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  1. #1
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    Idea! upgrading front/rear derailleur (8 speed)

    I'll be upgrading my rear derailleur soon... then my front derailleur too later on. Is it a good idea to upgrade both at the same time? Is it better that they be of the same manufacturer/group?

    I have vintage XTR M910 8 speed shifters (ST-M910 Shimano Japan 22.2). Aside from contacting Shimano, does anyone know what ratio my shifter is... 2.1 or 1.1? (My other components are XT 8 speed cassette 11-28, double 9 speed chainrings 32T, 44T).

    Will a 9 speed front/rear derailleur work on an 8 speed cassette?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    More Torque
    Reputation: Diesel~'s Avatar
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    A shimano 9 speed rear derailleur should work with no problems. Don't go for a 10 speed or a SRAM rear. You could also go for a 9 speed FD at the same time, but if your old one is working fine, don't bother; the FD does not care what type of cassette you have on the back. It interfaces with the chain, chainrings and front shifter.

    -D

  3. #3
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    I have an old bike with the original XTR M900 rear derailleur and XT 8-speed cassette. I use Grip Shift shifters, though, so I can't answer your shifter questions. Everything still works great, but the biggest problem for me is that you can't get XT or XTR 8-speed cassettes anymore. When my previous XT cassette wore out I bought a lower level 8-speed cassette and it messed up my freehub body since it didn't have the alloy spider/carrier. I eventually found a lightly used XT cassette, which I'm using now. If this is a bike that you ride a lot, it might be worth upgrading to 9-speed or even 10-speed.

    In the front I use an XT derailleur from the early 90's. With the non-indexed Grip Shift the pull ratio doesn't matter. Chainrings are a mix -- Avid steel granny, Shimano HG middle, and Suntour MicroDrive big ring.

  4. #4
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    Thanks again guys. Let's say i can't find out what ratio my shifter is. Does it matter if i don't know whether it's 2.1 or 1.1? I read a guide online stating this is important to know.

    I'm hesitant to call Shimano because the last time i called for something, they actually told me my shifters are 9 speed. Luckily i verified for myself through Google/eBay that they are 8 speed.

    (in case anyone needs to know my FD was a Shimano AceraX 7 speed top-swing, bottom-pull)

  5. #5
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
    Reputation: Zachariah's Avatar
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    Shimano is 2:1 ratio. I have a Deore FD is you are interested...
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  6. #6
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    Thanks Zachariah!

  7. #7
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    The original guide i read is from vitalmtb which mentioned finding out what your shifter ratio is. Now i just read this Understanding Rear Bike Derailleurs - Performance Bike Learning Center & no where does it mention anything about shifter ratio.

    So i'm gonna not mind the ratio thing & move forward. But i will use performancebike's info about calculating total capacity. Please anyone following this thread, please help to steer me in the right direction. Nothing like upgrading your bike with the wrong information *sigh

  8. #8
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    Yes, any older Shimano non-dynashift (newer 10 speed) derailleur should work fine with your 8. I use an 8speed XT m737 der on a 9 speed cassette with 9 speed shifters and it works great. I know you can use a short cage derailleur with a 28 in the rear, the old 7 speed systems came with a short cage xt der. on a 12-28. You 'should' be able to run an Ultegra der. on the 12-28 if you're into that sort of thing, road guys run 11-28s with those. Otherwise almost any older XT derailleur should be good. The only oddball of the older Shimano stuff is the 8 speed Dura Ace, you can make it work but it's not directly compatible. I know xtr 9speed rears go for about $50 on ebay, since you already have some xtr you may want to get one of those, I've had better luck with used XT. Fronts last a LONG time, try cleaning and lubing the cable, then replacing the cable housing, if that doesn't work then replace the front derailleur.
    My friend races and old Cannondale and was having front shifting troubles, her lbs put on a newer front der. and it got worse! I'm a decent mechanic, and I could not make it work right. I had an old LX front I put on there, -it was old 9spd LX and I was able to get it to work perfectly: I'd rather have good quality older components than cheap low end newer components.

  9. #9
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    Tyvm jimPacNW

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