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  1. #1
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    Idea! Will old 8 speed shifter work with 9 speed cassette?

    Will old 8 speed shifter work with 9 speed cassette?

    Seems like Shimano's rep was wrong when he told me my XTR M910 shifter is 9 speed. From the info i'm gathering online it looks like it is 8 speed, especially after an ebay seller who is selling the same XTR M910 shifters told me it is 8 speed Shimano XTR M910 Shifters for Vintage Mountain Bike MTB Brake Levers | eBay. I posted 2 pics of my shifter. I see 8 positions for the "red gear-marker" in the pics. Please tell me if it is 8 speed or 9 speed. Thank you very much.

    PS. I bought a new XT 9 speed cassette. It will arrive soon. If the XTR M910 shifter is 8 speed, will the new XT cassette work with the old XTR shifters? Should i return the 9 speed XT cassette when it arrives & buy an 8 speed cassette? Thank you
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  2. #2
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    Nope, different spacing between the cogs on 8 and 9 speed cassettes. All of the 8 speed stuff is self compatible, and the 9 speed stuff is all self compatible, so if you can find an 8 speed cassette these shifters should work fine with it.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill View Post
    Nope, different spacing between the cogs on 8 and 9 speed cassettes. All of the 8 speed stuff is self compatible, and the 9 speed stuff is all self compatible, so if you can find an 8 speed cassette these shifters should work fine with it.
    Ty. If i go with the 8 speed set-up, a 9 speed chain won't work right? (Because i already got a KMC 9 speed chain arriving too)

  4. #4
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    The 9 speed chain will work on the 8 speed system.

    Read Sheldon Brown.
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitzikatzi View Post
    The 9 speed chain will work on the 8 speed system.

    Read Sheldon Brown.
    Ty mitzikatzi. I found 6-speed, 7-speed, 8-speed, 9-speed, 10-speed, 11-speed? "As you go to more sprockets on the cassette, you need a narrower chain. However, using a chain one size narrower than standard rarely presents any problem. Thus, you can use a "9-speed" chain with a 7-speed or 8-speed system, or a "10-speed" chain with a 9-speed system. This is not the ideal approach -- shifting may not be quite as smooth -- but it's workable."

  6. #6
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    The only issue you might have with a 9 speed chain on an 8 speed cassette is if you have really sandy mud, the narrower chain is more prone to mud related chain suck/chain wrap.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill View Post
    The only issue you might have with a 9 speed chain on an 8 speed cassette is if you have really sandy mud, the narrower chain is more prone to mud related chain suck/chain wrap.
    Ty. I decided to try the 9 speed chain on an 8 speed cassette (looking for 8 speed cassette now). If i don't feel it's smooth enough for me, i'll buy an 8 speed chain.

  8. #8
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    The outside measurement of a 8 speed chain is more than a 9 speed chain.

    This means a 8spd chain can not be used on a 9spd cassette the gap between the cogs is too close. An 9spd chain will fit on a 8spd cassette.
    8spd 7.2mm or 3/32" vs 9spd 6.6mm 11/128"

    The "internal" measurement" of a 8spd and 9spd chain is very close. I just measured a 8 spd and a 9 spd connex chain (with cheap plastic verniers hence the very close).

    9 speed chains work fine on a 8spd cassette. I have used a 9spd chain on a 7speed cassette and it works well.
    Cheaper chains are sold as 6,7 and 8 speed.
    Connex 8-speed bicycle chains 1/2 "x 3/32"
    All bicycle chains of this series can be applied to all 8 -, 7 - and use 6-speed switching systems
    Chains only need to be narrow enough to clear the cogs on the cassette.

    This topic has be answered on these forums before.
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  9. #9
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    @mitzikatzi, thanx again

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