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Upgrading Old 10 Speed Bike Shifters

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Upgrading Old 10 Speed Bike Shifters

Old 07-09-09, 01:33 PM
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vantassell
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Upgrading Old 10 Speed Bike Shifters

I got my wife an old 10 Speed bike for $10. The brake levers are pretty shot and she doesn't like the shifters on the stem. Everything else on the bike seems like it's in good shape and I'd want to keep as is.

Are there any STI brifters that'll work with an old 5 speed cassette? I'm thinking an old 8 speed brifter might have the right indexing, but i don't know much about 5 speed vs. 8/9/10 speeds indexing.

(I've tried searching, but every time i do i get a bunch of fixie threads)
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Old 07-09-09, 03:00 PM
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Check out Sheldon Brown's site: http://sheldonbrown.com/k7.html

You might be able to use 6 of 8 with a Suntour "Ultra" 6-speed freewheel. I doubt that a normal 5/6 speed freewheel can be upgraded to index shifting- the distance between sprockets is just too big.

7-speed freewheels can be used with 8-speed indexing- it's not ideal, but it works (with some care in adjustment). But you would have to spread the frame, re-dish the wheel and maybe get a new axle. At that point, you might as well go to 130 mm and upgrade to a modern cassette wheel with a real 8-9-10 speed drivetrain.

If you have an older derailleur, then the amount of cable pulled for each gear may be different than the "Shimano Standard", so you'll have to replace that as well.

It won't be cheap.
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Old 07-09-09, 03:09 PM
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As stated, it can be done, but redishing the rear wheel and scrounging up the 7 speed parts is not easy.
What I would do is try a triple crank up front. With the right rear derailler you could get 15 speeds, and not have to mess with the rear wheel dish, axle spacing, etc at all.
And you can get "sort of" index shifting with a pair of ratchet action thumb shifters. Nashbar had them on sale for less than $2 some time ago, and while not true index, they have a fine ratcheting action that mimics index shifting and will work fine with 5-speed rear ends. Plus, it moves the levers up to the top of the bar.
Might be a cheaper, easier solution for you.
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Old 07-09-09, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemeister View Post
As stated, it can be done, but redishing the rear wheel and scrounging up the 7 speed parts is not easy.
What I would do is try a triple crank up front. With the right rear derailler you could get 15 speeds, and not have to mess with the rear wheel dish, axle spacing, etc at all.
And you can get "sort of" index shifting with a pair of ratchet action thumb shifters. Nashbar had them on sale for less than $2 some time ago, and while not true index, they have a fine ratcheting action that mimics index shifting and will work fine with 5-speed rear ends. Plus, it moves the levers up to the top of the bar.
Might be a cheaper, easier solution for you.

Something like these?

http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product..._200276_200468

Those seem to fit the bill (especially for 99 cents each)

I was wanting something indexed so she wouldn't just have to 'feel' for the gear with a friction shifter. But I guess this is the best option unless i want to pay out a bunch of cash. Maybe I can adjust them and then put some marks for where the gear are...?
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Old 07-09-09, 06:37 PM
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+1 Consider some of the cheap options. If you decide to go towards brifters, I would sell the bike you have and pick up a nice used brifter bike. It is much easier to start with the right components, and usually cheaper too.

All that being said, I am in the process of upgrading a late 80s Miyata to a brifter bike. But I got the groupo cheap, guy had broken the frame on his bike and was selling all of the pieces. Hopefully it will turn out nice, and the Miyata was not original anyway.

So if you can come up with a donor, a brifter conversion is possible without dumping a lot of $$ into the bike.

Last edited by wrk101; 07-09-09 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 07-09-09, 07:05 PM
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Good timing. Just did basicly what you want to do.

Started looking at the parts piles this week and this 25 inch 4130 frame I had planned to single speed. I just put a 7speed freehub off a Trek mountain bike onto a 700 rim...no problem then stuck it on a 88 Schwinn Worldsport (built by Giant) with a 126mm drop spacing. Plenty of clearance and did not need to dish the wheel. Also just put the triples on it. I'm putting the straight bars and thumb index shifters from the trek on it as well making a hipster rat rod. Just parts that were laying around. Watch for a post this weekend.

I see no reason why you couldn't do this with STI's. Early 90's there was 7 speed STI. Just got to look for them. I have a line on some 8 speeds I may go pick up and do exactly what you are talking about on my wife's 87 Georgena Terry. Plan to use this Freehub in the 13-32 config with the double cranks.
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product..._200276_200429 It has the modern ramps for SIS. Should work very nice.
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Old 07-09-09, 10:24 PM
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This is a really useful site for shifter info: http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=3946 It's mostly oriented toward knowing how to interchange Shimano and Campagnolo bits, but has some good infos on gear spacing and shifter pulls. Shimano 5 and 6 have the same spacing so Shimano 6 shifters will work for either.

Campy 8s Ergos can be connected to a Shimano rear der "hubbub" style to shift Shimano 5 speed.

You can go to a new 7s freewheel and check eBay for 7 speed STI shifters.

You've got some options.
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