Sora flat bar shifters - the only ones?

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Sora flat bar shifters - the only ones?

Postby mikeymo » 7 Nov 2020, 11:10am

My bike is 9 x 3. At the moment nearly all Sora, but with alternative rear and front derailleurs awaiting fitting

I found these:

for front derailleur
for rear derailleur

Shimano's compatibility chart says the left/front shifter goes with this FD:

As far as I'm aware, that FD is standard road cable pull (assuming I want front indexing). Or at least if it isn't I'll find out when my shims arrive and I try to fit my 105 FD.

9 speed rear transmission is all compatible in Shimano, yes? So I'm only really asking about front derailleurs/shifters.

So these shifters, alone, should make a drop bar to flat bar conversion straightforward, as far as I can tell.

Having found these, I thought that maybe Shimano had done a similar thing with their other groupsets. That there would be a pair of matching flat bar trigger shifters with road pull. It seems that that isn't the case. In fact the opposite. There is the 9 speed "Tiagra" SL R441, and although they are publicised as for "road" bikes, the left-hand/front trigger shifter actually needs to use a specific derailleur, FD-R443/453 which is actually MTB pull, but shaped to work with larger chainrings. There is much discussion on this, with some people claiming that they have got SL R441s to work with "real" road FDs. But my impression is that SL-R441 won't work with my Sora/105 FD.

As far as I can tell from Shimano's compatibility chart, the Tiagra 10 speed flat bar shifters, SL 4603, do work with several road FDs 4603, 5703, 6703, so I assume they are standard road cable pull.

In which case:

1. Are there any other flat bar trigger shifters that will work with triple (9 speed) Shimano front derailleurs?

2. Road shifters (whether trigger or STI) pull the same amount of cable? So that Tiagra left hand shifter, although it's "10 speed", should work with a Sora FD, or a 105 or whatever, yes? If the FD is "9 speed" then the movement will be the same, and there shouldn't be a problem with chain rub?

3. Is there something about the operation of road front shifters that make trigger shifters unsuitable, or prone to failure, or something?