Converting Shimano Tiagra 9spd triple to flat bar
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  1. #1
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    Converting Shimano Tiagra 9spd triple to flat bar

    I'd appreciate some advice on a direction to go with this...

    So a neighbor asked for help for her road bike that she never rides because she doesn't feel comfortable on and wanted to change to a more upright position and flat bar for commuting to work. As mentioned in the heading, it has 9-spd Tiagra on it. I said I'd see what I could do. I've got loads of spare and older parts lying around...

    1 riser bar - check, spare cables and housing - check, brake levers compatible with canti/caliper brakes - check, some grips in like new condition - check. I just need to figure out the triple shifting since I only have some spare XT 9-spd double trigger shifters.

    A quick google search shows the pull ratio for Microshift is the same as Shimano for the 9-spd. So I ordered some triple 9 spd microshift trigger shifters.

    The problem is that actually the front derailleur isn't the same pull ratio as the mtn bike shifters. And it's over-shifting and hitting the crank arm. Limit screw won't work since it won't go into the highest gear on the shifter if I do. I didn't research enough.

    The current road cranks have 50/39/30 rings and the microshift triple mtn bike derailleur isn't compatible with those size rings. And I'm concerned with the hanger throw and the crank arm clearance in the big ring.

    The goal of all this is to keep it as cheap as possible for the neighbor who can't afford a lot. I wanted to check with the brain trust here for options before sinking any more money into it.

    Replace crank possible bottom bracket and derailleur? Can I just move to a Microshift triple road derailleur? Move to mtn bike derailleur and replace chainrings? I'm looking for options to keep the cost down for her.

    Thanks in advance for the input.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Friction shifters!
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  3. #3
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    9-speed Shimano road and mountain groupos have the same shift ratios, so a road bike hybridization shouldn't be difficult. The front ratio should be the same, so I'm thinking something else is amiss.

    I don't know about Microshift, but SRAM makes the Attack series of shifters that are compatible with the shift ratio of the Shimano 8 and 9-speed groups. I've done this on a Shimano 9-speed 105 without a problem. Tiagra shouldn't be any different for that generation. The Attack comes in both twist shift and trigger shift. I recommend their twist shifters as the front is easy to trim with multiple indexes between gears. Here are some on eBay:

    https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...ttack&_sacat=0

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nice-SRAM-A...AAAOSwsdteLfck

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/SRAM-ATTACK...0deb7c39056499
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  4. #4
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    Why not try the original FD with the micro's it should work I think. I got a set of shimano MBike shifters mech brakes available 3x9. I'll trade for a set of 3x9 hydraulic brake drop bar shifters, there was a set on ebay, but when I got back to order them, someone else got them.
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  5. #5
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    Duriel, friction was a thought - cheap too however, I think moving to friction from index shifting may be a step too far and discourage her. Still it's an option if I can't really get anywhere.

    Lombard and duriel, I have already hooked up the Microshift shifter to the front derailleur and it is a different pull ratio. In the lowest gear, the cable is slack, in the highest gear the cage is hitting the crank arm (after opening up the limit screw). A little more research and I found this site with a bit of info on flat bar conversions confirming the pull ratio difference between road and mtn bike left shifters - at least for 8 and 9 speed. https://omafiets.com.au/blogs/news/1...ar-conversions . "Road front derailleurs have a different pull to MTB front derailleurs, so shifting will be best if you use dedicated road flat bar shifters." Also Microshift support got back to me and confirmed the mtn bike shifters aren't compatible with Shimano road groups on on the front derailleur (rear is ok).

    So I've been looking but haven't been able to find a source for the Microshift road flat bar left shifter in 9 speed triple. I'm looking at a Shimano Sora 9 speed triple left shifter as a possibility. Just wanted to be absolutely certain (if possible) before I spend any more money.

  6. #6
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    Just wanted to update the post and say thanks for the feedback. I finished the conversion. I did order some Shimano Sora 9spd triple shifters. Worked like a champ. A bit expensive for the project but they work very well. Other that that I had all the other parts on hand. She is excited about the bike and I hope she will use it this coming year to commute as she plans to - and/or hopefully just ride it for fun or exercise.

    The brakes were a set of levers that are v-brake/canti compatible with a change internally. The pads were very hard and a bit grindy on the rims. I took a file and pic to them and removed the top glossy layer as well as some embedded contaminant. I also wiped the rims down and braking is much smoother. I'm still going to recommend that she switch to a softer pad that will grab a bit more for better stopping power than the old Shimano pad currently installed.

    Anyway here are a couple of pics of the bike. Thanks again.

    Attached Images Attached Images

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