Hi everyone,

Just curious (very dangerous I know!). I was recently looking at some flat bar road bikes/hybrid bikes and was wondering if they could be converted to drop bars with STI shfters/brake leavers. I was wondering if this could be done and if so what considerations needed to be made.
Also I saw someone had done up an old Cannondale MTB and made it into a gravel bike. Can STI's work with cantilever brakes?

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The general rule of thumb is "road brifters are designed to work with short-pull road caliper rim brakes" - the pull isn't effective  for V-brakes that require a longer pull (and, by extension,  I'm assuming cantis ) 

However, if you are using disc brakes, you can consider road cable to actuated hydraulic brakes -  JUIN GT ,  Juin F1 or  TRP HyRd (in that order) I currently have a SRAM Force road lever cabled to Juin F1 working well

I have Shimano 105 levers on my ti drop bar sportive. They work the Avid BB7 cable actuated disc brakes very well. I'd never get another bike that wasn't disc brakes. The debate would then be hydraulic or cable! I suspect that I'd stick with cable.

Once you go Hydraulic you won't go back. The difference is the same as when going from rim brakes to cable disc

There are many thingos on bikes that are supposed to only work with other specific thingos but I have,

Vivente World Randonneur tourer that came with Sora STI (2013/R3500 series) that operated a BB7 front disc and a mini V brake rear. Being a fiddler and having trouble with the bb7 ( worked ok but would not stay in adjustment and rubbed continuously), I put a similar mini V on the front ( being a belt and braces , bicycle to survive the future on bike it also had the bosses on the fork as well as the disc mount thingos. Later I replaced the front mini V with a TRP spyre and all works well.

i have the Lynskey which was born with Ultrega 2x10 speed STI operating on front and back TRP Spyre and again all worked well except I did not like the 2x and the low gears weren't low enough so it was reborn as a 3x9 with Sora STI (2018/R3000 series) still working the discs. The last ( or most recent fiddle) was to make it a 3x10 by using the left 3x Sora and the right x10 Ultegra  STIs and the 10 speed cassette, still working well ( the same Sora FD and XT RD as when it was 3x9)

And finally I too have an older much loved Cannondale tourer which hasn't been used since 2014 and I am in the process of making it a gravel bike with available left over bits, it has centre pull cantilever brakes operated by some Tigra STI (2008 era) but I have some mini Vs I was thinking of using but the old ones look nice and work ok when adjusted by someone with more skill than me

Hi Bill,

I was wondering if the STI's you used on your bike with disc brakes are the same type of STI's you use with caliper brakes? It is interesting you had upgraded your group set and succeeded. I have another post in the offing but wanted to see if things like a conversion from a flatbar road bike/hybrid bike to a cyclocross/grave/road bike. 

No, stock standard STIs, other than newer STIs for hydro brakes I don't believe there are any shimano STIs specific to disc or rim brakes. I have always had bikes with mixed road / mountain components, always long cage RD and big cassettes so wouldn't know if I am missing something regarding speed and crispness of changes etc but all the brakes are good

ps I understand that shimano 9 speed is acknowledged as a happy compatibility hunting ground between road & mountain and forgives sins that might be fatal for other series compatibility and the bits I use for my 10 speed also work even though the are not supposed to.

My Merida Cyclocross came with 105 Shifters and a 10 speed cassette and Avid BB5 cable brakes.


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