convert auto shift bike to normal gearing


New Member
Sep 28, 2014
I recently bought a GT autostream bike at a garage sale. I think the auto shift idea is silly. I would like to use what I can of this bike to build a touring bike. Is this a good idea given the frame geometry? Will it cost me more than just buying a decent touring bike? (The frame appears to have accommodations for extra shift cables so I wonder if GT might have used this frame for a more standard hybrid or touring bike.)
FWIW. With the understanding that I am not familiar with the frame [post a picture of the bike], I say "Why not make the conversion if the frame fits & the wheel size suits you?"

Particularly if you can DIY ...

  • if you need to pay a shop to perform the transformation, then it will probably be cost prohibitive when compared with buying a ready-to-ride [new or used] bike which would have comparable moving parts.

That is, presuming that the frame fits YOU [how tall are you?] & even if you later decide that you want a different frame and/or fork, if you choose your components with longevity in mind (I recommend LX-or-better), then you can always move the components to another frame.

  • IMO, the cost difference between the cheapest components & intermediate level components is small in real terms (it may seem large from a percentage perspective, of course), so it's worth ponying up a little more for the slightly more expensive stuff ...
  • the cost difference when you move from the intermediate level components to the high zoot stuff is considerable

If you can put fenders on the bike, then it can theoretically be used for touring.
This is exactly what I needed. (Does anyone want to buy an Autostream?)

I have been looking at ready to ride bikes and am wonder if you have any in sights about where to look. The nearest bike shops are about 100 miles away. Of the shops I've visited only one impresses me much. 2ND Hand stores seem to me to charge too much for too little and are always a gamble. It looks like there are some good deals on line but I am afraid those may be an even more expensive gamble.
Where are you that you are 100 miles from a bike shop?
No matter ... let mail order be your friend!
You will just need a ...
  1. rear derailleur (8-/9-speed Shimano) .. LX or SLX
  2. front derailleur (8-speed Shimano) ... ACERA (?)
  3. shifters (8-speed MTB Shimano ... these will be compatible with 7-speed)
  4. cables (the shifters may already have them) & cable housing

Your out-of-pocket cost via eBay is under $150 for reasonably good components -- new or lightly used. You could spend much more, of course.
You may need some Metric Allen Wrenches if you don't already own some ...
  • DON"T buy derailleurs which don't use Allen Wrenches ... THAT's pretty low threshold ...
  • the derailleurs which use regular box wrenches are either of a distant vintage or a quality less than you really want to use unless your trips are under a few miles in each direction (an arbitrary distance).

A "cable cutter" would be good to have ...
  • or, silver solder the ends of the cables & clip with wire cutters Harbor Freight wire cutters can clip bicycle cables
  • instead of silver soldering the ends (you could possibly use Super Glue) MEASURE the excess ...
  • remove the cable from the bike
  • "fix" the cable where it end by soldering or gluing if you want to "fix" the ends with Super Glue, practice near the waste end, first!!!
[*]re-insert & attach to the respective derailleur(s)

You should buy a chain breaker/riveter if you don't already have one ... a good one is easier to use than a less expensive one ... allow ~$20 +/-.
Consult Youtube,, as needed.
My preferred method of cutting cables is to use a dremel with a cutoff disc and then heat shrink tubing over the cut ends of the cable.