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Upgrading 10 year old bike.(12 posts)

Upgrading 10 year old bike.lemmy999
May 13, 2002 6:41 AM
I know this may be a stupid question but I am clueless. I have a 10-12 year old Trek with downtube shifers. Is it impossible for me to upgrade to the brake/shifter cable combination? I ask this because the shifter cables now go along the bottom of the down tube then under the BB area and there are no other places to route brake cable any other way. If I upgrade to the brake/shifter levers, I will route the cable under the handle bar tape then I won't have anything to attatch it to at the top of the down tube. The only thing on the frame for cable housing is on top of the top tube and it has the rear brake cable housing in it. If I am stuck with the down tube shifters, are there any brake levers that are not shifters that have the cable exiting the side (so I can conceal it under the handlebar tape)? Thanks.
no worriesDougSloan
May 13, 2002 6:42 AM
The shifter/brake lever kits come with stops to put on the downtube shifter pegs.
no worriesjtolleson
May 13, 2002 9:34 AM
Perhaps some worries. Is it steel or Al? I had an old al 1420, with no great upgrade prospects because of the width of the rear dropouts. IMO, not worth upgrading if you can't fit a 9-spd. hub and cassette in the rear.

Otherwise, the advice about the compatibility of STI shifters is true.
no worrieslemmy999
May 13, 2002 9:58 AM
It is a steel frame. It has a 6 speed hub on it now. How wide do they have to be to fit a 9-speed?
no worriesjtolleson
May 13, 2002 10:22 AM
130, I believe, and steel can usually be spread (though there may be a limit to it).
May 13, 2002 7:11 AM
the shifter cables on integrated levers (at least STI) exit the side of the assembly (nearest the lever); so you wont be able to route the cable under the handlebar tape.

From there, they create a short, simple arch to the stops, which are mounted on your current downtube shifter bosses.

A much cheaper solution is to simply purchase some non-integrated (aero) brake levers. These will directly replace your current brake, and you maintain your current downtube shifters. Cost around 50 bucks.
May 13, 2002 7:38 AM
Thanks for the help. One more question though. I thought the cables exiting the side was what enabled you to route under the tape. The brake levers I have now exit the top and there is no way I could route that brake cable under the tape.
May 13, 2002 7:43 AM
On Shimano levers brake cables are routed along the bar, under the tape. The shifter cables come out of the side toward the top of the lever and will route to a set of stops that will fit on your old down tube shifter bosses.
On Campy both brake and shifter cables are routed along the bar and under the tape. The same system applies for the cable stops on shifter bosses.
May 13, 2002 8:11 AM
jekyll's got it. for a little further clarification...i think youre misunderstanding our use of 'side':

Levers are basically one of three types

1. non-aero (brake cable out the TOP, like your current)
2. Aero (brake cable out the back (where the lever attaches to the handlebar).
3. Integrated (brake cable out the back, shifter is out the SIDE [STI] (or apparently the back with campy).

All 3 setups will work with your downtube bosses; chose the one with the price and setup you like
May 13, 2002 9:59 AM
Thanks! Perfectly clear now.
Tom, is this you? nmMel Erickson
May 13, 2002 12:25 PM
re: Upgrading 10 year old bike.GregJ
May 13, 2002 3:44 PM
If you have brake cables exiting the top of the levers, you're bike is probably older than 10-12 years. I bought a Trek in 86 that had aero brake cable routing. It was equipped with Shimano 600 6-speed. It is possible you have a cheaper bike, but by 1990 most bikes were aero. You will also need a new rear hub to accomodate the 9-speed cassette. You will need a new chain, rear derrailler and maybe a front, possibly a new crank. You will probably need to install a nylon cable guide under the bottom bracket as well. I tried to use the metal guides on a older bike for STI, it didn't work that well, I guess the cables did not move freely enough for STI.This will be a pretty expensive project for an older bike, you may be better off applying the money to a new or newer 2nd hand bike. You're cable worries are not an issue as was correctly pointed out by previous posters.