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Cannondale 3.0 7 Speed STI Conversion Question

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Cannondale 3.0 7 Speed STI Conversion Question

Old 05-01-13, 01:58 AM
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Cannondale 3.0 7 Speed STI Conversion Question

Hi All,

A few months back I purchased a late 80s/early 90s 61cm Cannondale 3.0 with its original 7 speed Shimano 105 components. I currently use it to commute a couple of miles to campus plus another couple riding between classes (big campus) and have been happy so far, but am looking to optimize the bike for these conditions. While the bike's gear ratio (seems to be set up for racing/flat ground) provides excellent acceleration for the stop & go nature of dodging crowds and riding down lots of small winding paths, I consistently feel like my downtube shifters are cutting into the bike's true potential. Every time I take my hand off the bar and bend down to change gear I am forced to slow my pedaling down or compromise stability, especially in the corners. While this may seem like a small issue, it really becomes noticeable over the course of many small, fast, journeys throughout the day.

As a solution I've been thinking about changing over to a STI system and was wondering how doable this would be (ie how many of my components would I need to change out to make it work). Ideally I'd like to have STI only on the right shifter, leaving the front derailleur controlled by the original index shifter. I found this single 7sp Shimano Deore shifter and was curious if it would compatible and, if not, what I would need.

Any and all advice/help is appreciated.
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Old 05-01-13, 04:57 AM
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Paul, All you will need is the 7S rear shifter, a cable stop on the down tube, cable and housing. Look for a RSX or Sora 7S STI lever. Mountain bike parts don't fit drop bars.

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Old 05-01-13, 05:03 AM
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Shimano has reintroduced the 7 speed STI levers, ST A070 model. They sell for about $100. I would just buy a set of them. Plug and play. Old STI shifters often have issues, or develop them, and cost more.

Surely, with your focus on speed you must be using drops, right?

$90 shipped on Amazon, or buy $15 worth of other stuff, and get them with free shipping direct from Niagara (my recommendation):



Last edited by wrk101; 05-01-13 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 05-01-13, 05:24 AM
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For the price of just the STI shifters, you can buy a whole mountain bike that's probably a better campus bike than a thin walled Al frame.
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Old 05-01-13, 06:43 AM
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Everyone is right. Brad is spot-on with the process, Thrifty Bill knows the products and prices, and Gabriel makes a good point (even if he didn't recommend selling it and getting a Centurion).

If you get the STI's, either in old RSX, old Sora, or the new versions, you'll improve it in the way you desire. You may end up going for longer rides and getting hooked on road riding, and it's Plug 'n' Play, definitely. Shifters/DT cable stops, cables/housing, and you're good to go. Out on the road, the bike will be comparable to many, many entry-level STI bikes at 1/3 to 1/2 the cost. Rear gearing can be changed, easily.

As a campus bike, with curbs and cobblestones and bike racks, etc, my friend Gabriel is correct, definitely. However, many of the "mountain" Cannondale frames, in a side-by-side comparison, don't seem to be a whit different than the road frames, other than cantilever brake bosses, and eyelets. So, it may take the beating just fine.

My opinion only, for making this bike more versatile, and take care of the issues you may have:
1-get some larger tires, if possible, 700x28's if they'll fit. This will help on the slow speed rough stuff. They're not slower.
2-find out if your rear hub is freewheel or cassette, and then get a wider gearing range, up to the limits of the rear derailleur.
3-get the STI shifters, and put them on. Now you'll have a great all-around bike.

When you graduate, you can set it up for road riding, and get a hybrid or mountain bike for the rough stuff. Then you can get a rack and carry them wherever you want to go to ride. You'll do centuries, ride trails, meet a wonderful outdoor girl, and decide to marry her. Get the bikes first, because it will then take about 20 years to where you can safely get another one.
Robbie ♪♫♪...☻
I have unfinished business.

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Old 05-01-13, 12:39 PM
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Robbie, 28 mm tires are iffy, but 25 mm tires usually fit.

Paul, I've rebuilt my 3.0 a few times and it now is returned to DT shifters, but from a pure performance standpoint integrated shifters (STI) are light years better. Another option is bar end shifters. These move the shifters to the end of the handle bars, but still not as handy as an integrated shifter.

Older Cannondales are excellent candidates for updating/modifying.

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