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How to change Gear levers from Thumb Shifters to STI?

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CiarĂ¡nou Offline
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Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2014
Post: #1
How to change Gear levers from Thumb Shifters to STI?
I have recently got an entry level bike and bought it without realising it had Shimano thumb shifters, i have got some Shimano STI levers and wanted to change this over. Is it possible for me to do this at home or do i need to pay out for a professional to do it? obviously I would prefer to do it myself. What are my chances?
Feb 22, 2014 06:12 AM
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painkiller Offline
Veteran Member

Peoria, IL. USA
Posts: 1,395
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #2
RE: How to change Gear levers from Thumb Shifters to STI?
(Feb 22, 2014 06:12 AM)CiarĂ¡nou Wrote:  I have recently got an entry level bike and bought it without realising it had Shimano thumb shifters, i have got some Shimano STI levers and wanted to change this over. Is it possible for me to do this at home or do i need to pay out for a professional to do it? obviously I would prefer to do it myself. What are my chances?
Need more info about the bike, make, model, and even some clear pics would help. depending on the thumb shifters, they were some of the best ever made and I have at least six bikes that use them ranging from $500 to $2000 each. for 7 speed bikes they are my top choice. lets see what you have and some pics of the shifters you want to put on and yes you could do the mod yourself if you take your time. We @ the tutor will help you out


There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
Feb 22, 2014 07:13 AM
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nfmisso Offline
Veteran Member

San Jose, CA
Posts: 2,293
Joined: Jul 2010
Post: #3
RE: How to change Gear levers from Thumb Shifters to STI?
Falling up on painkiller's advice.

First labor (forget about parts) at a bike shop to make the swap is probably more than you paid for the bike.

It is an easy swap - if you have the tools and follow Shimano's installation instructions. You can download the instructions from Shimano's Techdocs site - you need to know the model number of the shifters.

The STI shifters and your freewheel(or cassette) MUST have the same number of speeds/cogs. If they do not match, they will not work together, and one or the other will have to be replaced.

You will need cable cutters for high strength steel cables; like these: http://www.amazon.com/Pedros-131839-Bicycle-Cable-Cutter/dp/B000IZEH3S/ there are more expensive ones out there. I have this one, and it does a good job. If you try to use standard diagonal cutters like these: http://www.amazon.com/Stanley-84-105-6-Inch-Diagonal-Cutting/dp/B0001IW89W/ you will ruin the tool and get a very hard to work with cut.

Materials/parts you will need:
* new derailleur cables - unless the shifters are new and came with cables.
* derailleur cable housing.
* new handle bar grips.

Other tools you will need:
* metric wrenches; usually 8, 9 and/or 10mm
* metric hex key; usually 4, 5 and/or 6mm
* pliers
* #2 Philips screw driver
* 3/16 or 4.5mm flat bladed screw driver

It is also nice to have a bike stand or something hang your bike on. I use a spare tire bike rack on the back of our Jeep: http://www.amazon.com/Allen-Sports-Deluxe-3-Bike-Spare/dp/B000ELSSWW/

Nigel
Feb 23, 2014 09:25 AM
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