Switching components between men's and women's road bikes


New Member
Mar 24, 2010
I have a 2008 Cannondale Synapse with Shimano Sora components, and I recently picked up a Trek road bike with Shimano Tiagra components for my wife. The Trek was used and has about 1000 miles on it, and is still in pretty good shape. My Cannondale, however, is starting to show significant wear on the drivetrain components after 2600 miles or so.

I'm wondering if I can buy some new cables and switch the component sets, putting the Tiagras on my bike and the Soras on my wife's, shifters and all. Does this seem like a good idea? My wife is just starting out, and the Soras would suit her fine for her purposes. I also can't afford to drop several hundred dollars on new components right now, though I'm sure I could by the time my wife would completely wear out the Soras.

Her bike is much smaller than mine, so would that make anything different between the component sets besides the cables?

Are there specific mens and womens component sets, or are they all the same? Would there be any harm in doing this? I'm pretty handy and mechanically smart, so the labor won't be an issue for me.


Well-Known Member
Jan 11, 2009
well its no very romantic, you know, handing the worse components for her, to answer your question only the sti levers, or brifters, can have a short reach for smaller hands, depending on the brand and model,


Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
FWIW. IMO, a better option would be for you to replace your SHIMANO SORA shifters with a set of 10-speed CAMPAGNOLO SHIFTERS ...

A 10-speed Campagnolo shifter + 8/9-speed Shimano rear derailleur can be mated to 8-and-9-speed Shimano drivetrains ... a "normal" rear derailleur cable connection for an 8-speed & a hubbub'd connection (at 3 o'clock) to replicate 9-speed indexing.


You can get the 10-speed Campagnolo shifters off of eBay for under $150 24/7 ... less, if you are wise shopper ... of course, you can always pay more if you aren't!?!

You will either need a 5mm Allen Wrench which has a ~3" shaft or (if you get the "newer" style Campagnolo shifters) a TORX Wrench of unknown-to-me size.

  • FYI. the ramping on most Shimano & SRAM Cassettes is very forgiving when the rear derailleur is mated to a Campagnolo shifter & I have found that you can actually use a 9-speed Campagnolo shifter with a ramped 8-or-9-speed Cassette, but only eight cogs will be accessed

BTW. Of course, you can then offset the purchase by selling your SORA on eBay.