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I dont like my ultegra bar end shifters on my trek x01. i get the point that on a cyclocross bike it makes sence. they work perfect and i like that you can modulate the front shifter to move the derailer a bit to avoid chain cross... but.. every once in a while i bump a knee on them and obviously there is no shifting without taking my hands off the bar. i ride in the hoods most of the time so i am thinking of geting a set of ebay sora sti shifters. is this worth doing or should i look for tiagra or better? Im not in a hurry to change the rest of the sora components as they shift perfectly smooth and weight is not a consern. (bike weighs right at 20lbs and for a BIG guy this is no issue). any recomendations. im 8speed with a triple right now.
 

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Rub it............
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Tiagra is 9 speed. So you will need to change out the cassette and chain Maybe even the rear derailleur. Not 100% sure if the Sora 8 speed rear derailleur will work properly with the 9 speed shifters. According to Shimano, the Sora RD-3300 rear derailleur is 7/8 speed compatible. The new Sora RD3400 is 9 speed now.
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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If you ride on the hoods the majority of the time Shimano's 2300 series shifters will work fine. Both Sora (now 9 spd) and 2300's (8 spd) employ a thumb shifter to shift to the smaller ring/ smaller cogs, but that's only a disadvantage when riding in the drops.

http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-ST-2300-2x8sp-front-rear/dp/B0038EI5K2

FWIW, if you did decide to go 9 spd, as long as you stayed with similar gearing, your RD would work fine.
 
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