Top positive review
10 people found this helpful
Great value replacement part
on 17 January 2013
When both the Shimano 200GS gear pods finally fell apart at more or less the same time (!) after 25 years attached to a Claud Butler from the 80's, I deemed that this was the perfect replacement. I spent a long time looking for a cheap as possible fix and unless you want to keep the original looks of such a bike I believe this is a no-brainer. This gear and brake lever combo also allowed for an economic brake lever upgrade. My research of late concluded that Amazon had the best price.
So I received ST-EF50-L and ST-EF50-7 from Amazon, which is the V-brake two finger 3/7 speed version. Although the Claud Butler has cantilever brakes, this product works just fine with them, and allows for an upgrade to V-brakes in the future. However I've just learnt that there is an ST-EF50-4A version designed for four finger cantilevers according to Shimano...
After fitting these the gear shifting was much better than before and a very smooth operation was achieved for both front and rear brakes and gears. I suspect this was due mainly to a combination of the new parts not being full of gunk and the terrible state of the 25 year old cables that were replaced thanks to this kit.
The kit includes two all-in-one shifter and brake lever mechanisms (3 speed on the left, 7 speed on the right), gear cable and brake cable outers, and just enough nice shiny metal nipple type parts required to do a good job. The nipples prevent damage to the cable outers and protect the cables from fraying over time.
A surprising and nice touch was that the cable outers had a load of what appeared to be silicone grease in them already (which splurged out the ends when threading the cables through), meaning this really was a lazy mans kit!
I didn't find any instructions in the box but to be honest I didn't look for them (being a bloke) so they may have just been thrown away immediately. There are instructions online though of course if one gets stuck. I'm sure anyone who doesn't mind getting dirt under their fingernails once in a while could install these. Just don't cut the cables to length until you're sure that no more adjustments are necessary (you can coil the ends up and test ride the bike first). I didn't even have to loosen or remove the handlebars or stem. Getting the handlebar grips off is the hardest part in my opinion!
I suggest having a look at techdocs dot shimano dot com.
Tools I required: Set of bike Allen keys, a good pair of wire cutters, spanner for the brakes and mechs, pliers, a bit of rag, a cup of tea.
For even smoother gear shifting and better general drivetrain performance I decided to replace the rear mech with a new Shimano Alivio 6/7/8 speed one and also get a new chain and cassette. The whole repair/upgrade was a pleasantly low cost and the bike is great to ride again thanks primarily to this Shimano STI Altus 7SPD Pair.
Overall a very good value and surprisingly high quality piece of kit that works very well and was much easier to install than I expected.