I have a Sirrus Specialized road bike with flat/straight handlebars and a Carrera TDF 2014 edition. As much as I like it, I must say that I prefer the Siruss' frame. It's light and aero. I want to swap my Carreras handlebars and the STI levers onto my Siruss.

Are the STI levers on my Carreras compatible with the V-brakes on my Siruss? Are there any problems that I need to think about before I do the swap?

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2 Answers 2


No, road brake levers are not compatible with v-brakes. If you're dead set on switching to drop bars on a bike with v-brakes, you'll need to either switch the brakes to cantilevers or use a travel agent to correct the pull ratio. Personally, I'd just switch to cantilevers. I've never used a travel agent, but I've heard they can be finicky.

There's also a question of shifting compatibility. The first thing to check is that the brands match. Sram and Shimano are not cross compatible, so if you have one on one bike and the other on the other, you'll have problems.

The second thing to check is the number of gears. Ideally, you want the same number in the front and the rear. If they're different you'll have problems.

You also need to know if the mountain components that are most likely on your hybrid are compatible with road shifters. If it's all 9-speed Shimano, you should be good. If it's 10-speed Shimano, you're going to run into compatibility problems. One more thing to mention with Shimano is that they have sometimes used hybrid specific front derailleurs that work with just fine with mountain shifters, but sub-optimally when mixed with road shifters. Sram 10-speed is all cross compatible between mountain and road. And I don't think Sram even makes 9-speed stuff anymore. If they do, I'm not sure whether or not it's cross compatible between mountain and road. Someone else, feel free to edit it in.

I know, you practically need a flow chart to keep it all straight. If in doubt, check with your LBS.

It's also worth pointing out that your position on the bike will change. Road levers will put you leaning farther forward on the hybrid. It'll be enough to be noticeable and possibly uncomfortable. You might be able to correct with a different stem, seatpost, and/or seat position. But be aware if you start messing with the stem you're going to change the way the bike steers.


Yeah, the greatest compatibility issues are with the shifting. I've ran into issues with my conversion. The V-brakes can actually work with the road wheels and brifters, but you have to have trued wheels and a very small gap between the brake pads and the wheels. This makes it so that you also cant use the brake release for the V-brakes unless you file the little nipple down.

If you have a shimano mountain front derailleur, it won't work well with the brifters. I have 2 rings up front and use the 3 speed left shifter. There is a half step, but I can still shift between the 2.

Since the frame on the hybrid was made for a flat bar, you'll have to use a shorter stem and reach on the dropbar to bring you back a little bit.

After all that, it works great! I have a super light schwinn frame with ultegra 6600 components throughout, except the V-brakes of course.

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