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Converting 10spd road bike, to flat bar with mtn shifter

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Converting 10spd road bike, to flat bar with mtn shifter

Old 06-25-19, 06:03 AM
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Brocephus
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Converting 10spd road bike, to flat bar with mtn shifter

I asked about this in the middle of another thread, but hope to get a wider consensus, so I figured I'd give this question it's own thread. Info on the web was kinda sparse, and conflicting, so here I am.
Here's the deal: I have a 4-5 year old 105 right shifter that appears to have up and died. A replacement is pretty expensive, and from what I read, the things are insanely complex, problematic, and often relatively short-lived.
My racing/training/long-distance days are behind me, I've never been a huge fan of drop bars (outside of the racing scene), and always prefered mtn-type shifters to road shifters, so I'm considering converting this roadie to a flat bar road bike.
I can get a 10-spd Shimano XT (Dyna-sys) right shifter for under $50 (versus around $240 for new 105 shifters, which I'm now a little leery of).
My obvious concern is the XT's compatibility with my 105 rear derailleur (and whatever 10-spd road cassette is on there).
I think I'd just skip the left shifter and front derailleur, entirely. I never use the big chainring,anyway. I believe that would sidestep some potential compatibility issues.
As always, any good info is muchly appreciated.......

EDIT: A guy in the other thread said I'd need to replace my rear derailleur, as well. If that's correct, it might be more cost efficient to just go 9-spd. My rear wheel is compatible, and I already have sitting in my parts stash, a 9-spd Deore Shifter, LX rear derailleur, and Shimano 9sp chain and cassette, as well as a take-off flat bar, and a beat-up set of Avid brake levers.
BTW, I thought I'd found a single 105 shifter for $119, but that turned out to be another left shifter, so I think I'm back to paying for a full set, if I wanna go that route .

Last edited by Brocephus; 06-25-19 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 06-25-19, 07:04 AM
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You need a 10 speed mountain rear derailleur; a new mtn right shifter will not work with your 105 RD.

9 speed would be your least expensive alternative if you already have the parts.
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Old 06-25-19, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
I have a 4-5 year old 105 right shifter that appears to have up and died.
Didn't see the other thread, but if by "died" you mean that the shifter lever moves but the cable doesn't, most such STI shifters can be fixed by lubricating the shifting mechanism in the lever. Four to five years for the factory grease to reach that point of gumminess is about right. There are plenty of instructional YouTube videos showing how.
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Old 06-25-19, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Didn't see the other thread, but if by "died" you mean that the shifter lever moves but the cable doesn't, most such STI shifters can be fixed by lubricating the shifting mechanism in the lever. Four to five years for the factory grease to reach that point of gumminess is about right. There are plenty of instructional YouTube videos showing how.
Actually, what happens is that the large lever won't move to the left, until it's been 'released' by a left push/click from the small lever. Then it will move fully to the left (feeling and sounding perfectly normal), one single time, but then it jams-up completely again, and won't move left again, until I press the small lever again. (I can click both levers back and forth, one then the other, repeatedly, but that's as good as it gets).
But, when I'm tugging on the cable (as had been recommended), I can feel it moving when the large lever moves, so it's grabbing, and pulling. I just can't get the larger lever to move more than a single time, and it never changes a gear.
I've hosed it internally pretty good with Dupont Multi-use teflon spray (I would've used WD40, but read several warnings about using it on the rubber hoods, and still don;t know the truth about that, but i played it safe.)
Come to think of it, I'm gonna go fiddle with it now, and see if sitting over-night did anything. But, as i mentioned before, I noticed the shifting to the lower gears was getting very tight, in the days leading up to it locking up completely, and I've since read that this is a common complaint about these shifters (with a number of them dying just after Shimano's 2-year warranty expires).


Update: I found that the cable was highly frayed in the der., so I pulled it out, and the unit started shifting normally !! Then i called a LBS and told him my situation and before I finished the first sentence, he practically finished the story for me, saying he just took a bike in with the exact same issue. He said it would probably run me about $20 to install a new cable and adjust the derailleur (which was what i was trying to do when this whole fiasco started !!) Hopefully, I'll be all dialed in by this afternoon. Thanks again to all for chiming in.)

Last edited by Brocephus; 06-25-19 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 06-25-19, 11:27 AM
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Happy ending!

I was curious when you said earlier that STI levers are known for being 'problematic and short lived'. THis does not agree with my experience. There is certainly that opinion among many long distance tourists, who dislike anything that cannot be jury-rigged together on the side of the road, but in reality, these parts are super robust and can last for decades. Others above mentioned spraying to clean out the hardened grease, and you found your problem was the cable... these are the only two failures common to modern brifters.
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Old 06-25-19, 05:36 PM
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It is good that you got the cable out BEFORE the head broke off in the shifter. Suggest you regularly inspect for fraying so that the problem does not repeat. This might be one of the "problematic" things behind the earlier comment.
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Old 06-25-19, 06:28 PM
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Update, part deux:
Before taking the bike to the shop, I was dabbing the inside with a q-tip to soak up some of that spray lube, when a (very) tiny spring just fell out. I had a bad feeling about that, and the shop guys reflected that sentiment when I mentioned it.
They told me they didn't do any rebuilds or reassembly on these parts (fair enough, i assumed as much), and that they had no clue how or where it re-attached (we all looked), and that this was a real issue now.
Long story, short, the consensus was it was now toast, and they quoted me a nice little pile of money to order a new one, and install it (even citing rewrapping the bar tape, LOL!).
I told them i was just gonna hang the bike on the wall in the garage for the moment, while i pondered my options (and finances), and would just ride another bike for the immediate future, and that I may be back in touch.
When i got home, I found an excellent video of a guy reassembling the same derailleur ( 105 10-speed 5700 .)
Then I went outside, in some good light, looking around at where to try and re-attach this spring, when i saw another tiny piece of broken spring, stuck in place by some of the lube i sprayed in yesterday, and which pretty obviously came from the one that had fallen out.
So I didn't just screw up and accidentally remove it, it had previously broken, and then fallen out (good thing I even noticed it, or i'd have paid for a new cable and adjustment, and had problems from there).
I called Shimano customer service, hoping to just get the little spring, but was told they stopped making this shifter, and the parts, a few years ago, but he said they have quite a few in stock (just the right shifter) , and gave me the correct product number so i could have a shop order it, or search for it myself.
So, I found the identical derailleur from a reputable (and fast shipping) bike part dealer on ebay, for $114, delivered, which was as good a deal as I found, and that's where I am now.
So the flat-bar project has been shelved, and it looks like I'll be returning her to her original glory.
Again, thanks to all for weighing in..........
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Old 06-25-19, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
It is good that you got the cable out BEFORE the head broke off in the shifter. Suggest you regularly inspect for fraying so that the problem does not repeat. .
Yeah, I'll probably go to installing a new cable annually, as seems to be recommended. Don't need this ****-storm again !!
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