Gear upgrade

Schoie81 Posts: 749
edited May 2015 in Workshop
Hi, Had my first road bike about 2 years now. Bought one with Shimano 2300 gears on it and soon realised this was a bad decision - the thumb shifters being the problem. So... I'm thinking of changing the levers. What does this mean? Can I simply swap the gear shift levers (I assume they come as one with the brake levers?). Or will new levers mean I need new deraileurs, new cables etc.... Will I need new brake calipers??

Just trying to weigh up how big a job it is changing them....
"I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated"


  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    The shifters need to match the cassette and chain. So if your current 2300 shifters are 8 speed you'd have to replace them with Shimano 8 speed shifters without the thumb levers. 2400 Claris seems to fit the bill. Several on Ebay for £95 the pair, Ribble have some ex-demo ones for £79.

    Or since the shifters are the expensive part of the upgrade, you could take the opportunity to upgrade to 10 speed Tiagra or the outgoing 105 (5700) shifters and get a 10 speed cassette and chain to go with them. If they haven't been replaced in 2 years they are likely worn anyway.

    Ribble have 105 5700 shifters for £95

    Your existing chainset, mechs and brake calipers will work OK with the new levers.

    Bear in mind though that if the cost of the new components seems high, you can buy an entire 105 (5800, 11 speed) groupset for less than £300. But then your rear wheel might not take an 11 speed cassette....

    With any of the options you need to budget for new bar tape too.
  • Schoie81
    Schoie81 Posts: 749
    Cheers Keef, very helpful!!

    Quite happy with my 8-speed so not worried about upgrading all round, but will give it some thought before I do anything. And as for bar tape... I think getting it on properly and neatly worries me more than having to buy some new tape!

    So basically I need to stick to Shimano (Do I??) but anything 8-speed will be ok, or I upgrade the cassette too. Would going from 8-speed to 10-speed also mean new derailleurs? Presumably the front would be ok as I'd keep the compact??
    "I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated"
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    You can't use Campag or SRAM shifters with Shimano gear, they pull different amounts of cable, so sticking with Shimano is simplest. (Microshift may be compatible; I know nothing about them though)

    If you want new Shimano 8 speed shifters with no thumb lever then 2400 Claris is your only option I think.

    New shifters usually come with inner cables already attached.

    Taping bars is easier that you think it will be. Loads of YooChoob vids to help. Very satisfying too.

    Your existing front and rear mechs should work with new shifters whether they are 8, 9 or 10 speed.

    Shifters, chain and cassette have to match in terms of speed.