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RSX on 87 Trek 560EX?

Old 07-18-19, 10:16 PM
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RSX on 87 Trek 560EX?

Hello C&Vers,

I have what I believe is an 87 Trek 560EX with a 6-speed 600EX group. Bike fits well and I'm happy overall, cannot afford to upgrade since I don't ride on the road that much.

Last summer I found a Cannondale, I believe it has a 7-speed RSX group with STI shifters. Thinking maybe it's early 90s but not sure. Would like to get those STI shifters on my Trek, since I'm used the the 9-speed Sora shifters on my gravel bike and feeling a bit uncomfortable reaching for the stem shifters to be honest.

Wondering what folks think about the idea of putting the 7-speed RSX STI shifters and derailleurs on the Trek? Do you think it will shift better? Bad idea aesthetically? Not sure if the Cannondale has a freewheel or cassette but could get that sorted out.

Thanks!
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Old 07-18-19, 10:19 PM
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Those look like Sora shifters to me, not RSX. Sora has the thumb lever, RSX doesn't. 7-speed RSX had blue decals, 8-speed had gray.

Could you do it? Sure. Might need to spread the rear triangle 2mm on each side - 126 to 130 - but you should be OK.

Aesthetically, it really doesn't matter what anyone thinks if a brifter setup works for you. I wouldn't hesitate if that's the case.
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Old 07-19-19, 09:02 AM
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Thanks for your reply!
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Old 07-19-19, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bargainguy View Post
Those look like Sora shifters to me, not RSX. Sora has the thumb lever, RSX doesn't. 7-speed RSX had blue decals, 8-speed had gray.

Could you do it? Sure. Might need to spread the rear triangle 2mm on each side - 126 to 130 - but you should be OK.

Aesthetically, it really doesn't matter what anyone thinks if a brifter setup works for you. I wouldn't hesitate if that's the case.
I am with you on this one, those are not RSX, but they should work fine on the Trek Frame set.

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Old 07-19-19, 01:10 PM
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Personally I’d just buy a set of 7 speed STI shifters new (Tourney) and keep the rest of the 600 parts on the Trek. Haven’t looked in a while but Shimano was selling brand new 7 speed STI levers at a reasonable cost. Your 600 parts should be able to handle seven speed. Just swap the freewheel or cassette. If it is Uniglide, I’d change freehub first.

Then I would sell the Cannondale complete.

I would definitely not transplant the SORA/RSX mix drivetrain with your superior 600 parts.

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Old 07-19-19, 01:48 PM
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I think you could just change the shifters and FW and be good to go.

Don't forget you need a pair of those little adjustable cable stops that replace your down tube shifters, and why not some new cables while you're at it?

Or if you can find some 10 speed Ergos, they'll run a 2x7 or 8 speed STI system just fine. A few years ago I got Veloce shifters from Ribble for my BIL's bike but I haven't shopped lately... yep, still around for $90-100. They came with a complete cable set and the left shifter had enough clicks for a triple even though sold as a double - excellent value. I suspect that current Tiagra 4700 shifters would also do 7-8 speed SIS but have no confirmation
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Old 07-19-19, 02:29 PM
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Awesome, I appreciate the responses!
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Old 07-19-19, 03:23 PM
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Another low-cost brifter option for Shimano drivetrains is MicroShift / MicroNew.

7-speed brifters at $53 here: https://www.amazon.com/Micronew-Shif.../dp/B00XSOCD1Y

When I needed to replace the original brifters on this Marin, I ordered a set of R9's for right around $55. Quality at install seemed quite good. I wouldn't hesitate to use them again, especially when I couldn't find any brifters from Shimano at that price.
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Old 07-19-19, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by bargainguy View Post
T

Might need to spread the rear triangle 2mm on each side - 126 to 130 - but you should be OK.
FWIW- most Treks of this era were spaced at 128- it's more like just pulling the wheel into place than "spreading."

I don't know how that would be on a shorter chainstayed 560 though...
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Old 07-19-19, 07:01 PM
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Cool, im liking the idea of just new STI shifters, cassette/freewheel and chain. So it sounds like you guys are thinking the 6 speed RD would shift to 7, guess I would just need to let the limit screws out a little?
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Old 07-19-19, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Primitive Don View Post
Cool, im liking the idea of just new STI shifters, cassette/freewheel and chain. So it sounds like you guys are thinking the 6 speed RD would shift to 7, guess I would just need to let the limit screws out a little?
Maybe- try it as is- it may just work.

SIS was the same pull ratio (except old Dura Ace)- it was more a matter of whether the RD had the traverse to get across all the cogs than being a 6, 7 or 8 speed derailleur.


https://www.sheldonbrown.com/dura-ace.html
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Old 07-20-19, 12:31 PM
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I'm not on board with using your 6-sp RD on a 7-sp cluster. I'd much rather have an RD specifically designed for at least 7 right from the start.

Odd combinations of old and new sometimes work, but generally not as well as components specifically designed for a particular speed cluster. Unless you like playing with odd combinations, I always recommend starting with compatible speed components as a baseline.

I got a bike once, all Ultegra 9 except for a Superbe Pro RD. Apparently the guy ran out of parts at the RD and used whatever was on hand. It almost worked! I could never tune it enough to get all 9 to work reliably, but I was surprised that it was even close.
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Old 07-20-19, 12:43 PM
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Point well taken. If it doesn't work I can put on the RSX or some other 7-speed RD. I might have something on my parts bin that will work.
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Old 07-20-19, 01:44 PM
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I believe that 6s derailers will index accurately on a 7s freewheel, if perhaps less tolerant of extremes of the lateral positioning of the freewheel/cassette.
So I always try for getting the smallest cog as close as possible to the dropout without the chain actually rubbing or catching on the lower end of the seatstay (this only improves the chainline, as an added bonus).

It's when going to 8s that using an 8, 9 or 10sp derailer is pretty much a necessity if you want proper accurate indexing right up to the largest cog.

Don't be tempted to cold-set an aluminum frame's chainstays. They will crack before they bend and the cracks may be obvious or may be left hidden in the metal!
But it's ok to use a slightly-wider axle. 4mm is a lot but it seems like everybody gets away with it.
If you see the derailer twist or tilt as the QR lever is closed, that is a sign that the dropout alignment may not be playing nice with a wider hub spacing.
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Old 07-20-19, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
...Don't be tempted to cold-set an aluminum frame's chainstays. They will crack before they bend and the cracks may be obvious or may be left hidden in the metal!

OP is not attempting to spread the rear triangle on an aluminum frame - it's a steel Trek.
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Old 07-23-19, 08:07 AM
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Thanks for your suggestions, everyone! I ended up going with the Shimano Tourney STI shifters, a new 14-28 freewheel and chain. I would have bought the Micronew shifters that were suggested, but the shipment was estimated to take over a month. I found a shorter gray anodized Cinelli stem (on a weird $20 franken-Fuji I got recently with some fancy gray anodized Dia Compe brakes and matching levers), so with the shifter install, I'll take the opportunity to swap stems and put on fresh bar tape.
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Old 07-23-19, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Primitive Don View Post
Thanks for your suggestions, everyone! I ended up going with the Shimano Tourney STI shifters, a new 14-28 freewheel and chain. I would have bought the Micronew shifters that were suggested, but the shipment was estimated to take over a month. I found a shorter gray anodized Cinelli stem (on a weird $20 franken-Fuji I got recently with some fancy gray anodized Dia Compe brakes and matching levers), so with the shifter install, I'll take the opportunity to swap stems and put on fresh bar tape.
...and then you'll take more pictures, right?
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Old 07-23-19, 02:33 PM
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Sure! Now that you don't have to mess with Photobucket, it'll be easy.

Originally Posted by Hudson308 View Post
...and then you'll take more pictures, right?
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Old 08-04-19, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Hudson308 View Post
...and then you'll take more pictures, right?

Getting ready for shakedown cruise with Tourney STI shifters. Shifting with 600EX on stand not exactly smooth, so may need to get a proper 7 speed derailleur. At least the 7 speed freewheel fit without any issues (so far).

Thanks to all the who responded!
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Old 08-09-19, 10:17 PM
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As an update, the 6-speed 600EX derailleur simply wasn't cutting it in the 7-speed application. The derailleur would not shift into the two largest cogs without a fair amount of noise and wonkiness, even with considerable adjustment. Steep hills were ugly to say the least .

Thanks to the good people at Working Bikes Chicago, I was able to fit a longer cage 7 speed RSX RD with worn jockey wheels with jockey wheels from an 8-speed Sora RD, all for a mere $4 US. Now the the RD shifts into all 7 gears nearly as smoothly as my modern 9 speed Sora/ Deore setup on my gravel bike. Very happy with the choice to lose the downtube shifters in favor of 7 speed STI brifters. Thanks again!
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