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Downtube to STI shifters

Old 03-13-19, 11:10 PM
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JR93
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Downtube to STI shifters

Hi folks. I have a 1992 Trek 1000 that Id like to convert to sti shifters. It has an exage 400ex rear derailleur and 500ex front derailleur, and Im not sure how to figure out if these are compatible with any sti shifters. Any tips are appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 03-14-19, 12:54 AM
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RiddleOfSteel
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Your derailleurs are compatible with STI shifters, provided the shifters aren't new 11-speed ones, or 10-speed Tiagra with the new hood shape ("4700" generation), or 8-speed Dura-Ace ones from the early '90s. There are a zoo of compatible Shimano shifters up and down the hierarchy that will work. You will want to make sure that the number of "speeds" of the shifter matches the number of "speeds" or gears in the back. How many gears are in the back? How many are in the front? There are no STI shifters that shift a 6-speed cassette or freewheel, and only a few (old ones from around that same time) that shift a 7-speed. This is usually where things get more involved. Most STIs will shift anywhere between 8 to 10 speeds/gears. And if you have a 6- or 7-speed/gear wheel, you won't be able to mount more gears (or rather, 8 to 10) to it--a new rear wheel is needed for those increased number of gears.

It's a bit of a domino effect. You have compatible elements, but you'll have to already have or hunt for STIs that allow you to keep your rear wheel etc. So the question becomes, what are your goals apart from STIs? Keeping it budget/cheap? Keeping the frame/bike because you like it for any number or reasons? Etc. That will inform your possible courses of action--which also means we would like to, and really, need to know, so that we can help you as best as possible. Your ability to do the work yourself or have, say, a friend help you or paying a local bike shop to do the work, will also be a factor in all of this.

Those aluminum Treks are good looking bikes, and those EX components are reliable. Let us know what you're thinking.
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Old 03-14-19, 06:55 AM
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WFdave
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I used Claris 8 sp STI on my old Raleigh pro-technimum. I don't like the newer dark colors but enough of the bike has black so it works.
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Old 03-14-19, 07:08 AM
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Lemond1985
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Microshift has Shimano-compatible brifters in 7, 8, 9, 10. and 11 speed. Much cheaper than comparable Shimano ones, and many more finishes to choose from, below are some silver 8 speed ones I really like:



Shifting mechanism is slightly different from Shimano, but I have grown to prefer it over Shimano's, due to easier up-shifting while standing, because of the button placement.
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Old 03-14-19, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
Your derailleurs are compatible with STI shifters, provided the shifters aren't new 11-speed ones, or 10-speed Tiagra with the new hood shape ("4700" generation), or 8-speed Dura-Ace ones from the early '90s. There are a zoo of compatible Shimano shifters up and down the hierarchy that will work. You will want to make sure that the number of "speeds" of the shifter matches the number of "speeds" or gears in the back. How many gears are in the back? How many are in the front? There are no STI shifters that shift a 6-speed cassette or freewheel, and only a few (old ones from around that same time) that shift a 7-speed. This is usually where things get more involved. Most STIs will shift anywhere between 8 to 10 speeds/gears. And if you have a 6- or 7-speed/gear wheel, you won't be able to mount more gears (or rather, 8 to 10) to it--a new rear wheel is needed for those increased number of gears.

It's a bit of a domino effect. You have compatible elements, but you'll have to already have or hunt for STIs that allow you to keep your rear wheel etc. So the question becomes, what are your goals apart from STIs? Keeping it budget/cheap? Keeping the frame/bike because you like it for any number or reasons? Etc. That will inform your possible courses of action--which also means we would like to, and really, need to know, so that we can help you as best as possible. Your ability to do the work yourself or have, say, a friend help you or paying a local bike shop to do the work, will also be a factor in all of this.

Those aluminum Treks are good looking bikes, and those EX components are reliable. Let us know what you're thinking.
Great news! Its 2x7, and Ive found some options for purchase online. Im going to stop at my local bike co op when all the snow we just got melts to see what they have lying around. I dont love the downtube shifters, mostly when Im climbing. I love the bike otherwise, so I figure instead of spending big bucks on a new bike Ill just make this change and call it a day. Ill keep the parts in case I ever want to bring it back to its original configuration! And, yes, keeping it cheap is a big priority. The shifters themselves are going to take a few weeks to save for unless the co op has some lying around for cheap. They also dont charge for labor if you stick around and do the work with them. Its a great service to have around not just to save money but also to learn a thing or two about the bike! Thanks for all of the help so far, folks
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Old 03-14-19, 10:22 AM
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Glad you found the advice. Build it, ride it, tell us how it goes.
Welcome to the forum.
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Old 03-14-19, 02:08 PM
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I'd 2nd the Microshift 2x7 due to price and ease with converting. I am using the 3x7 version on my Trek 520. I also have a pair of MicroNew 3x7, which I think are a knock off, that I used on a budget build.

Saddle has been adjusted since this photo was taken.
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Old 03-14-19, 07:14 PM
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Slightspeed
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I built a Nashbar frame with Shimano Exage 7 speed, originally downtube shifters from my crashed and destroyed Bianchi. I used Sora 8 speed STI and it worked great. The last (8th) click went nowhere, but the other 7 rear and 2 in front worked great. I lucked into a set of Sora brifters at Nashbar on sale for $88 several years ago. I think Claris is the new version of Sora 8 speed shifter.

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