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
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    Problems with gears

    Some time ago when I upgraded from sachs twist shifters to rf on my 8 speed bike the shop put 9 speed XT shifter levers (that was about 5-6 years ago). My rear derailer is STX RC and the front Alivio. The shifting needs adjusting all the time. Sometimes it doesn't change, sometimes it goes up or down 2 shifts. Is that because of the levers? I know it is costly to go to 9 shifters as I need to change derailers, bb, maybe crankset. What do you think? Should I downgrade the levers? Do you think it would solve the problem?

  2. #2
    MTJ
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    Something's not right here

    Maybe I'm misreading something here, but you said that the shop already put 9spd shifters on your bike. That means you have a 9 speed bike. If you've got 9 speed shifters and an 8spd cogset, it will never work. The spacing between 8 and 9 is totally different, so what's happening is that when you go to shift one gear, it's not moving it enough to get to the next gear, and then when you try to go one gear more it's jumping two cogs.

    Remember, the shifter has to match the cogs, regardless of the derailleur you use. The STX-RC derailleur you have should last a long time (though they stopped making that model in like 1997 so it's already old).

    So here's the good news - if you have 9 speed shifters, the ONY upgrade you have to make is a 9spd cassette. The 9spd and 8spd cassettes have the same dimensions, so a 9spd cassette will slip right on to an 8spd hub (this was not true of 7 and 8spd hubs). The only reason to upgrade the derailleur is if you went with a big cogset - your STX-RC has a 30 tooth max cog capacity, and the off-road cogsets of today have 32 and 34 tooth bail-out gears. If you don't do a lot of climbing, or you're very fit, you can get an Ultegra 12-27 cogset that will come very close to what you have on there now (probably an 11-28).

    The bad news is that it looks like you got taken by the shop those few years ago. No mechanic worth anything would have tried to make 9spd shifters work on an 8spd cassette. It's certainly too late to try to get your money back, but make sure you avoid that shop.

    I'm also concerned with this statement you made: "as I need to change derailers, bb, maybe crankset" Your front derailleur will still work just fine. Your chainrings will work just fine. Your crankset and bottom bracket have NOTHING to do with your shifting. You may have to change your rear derailleur, but not necessarily. I am concerned that you have been given much misinformation by people trying to oversell you. Once again, stay away from that shop.

    Once you get into it, if you have any more problems, try posting your issues on the Drivetrain Forum, you'll get a faster response than you did over here in Beginners.

    And if I missed something here, please reply and I'll help figure it out.

    Good luck and have fun.

  3. #3
    Cheezy Rider
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    9 speed shifters will not work properly with an 8speed cassette. I'd put on a 9-speed cassette, and you should get a new chain too. 9-speed chains are a little narrower than 8-speed. You should probably replace your front chainrings too, they'll be pretty worn if they're still original, and they'll cause your new chain and cassette to wear prematurely.

    And I wouldn't let that shop work on your bike anymore.

  4. #4
    ride hard take risks
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    Agree time to upgrade the rear cog to a 9spd & replace the chain to a 9spd also. May also need front sprockets, shifter cables & housing.

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...+Cassette.aspx

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...9Sp+Chain.aspx

  5. #5
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    I guess it is time. So do you think I just need cassette and chain? How about a rear der. and front chainrings that the other fellows say? How would I recognise if the shop will put what I ask and not a lower model? After what happened back then although I changed shop I want to check out everything, and you can hardly see what is written on the cassete or chain!!!

  6. #6
    MTJ
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    What's best vs what will work

    I agree with the other posts that it is best to replace the rings and chain if you replace the cogset. I assume by their age that they're probably pretty worn, and the chain, cogset, and chainrings will all kind of take the same set as they wear. Changing one component at a time is generally not advisable.

    That said, I do it all the time and don't really see issues.

    Definitely get a new chain though, and, if the budget allows, new chainrings. You don't say how old the componentry is but I am sure you can find rings to fit your crank - my guess is they're 58/94 5 bolt rings. If you're going to go with a road-sized cassette, make sure you replace the rings with smaller sizes (22/32/42) but if you go the mtb route and get a big old 11-34 you can get away with 24/34/44 or even 46 if you want to go big on downhills or paved roads.

    If you're going to go the mtb route, get a new derailleur. You don't absolutely have to (I just read a great article on sheldonbrown.com about this) but it will be easier to work on and won't require you to think as much about what you're doing.

    As far as the shop goes, I would just be totally honest with them. Explain how you got screwed before and that you want to make sure that everything is what you think it is. You can do this without being rude, and most shop guys will understand. Educate yourself as best as possible before you walk in there, and when they're done with your bike, before you pay for it, ask them to show you what they changed. Most mechanics are crazy proud of the work they do and will have no problem walking you through what they did.

    So there's a few ways you can go here:
    BEST - replace the cassette, chainrings, chain, rear derailleur, and cables
    OK - replace the cassette, chain, rear derailleur
    MINIMUM - replace the cassette and chain

    If it were me, I would acknowledge that I had many years of great service out of the componenrty I had and I would replace everything. You can do this fairly economically, as long as you're not expecting XTR or anything like that. Deore components are going to work better than what you have now and are still fairly cheap. Nothing wrong with LX either. Those links that dogonfr provided are great examples of top-notch stuff that's reasonably priced.

    Good luck.

  7. #7
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    just add. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by MTJ
    So there's a few ways you can go here:
    BEST - replace the cassette, chainrings, chain, rear derailleur, and cables
    OK - replace the cassette, chain, rear derailleur
    MINIMUM - replace the cassette and chain
    I would suggest the minimum includes a new shift cable and housing for the rear derr. If it has been that long it could be all gunked up/frayed/crimped and so on.

    FT

  8. #8
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    Thanks a lot. I took it there yesterday and put an XT rear derailer, deore cassette and deore chain (is it possible for the shimano chain to be made in Taiwan by the way? as it is written on it). Also I will need to change the front rings and I will also go for deore or LX.

  9. #9
    ride hard take risks
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markleo
    Thanks a lot. I took it there yesterday and put an XT rear derailer, deore cassette and deore chain (is it possible for the shimano chain to be made in Taiwan by the way? as it is written on it). Also I will need to change the front rings and I will also go for deore or LX.
    Ya the chain may have been made in Taiwan. My son has a Deor front dereailleur on his bike, raced DH & uses the heck out of it, 6 years old & still shifting. It is getting a little sloppy but for 6 years of use thats great. XT rear derailleur is awsome, great choice.

  10. #10
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    The shop said to me that I need to replace the small chain ring as the others work. Should I just change all 3 of them? What would you recommend? Alivio Deore or LX?

  11. #11
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    The small ring is usually steel, do you spend alot of time in that ring?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogonfr
    The small ring is usually steel, do you spend alot of time in that ring?

    Not really. Usually I have the middle ring. Why are you asking this? Should I not change all rings. The chain doesn't go in the small ring for some reason, that's why he suggested to change it. Thanks

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markleo
    Not really. Usually I have the middle ring. Why are you asking this? Should I not change all rings. The chain doesn't go in the small ring for some reason, that's why he suggested to change it. Thanks
    If you dont sped alot of time in it & it's steel it should'nt wear out as quick. Unless it is very old i would only replace the middle & outer rings. It sounds like the front derailleur needs adjusting or the cable is too short.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogonfr
    If you dont sped alot of time in it & it's steel it should'nt wear out as quick. Unless it is very old i would only replace the middle & outer rings. It sounds like the front derailleur needs adjusting or the cable is too short.
    The shop insists on changing just the small ring. They will not charge they said. They "locked" it temporary so I could use my bike during the weekend and although I was going only on the middle ring and changing the back gears 3-4 times it felt like the cranks stuck but then they started working again. Is that because of the new chain I recently put? I don't know what is happening. I payed so much money to upgrade to 9 gears and things became worse. I am going to the shop today to have a word with them.

  15. #15
    ride hard take risks
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markleo
    The shop insists on changing just the small ring. They will not charge they said. They "locked" it temporary so I could use my bike during the weekend and although I was going only on the middle ring and changing the back gears 3-4 times it felt like the cranks stuck but then they started working again. Is that because of the new chain I recently put? I don't know what is happening. I payed so much money to upgrade to 9 gears and things became worse. I am going to the shop today to have a word with them.
    If they are going to guarante that it fixes your problem then fine. The free i take it is on labor only. It can be challenging to be in front of a moniter trying to visulize a problem. Real life is always different.Give them the chance to prove what they say, i could be wrong.

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