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I am looking for a replacement of an old Shimano STX right shifter, from a Raleigh MT-200 (I am pretty sure this is accurate). It is an integrated shifter, 7 gears, cantilever brakes.

Other than getting a vintage part, which is hard, I found Shimano ST EF-51 may be ok. But I am not sure if they are ok for cantilever or V-brake. Any hints?

Are there any other options out there?*

As linked here, 8 speed shifters seem to work ok.

Would 9 speed shifters also work? Where can I check specs to confirm this (I would have to check the pull length, probably a piece of information hard to find)?

EDIT: Found an answer here for the first question.

EDIT 2: This and this are posts of mine on different issues of this same replacement need.

EDIT 3: Any suggestion about this Vintage Shimano Altus 3/7 in ebay (ending today)? Is there anything specific that I should ask to evaluate its usefulness?

PS: Interesting post, with many pictures on page 4, e.g., this.

  • Those old STX shifters would be close to Deore today and were solid and precise. You will be disappointed buying anything new that is 7 speed. (I just upgraded the 7 speed Acera on my sons bike with my 20+year old STX's) Better to upgrade to 8 speed, or find some used ones of same era. Checkout the the local recycle centre for a donor bike, or get in touch with a local bike coop or bike club. – mattnz Apr 4 '16 at 9:01
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The ST EF-51's have a little switch in the back of them to switch between V-brake and cantilever. I found them too low quality to use reliably though.

You have several options:

  1. Go to 8 speed or more and pick up some Alivio shifters. This is what I did on a 7 speed bike, and this is what I'd recommend.
  2. Microshift makes some 7 speed shifters that are shimano compatible. Buy your brake levers separately. If you're not going to go 8+ speed and want indexed shifting, I'd probably try this (even though I haven't seen these used, the ST EF-51's lasted so short for me that I'd be willing to try this instead).
  3. Friction shifters always work. Add your favorite cantilever brake levers.
  4. SRAM Attack! 7 speed (twist) shifters work with Shimano and aren't too hard to find. Add your own brake levers.
  5. Find a better grade Shimano 7 speed shifter (somebody might have old stock in a decent bike shop). Some may have V-brake only (see 6) or cantilever or bring your own brake lever.
  6. V-brake levers can work with cantilever brakes with the aide of a travel agent (a pulley to change the cable pull). Alternatively, you can replace the corresponding cantilever brake with a V-brake. I'd buy a V-brake rather than the travel agent (it's cheaper and easier, e.g. Avid Single Digit 5 or 7).
  • Thanks for the thorough answer. This might come from little preventive work. The bike was out of use for about 10 years. When I used it again, the shifters were a little "hard", not shifting into gears 5-7. After reading some posts, I used WD-40, which was ok for a couple of years. Then the cable broke. I did not get original Shimano cables, and my LBS told me it was ok to use regular brake cable (no need to even have stainless steel). Shortly after, it was not shifting into gears 6-7. I opened the shifter, and there was a broken spring. – sancho.s Reinstate Monica Apr 4 '16 at 14:05
  • I wonder if it was a consequence of dirty housing+inadequate cable (more easily rusting and/or larger diameter). Perhaps getting cables/housings disassembled and cleaned, or even only getting an original replacement cable, would have avoided this... bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/36577/… – sancho.s Reinstate Monica Apr 4 '16 at 14:06
  • Well they shouldn't have told you to use brake cable, they should have told you to use shift cable. Shifters are limited lifetime parts and aren't necessarily designed to last the life of the bike. – Batman Apr 4 '16 at 20:17

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