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Okay need some advice here. A friend of mine as asked me to asess the feasibility of upgrading his downtube mounted shifters to integrated brake lever shifters or bar cons. He's running a seven speed system at the moment. I've seen Sora seven speed shifters on line, but would prefer to take him up to 8 if possible... That would mean a new wheel as a 7 speed hub isn't compatible with an 8. It's a 96 Cannondale R 400 that he wants to upgrade, by my accounting we're looking at ruoughly 4 hundred to get him squared away. Is it worth it?

Thanks.
 

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I did just the same thing for a friend. The key is in the freehub body. Here's what I did: I bought an old 8 speed 105 hub and used a allen wrench (14mm, I think) to remove the 8/9 speed freehub body. Slap that on the 7 speed hub and redish the wheel. Wheelset issue is solved. You can get 8 speed STIs on ebay for less than $100. Get a new chain and an inexpensive SRAM cassette and you're good to go.
 

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Potential Roadkill said:
Okay need some advice here. A friend of mine as asked me to asess the feasibility of upgrading his downtube mounted shifters to integrated brake lever shifters or bar cons. He's running a seven speed system at the moment. I've seen Sora seven speed shifters on line, but would prefer to take him up to 8 if possible... That would mean a new wheel as a 7 speed hub isn't compatible with an 8. It's a 96 Cannondale R 400 that he wants to upgrade, by my accounting we're looking at ruoughly 4 hundred to get him squared away. Is it worth it?

Thanks.
8 speed shimano STI will shift 7 speed. The cog spacing of 7 and 8 speed cassettes is almost identical. All you have to do is set the derailleur limit screws to the 7 speed cassette and don't use the extra "click".
I've done this many times and it works perfect
 
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