I have bought myself a Shimano Deore M592 set without shifters.

I am now in the process of getting them as well but am not sure if I can put any 3/9 speed shifter on it.

Do I only need to take care of this or is there something else I have to watch for when choosing shifters?

1 Answer 1


You should use Shimano mountain bike shifters (Acera, Alivio, Deore, etc.) which have the same # of chainrings and same # of cogs on the cassette. So if you're running a triple in the front and a 9 speed cassette in the back, you want a 3x9 shifter set. The road bike ones (Sora, Tiagra, 105, Claris, Ultegra, etc. - even flat bar ones, like the Sora flat bars) will not work because they use different cable pull in the front.

You can't use SRAM shifters other than the SRAM Attack line (which are friction front, indexed rear, so you'll see the ones for a 3 x 9 setup just marketed as a 9 speed setup), since they have different cable pulls.

Microshift also make ones compatible with Shimano as well in the XE Marvo line (but I don't know anyone who has actually used a Microshift shifter on a mountain bike - usually its just their bar ends on a Surly road bike or similar).

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    You can use a SRAM shifter for a Shimano FD and vice versa, cable pull is only an issue for RD. I would recommend you buy at least deore level shifters to get the most out of the derailleurs.
    – DWGKNZ
    Feb 14, 2014 at 19:54
  • It would seem silly to have one SRAM shifter and one Shimano shifter though, but that is a good point if you're pulling things out of a part bin. =) [ I have had two mismatched Shimano shifters for the past week, and its already driving me nuts ]
    – Batman
    Feb 14, 2014 at 23:18
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    Also, regarding buying Deore shifters, a bigger issue than which shifter you're using is how your cables are run (sheldonbrown.com/cables.html is good reading). A well setup Alivio is better than a crappy setup Deore. FWIW, I don't think getting Deore level shifters is strictly necessary either (but if you can afford the difference, why not, I guess...). Also, it seems like Surly does spec some of their mountain bikes with Microshift TL-09 probably cause they're cheap.
    – Batman
    Feb 15, 2014 at 0:09
  • I just assumed that new shifters would mean new cable and hopefully a professional or near professional installation. My point about deore shifters is it's far better bang for your dollar to invest in high spec shifters over rear mech. Theres no point shelling out for a decent rear mech then matching it with a lower spec shifter, it will shift at the spec level of the shifter rather than the rear mech. Good shifters can make up for a poor rear mech.
    – DWGKNZ
    Feb 15, 2014 at 7:25

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