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Conversion to STI shifters(8 posts)

Conversion to STI shifterswasabekid
Dec 12, 2002 2:55 PM
I have recently acquired a Raleigh Champion (made in Japan version, circa 1985?) 12 speed w/ downtube shifters. I have since converted it to 18 speed (I need the 30t!). Having been used to STI shifters what are the cost effective options available to convert this to STI. This bike will be a winter/wet ride bike.

Purely IMO, it's not worth it.cory
Dec 12, 2002 4:14 PM
But that's not what you asked, so I'll save the reasons for the end. You'll need a new wheel (or hub, anyway, relaced to your old rim, so it's probably cheaper just to buy a built wheel), cassette, rear derailleur and of course the shifters. There may be some dropout spacing issues, but not likely anything brute force won't solve. If they don't come with the shifters (I think they do), you'll also need housing stops that bolt onto the downtube braze-ons (about $15). That's, what, a couple of hundred dollars (I haven't kept track of prices lately)?
For a mud bike, have you considered bar-end shifters instead? They're handy to reach compared to downtube levers, and they're widely available for $55-$60. All Shimano models have a friction option, so they'll work with any cassette (and in mud and snow--mine will grind up twigs).
You won't be able to index with a six-speed, but it only takes 15 minutes/100 shifts to get the feel of the friction. I have DuraAce bar-ends on two bikes, and I love 'em.
Bar ends rockjtolleson
Dec 12, 2002 4:18 PM
as an affordable, lightweight, low maintenance shifter for one's backup bike.

That's what's on my Bianchi and I'd never dream of spending money to change it.
Dec 12, 2002 5:01 PM
The bar end shifters (Shimano) on my time trial bike, particularly when riding on the aerobars, shift like you merely think about it; far quicker, easier, and smoother than anything else.

If I were road racing, I'd prefer integrated shifters to bar ends, though, if the ends are on the drops. Much better control.

No cheap wayspuncrazy
Dec 12, 2002 5:27 PM
The STI shifters are usually the most expensive piece in the gruppo. You might just have to bite the bullet, or look on eBay.
re: Conversion to STI shifterswasabekid
Dec 12, 2002 6:05 PM
'Just came back from LBS to price out a basic conversion and his suggestion: 8spd sora, front/rear der, cog/chain, cable/hsg/stops, + labor to spread stay & install; all for a BARGAIN price of $385+Tax.

Cory: I think you're right, and for another $100 either I can get a low end Alum STI bike or a good used one.

jt/ds/sc: I will start looking into Bar End shifters.
Hold the phone Holmes!!Lone Gunman
Dec 13, 2002 6:32 PM
A 7 speed STI will work on a 126mm and the model of the parts is Shimano RSX if you can scout around and find some. I bought mine and on the same bike changed from a DT index shifting to a bar end shifters and then to RSX STI on the same bike(they are still in service and work great). You need a Hyperglide 7 speed cassette. My RSX shifters were $110 new from Nashbar a few years ago. Cassette,$25, chain $20. I feel $385 is nonsense. Can't remember if you mentioned if your 12 speed was a cassette or freewheel. If a freewheel, the project just got more expensive as you need a 7 speed hub and a wheel rebuild.
A side note on bar ends...Lone Gunman
Dec 13, 2002 6:37 PM
I did the exact same thing you are contemplating doing. Read an article in Bicycling mag at the time. The next best thing to STI at that time (STI was out for a year and super expensive) was indexed bar end shifters.