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Ultegra 600 STI Shifter compatibility questions

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SlowestPoke Offline
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Post: #1
Ultegra 600 STI Shifter compatibility questions
I have a Cannondale T700 Touring bike that I bought in 1994. I upgraded the components to Shimano Ultegra 600 with STI shifters. The rear derailleur is Ultegra 7/7 with an HG 90 8 Speed Cassette (13x26). I know this from the receipt that I still have. The front is a triple chain ring, but in 1994, the STI shifters did not do 3. So we found an aft4ermarket piece that you could add at the shifter to make it work 2 rings at a time (top 2 or bottom 2) by flipping the lever which lengthened and shortened the cable. After many years, my bike fell the other day and when I tried to catch it, I missed and grabbed the shifting cable. It broke the shifter where this added part connects and now when you try to flip the lever, it turns/spins at the connection point and wont work. Photo is attached. While I could replace the Ultegra 600 with a used one from EBay, they are pricey and I am considering whether it makes more sense to buy a triple shifter and make it easier to use all three rings. Problem is I am totally inexperienced in componentry don't have any idea what will fit/work, and I don't know what I need to know to figure that out. For example, can I buy a used Shimano Ultegra ST-6703 Triple STI Shifter off eBay and just put it on - or will I need new front derailleur, chain rings, what do I need to know.


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Feb 11, 2014 08:16 AM
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nfmisso Offline
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San Jose, CA
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Post: #2
RE: Ultegra 600 STI Shifter compatibility questions
Personally; I would do one of the following, unless you are extremely concerned with period correctness.

1. 3 x 8; purchase these: http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-ST-2303-3x8sp-front-rear/dp/B003BCE7DU/ and replace both left and right on your bike. Sell your existing ones on ebay for more than these are new to a person concerned about period correctness.

2. convert to 3 x 9 with these: http://www.amazon.com/MicroShift-Triple-speed-Control-Levers/dp/B00CJXMEDM/
You will need a 9 speed cassette and chain.

Your derailleurs should be fine, either way. You will most likely need to complete re-tape your bars, and it is a good time to replace all of the cables.

Please note that I am all about function, and have practically no regard for period correctness. Bike components are improving all the time, very competitive between Shimano, SRAM, MicroShift and Campy. Shimano and MicroShift are compatible. SRAM front, but not rear, is compatible. Campy is different. The now discontinued ST2300/2303 works better than the top of the line from 15 years ago.

Nigel
Feb 11, 2014 09:42 AM
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SlowestPoke Offline
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RE: Ultegra 600 STI Shifter compatibility questions
To me, period correctness means it goes at the end of the sentence, so I don't care much about that. Smile I do care about smooth shifting with the ability to trim the front particularly so there is not noise with every evolution scraping something or not lining up on the back. But I don't want to spend a lot on the bike as I would rather buy a new hard tail maybe or a Salsa gravel grinder some day to replace it. Converting to 9 speed, would my Ultegra 8 speed hub work ? Cant buy a new wheel. And I cannot find that the 2303 allows you to trim the front shift (if my terminology is right) ? Have never seen the shifter with a thumb and lever like it. Looks like it may have been replaced by 2403 too? Thanks for the input/help.
Feb 11, 2014 10:35 AM
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nfmisso Offline
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San Jose, CA
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RE: Ultegra 600 STI Shifter compatibility questions
Shimano freehubs are identical for 8, 9 and 10 speed cassette. Any Shimano HG compatible hub that will hold a 8 will take a 9 or 10 just as easily. 7 speed is narrower.

The 2303 does allow trimming of the front shift. The 2300/2303 stuff is no longer the current offering, which is why prices are very reasonable.

Nigel
Feb 11, 2014 11:56 AM
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Joe_W Offline
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RE: Ultegra 600 STI Shifter compatibility questions
I have a pair of Microshifts they are... well... I found it to be really difficult to set up the brakes correctly with them, but this was on a Frankenbike (one with Mafac Competition brakes = impossible to get clearance and braking) and on my tourer (tried to get them to work with the travel agent adapters for v-brakes, which should work). The Frankenbike is now scrapped, the tourer is back to flat bar. My feeling is that they pull the wrong amount of cable (= not enough).

I have to be honest: I do not like Shimano's low end stuff. I test rode a bike with Sora components (the lowest named road group) and it was scary: the levers felt very... squishy, inexact, unsafe. Might be better now.

I would try to get 2012 or earlier Tiagra STIs, as they are still 9 speed. On the other hand: You can just replace the left STI with another (newer) one, but I would try to find one that is shaped similar, it might look and feel weird to have two different STIs otherwise.
Oh, and you can also go up all the way to 10 speed (with the 2013 Tiagra), as Nigel noted: the hubs are the same, but chains and cassettes are more expensive and it does not really do a lot (except having either a wider spread on the cassette or narrower steps between the gears). The dérailleurs should be compatible, as far as I know only the 10 speed MTB stuff is different.
Feb 13, 2014 06:58 AM
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SlowestPoke Offline
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RE: Ultegra 600 STI Shifter compatibility questions
I have been a little concerned about the shape of the hoods because that is where I ride 90% of the time. I was hopeful a more modern Shimano like the Ultegra or the Tiara you mention might be very similar to my 18 year old 600's. As to changing it all - by the time I am done I would rather buy a new bike and don't want to do that yet ($$$$$). Thanks for the insights.
Feb 13, 2014 04:25 PM
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SlowestPoke Offline
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RE: Ultegra 600 STI Shifter compatibility questions
And I tried to figure out when the Ultegra group first had a triple front thinking it might be most comparable in shape but haven't been able to figure that out.
Feb 13, 2014 05:44 PM
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Joe_W Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Ultegra 600 STI Shifter compatibility questions
I believe Ultegra had a triple crank set until recently, the 105 does still have it. When searching for it, the component id should have a 3 as the last digit, like STI ST-5603, which is the... (2011 I belive) an older anyway 105. The shape of the hoods has changed quite a bit in the last four years, I think.
The cheapest sets at my usual suspects is about 100 € (for the 105s) or 90€ (for Microshift), both for the pair. I guess some shops may still have Tiagras in stock? I just checked the bay, nothing sensible here...
Ultegras are... pricey. Even the NOS (new old stock).
Good luck!
Feb 14, 2014 08:00 AM
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retrorider Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Ultegra 600 STI Shifter compatibility questions
Slowestpoke, do you remember who made that lever that gave you the ability to use a double shifter to shift a triple chainring? If you live in the South San Francisco Bay Area I have a 600 shifter not in use.
Mar 2, 2014 10:08 PM
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SlowestPoke Offline
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RE: Ultegra 600 STI Shifter compatibility questions
I believe it was called "Erickson's Gizmo" or simply "STI Triple Gizmo" - it literally had Gizmo in what it was called. I am way out in the middle of the country Smile I bought a set of Ultegra 6703's on EBay. Had left one installed. Works okay I think - (only ridden once and it was on gravel so I wouldn't hear noise from chain rubbing/set up any way). I am considering buying a used10 speed rear cassette and chain and see if they will work on my hub and perhaps upgrading right one as well (since I have the sifter).
Edit - I found it on Sheldon Brown's page - Erickson's Gizmo:
(Scroll down to name)
Mar 3, 2014 06:47 AM
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