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  1. #1
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    9 Speed Derailleur on 7 Speed?

    I just bought a mountain bike that unfortunatley has the low-end Shimano derailleurs on it. Already I can see they are not goint to work out for me. I would like to upgrade the rear to a Shimano XT, however I see they are 9 speed. Since my bike is only a 7 speed, can I still use this deraillure?

    Thanks,
    Jeff

  2. #2
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    Think of the derailleur as not having any brains, they're in the shifters. You'll be fine with a newer derailleur (but don't be surprised if your shifting doesn't improve much). Why isn't the current derailleur going to work for you?
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jefbur
    I just bought a mountain bike that unfortunatley has the low-end Shimano derailleurs on it. Already I can see they are not goint to work out for me. I would like to upgrade the rear to a Shimano XT, however I see they are 9 speed. Since my bike is only a 7 speed, can I still use this deraillure?

    Thanks,
    Jeff
    You're fine. I'm in a similar boat. I've got a 9 speed LX rear derailleur on my 7sp hard tail and it shifts flawlessly
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    The shifts are horrible when under stress, such as during a hill climb. Also the spring is very weak, causing the derailleur to bounce around like crazy, since where I ride has alot of roots, it was drving me crazy to hear the chain constantly clanking around. My buddy who has the LX version components had none of these problems. Some reviews I found for the Tourney line, the ones I have, all mentioned the same problems.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jefbur
    The shifts are horrible when under stress, such as during a hill climb. Also the spring is very weak, causing the derailleur to bounce around like crazy, since where I ride has alot of roots, it was drving me crazy to hear the chain constantly clanking around. My buddy who has the LX version components had none of these problems. Some reviews I found for the Tourney line, the ones I have, all mentioned the same problems.
    Sorry, I'm spoiled to an extent; I think of LX or Deore as the low end stuff, forgot about the stuff like Tourney. I still think that if you have that level of shifter, that might be part of the problem. Are you using a chainstay guard to reduce chainslap noises? Is your chain perhaps too long? Sometimes setup can make things work better for you. You really shouldn't shift when the system is under stress, they're not made to do that.
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  6. #6
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    check out jensonusa they have some good deals right now on LX and XT stuff. XT has bearings in the jockey pulleys IIRC, but LX is a nice component as well, I jsut installed one on my 15 year old hardtail/spare bike..was only about $30.

  7. #7
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    When it comes to XT vs LX I guess I'm just a big a snob as anyone here, but from what I gather, the scoop is that LX outperforms XT? Particularly under stress? My HT with LX is 7 sp, while my FS w\ 9 sp is XT. My HT shifts clean and crisp, while I do get occasional waffling on my FS. I've assumed the flaws where due to 7 or 8 sp vs 9 sp. How much of that is because of the derailleur and how much is because of the shifters? How many other people have noticed this?
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  8. #8
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    XT is better than LX mainly because of the better jockey pullies. in the shift levers there are also more bearings the higher up the food chain you go. I recently swapped LX rapidfire levers for XTR, the "feel" of XTR is awesome, uber crisp and less finger effort.

    the cog spacing is tighter on 9 speed vs 7, this means the 7 speed is more forgiving of tolerances (there is a bigger gap between shifts), mechanical wear, cabling issues, etc.

    My 9 speed bikes (ultegra, LX, and XTR) all shift brilliantly, I use SRAM chains.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 05stumpy
    XT is better than LX mainly because of the better jockey pullies. in the shift levers there are also more bearings the higher up the food chain you go. I recently swapped LX rapidfire levers for XTR, the "feel" of XTR is awesome, uber crisp and less finger effort.

    the cog spacing is tighter on 9 speed vs 7, this means the 7 speed is more forgiving of tolerances (there is a bigger gap between shifts), mechanical wear, cabling issues, etc.

    My 9 speed bikes (ultegra, LX, and XTR) all shift brilliantly, I use SRAM chains.
    Bearings and stuff clearly make it more expensive, but is it better, where it counts; at the trails. There is no discussion with XTR and SRAM X0. I've demo'ed bikes with those gruppos and they are clearly the best. I've even tried XTR derailleur with XT shifters and that combo seems just as good. I have XT and I'm quite happy with it, but on more then one occasion I've had to bail on a technical section because I can't get the gear I want. It may just be me, on a bad day, but if switching to LX helps I may actually consider it.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclopod
    Bearings and stuff clearly make it more expensive, but is it better, where it counts; at the trails. There is no discussion with XTR and SRAM X0. I've demo'ed bikes with those gruppos and they are clearly the best. I've even tried XTR derailleur with XT shifters and that combo seems just as good. I have XT and I'm quite happy with it, but on more then one occasion I've had to bail on a technical section because I can't get the gear I want. It may just be me, on a bad day, but if switching to LX helps I may actually consider it.
    OT: like I said I think what you are experincing here is not LX vs XT, but rather 7-speed vs. 9. 7-speed requires less precision = more reliable for the most part.

    If you 9-speed bike is skipping try installing a new cable and casing, make sure the cable housing lengths are correct (no kinks or sharp bends) check for a bent dropout, inspect the chain and cogs for bends, tight links, or general wear. inspect the top jockey pulley. if it is a FS inspect the pivots. disconnect the cable and check the small cog limit screw and pulley alignment with the small cog, this is the starting point for the whole setup.

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