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  1. #1
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    Shimano 3-speed front shifter compatible with all series?

    Is the actuation/indexing of Shimano front 3-speed shifters the same across the board for 7-, 8-, 9-, and 10-speed front derailleurs? For example, can I use a 2012 SLX DynaSys front shifter with a 9-speed Alivio front derailleur?
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Thanks. I must've missed bullet #4.
    But is it the same for 7- and 8-speed front shifters as well?
    The reason I ask is, I'm currently SS but thinking of going 1x10. Where I live, shifters can't be bought separately; they have to be in pairs. I only need the right/rear shifter. I'm wondering if the left/front shifter would work with a friend's drivetrain--8-speed Alivio--since his left shifter is shot and needs replacing.
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  4. #4
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    Yes, the front shifter should work with 7/8/and 9 speed systems.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squash View Post
    Yes, the front shifter should work with 7/8/and 9 speed systems.

    Good Dirt
    apologies for hijacking your thread, but I was under the impression 6/7/8-speed systems had the same pull ratio and 9-speed were different. Is that not the case?
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightjunction View Post
    apologies for hijacking your thread, but I was under the impression 6/7/8-speed systems had the same pull ratio and 9-speed were different. Is that not the case?
    Nope, pull ratios are the same for the front derailleurs. Cage width on the 9 speed is a little narrower, but not enough to make it incompatible with the others.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightjunction View Post
    apologies for hijacking your thread, but I was under the impression 6/7/8-speed systems had the same pull ratio and 9-speed were different. Is that not the case?
    For Shimano...

    The pull ratios are the same at least from 7-speed through 9-speed. I "think" it's the same for 6-speed as well, and there are 6-speed indexed shifters which would have required that Shimano standardize their cable pull across their shifters and derailleurs if they hadn't already.

    When I took my bike 9-speed, I just swapped the cassette and shifter. It worked fine; I only changed to a new rear derailleur because I fell on the old one.

    Because the spacing gets narrower, chains get narrower each time too. Chains for fewer than 8-speeds are not common, unless they're singlespeed chains. 8-speed chains work great on 5- and 6-speed drivetrains, however. My commuter got either 8-speed chains or whatever chain I took off a different bike to make a drivetrain revision requiring something longer.

    An old 6-speed front derailleur drops into a 9-speed drivetrain but the compatibility is not ideal. On my 'cross bike, I got it to shift, but it required a modern chainring to be able to shift up consistently without throwing the chain. I talked it over with a friend of mine who knows bikes, and with my mechanic. Both thought that the conservative choice would be to use a contemporary front derailleur. My friend's reasoning was that front derailleur cages got a little narrower with every update. While going up or down one size (like 8 vs 9) is generally fine, this was a more significant change.

    Road and mountain front derailleurs are not "supposed to be" cross-compatible. People do it sometimes. I haven't tried it myself.

    For 10-speed, the cable pull is different.

    For SRAM...

    I believe internal cross-compatibility is basically the same as Shimano. The front derailleurs are cross-compatible between the two brands, although my mechanic commented that he thought matching brands works better. We were looking at a road bike at the time.

    10-speed is different from SRAM fewer-speed.

    The cassettes are cross-compatible. SRAM describes their spacing as "industry standard."

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