1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
    siv
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    First post/8 to 9 speed question

    Whats up all. Glad to be here and hoping to learn a lot. Im looking to replace my crumby Shimano ALivio shifters to either the LX or SRAM x7. There both 9 speed. What else do I have to change? I assume a 9 speed freewheel, chain and probably the cables. Is that it and is it relatively easy?

  2. #2
    I wear two thongs
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    Welcome to MTBR you came to the right place theres a huge wealth of knowledge to find here.
    Items that you will need:
    Bike parts:
    Rear 9spd Der
    9spd Cassette
    9spd Chain
    9spd Shifters
    New cables, housing, cable ends, and housing endcaps (makes the instalation alot easier when your using new cables)

    Tools needed: (If doing the instalation yourself)
    Metric Allen wrench set
    Chain Breaker (make the chain the correct length)
    Chainwhip (tool that holds the old cassette in place when you remove it)
    Cassette Lockring Tool (specially made wrench that takes the lockring off of the cassette for removal)
    Cable cutters (cut cables to correct length/pinch on cable ends)
    Grease (lube bolt threads)
    Lube (to make that new drivetrain run smooth)

    Also if you are doing this yourself you may want to look into the book Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintanence it has everything you would possibly need to wrench on a bike. You can sometimes find it at bookstores or online from somewheres like amazon.
    Hiking is just walking where its okay to pee... Sometimes old people go hiking by accident. -Demetri Martin-

  3. #3
    siv
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    How do I know what speed the derailers are. Alivio in the front and Deore in the rear right now. Also, not sure I know what teeth count to get for the cog. Right now I have 11-32 for my 8 speed. I understand thats teeth count but Im not sure what range Im looking at getting. I prefer to get something on closeout because I still havent mastered hopping over rocks so I tend to bend the rings making everything along the way wear pretty hard.

  4. #4
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    Welcome to the forum!
    Your Deore derailers might actually work with a nine speed setup, but your shifters (on handlebars) will not.
    Your best bet would be to buy an 11-32/34 cassette.
    If you never use the big ring it might be a good idea to buy a bashplate to replace the big ring. It will ad ground clearance and protect the middle ring.
    Btw it's cassete, not freewheel.

  5. #5
    I wear two thongs
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    Eli's right your deore could be a 9spd look on the der sometimes it will say 9spd right on it or contact the bike company that made your bike and ask them if it is a 9spd compatible der. Also if you want to keep your big ring and are affraid of damaging it look at something like this, I run one on my XC bike.
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...ing+Guard.aspx

    It goes right on the outside of your big ring and is slightly bigger than it. The sawtooth design is pretty ingenious too it slides freely going forwards over something but if you do snag onto something once you pedal the teeth of it dig in to get you over what your stuck on.
    Hiking is just walking where its okay to pee... Sometimes old people go hiking by accident. -Demetri Martin-

  6. #6
    Cheezy Rider
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    There's no difference between an 8 or 9 speed derailler, BUT there is a difference between the SRAM X-series deraillers and shifters and everything else. If you want X-7 shifters you'll have to get an X-derailler. The x-series shifters pull less cable than traditional shifters and must be used with a compatible derailler.

    If you stick with Shimano or "regular" SRAM shifters you can keep your derailler.

    It's pretty easy to do, but it does take some special tools as noted earlier. Park Tools' website has some great info for wrenching on your bike, and you should pick up Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance or a similar book.

  7. #7
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    Instead of starting a new thread, I'll just add to this one. Is it possible to install a 8 or 9 speed drivetrain to a 7 speed wheel (and possibly bottom bracket, assuming its different also)?

  8. #8
    R.I.P. DogFriend
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    Quote Originally Posted by jason124
    Instead of starting a new thread, I'll just add to this one. Is it possible to install a 8 or 9 speed drivetrain to a 7 speed wheel (and possibly bottom bracket, assuming its different also)?
    8 and 9 speed wheels are a bit wider than 7 speed wheels. Consequently the frames are different widths at the dropouts as well.

    8 and 9 speed wheels are the same width. 9 speed uses narrower spacing betwen the gears to maintain the same width as 8 speed. 7 speed and 8 speed use the same spacing between the gears on the cassette, so the 8 speed cassette is wider than a 7 speed. Thus, you can use 8 speed shifters with a 7 speed drivetrain.

    9 speed cranks usually use narrower chain rings too, so using 7 speed cranks/chainrings on a 9 speed setup may experience less than stellar shifting with the narrower nine speed chain.

    Bottom line is that in order to use an 8 or 9 speed drivetrain on a frame designed for 7 speeds, you would have to spread frame at the rear dropouts (not recommended, but not necessarily impossible).

    About the most you can do within design specs is to upgrade your shifters to a newer 8 speed system. When adjusted properly, when it hits the smallest gear on the cassette, you will be still able to shift one more time, but the derailleur will not move any further.

    If you are really bent on 9 speeds, you can get a frame from someone like performance for $100 to $150 that is 9 speed capable and designed for the added stopping power of v-brakes (or even disc brakes) as well (something that is a whole other issue with frames from the 7 speed era) and transfer your parts from your old frame. If you consider this, also make sure thesteerer tube on the fork from your old frame isn't something other than 1-1/8". 1" forks were very common then, so tread carefully if you decide to upgrade.

    BTW: Starting a new thread would not have been innappropriate in this case.

  9. #9
    Cheezy Rider
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    Jeff is pretty much right, although the 7 and 8-speed cogs are not spaced exactly the same, they are very close. I put 8-speed shifters on a 7 speed Rockhopper, when i got it adjusted in one gear another would be a little off. As I've ridden the bike, it's gradually adjusted itself so that this has greatly diminished. Weird, but in a good way. Did the conversion two years ago, I commute 4 miles on it every day.

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