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Different Shifters on Left & Right (Drop Bar to Flat Bar Conversion)

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Different Shifters on Left & Right (Drop Bar to Flat Bar Conversion)

Old 05-30-23, 01:53 PM
  #1  
LM_1983
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Different Shifters on Left & Right (Drop Bar to Flat Bar Conversion)

Short summary

Looking to convert drop bars to flat bars on a Dawes touring bike for more comfortable commutes. Mostly flat and 100% on the road. Bike is currently 3 x 9 speed.

Considering two/ three options - either use different shifters on left and right, or reduce to 2 x 9. Third option is to completely replace the groupset to a more favourable gear setup.

-----

Current setup
Shifters & brake levers: Shimano 105 drop bar shifters & brakes
Front derailleir: Shimano Tiagra 3 speed
Front chainrings: 3 speed
Rear derailleur: Shimano 105 9 speed rear derailleur
Cassette: 9 speed
Brakes: Tektra dual pivot caliper brakes

Option 1.
First option is to simply swap the shifters and brake levers for flat bar road bike versions and add in a flat bar.

The ones I believe I need would be Shimano Sora SL-3000. They do a 3 x 9 speed option, although very expensive (£90 ) and I'm wondering if the below alternative would suffice. £90 seems too steep for shifters.

Left shifter - Shimano Claris SL-R2030 3 speed (triple)
Right shifter - Shimano Sora SL-3000 9 speed

My question here is whether it's acceptable to have a different shifter on the left to the right of the handlebars? The visual difference between the models above is minimal, but more to do with cross compatibility and any differences in operation.

Worth saying that my previous bike was 3 speed crankset and I never used the smaller 2 rings so unlikely i would ever use the left shifter anyway. I would just leave on the top chainring for 99% of the time.

So, any reason not to mix shifters in such a way?

Option 2.
Buy the Shimano Sora SL-3000 2 x 9 speed instead (much more affordable). Adjust the derailleur screws so the chain doesn't reach the smallest cog and just switch gears between the largest and middle one when needed. If that works well, then remove the smallest cog permanently.

Although I'm sure converting 3 to 2 speed is more complex than that.

A wildcard 3rd option would be to completely replace the entire drive train and change the gears to 1 x 7 or 1 x 8 or something similar, which in reality is all I use anyway.

Any advice, opinions or guidance on this? I'm hoping option 1 would be OK but first time I've tried this, so wanted to get some advice first.
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Old 05-30-23, 02:22 PM
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mstateglfr 
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A front derailleur designed to shift a triple is a totally different shape compared to one designed to shift a double. And the shifter pull for a double is different compared to the spacing of a triple's chainrings.

FWIW, I have worked on a bike with modern r3000 Sora shifters and older Sora 9sp derailleurs. The shifters pulled the correct amount of cable.
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Old 05-30-23, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
A front derailleur designed to shift a triple is a totally different shape compared to one designed to shift a double. And the shifter pull for a double is different compared to the spacing of a triple's chainrings.

FWIW, I have worked on a bike with modern r3000 Sora shifters and older Sora 9sp derailleurs. The shifters pulled the correct amount of cable.
Thanks.Noted on the Sora shifter and derailleur. I guess that's something else to check.

Any thoughts on having the triple Claris shifter paired with the Sora shifter on the bars?
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Old 05-31-23, 12:45 AM
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The times I've done a drop bar to flat bar conversion I just went with 1x. Makes things so much easier in my experience.
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Old 05-31-23, 03:39 AM
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Since you're talking about potentially locking out the front derailleur anyway I'd probably just go 1x also.
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Old 05-31-23, 08:25 AM
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I have no issue with mix-and-match parts. I mean "accptable" to who, anyway?

I have a Micronew and a Shimano on my Cannondale because I like the Shimano front triple shifter but dislike the Shimano 7-speed rear.

I would get whatever shifters did the job i wanted them to do. "Matching" is fine if you are sending your twins to elementary school Picture day, but otherwise ... who cares? if the bike does what you want it to, nobody will have a chance to see if you have matching parts until the end of the ride ... and then it will be a good conversation starter.

The only thing with drop- to flat-bar conversions is stem length, IMO. Top tube length might be shorter on a frame designed for a drop bar, because both the bar and the stem extend forward of the headset. A 100m stem and even short-reach bars would be 170 mm to the front of the drops and 130 or so to the hoods .... so if you had a flat bar with some sweep you would need a very long stem to get the grips out where the bat-tops were on the drop-bar version. But .... it can be done, and it can work quite well in some cases. Hope the right stuff happens for you.
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Old 05-31-23, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
I have no issue with mix-and-match parts. I mean "accptable" to who, anyway?

I have a Micronew and a Shimano on my Cannondale because I like the Shimano front triple shifter but dislike the Shimano 7-speed rear.

I would get whatever shifters did the job i wanted them to do. "Matching" is fine if you are sending your twins to elementary school Picture day, but otherwise ... who cares? if the bike does what you want it to, nobody will have a chance to see if you have matching parts until the end of the ride ... and then it will be a good conversation starter.

The only thing with drop- to flat-bar conversions is stem length, IMO. Top tube length might be shorter on a frame designed for a drop bar, because both the bar and the stem extend forward of the headset. A 100m stem and even short-reach bars would be 170 mm to the front of the drops and 130 or so to the hoods .... so if you had a flat bar with some sweep you would need a very long stem to get the grips out where the bat-tops were on the drop-bar version. But .... it can be done, and it can work quite well in some cases. Hope the right stuff happens for you.
Thanks. Great point on the stem. I hadn't looked into that yet, or the bar because the shifters and brakes seemed the more challenging ones to get right, but it makes sense.
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Old 05-31-23, 03:35 PM
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+1 to Maelochs. I don't believe I have ever mis-matched shifters (or brake levers) but I have just about everything else on bikes (including brake calipers t dial in the "feel" at the levers and power at the rims for best stopping power). Using the best available shifter for each derailleur makes perfect sense to me and can greatly simplify the search of discontinued parts.
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Old 05-31-23, 04:06 PM
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what you have proposed should work fine and if it doesn't bug you, it won't bother anyone else.

I think Lance rode at least one - maybe several - several tours with a right (rear) brifter and a left (front) down tube shifter

do it and report back. maybe it will coast uphill or otherwise defy the laws of physics

/markp
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Old 06-03-23, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by LM_1983
Short summary

Looking to convert drop bars to flat bars on a Dawes touring bike for more comfortable commutes. Mostly flat and 100% on the road. Bike is currently 3 x 9 speed.

Considering two/ three options - either use different shifters on left and right, or reduce to 2 x 9. Third option is to completely replace the groupset to a more favourable gear setup.

-----

Current setup
Shifters & brake levers: Shimano 105 drop bar shifters & brakes
Front derailleir: Shimano Tiagra 3 speed
Front chainrings: 3 speed
Rear derailleur: Shimano 105 9 speed rear derailleur
Cassette: 9 speed
Brakes: Tektra dual pivot caliper brakes

Option 1.
First option is to simply swap the shifters and brake levers for flat bar road bike versions and add in a flat bar.

The ones I believe I need would be Shimano Sora SL-3000. They do a 3 x 9 speed option, although very expensive (£90 ) and I'm wondering if the below alternative would suffice. £90 seems too steep for shifters.

Left shifter - Shimano Claris SL-R2030 3 speed (triple)
Right shifter - Shimano Sora SL-3000 9 speed

My question here is whether it's acceptable to have a different shifter on the left to the right of the handlebars? The visual difference between the models above is minimal, but more to do with cross compatibility and any differences in operation.

Worth saying that my previous bike was 3 speed crankset and I never used the smaller 2 rings so unlikely i would ever use the left shifter anyway. I would just leave on the top chainring for 99% of the time.

So, any reason not to mix shifters in such a way?

Option 2.
Buy the Shimano Sora SL-3000 2 x 9 speed instead (much more affordable). Adjust the derailleur screws so the chain doesn't reach the smallest cog and just switch gears between the largest and middle one when needed. If that works well, then remove the smallest cog permanently.

Although I'm sure converting 3 to 2 speed is more complex than that.

A wildcard 3rd option would be to completely replace the entire drive train and change the gears to 1 x 7 or 1 x 8 or something similar, which in reality is all I use anyway.

Any advice, opinions or guidance on this? I'm hoping option 1 would be OK but first time I've tried this, so wanted to get some advice first.
The Sora SL-R3000 2x front shifter uses the newer cable pull, similar to other 11 speed road front shifters. These shifters do not work well with older front derailleurs. Since you mentioned a Tiagra FD 3x, it needs a shorter pull shifter. Either check the Shimano Compatibility document or compare the EV doc on the Shimano site. Focus on the length of the arm where the cable attaches to the pivot point, shorter arm (FD-4703, 4603) and longer arm (FD-R3000, 4700).

The Sora triple shifter still use the shorter pull, strangely. This will mean that the Sora (SL-R3030) 3x will work with older pre-11 speed FDs with the shorter pull (shorter arm).

For rear shifting, most MTB shifters through 9 speed is compatible with road rear derailleurs that are pre-11 speed. Your 9 speed 105 series triple FD (FD-550?) should shift fine with older 9 speed MTB shifters. Not sure about the latest lower line-up MTB that may still run less than 10 speed. So, something like a SL-M570 (LX 9 speed) will work fine with your 550? series RD, within capacity limits of course, (cassette's largest sprocket, chain take-up). Used older MTB shifters are sometimes very inexpensive and would be an option for the rear.
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Old 06-03-23, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by KCT1986
The Sora SL-R3000 2x front shifter uses the newer cable pull, similar to other 11 speed road front shifters. These shifters do not work well with older front derailleurs. Since you mentioned a Tiagra FD 3x, it needs a shorter pull shifter. Either check the Shimano Compatibility document or compare the EV doc on the Shimano site. Focus on the length of the arm where the cable attaches to the pivot point, shorter arm (FD-4703, 4603) and longer arm (FD-R3000, 4700).

The Sora triple shifter still use the shorter pull, strangely. This will mean that the Sora (SL-R3030) 3x will work with older pre-11 speed FDs with the shorter pull (shorter arm).

For rear shifting, most MTB shifters through 9 speed is compatible with road rear derailleurs that are pre-11 speed. Your 9 speed 105 series triple FD (FD-550?) should shift fine with older 9 speed MTB shifters. Not sure about the latest lower line-up MTB that may still run less than 10 speed. So, something like a SL-M570 (LX 9 speed) will work fine with your 550? series RD, within capacity limits of course, (cassette's largest sprocket, chain take-up). Used older MTB shifters are sometimes very inexpensive and would be an option for the rear.
Wow, thanks so much for the info. Compatibility is quite a minefield but that's really useful to know.

I actually went for the Sora shifters as a set in the end (3x9). Will let you know how it goes. Need to order the bar now!
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Old 06-03-23, 02:48 PM
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Staying 3x is a good option. Gives you a lot of possibilities for gear range tailoring if needed. Your RD is only speced for 27T low sprocket, maybe pushed another tooth or 2.
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Old 06-03-23, 03:35 PM
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Microshift 3x9 thumb shifters are about $77 in USA on ebay and Sunrace shifters are even cheaper.

Here's a real cheap Microshift set: https://www.wiggle.com/p/microshift-...ed-shifter-set

I like these ones: https://www.microshift.com/models/sl-t09/


Originally Posted by LM_1983
Short summary

Looking to convert drop bars to flat bars on a Dawes touring bike for more comfortable commutes. Mostly flat and 100% on the road. Bike is currently 3 x 9 speed.

Considering two/ three options - either use different shifters on left and right, or reduce to 2 x 9. Third option is to completely replace the groupset to a more favourable gear setup.

-----

Current setup
Shifters & brake levers: Shimano 105 drop bar shifters & brakes
Front derailleir: Shimano Tiagra 3 speed
Front chainrings: 3 speed
Rear derailleur: Shimano 105 9 speed rear derailleur
Cassette: 9 speed
Brakes: Tektra dual pivot caliper brakes

Option 1.
First option is to simply swap the shifters and brake levers for flat bar road bike versions and add in a flat bar.

The ones I believe I need would be Shimano Sora SL-3000. They do a 3 x 9 speed option, although very expensive (£90 ) and I'm wondering if the below alternative would suffice. £90 seems too steep for shifters.

Left shifter - Shimano Claris SL-R2030 3 speed (triple)
Right shifter - Shimano Sora SL-3000 9 speed

My question here is whether it's acceptable to have a different shifter on the left to the right of the handlebars? The visual difference between the models above is minimal, but more to do with cross compatibility and any differences in operation.

Worth saying that my previous bike was 3 speed crankset and I never used the smaller 2 rings so unlikely i would ever use the left shifter anyway. I would just leave on the top chainring for 99% of the time.

So, any reason not to mix shifters in such a way?

Option 2.
Buy the Shimano Sora SL-3000 2 x 9 speed instead (much more affordable). Adjust the derailleur screws so the chain doesn't reach the smallest cog and just switch gears between the largest and middle one when needed. If that works well, then remove the smallest cog permanently.

Although I'm sure converting 3 to 2 speed is more complex than that.

A wildcard 3rd option would be to completely replace the entire drive train and change the gears to 1 x 7 or 1 x 8 or something similar, which in reality is all I use anyway.

Any advice, opinions or guidance on this? I'm hoping option 1 would be OK but first time I've tried this, so wanted to get some advice first.
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