How to Change From STI to Bar End Shifters

Written by donivan gillis
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How to Change From STI to Bar End Shifters
Drop-style bars are often seen on performance racing bicycles. (woman on a bicycle image by Wimbledon from

Bar end shifters are one of two types of shifters that are commonly seen attached to drop-style handlebars. Used prior to the 1990s, these were the only shift controls that worked properly on drop-style handlebars. In the early 1990s, Campagnolo and Shimano introduced STI shifters, which quickly replaced the older bar end shifters. Whether you are saving some cash during a parts replacement or just prefer the older bar end shifters, the process of replacing STI with bar end shifters is a fairly straightforward process.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Electrical tape
  • 2 Cable housings
  • 2 Shifter cables
  • Allen wrenches
  • Screwdriver
  • Razor cutter
  • Wire cutter
  • Handlebar tape

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  1. 1

    Loosen the cable stop bolts on both derailleurs using an Allen wrench. Do not remove these bolts completely, only enough to slide the cable easily out of them.

  2. 2

    Remove the cable housing caps from your shifter assemblies using a screwdriver. These are generally a plastic screw located near the front of your shifters.

  3. 3

    Remove your shifter cables from the cable housings and push them through your shifters. Remove your shifter cables from your shifter assembly.

  4. 4

    Remove the end cap from the end of your handlebars by prying them off. Unwind your handlebar tape from your handlebars.

  5. 5

    Remove your STI shifters by loosening the clasp using a screwdriver. Slide your old shifters off of your handlebars.

  6. 6

    Remove your old shifter cables from your bicycle. Install new shifter cables along your handlebars and down through the cable brackets on your bicycle frame. Cut off any excess cable housing with a pair of wire cutters. Install new cable ends into the ends of your cable housings. Secure your cables to your handlebars using electrical tape.

  7. 7

    Apply new handlebar tape to your handlebars. Wrap these evenly along the handlebars and around the brake levers. Cut off any excess tape to form an angle parallel with the end of your handlebars. Secure the ends of your handlebar tape with a couple wraps of electrical tape. Let your shifter cable protrude from the handlebar wrap about 2 inches from the end of the handlebars.

  8. 8

    Install your bar end shifters by pushing them into the ends of your handlebars. Align the shifter so that the cable housing is aimed at the proper place on the bar end shifters. Slide the cable housings into the proper place in the shifters.

  9. 9

    Slide a new shifter cable through the shifters and the cable housings. Install the cable end through the cable stop on your derailleur. Tighten the cable stop using an Allen wrench. Cut off any excess cable that exceeds 1 inch past the cable stops.

  10. 10

    Install a cable cap to the end of your shifter cable by sliding it over the cable and gently pinching it two times using a pair of wire cutters to secure it on.

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