I'm building a touring bike and was interesting in using STI shifters, just wondering if this setup will work.

  • Shimano Sora 3500 STI Triple 3x9 Speed Road Lever Set
  • Shimano Deore M590 Top Swing 9sp Front Mech
  • Shimano Deore M592 Shadow 9 Speed Rear Mech

    Thank you :)

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      Just off the top of my head I think yes, because Shimano road and MTB systems used the same cable pull per gear and derailleur movement ratio for 9 and below speed. Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 18:15
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      Possible duplicate of Road Shifters, Mountain Rear Derailleur?
      – StefanS
      Commented Jul 16, 2018 at 4:21
    • Sram 2x10 is also worthy of consideration, and was designed to work together: sram.com/sram/road/technologies/exact-actuation
      – Andy P
      Commented Jul 16, 2018 at 10:22
    • @StefanS: not a duplicate, 9s and 10s have different compatibility issues and this includes front derailleur
      – ojs
      Commented Jul 16, 2018 at 19:42

    3 Answers 3


    There are many answers here that cover variations of this question in more depth, but the answer is not really, because Shimano front derailer cable pull is different between mountain and road. What tends to happen as a result of the combination you describe is it does shift, but performance is lacking and there will invariably be FD cage rub in some gear combinations that you'll never be able to adjust out. You read conflicting things about this because it does in fact shift and kinda sorta work from a certain perspective and that's good enough for some people. The rear is matched perfectly because all 9 speed Shimano shifters are the same cable pull, mountain or road.

    Solutions include bar-ends with their friction front shifting (which is good for other reasons on touring bikes because it's less finicky and tends to work better in situations where you've chosen whatever chainring sizes you want as opposed to what's prescribed), a shift adapter such as Jtek, or pushing the limits of what road front triples can do (this also compromises performance). Another very good approach is using 10-speed pre-Escape Ergo levers with the so-called Hubbub mod aka Shimergo, which is a hack that makes them work with Shimano 9-speed rear derailers and cassettes while the front has lots of small clicks and can basically shift anything. In practical terms most people just use bar-ends here and leave it at that though.

    • Thank you this explains a lot, I don't want to sacrifice performance but I don't like the feel of bar ends they are my last resort if I can't figure this out. I read around that a lot of people have had success with the Jtek and I think I will probably just end up going with that.
      – Jacko
      Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 3:41
    • @Jacko Another possibility is to just use a Shimano road front derailleur. Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 7:36
    • @AndrewHenle I'm running the Deore M590 22-32-44 are there any road FDs that will work? All the 3-speed road FDs from Shimano have a 20T capacity whereas I need a 22T. I know there is the microSHIFT FD-R539-F but are there any others that will work for this application?
      – Jacko
      Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 19:45
    • There's the IRD Alpina. It's more designed for 46-48t cranks and I don't really know how well matched it would be to a 44, but may be fine. It works with STI and is about as close as it gets here. Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 19:52
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      @Jacko Also, in my experience Shimano components will work a bit beyond their specified limits. I've run Shimano road rear derailleurs with nominal 28-tooth max sprocket size with 32-tooth casettes, for example. This is probably apropos: bikeforums.net/bicycle-mechanics/… Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 19:59

    Having just deal w/ Sora 3500 crankset 50/34 & Alivio FD with STI (Triple). I have a top pull on my Montague Navigator. So, only way get it done was replacing front derailleur(FD) w/ FD-CX70, which is STI specific. Alivio just did NOT work. So, I guess this will be same for Triple as others described. Other potential cheap solution is using a friction or indexed twist shifter. This will work well for about $10 + $10 (twister + front brake lever w/o shifting). You place it near the stem like a flat-bar. This is far safer than bar end as well, when u accidentally drop the bike. Potentially less cool looking but it works!

    • Yeah makes sense different cable pull ratios between road shifter and MTB FD. I almost got my setup to work with a JTek on the FD but I didn't realize my derailleur hanger was bent and my whole shifting was horrid.
      – Jacko
      Commented Sep 30, 2019 at 22:32
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      I just saw Salsa bicycle MARRAKESH Sora, which has Alivio cranset & FD. Not sure how it made it work. Commented Oct 2, 2019 at 4:52

    I'm using Sora R3000 and replaced the rear mech with alivio, changed the cassette from 11-32 to 11-36. I heard you can have it up to 40T but I haven't pushed my bike so far, and I'm living in the Philippines. So I guess 34-36T would be enough


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