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  1. #1
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    Bar-end Shifters on a 7sp

    I've got an old 1990 Trek 950 with 7-speed Deore LX, and I threw on some On-One Midge drop bars. I'd like to put on bar-end shifters, but the 7-speed ones seem pretty hard to come by (and expensive when they do pop up). Eventually I'll be using this bike for some light trail riding, commuting, and also some loaded touring with slicks.

    I seem to have at least a couple options to make this work, so it would be nice to get some input from others.

    1. I could get 8 or 9-speed bar end shifters and just use friction shifting. I'm not entirely sure the pull would be the same, so this might not work at all.

    2. I could upgrade the entire drivetrain to 9-speed, which I understand would require me to buy, at the very least, a new 9sp cassette, chain, 3x9 front derailleur, possibly rear derailleur(?), rear wheel (supposedly I can re-dish the old one and buy a new freehub, but I'd rather not bother), on top of the 9-speed bar end shifters.

    Is there an easier way? 9-speed would be nice, but I'd rather not end up replacing the majority of the existing drivetrain. In other words, what is the cheapest way for me to get bar-end shifters onto my old 7sp Trek?

  2. #2
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    Shimano SL-BS64 are switchable between friction and 8 speed index and will work with a seven speed drive train - you could probably try the indexing if you wish and just use the RD high limit screw to stop it going to the lowest shifter position.

  3. #3
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    Thanks SimpleJon, I had read elsewhere that the difference in cog spacing between Shimano 7 and 8-speed cassettes is negligible. I'll probably go ahead and grab a pair of 8sp bar ends like you suggested.

  4. #4
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    I've just installed some on a 8 speed drop bar tourer for someone, they work well. He got them from amazon for about $70 if I remember correctly. The sprocket spacing only matters for indexing - if set as friction it will work fine, but I would imagine it will work fine indexed with 7 speed, can't be 100% as I haven't tried

  5. #5
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    Yes, the 8 speed shifters will work quite well with a 7 speed drivetrain. The floating upper pulley compensates for the very minor differences in spacing. I have used 8 speed shifters on several older 7 speed bicycles with great success. Just use the limit screws to lock out the 8th click in the shifter.

  6. #6
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    I run friction bar end shifters on my 3x7 road bike and they work fine. I did have to put a rapid rise RD on to make the two shifters move the same direction. With both down, I am in lowest gear, both up in highest. Before swapping out the RD, I had the front shifter down and the rear shifter up for lowest gear, made it very confusing to shift.

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