Shimano 105 drops-to-flat bar conversion
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  1. #1
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    Shimano 105 drops-to-flat bar conversion

    I have a pretty nice commuter bike set up that I'd like to convert for my wife. Now that we have kids, a more upright bike makes more sense for towing a trailer or riding them behind.

    Bike currently has 9-speed Shimano 2x9 with integrated shifters on drop bars. I'd like to swap it out to some flat/riser bars with rapid fire/trigger pod shifters. I'm hoping to swap out only what I need to change. (Not with the bike at the moment, but can get the serial #s off the shifters and the RD/FD when I get home.) Thinking that'll mean:
    -bars
    -shifters
    -brake levers
    -grips.

    Hoping to use the same FSA 42/38 crankset (this is a budget cross bike) and the Shimano long-cage RD, which has ~11/28 cassette.

    I'm sure I can call Shimano tech support, but have some time right now for research, was wondering how/where I can look into compatibility. Looking through the Shimano tech pages, seems like they still offer a fair number of "pods" in the 9-speed range, and looks like most left shifters work with triple or double cranksets.

    I have a commuter bike I love that I built up myself with a 1x10 drivetrain using Shimano XT M780 10 Speed Rapidfire Pods paired with a Shimano Deore XT M786 Shadow Plus Rear Derailleur. Been great for almost four years now of daily commuting. I'd always used road or cross bikes set up to commute, so having a dedicated commuter is nice!

    The shifters don't have to be fancy, but considering the price jump isn't too big, would like something middle-range, rather than lowest end. Ideas on where I can read up on compatible shifters?

    Looks like for a 2x9 I'm looking at Sora, Alivio, Altus, and Acera shifters. Will have to look into the hierarchy of those shifters. Any suggestions welcome, thank you!
    https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/techn...fire-plus.html

  2. #2
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    You have hydraulic or cable brakes? I have a mtn 3x9 shifts on bars with grips, make me an offer.
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  3. #3
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    Cable brakes. These are ~10 year old Shimano 105 road shifters and derailleurs. Cable everything, this is an older groupset.

    Also, it's an FSA cross crankset, so x2. I know some Shimano shifters work on both 2 and 3 chainrings.
    Last edited by nayr497; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:35 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by nayr497 View Post
    Bike currently has 9-speed Shimano 2x9 with integrated shifters on drop bars. I'd like to swap it out to some flat/riser bars with rapid fire/trigger pod shifters
    ... Looks like for a 2x9 I'm looking at Sora, Alivio, Altus, and Acera shifters.
    Your challenge will be the front derailleur. Unlike Road and MTB rear derailleurs, the front derailleurs have different cable pull ratios.

    This means you would do best to stick with "road" flatbar shifters and not MTB shifters. That means Sora is OK, but Alivio, Altus, and Acera shifters will cause you to also need to replace the front derailleur. That will cause you to have to look at the different chain ring sizes supported by MTB front derailleurs along with the added bulk at the rear of the clamping area -- you may not have the spacing needed for that on a road frame.

    You also need to be careful about brake levers. MTB leavers pull much more cable than road levers, unless you're talking about very old MTB leavers. Sticking to Sora or Tiagra brake levers would ensure compatibility. If you go with Tektro levers make sure they are "cantilever" compatible as that is also the correct cable pull for road side-pull calipers.

  5. #5
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    Technically you are correct they have different pull ratio's. That being said usually the FD can be made adj to work by adj limit screws, etc. So if your handy with a wrench, it can work. Another alternative is to go non-indexed, that will always work.
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  6. #6
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    I've never been one to just believe Shimano's compatibility charts. I've tried this three times (2x trigger shifters, 1x twist shifters) and each time I couldn't make it work well. The MTB shifter wanted to pull more cable than the road derailleur wanted -- so the shifter was always under high tension in the large chain ring and there was always chain rub in some cogs.

    Though come to think of it, all three times was with triple cranks (48/36/28, 44/32/28, 52/42/30 rings); so maybe mixing MTB shifters with road front dérailleurs aren't too bad to setup on a double crank.

  7. #7
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    I did the same for a friend recently and ended up using Shimano Sora 9spd, flat bar shifters and short pull brake levers. Cable pull differences in the front derailleur required the road specific flat bar shifters. I reused the existing front and rear derailleurs. I would think this would work for you as well. I would budget about $150-200 if you reuse the derailleurs - new cables and housing, grips, shifters and brake levers. A good website I came across to help was: http://omafiets.com.au/blogs/news/17...ar-conversions

    Here is the conversion I did: https://forums.roadbikereview.com/components-wrenching/converting-shimano-tiagra-9spd-triple-flat-bar-371559.html

    Good luck with it. Post pics when you are done.

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