silver with a 26.0mm clamp area, so quill stems fit.


Overall, I was surprised how idiot-proof the whole process was. You just have to route the cables and use the RD's barrel adjuster to make sure the indexing matches up, and off you go.
I feel like this (or some variation of it) should be stickied somewhere. You covered all of the big topics that people looking to make this conversion would need to know. Nice job.
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Old 09-10-15, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by billytwosheds View Post
I feel like this (or some variation of it) should be stickied somewhere. You covered all of the big topics that people looking to make this conversion would need to know. Nice job.
Thanks. Just the stuff I learned in my first attempt. Hopefully it's helpful to others.
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